Monday, February 13, 2017

#RelationshipGoals Readings: Reshelved Books (Valentine's Day Edition)

Hey guys!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I am posting a review on not one but THREE books that are centered around romance and relationships. 

Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody
The Improbable Theory of Zak and Ana by Brian Katcher
The Romantics by Leah Konen

Those three books circle around relationships and love (for the most part... Boys of Summer also deals with death and it affects those who lost their loved one) AND all three books handle the topic of family (on a side note: I realized that family was a commanding topic as well once I was editing this review - this is a comment from Editing Jillian).

As a collective whole, I am giving these three books together twelve (12) coffee beans.
Continue reading down below if you'd like to see the review breakdown!

Scrapbook stickers and washi tape stripes are by Reflections. 
I bought them last year (2016) at Michael's.

Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody: 3 coffee beans out of 5

This book... I thought it was a little odd in terms of the writing style.  The book was centered around three friends; Grayson, Mike and Ian.  Grayson, Mike and Ian developed and fostered their friendship at Winlock Harbor during the summer months (hence the title Boys of Summer).
This is the last summer before the boys go off to college in the fall and it's the summer of major change- change that is influenced by tragedy. 

Grayson got into a major accident, the result of his parent's separation and divorce; affecting his abilities to play football in college.
Mike broke up with his girlfriend (Harper) of six years, changing his plans for once the fall rolls around.
Ian suffered great loss with the passing of his father, who was a SGT in the Army; and is having a hard time coping with the loss and the change in his mother's behavior as she tries to cope too.

As the book progresses, each boy finds a girl that he is interested in and the reader gets to see their relationships bud and how they unfold. The reader also gets to see how the dynamics of each boy's family progresses.

The content in the book didn't bother me. What annoyed me was that I was reading a book where three guys were the narrators and I felt like they were speaking like teenage girls. (Granted, I was a teenage girl back 10 years ago and I don't know how teenage boys think but I don't think that they would think like this!). Like why would a teenage boy go out and buy a whole new outfit, buy cheese and crackers and build a tent outside; never less GOOGLE romantic date ideas?! All to impress a girl who is a teenager herself! 

My heart went out to Ian, I was proud of how Mike was able to pick up and move on, and Grayson... Well, I wish he was a more forthcoming in his decision. But if he did that, then there wouldn't be much of a story on his end and no character progression (or digression at times...)

All in all, I don't think that the book was bad... It just wasn't my favorite book of the three that I am reviewing here.

I am giving this book 3 coffee beans out of five. 

The Improbable Theory of Zak and Ana by Brian Katcher: 4 coffee beans out of 5

I am going to start this review of by asking (you'll see why I'm asking this later on in my review).... Is anyone going bookcon this year?! NYC!! HEEEYYYYY! If you are, comment below! Jess and I are going so we'll see you all there! (Did anyone see that Chad Michael Murray is going to be there talking about his new book??! *swoons*)

Moving right along....

The Improbable Theory of Zak and Ana follows a boy named Zak and a girl named Ana (Duh. As if you didn't get that from the title...) and how one night can make you fall for someone.

Zak or "Duke" is forced to join Quiz Bowl, something he is quite reluctant to do but totally necessary if he wants to pass a required class to graduate in the spring. 
Ana is a high achieving student and captain of the Quiz Bowl, who is less than thrilled to learn that Zak is the new member on the team....

Lucky for Zak, he gets to spend time with the girl he is smitten with! Sadly for Ana...she's that girl and she has NO interest in Zak.

After competing in a day of quiz bowl, Ana's younger brother Clayton decides that he is going to attend Washingcon, the convention where Zak "should" have been spending his weekend, not at the Quiz Bowl competition (See why I asked you guys about bookcon?!).

It is at Washingcon where Zak and Ana go on an adventure to find Clayton before morning, when Mrs. Brinkham would find them missing thus jeopardizing Zak's final grade and Ana's parents finding about their Tom Foolery. 

The main focus of the book is around the adventure Ana and Zak share at Washingcon (The adventure is what makes the book!) All I can say is poor poor Zak...  You're left wanting to know what turns are going to happen in the plot, who Zak and Ana meet at Washingcon, where the last Clayton spotting was! Katcher made Zak to be a lovable character, one with terrible misfortune but a guy who was able to provide laughs.  

The reason why I gave this book four coffee beans out of five is because I could NOT stand Ana! There were times during the book that I thought she was getting better and I was starting to like her and then her character would do something that annoyed me and I was off put by her again.  I would be thinking "WHY Zak?! WHHHYYYY?!? You can find someone different! You could do better! You sound like such a cute guy, PLEASE find someone better!". 

In the end, Katcher wrote a book that had an interesting story line.  The situations that Ana and Zak encountered were unimaginable and crazy but you could laugh with some of things Zak got caught up in (which I think was from his laid back personality). The end of the book also made me happy for Zak and Roger.  

The Romantics by Leah Konen: **5 coffee beans out of 5**

If you want to read a lighthearted book about romance that is absolutely adorable than THIS is the book for you! And yes, "absolutely adorable" is a technical term (;

I loved this book! I loved Gael Brennan, I loved his adorable little sister Piper, Sammy Sutton and I loved how Love was the story's narrator. 

This book follows 17 year old Gael Brennan on his quest to find love and the trials and tribulations that he encounters along the way. You also get to meet three very different girls: Anika, Sammy and Cara.

With Love as the narrator, the reader is taken on a ride where you learn about the different types of romantics and how Love is able to influence certain situations and thoughts.  (Not to mention, there are cute little illustrations within the some chapters.)  The reader also learns that Love peeks in on already established relationships and ensures that the love is not lost... for the most part (if you read the book, you'll get what I mean). 

As for Ms. Konen, she wrote a story that was easy to follow and fun to read.  It was hard to put the book down! Finishing it was bittersweet but the ending was a happy moment for Gael (which is what you were rooting for after what he had been through).  I am looking forward to reading her other two books (hint hint: stay tuned for those reviews in the near future!). 

Happy Valentine's day!

~ Jillian

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