Welcome to my blog where I give my honest opinion of Young Adult Fiction.
Twitter @YAFictionReview

Monday, February 8, 2016

Where Did I Go? / Rebranding

Hey everyone! 

It has been more than six months since my last post, and I am not really okay with that. 

I started this blog because it made me happy to read all of these books and post my opinions. 

I got accepted to a new school in the fall and I have been focusing so hard on getting into my major (which I did a few weeks ago), passing all of my classes, and making new friends. While my life is being fulfilled in so many ways and I truly am happy, I can't help but feel that there is something missing. 

Today I tweeted on my personal account that I haven't bought a book in weeks. I realized quickly that I am not okay with that. 

I am not okay with letting my passion die out just because I have a lot going on.

Typically, I do not make New Years Resolutions, and since it is a little late for that, I am making a personal resolution that I will post more on this blog. 

It may not be all about YA Fiction, and it may not all be reviews, but it will be about me and my passions. 

Which brings me to my second topic: rebranding. 

I have loved blogging under YA Fiction, but I feel as though I need to expand my reach if I am going to keep to my resolution to post more frequently. 

New topics may include my travels, classic books I'm reading, and movies I have watched.

I am attempting to create something that is the best of both worlds. It will probably end up as an entertainment blog with a focus on YA Fiction. 

Hopefully some of you who have been reading this blog have stuck around long enough to see this post and decide to follow me over to my new creative outlet. 

If you decide not to, that's alright too.

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Publisher: 21 February 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Series: N/A

"Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be."


What else can I say other that I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK!

I have been hearing quite a bit of talk about this book, especially since it has won a ton of awards! Knowing all of that, I went in with my expectations very high........and this book surpassed even my highest expectations! It's rare that a book does that. 

Aristotle And Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an absolutely beautiful book that I believe everyone must read once in their lifetime. It tells the story of a young, misunderstood boy growing up and trying to discover who he is. Along the way, he makes a lifelong friend who is having just as hard of a time at life as him. Together, these two boys go on an incredible journey. 

I was never disappointed with this book. Yes, it was slightly predictable in the end, but getting there was a roller coaster that I did not mind riding all the way to the very tippy top. It was honest, and raw, and everything that you could want in a novel.

I'm not going to say anything else and let you all just go and read this beautiful, amazing, one of a kind book for yourselves. 

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, July 13, 2015

Library Haul!

I just got a nice little haul from the library today! That's one of the perks of being gone on vacation - when you get back, you have a lot of books to read! 

Honey Girl Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) Tiny Pretty Things

Making Pretty Last Year's Mistake

I can't wait to start reading all of these fabulous books I don't even know which one to start with, my choices are so good!!! <3

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

The Wrong Side of Right

Publisher: 17 March 2015 by Dial Books
Pages: 390
Series: N/A

"Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be."

Okay, coming from someone who HATES politics (no, seriously, I hate politics...and my brother is a politician too, so I'm around it all the time), I really enjoyed this book!

There have been quite a few plots lately where someone discovers who their long lost parent is and their world gets turned upside down because of where they come from, and The Wrong Side of Right it sort of like that. Only with a twist. Kate's dad is running to become the President...............of the United States of America. Dang. 

I don't blame Kate for wanting to know her dad, especially since her mom passed away a year earlier, but seriously, sometimes I think Kate made some wrong decisions. Sometimes she needed to get a spine and tell people where they can stick it. I could tell that Kate was a strong person, a strong character, but she just needed some more confidence in herself. 

Let's talk about this star crossed lovers thing that went on. Kate's love interest is none other than the son of the current President running for a second term. If that's not a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, I don't know what is. I really did like Andrew though. He comes off as a playboy prankster in the beginning, but you slowly start to see his true colors. I enjoyed his personality and thought it brought a lot of color to the book.

In my opinion, even if you don't like politics, you will still enjoy this book. There was quite a bit of action and intrigue and I think it is definitely one to read!

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Vacation!

I had a great time on my vacation to Las Vegas!

I read three books while I was gone...

The Heir (The Selection, #4) Love, Lucy Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)

and I bought Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch as a little treat to myself one night.

Embedded image permalink

And I found the most amazing rare books store in the middle of one of the shopping centers! I mean look at these pictures!

Displaying WP_20150625_12_21_27_Pro.jpg Displaying WP_20150625_12_21_33_Pro.jpg
Displaying WP_20150625_12_22_12_Pro.jpg Displaying WP_20150625_12_23_22_Pro.jpg
Displaying WP_20150625_12_25_25_Pro.jpg Displaying WP_20150625_12_28_33_Pro.jpg

There were whole walls covered with rare books and I just wanted to hold all of them! But sadly I wasn't allowed to touch :( Luckily they let me take some pictures!

I also visited some of the cool spots like a real tourist!

Displaying WP_20150625_001.jpg Displaying WP_20150625_19_42_14_Pro.jpg
Displaying WP_20150625_19_57_45_Pro.jpg Displaying WP_20150625_20_31_02_Pro.jpg
Displaying WP_20150625_20_34_12_Pro.jpg

And I ventured outside of the city to The Valley of Fire to look at some Petroglyphs...

Displaying WP_20150626_10_50_37_Pro.jpg Displaying WP_20150626_12_27_17_Pro.jpg Displaying WP_20150626_12_06_32_Pro.jpg

and to the Hoover Dam where I took the obligitory 'I'm in two places at once' photo! (For those of you who don't know, the Hoover Dam is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona.)

Displaying WP_20150627_10_33_22_Pro.jpg Displaying InstagramCapture_c13e1d4d-1209-452e-bc0b-bbeefa2e0ace.jpg

So that was my vacation! I'm leaving again for another one in a few days and I'm super excited! I probably won't post while I'm gone on that one either, so I apologize in advance! 

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

Publisher: 26 May 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 337
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2

"Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing."

This was the first book that I read after being released to summer vacation and I couldn't have chosen a better book! It was funny and sweet and incredibly well written!

P.S. I Still Love You picked up where the first installment left off. Peter and Lara Jean are fighting and its not certain if their relationship will be mended. This is a theme throughout the whole book. Lara Jean and Peter fight...a lot. It started to bug me.

One aspect of this novel that I really liked was the game of Assassins. I've actually played it before but with different rules so it was fun to see it in a book. I think it would be exciting to play it on that large of a scale over that long of a time period. The game just added a different element to the story than what other books have and it was highly enjoyable.

This book was predictable, but that doesn't mean it was bad. I actually really liked reading this book and seeing more of Lara Jean's life. I almost wish that there were more!

If you haven't yet, you should definitely read the To All The Boys I've Loved Before series by Jenny Han. You will not be disappointed! I promise!

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm Going on Vacation!

As you can tell by the title of this post, I am about to embark on my first vacation of the summer. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

It is an 18 hour long road trip down to Las Vegas, Nevada.


That part, I'm not so excited about. In honor of my (incredibly long) road trip, I have assembled a list of YA road trip books to read. Without further ado...

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour Paper Towns Take Me There

Guitar Highway Rose Thou Shalt Not Road Trip Let's Get Lost

Finding Paris The Disenchantments Two-Way Street

There you have it, nine YA Road Trip Novels. So pick one of them up, and enjoy the ride. And I'll enjoy sitting in a car for 18 hours. haha. Just kidding. I'm probably going to go insane. 

At least I'll have some books to keep me company <3

-Shawnee Smith