There are some fantastic book releases for May 3. We’ve reviews for Casey McQuiston’s first YA novel, as well as two romances, and a non-fiction novella about hawks.
It’s sometimes hard to read great YA books because I can relate to hard to the flaws of the characters. That’s exactly what happened with I Kissed Shara Wheeler. Freshman year, Chloe Green moves with her moms from LA to rural Alabama where she attends a private Christian high school, and competes against the principal’s perfect daughter, Shara Wheeler, to be the top of the class. For four years Chloe has imagined herself and her friends as the only people who matter in this town, and she can’t wait to put everyone else behind her after graduation, until Shara goes missing and leaves clues behind for Chloe, a bad boy musician named Rory, and Shara’s quarterback boyfriend Smith to find her. It’s a great book about realizing that people can be more complex than you’ve imagined them to be.
I love the way Montgomery writes about animals. In this very short book, she writes about both the hawk and its wild fierceness, and the unique relationship falconers have with the birds. It’s a very short read, but I loved the way it comes across how unlike humans, hawk’s are with their incredible instincts.
I was so excited to see Jasmine Guillory’s take on Beauty and the Beast in this series of Disney fairy tales adapted to contemporary romances. Izzy is an assistant at a major publishing house and one of her tasks is emailing the reclusive celebrity Beau Towers for updates about he very late memoir, which are always ignored. In an effort to impress her boss, Izzy goes to Beau’s home in Southern California to try to finally find out what’s going on, but ends up staying to help Beau despite his prickly exterior.
I really liked the background for Beau’s self-imposed exile and the nod to the talking appliances from the movie.
This debut romance is full of heart and charm, perfect for fans of The Charm Offensive and Casey McQuiston. Wren is a 22-year old movie buff with a film degree who’s never been kissed. When he accidentally sends out a series of draft emails to all of his almost first kisses (a la To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), he’s mortified. But his life only goes from bad to worse when he learns that the former best friend who ghosted him after an almost-kiss will be working alongside him at the drive-in movie theater this summer. I loved the dawning realization and acceptance of Wren’s demi-sexuality and how he and Derrick figure out their relationship dynamics. Also the drive in and exhumation of a lost, local horror flick! Great, fun read. Also, a little bit heartbreaking since my local drive-in is closing soon, so that storyline really hit home.
Thanks to netgalley and the publishers to ARCs of the books for review.