Mini Review: Contemporary Encounters

Hello, everyone! It’s been a really busy week for me, mostly due to work reasons. I’ve been trying to get through 12-hour shifts since this month has started and trying desperately to squeeze in personal schedules. But despite this, I’ve managed to read books in between small breaks at work. I’m currently re-reading Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo (still loving it!). Also, my birthday giveaway is still ongoing, so if you haven’t already, you can still enter here!

So, this week, I’m going to share quick reviews of three YA contemporary books I’ve read in a while. Here they are:

The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I was initially caught by its cover which isn’t exactly breath-taking, it’s an OK in my opinion. But it reminded me of the 2001 film Serendipity (one of my favorite films ever). There’s this scene in the climax that resembled exactly the cover art of this book. Then I read the synopsis and it piqued my interest so I gave it a try.

The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight is a quick, charming and fluffy read. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I can be a hard sell for fate-themed stories and I thought this book served it well for me. The plot was a perfect mix of fluff and thoughtful moments that readers could identify with. The characters were engaging and worth investing in. Despite the story being set within a 24 hour period, it didn’t feel like the attraction between Oliver and Hadley as insta-love which was refreshing. It was genuine and slow burning and you can’t help but feel all mushy inside.

Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I’ll just go right ahead and say that this book is of my all-time favorite contemporary reads! I’ve read this almost 6 years ago but thinking about it still makes me feel all giddy.

Anna and the French Kiss is also a quick read. If you make time for it, you can finish it in one sitting. And I am certain that after reading a few pages, you wouldn’t be able to put it down. Yep, it’s that good. The characters were written realistically and readers can easily connect with them as they are so relatable. Perkins did an amazing job on writing such a delightful contemporary story filled with laughs, swoon-worthy and genuine moments all at once. This is also a perfect pick-me-up read if you’re feeling a little low.

Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I had a great time reading Anna and the French Kiss that I’m convinced I would also enjoy its book-sister, Lola and the Boy Next Door. While there are aspects in this story, I also have some conflicting impressions on it.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a fairly delightful story with quirky and unforgettable characters. I love Lola’s quirk for wearing costumes and expressing herself creatively. But I can’t say she’s one of the best characters I’ve read. For the most part, I’m annoyed by her attitude. She can be whiny but what turned me off the most was how badly she treated her best friend and how she dragged Cricket’s heart. That poor boy. I believe Cricket is the main lead in this story. It was nice to put the spotlight on the boy next door character because this is rare in YA fiction. Usually, the mysterious and morose boy gets all the fuss.

In general, the plot felt like a re-do of Anna and the French Kiss’ and it was inferiorly executed. This sucks because I was ready to give this book so much love but it didn’t work out well for me. Nope, not even the cute cameos of Anna and Etienne themselves could save my total enjoyment of this book. Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door is generally a good read, especially for hardcore fans of Stephanie Perkins, but it didn’t leave as much impression on me the way Anna and French Kiss did. Having said this, I would still read the third book Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Let’s talk! Have you read any of these books? Do we have similar opinions? What did you like or dislike about it? Let me know down the comment section 🙂

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Mia is a blogger from the Philippines. She loves to read fantasy and adventure stories. She's a TV and film enthusiast as well. If she isn't reading, she's most likely watching Gilmore Girls or Friends for the nth time or some Korean drama she finds interesting at the moment.

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