Here are some shorter musings on recently read books.
In a Perfect World by Trish Doller
Caroline is a character is very much aware of her own privilege, which was nice. She moves to Egypt when her mom takes on work in a clinic there (like Doctors Without Borders). She does have some opinions on Egypt and Islam that are stereotypical, but they are almost immediately corrected in most cases. (That I could tell.) The descriptions of Egypt are amazing. This is a book where the world is a really solid place. All in all I think I would have liked it much more if it had been a friendship story and not a love story. I like Adam as a character A LOT, but felt the romance was one too many weighty things in a story that was already exploring a lot. As a bonus though Caroline has one of the best YA parent couples of all time. Her mom and dad are amazing as parents and as a partnership.
Lucky in Love by Kasie West
After having less than enthusiastic reactions to West's previous two books, I was relieved to enjoy this one so much. Yes, it is the second of two YA novels about 18 year olds winning the lottery and learning about life and love we got this year. I'm not sure why this was a thing, but I like this one better than the other. This was a sweet and fun romance with cute banter, but it was also a great family and friendship story. It was a perfect rainy afternoon read to lighten my mood.
Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser
This is a strong fantasy debut which contained many of the elements I enjoy in YA fantasy. It is mythopoeic, there is political intrigue, and the romance worked for me on most levels. The world building is solid while at the same time the author didn't get bogged down in explaining it. She allows her world to just be making this a quick read. The plot is fast paced and moves from scene to scene quickly. Much of it is spent on boats and I could see how that would get old for some, but I felt the author broke it up well. There was so much happening. It wasn't at all a dull boat ride. The politics could have used a little more substance as could the character development which is why I couldn't completely love it. Still, it is a solid book and I will be reading the sequel and keeping an eye out for this author. (Yes, there is a sequel. BUT. This works perfectly well as a stand alone too.)
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
I have felt a lot of emotions reading Green's books over the years, some positive, some negative, most strong. What I've never felt was bored. Until now. This book has a fabulous concept and a character whose OCD and Anxiety Disorder should be interesting to read about. But so much of the internal monologuing here felt like filler. It's possible this would have worked better as a short story. I don't know. It was missing a lot for me in terms of character and plot development though.
Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn
Wesley James did not ruin anyone's life. Let's make that clear up front. Quinn has held a grudge against Wesley for years, blaming him for her parents' divorce. I can see how a young girl, confused and scared, would want to find someone to foist her anger over that on. I get that Wesley was an easy target, especially since he was moving. This could have been done really well, but it wasn't because the character development just wasn't there. (Which has been a consistent problem with the Swoons Reads titles.) That being said, if you know teens who can't get enough of fluffy romance that is fairly tame and they've already read all of Kasie West, this book works as a recommendation.