Review: Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana

Book Title: Summer Of Yesterday
Author: Gaby Triana
Release Date: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: Amazon 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Back to the Future meets Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Haley’s summer vacation takes a turn for the retro in this totally rad romantic fantasy.

Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley’s stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney’s Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she’s never before experienced—time travel—and she ends up in River Country, the campground’s long-abandoned water park, during its heyday.

The year? 1982.

And there—with its amusing fashion, “oldies” music, and primitive technology—she runs into familiar faces: teenage Dad and Mom before they’d even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she’s met Jason, one of the park’s summer residents and employees, who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing.

Seizures aside, Haley’s used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can’t share?

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I love a good time traveling story and it’s even better when it’s a YA time travel story. Initially Haley bothered me. A lot. Her attitude was terrible and I felt sympathy for her dad & stepmom who had to deal with her. Seizures are a big deal and while I can understand Haley’s reluctance, I can also understand how her dad wants to keep a close eye on her.

When she travels back in time, everything is different. All the things that she has grown up with don’t even exist. There is no Google, no iPhone or any of the technology that she has always known. Stranger yet, she meets her parents the summer they fell in love. But it’s cutie Jason who makes the most impact on her. He takes her under his wing,and doesn’t label her crazy when she drops a bombshell on him.

Yet, I didn’t feel the chemistry between Jason and Haley. Their kisses didn’t make my Kindle sizzle like I was hoping they would. Maybe it’s because I never completely warmed up to Haley. I ended up liking her a little bit, but I didn’t love her. I think more character development for Haley would have helped.

The plot was jerky. In some places it was slower than a turtle and in others, it zoomed by like a racehorse. I think a little extra time to work out the pacing would definitely have been beneficial to the story.

The ending was confusing too. I don’t think the author was really committed to the end of the story as it felt rushed and unfinished.There was one last bombshell at the end that surprised me, but didn’t shock me or fill me with feels.

So I’m kinda iffy on this one. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. Between an underdeveloped protagonist and a rough ending & a jerky paced plot, I’m giving this book 3 stars. Maybe someone else will like it, it just wasn’t one of my favorites.

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Book Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. 

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
There have been several books recently that have started out super promising and then they slowly disintegrate into a colossal mess. Unfortunately The Promise of Amazing was like that.Initially, I was really liking Wren and she was witty and overall very likeable. Things started to change shortly after she saved Grayson’s life.

Three words: Insta. Freaking. Love. UGH! Seriously why do so many authors take the easy way out and do the insta-love formula? Be different, be dynamic. Don’t follow the exact same formula as so many authors do. Let a friendship develop first and then the romance. The slow burn is often more successful than a red hot fire right off the bat. At least romance wise. I never felt “it” between Wren and Grayson.Their insta-love felt forced which is even worse than smooth sailing insta-love.

Grayson was kind of an asshole and I really didn’t like him. He clearly let Andy and Luke hold way too much power over him which really pissed me off. If you are done stealing shit and “humping and dumping” girls, then tell them. I mean come ON! He didn’t seem to have any remorse for either the term paper thing OR the stealing things just because he could. 

He was also an asshole to his mom and step-dad which really pissed me off. Loyalty in a divorce can be tough but damn neither parent was fighting for Grayson’s allegiance. They both loved him and wanted to be in his life. I don’t think he realized how lucky he was.

So The Promise of Amazing was not amazing at all. It was a big time letdown for me. It started off really cute and promising but it did not stay that way for long.For many reasons, this book will be getting 2 stars from me.