Blog Tour: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid (& Giveaway)

NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES

Today is Never Always Sometimes’ book birthday, and I am super excited to be part of the blog tour for the book! I’ve got my review, along with a playlist and my dream cast for the book’s characters. PLUS, there’s a giveaway at the end of the post, so make sure to stick around for that!

Never Always Sometimes by Adi AlsaidAuthor:  Adi Alsaid

GenreYA, Contemporary

PublisherHarlequin Teen

Publication DateAugust 4, 2015

SYNOPSIS

Never date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

REVIEW

I’m a member of Adi’s street team, and I won an ARC of Never Always Sometimes in a street-team-only giveaway. You could say I was pretty excited when I found out I won. I couldn’t wait to dive into NAS.

Hands down my favorite part of this book is the wonderful banter and chemistry (friend chemistry or romantic chemistry – both were wonderful) between Dave and Julia. I laughed out loud SO MANY times. They got along so well and had so many silly inside jokes that I fell in love with them right away. My favorite part was how Julia kept calling Dave by any name except for his actual one (Dave Gutierrez turns to David Beth Kacinski or David Babycakes Howard or David Sporkful McGee – definitely the silliest). I laughed. Every. Single. Time.

There’s also a road trip, which you guys know I love. I can’t give too many details about the road trip without giving away a few spoilers, but I’ll just say there are beaches and music and wonderfulness all around. Most of the novel felt a lot like the road trip – easygoing, fun, quick, and enjoyable.

I also really appreciated the outcome of Never Always Sometimes. I think it’s going to be one of those you either love it or hate it endings, but I loved it. It’s realistic and felt honest and truthful to the characters.

The bottom line: Never Always Sometimes is a fun and fast novel overflowing with great banter, silly nicknames, an easygoing writing style, and a realistic and genuine ending. Despite a few issues I had with it, I thought it was a great read. Check it out if you love wit, road trips, honest endings, and/or easy to read books.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | iTunes | Kobo

PLAYLIST

The following is my playlist for Never Always Sometimes. It’s not in a super strict order, nor is it particularly mesh-y, but it’s a list of songs that came to mind while I was reading. Enjoy.

DREAM CAST

I’ve never created a dream cast before. Like most readers when reading, the characters look a certain way in my head. I’m really nervous about picking actors for these characters, because I’m not sure if they look the way Adi envisioned them, but these are the actors I was thinking of while reading. I’ve only cast the four main characters (there were several other characters I could’ve cast as well, but these were the ones I had clear pictures of while reading).

JULIA – Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts       Emma Roberts 3

DAVE – Tyler Posey

Tyler Posey      Tyler Posey 2

MARRONEY – Paul Giamatti, David Paymer

Paul Giamatti      David Paymer

GRETCHEN – Anna Sophia Robb

AnnaSophia Robb      AnnaSophia Robb

ABOUT ADI

Adi AlsaidAdi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He’s now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let’s Get Lost is his YA debut.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY

Click the image below for the chance to win (1) of (3) finished copies of NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES by Adi Alsaid (US Only)

Never Always Sometimes giveaway

FOLLOW THE REST OF THE TOUR BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW

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Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Author:  David Arnold

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Dear Mosquitoland,

Reasons are hard. Trying to put into words the reasons why I love you is hard, but I’ll try.

Reason #1: You are weird. Like, SO weird. But you’re that special kind of weird that I absolutely love. You’re unique and strange and beautiful and funny and emotional and just brilliantly weird in the best possible way.

Reason #2: David Arnold’s writing is incredible. Like, mind-blowingly incredible. I cannot believe you are his debut novel. How is that even possible? I cannot wait to see what comes from him next if YOU are his FIRST book. Parts of you felt like poetry. I was torn between racing through you and taking my time to savor David’s writing. I’ll definitely be rereading you in the future.

Reason #3: Mim. MIM! Oh my goodness. She is just an incredible character. David NAILED her voice. She’s this perfect blend of hard and vulnerable. Sassy, independent, scared, sad, smart. She is such a teenager. I can’t believe how well David wrote her. I love her so much that she’s made it onto my short list of favorite characters ever.

Reason #4: You are the definition of perfect story telling. Your characters’ voices are spot on, your writing is beautiful, but that’s not the best part. You are just a good story. Entertaining, engrossing, fascinating, exciting. I just want to list all the best adjectives to describe you.

Reason #5: This is what my book looked like when I finished. Green flags are from RachelMarie at Nerd Herd Reads; pink are from me. This is what a book looks like when you LOVED it wholeheartedly.

Mosquitoland - read

The bottom line: Reasons are hard. Mississippi is hard. But you? You’re beautiful and quirky and plain ol’ strange, and I love you.

Signing off,
Stefani Sloma
Reluctant Mosquitoland Resident and Mosquitoland Lover

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews + Giveaway

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. MatthewsEvery Day a Hope is an interesting little book. I really love what the book tries to get the reader to do. Here’s what Goodreads says it’s about:

Through tiny stories and illustrations, Every Day a Hope encourages and empowers readers to examine emotionally difficult issues, while instilling confidence, introspection, and creativity. In each page, Marci M. Matthews addresses familiar concepts in a unique manner, designed to evoke thoughts, feelings, changes in perspective, and the ability to embrace the positive. The concepts in Every Day a Hope are taken from Matthews’ work with survivors, but the book is accessible to anyone who wants to find new ways to approach life with a positive outlook. Accompanying pages encourage readers to embark on their own explorations by asking questions and providing space to draw, write, keep lists, and create in whatever ways inspire them the most.

In my own words, I’d describe Every Day a Hope as an interactive, coloring-book style, inspirational journal. Every other page or so, the reader/writer is given a prompt to write about – your hopes and fears, the things that make you happy or upset, things you want to change, etc. It’s written in a way to help you along your path to recovery or finding a new way to look at life.

Overall, I thought the book was really cool, but there were a few things that were weird. As a lover of language, I really don’t like when there is no capitalization in books. Not a single word in Every Day a Hope was capitalized and I wanted to cry. Thankfully, there’s punctuation. Some of the stories and illustrations felt a little cheesy, but I was mostly using the book for the prompts anyway.

These are two of my favorite pages because you guys know how much I love travel and I believe in learning at all times.

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews    Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews

I was inspired by the book’s title to write a list of hopes for the coming year. I turn 25 this week, which just feels like a big year; I’m not sure why. Here are a few things I hope to accomplish before I turn 26:

– Move out. I don’t care if that means moving out of the state (which is what I really hope for) or just out of the house. I need to do it for me.
– Visit 5 places I’ve never been before.
– Learn a new skill. Last year I learned slash am still learning archery. The year before that was sewing. What can I learn this year?
– Volunteer somewhere. I used to do this a lot more than I do now. Find time to do it.
– Be kind. To everyone. No matter what.

GIVEAWAY TIME:

I’m giving away a copy of Every Day a Hope. I’m making it SUPER easy to enter. All I am asking you to do is comment on this post with a hope YOU have for the next year. Do you want to take a road trip? Read 50 books? Go to a book event? Learn something new? Finish school? Whatever it is you hope to accomplish in the next year – I want to know! You can gain an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway – just leave a link to your tweet in the same comment as your entry, and I’ll enter your name twice when I do the random drawing!

US only (I’m really sorry, international friends!). Ends July 31, 2015 at 5 p.m. CST.

NOTE: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mindbuck Media for sending this book my way!

Book Review: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not by Adam SilveraAuthor:  Adam Silvera

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Soho Teen

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

293 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

More Happy Than Not was one of my most-anticipated reads for the year, and I was not disappointed at all. It’s hard to review this one simply because it is one of those books you must read to experience. The synopsis doesn’t give much away, except this: The Leteo Institute has developed a procedure to alter and remove certain memories, and when Aaron (whose friends aren’t that great, whose mother is overworked and hardly ever there, whose brother is distant, and whose father committed suicide) meets Thomas and can think of no one but him, he decides to turn to Leteo to “straighten himself out” because being gay isn’t welcome where he lives. That’s not even half of the book though, but I honestly can’t tell you anything else without spoiling it or giving something away.

I can talk about Adam’s writing though, which is honest, heart-wrenching, sad, hopeful, and wonderful. Aaron’s voice is so well-done. Chapters can move from gut-wrenchingly sad to laugh-out-loud funny within a page, and it never once felt disjointed or stilted. I will say it was hard to connect with Aaron at first, mostly because he’s not really sure who he is, but I definitely wanted to keep reading. It’s practically impossible to not want to reach into the book and hug him, to want to be his best friend, to tell him to keep going, keep trying, keep living. He’s a brilliant character.

Remember how I said you can’t really talk about this book without giving anything away? Well, it’s true, because there are many twists and turns and surprises throughout this whole book. I never once knew what was going to happen next and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see. My heart was broken and put back together and broken again. I cried and laughed and cried some more. This book is a rollercoaster in the best sense of the word.

More Happy Than Not is a book of self-discovery and acceptance. It’s about being okay with who you are and not caring what anyone else thinks of it. It’s also about heartbreak and pain and hope. A few quotes I especially liked:

“Sometimes you just have to push ahead to find what you’re looking for.” (Page 136)

“Sometimes pain is so unmanageable that the idea of spending another day with it seems impossible. Other times pain acts as a compass to help you get through the messier tunnels of growing up…” (Page 270)

The bottom line: There’s no way to summarize this book or how wonderful it is without simply saying, “Go read it.”

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Audiobook Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Jackaby by William RitterAuthor: William Ritter

Narrators: Nicola Barber

Audiobook length: 7.5 hours

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Publisher: HighBridge Audio (Audiobook); Algonquin Young Readers (book)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

The book:

Jackaby is described in its summary as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock”. I think this is a pretty apt description – Jackaby is similar to both the Conan Doyle Sherlock and the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock with a little bit of Matt Smith thrown in for good measure. Usually I hate when books are compared to other books, TV shows, or movies, but in this case, it wasn’t off the mark. Thankfully, Ritter’s characters are so unique and solidly-done that I was able to completely separate them while reading (er..listening to) the story. The world that Ritter has created is full of seriously cool fantastical creatures and I absolutely loved learning about everyone and everything in it.

My only complaint is probably going to surprise most of you. There is practically no romance in the book, which is actually quite nice to have, but the lengths Ritter went through to emphasize the lack of romance between Abigail and Jackaby is a little ridiculous. Instead of allowing the two leads who would actually make a really great couple because of how well they balance each other, we end up having two secondary characters written in for Abigail and Jackaby and it really just muddles the story. In fact, the romance between Abigail and her police officer often feels forced. Here’s hoping the romance that actually should be happens in Beastly Bones (the sequel to Jackaby).

The audiobook/narrator:

Nicola Barber is a fantastic narrator. She has an amazing ability to do different voices distinctly and with incredible believability. I was able to become fully immersed in the story because each of the characters’ voices were all so unique and easily identified. I’m so glad she narrated this story because it made for a wonderful listening experience. I would highly recommend checking out some of the other books she’s narrated (I also listened to Wild Born by Brandon Mull narrated by her).

The bottom line: Jackaby is a fun, enjoyable novel. Ritter mixes an amazing fantasy world with historical details that make reading Jackaby like being in the world of Sherlock Holmes if it were on a different planet. Nicola Barber’s narration is absolute perfection, and if you are a fan of audiobooks, I’d highly recommend checking this one out in that format.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I.W. GregorioAuthor:  I.W. Gregorio

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBT

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

None of the Above is incredible. I finished reading it more than two weeks ago and I still can’t quite figure out how to properly tell you why you should read this important, incredible, entertaining, beautiful book.

Kristin is in her senior year of high school and she’s the star of her track team and loved by both her friends and her boyfriend. But when Homecoming night doesn’t really go the way it should, she makes an appointment with an ob-gyn and finds out that she’s intersex. Her life, identity, and world are completely turned upside down and she must figure out who she really is while everyone else does too.

Like a lot of people, I didn’t know much about what being intersex meant. I had a general idea, but this book taught me so much (I love when I can learn about something real when reading). This book is so important for that very reason – not only is it a well-written, entertaining, heartbreaking, uplifting story about a fictional character, it’s also a book about a real condition and realistic reactions to it. None of the Above is exactly what a book about diversity should be. Yet another book I wish I could make everyone read.

Something that has come up in conversations recently (I posted about books that feature characters with mental illnesses which sparked conversation in the comments but also with friends) is a certain lack of empathy that some people have, which is disheartening in a lot of ways, but that’s not the point. I’m bringing this up because I am not intersex. Nor do I know anyone that is (as far as I know). But I connected so well with Kristin because of her struggle with identity throughout the book. Her identity (as a woman, as herself) is challenged several times throughout the novel. (Quick note to say how heartbreaking it was to read the sections in which Kristin is bullied, which felt so, so realistic; I hated it, but I’m glad that nothing felt exaggerated nor sugar-coated). Kristin no longer knows who she is (her doctor tells her that she is a woman, but is she when everyone tells her she isn’t? When she has male chromosomes?). Is she Kristin because of her chromosomes? What makes you you?

The bottom line: None of the Above is important, and you really don’t want to miss it, not only because it will teach you more about something you may or may not be familiar with, but because everyone can relate to Kristin’s struggle to figure out how she is. We all deserve to be reminded that we can get through anything.

Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaAuthor:  Nova Ren Suma
Genre: Young adult, magical realism, fantasy
Publisher: Algonquin
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
319 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, but couldn’t open the file (wrong format for Kindle), so I checked it out from the library. Despite that, thank you so much to Algonquin for granting me access!!

This entire book felt like a dream, which, I suppose, is part of the point. Magical realism is always fun, and The Walls Around Us was just so cool. It was trippy and strange and wonderful. You never quite know what is real and what is imagined, because none of the characters really know either. I was so confused most of the time and I loved it. Most of the time when I read a book this confusing during which I have absolutely no idea what’s happening, I’m not a big fan, especially if the book is doing it for the sole purpose of confusing you, but in the case of The Walls Around Us, I actually really liked it.

The prose was wonderful. When I started the first page, I was kind of worried. It’s…different. But after the first three pages, I was hooked. It flows easily and its use of repetition felt like a chant, a song. Again, it’s different and odd, but, for me, it was easy to read and very, very cool. The characters were all complex, especially the ones inside the detention center. Just like their crimes, their guilt wasn’t black and white, and this changed them from horrible thieves, murderers, and prisoners into real people.

I think the one thing I didn’t really like was that the book felt a little…meandering? I think that’s the right word. I wasn’t expecting action-packed or anything like that, but parts of it felt a little long-winded. On the other hand, I LOVED the bizarre, odd, confusing end so much. SO. MUCH. I think it fit perfectly with the strangeness of this magical story.

For me, the inscription before Part IV of the book perfectly sums this one up:

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.”

Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

The bottom line: The Walls Around Us is really different from what you’re expecting. A little Black Swan, but with a bunch of other things thrown in. It’s confusing and strange and absolutely wonderful. I don’t think this will be a book for everyone, though. Personally? I want to read more by Nova Ren Suma.

Rating: 7.5 – between pretty good and freaking fantastic

Book Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone

Compulsion by Martina BooneAuthor:  Martina Boone

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: October 28, 2014

433 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I’ve been excited about this book for months, but I just never got my hands on a copy. So when my #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge rolled around, I couldn’t wait for Compulsion to come in so I could check it out!

Let’s do a things I liked and things I didn’t like list. I’m in the mood for a list today.

Things I liked:

– Watson’s Landing. I’m a sucker for an amazing setting, especially if it actually affects the events within the story, coming alive almost as if it were its own character. Watson’s Landing is like that. A meandering river, surrounding forest, old plantation home that’s falling apart and being put back together. *sigh* I loved it. Boone did an incredible job of bring the place to life.

– The names. Maybe this is a silly thing to point out, but I loved the names. Barrie’s name is actually Lombard, “that served as a reminder of Lula’s bitterness. Lombard, after San Francisco’s crooked street, and in memory of Wade Colesworth, Barrie’s crooked father (page 53).” Yessss. Also, the other family that Barrie’s family was close to are all named the same, so instead of being called their name, they’re called “Seven” and “Eight”. I LOVE this.

– The mythology. I can safely say that I was not going into this book expecting Native American mythology, but there it was. From the Fire Carrier who unspools fire like yarn to the yunwi, little ghosts who behave like children, running around Barrie’s feet and wreaking havoc across all of Watson’s Landing. Very, very cool and super interesting.

– The supporting characters. From flamboyant and fabulous Mark, to solitary and sad Aunt Pru, to falsely sweet cousin Cassie, Boone’s cast of supporting characters are interesting, developed, and far from perfect, which I liked.

Things I didn’t like:

– The book was a little long, coming in at over 400 pages. There were times when I felt the book was dragging a little bit, and it took me like 3 days to read the first 100 pages. But then I did race through the next 200 pages of the book at work, so I’m not really complaining that hard, am I?.

– Barrie’s whole backstory is a little convoluted. Her mother just died and revealed that she has this whole family she never knew, including her aunt who never knew she existed either because Barrie’s mother was thought to have died in a fire 18 years ago during which her father actually did die. And that’s not even half of it. It takes a while to get it all.

The bottom line: I’m looking forward to the next book. I’m ready to learn more about this deep-rooted family feud, these lonely ghosts, the intriguing mythology, and Barrie, a girl who’s just now figured out who she is.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

Book Review: Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

“A billion husbands are about to be replaced.”

This was my first read for the #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge. 

Beautiful You by Chuck PalahniukAuthor:  Chuck Palahniuk

Genre: Contemporary? Humor? Sci-fi?

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 10/21/2014

225 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Okay. I’ve been trying to put my thoughts together on this one for about a week. I’m still not really sure how I feel but here we go.

It’s a book about a guy who develops a line of sex toys so powerful that they make women all around the world completely addicted to them, hence the quote at the start of my review. It focuses on Penny, the girl who gets coffee at her law firm. She’s invited to dinner by C. Linus Maxwell (aka “Climax-Well) and eventually becomes Maxwell’s final test subject for the line of sex toys.

For Chuck Palahniuk, that sounds all fine and dandy. A little weird, a lot sexual, and totally something I can handle. But then it just gets…uncomfortable. I’ve read at least 5 Chuck P books, and while they usually make me feel weird, it’s in a way that I like books to make me feel, if that makes sense. They push me out of my comfort zone in really interesting ways. This one though? I’m not sure what the point was. It very obviously makes fun of the state of literature and erotic fiction but it’s just gross, unnecessarily so. Maybe I should’ve expected that, but it went so much further than any Palahniuk book has gone (and I’ve even read that Guts short story). It was just…uncomfortable a lot of the time. It felt wrong. Beautiful You was offensive for the sake of being offensive.

Parts of the book were interesting and entertaining, I’ll give it that, but more parts were gross. Chuck P’s books are supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, but this was so much more than that. He seems to have gotten so wrapped up in how gross sex can be. After a while it actually started to bore me. I want to give you two examples to wrap up the review since I haven’t really explained why it felt weird. These are potential spoilers, I suppose, so be warned. Also be warned that it’s somewhat graphic.

“He slipped a third and fourth finger inside. ‘Good girl, you vagina is ‘ballooning.’’ During arousal, he explained, the inner vagina expands, lengthening to create a dead end beyond the cervix. Now his entire hand was inside. [my emphasis]

Penny looked down to see only his smooth, pale wrist disappearing into her. At the sight of it, she moaned” (53-54).

Alrighty, there’s one. Another example:

“This,” the sex witch said, plucking something from her wet depths, “this is all I have remaining from my mother.” The object she held was brownish, like polished wood, like an unvarnished pencil, and she withdrew it slowly. The extraction made a faint slurping sound. “It was her longest finger,” the Baba explained in a hushed voice. “I cut it from her even while the wild animals devoured the rest” (Page 166)

Gross.

The bottom line: Chuck Palahniuk’s books are kind of like a car crash, in that even though you want to, you can’t look away.

Rating: I don’t even know… 5? Take it or leave it? 4? Eh. This is bad? 6? I don’t know. You make your own judgment.

Book Review: Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw (ARC)

Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel and Brent BradshawAuthors: Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Thank you to the lovely ladies at On the Same Pages ARC Tours for including me in this tour!

Everybody Knows Your Name is essentially about two people who are contestants on a reality show that is basically a mix between American Idol and The Real World, which is more interesting than it sounds, promise.

But that’s not all (or even most) of what this book is about. Rather than giving all of its attention to the reality TV/faux celebrity aspect, this book focuses on real-life developments and the self-discovery that can happen when you’re in the spotlight. Everybody Knows Your Name is way more introspective, thoughtful, and relatable than I was expecting of a book that could easily have been filled with childish, petty, celebrity drama. I was really impressed with it.

The characters are well-developed and distinctive, even the minor characters felt like someone I could run into somewhere out in the real world. Well, some of them were only ones you’d come across in Hollywood, which isn’t necessarily the realest place. Magnolia and Ford, our main characters, were relatable and I found myself really liking Magnolia for her desire to be exactly who she is and no one else. The romance was pretty much instalove, which you guys know I despise, but it didn’t bother me as much for some reason.

One thing I think was missing from the book was a little more from the reality show – I wanted to see how they felt on stage during eliminations and performances. I wanted to see a few more of those performances, even just a few lines about what the minor characters were like on stage. I think a lot of the book just kind of gleamed over all of that, which felt like a strange thing to take out. However, the focus on what it’s like in reality TV and the way that people can obsess with any kind of “celebrity” was so so true.

The bottom line: Everybody Knows Your Name is way more deep and thoughtful than I was expecting, but in the best way. I loved getting to know these characters and I was rooting for them both on the show and in the way they were changing. I liked the open ending (for the most part) and the appendixes really added to the story. This book is perfect for fans of reality television and realistic characters.

Rating: 7.5 – between pretty good and freaking fantastic