September 4, 2019

Friends with ARCs | She's the Worst + The Girl the Sea Gave Back

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ll likely know that I have a soft spot for stories about siblings and particularly, stories about sisters. Having two sisters of my own, it always interests me to see how that relationship is reflected in fiction, and She’s the Worst is one of the best portrayals I’ve personally ever encountered. Readers will only have a little over a day to spend with sisters April and Jenn, as they hang out and visit spots meaningful to them all around LA (which happens for two different reasons, depending on which sister you talk to). But Spieller writes about their relationship in a realistic and relatable way, claiming both the nostalgic love and fondness, as well as the misconceptions and hurts that are part and parcel of sisterhood. Interspersed with their sister dynamic, she also writes about their experiences visiting different parts of Los Angeles together, their complicated family situation and their relationships with other people (friendship or romantic). While it does end up feeling a little like the reader is getting shortchanged since we only get a brief glimpse into their lives due to the timeline, I still thought She’s the Worst was a good read and a whole lot of fun (with a slight dash of the feels). 

What are three places in NYC you consider significant to our (Rachel & my) friendship? Books of Wonder was a given, as it was the place we first met. Central Park, as we've visited it together fairly often on many of our days out in the city. And, of course, can't forget to mention Lincoln Center since we have our yearly ballet tradition these days!

She’s the Worst was released on September 3, 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 
I received an e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley for review.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is the second published novel from Adrienne Young, a story set in the same world as Sky in the Deep (which was one of my favorite reads in 2018). This novel switches back and forth between two character POVs: Tova, a gifted young woman who is searching for the place she belongs as she resides with a tribe that is not her own, and Halvard, a young man forged in a time of great conflict who has been bestowed with a heavy legacy of leadership. Readers will get to know both as the story progresses, and personally, it was all too easy to get invested in their individual journeys (and how they end up intersecting eventually). As it was in her debut novel, Young’s writing is compulsively readable and all too easy to fly through. And while there are plenty of nods to events in Sky in the Deep, it’s not necessary to read that story first – you can certainly check this one out as a standalone. In fact, it might even make the reading experience better for you, as both books share very similar plot elements (two tribes in opposition who are forced to decide between conflict or peace) and it was very noticeable to me, as someone who absolutely loved Sky in the Deep. This is not to say that the stories are the same, however; there’s just enough of a difference in the character personalities and external elements to allow this novel to stand on its own and still be an enjoyable book. So, while I didn’t love this one nearly as much as Young’s debut, I still really enjoyed The Girl the Sea Gave Back and would highly recommend it to both fans of Sky in the Deep and those readers new to Young’s work.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back was released on September 3, 2019 by Wednesday Books.
I received a galley from the publisher for review.


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