Speedy Reviews: #scandal, Hung Up and Magnolia

Hello everyone,
This is a new review format I'll be doing once or twice a month. I love to read but writing reviews is a a struggle for me. It takes me about two hours to write a typical "long" review and I don't always find time. And then review books I mean to feature and review within a week of reading them gets put off. Soon a month has passed and I forget my initial thoughts about them and then it takes me even longer to write the review.

These short, speedy reviews will help a lot with the review back up. And I think many people, who don't have a lot of time to read a long review, will appreciate quick, to-the-point reviews as well. I know I do.

Today I'll be reviewing three contemporary YA from Simon Pulse: Hung Up by Kristen Tracy, #Scandal by Sarah Ockler and Magnolia by Kristi Cook.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 368 pages
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher via Edelweiss
Summary (for full synopsis visit Goodreads)
When pictures of Lucy kissing her best friend's boyfriend emerge on the world of social media, she becomes a social pariah after the scandal rocks the school.
Michelle's Thoughts:
My first Sarah Ockler novel and it certainly won't be my last.

I really, really enjoyed #Scandal. I quickly devoured it. Funny, snarky, sweet... this is a book to read this between your more serious contemporary novels for a pick me up. Although lighter in tone, it also discusses important issues about social media and cyber bullying that are relevant today.

The romance between Lucy and Cole was sweet but not overwhelming. The novel was first and foremost about Lucy's growth than anything else
I highly recommend you add #Scandal to your summer reading list.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 282 pages
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher via Edelweiss
Summary (for full synopsis visit Goodreads)
When a wrong number blossoms into a phone friendship for Lucy and James, two Vermont high school students, James wants to meet in person, but Lucy is strangely resistant. Told in the form of telephone calls and voice mail messages.
Michelle's Thoughts:
The entire novel is really told through phone calls or voicemails so it is written in a script format. I did have reservations in the beginning because the entire novel was a long back and forth conversation between Lucy and James. And I have a feeling you're either going to like that or be turned off by it. But give it about ten pages before you chuck it. The plot came together after a while and I got into it.

I thought James was acting kind of an annoying creeper when he kept calling Lucy (he reminded me of this guy in college... **shudders**) in the beginning. Lucy also annoyed me at some point because she kept evading saying anything about herself even though as a reader you can figure out what she refused to say. Overall, both characters were likable.

There were a couple of twists in the end, though I saw them coming. It has an abrupt ending but I kind of liked the that the author left things to the reader's imagination.

I found Hung Up an interesting (because the format of the novel), quick and fun read.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 384 pages
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher via Edelweiss
Summary (for full synopsis visit Goodreads)
High school seniors Ryder and Jemma have been at odds for four years, despite their mothers' lifelong plan that they will marry one day, but when a storm ravages their small Mississippi town, the pair's true feelings are revealed.
Michelle's Thoughts:
Magnolia was just what I expected: an excellent romantic contemporary YA with a great, likable main character in Jemma and a swoon-worthy love interest in Ryder. Magnolia was just the book I need to lift me out of my reading slump.

I'm a sucker for the rivals-to-love trope and Magnolia really hits the spot. Jemma and Ryder had great chemistry and I liked how their relationship changed, how they softened toward the other in the novel. Their romance was sweet and swoon-y.

I loved that it was set in the South, with all the Southern things like football, Ole Miss, fancy parties, "y'all"-s, plantation homes, huge trees dripping with Spanish moss, etc. It was awesome that Jemma was a Southern belle but she could also shot a poisonous snake right on it's head, saving Ryder.

But while I love all the Southern stuff, this book also scared me from ever moving and living on the mainland: killer storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, poisonous snakes, poisonous spiders...? No thanks! I think I'll stay in snake-free, tornado-free, black widow spider-rare Hawaii.

Magnolia was a delightful, feel-good escape kind of read--just how I like my contemporary YAs to be. There was drama but it was light in tone and had a lovely romance. I had a great time reading this book.

Happy reading,


  1. Hung Up sounds cute. I like weird formats for books. :)

  2. These are perfect! We actually really like mini-reviews. :)


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