Cover Image: Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life

Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life

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4.5 ⭐️ for this fast-paced, whirlwind YA romance! 
Other than the ARC pretty much removing the letters ‘fi’ and ‘ff’ (😂) this book was fantastic! I read it in one day, the characters were real and well rounded and the plot moved quickly.
I would have liked Holly’s romance to have been a bit more involved as I thought she was a great friend and the relationship felt rushed towards the end.
Lots of miscommunication, and looooong friends to lovers. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Immortal Works for providing me with an ARC!
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She’s one of those people who, when she looks at you, truly sees you.


What I Liked:
Brad was dramatic, and I found that funny.
I believed that most of the people at the camp were more interesting than the main characters. 
The title and summary were what drew me in. The title is funny and made me wonder if it’s meant to be in a negative or positive context. 


What I Didn’t Like:
Right off the bat, I hated Carissa. 
Brad’s obsession with Carissa was too much. 
Love triangles are not my thing, and there are two here. 


Overall Enjoyment/Impact:
Rose and Carissa are like night and day, despite them being twins. Carissa is the “perfect” one, and Rose lives under her shadow. Carissa is “perfect” and treats everyone as if they’re beneath her. 
The reasons for her choices are that she’s doing what she thinks is best for everyone, but in reality, it is because of her selfish motives. 
YAs have been hit or misses for me lately. Although I enjoyed reading “Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life”, I felt it was younger than I preferred. If I had read this when I was younger, I think I would like it more. I wished I had something like this when I needed it. However, the themes are relevant and relatable. 
Love it or hate it, reading “Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life” made me feel many emotions. But, regardless of everything, I’m glad I read it. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5)

Thank you, NetGalley and Dallas Woodburn, for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I've finished this book last April but I haven't been able to construct any book reviews lately because life happens (thus, affecting my mental health and my productivity. My apologies for that). 

I was astonished to have enjoyed another YA romance again after a few years, but more than the romance, it's Rose's journey to acceptance that made me love this book.

At first the book obviously was written for an audience younger than my age but later on, as the story progresses, I didn't feel the YA vibes anymore. I guess at one point in our lives, we can relate to Rose - someone who struggled in accepting herself. I really loved her character in this book.

Despite loving the book a lot, the miscommunication between Rose and Brad sent my another star for the rating away because I do not really like the miscommunication trope. For this story, I think some parts needed to have the miscommunication to build their history since Brad's Carissa's ex, the twin sister of Rose, but for me, some parts felt that the miscommunication is too much already. Nonetheless, this book is still one of my most enjoyed reads this year.

Here's a mini reading thread for this book at my booktwt account: https://twitter.com/semicolonreads/status/1506778544957177856

As always, thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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This was a lovely book to read, although it was very YA it was very entertaining. 

The book is about Rose and Brad and how Carissa, Rose's twin sister has ruined their life. The problems they face because of Carissa, and learning about themselves.

Rose was so beautiful and I really felt to sorry for her. She was such a beautiful soul, she always believed she was never good enough. I felt like throughout the book she grew as a person and eventually believed in herself. 

Brad was such a likeable character, I think Carissa was really lucky to have him, although she didn't deserve. I really loved how he became a better person. At first it was for Carissa, he the understood that he himself needed to become a better person. 

I really did not like Carissa at all, she was selfish and manipulated both Rose and Brad. I liked that Brad realised he didn't want Carissa but Rose, I felt Clarissa did struggle with that but admitted it eventually. 

I would give the book 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5. Although it is very YA, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt this book was very realistic, because of what teens go through on daily basis and what is expected from them. Great read!
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(First of all, thank you so much NetGalley, publisher, and author, for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review)

Synopsis: Brad is ready for a perfect senior year: he has a seat at the popular lunch table, a gig co-hosting the school’s morning announcements, and a gorgeous girlfriend. But when Carissa breaks up with Brad, his carefully constructed life comes crashing down. Convinced everything would be perfect if only Carissa would take him back, Brad creates a “self-improvement plan” and vows to re-win her heart. Rose wishes she were having a normal senior year like everyone else, but leave it to her twin sister Carissa to butt in and ruin her life. Carissa secretly nominated Rose for the reality TV show Help Me Lose Weight and Live Again—and now Rose is on her way to Texas for three months of calorie-counting, marathon-exercising hell. Rose already felt overshadowed by her “perfect” sister, and collapsing on a treadmill on national TV is not making things any better. Plus, Rose can’t squash feelings for her sister’s boyfriend Brad (even though she knows he would never see her as anything but a friend.)

This book was hard to end it because I really don't like the principal characters, I hate Carissa and I did not enjoy how the relationship between Brad and Rose was developed. It did not keep me interested and that's why I can only give two stars to this book.
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This was sadly a DNF for me. The characters were such horrible people, and I found it so hard to associate with or feel sorry for any of them. This book and I just weren't a good match.
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I hate to say this, but I simply lost interest in this book. And after reading other reviews and gaining a better idea of the content, I decided not to continue as this book was not a good fit for me. I only give the book three stars because I feel like this is a situation where the book would be liked by others, just not by me.
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A sweet little romance that hits a few hot buttons with bullies,  weight loss and body positivity. As always with these novels they hit you right in the feels and you can bank on a happy ending. Middle of the road for me 3.5 stars
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Good things about this book: 
1) Is a light-cute story and that makes it an easy read, pages just pass and pass and you're so into the story you don't even notice.
2) Brad, he's not usually my type of male lead, but I found him super adorable in this book.
Overall, the read was good, it made me smile at many moments so that's absolutely a win, but I didn't feel 100% comfortable with how they managed Clarissa's weight, especially at the beginning.
But her story is deep and I loveeed her speech at the end of the book.
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I will admit that I did pick this one up because my name was in the title. However I wasn't thrilled to find out that the character that shares my name would end up to be the bully in the story and I hate bullies so this one was indeed a DNF.
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At the beginning of the novel, Carissa has ruined both her twin sister Rose and her now ex-boyfriend Brad's lives. She was a total butthead and signed Rose up to be on a reality show like Biggest Loser and she broke up with Brad right before the start of their senior year. 
As high schoolers would typically do, Brad makes a list of things he can do to get Carissa back by making himself a '"better" person, even though he is already pretty great, to begin with. 
Rose goes to a fat camp but is doing so under protest. She is the people-pleasing twin and she just wants to make everyone else happy, even her mean twin sister, who doesn't deserve it.
There’s a surprising amount of depth in this story. Both Brad and Rose undergo a lot of growth. I loved Rose’s brilliant speech she gives at the end of the show and Brad’s discovery that lasting love is based on true friendship.
By the end, you are rooting for everyone, even Carissa. She's the kind of villain that eventually you warm up to.
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What can I say, this was a super easy to read cute little young author romance. 

Carissa and Rose are sisters the both fall for the same boy. Carissa is the popular cheerleader type whereas Rose is more of a loner who tried to hide in the shadows. Until the day that Carissa applies for Rose to go on a weight loss show.

As much as she doesn't want the limelight Rose completes the challenge and begins to find her true self. She has always been friends with Carissas boyfriend, but when they break up he starts to realise maybe Rose was the one for him all along. 

This one explores teenage relationships, popularity and coming of age. This book is told form alternating chapters of Brad and Rose. The only thing that started to annoy me was some of the chapters pretty much doubled up, hearing the same part of the story from both of them one after another.

Overall a sweet little romance which I lapped up every second. '

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
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This was a cute and fun read. I enjoyed the characters and the pace of the book. Overall it was a lot of fun and I would love to read more from the author.
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I didn´t like it.
It was a mess, like, you know from the beggining that they´re going to end up together because there´s nothingto tell you that´s not going to happen. 
Todo el crecimiento de Rose se nota y, llegar a sentirte dentificadx con ella y  con todo lo que le pasa. Con el otro, no, a ver quiere cambiar por una chica que lo trató para el orto en toda la relación, onda, flaco perdiste tu esencia. Pero lo que más me molestó fue que cuando Rose tuvo el valor de decirle las cosas a Carissa, la tipa va y tiene un ataque de pánico y le pide ayuda a la hermana, entonces Rose dice que es su forma de arreglarse NO HERMANA, NO ES ASI!!!!
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I'm going to give four stars, because I enjoyed the writing, but by eARC was faulty and I had to stop about halfway thru due to words being missing and lines mixed up.

What I did read I really enjoyed! I was glad to see Rose realise that the diet she was on wasn't entirely sustainable, and I do look forward to seeing how this ends when I can get my hands on a finished copy
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book in return for an honest review! This review contains spoilers!

My rating of this book fluctuated a bit while I was reading, and I took a pretty big gap in the middle of the book but decided on 2.5 stars rounded to three stars.

Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life is a YA romance novel following protagonists Brad and Rose as their lives are ‘ruined’ by Carissa. For Brad, Carissa ruined his life by breaking up with him, for Rose, Carissa sent her on a national weight-loss show called ‘Help Me Lose Weight and Live Again’. I personally think that those two things are not the same, and being dumped before your last year of high school doesn’t really compare to being signed up for a TV show relying on negative perceptions of weight and the idea that being skinny is being healthy, for obvious reasons. Carissa also makes fun of Rose and her weight in front of her friends before trying to justify everything as ‘wanting Rose to be happy’, which is super gross.  

Obviously, this book and the situation Rose is placed in could be a good conversation about how exploitative weight loss shows are and how they capitalise of people being unhappy with themselves, even to the point of damaging their bodies in the pursuit of unrealistic ideals. This is talked about in the book, and Rose talks about how contestants on the same weight loss show she’s currently on are forced to lose dangerous amounts of weight and are considered failures if they can’t keep losing weight at an inhuman rate. At the final weigh-in of the show, Rose does make a speech about how she wants to love her body no matter what it looks like, but that is after she’s lost a heap of weight and gains a single pound one week, disqualifying her from winning.

Brad’s entire problem with Carissa isn’t that she signed him up for a show that relies on fatphobia to excuse inhumane treatment of people, it’s that she dumped him. She even lists her reasons; she thinks that they’re different people, have different interests, and are going different places in life, as well as the fact that she doesn’t love him anymore. While it is revealed later in the book that she dumped him because she was jealous that her relationship with Brad would never be as good as the friendship between Brad and Rose, though Brad doesn’t seem to ever find out about that.

Brad refuses to accept any of that, saying things like “Isn’t everyone ‘different people’?” and even admitting that he doesn’t hand in school work while Carissa is aiming for Stanford. For the first thirty-something percent of the book, Brad just doesn’t let himself believe that the relationship is over with zero chance of getting back together. He spends chapter after chapter making himself a better person just to win Carissa back, even though everything he does benefits him more than it would have benefited Carissa, like arriving to school on time, exercising regularly, reading, getting a position at a local radio station because that’s the field he wants to go into. The grand plan to win Carissa’s love back just seems like Carissa was trying to be a decent girlfriend and encourage Brad to put in the work to have the future he wants. 

Even after he decides that he doesn’t need to do these things for Carissa, it isn’t long before he’s in another sort-of relationship with Meghan, another high school employee at the radio station. This set of events was really what made me feel like the pacing in the book was weird, because it felt like Brad was properly letting go of his past relationship for a week before dating someone else straight away. Maybe this is a personal thing, but deciding you can do things without needing a relationship for motivation only to jump into a new one doesn’t fit the self worth message.

Meghan also turns out to be a pretty bad person, she complains about having to work at a local food pantry handing out food to people who need it. Specifically, she complains about it being unpaid overtime, then she makes a “joke” about “smelly homeless people” and when Brad says that’s not something you should be saying, she says she thought he could “take a joke”. Later on, as Brad and Meghan are driving home, they see a elderly woman who was at the pantry to collect food walking home and Meghan makes a comment about how the woman probably didn’t need the food. Brad breaks up with her in the car and offers the lady a ride home, but later says that he could have seen Meghan being a good work friend. This is right after he gives Rose a big talk about how she was always beautiful, no matter what size she was. 

While we’re talking about alternate love interests, Rose also dates Daniel for a while, but decides they’re better off as friends at the Winter Formal, which is when Holly (Rose’s best friend) and Daniel start acting on their feelings after having known each other a week. Daniel had also told Rose that he fell in love with her the second he saw her, too, so…

I know Carissa is the bad guy in this story and she does some horrible things, I almost felt sorry for her in the early Brad chapters. Brad would talk about how he called her a bunch to try and get her back, and how he went to a party and tried to start a fight with a guy kissing his ‘girlfriend’ (who had dumped him, but small details don’t matter apparently), among other things. It gets to the point where Brad tries to confront Carissa about her dumping him live on the school-wide morning announcements and it was truly uncomfortable to read. 

Since we’re on the topic of Carissa, it’s revealed in the last few chapters that she’s been rejected from Stanford, and her only real motivation to date Brad and send Rose on the TV show was that she was jealous of Rose because Rose has always thought Carissa’s shallow interests were below her. I don’t even know where to start with this. I’m just not going to try. 

Moving on and continuing on the pacing point, a good forty percent of this book (yes, almost half) is near constant miscommunication, which I hated. Brad asks to hang out again, Rose assumes he only wants her on his radio show to ask about the TV show. Brad thinks they’re having a moment, boom, Rose’s reality TV show boyfriend exists. Rose is about to open up about her feelings, boom, Carissa still likes Brad. Brad is about to tell Rose he likes her, boom, he finds a letter from Rose written weeks earlier that tells him to get back with Carissa. Forty percent of a book is just back and forth like this. Neither of them think to text or call the other person, not even a letter. Just assumption after assumption to fill out drama of why they can’t get together. This is after they barely have a single conversation that isn’t a flashback or memory until half way through the book. 

Towards the end of the book, mostly around the bowling alley and the formal, scenes split, sometimes in the middle of conversations, to switch to the other POV. It’s jarring. I don’t think we needed a sudden switch midway through a conversation to reveal that Brad was thinking the same thing he was thinking a chapter ago. I wouldn’t have minded if scenes happened once and we only got one perspective, but the big kiss at the end is repeated in both POV’s and I don’t think it really added anything that hadn’t already been said. 

Now, for some other things I didn’t really like but couldn’t find a good place for. Brad hears his parents talking about refinancing their home but brushes it off as ‘boring adult talk’, despite being out of high school and an adult next year. This refinancing ends up being to pay for Brad’s father’s cancer treatments. Brad is out on a date with Meghan. They go to one of Carissa’s favourite cafes, where she usually only orders a tiny salad, despite complaining that she’s starving. But Meghan orders a turkey burger that falls apart in her hands. She’s so different to Carissa (no one escapes to comparisons, not even Rose) but red flag, she thinks the Beatles are overrated and mostly listens to pop punk or something. However, Rose likes the Beatles and the same music that Brad likes, so it’s fine. 

There were also times where the characters seemed way older than they actually were, or like the book was set at least a decade ago. One example of this is Rose giving Leonardo DiCaprio a nickname after he got big from being in Titanic. A movie that came out in the early to mid 90’s. I am the same age as these characters. I do not remember Leonardo DiCaprio’s career from a decade before I was born. Someone should have read the book to see whether it wasn’t outdated, like the insistence that radio wasn’t dying and that podcasts aren’t going to replace radio. The author’s note at the back of the book says this book was drafted a decade ago, but some changes could have been made. 

I know it seems like I absolutely hated this book, but there were a few things I liked. The dual POV was a good choice for the long distance sections of the book, even if I wasn’t a fan of Brad. The book wasn’t a super hard read. It only took me a couple of hours to read, and it has a happy ending for the main characters. 

All in all, I don’t know whether I would recommend this book. I am still thankful for the opportunity to read an eARC of the book, but it’s not something I would reread.
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Thanks Carissa is for all readers of Young Adult literature that love a coming of age story filled with interesting characters in the high school phase of life. Friendship, love, identity, self-worth, cultural issues are all present and discussed within the book. Reading this book was truly a pleasure. I loved the story and it will stay with me for a long time. Looking forward to reading more from this author!
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Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life
Immortal Works
by: Dallas Woodburn
Genre: Teens and Young Adult

For readers of Teen and Young Adult fiction, Dallas Woodburn has written a contemporary novel with interesting characters in the high school phase of life. She tenderly addresses issues of self-worth, fitting in, and cultural norms. Told with alternating points of view from main characters, themes are of young romance, friendship, communication and coming of age. 
Thanks to Net Galley and Immortal Works for the advance reader's copy and opportunity to provide my unbiased review.
#ThanksCarissaForRuiningMyLife #NetGalley
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I thought this book had a great message about weight loss and what really matters in a person. It was cute and i like seeing a duel pov. For me it was probably a bit too much on the miscommunications in the last part it just kept going to the point where it affected my happiness in seeing the 2 main characters end up together.
I did feel it was well written though.
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ARC provided by publisher & author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

It took me a little long to write this review but here it is:

First of all I want to thank the publisher for accepting my request of this book and I want to thank the author, Dallas Wooburn, for my physical ARC that is yet to come! I am glad to have had the privilege of reading this book before it was published (on the 8th of February!)

I have some mixed thoughts on this book. I was planning on giving it 3 stars when I was halfway through but then I decided that 1 star would be more than enough. The first half was very good but I'm not sure about the second half of the book because it felt like everything was rushed for a slowburn. We could say that I was somehow disappointed by the time I finished reading (I skimmed the last 60 pages).

Brad:At first I did not like Brad, I found him rather obsessive and toxic, trying to "win back" her ex, Carissa, after he was rejected several times. He still thought that he could win her back (bestie, that is not okay, you can't win back a person who's rejected you and asked you to get away from them). However, there was a major character development in both Rose and Brad that I enjoyed witnessing. Brad became more like himself, he stopped pretending to be someone he wasn't and worked on his physical and mental health, once he was free of Carissa. Go Brad!

Carissa: Although this book revolved around the events of Carissa's life, we never got to see her point of view. Which I'm not complaining about, but I was surprised when I realised that the book consisted of two povs; Brad and Rose (which literally foreshadows the ending of the book). I did not like Carissa at all. Even when her brattiness and mean motives were reasoned to be something else (I can't even remember it).  

Rose: Rose was perhaps the only character that I adored, so by the time I reached the end, she inevitably became the character that I disliked nearly as much as Carissa, her "perfect twin". The book was mainly about Rose's journey of self-love, and the love of others that comes within. I really liked Rose, she was friendly, real, and "easy to talk to", so basically she was everything that Carissa was not. Yet she still thought being Carissa would make her happier. I would have still liked her if she weren't so irritating by the end.

The relationships were all poorly developed. I'm not only talking about Rose & Brad but also about Rose & Daniel and Daniel & Holly. These relationships were so complicated and so toxic that my jaw dropped while reading about them, and not in a good way. I could not bring my mind to believe that Holly; Rose's best friend, danced the night away with Daniel, who was Rose's boyfriend, who also caressed Holly's hair while they danced and Rose was ok with it? I mean you can't go kiss a girl, call her your girlfriend and then slow dance with her best friend and caress her hair. The couples were not even close to being loyal. And Rose, herself, was not a bed of roses either. She was fantasizing about her twin sister's boyfriend while they were dating? I saw that one coming, but I thought that it would stay as a crush and nothing more because dating twins? That must be illegal right? 

"Carissa's thin. She's popular. She's everything I'm not."

I'm sorry but there was no chemistry between Rose and Brad to start with. It all came out of nowhere, abruptly. The main ship lacked chemistry and realness, which is why I disliked both Rose and Brad, who were the two tolerable characters in this book. The book was very repetitive, it felt like I read every chapter several times, I started skimming most of the chapters because the two povs were literally the same. I get it, the characters think similarly, but do they really think of the exact same things at the same time every two seconds? 

"I've never known anyone who can make the minutiae of life seem so interesting."

I did not root for Brad and Rose because there wasn't a development between the two. You know how it is in slow burns. They communicate, they hang out, they talk over the phone. This book had none of it. In fact the trope in this book was the "miscommunication trope" which I hate. Like come on, please talk instead of reading so much into everything. The characters were very indecisive, even more indecisive than myself, and they did absolutely nothing to solve their problems and rid themselves of their doubts. 

"All you get to take with you at the end are the memories you make with the people you care about."

To conclude, I want to say that I did not like this book at all. I wanted it to end. I did wish I had some taco carnitas to eat but that was probably the only positive thought I had while reading this book. Thank you very much.
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