ARC August – the Finale

Well folks, I did a decent job for the ARC August challenge. I made a fairly lofty goal [click here for my book list to attempt and book challenge details] considering I’ve started a dozen novels this year and end up shelving them to finish at a later date. I’ve gone through numerous reading slumps all year long, with the exception of keeping up with comic book reads, so it’s been a bit rough.

  

But finishing three books and close to a quarter of the way done with my fourth isn’t too shabby. Again I haven’t been finishing much of anything lately but I’m hoping to keep the momentum going for the month of September. My original list included:

This Savage Life – Victoria Schwab
The Serpent King – Jeff Zentner
P.S. I Like You – Kasie West
You Know Me Well – Nina LaCour & David Levithan
The Crown’s Game – Evelyn Skye
And I Darken* – Kiersten White
*indicating my attempt 😁

I had fun keeping up with the challenge, although the past two weeks my life has been turned upside down with our basement flooding so these weeks have been too busy to concentrate fully with reading time, but half a list is good enough for me! Sadly I haven’t kept up with more participants progression (sorry!) but hopefully everyone were burning holes in their ARC shelves reading everything!

Thank you for hosting Read.Sleep.Repeat! Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year for sure! There are always plenty of titles I’m behind on to use as my list haha👍

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You Know Me Well | Review

I’m super pumped that I’ve been really on top of my reading game ….well not only reading more but POSTING more! It’s a miracle of miracles! I’m trying to become better and it’s a tough habit to keep up with if you just go in and out of a routine. Let’s briefly discuss my latest read!

You Know Me Well | Available for Purchase: Amazon.com « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Pages: 248 pages, hardcover
Received Copy: Paperback advanced reading copy, also signed by author

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Once again I have this habit where I don’t read the back cover and don’t know what said book is about but if it’s a favorite author of mine or I hear good buzz about the novel is enough to get me interested in reading. That being said–I knew this was a contemporary book and David’s writing is some of my favorite so I was ready to read.

You Know Me Well takes two individuals who are classmates that don’t interact with each other but one night during San Fran’s Pride Week have Mark and Kate meeting only to run away from their problems. Kate is head over heels in love with a girl she’s never met but knows they would have a relationship we grow up dreaming of. Mark is pining over his best friend who’s not officially out of the closet gay yet and while they spend time fooling around and exploring, their friendship is only so much for Mark and he wants it all.

Through a series of events, Kate and Mark develop an overnight friendship, quite literally, and it’s interesting how things play out. Kate and her best friend, Lehna, are pretty inseparable but when Violet–Lehna’s cousin who’s finally moving back to the States, Kate can’t handle the pressure of mixing expectations with reality, not just for Violet’s sake but her own. Kate is an artist who is doubting her life choices in attending college and as her senior year is ending the pressure is mounting. Mark on the other hand is a junior who still has time but the fact that his best friend, Ryan, seems to finally be paying attention to another guy making Mark take the plunge in expressing his feelings truthfully.

There’s a section of the book that includes really awesome slam poetry some characters listen to and you can’t help but read it and feel gutted. Straight or not, one can’t imagine having to hide their true self or fight for it like it was something that was so against the norm. I loved that these pieces were written in because not everyone has an easy time figuring out who they are and what sexuality they relate to.

Mark and Kate find a way to balance each other and find a way to grow a friendship out of what they’re missing with their best friends. Tensions are high between both sets of friends and Mark and Kate develop shoulders to lean on and confidence boosts throughout the story.

It’s a cute and quick read that didn’t have much drama. A dash of comedy, journeys in finding themselves, the trials and tribulations of growing into the next step of life, and figuring out sometimes you need to let go is all a part of You Know Me Well‘s storyline.

ARC August – update week 4

So in the midst of the worst week ever, I was actually able to finish a book! Woohoo! It’s pretty crazy because I’ve basically spent all summer not reading much so it’s nice to know this is starting to pay off–signing up for the reading challenge and whatnot👍

I liked this one, You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan–two gay high school classmates find themselves at a gay bar for Pride Week in San Francisco and develop a friendship overnight. I could’ve used more closure for Mark’s storyline rather than just “hey I’ll figure things out” but I enjoyed Kate and Mark’s guide to self-discovery in becoming who they’re meant to be and shedding what they wish could be. Sometimes friendships just click and I liked what these two characters established within the short time the audience gets to spend with them.

I’ve already started on my next read, And I Darken by Kiersten White…it’s my book club pick for August and I’m seriously cutting it close. I’m also trying to decide what to read for September since I’ve had a decent month reading for August! I’m not sure if the challenge somehow helped or not, but I’ll be writing down some titles that I’ve been looking forward to reading as well as finishing a few I’ve started ☺️ [yes Mindy and Game of Thrones, I’m looking at you both–we should so be done by now haha!]

ARC August – update week 3

image via GIPHY

Happy week 3 of ARC August!! YAY! I read  books! Super pumped I was able to get some reading time in! P.S. I Like you was fabulous!! So cute and adorable and I’ve missed falling in love with Kasie West’s stories. A few in the past haven’t blown me away but P.S. I Like You was one book I couldn’t put down. Literally. Read this one in a day. 😳

With the momentum I have, I’m trying to keep it alive for the next few weeks! It just might be possible and I’d love to add to my Goodreads challenge for sure👌Next up I’m starting on You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan. This one sounds promising from the first twenty pages I’ve read. I love David’s work and I’m a newbie to Nina’s writing, so this should be good! Hopefully I can have another successful reading week!

How are the rest of you guys doing? Reading up a storm?!