6 YA Novels I Couldn’t Put Down // ft. Mini Reviews & Much Fangirling!!

You know me, always reading more and more YA.

Today I’m here with six mini reviews of YA novels that I read in the past few months! It’s been forever since I last did a post like this (i.e., a post where I scream your ear off about books), but I’m so excited to be back on my reviewing game.

Yes, I read these books more than a month ago? But I loved them all so much that it didn’t take too long to remember why I gave them such high ratings back in April. 😉

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In this post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and ratings for five contemporary and one (!!) sci-fi young adult book. Like usual, you can expect me to be fangirling immensely over…everything, to say the least.

I have quite a lot to say about all of these novels, so without further ado, let’s get into the post!

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Radio Silence

 

Title: Radio Silence

Author: Alice Oseman

Page Count: 403

Goodreads

 

thoughts

You know when you read a book and it’s so good that it feels real? When it has such a tight hold on you that you get actual nerves because you want everything to work out and you’re stressed for the characters? When you laugh and cry and feel so connected to the story?

That, my friends, was Radio Silence for me.

I loved utterly everything about this book. Not only did I connect to and adore the main characters, Frances and Aled, there was also a phenomenal cast of side characters that really helped fuel the novel. There was so much diversity- all the main characters were LGBTQ+ and that was amazing.

The messages about school were so powerful and discussed so well. I’ll leave it to you to discover if when you read it but basically, there was a lot of talk about how you don’t have to go to college to be successful and the true stress that school puts on a student’s life. Though I was thoroughly confused by the British school terms. Sixth form? GCSE? I was quite lost. XD

I could truly keep talking, but here’s what you should know about Radio Silence. It has friendships, diversity, platonic relationships, and incredibly potent themes.

trigger warnings: parental abuse, animal abuse, talk of mental illness

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This, without a doubt, earned a full five stars!

★★★★★

Radio Silence is such a hugely important book. It is the contemporary of all contemporaries, and I will be recommending it and boosting it forever.

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Famous in a Small Town

 

Title: Famous in a Small Town

Author: Emma Mills

Page Count: 320

Goodreads

 

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Hi, hello, I am obsessed with all books by Emma Mills.

Just when I thought no, it can’t get better, it did. I’m so happy this book exists, because its amazing friendships, cozy small town vibes, and another thank you very much Emma Mills soft cinnamon roll boy filled my heart with such joy.

What really won me over in Famous in a Small Town were the characters. First of all, the friend group. Each friend, though technically “side characters,” held their own and had a unique personality that contributed to the friend group. I love them dearly.

You also get to know the main character, Sophie’s, parents, the precious family that she babysits for, and the love interest, August, who rivaled Gideon from Foolish Hearts, not going to lie. If you want evidence I shall simply leave you with the fact that he reads books out loud to his young nieces with accents for the different characters.

If you’re looking for a book to warm your soul, give you all the platonic relationships, just the right amount of romance, this book is definitely for you! Also, there is a plot twist that you most likely will not see coming. We all know this is the best kind of plot twist.

trigger warnings: loss of a loved one, drug/alcohol usage

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This is the second Emma Mills book that I bestow a five-star rating upon. 😉

★★★★★

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This Is What It Feels Like

 

Title: This is What it Feels Like

Author: Rebecca Barrow

Page Count: 400

Goodreads

 

thoughts

One thing is that is not talked about enough in YA contemporary is friendship breakups. The truth is, these happen- and in the life of a teenager, they might happen more or have a larger impact than romantic breakups. This book is about the aftermath of a friendship breakup and it was amazing.

The three main characters, Dia, Jules, and Hannah all had such depth. Dia is a single teen mom, Jules is dealing with a toxic relationship, Hannah is recovering from alcohol addiction. Each of them has their own struggles and you get to know each character better because the POV alters between the three of them.

This story had amazing family relationships, a deep look at the importance of music in each of the girls’ lives, and overall, just so. much. passion.

Ultimately, it’s about rebuilding and healing. The struggles of trying to recreate a friendship that had broken are so relatable to so many people. I was able to connect and I hope you are too.

trigger warnings: car accident resulting in death (prior to the novel’s beginning), alcohol addiction (in recovery)

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While I loved this book, it didn’t have that special *something* that would lead me to give it five stars. However, it was still wonderful!

★★★★☆

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The Spaceship Next Door (Sorrow Falls, #1)

 

Title: The Spaceship Next Door

Author: Gene Doucette

Page Count: 353

Goodreads

 

thoughts

This book was everything I never knew I needed in a YA novel.

Did I know it was going to be sci-fi? Yes. Did I expect to be as amazed as I was? No, not in the least. I felt all the emotions with this book- I laughed, I choked up, and at times, I was scared as heck. It wasn’t the best idea to read this late at night when I was the only one in my house awake.

I loved the suspense, worldbuilding, and curiosity in this novel. The author did a great job of describing the city in which the spaceship has landed, and I really felt like I could picture everything and it seemed like I knew all the town’s quirky residents very well. The main character, Annie, was full of curiosity for everything, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her thoughts and whims.

Annie and undercover government agent Ed had so many adventures that kept me guessing the whole time. I legitimately saw zero of the plot twists coming and I LOVE that?? I was on the edge of my seat. And, like I said, pretty scared, because aliens and lone spaceships and start minor spoiler<zombies>end spoiler.

I’m not a sci-fi reader at ALL, so the fact that I enjoyed this so much should really speak to its brilliance. I would reread this in the future!

trigger warnings: family member with cancer, mild violence (defensive)

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I ended up giving The Spaceship Next Door four stars because it had a bit of a slow start and, like I’ve said before, just lacked the feeling I needed to give it five stars.

★★★★☆

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Emmy & Oliver

 

Title: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Page Count: 352

Goodreads

 

thoughts

This was one of those books that had been on my TBR forever and ever and ever. I honestly thought I’d never read it and for some reason every time I saw the cover I was convinced it was middle grade and that it had something to do with teddy bears??? I don’t know why it just gave me teddy bear vibes.

Well, I’m here to proudly announce that I was utterly wrong. Emmy & Oliver was a beautiful, soft contemporary about friendship, finding your way back to someone, and growing up. I loved it with every fiber of my being.

When Emmy and Oliver reunite after ten years, things are realistically awkward. Their relationship takes nurturing and time- after all, they’re both starkly different people than they were when they were seven. Emmy’s friendship groups feels realistic- they’re there for each other, they’re hilarious, they’re random. Equally realistic was Emmy’s relationship with her parents and the struggles she faced because of their overprotectiveness.

That’s the word for this book: realistic. The reason I loved this so much was because it didn’t feel overexaggerated or even particularly loud. It was soft, quiet, and beautiful in its own bubble of contemporary bliss.

trigger warnings: parental kidnapping, underage drinking

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So, so good. If I could reread it a thousand times over, I would.

★★★★★

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)

 

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Page Count: 359

Goodreads

 

thoughts

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a lyrical, beautiful story about two boys learning and growing. It grabbed ahold of my heart almost immediately and I was captivated from the get-go.

I loved that this story was simply about Ari. It was about his experiences, his curiosity, the good and bad things in his life, his relationships with his parents, and, most centrally, his relationship with his best friend, the soft and precious Dante.

Reading this book was like coming home, even though it was my first time ever hearing the story. It was familiar, it was comforting, it was slow and steady. I watched Ari and Dante grow up and it was beautiful and amazing and I cried a lot.

While watching these boys find themselves, I realized that everyone can find a little bit of themselves in this book too, and I think that’s what made me love it so much. It was just the best okay??

trigger warnings: transphobic violence, homophobic violence, family member in prison

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Lovely, wonderful, everything in between. The only downside for me was that the plot wandered around quite a bit and that there wasn’t really a set plot?

★★★★☆

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Well. That was a lot of mini reviews.

I truly enjoyed writing all of these, and now I just want to reread all the books?? Shh, no Olivia, your TBR is too tall for that. I really recommend these novels, and I hope you found a book (or six?) to add to your already-monstrous TBR. 🙂

Expect another mini reviews post in the near future, because I’m catching up on all the books I missed reviewing! There are so many. But it’s okay I’m okay.

Thank you for making it all the way through this post! A smol reminder that I do have a Q&A form you can fill out if you have any burning questions that you’d like me to answer in an upcoming Q&A.

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Which ones do you want to read now? What do you look for in a perfect book? I’d love to chat with you all in the comments.

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30 thoughts on “6 YA Novels I Couldn’t Put Down // ft. Mini Reviews & Much Fangirling!!

  1. I love this post!! I’m adding the 4 others you mentioned that I haven’t read yet to my TBR list! Famous in a Small Town was amazing! I loved it so much … I didn’t want it to end!! Ari and Dante was beautiful … i cried a lot haha! I really hope there is a sequel eventually! The author said there was going to be but I’m not sure haha. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely bunch of reviews and so many books I’ve loved here ❤ I adore everything Alice Oseman writes and Radio Silence was so, so wonderful, I'm so happy you loved it so much!
    I haven't read everything by Emma Mills just yet, but looking forward to getting to This Adventure Ends! Famous was lovely, I agree, and the friendships really had my heart in this one!! ❤
    AND YES EMMY AND OLIVER! This book deserves way more hype and love, it's one of my favorites,I loved it sooo much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you, Marie! ❤ I've yet to read more Alice Oseman but I hope to do so as soon as possible.
      Aah, they really did! I really loved This Adventure Ends, I'd say in my Emma Mills favorites it ranks second, tied with Famous. XD (Foolish Hearts is first.)
      IT WAS SO GOOD. I wish I was hyped up a thousand times more because it DESERVES IT. Thank you again for the kind comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. the only one i’ve red is radio silence and it’s my favorite book of all-time! i’m so glad you enjoyed it! it’s an extremely important novel and deserves more attention. and i’ve read it like seven times and still don’t understand the British school system AHAHA

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  4. Ahhh Olivia!! There are so many amazing books on this list which also means so many books I need to catch up on and read ❤ I've been meaning to read Radio Silence since forever. I know so many people who enjoy it, and I really need to pick it up!

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  5. I’ve actually never heard of Emma Mills & you’ve got me curious now! (Honestly, try to say ‘soft cinnamon roll’ without me adding the book to my TBR. I dare you 😂)

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  6. I’ve read Radio Silence, and it’s a definite favorite of mine!! I love everything that Alice Oseman writes, since her books tend to be more character driven as opposed to plot focused, and I can’t get enough of that.

    The Spaceship Next Door looks super intriguing, I just added it to my TBR and I can’t wait to read it!

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  7. I’m so glad you loved all these books, Olivia!! Ari and Dante you know is one of my faves, as well as Radio Silence, and it made me so happy to see you had the same feelings about them as well. Radio Silence is truly so relatable and REAL, and Ari and Dante is so moving. And aahh I really need to read Emma Mills books, so many of my friends have loved them and now you too!! Great reviews ❤

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    • Thank you so much, May!💗Radio Silence is definitely one of the realest books I’ve ever read and it’s just so impactful. I think you would like Emma Mills so I hope you get to read some of her books soon! (My favorite is Foolish Hearts.) Thank you again for the comment, happy reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just put Emmy and Oliver (the reuniting part and the realistic part got me) and The Spaceship Next Door (um because you said the main character Annie reminded you of me so how can I not? haha I’m also excited for Ed the undercover gov agent) on hold at my library! Wow, I have so many books requested right now. I am a little worried ten of them will become available at the same time.
    As you already know, I have read Famous in a Small Town. Also, that plot twist!! Did anybody see that coming at all?
    Also, I have read Radio Silence, and-hear me out on this-I didn’t really like it. It wasn’t for me. I think it’s because the boy (I don’t remember his name, you will know who I am talking about) and his mom’s relationship-along with other parts of the book I don’t specifically remember, just the overall feel-got dark to the point that for me, it felt more like a thriller than a contemporary.

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    • Yay! Both of those are amazing. Ahh, Annie and Ed the undercover agent have the best friendship. HAHA, I hope that doesn’t happen, although I have no doubt you could read ten books at one time. (Not AT one time, but at one time, if that makes sense.)
      I definitely did not see that plot twist coming…still pretty shocked over it, actually.
      I can definitely see that! Radio Silence did get very dark. Agh the relationship with the mom was so scary! I’m sorry you didn’t like it. :((

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t gotten to the part where Annie and Ed are really friends yet, but I’m excited for what’s coming. I just got to the part where Ed comes to visit her house. Hahaha! And I did kind of get an overflow of books at once, but it’s been good.
        I know!!
        I know I know. And it’s okay, I’m really glad you loved it :))

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Radio Silence and alll of them sound awesome! I’m excited to read them and I’ve added them all to my TBR! Your posts are so fun and I’m very glad that I found your blog! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

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