5 Books To Overwhelm Your TBR With (!!) // ft. Emma Mills & Other Mini Reviews

It’s that time of the year again.

January is the month of announcing new releases. Your reader is probably full of posts about books coming in 2019, and if you’re like me, your TBR is filled to overflowing- and then you add even more to it, because GOOD BOOKS.

Well, don’t worry, I’m here to make your to-read pile suffer even more. πŸ˜‰

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Today I’m going to be talking about five YA contemporaries that I read in the past few weeks! These have all been released in 2018 or before, but I still think these books deserve all the love in the world.

I’m excited to start screaming, so without further ado, let’s begin!


Alex Approximately, by Jenn Bennett

Image result for alex, approximately


Page Count: 388

My Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†



I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this on here, but “You’ve Got Mail” is one of my all-time favorite movies. (If you haven’t seen it, please go watch the trailer immediately.) And this book…is kind of a retelling of “You’ve Got Mail.”

As you can imagine, I already had good vibes coming into this book.

Throughout the story, you get introduced to main character (I really liked her!), the best friend she meets right away (who was a very prominent character, and I enjoyed getting to know her), the MC’s dad (they have a great relationship) and of course, the love interest.

It does have a darker undertone as you learn the traumatic past of the main character, Bailey, which added another level to the book completely, and explains a lot of her actions throughout the story.

Overall, I loved it! There was just something stopping me from giving it five stars, but I definitely thoroughly enjoyed reading it.


Stay Sweet, by Siobhan Vivian

Image result for stay sweet book



Page Count: 368

My Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†



Summer meets ice cream meets feminism meets YA contemporary? It’s no surprise why I picked up this book in the first place.

Even though it’s not summer right now (although I kind of wish it was) where I live, I still picked up this book anyway?? I ended up adoring the concept behind it, what with the ice cream stand that had been run by girls since the 1940s.

Part of the book was focused on the original stand owner’s diary from the 1940s, and her life story was incredibly interesting to read about, as well as a really nice side plot to the overall story. It was kind of my favorite part. XD

I wasn’t a fan of the romance, or with a few of the main character’s actions, but I did think she had a lot of character growth throughout the novel, and I liked that part of it. As a whole, it was a cute and summery read, and I would recommend!


This Adventure Ends, by Emma Mills

Image result for this adventure ends emma mills



Page Count: 320

My Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†



First of all, can we admire the cover? Because I think it deserves a moment of silence for its beauty. *sighs*

And now, let’s admire the story inside of it, because it was almost as good as the cover! (Don’t worry, just kidding.Β Kind of.) But for real, I loved this story a lot.

My favorite part was the friendships! When the main character, Sloane, moves to a new school, she becomes part of such an amazing friend group. The feels I have about this are immense- I mean, her friends would do anything for her, and vice versa, and it just makes my heart so happy because: friends!! YA!! platonic relationships!!!

I also adored the love interest, and it was the perfect slow burn. I was squealing quite a lot over this friends-to-something-more concept and IT WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL.

It’s likely this isn’t the last you’ll hear me talking about this book, because it was just that brilliant. Go read it!


Foolish Hearts, by Emma Mills

Image result for foolish hearts emma mills



Page Count: 320

My Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…



So. This was my first Emma Mills book I ever read, and it set the standard very high. (For Emma Mills and any other book I ever read, ever.)

Amazing friendships + theatre + a boy band obsession (shh, I have a boy band obsession too, okay, and it’s nice to know there are other people out there who do too) + the most adorable, sunflower boy in all of YA contemporary?!

As you can tell, I adored it. πŸ˜‰

I read this book in the last week of December, and I’m already itching for a reread. It drew me in so much, and introducing such a tangled web of well-developed characters, and had the BEST friends-to-lovers?!

Also, I am extremely obsessed with Gideon. He is rivaled only by Adam (A List of Cages), Gansey (Raven Cycle), and Harry Potter, and that’s saying something.Β I would talk more about him, but I really think you should all experience him yourselves, so I’ll refrain. *cries my eyes out because I love him so much*


First & Then,Β by Emma Mills

Image result for first and then emma mills



Page Count: 272

My Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†



Oh, yes, another Emma Mills book! Unsurprisingly, I enjoyed this one, too.

My favorite part about this story wasn’t the romance (although, per Emma Mills, it was slow burn and adorable), but it was the platonic relationship between the main character, Devon, and her cousin, Foster.

I really need more brother-sister relationships.Β I realized that after reading this book- yes, I also need more sister relationships, but I’ve been severely lacking in the brother-sister department, too! It was so heartwarming to watch their relationship develop over the book, and that alone makes me want to continue rereading it!

I did have a few complaints, like that I wanted to have a few of the sub-plots left open close up at the end (I need answers), but overall it was pretty adorable and left me feeling satisfied!


There you have it, five books that just might do the trick on filling up your TBR just a *little* more! πŸ˜‰ Even though this wasn’t a ‘new releases’ post, I hope you still found some good recommendations for 2019.

Thank you all for sticking around this far, and here’s to being almost halfway done with January. Wishing you all the best day!

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Do you love Emma Mills books too? I’d love to chat with you all in the comments.

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38 thoughts on “5 Books To Overwhelm Your TBR With (!!) // ft. Emma Mills & Other Mini Reviews

  1. i’ve been hearing amazing things about emma mills book, i’m sure going to make it my priority to start reading her books this year πŸ˜€ i love alex, approximately! it’s so cute, has amazing father/daughter relationship, sex positive, and doesn’t shy from heavy topics- what’s not to love ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m a simple reader, i saw emma mills in the title and i PRESSED SO QUICKLY
    i’m SO SO SO HYPED for famous in a small town (i CANT BELIEVE ITS COMING OUT TOMORROW!!!) and i made my library get first & then so i can fully binge my emma mills loving heart out
    gideon is such a babe how come boys in real life arent like him, this is so sad but seriously this list is amazing, alex approximately was the cutest thing ever. pretty much any ‘you’ve got mail’ retelling is instant fav. have you read letters to the lost?? it’s more on grief and friendship but it follows a ‘you’ve got mail’ theme and I LOVED IT!

    fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, that is ME but with anything Harry Potter or Raven Cycle related. XD

      WHAT?! *gasps because I am a new Emma Mills fan and I didn’t know there was a new book coming out* Well, that’s definitely very exciting news! Ahh, and its release date is today. *wipes away tear of excitement*

      Ahh, I know, Gideon is adorable, and…I just want him to be real. Oh, I haven’t read or heard about Letters to the Lost, but I just added it to my TBR! Thank you so much for the recommendation, it looks really good.

      Thank you so much May, and thank you for your comment!πŸ’˜πŸ’˜


  3. Ahhh these are great reviews, Olivia, you make my marshmallow-self very happy with all of these amazing contemporaries! I only read First and Then on your list (I enjoyed it!) and the fact that you appreciated Emma Mills’ other books even more than this one, makes me so impatient to read them. I hope I will this year! πŸ˜€
    I also have Alex, Approximately on my TBR – I want to read more of Jenn Bennett’s books, because they all sound incredibly great. I’m glad you enjoyed it, yay! πŸ˜€
    Wonderful reviews πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thank you, Marie!❀️I think our marshmallow selves are kindred spirits. XD Ohh, I hope you get to read more Emma Mills soon! Foolish Hearts is my favorite and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. I need to look into more Jean Bennett books, since I enjoyed Alex, Approximately… *opens up tab to Goodreads* Thank you again Marie, I really hope you get to read these soon!πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had Alex Approximately on my TBR list for ages now, I haven’t read many of Jenn Bennett’s books but I’ve really enjoyed the ones I have read. I didn’t know this book was a retelling of You’ve Got Mail, I’m glad you enjoyed up enjoying Alex Approximately given you love that film.
    I haven’t heard much about Emma Mills either, but I love the covers for her books so I’ll have to check them out too.
    Great recs, and happy reading too. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, my name is Madeline and I’m here TO SCREAM ABOUT EMMA MILLS. I literally just realized her new book Famous In a Small Town comes out tomorrow! What have I been DOING with my life and why have I not preordered it?? But I’m so glad you loved her books β€”Β they are all that is pure and good in this world. And I think I would have to agree with you: Gideon is definitely on par with Gansey. I’m going to start writing Gideon and Gansey fanfic where they just charm the entire world and take over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Madeline, I’m Olivia and I will ALWAYS SCREAM ABOUT EMMA MILLS WITH YOU. πŸ˜‰ *screams* What have I been doing with my life too because I didn’t know she had a book coming out today until a few minutes ago?! Oh my gosh, yes please, if the world was full of Gideons and Ganseys it would honestly be the most wonderful thing in the world. I love them both so dearly. Thank you for your comment, Madeline!πŸ’˜

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post, Olivia! I absolutely LOVE that you included three Emma Mills’ books in this post, haha. 😍 I adore Foolish Hearts so much, and YES, Gideon is truly the best character ever. I have all the love for him. πŸ˜­πŸ’– I started reading This Adventure Ends today, haha, and I’m really enjoying it! Glad to hear that you did too. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you very much, Dezzy! Haha, I had to include them all, how could I not. πŸ˜‰ YES, Gideon is actually the best and I’m already ready to reread Foolish Hearts just so I can read more of him, no shame here. XD Oh, yay, This Adventure Ends! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.πŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yesss, mini-reviews! Emma Mill’s books have the PRETTIEST covers. Okay, I don’t remember much about First&Then. I vaguely remember the plot- which were the unfinished subplots? Ahh, Gideon! He was kind and a gentleman and when he offers to make her a regular bowl of cereal when she doesn’t like his soupy version. I’m not sure if I told you this, but Foolish Hearts made me cry. It was the parts with the Spooky Tree (ahhhh) and when Ivy gives her confession speech. Oh my goodness, the ice-cream stand in Stay Sweet sounds amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • THEY REALLY DO. I’m just in awe of contemporary covers overall lately, they’re always so beautiful. In First & Then, I felt like they could have followed up on Ezra’s stepsister (I forgot her name already…maybe Mirabelle?) and what happened to her and her baby, since they talked about her the whole story but never tied up her story. I know there was another one too, but it kind of left my mind at the moment- I can’t remember if they talked about the main character’s college acceptances, but I also remember wanting them to finish up that story, too.
      GIDEON. Yes, he was so chivalrous and just overall seemed like a really nice guy that I wish was real, even just to be friends with and not necessarily date.
      Aww! Foolish Hearts was so sweet. I forgot already about the Spooky Tree, but that was SO CUTE. I hopefully am going to get it with Christmas gift cards because I already need to reread it.
      It was amazing! Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I KNOW. I feel like that would be one of the best parts about writing a contemporary book. For other genres, like fantasy or mystery, there seems to be a more limiting color scheme.
        Oh, you see, I don’t remember Ezra’s stepsister at all. Hm, maybe I need to reread First & Then sometime.
        Yes, Gideon was the height of a nice guy. What other people do you wish they were real- I know there could and probably would get to be a really long answer, so what about top five? Mine would be Atticus, Sophie and Howl and Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle, and agh I’ll keep this slot empty till I think of someone.
        I know, I know. Oh, Foolish Hearts would look so pretty in a bookstagram photo! Photogenic books are amazing.
        You’re welcome!! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • True! Fantasies always have dark colors, and I feel like a lot of dark blue and red.
          Okay, hmm, top five. THAT’S SO HARD, ANNIE. My list will probably continue shifting as I read more books, but right it is: Harry Potter, Gansey (the Raven Cycle), Adam (A List of Cages), Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), and Gideon. But that was a very hard choice, agh.

          Liked by 1 person

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