Book Review: You Only Live Once by Jess Vallance

book review

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2018
Is it a part of a series?: Yes, Gracie Dart #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy Links: Kinokuniya Malaysia 
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Source: Huge thanks to Pansing Books for the ARC copy.


The start of a hilarious new teen series for fans of Geek Girl.

Gracie Dart has always worked hard and she's got a wall covered with revision timetables and French verbs to prove it. But now GCSEs are behind her and she suddenly starts to think: what was the POINT of it all?

When Gracie thinks she's dying of a disgusting tropical illness, she starts to worry she's been wasting her best years being sensible. It's like people say: you only live once - so isn't it about time she started LIVING?
(OK, so the tropical illness turned out to be a fake-tan miscalculation. Anyone could make the same mistake.) 

When Gracie decides to do something, she does it properly. Gracie Dart is about to live out her dreams. However embarrassing.


You Only Live Once is a story about Gracie Dart, who is the studious type of girl and a very well organized person, making a plan before doing any activity. Rather than being out and about, she much more prefers to hang at a library or at home to finish writing her essay and/or doing a revision. Somehow, her near-death experience (not really much of that) has made her decision to do things she never did before and try out every single thing that she really wants to do and along the way, she learns a lot.

I think everyone has your ultimate bucket lists things to do before you die. This is what Gracie, the main character is doing in this book after her near-death experience. Her character was okay and then, I felt kinda annoyed with her like you want to do this, you need to be chill and let's follow the flow. Throughout the chapter, we can see that she starts to change, from kind of nerd to want to try new things to kinda a  bit rebel to someone who learns things through the journey of living the moment. 

Honestly, I like the idea of the author and her writing was good that the character is really spot on - the teenage's phase although, Gracie's character does not really connect with me throughout the book and I have to refrain myself from a roll my eyes so much on her (erkkk, sorry!). I don't think I like her character. 

However, I do feel like there are some of Gracie's story that I have experienced before especially the part, I don't really enjoy my days much when I was in high school, more on study sometimes hanging out with my friends and that's that. I want to try something new but I was afraid to do so while, Gracie, she gets to try new adventure things with her motto of 'living the moments' and in some way, she met some friends and cutting off friendship with a friend that she been with before. The author brings out the idea of 'if you follow this kind of friends, you may end up been distracted and you're not who you use to be also cutting friends who have been there for you all this while" in which, it's really happened in real life, as well, isn't it?

Overall, it was quick and light reading. There are some funny/ humor moments in the book, even so, the concept is there, I like that, somehow, I'm hoping I could connect more with the whole story, unfortunately, it didn't give that much connection that I'm hoping it has on me.