Always forever maybe book cover

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie WestP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26th 2016
Pages: 330

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I tend to start drafting reviews in my head while I’m reading a book. Obviously the final outcome changes because a story can get better, or in some cases worse. For instance, a few chapters in and I was already planning on giving P.S. I Like You a 2-3 star rating – the lowest ever for a West book! Why you ask? Well…

This story revolves around my new #spiritanimal Lily. Every word out of her mouth is hilariously sarcastic and so well timed. Most of the time her family, peers and even best friend Isobel, have no idea what Lily’s talking about. She truly lives in her own little indie-rock world. 
One day Lily scribbles music lyrics on her desk in Chemistry class, and then the next day some mysterious person (who we quickly find out is a boy) writes the next verse. Eventually these two start passing notes back and forth, first discussing how awesome indie-rock is, and then sharing personal items about their life. Isobel may be Lily’s best friend, but there’s parts of Lily that she doesn’t share with anyone, that is, until her mystery pen pal comes along. Both Lily and “he” are able to say in writing to a complete stranger, more than they’ve ever been able to share with anyone else. 
West tries to trick us by throwing in three different guys who could be Lily’s mystery pen pal, but the moment “he” was introduced I knew immediately it was him. I became angry because I was loving P.S. I Like You so much and I felt like West had let me down by making it incredibly too obvious.
So how did I end up giving this book 4 stars? Because the story became even juicer once “he” was revealed! When Lily finds out whom her letters have been going to, she freaks out. She’s afraid that once this individual realizes its her, he will be disappointed. For someone who wears whatever she wants and says whatever she wants, Lily has low self-confidence in herself and how the world perceives her.

This story was cute. Not the best West book in my opinion but maybe the best character building in terms of Lily? Not sure. I think West needs to write many more books so I can get a larger sample to compare. 😉

Always forever maybe book cover

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie HarrisBad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable, #1) by Carrie Harris
Published by Delacorte Press on July 12th 2011
Pages: 201

Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

Bad Taste in Boys was everything I wanted and needed. It was a cute, quick, fun read that held my interest but didn’t force me to think too much. This book runs mainly on a high concentrate of humor mixed with some light romance, action, and science. Although I’d place it in the paranormal category, the idea in Bad Taste in Boys is that this “zombie” epidemic is purely scientific, having been of viral origins. This turns out to be a good thing because our heroine, Kate Grable, besides being known as the geeky “braid girl” is super smart, brave, and pre-pre-med. Definitely made up that last part. But I’m sure you get the gist. When this mysterious “flu” affects a significant quantity of the student body, Kate is fierce and fearless using her medical knowledge and wit to determine the symptoms, cause, and ultimately, cure.

I instantly liked Kate, most likely because I can relate to her on that whole geek-status level. Proud Member FYI. Although she struggles in most social aspects, when it comes to her pre-pre-med learning and practicing, she’s got it together. She knows what she’s doing, and she’s confident in her ability. As the student trainer for her school’s bad – nay, horrible – football team, she does a lot of medical practice. Although she’s not really friends with the players, she still refers to them as “hers,” which riles her up even more when they are the first to get hit with this zombie-rific wave of sickness. Kate is extremely compassionate. Although there might be some players whom she has every right to dislike *cough, cough, Mike* she still plunges forward and tries her best to help/cure everyone.

Kate’s little brother Jonah is a sweet yet extremely funny character. As the little brother (by a year) you expect him to be super annoying, which at times he definitely is. However, he’s also extremely caring and protective of his sister. When one of the first players starts getting sick and decides to mess with Kate, Jonah jumps right in the middle. He’s willing to beat up a guy two times his size in order to protect his sister. Besides his sweet nature, he’s also got a bit of geek to him, including his mad computer hacking skills, zed head status, and proud ownership of wearable elvish ears.

On many levels this book is kind of cheesy, but it’s a yummy kind of cheese. It’s not meant to be a deeply, philosophical book that leaves you enlightened. It’s supposed to be a funny, quirky, and entertaining ride, which it definitely was. Although along the way Kate does have various friends and her brother helping her, when the really difficult times came she handled them on her own, splendidly. Well, except for the various parts of flesh she lost along the way…

If you’re looking for a quick, fun, and funny read, Bad Taste in Boys is definitely for you. However, just to be clear, this is a book about zombies, and although the tone is light-hearted, there’s still a slight darker edge, which includes dislocated body parts and death.