A Double Serving Of ARC Reviews #3

Title: Summer of Supernovas
Author: Darcy Woods
Publication Date: May 10th 2016
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Part of a Series?: Standalone!
I Got A Copy Through: NetGalley
Buy Links: Amazon US

Blurb Description: Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams. When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.  But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

“One day you’ll be fluent in the language of the stars.” 

The Plot Steps of All ‘Happy’ Contemporaries:

1. Girl Meets Boy
2. Girl and Boy have undeniable chemistry
3. Girl and Boy Face Undefeatable Problem 
4. The Girl Boy Faces The Worst Time in Their Life (sick relative/ divorcing parents)
5. Girl and Boy realise they are soulmates and have fallen in love with each other (separately)
6. One Great Reunion to end the book

I’m right, you know I am. 

And yet, even while contemporaries mostly follow the same storyline, there are some that manage to stick to the norm and beat it hollow altogether.

Summer of Supernovas is (mostly) one of those rare novels. 
“You’re kind of an unusual girl. No offense, Wil.” I grin. “Yeah, well, I tried ordinary once and got bored.” 
This had some elements that were GREAT: (AKA. I FELL MADLY IN LOVE WITH)

1. Astrology: I loved how this wasn’t put to the side as just some quirk of Wil’s to make her seem more interesting. This was really well done, when it was mentioned. In fact, I, non-believer in anything of this sort, started wondering is Astrology actually had some truth to it!

2. CHEMISTRY: This is a love triangle, okay? But the CHEMISTRY with both boys was REALLY REALLY good! 

3. BAKERY/ CUPCAKES: Because, well cupcakes are AWESOME. And bakeries are even more awesome. 

This also had elements that were so cliché, they made me cringe:

1. The Best Friend: Irina was an AWESOME character, okay? AWESOME. I would read a story just about her and not get bored because she is AWESOME. And yet, in Wil’s story, she was this character that only showed up when the story required her, and she vanished otherwise. POOF. It just didn’t feel very real.

2. The Sick Relative: FOR GOD’S SAKE. STOP. The person our protagonist loves the most has a sudden medical ailment and the boy that was alienated comes running back. 

While this book could have been better, could have been as brilliant as a supernova, it fell just a little short.

The chemistry was BEAUTIFULLY done, the cute scenes were swoon worthy, the food was mouth-watering, and I, overall, had a fun time reading Summer of Supernovas.

4 Stars!  

Title: OCDaniel

Author: Wesley King
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Part of a Series?: No, Standalone!
I Got A Copy Through: NetGalley
Buy Links: Amazon

Blurb Description: From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.
Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.
Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.
With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand.

“I didn’t think… I didn’t know it was a disorder. I thought I was the only one.”
I was once on the phone with a couple of friends, and one of them used the words “I’m SO OCD about my kitchen” and another yelled saying that neither she, nor any of us have ANY idea as to what it’s like being someone suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

I won’t lie, I used to be one of those people, saying I was so OCD about my bookshelf and other such things, and it was only when my friend yelled did I realise that I was undermining what people that really have this disorder go through. And I hate doing that, so I’ve stopped. Because this, like any other mental disorder, or disorder in general is real. Very, very real and to everyone that says “I’m so OCD…” it’s time to stop, yeah?

Daniel seems like your average, slightly strange teenage boy. He’s a bit awkward, a bit in love with a girl out of his league, a bit out of place in the football team, and a bit ‘crazy’ (as he puts it) with his strange Zaps and Routines and the worst of all, The Great Space.

All Daniel wants is to be normal – to be cool like his older brother Steve or his best friend, Max. And all he wants is for Raya Singh to notice him, and to either get off the football team or avoid it all together. Except Daniel is the furthest thing from normal, and a mysterious note from a girl who talks to nobody at all twists everything he knew about himself.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. Daniel might have been OCD, but he was a brilliant, honest narrator that absolutely NAILED what it is to be a teenager that’s a little out of place. Despite this being about his OCD, it WAS NOT everything we learnt about him, and that was my favourite part of this book. His insecurities, his shortcomings, his nervousness, his friends and his self-confidence – I LOVED every minute of it, and even at seventeen, I could understand every word of what he said.

All in all, OCDaniel is a great piece of literature, inside the mind of somebody that REALLY struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I would most definitely recommend it. 


“I could never date her, because I was crazy. And I was afraid.”

“I told you… I have a plan.”
“That usually gets us into trouble.” “And this will probably be no exception,” she said. 

**Quotes are subject to my ARC.

Do you know someone with OCD? Or any other mental disorder? What is your opinion of comtemporaries? And astrology?

Let me know what you think, and leave me links so I can stop by your lovely blogs!

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