Mini-Reviews: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Hello all! Today I bring you two mini reviews, one for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and one for One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus! As you may know, mini-reviews are something new for me, but every now and then I read a book that I don’t quite have enough thoughts for in order to merit a full review, but I want to share my feelings either way!

That said, on to the reviews!

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas @acthomasbooks

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Sixteen year old Starr lives two lives. One is her home life. First is her home life, where she lives in a poor neighborhood and is regularly witness to gang activity and violence, but second is her life at school, where she’s one of the only black students. Here, she watches that she says and does to ensure she’s not labeled as the “angry black girl” or any of the other stereotypes she could accidentally end up being labeled if she doesn’t keep her cool. Starr’s two world collide in a horrific turn of events, when she witnesses her childhood friend Khalil shot by a white cop during a routine traffic stop.

As the only witness, Starr is torn between protecting herself and her anonymity as Khalil’s death begins to attract media attention, and speaking out about an unjust killing of a black teen.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor @lainitaylor

Lazlo Strange is a young librarian who is obsessed with the lost city of Weep. The day the heroic Godslayer shows up from the city of Weep is the day Lazlo always dreamed about. The Godslayer is looking for people to join him to help him solve a problem Weep is facing. With limited details and no useful skills, Lazlo is desperate to join the small group of people headed to Weep, and convinces the Godslayer to bring him along.

What ensues is a journey that Lazlo won’t soon forget. Why did Weep disappear two hundred years ago, what is the problem that needs to be solved, and who is the girl named Sarai that keeps showing up in his dreams…and why is she blue?

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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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YouTube sensation Charlie recently starred in a movie that has seen more success than anyone thought. After a public breakup with her costar Reese, she’s determined to show the world she’s moved on. The perfect place to do this is at SupaCon – a convention where she’ll be a guest meeting fans, but also where she can escape the real world for a while. Shortly after arriving, she meets Alyssa, a fellow YouTube star, who she might have a crush on…it seems the crush may not be one sided either.

Charlie’s best friends Taylor and Jamie also accompany her on the trip to SupaCon. Taylor is very anxious, and is on the Autism spectrum, and is both excited to attend SupaCon and meet her celebrity icon, Skylar who stars as her all time favorite literary hero, and Jamie is excited to be spending time with Taylor. They might be best friends, but he has feelings for her, and thinks they might be reciprocated.

Told in alternation point of views between Charlie and Taylor, we see a trio of best friends enjoying their time at an event that will change their lives more than they ever expected.

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Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back #1) by A.V. Geiger

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Teen celebrity Eric Thorn is constantly on edge after another celebrity was murdered by a crazed fan. He’s worried the same thing will happen to him, and he feels forcedย by his producers, manager, and record label into being a teen heartthrob who constantly takes his shirt off. All he wants is to live a normal life.

After a terrifying experience a few months earlier, Tessa Hart has developed severe agoraphobia and won’t leave her house. She spends the majority of her time in her room, ย obsessing over Eric Thorn. After she writes a fan fiction story about Eric that goes viral, Tessa is now “internet famous” with Eric’s fan base.

When Eric decides to create a fake twitter account under the name of Taylor to troll his fans in hopes that they’ll realize he isn’t that great and leave him alone, he ends up messaging Tessa and what starts as a harassing message to her ends in a friendship…until feelings start to develop. When Tessa and “Taylor” agree to finally meet, Eric can’t wait to reveal to Tessa who he really is. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned, and what should have been an exciting meeting ends up being more dangerous than either of them could have predicted…

Told partly through a series of tweets and police interviews, Follow Me Back is a young adult thriller that will leave you questioning everything by the end.

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The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

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After the death of her mother, Wylie has a hard time leaving the house. Her best friend Cassie has started to distance herself from Wylie, and has also started getting into some trouble. When Cassie goes missing and Wylie receives a text from Cassie asking her to help her, she decides to leave her house for the first time in three weeks to go rescue her friend. Again. Cassieโ€™s boyfriend Jasper also receives a text asking him to meet with Wylie and join her on her attempt to rescue Cassie. The two set off together, getting progressively more alarming texts from Cassie.

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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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In the year 2575, seventeen year old Kady breaks up with her boyfriend Ezra. Little did she know that would also be the day that their planet was attacked. Still reeling from their breakup, Kady and Ezra must work together to get safely inside one of the spaceships that can get them off of their planet and reach a safe point. After making it to the ships, they are separated, and Ezra makes it onto the spaceship Alexander, and Kady makes it onto Hypatia.

Little do they know, their problems are just beginning. Not only is a virus spreading and causingย those contaminated into attempt to harm others, but the corporation who invited their planet is hot on their tail trying to wipe out any remaining survivors. The commanders of the ships are remaining tight lipped about all of the details, so Kady decides to take things into her own hands by hacking into the computer systems. It turns out that the one person who can help her uncover the truth is none other than her ex-boyfriend, Ezra.

Told through a series of case files, IM’s, emails, interviews, and more, Illuminae is a fast paced story about two regular teenagers forced to step up in order to save themselves and the ones they love.

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