Mini Reviews- My Latest 4-Star Reads

Hello everyone! Like I’ve said in the past couple of posts, I’ve trying out new types of posts, and I’m doing that today. I would also just like to say that my graphics might be strange on some of the posts and the blog header in the next couple of weeks, but I am currently in the process of renovating them into something permanent that I am proud of (on that note, if anyone has any tips, I would be extremely grateful). Today I will be doing mini-reviews of some of the latest books that I have rated 4 stars on Goodreads. They were really enjoyable reads, but I didn’t have enough to say about each of them to merit separate posts. I will be talking about three books: When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk, I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee, and You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson.

When You Were Everything follows Cleo, as she navigates the aftermath of a friendship breakup she had with her best friend. Layla and Cleo were supposed to always have each other, but sophomore year, eveything changes.

Told in alternating Then and Now, Cleo re-examines her friendship in an attempt to rewrite it and move on. But it might be hard to leave Layla behind after she is assigned to be Layla’s tutor.

I really liked this book! I finished it earlier today, and I’m still thinking about it. There are a lot of other subplots in the book, like Cleo’s parents’ separation, and her crush on one of her classmates. But the overall story still stayed true to the idea of friendship. At times, Cleo is kind of mean and doesn’t always make the best choices. It made the book even harder to read, because at times, Layla had perfectly good reasoning for being mad at Cleo. But the fact that this book didn’t sugar coat the fact that friendship breakups are sometimes the fault of both people and that it really talked about how complicated friendship is, made it so realistic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I loved how the idea of friendship was examined. At times, I could really connect to my own experiences with friendship breakups in the past.

I’ll Be The One follows Skye, an aspiring K-Pop singer and dancer. She enters an international television competition to be ‘discovered’ where she has to battle the rampant fat-phobia in the competition and that she experiences at home.

She does a great audition, and meets some great new friends, including Henry Cho, one of the celebrity model competitors. But she constantly feels like she has to prove herself in the competition, more than the other dance competitors, and she has to work to make sure that she competes on her own terms.

This was such a fun read! I wasn’t really expecting to like it as much as I did, but I’m so glad that I picked it up. This book tackled some really important issues, such as body image, and I think it did so in a really good way. There was also good bisexual rep, which was really cool to see! I’m not entirely sure how realistic some of the stuff about K-Pop was (I don’t listen to it and I don’t really know much about it) but it was written in such a way that even though I didn’t know much about K-Pop, I was still able to maintain interest and keep up with the story.

Overall, I would suggest this book to anyone who is looking for a cute contemporary that tackles issues such as body image. You don’t even have to know that much about K-Pop to really enjoy this book!

You Should See Me In A Crown follows Liz Lighty, a girl who is ready to get out of her Indiana town and go to her dream university, studying to become a doctor, but also playing clarinet in the orchestra.

But her finnancial aid doesn’t end up working out, so Liz suddenly has to find a way to make up the money. Her solution is to join her school’s crazy competition for prom queen, something she would never do if not for the scholarship money attached. While competing, she meets the new kid, a girl named Mack, who she immediately likes. But Mack is the competition too, and Liz has to decide if she wants to risk falling for the competition.

This book was another really fun read! I was really looking forward to reading this book, and for the most part it lived up to my expectations. The friendships in this book felt so realistic, with the usual ups and downs of middle and high school friendships. The one thing that I found kind of unbelievable in the book were some of the prom competitions. The overall competition functioned essentially as a reality TV show. The main relationship was also super cute, and both of the girls felt super realistic. Also, the fact that Liz is a musician made me so happy! I find it so hard to find YA books about musicians, and this book definitely felt realistic in terms of that.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for something that tackles issues such as racism and homophobia but also has a really cute story that involves a ridiculous prom aspect.

And that’s all the books for today! Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “Mini Reviews- My Latest 4-Star Reads

  1. your opinion on when you were everything makes me really hopeful i’ll like it! as someone who really loves reading about friendships, i have yet to find good contemporary books that deal with friendship breakups. it’s a very relatable topic personally, so i anticipate i’ll really like it.

    i am not familiar at all with prom competitions, so i probably didn’t catch how unrealistic some may be in you should see me in a crown. but for the most part, i think this just made the book even more fun, hahah. i really wish we could get a netflix adaptation!

    • I hope you like When You Were Everything! I definitely think that You Should See Me in a Crown would be great for a Netflix adaptation! I am not familiar with prom competitions either, but I just found that the competition in the book seemed a bit far-fetched.

  2. This was a really fun post to read Ruby! I’ve been wanting to read You Should See Me In A Crown, and I’ll be the One. They both look like wonderful books 🙂

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