Wacky Wednesday: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Everyone has been insisting I read this book, so here goes!

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.


  • Kirsten and Whitney's development over the course of the story. It shows that main characters aren't the only ones who develop, and is true to the fact that people are dynamic.
  • Owen throwing a punch. Up until then he seemed a bit too perfect, in a way, so it was nice to see that he is still human.
  • The pushing for honesty throughout the story. It was really refreshing to read about.
  • The car-washing scene. For some reason, it was so different and out there and makes me want to drive through a car-wash now just to see if Annabel is right.
  • The disagreement on what is good music. It's natural for Owen and Annabel to not agree on what kind of music they happen to like, and I enjoyed that they agreed to disagree and learned to work with each other.
  • Totally did not see the explanation for what happened to Sophie and Annabel's friendship coming. Nice surprise.
  • I really like Clarke. She's pretty cool.


  • Mallory as a character was mostly just bothersome. Parts of her character weren't unrealistic, per say, but a little more credit can be given to girls her age. They're not all as annoying as Mallory came across as.
  • Annabel came across as just an okay character as well. She took a little too long to learn certain things, which made it frustrating to be reading from her point of view sometimes.


  • This is probably just personal preference, but the fluctuation of really long first chapters to shorter last chapters was a bit strange, and it was hard to focus during the first part of the book.
  • Lack of hints about what actually happened when Annabel and Sophie stopped being friends. While it is a plausible explanation, a little more build up to what happened would've helped.
  • Annabel mostly getting through her problems with the help of a boy. While there is nothing wrong with this, it felt a little odd and dangerous to insinuate that a boy is necessary to someone overcoming a problem, instead of one among a few people who can help.
  • More about Sophie would've been nice. She just comes across as a really mean girl, and most people are not as simple as that. More character development for her would've been nice.
Overall, not a bad book. I'm not absolutely in love with it and maybe something about Dessen's writing style doesn't resonate with me enough to rate it a 5, but I'll give it 4 jellyfish still.

Thanks for tuning in, and see you next week for another book review!

Wacky Wednesday: Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott

I hope I can somehow manage to make my thoughts coherent right now, because my mind is currently kind of all over the place because of this book I've just read.

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):

Sam has the rules of slackerhood down: Don’t be late to class. Don’t ever look the teacher in the eye. Develop your blank stare. Since his mom left, he has become an expert in the art of slacking, especially since no one at his new school gets his intense passion for the music of the Pacific Northwest—Nirvana, Hole, Sleater-Kinney. Then his English teacher begins a slam poetry unit and Sam gets paired up with the daunting, scarred, clearly-a-gang-member Luis, who happens to sit next to him in every one of his classes. Slacking is no longer an option—Luis will destroy him. Told in Sam’s raw voice and interspersed with vivid poems, Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a stunning debut novel about differences, friendship, loss, and the power of words.


  • The characters are very realistic. They really do seem like teenage boys, without seeming like the author is trying overly hard to make them sound that way. It makes it so easy to forget that it's a fictional book because it feels so real.
  • Luis and Sam. They're such great characters because they have their flaws, they have their problems, but they're still likable despite that.
  • The minor characters. All the minor characters are quite well developed, and end up playing some kind of important role in the story.
  • The support system that Sam gets out of Luis.
  • Plot twist! The reasons for Luis' disappearance are completely unexpected, not to mention his scar.
  • Inclusion of Mexican-American characters. I know I tend to get excited about diversity in books, but I can't help it. It makes my heart smile.
  • Luis' poetry. There is something so raw and realistic about it that is hard to explain, but was so great to read.
  • Inclusion of slam poetry. Never seen it in other novels I've read before, but while reading the poetry I could almost hear Luis' voice in my head.
  • How Luis' POV was only expressed through his poetry. It really emphasizes that he is a poet.


  • Sometimes the paragraphs were a bit too short and detracted from the story, made it a little too easy to skim too fast and miss some of the meaning and the good parts. But at the same time it added to the emotion of the story, so I'm on the fence about how I feel about this.


  • Cancer seemed like an unrealistic explanation considering there were no hints that Luis had cancer, other than the scar, which could've come from anything. Fatigue or dizziness might have been a good sign to include in order for readers to buy this explanation.
This book went by way too fast, but I really did enjoy it a lot. I loved learning about new types of poetry and want to try them out myself. I love that I learned a lot from this, as well as have important things to think about such as first impressions and how we as humans have such a strong tendency to judge.

So, this book has the honor of being the first to receive 5 jellyfish on my blog!

I definitely recommend this novel! Even if you're not a big poetry person, I recommend giving it a shot. I really look forward to what this author releases next.

Wacky Wednesday: Until it Hurts to Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the next book review from your local jellyfish!

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):

In seventh grade, Maggie Camden was the class outcast. Every day, the other girls tripped her, pinched her, trapped her in the bathroom, told her she would be better off dead. Four years have passed since then, and Maggie’s tormentors seem to have moved on. The ringleader of them all, Raleigh Barringer, even moved out of town. But Maggie has never stopped watching for attacks, and every laugh still sounds like it’s at her expense. The only time Maggie feels at peace is when she’s hiking up in the mountains with her best friend, Nick. Lately, though, there’s a new sort of tension between the two of them—a tension both dangerous and delicious. But how can Maggie expect anything more out of Nick when all she’s ever been told is that she’s ugly, she’s pathetic, she’s unworthy of love? And how can she ever feel safe, now that Raleigh Barringer is suddenly—terrifyingly—back in town?

Wacky Wednesday: Me, Him, Them, and It by Caela Carter

I've found that I actually am having a really difficult time writing whole reviews without spoiler alerts, so consider this your spoiler alert for this novel. A version will be posted on Goodreads with spoilers hidden some time after this post is published as well.

Summary (as seen on the book cover):

Me: Evelyn, closet good girl turned bad.
When she decided to earn herself a bad reputation, Evelyn was never planning on falling in love.
Him: Todd, supposed Friend with Benefits.
She just wanted to piss them off. To make people take notice.
Them: The cold, distance parents.
She wasn't planning on ruining her valedictorian status or losing her best friend, and she definitely wasn't aiming to get pregnant.
It: the baby growing inside her.
Now, Evelyn needs a plan. And someone to help with the heart-wrenching decisions that are coming up fast.


  • Tammy and Cecelia. They're really adorable and contribute to the book, and that was enjoyable to see.
  • Evelyn's narrative right after leaving the hospital about how she feels about her baby was well written. It was the best written part of the whole book.
  • The different characters and their ethnicities. Having a Chinese aunt, Latina friend, and black cousins created some nice diversity for this novel.
  • The chapter titles. "__ Days until it's too late to change my name" or "___ months until normal" was a good way to indicate how time passed throughout the novel, and Evelyn's thoughts as well.

  • The book subject. It was intriguing and interesting, even though this isn't the first and only book about teen pregnancy, and for that alone it's worth picking up. But beyond that, there isn't really anything special about this book.
  • Todd. At least he is appearing throughout the novel, but some of what he talks about is unrealistic. He's a character who gives mixed feelings, but kind of in the "I don't care either way" sort.


  • Evelyn just comes off as a teenager with a lot of angst for no good reason. Yes, she goes through many difficult things, but she overreacts to everything and is always angry for no reason. She doesn't deal with her anger in healthy ways, and it made her a very frustrating main character.
  • Evelyn refusing to tell Lizzie what is happening. Evelyn and Lizzie's friendship just doesn't seem very real, and it's frustrating to feel that way when the reader is being told that they are actually supposed to be very close.
  • Never finding out what happens with Lizzie and her dad. This was hinted at so much throughout the novel that it really was a let down to not find out more.
  • Evelyn is supposedly a really smart teenage, but that's difficult to see. Her original rebellion doesn't make sense based off of what readers are told about her. Yes, parent issues are difficult and always will be, but as to why that sparked rebellion, this doesn't make sense.
  • Evelyn's refusal to deal with her baby. She comes off as extremely selfish the entire time, and it's difficult for readers to sympathize with her.
Throughout this novel, it became less and less enjoyable to read, but it wasn't entirely a waste of time. It just isn't a book high on the recommendation list. There are some good elements to it, but on the whole it was just okay, hence why I will leave a rating of two jellyfish.

Thanks for stopping by to check out yet another review. Look out for the next installment in my review series soon!

Wacky Wednesday: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Since this was previously scheduled, enjoy a book review.

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

As sometimes I feel neutrally about some things, I'm also going to try adding So-Sos to the mix. So there will be three categories now: Yays, So-sos, and Nays.


  • Post-card communication. This was adorable and unique to this novel, and quite enjoyable to watch how this was involved not just in Lucy's life as a child, but throughout the novel.
  • The details involved in the novel. They were small, but added so much more depth to the story and to the characters.
  • The parts and their titles, especially how they tied in with the beginning of the novel. It really made the story flow well together as a whole.
  • Realistic characters. Lucy and Owen seem like very real, three-dimensional characters who, for the most part, act their age. Not every author manages to capture the essence of being a young adult quite so well.
  • The inclusion of so many different locations and the involvement of travel. The fact that Lucy and Owen traveled in opposite directions of each other for most of the novel was very interesting, especially with how geographic distance correlated with emotional distance.
  • How Owen's mother fit in with the story. That was a nice added touch.


  • Having a pretty good idea of how the book was going to end from the very beginning. It felt very obvious that these characters would go their separate ways and would eventually meet again, so half the fun of reading feels missing.
  • The main characters meeting other potential love interests. This felt like a very predictable plot-line. At the same time, it does add to the story, but did feel a little cliché.


  • Blurriness between past and present. It was too difficult to decipher whether a scene had just jumped into a flashback, and when it returned to the present. This required some need to read backward before being able to continue. Also, it gave the story a feel of being told rather than shown, which is a pity because a lot of other details of this novel really make it feel like the story is being shown rather than told.
  • The reasons Owen and Lucy stopped keeping in touch felt a little strange, and didn't really make sense. It also happened a little suddenly. If the readers had been eased into this idea a little more, maybe it would have made more sense.
  • The book feels a little slow at times, especially when it gets bogged down in the past.
  • Timing of some of the kisses. (I'd say it's not a spoiler alert since it seems obvious this was bound to happen.) It felt like they generally came sooner than they would realistically, and really makes it feel like it's a novel and not likely to happen in real life.
On the whole, I did enjoy this novel more than I enjoyed the last one I read by Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but something about Smith's writing style still hasn't jived well with me. Still, if she were to come out with another YA contemporary novel, I wouldn't be opposed to reading it.

I give this book 3 and a half jellyfish, but in the interest of not cutting a beloved jellyfish in half, I am rounding down because that's how I rated it on Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by to hear my thoughts! Also, please feel free to recommend books to me!