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Monday, June 8, 2020

Romance, Zombies & 4 Field Trips: The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park & Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally


Happy Monday, friends! 

I hope you're all doing well and are keeping safe and healthy. I'm sharing mini-reviews for two recent YA books that I read. One is from a debut author and one is from an author I've read before. Check out my thoughts below!


THE PERFECT ESCAPE

by Suzanne Park
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: April 7th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

Well, wasn't this an endearing story? I can't remember why exactly I requested The Perfect Escape, but I'm so glad I ended up doing so because I really enjoyed Suzanne Park's debut. I loved that it had such a unique premise and setting - a zombie-themed escape room - and thought the author did a really good job at making it stand out. I was rooting for both Nate and Kate. They both had personal reasons for wanting to take part in this challenge. Nate wanted to win the money so he could help his family as they struggled through some financial strains and Kate also needs the money so she can finally escape what is essentially the high-tech (there's literally a talking robot!) prison that her single workaholic father has left her in. Both of these characters were well-developed, in my opinion. They acted like teenagers and had interesting backstories that had made them who they were as individuals. I loved that they were both driven and had aspirations beyond high school. Nate and Kate's relationship started off as a friendship. I definitely thought they had good banter and shared good chemistry together. I did hope for a little bit more from the romance. It could have done with maybe a few more swoony scenes? It didn't affect my enjoyment of the story too much because all the other elements including the friendships and the family dynamics were beautifully handled. I'm really excited to see what else Suzanne Park comes up with next because this was a fabulous and strong debut for me. I'm particularly excited to read Loathe at First Sight, her romance novel!

***

FOUR DAYS OF YOU AND ME

by Miranda Kenneally
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: May 5th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

I've enjoyed Miranda Kenneally's books in the past. I think she writes really good YA contemporary romances and this book seemed to have a romance that developed over a few years, so I was quite eager to pick it up. While in the end, it wasn't my favorite book from the author, I still had an overall pleasant experience with it. Part of my not enjoying it as much as I enjoyed Miranda's previous books could be because I'm no longer a teenager. Four Days of You and Me narrates the story of Alex and Lulu on four field trips over 4 years. The two have a very up and down relationship throughout the years and the book walks you through those highs and lows. As you can imagine, it's quite a drama-filled experience. Perhaps, if I had formed a stronger connection with Lulu and Alex individually and as a couple, I would have enjoyed the drama better. Their chemistry wasn't entirely there for me and I often thought their relationship was exasperating - again, I'm an old lady now and I'm clearly not the target audience for such books anymore. I also found the constant back-and-forth between the timelines to be jarring. Again though, that is very much a personal preference issue. I've never had much luck with books told in multiple timelines in the past. Still, despite my issues with the Four Days of You and Me, I can't deny that the story was readable and had a touch of an addicting quality to it that all of Miranda Kenneally's books have had. In the end, while Four Days of You and Me wasn't my favorite, I'd still recommend it if you're in the mood for a story like it.


Have you read The Perfect Escape or Four Days of You and Me? Any good YA contemporaries you've read lately?
Let me know in the comments below!