Lisa’s Looking Forward To #108 – May 11th, 2021

May 5, 2021 LLFT 16

Lisa’s Looking Forward To #108 – May 11th, 2021

Once again I’ll be joining up with the Can’t Wait Wednesday posts hosted by Wishful Endings. Second week of the month means a few less titles than last week.

So that cover is definitely what grabbed me, love the VHS tape. The story sounds really cute as well.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Joel’s new job at the video store is just what the therapist ordered. But what happens if the first true friend he’s made in years finds out about What Was Wrong With Him?

Seventeen-year-old Joel Teague has a new prescription from his therapist—a part-time job—the first step toward the elusive Normal life he’s been so desperate to live ever since The Bad Thing happened. Lucky for Joel, ROYO Video is hiring. It’s the perfect fresh start—Joel even gets a new name. Dubbed “Solo” after his favorite Star Wars character, Joel works his way up the not-so-corporate ladder without anyone suspecting What Was Wrong With Him. That is, until he befriends Nicole “Baby” Palmer, a smart-mouthed coworker with a chip on her shoulder about . . . well, everything, and the two quickly develop the kind of friendship movie montages are made of. However, when Joel’s past inevitably catches up with him, he’s forced to choose between preserving his new blank slate persona and coming clean—and either way, he risks losing the first real friend he’s ever had. Set in a pop-culture-rich 1990s, this remarkable story tackles challenging and timely themes with huge doses of wit, power, and heart.

Sound good? Add to Goodreads HERE.

Sounds like it could be a fun, yet probably emotional, road trip story.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Five trips, two cousins, one family feud, and a summer that will change their lives forever. 

It’s bad enough that estranged cousins Becka and KJ see each other at their grandfather’s funeral, but when he leaves them a bucket list of places to visit together over the summer, so they can earn their inheritance, it seems like things are about to get much worse. 

However, with each trip the cousins complete — like riding mules into the Grand Canyon or encountering a bear and a hot tour guide at Yellowstone — they steadily learn about and begin to trust one another. That is until the truth behind Grandpa’s bucket list, and their family feud, is revealed, testing Becka and KJ far beyond their limits. 

Will they find a way to accept each other or will their grandpa’s wish to mend his divided family end up buried alongside him inside his grasshopper green casket?

Sound good? Add to Goodreads HERE.

Beautiful cover and I love the synopsis for this one! Also I love that it is supposed to be kind of a Jane Austen retelling, since I do love retellings!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.

Sound good? Add to Goodreads HERE.

Another gorgeous cover and what sounds like it could be a good read.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

In this witty and whimsical contemporary YA by award-winning author Margo Rabb, sixteen-year-old Lucy Clark gets suspended and sent to NYC, where she’s tasked with taking care of an elderly woman entangled in a mystery.

Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times at the boarding school her parents enrolled her in, sixteen-year-old Lucy—who has been underestimated her entire life—retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets suspended and sent to New York City, where she must serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox.

Once in Manhattan, however, Lucy discovers the glamorous, mysterious Edith is nothing like she expected. With Edith, Lucy learns to revel in the freedom of being herself. And though Edith’s world of hidden gardens and afternoon teas is magical and beguiling, there’s one other thing about her that makes her unlike anyone Lucy has ever met…she thinks someone is trying to kill her.

And Lucy has to find out who it is.

In the vein of Search Party and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, this gorgeously written YA novel explores weighty issues with a light touch, plenty of humor, and a cast of unforgettable characters as only Margo Rabb could write it.

Sound good? Add to Goodreads HERE.

Another type of story I love is a modern day fairy tale, and I do love any cultural spins that people can put in them. Not to mention another gorgeous cover!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Celebrated author Sarah Kuhn reinvents the modern fairy tale in this intensely personal yet hilarious novel of a girl whose search for a storybook ending takes her to unexpected places in both her beloved LA neighborhood and her own guarded heart. 

If Rika’s life seems like the beginning of a familiar fairy tale–being an orphan with two bossy cousins and working away in her aunts’ business–she would be the first to reject that foolish notion. After all, she loves her family (even if her cousins were named after Disney characters), and with her biracial background, amazing judo skills and red-hot temper, she doesn’t quite fit the princess mold.

All that changes the instant she locks eyes with Grace Kimura, America’s reigning rom-com sweetheart, during the Nikkei Week Festival. From there, Rika embarks on a madcap adventure of hope and happiness–searching for clues about her long-lost mother, exploring Little Tokyo’s hidden treasures with a cute actor, and maybe…finally finding a sense of belonging.

But fairy tales are fiction and the real world isn’t so kind. Rika knows she’s setting herself up for disappointment, because happy endings don’t happen to girls like her. Should she walk away before she gets in even deeper, or let herself be swept away?

Sound good? Add to Goodreads HERE.

Another beautiful cover, with an emotional sounding story.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this lyrical and emotionally driven YA follows Alina, an aspiring dancer who suffers a devastating injury and must face a world without ballet — as well as the darker side of her former dream.

Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg — and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it. 

After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and binging ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected — namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive castmate she just might be falling for.

But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she experienced in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet — something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?

Touching, romantic, and peppered with humor, this debut novel explores the tenuousness of perfectionism, the possibilities of change, and the importance of raising your voice.

Sound good? Add to Goodreads HERE.

Final Thoughts:

Only 6 this week compared to the 15 last week! I originally thought there were 7, but when I went to post one of them, realized it actually released in April. Have you read any of these yet? What new books are you eagerly awaiting this week?

And while you’re here, make sure to go enter into my monthly giveaway HERE.

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16 Responses to “Lisa’s Looking Forward To #108 – May 11th, 2021”

  1. Sam@wlabb

    I read three of these (all 4 stars and up for me). Lucy Clark was the big surprise for me. Liked it a lot more than I expected. I hope to read Other Side of Perfect and Tokyo at some point. Both sound like books I would enjoy

    • Lisa Mandina

      That’s good to hear on the Lucy Clark one, because that is one I’m kind of on the fence about. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Literary Feline

    All of these sound good, Lisa. Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize sounds like a lot of fun. Oh, and Where the Rhythm Takes You! I hadn’t heard of that one before–so thank you for bringing it to my attention. I hope you enjoy these when you read them!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I don’t enjoy reading Austen, but I admit I enjoy movies made from her books, so I do like the retellings a lot of times. Glad to hear that was good! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Same! Those are my favorite covers right now. Thanks for stopping by!

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