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Girl on the Ferris Wheel

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In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell. Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He's an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, a In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell. Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He's an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression. Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?


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In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell. Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He's an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, a In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell. Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He's an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression. Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?

30 review for Girl on the Ferris Wheel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    I really enjoyed reading Len's previous book Hard-Wired, so when I saw that he co-wrote another YA novel, I was very excited about this touching, realistic, and sweet story. Girl on the Ferris Wheel gives us two alternating POVs. Dmitri and Eliana come from very different backgounds and have very different personalities. Quiet, insecure Eliana has four other siblings and a stay-at-home dad, whose DVD rental store went out of business, while Dmitri is a second generation American Greek with a clos I really enjoyed reading Len's previous book Hard-Wired, so when I saw that he co-wrote another YA novel, I was very excited about this touching, realistic, and sweet story. Girl on the Ferris Wheel gives us two alternating POVs. Dmitri and Eliana come from very different backgounds and have very different personalities. Quiet, insecure Eliana has four other siblings and a stay-at-home dad, whose DVD rental store went out of business, while Dmitri is a second generation American Greek with a close-knit family, trying to integrate into American life and at the same time keep their distinct culture. Dmitri is a drummer in a band and a movie buff. He is also friendly and outgoing, which helps him to navigate high school social life with a lot of confidence and ease. One of the best things about this book is that it provides a realistic representation of what it's like to live with clinical depression and what it's like to love and support a person with it. Eliana was briefly hospitalised and when she came back to school she found hersef almost isolated as a lot of her friends decided it was too complicated and awkward to be around her. Eliana's struggle with her depression is written in a heart-breakingly honest way. Her inner dialogue is fascinating, with some hilarious runaway comments on what is happening at the moment and some dark moments with repetitive self-depreciating thought patterns. It was interesting to see both perspectives on Eliana and Dmitri's relationship with all the excitement and ups and lows of figuring out the other side's feelings and opinions. Depending on your own experience, you might find one of the characters more or less relatable, but they are definitely realistic and memorable, and both of them go through a lot of growth and development. There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters, including Eliana's best friend Janina, Dmitri's surprisingly perceptive younger brother Niki, and adorable grandmother Yia Yia. The only thing that didn't work for me was the abundance of Happy Potter references, although I appreciate that being able to get and relate to well-known references (or the opposite, some obscure movie quotes) is a way of establishing a connection, finding your own tribe, which is a part of teen life. I would definitely recommend this book. First romantic relationships aren't easy because we still need to learn the importance of communication, but they are also exciting and genuine- like this book. Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours, NetGalley and Feiwel and Friends for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ]

    I received an arc! The premise sounds interesting and the cover is cute, I can't wait to read this one! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. instagram | blog | goodreads I received an arc! The premise sounds interesting and the cover is cute, I can't wait to read this one! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. instagram | blog | goodreads

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* This is a really sweet and really genuine book. Eliana and Dmitri are trying to navigate their first serious romantic relationship while also dealing with all the life stuff that comes along. It's worth noting that this book skews to the younger end of the spectrum. This is certainly not a bad thing, it's just a thing that I felt I should mention since people have different preferenc You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* This is a really sweet and really genuine book. Eliana and Dmitri are trying to navigate their first serious romantic relationship while also dealing with all the life stuff that comes along. It's worth noting that this book skews to the younger end of the spectrum. This is certainly not a bad thing, it's just a thing that I felt I should mention since people have different preferences.  Eliana reminded me quite a bit of myself at that age. She cannot even fathom that Dmitri might actually have feelings for her, mostly because she's got some pretty low self esteem happening. She has also been going through some very serious mental health struggles, which obviously contribute heavily to her view of herself. Most of her friends ditched her when she had an inpatient hospitalization a year prior, which is both infuriating and sadly realistic. Her family life is also a bit messy, as she has had to take on a bit of a surrogate parenting role for her younger siblings. Her mother works constantly to make up for the fact that her father... well, he does nothing. It's clear to me that he is suffering from some kind of mental illness as well, but it infuriated me that it became Eliana's problem. She does at least have one incredible ride-or-die friend, Janina. And thank goodness for her, she is the support that Eliana needs, and I am so glad that she exists in this book.  Dmitri is... look, things are a little easier for Dmitri. He's got a really solid family (including his grandmother, Yia Yia, who I adored with my entire being), even though they can be a little out of touch and judgmental. Dmitri, basically, has a lot of growing up to do, which I think can be said for plenty of young people. He is a good guy though, with good intentions. And he is genuinely open to learning and growing, which is most important.  And that is truly the crux of this story: Growing, learning, and challenging yourself to do better. Eliana must come to terms with her own mental health, and her own needs and wants independently and in terms of relationships. There is, thankfully, appropriate discussion on why it's so important to understand that no one can fix you but you, so I applaud the authors for that.  Bottom Line: Ultimately, I found the book to be a very realistic take on first loves, family relationships, friendships, and growing up. 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexia

    This book was simply not good. I will say some of the redeeming parts of the book were getting to read how depression manifests in some young people and how it affects them. Also Yia Yia's character was a big highlight. She reminded me of my elementary school friend's Yia Yia who was just as loving and funny. There was a lot of push and pull in Eliana and Dmitri's relationship and it was interesting to see how miscommunication really affected their relationship. I also appreciated the ending of t This book was simply not good. I will say some of the redeeming parts of the book were getting to read how depression manifests in some young people and how it affects them. Also Yia Yia's character was a big highlight. She reminded me of my elementary school friend's Yia Yia who was just as loving and funny. There was a lot of push and pull in Eliana and Dmitri's relationship and it was interesting to see how miscommunication really affected their relationship. I also appreciated the ending of the book, and think it did the characters and their experiences justice. Now on to everything I disliked. The amount of Harry Potter references in this was actually absurd. Even if JK Rowling wasn't transphobic, I did not need multiple references in all of Eliana's chapter. I know it's a cultural phenomenon and is important to Eliana, but as someone who hasn't read or seen them, it was just way too much and completely took away from this book by constantly bringing the series up. This book also read younger than the 10th grade. The characters almost seemed a little too naive at times to be fifteen. Also, I don't know why so many books need the reader to know that the protagonist's family is anti-Black and racist, but I promise it was not necessary at all in this story. The authors could have mentioned that Dmitri's family would have preferred him to date within his own culture, but instead we had to be subject to reading about his dad called a Black waitress a racial slur in Greek and his family being relieved his new girlfriend wasn't Black. I promise Black people understand how much we're disliked and hated. We don't need to be reminded in a YA romance. Overall, this book didn't do much for me. I would hope they made some changes for the finished book, as I read an advanced copy. If you want to read something that talks about young people with depression and has an added cultural element like this book, I would just read Darius the Great is Not Okay. *Thanks to the publisher for an ARC. All opinions are my own*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    2.5 Stars Note: I was provided with a free ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. This book is cute. It is the story of a first love, complete with ups-and-downs and clever metaphors. This book includes a male narrator, which is refreshing in YA in general and especially in a romance/love-story like this one. It also includes positive depression representation, which is more than needed. I did find it a little juvenile overall, like i 2.5 Stars Note: I was provided with a free ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. This book is cute. It is the story of a first love, complete with ups-and-downs and clever metaphors. This book includes a male narrator, which is refreshing in YA in general and especially in a romance/love-story like this one. It also includes positive depression representation, which is more than needed. I did find it a little juvenile overall, like it was perhaps better suited to a Middle Grade audience, but that doesn't take away from the good bones and solid storytelling. Details about the pure wholesomeness this book will be published on my blog in January. LINK: https://gatewaybookreviews.blogspot.c...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Huber

    *Thank you to MacMillan and Netgalley for the E-Arc! TW: misogyny, depression, anxiety, sexism, racism, anti-semitism Spoilery-content below. Listen, y'all. I feel conflicted. It's the morning after I've finished this book and I'm still trying to gather my thoughts. While this book had its cute moments, it had a lot of bittersweet and unexplained moments. I felt like there were a lot of "telling" not "showing" moments, and I really feel like Dmitri was done dirty. While this book also has some accur *Thank you to MacMillan and Netgalley for the E-Arc! TW: misogyny, depression, anxiety, sexism, racism, anti-semitism Spoilery-content below. Listen, y'all. I feel conflicted. It's the morning after I've finished this book and I'm still trying to gather my thoughts. While this book had its cute moments, it had a lot of bittersweet and unexplained moments. I felt like there were a lot of "telling" not "showing" moments, and I really feel like Dmitri was done dirty. While this book also has some accurate depression representation, the way its handled feel unfulfilled. In the beginning she doesn't take advantage of the therapy she's being offered, she clearly doesn't want to do the mental leg work, and at times, yes I understand. However, when I was that age, if I was able to talk to someone about it, I would. Even now. In terms of how it's handled via parentage, not well. Her father is adrift with his own issues, her mother is the 'tough love' type which often causes more damage than aid. She's treated like a second parent to her siblings, and even that story arc isn't resolved in any way. Even with her ex-friends, it's not resolved. It's just 'daisy's a b*tch' which YES she is, but...I feel like it would've been satisfying to have some kind of moment there. When it came to Dmitri, his parents are clearly racist. YiaYia is THE BEST character in this book. It made me super uncomfortable every time his parents spoke, because of the very blatant anti-semitism and anti-blackness. Also wtf with all of the Harry Potter references! We don't need those references in 2021!! How about Dmitri being totally left in the dark and by that he's doing ALL the unhelpful things. I also feel like he didn't get any help from his parents regarding dating, how to act around females, but he was SO DAMN SWEET. He was a literal marshmallow that went from soft and squishy to burnt and crusty. I mean all in all, the relationship itself was not meant to last because of their constant miscommunication and the fact that they didn't talk about anything serious. When, when I was 15 I was having very serious conversations about everything with my friends. Dmitri really did love her, although his love was misconstrued and caused him to do foolish things in the name of love. All in all, I really feel unfulfilled. This book wasn't BAD, but it didn't leave me with resolve. I feel like something went wrong in this book somewhere during the writing process, and it didn't get fixed. I laughed, I cried, I related SO HARD, but...that's it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deekay

    YA-Contemporary rockstar romance? I’m sold, count me in! Anybody who knows me know how much I like reading about rockstar romances, usually the one I read are the New Adult (NA) and Adult ones. So seeing there’s a YA (Young Adult) rockstar romance book is refreshing to me. I was wondering how the rockstar element will be written, handled and portrayed in a YA book. Let’s just say that I was impressed with how the authors are using the rockstar element in this book. It has been quite awhile since I YA-Contemporary rockstar romance? I’m sold, count me in! Anybody who knows me know how much I like reading about rockstar romances, usually the one I read are the New Adult (NA) and Adult ones. So seeing there’s a YA (Young Adult) rockstar romance book is refreshing to me. I was wondering how the rockstar element will be written, handled and portrayed in a YA book. Let’s just say that I was impressed with how the authors are using the rockstar element in this book. It has been quite awhile since I last read a YA-Contemporary book, and it was good to be back reading it again starting with this incredibly amazing book. There isn’t enough words to describe how I felt about this book. It was a very well-written book with a good and emotional storyline and an engaging plot. Also, the main characters are both relatable—especially the heroine—and both are also pretty likable in my opinion. There was a few heavy topics that are being discussed in this book: anxiety, depression, and suicide. I wasn’t surprised at all since many YA books (especially contemporaries) tend to have these subjects in the story. I actually really enjoyed reading about it, it makes the characters easy to understand when they are down, angry, sad etc. This book also touched on a few subjects regarding the culture and tradition of the Greeks and the Jews. Dmitri the male lead is a Greek, and Eliana the female lead is a Jew. There are a few parts that showed the differences between the Jews and the Greeks when celebrating Christmas, and also how both are handling the death of a family member according to their own tradition. It was really rare to see a book exploring these things in more depth and showing an actual scene for it. Usually, it was either briefly mentioned or shortly explained by the characters in most books. I’m glad this book handled it differently. It gave the readers a lot more insight and additional informations regarding the characters too. This book is about Dmitri and Eliana, their relationship, and the problems they are facing in their respective lives (Dmitri with his band, Eliana with her depression). It also showed how they fall in love with each other, the ups and downs of their relationship, and the heartbreak that comes from it. They are each others first love, and the heartbreak after their relationship fell apart was unbearable. It made me feel emotional and sad, it hurts to watch these two precious characters went through it. I practically tortured my own soul by reading this book. I wasn’t fine with what went down in the story especially during the heartbreaking part, but also slightly happy with the ending. I was conflicted with how the book ended. It was sort of an open ending, like it was up to your imagination how you want it to end. There wasn’t a confirmation that they’re back together, only that they became friends. I strongly want them to get back as a couple again but also understood why they stayed as friends. Both mentioned of looking forward to things coming their way, and they might or might not hinted at wanting to get back together. When a book ended like this, I usually just made up my own ending because I couldn’t accept the real ending. Call me what you want, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one doing this. Sad and emotional moments aside, let’s talk about the funny moments in this book. There are plenty of it, and I had a really good laugh reading those parts. My most favorite was when Dmitri’s aunt asked Eliana about circumcision, and reading what she was saying in her head about it was straight up hilarious. I had to put my iPad down a few times until I stop laughing, or else I won’t be able to continue reading the book. At least this book got plenty of funny moments to bring balance into the story, so that it wasn’t always just sad. To be honest, reading this book is like having mood swings; one second you’re happy and laughing out loud, the next you’re sad and crying. This book evoked so many emotions. If you want to read this book, just be prepared. Another thing I wanted to add was Dmitri’s band called Unexpected Turbulence. Even though this book doesn’t focus a lot on his band, I was grateful that the authors showed a little bit about the dynamic between the band members, the band practice session, and their professionalism as a group whenever they are performing on stage. I liked seeing all of it except for the part with Chad being obnoxious, that was my most least favorite part. They are a punk rock band trying to make it big. They might not be widely famous yet but they’ve gained many fans and people appreciate the talents of each member and their hard work together. I also get to see Dmitri’s songwriting talent, he was actually good at it. That talent of his clearly jumped out after spending some time with Eliana. The more reason why they are so adorable together. It was nice to see a little bit of the rockstar element in this book. Now let’s talk about the characters... Eliana is one of the most relatable female leads, I know not many readers can relate to her but I do. She was struggling with depression and that was similar to my situation in which I’ve struggled with my depression. I understood why she acted the way she did; not in the mood, want to hide instead of going out, overthinking, lashing out, crying because it feels like her world crumbles down while everyone continue living their lives normally etc. Some readers might find that irritating and frustrating, but that’s what depression do to you. I know not everyone handles depression the same way, but I do see some similarities between how she handled hers and how I handled mine. The authors did a great job portraying how depression looks like in this book, and what it would do to someone that have been struggling with it for years. Not many books I’ve read did justice when it comes to portraying depression, so it was nice to see it was written and portrayed solidly in this book. Reading the part where she was still struggling despite feeling happy with her relationship with Dmitri was just heartbreaking to read. I knew things will go south between them, especially when she still struggled with her mental health. I just wanted her to know that she’s enough, that she’s important, and I wanted to see her truly happy. Eliana’s struggle is the hardest part to read in the whole book. I just wanted to give her a big hug. All things regarding her mental struggle aside, Eliana is actually a very likable character. She was pretty intelligent, had a good sense of humor, quick in understanding stuff, and is a good sister and a good friend. She has a great personality, and an amazing attitude. When she wasn’t struggling with her mental health, she became a very confident young woman and I really loved seeing that side of her. The side that wasn’t afraid to take chances, and the side that wasn’t afraid to express her feelings. Overall, she is an incredibly amazing character and how she was written in the book was realistic especially with her inner struggles. Dmitri on the other hand is a really great guy with many talents. He wasn’t just a bit shy and awkward but also confident and protective. I’ve never seen many male leads in most books have a shy and awkward sides, most are just confident all the way through. So to see Dmitri have all three was really refreshing which made him a lot more realistic than most male leads. He was also just as likable as Eliana, and I feel really attached to these two because it was really easy to connect with them and understand them. There are times when I was a bit frustrated with him, especially when he didn’t understand why Eliana was irritated by him talking to another girl and doesn’t went looking for her while she was gone for a few minutes trying to cool down. Honestly, guys don’t understand much about girls and girls need to spell it out for them. And knowing Eliana especially when that inner voice made her doubt everything, she wouldn’t do that, she would be too insecure and so she just let it be. That was the only part in the book that I wanted to yell at Dmitri to go look for Eliana, and pay more attention to her. Other than that, he was fine alright. I have to give a standing ovation to him for making a lot of effort in trying to make things right between them, and how he made sure Eliana is comfortable being around his family and relatives. He did all the right things to make sure she doesn’t feel out of place. I also liked how he make time to learn more about her with the help of her best friend, Janina. And also thanks to his little brother for making him see the problems clearly so that he’ll know what to do to improve himself. Without the help of a friend and a little brother, Dmitri and Eliana might not be able to mend things that are broken between them. I was just glad they have trustworthy people to support them and give them some advice. Also bonus point to Yia Yia, Dmitri’s grandmother who is also the best person to give any advice to Eliana and Dmitri. She was amazing throughout the whole story, and I really enjoyed seeing her making jokes trying to lighten up the mood, making Eliana feel welcome and giving her advice so that she will stop thinking of the worst. She literally is the best grandmother. As for the romance, it was really cute and beautiful. I liked how Dmitri and Eliana are both so awkward at first but then when they started talking, they automatically felt comfortable around each other. I still can’t forget how awkward things was at first that a few disastrous things happened at school. Eliana for horrified, and Dmitri acted like nothing happened. That whole thing was a comedy. I find that Dmitri is a romantic. He wrote a song for Eliana and asked his band to play it while she was in the crowd watching, he brought her to meet his family and introduced her to them at the Greek festival, and he even brought her to hang out in the ferris wheel so they will have an alone time to get to know each other better. He knew what he was doing, it was really romantic. I loved their relationship so much, it was the most purest thing to see in this book. They are meant to be together but obviously ups and downs always happened in any relationship to test whether the couple can face it or not. Despite the ups and downs, I liked how Dmitri never give up trying to make things right and trying to help Eliana with her mental struggle. He was so protective of her that he wanted to shield her away from whatever that can make her feel vulnerable. It was sweet how he never back down every time she avoided him. In the end, I’m happy they are back to how they were before. Not together as a couple but as friends, although I was hoping they would become a couple again. I get why the authors didn’t write it that way, after all both are still too young and Eliana have a lot of baggage and she just want to focus on making herself feel better. She didn’t deny that she still have feelings for Dmitri and vice versa. Both have things they needed to take care of on their own. I also think the reason why the authors decided to make this story have an open ending is so that the readers can make up their own ending, like after that ending what will happen to Dmitri and Eliana’s relationship. For most, the ending might not be an open ending but for me, that was an open ending because I see it that way. I’m not saying that I’m right and everyone else is wrong, all I’m saying is that everyone interpret stories differently from one another and to me that is one of the many unique abilities that us readers have. Overall, the story was enjoyable to read. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, but that was to be expected especially when it comes to first love and first heartbreak. This book was written stunningly, and I was really amazed by how everything went down in the story. Some things made me laugh, some made me sad but I really had a great experience reading the story of Dmitri and Eliana, and following their journey from the first moment they met until the moment they reunited. It was a beautiful experience, and pretty much sure I’m going to revisit their story in the near future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dini - dinipandareads

    I read this book as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Tours. Thanks to Feiwel & Friends for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3 stars The Girl on the Ferris Wheel was a realistic YA contemporary about high school life, first love, culture and family. It also has good representation for anxiety and depression especially through the lens of a young adult. There were some pretty sombre and raw moments with Eliana's depression that were heartbreaking and hard-hitting but I tho I read this book as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Tours. Thanks to Feiwel & Friends for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3 stars The Girl on the Ferris Wheel was a realistic YA contemporary about high school life, first love, culture and family. It also has good representation for anxiety and depression especially through the lens of a young adult. There were some pretty sombre and raw moments with Eliana's depression that were heartbreaking and hard-hitting but I thought it accurately represented what it's like living with mental illness, at the same time without being overwhelming particularly for the younger audience this book is targeted to. Through Dimitri and Eliana's story, the authors perfectly highlight the highs and lows that come as part of the teenage package. They capture that blend of cynicism and hope, and a sometimes endearing and sometimes irritating brashness of character, but also the sweet and funnily awkward moments between friends, first loves, and family. As I'm not the target audience for this book, I personally had a difficult time also fully connecting with Dimitri and Eliana--there were certainly relatable moments but I swung between liking them and finding them frustrating throughout the read. Eliana, in particular, was a character I'd hoped to connect with more especially as someone who has experienced the same mental health issues from that age, but frankly, she was mean and I found her bitterness (mainly towards her dad) quite scathing. I really enjoyed reading about Dimitri's big Greek family. Does it feed into the stereotype of conservative, loud and rambunctious Greek families portrayed in the media? A little bit, yeah, but in contrast to Eliana's toned-down family interactions, Dimitri's family brought such life to the page and it was so refreshing. I especially loved his Yia Yia and his younger brother, Nicky, and I wished we got much more time with those two because they were so loveable! Eliana and Dimitri's relationship, a first for both of them, played a central role in the story and it really threw me back to the awkward firsts of my own high school relationships--the first date, first kiss, first time holding hands, first butterflies and heart swoops full of nervous excitement. It was quite nice and also funny! They definitely had their sweet moments that had me going 'aw' but at the same time, most of my frustration was a result of their relationship due to a lack of communication, as well as how these two (re)act. I won't go into details because that leads to spoiler territory, but I'll say that while I did become irritated with these two, I knew I was observing them through my current (older) lense, and the more I thought about it, I realised that I probably would've reacted similarly in certain instances when I was a teenager. Ultimately, despite a lot of teenage drama, angst and heartbreak, I was quite happy with how the story ended for both our characters. It brought a happy sense of peace and contentment and I thought it was the perfect way to end the story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shivani

    TW: depression; anxiety; mention of suicide; death of a loved one This book may have been something I possibly could have liked in middle school or early high school, but for me now, it seems a bit juvenile. I don’t think the plot or things that the characters did were very exaggerated because I remember high school, people did some wild things in my high school, so I understood where the authors were coming from, I just don’t think I was the intended audience for the book and it just didn’t mesh TW: depression; anxiety; mention of suicide; death of a loved one This book may have been something I possibly could have liked in middle school or early high school, but for me now, it seems a bit juvenile. I don’t think the plot or things that the characters did were very exaggerated because I remember high school, people did some wild things in my high school, so I understood where the authors were coming from, I just don’t think I was the intended audience for the book and it just didn’t mesh with me. The characters were mediocre, I didn’t feel strongly towards any of them positively or negatively (except Yia Yia, loved that woman). I did find that one of the similarities between Eliana and me was that she hated being smothered or constantly being checked up on. At least for me, I like nice gestures and being checked on from time to time, but when it’s every single moment of every single day, it can be extremely suffocating, so I totally get where she was coming from in that aspect. The writing style was solid, I had no complaints about that either. I went into this book thinking it would just be a really sweet and simple high school love story, but it was far from simply being that. There’s a lot of talk about Greek and Jewish traditions since the main characters are from these backgrounds, I really liked that aspect of it. There’s also I think a decently realistic representation of depression? I feel like that’s a bit hard to comment on though because every person who has or has had depression deals with it differently, and when I used to have depression, I didn’t act in a similar fashion to the MC, but depression is subjective per person, so I feel like the authors did paint a realistic picture of what mental illness can be like. Overall, I genuinely think this book is a solid read, maybe for a younger audience in high school, or late middle school. There were some really cut moments that made me smile, so even though it wasn’t entirely for me, I would still recommend it to others to try! Characters: 5/10 Atmosphere: 6/10 Writing Style: 6/10 Plot: 5/10 Intrigue: 5/10 Logic: 5/10 Enjoyment: 5/10 Rating: 5.3 or 3 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Girl on the Ferris Wheel is a contemporary novel about Eliana and Dmitri, who are total opposites navigating first love. Eliana is an introvert living with depression, and Dmitri is very outgoing and confident. It was very interesting to see their relationship develop since they were so different. I didn’t connect with this story that well, but that isn’t because it wasn’t a good book. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more at a younger age, but it’s still a really sweet story. There were a l Girl on the Ferris Wheel is a contemporary novel about Eliana and Dmitri, who are total opposites navigating first love. Eliana is an introvert living with depression, and Dmitri is very outgoing and confident. It was very interesting to see their relationship develop since they were so different. I didn’t connect with this story that well, but that isn’t because it wasn’t a good book. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more at a younger age, but it’s still a really sweet story. There were a lot of times throughout the book that I found myself frustrated with Eliana or Dmitri for things that could have been fixed through communication. Having said that, it was very realistic, especially for a first love story. Overall, I think this would have been a book I really enjoyed when I was just getting into YA toward the end of middle school and the beginning of high school. It’s a very realistic book about first love, and I actually really appreciated the ending. I think it’s important for young adults to see that sometimes the most important part of a relationship is how it helped you grow as an individual.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brianna:)

    This wasn't what I was expecting. It was pretty cute, but it lacked originality. RTC Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars This wasn't what I was expecting. It was pretty cute, but it lacked originality. RTC Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rameela (Star)

    Initial Thoughts: I finished this book so fast but also I wanted to slap everyone I received this for the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review which is unbiased and honest. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this book. I thought it might just be a cute fun cliche romance but what I got was a rollercoaster of emotions and a really insightful narrative about love, heartbreak, mistakes and how anxiety and depression can impact it all. This book follows two Initial Thoughts: I finished this book so fast but also I wanted to slap everyone I received this for the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review which is unbiased and honest. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this book. I thought it might just be a cute fun cliche romance but what I got was a rollercoaster of emotions and a really insightful narrative about love, heartbreak, mistakes and how anxiety and depression can impact it all. This book follows two characters in a dual POV. Eliana is a Jewish girl that battles with depression. She loves movies and has a sarcastic and dry witty sense of humor that I really connected to. Dmitri is a easy-going friendly Greek boy in a punk rock band. Obviously, the story follows the both of them as they navigate their relationship and struggle with their own problems. It was so easy to read and honestly really fast paced. I related to both the characters in certain ways whether it be their inner turmoil or their family relationships or being a little hard-headed. I definitely wanted to punch the characters in the face a lot because–since they’re teenagers– they have the fault of assuming that everyone can read their minds and as a result they tended to do things that DIDN’T HELP. Usually I’m not a fan of the whole ‘miscommunication’ kind of trope but this book was addicting and I really couldn’t put it down even when I felt like it was going to be trainwreck (of emotions). I think that this book being told in dual POV was so perfectly done because we got to see what each character was really thinking about the relationship. While one was thinking it was totally perfect, the other felt trapped and bored and like they weren’t being understood. It was just a really emotional rollercoaster getting to know both these characters, flaws and all. I’m not an ownvoices reader at all so I can’t really comment on the representation, but I really related to the family aspects and the inner workings of their minds. Their thought process was just so engaging and even when I was angry at the characters, I still felt like I really understood why they would do whatever they did. If you enjoy movie commentary, writing songs to impress the love interest, dropping out of classes because why not, walking like…everywhere, the magic of first dates, and interesting family relationships I would definitely recommend this book. I think you’d enjoy this book if you’re looking for a really interesting discussion about depression. Pick this book up if you’re ready for a few laughs, probably some angry and irritated screaming, punk rock bands, sarcasm, best friends, and the best grandma ever.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] The “Girl on the Ferris Wheel” was a fun YA contemporary romance that accurately speaks about depression. There are many moments that I enjoyed in the story. The first thing which stood out for me was how realistic and relatable the author made the storyline. The plot, along with the characters, feel like reading a book of your next-door neighbors. You can easily connect with the characters and empathize with them. Then there [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] The “Girl on the Ferris Wheel” was a fun YA contemporary romance that accurately speaks about depression. There are many moments that I enjoyed in the story. The first thing which stood out for me was how realistic and relatable the author made the storyline. The plot, along with the characters, feel like reading a book of your next-door neighbors. You can easily connect with the characters and empathize with them. Then there is the sweet romance between Dimitri and Eliana. The two of them don’t have the perfect relationship. Besides, their friendship starts on a humorous, awkward note in a washroom setting. But they have charming chemistry. Eliana is a complex character and pretty much drives the storyline. I loved how well and accurately the author portrayed the character’s depression. On the other hand, Dimitri is the guy you immediately love because of his charm and eagerness. I loved the lengths he went through to prove his love for Eliana. I also loved Yia Yia’s character and the Greek terms that Dimitri’s family used in their dialogues. Also, many moments in the story stood out for me. I love their movie date night where they watch “Psycho” or where he tries to serenade her. The song Dimitri writes for her is also sweet. On a side note, the author makes numerous pop-culture references that are very entertaining! However, I felt the book ended abruptly. There were quite a few things that I felt did not get resolved. For instance, Dimitri’s parents are racist, and Daisy is a nasty character, but there is no closure to their plotlines. Apart from that, this was a cute story that I recommend if you are in the mood for a lovely contemporary Young Adult novel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    As a parent of a teenager, I felt that this book does a pretty good job at portraying today's teens. As a person who suffers from depression, and has done so since a very young age, I thought that the subject was handled well in the book. There were moments that I utterly loved the book. I had some laugh out loud moments that I shared with my family, who don't always want to hear me read to them but they tolerate it. Having been a substitute teacher, the moment he wonders if he has applied enoug As a parent of a teenager, I felt that this book does a pretty good job at portraying today's teens. As a person who suffers from depression, and has done so since a very young age, I thought that the subject was handled well in the book. There were moments that I utterly loved the book. I had some laugh out loud moments that I shared with my family, who don't always want to hear me read to them but they tolerate it. Having been a substitute teacher, the moment he wonders if he has applied enough Axe body spray had me reliving moments in the classroom when I thought I would suffocate from all the Axe body spray being used to cover up sweaty boy body odor after gym class. To some, it might not be the funniest line in the book, but it had me absolutely rolling. The characters are interesting. I enjoyed reading both of their POVs, though occasionally she got on my nerves a bit with her self-doubt. I can relate to her pretty well though, as she reminds me a bit of myself at that age. I found Dmitri to be a sweet boy that really tries in the relationship. I was rooting for them and their young love. I enjoyed the writing and the story. I am giving it three stars because, while I finished the book and liked the characters, I wasn't totally engrossed in the story. I easily lay it down to do other things. I felt that the story sometimes felt suitable for YA readers, but more often felt like it was written for younger readers, though with some topics that might not be for the young ones. I was hoping for something more. I am not sure what exactly, but it just didn't exactly deliver. I would definitely recommend this book to people if they asked for a decent young adult story, but I wouldn't call up all my friends and gush about it if that makes sense.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Connors-Beron

    Girl On The Farris Wheel tackles depression, anxiety, and first love all within the span of Eliana and Dmitri’s sophomore year of high school. The inner thoughts of Eliana are exactly what go through my own depressed and anxious mind. It made me really feel connected to her. Seeing it from Dmitri’s POV though had me in tears in one particular part because it made me feel awful about how those around me must feel when I’m having those periods of ‘I hate life’. It was tough to hear the struggle. Al Girl On The Farris Wheel tackles depression, anxiety, and first love all within the span of Eliana and Dmitri’s sophomore year of high school. The inner thoughts of Eliana are exactly what go through my own depressed and anxious mind. It made me really feel connected to her. Seeing it from Dmitri’s POV though had me in tears in one particular part because it made me feel awful about how those around me must feel when I’m having those periods of ‘I hate life’. It was tough to hear the struggle. Also, Dmitri is truly the oblivious teenaged boy (sorry for the stereotyping). He misses so many relationship bumps and the mood turn, which makes complete sense and also makes me want to smack him. I know mental illness is an internal sensation that is often masked by the person suffering so others are not ‘burdened’. But when you have your younger brother (Nicky who I adore) saying ‘hey, something’s up’ and you can’t see it, this some disconnect happening. And that happens ALL THE TIME in relationships. While beyond frustrating, it makes sense and the side characters are there to smack some sense into him. Eliana’s character development was powerful but Dmitri’s was non-existent. This review is kind of sounding like a Dmitri hate party so I want to clarify that Dmitri is a wonderful character. He is perfect for the role he has in the story and I wouldn’t want him to be changed at all. Overall, this was a great tug on the heartstrings book that reminds me of All The Bright Places. I do recommend this for anyone looking for a bumpy young love story filled with movie and Harry Potter references!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    I have to say this book did grab my attention at first as I thought the plot sounded like a good YA novel and I do love carnivals. Inside the pages were a different story as we meet two characters who are complete opposites except for the fact that they both love film. We have Dmitri who is a drummer in a band and is outgoing and then when have Eliana who is quiet and studious and only has one friend Janine whom we learn is like an Amazonian Goddess. Dmitri's family is Greek which I loved as Gre I have to say this book did grab my attention at first as I thought the plot sounded like a good YA novel and I do love carnivals. Inside the pages were a different story as we meet two characters who are complete opposites except for the fact that they both love film. We have Dmitri who is a drummer in a band and is outgoing and then when have Eliana who is quiet and studious and only has one friend Janine whom we learn is like an Amazonian Goddess. Dmitri's family is Greek which I loved as Greek families always present a closeness in books and Eliana's dad is a stay-at-home dad after his video/DVD shop went out of business and now he spends most of his time down in the basement watching movies. I did struggle a bit with this book as I hated the character of Eliana as she had so much self-doubt in herself and it got to a point where it became too much as she couldn't imagine someone like Dmitri liking her and it got to the point where I was like "freaking hell, wake up Eliana - can't you see he is trying". Girl on the Ferris Wheel is a coming-of-age story between two high school students who are trying to navigate family, life, high school, and hormones. This book also focuses on the fact that we don't normally see as in lots that we read are opposites attracting and they live HEA but Girl on the Ferris Wheel shows the dark side of what happens when your opposites only get you so far in the relationship? What happens when you run out of things that both of you might enjoy or talk about? Can opposites live a HEA or are they just kidding themselves?

  17. 5 out of 5

    itskoo

    **I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.** Halper and Vlaho took me on an emotional ride while navigating first love with Dmitri and Emilia. It reverted me to high school when insecurities were often at their pinnacle and love was thought to conquer everything. They successfully captured the ins and outs of a relationship, from the butterflies and sparks to the tears that often accompany the pain and confu **I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.** Halper and Vlaho took me on an emotional ride while navigating first love with Dmitri and Emilia. It reverted me to high school when insecurities were often at their pinnacle and love was thought to conquer everything. They successfully captured the ins and outs of a relationship, from the butterflies and sparks to the tears that often accompany the pain and confusion. While the book focuses on first love and a first relationship, many of the messages that can be taken away from Dmitri and Emilia’s relationship is universal to all relationships: relationships are hard and communication is key. And, oftentimes, to put our best foot forward in a relationship, we have to learn to love ourselves first. Emilia’s battle with depression was an added layer to her character and the relationship. I thought it was depicted fairly well, providing both the perspective of the person suffering from depression as well as someone who loves the person suffering from depression. Overall, I think Halper and Vlaho pretty much nailed it. It’s written well and I greatly enjoyed it. In terms of age level, it might fall at the lower end of YA fiction but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be enjoyed by those older—again, I enjoyed it a lot.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Thank you to Netgalley and Xpressotours for the opportunity to read and review this book. When it comes to this particular book, there are a lot of trigger warnings for depression, verbal abuse, and for an empath, this is a book that you will have issues with. For me personally, this book was something that I was intrigued by throughout the story, however at the end of it, it took a turn for the worse emotionally. But thankfully the lesson presented itself in the sense of romance cannot save you Thank you to Netgalley and Xpressotours for the opportunity to read and review this book. When it comes to this particular book, there are a lot of trigger warnings for depression, verbal abuse, and for an empath, this is a book that you will have issues with. For me personally, this book was something that I was intrigued by throughout the story, however at the end of it, it took a turn for the worse emotionally. But thankfully the lesson presented itself in the sense of romance cannot save you from yourself, you save yourself. There's Greek and Jewish representation, there's concerts, there's a ton of movie and Harry Potter references, and first love. The main issue I had or at least one I haven't commented on was that the boy was a bit too abrasive. Too rough on the girl in my personal opinion. I know he is a high school boy who was in puppy love, but not taking no for an answer was too much. There was also a ton of miscommunication involved but again high school contemporary. Overall though, it was a book that kept me on my toes, I would recommend it for someone who could relate to either leading character, but to keep in mind that it can be a rough road. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen (kmo.reads)

    I have been contemplating what to say about this book. It wasn't horrible. There were just several things I didn't like about it. For one, I am just not a fan of open endings. This may work for some, but not for me. I felt like there was also a lot of forced focus on the characters religions and way too many references to movies as well as multiple trigger warnings which other reviewers have covered. What I did like was the topic of depression. The characters were 10th graders and it is important I have been contemplating what to say about this book. It wasn't horrible. There were just several things I didn't like about it. For one, I am just not a fan of open endings. This may work for some, but not for me. I felt like there was also a lot of forced focus on the characters religions and way too many references to movies as well as multiple trigger warnings which other reviewers have covered. What I did like was the topic of depression. The characters were 10th graders and it is important to talk about depression. Eliana struggled to get out of bed some mornings even when as an outsider looking in-- her world seemed to be going great. Clearly, this was not the case. We got to see her struggle and the struggle her boyfriend, Demmi faced when trying to help her. Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan for the #gifted copy of the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plu More of a YA title due to language.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Quan

    Really enjoyed the flow between the two characters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ecopy to read in exchange for a review! I want to start this review off by saying that when it comes to this book I think the reason it didn’t work for me is that it read more on the lower side of YA. I do think that a lot of teens will be able to relate to this book. I really wanted to enjoy this book after reading a book by one of the authors earlier this year. The cover is also a bonus! The book has an interesting format as it is split into differe Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ecopy to read in exchange for a review! I want to start this review off by saying that when it comes to this book I think the reason it didn’t work for me is that it read more on the lower side of YA. I do think that a lot of teens will be able to relate to this book. I really wanted to enjoy this book after reading a book by one of the authors earlier this year. The cover is also a bonus! The book has an interesting format as it is split into different seasons. Throughout each season there are two point-of-views, one for Eliana and one for Dmitri. In a book about falling in love, it’s always nice to see the split point-of-view because it helps to see each side of the relationship. Both of the main characters are learning what it’s like to be in relationship for the first time. It’s not easy, especially when you are young. I don’t think that the drama was over the top and could see each instance playing out in real life. Eliana struggles with her mental health and that does a play a role in some of the issues they have. I do think that the authors covered the topic fairly well and didn’t use it as a way to create more drama between them. Another thing I liked was the setting. As a girl who grew up in Minnesota, it was cool to read about locations that I have been to. One of the reasons I couldn’t get into the book was the writing itself. Some of it just felt clunky and it didn’t feel like the YAs I usually read. I also mentioned above it just felt like it was on the lower end of the YA spectrum. This is just personal preference. Overall, it was an okay book for me but I know that in the hands of other readers it will be a great book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    i already hate this book but i will possibly read it so i can give it a bad review. i have heard enough about eliana's butt for a lifetime 1/5 review to come edit: never mind i can't spend my time doing this i already hate this book but i will possibly read it so i can give it a bad review. i have heard enough about eliana's butt for a lifetime 1/5 review to come edit: never mind i can't spend my time doing this

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kara R

  26. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kay Frankfurt

  29. 5 out of 5

    Books, Tea, Healthy Me

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lira

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