Get It Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough
Published by: Chronicle Books
Pub Date: April 4th 2017
Format: e-arc | Source: NetGalley
Genres: young adult, contemporary, LGBTQ
Rating: DNF at 20%
Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. While her dad goes on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, Del manages the family cafe. Easy, she thinks. But what about homework? Or the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell? Or her best friend who won’t stop guilt-tripping her? Or her other best friend who might go to jail for love if Del doesn’t do something? But really, who cares about any of that when all Del can think about is beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street. . . . Until one day Rosa comes in the cafe door. And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?
Contemporary books are always quick reads for me. I get pulled in by the story, the character, the relationships of all sorts. It’s rare for me to take more than a few days to read one and after a week, I didn’t have much interest in coming back to the story. I do think Delilah’s story is worth telling; it shows an uglier side of bullying and trying to fit in as a lesbian in high school. But it was the telling that was the issue. It was also hard for me to believe that her dad would really leave on a months long trip and have her run their cafe by herself while going to school, no matter how much she protested that it was “going well.” I don’t know, I didn’t get far enough for the romance to really start but like I said, something isn’t clicking for me. I recently saw on twitter that a few readers pointed out some problematic content with regards to racism and making fun of a character’s hair, which is definitely distasteful; here is a review that points out a lot of other problematic content as well. I think there are better reading options out there.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Published by: Balzer & Bray
Pub Date: April 11th 2017
Format: arc | Source: Borrowed
Genres: young adult, contemporary, LGBTQ
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
The Upside of Unrequited is worthy follow up to Becky Albertalli’s first novel with a relatable MC, a wonderful look at the complexities of family and friendship, and a super cute nerdy ship! It was a delight that I read in one sitting. There isn’t a lot of plot but that didn’t bother me because I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and seeing the world through Molly’s eyes and struggles. It’s hard to grow up and grow apart from those you are closest to, and she learns that sometimes you grow in parallel directions but you’ll always come back together. There was also an emphasis put on communication, which I think is important. It’s also one of those books with a million small moments that make you happy- I wish I could visit the store Molly and Reid work at! The Simon text messages! The rain scene! And I adored Molly’s Pinteresty behavior and how that manifiested with her moms’ wedding. I hope she becomes a wedding planner or decorator someday. All of the characters brought something to the table and had personalities & problems of their own. I truly believe every reader can find a part of themselves in this book; it’s relatable, honest, nerdy, and hopeful.
Both of these books release tomorrow, April 4th. What’s on your April TBR? Let me know what you thought of these books or if you’re looking forward to them!