Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blogtour: The Unlikelies - Carrie Firestone

The Unlikelies
Carrie Firestone
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that's part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie's summer changes for the better when she's introduced to other "hometown heroes." These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying "no good deed goes unpunished." Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships--and anonymity--intact?

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

After saying goodbye to all her graduating friends, Sadie expects her pre-senior summer to be long and lonely. Then, she is catapulted to a new status, when she performs a heroic act, and is honored for her actions. At the recognition luncheon, Sadie forms an unlikely friendship with four of the other "homegrown heroes". Together these five teens embark on a revolution of kindness, trying to covertly right some wrongs.

This book was in the right place at the right time, because I really needed some kindness warriors to erase some of the week's events for me. This may be a work of fiction, but I hope it inspires the use of  social media for good instead of evil. I was totally in love with all the positive messages, and because of that, I was able to forgive other things that were not perfect in this book.

I really liked getting to know all the characters in this book. The cast was very diverse with some quality that set them apart, but each also had a personal issue they were dealing with. Firestone painted an overall positive picture of these teens, but she did give them flaws, which I thought made them more real.

  • Sadie had an Irish ex-cop dad and a Muslim Iranian mother. She was recovering from a traumatic event, and also feeling the loss of her best friend.
  • Jean was an immigrant and gifted artist, who dedicated his time to teaching young artists, while he was recovering from the horrors he witnessed following the earthquake in Haiti. 
  • Val was an immigrant from El Salvador, who collected school supplies for the children of migrant workers. She had a boyfriends with Lupus, who was often unkind and controlling. 
  • Alice used her gift for photography to help get homeless animals adopted. She also was trying to save her best friend from her spiral into heroine addiction. 
  • Gordie dedicated his time to assisting at a center for developmentally disabled adults.   
Their bond formed quickly, but because it was based on mutual respect and a common cause, it was strong. Watching their friendships develop and change was quite wonderful. When one was in trouble, they came to their aid. When one had a mission, they were there to support them. That's the most you can ask for in a friend. Firestone did not make it all ice cream and rainbows, there were bumps in the road, and many apologies had to be made, but they worked through their problems, showed grace, and forgave each other. 

I am not going to lie, there were some plot points that were unrealistic, but this was a work of fiction, and when we talk about a means to an end, I forgive the OTT plot lines, because the overall message was so positive and made me feel good. At the same time, Firestone made an effort to keep it real. She showed the upside and the downside to dispensing random acts of kindness. She showed how good it could feel, when things go exactly as intended, but also how disheartening it could be when things do not go according to plan.

You know if there is romance in a book, I will find it, latch onto it, and hold it tight. This book did have a bit of romance. It was quite sweet and adorable, and I had no problem shipping these two. I liked that they had some history, and there was something there prior to becoming the Unlikelies.

This book was amusing, dramatic, even inspiring. It was a lovely story of friendship and the power of kindness, and a story I enjoyed reading. 

"There's nothing I can say to do justice to this care package, so I'm just going to hug you"
"You're the baby saver. Well done," she said.

"Thanks. Some prefer to call me the damn fool."
"It felt like the start of a whirlwind five-person romance, like we were running into something deep and exciting, something magnetic and abnormally comfortable."
"I think it's better to be a most-unlikely," Alice said. "Then when you do something awesome, everyone will be surprised.."
"We should aspire to be unlikelies."
"It's weird, Sadie."

"Perfect, Alice. It's the summer of weird."
"Oh, so you're not afraid of anything?" Val said, shoving a three-ring binder into an already full box.

"Being obsolete, maybe," Gordie said."
"If you choose kindness, we'll let you in. -- The Unlikelies." 
**I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.

• 3 Finished Copies of The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone
• US only
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Carrie Firestone has lived in rural, urban, and suburban places, and, while she currently lives in the suburbs, she is decidedly a CITY person. She loves parties, and all kinds of music, and books about random people doing random things in random places. She loves to travel with her husband, and two daughters, Lauren and Emily. When she isn’t writing, you might find her reluctantly sharing her popcorn at the movies, trying to get people (or dogs) to do a conga line, or adding items to her loose ends list.


May 28 

May 29
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Book Munchies- Promotional Post

May 30
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Susan Heim on Writing- Promotional Post

May 31
We Live and Breathe Books- Review & Favorite Quotes
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June 1
Super Space Chick- Guest Post
The Mind of a Book Dragon- Review & Playlist

June 2
Bookmark Lit- Review
Reading to Unwind- Review & Fave Quotes

June 3
A Lovelorn Virgo- Review & Dreamcast

June 4
The Book Return- Guest Post
Dream Within a Dream- Promotional Post

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  1. This sounds like a cute book with a really good message. I like the idea of kindness warriors :) Great review!

    1. I couldn't help but love the idea of killing them with kindness.

  2. This sounds so cute! There's something about the phrase "good samaritan vigilantism" that makes me smile and expect an uplifting story. The perfect summertime read!

    1. I loved the concept, and Found myself caring about the characters. Definitely a cute summer read

  3. I completely agree with your review. The story was very uplifting and so positive right when I needed it. I do hope people read it and start to be more uplifting especially on the internet! I loved all the dynamic characters the author created! Great review!!

    1. Don't you love when you read the right book at the right time. 😊

  4. I just love this cover, even before knowing what the book was about! And it sounds so positive and uplifting too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it- sounds fabulous.

    1. This cover screams summer, and I like how it has 5 different sweet treats to represent each of the MCs

  5. Love that cover so much! Not sure if it's my kind of read, but I know some of my students that would love it.

    1. The cover is really nice, and I found one of my daughter's dresses to pair it with for bookstagram. =) I think it could be really good for the target audience, because it has a great message, and also shows the good and the bad of it all.

  6. I love when a book falls into your lap at just the right time. I really like that readers get to see the development of a friendship between these characters. Often times, you start with a group of friends in a book, but I like that this is part of the characters' journey. Thank you so much for the review. Crossing my fingers that I end up adding this to my shelf.

    1. I totally needed some positivity when I read this, and it definitely left me in a good place.

  7. I like that this book has an overall positive message. It sounds like a fun read.

  8. Totally agree with you about this one! It was definitely a positive, warm fuzzy book in the never-ending sea of hell that is real life. And I DID think that some of the stuff was a little unrealistic too, but like you said, it was supposed to be a book that left you feeling happy and positive, so I can ignore that to some extent. I loved the message too- and it is certainly timely! Great review!