SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – November Edition Reviewed

November is over, December begins, which means it’s time for the latest instalment of SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! Reviewed Edition. River and I read some pretty awesome books in November, and the two we selected for each other? Let’s just say we REALLY enjoyed them.

Sam’s Pick for River:


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

River’s Thoughts: This book was so much different from what I expected. I mean, I knew it was going to be groundhogs-day-ish, but I guess beyond that I had no idea. I actually put this book off for a long time because I thought the whole re-living the same day thing sounded SUPER boring. And this book is on the long-ish side for a YA novel. I’m also not the biggest Lauren Oliver fan. I really didn’t like her dystopian books that much, but then I read PANIC and looooooved that so I guess I like her contemporary work? Like, a lot?

Now I can’t wait for Vanishing Girls and I NEED to pick up a copy of Rooms. But yeah this book was so good.

River’s Pick for Sam: 


Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

Sam’s Thoughts: What a magical story! I loved the adventure in this story, and I loved how it as much a mother-daughter bonding story as it was one of growing up. I think what the appeal is for Finding Serendipity is that it’s a book lover’s book, a book a writer would love to write. It made me smile from start to finish, I loved the characters, especially Baxterr (with his extra ‘r’!). The story is insanely cute and it’s accompanied by some beautiful illustrations.

Even though this is a middle grade novel, I feel like anyone can read this story and fall victim to its charms. It’s quirky, cute, and just plain fun. Sometimes you just want a story that’s fun and thoughtful in the simplest ways, and Finding Serendipity just excels at that. It’s seriously that magical and delightful of a book! Check it out!

Read any of our picks? Let us know what you think in the comments.

SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – October Edition Reviewed


This month our dear friend, Melissa Giorgio, challenged River and I for SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! with a favourite contemporary novel of hers, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Well, October is almost over, so it’s time for River and I to reveal our thoughts,

Melissa’s Pick:


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

River’s Thoughts: I really liked this book, but I’m not sure why. While I was reading it I kept getting kinda bored and then BAM something crazy would happen. It happened like three times. I guess it was just that there were sections where I’d get lulled into Ari’s life and then SLAM something big would jerk him (and me) out of it.

I really loved Dante though, I just wanted to hug him so many times.

The themes of friendship and family were both so well done in this took. The ending, when his parents basically push Ari into it… that was beautiful. Beautiful.

Sam’s Thoughts: Ever read a book and you love it though it’s difficult to describe? That is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe for me. The writing in this book is gorgeous, but when you think of the book on a whole, not a lot really happens.

There’s a lot of anger, aggression, finding yourself, seeking your identity, longing to matter, and all these themes are mish-mashed together. This book is emotional overload in a lot of ways, and yet for me it worked quite well. I loved the gradual relationship between Ari and Dante, I love that they both in many ways had something to prove to themselves, and I loved that self-discovery was a huge part of them coming to terms with themselves. Seriously, this book is beautiful, touching, and there’s a rawness in the simplicity of the story that works so well. I really enjoyed this book, but it did make me emotionally all over the place!

SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – September Edition Reviewed

For September’s SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! River and I caved and decided we would finally sit down and read Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas (aka Abby McDonald). If you aren’t familiar with that name and you love YA, than GET familiar with it. She’s famous for writing Dangerous Girls, which is easily one of the most fucked up (pardon my French) books I’ve ever read (and I read thanks to River because it was my Christmas gift from her last year). There was something about Dangerous Girls that really just kept you on the edge of your seat and kept you guessing. Well, turns out the book didn’t sell very, forcing the author to self-publish the devilish sequel in North America (though UK fan, Simon and Shuster UK picked it up so you are cool!). If you want to read more on that check out Abby’s post here.

That being said, regardless of our thoughts on the sequel (which we both enjoyed but not as much as the first), we really, sincerely hope you support Abigail Haas’ books. They are something different in YA that you just don’t see and they really, really need to be read by more people.

River & Sam’s Pick:



Dangerous by by Abigail Haas

River’s Thoughts: Whew, I flew through that! While it was no Dangerous Girls (a book I read a year ago and STILL think about… need to re-read it ASAP), I did like this a lot. It started off a bit slow and didn’t really start having the same atmospheric feeling that Dangerous Girls had until Oliver showed up. Once he was in the picture though, things really began to happen. The ending was twisted, and I don’t mean to keep comparing it to Dangerous Girls, but it wasn’t as gut-punching-shocking-jfc as Dangerous Girls’ was. So I guess I had really high hopes for this being just as WTF as Dangerous Girls, but in reality i should have separated myself from it a bit more and read it with some distance from Dangerous Girls. Oh well. Still really good and if you liked Dangerous Girls then you MUST get this and read it and support Abigail Haas.

Sam’s Thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this sequel, though not as much as the first book. They definitely are very different beasts and it’s hard not to want to compare them considering they both have very different stories and twists in them. That being said, this book starts out painfully slow and doesn’t provide a lot of give right away. I definitely struggled with the characters this time around until Oliver showed up — can’t say I liked him or Ethan (I get they were polar opposites but they felt so much more one dimensional compared to Chloe), but it does get dark and uncomfortable, especially in the latter half of the novel. I wasn’t sure about Chloe at first, but towards the end of the novel, she grew on me and I understood her “enough” mentality that part of me even sympathized with her (not entirely though). It’s a good sequel, but the twist in this one just seemed to fall a touch too flat for me when you compare it to the original. Still, check it out because there is some really good stuff here, but Dangerous Girls wins hands down between the two for me.

Read Dangerous Boys? Have some thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments!

SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – July Edition Reviewed

Welcome to July’s edition of SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! Where River and I force books upon each other with the demand of “WTH IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THIS?!” Yes, we have all caps conservations sometimes, and no we are not a shamed to admit it. Here is what we challenged each other to read and our overall thoughts.

Sam’s Pick for River:


In the After by Demitria Lunetta

River’s Thoughts: I loved this! I wasn’t a huge fan of the way the story was told, but the tension was so tight and I was INCREDIBLY invested in Amy and Baby, so a full four stars! Man, that was tight, and everything just clicked along. I want to hug Baby and know that she’s okay after that ending. Next book now! (Sam’s Note: Yeah, In the End is pretty awesome. Also River hit on the head what I didn’t really enjoy about the book, but it really is all about the invest level given towards Amy and Baby.)

River’s Pick for Sam: 


Golden by Jessi Kirby

Sam’s Thoughts: So funny story, I bought all of Jessi Kirby’s novels thanks to River and weirdly read the other two before I had picked up Golden. This book sweeps you away on such a beautiful and thoughtful adventure. I loved the characters, particularly Parker and Kat, whose voices just melted into my head as I was reading the text. There’s a good ounce of mystery in the story and the ending? Perfect. Complete and utterly perfect. Everything is wrapped up in such a way where you feel touched and overall, this is just a really thoughtful story. LOVEDLOVEDLOVED IT.

SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – June Edition Reviewed

So originally I titled this feature “Book Swap,” and then River came up with a better name purely by accident that I like more. So now this feature is called “SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS!” where in River and I select one book that we want each other to read and then we give you some “high level thoughts” so to speak on the selection we gave each other. I think River won this round, as wasn’t as fond of the book I picked for her as I was of the one she picked for me. So let’s get onto this, shall we?

Sam’s Pick for River:


River’s Thoughts: My co-blogger Sam made me read this for our new feature where we tell each other to sit down, shut up and READ THIS. (Yes, we love each other).

Now, last year I LOOOOOOOVED Halpern’s The F-it List. Loved it. So I was really excited for this one and it just was a little flat for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve read a lot of books where the MC is depressed and tries to kill themselves, or get placed in therapy/ an institution and in those books the characters had really rich, deep, really, scary, sad problems. A few months ago I read an excellent book about a girl who cuts getting put into the hospital. Another amazing book about a depressed teen plotting her suicide and then following through with it blew me away earlier this month. So I guess in comparison this one just fell short. And Halpern’s sassy, witty writing wasn’t quite there yet with this book. So yeah, it was a good, fast read, but there are much better books out there dealing with issues that seemed a lot more real than the ones in this book. I’m not saying that Anna’s problems weren’t real, but they didn’t seem as serious, at least not serious enough for her to end up where she did.

River’s Pick for Sam:


Sam’s Thoughts: So my co-blogger and I have a crazy love for pretty-ugly people. It’s just a thing that any time we read a contemporary novel that has pretty rich kids being shitty we get oddly excited and they end up being perfect page turners for us. I can’t entirely describe to you WHY this is, just know that it is a thing we love. River bought me Dangerous Girls for Christmas and I had been waiting for an opportune moment because she said once I started reading, I wouldn’t be able to stop.

… and boy was she right. Dangerous Girls is messed up, but it’s got all these fantastic twists and turns and it’s a book that only gives you small threads at a time. You spend a lot of the novel putting pieces together and Haas does any amazing job of making you believe Anna throughout the story, even though you know there’s something a bit off. There’s always a looming feeling like nothing seems or feels right in this book, but you keep turning the pages because you have to know if your own theories you’re deducing are, in fact, correct. It’s a fun ride and I completely recommend this to anyone who likes reading a novel that feels like a whirlwind. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel Dangerous Boys, though I’m curious as to where Haas will go with the next book.

There you have it! Our first round of SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! has happened. Let us know if you want to read these books above or if you have read them, what you thought of them. Tune in because we’ll be sharing our July Picks for SDSURT (what a terrible acronym), as well as our fave books we read in June.