CBR11Bingo Travel- both books involve moving across the country
This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I see a lot of authors that I follow on Twitter shouting her out, so I thought I would try her new book, The Lady Rogue. No luck- the bookstore was sold out. Instead, I picked up an alternate title and ended up with Alex, Approximately. It is a cute book and had some great aspects, but also some things that I found really grating.
Bailey has just moved from the East coast to the West coast to live with her father. Her mom’s new marriage is crumbling and Bailey doesn’t want to be around the drama, so she decides to move to California to make a new start with her dad. She also happens to be moving to the small town where her online crush lives but is afraid to tell him that it may be possible for them to meet in person. Bailey soon starts working at a museum and meets an annoying but cute guy. Shenanigans follow.
The good: Bailey has a pretty cute relationship with her dad, deals with some heavy trauma in a believable way, masturbation is normalized and Porter, her love interest, is perfectly described as the perfect swoon-worthy boy.
The bad: Bailey repeatedly thinks of herself as “not like other girls” because she likes to watch movies, she can’t figure out the identity of her online crush EVEN WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IN THE BOOK HAS DONE SO and like many teen books, there is a rush to get from first kiss to loss of virginity, and why is the book cover featuring a girl in a pool float?
I found myself wondering- was the reveal of Alex’s identity meant to be stunning, and then after several ARC copies went out and it was completely obvious they decided to repackage it? The info is literally on the book jacket, and is glaringly apparent throughout the book, so the fact that it takes Bailey until the last two pages to figure it out is bizarre.
**Two Can Keep a Secret
I really, truly loved Karen McManus’ book One of Us Is Lying and was excited to pick up Two Can Keep a Secret. This book didn’t have quite the same magic as the first but it was still an entertaining read.
Ellery and Ezra are moving in with their grandmother while their mom is in court-ordered drug rehab. They have never visited the tiny town that their mother grew up in and she is close-mouthed about a lot of her past there. Ellery is a true-crime fanatic and has always been interested in the dark history of this sleepy little town that has been host to both the murder of the homecoming queen a few years ago and the disappearance of another teenage girl (Ellery and Ezra’s aunt) on homecoming night twenty years before. Malcolm, a local teenager, has been a social pariah since his brother was accused of the homecoming murder. He is also having to negotiate his mom’s recent marriage and his new step-family. On Ellery and Ezra’s arrival to town, they immediately come across the body of a teacher in the middle of the road. The mysteries begin to pile up around them as they settle in to school and their new jobs at a theme park called Fright Farm (but previously named Murderland). Someone has started to paint disturbing messages around town, threatening the new homecoming court. Ellery finds herself pulled deeper in to the mysteries of the past and present and wondering just how much she can trust Malcolm.
I liked the book, but I liked One of Us Is Lying much better.