Strings by David Estes - 5 stars (finished 2/10)
See my review: here.
Are You Still There? by Sarah Lynn Scheerger - 3 stars (finished 2/18)
Gabi is a smart, perfectly behaved teenager - she stays in line and has her eyes on the college prize. She has a slightly neurotic mother, a younger sister, Chloe, who loves to be the rebel and drive their mom even more crazy, and a police officer for a father. The story begins with Gabi in the bathroom at her high school during a lockdown. It turns out that it is NOT a drill and there was an actual bomb in the school. The principal starts a crisis phone line and hand picks a variety of students to assist - including Gabi. Through the crisis phone line, Gabi makes new friends, starts seeing a boy, and ends up talking to the bomber.
Overall, the story was a very easy read. Gabi's voice is easy to connect with. However, I wasn't really sold on the story itself. The characters seemed pretty flat. You don't really get much but a scratch on the surface of what they are all like. I think some character development really would have made this book an excellent one. I did enjoy the manifesto of the bomber in between chapters of Gabi's POV. I found them to very interesting and they added some suspense to the overall plot.
*I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.