Mini Review Set #1 – Curiously Enjoyable Contemporaries

Hi guys! I know this is a little different than what I usually do, but since I don’t have as much time as I’d like, I’m doing mini reviews. I’m not sure how long this will last. Either way, hope you don’t mind! πŸ™‚


Applies to both reviews.Β I was sent advanced copies of these two books by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects the content of this post or my opinions.

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen
Stand-alone novel
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 295
Format: paperback, ARC
Source: publisher
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

plot: 18/20
characters: 16/20
setting: 18/20
relationships: 20/20
twists: 16/20

This book takes place in the 1980’s and follows two longtime friends, one in college and one not, as they deal with becoming adults and possible romantic feelings. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected, and have come to refer to it as the love child of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, both by Rainbow Rowell. πŸ˜›

Like both of Rainbow’s contemporaries, We Are Still Tornadoes is primarily a light read, but still manages to deal with heavier topics. I applaud any author that can balance the two in a book, and Michael and Susan managed it very well. The story wasn’t a wild ride, but I found myself surprisingly immersed. Maybe it was because the book was told through letters the main characters wrote to each other. Maybe it was because it was a genuinely fun story. Maybe it was both. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, but regardless, I flew through this book in two days. πŸ˜€

I thought Cath and Scott were both great characters, individually and together. Cath was a fun, dedicated, witty girl, and Scott was an almost-as-witty but equally fun guy. My only problem with the pair was that the latter was a bit of a jerk sometimes. He redeemed himself in the end, but I just don’t think he’s the best with girls’ emotions. πŸ˜‰

Family and friendship were majorly emphasized throughout this book. Both areas had their ups and downs but were clearly genuine, and I liked that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like complications, but I like the realistic factor. The percentage of families and friendships that never have issues is probably very, very, very slim, if it exists at all. Hopefully that makes sense. My favorite part of the book, I think, was that Cath’s family and Scott’s family almost felt like one big family, and Cath and Scott’s banter. It was great to read. πŸ™‚

Overall, We Are Still Tornadoes was a quick, fun contemporary, though it did cover heavier topics. I liked almost everything about it. MyΒ big issue was Scott, though I was also the tiniest bit bothered by the lack of twists. A couple of things caught me off guard, but nothing truly surprised me… other than how much I enjoyed it. πŸ˜‰

my rating: 4Β½ out of 5 stars

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras
Stand-alone novel
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 260
Format: paperback, ARC
Source: publisher
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

plot: 16/20
characters: 14/20
setting: 18/20
relationships: 18/20
twists: 16/20

This book follows an overachieving girl with high hopes of getting into a top college as she recovers from a scandal with her ex-boyfriend. I enjoyed it, but was slightly disappointed. I’m not sure if it’s because the plot seemed a little similar to that of We Are Still Tornadoes and I read them back-to-back or something else. 😐

I say the plot was similar because it also revolved around family issues, though that was more secondary in both books. The Best Possible Answer was primarily about Viviana getting over what had happened to her. I have to say, though, if Viviana really wanted to get into Stanford (and she clearly did), why did she do what she did? She had to have known it wouldn’t end well. I feel bad for her, for sure, but I think she could’ve prevented it from ever happening. My other issue was that a subplot of the story was Viviana falling in love with the guy her best friend had a crush on. I don’t want to be harsh, but I feel like that’s almost as common as falling for aΒ best friend’s brother (or sister).

That aside, I did really like the characters. Viviana was determined and loyal, and pulled through a lot of difficult things. The Episodes she had throughout the story sounded a lot like panic attacks, though I’m not sure. Either way, though, it seemed accurate. I can’t speak personally as I don’t have them, but someone in my family does, so I know the general idea. She was a great big sister and best friend, and I could completely relate to her awkwardness. πŸ˜›

Sammie and Evan were great too. They were really realistic, and their individual relationships with Viviana were both something I’d love to have. Sammie was Viviana’s best friend and they were empathetic and had a lot of fun. Evan was Viviana’s friend/crush, and though it was awkward with Sammie involved, they were really cute and casual. I just really liked the platonic and romantic relationships in this book. I think they were one of my favorite parts. πŸ˜€

My other favorite part was Viviana’s family. Or, specifically, her mom and her sister. We won’t be talking about her dad, because he just complicates things and I can’t believe he did what he did. But her mom and little sister, Mila, were just awesome. They were a close-knit group, always there for each other, but definitely had their ups and downs. Like I said, I love realistic families in books, and this one was a great example. πŸ™‚

Overall, The Best Possible Answer was another quick, fun contemporary. I found it a bit clichΓ© at times, and I think Viviana could’ve avoided the entire mess she got herself into, but it was still an enjoyable read. πŸ˜‰

my rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Have you read either of these books? Will you read them when they come out? If you have read them (or just one), what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! πŸ™‚


I’m off to relax, enjoy the start of my weekend, and read. πŸ˜€ I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❀

Until next time…

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3 thoughts on “Mini Review Set #1 – Curiously Enjoyable Contemporaries

  1. That first one sounds great, I’ll have to go add it to my tbr! Rowell is my life, so if you’re comparing this to her books I know I’m going to love it πŸ™‚ And I like this way of doing reviews! I’m not a big fan of really long reviews, so I think this is the perfect length

    Liked by 1 person

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