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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 18

Hey there, wonderful readers! I’m back with another post of “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. As I guessed, I didn’t make my reading goals last week. But seeing as I was really busy, I wasn’t too torn up about it. I’m really excited for the books I’m reading this week, though! 😀

What I Read Recently: 

top-ten

What I’m Currently Reading: 

i hate everyone but you.jpg

What I’m Planning to Read Next: 

neighborhood girls

So that’s what I want to read this week! I think I can pull it off. 😉 What’s everyone else reading this week? Let me know in the Comments Section below!

–  Sumaya

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ARC Review: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Summary

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of best friends. Prickly, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ultra-popular Ryan is a hockey star who can get any girl he wants—and frequently does. But somehow their relationship just works; from dorky Monopoly nights to rowdy house parties to the top ten lists they make about everything under the sun.

Now, on the night of high school graduation, everything is suddenly changing—in their lives, and in their relationship. As they try to figure out what they mean to each other and where to go from here, they make a final top ten list: this time, counting down the top ten moments of their friendship.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating: red3-5

Hi, everyone! I’ve just finished reading Top Ten by Katie Cotugno and I just had to talk about it! It’s pretty enjoyable overall, but there were some parts I just couldn’t get into. It’s funny, but I didn’t expect myself to get as invested so quickly as I did with this book! Now if only the chronology of the story was a bit more linear…

Like i said, I had an issue with the chronology. At first, it was fine, with a flashback explaining the foundation of Gabby and Ryan’s friendship. But then it just got super complicated for me when there was a huge gap in time, only to go back in time again to fill in the blanks. Not only did I know exactly what was going to happen, and basically had the book spoil the book for me, but I felt really confused about why the author was playing with their time line. It seemed as if there were a reason for it, yet I didn’t know why. If someone could explain it to me, now or in the near future, I’d be eternally grateful! 😉 However, once I got past that part, I started to enjoy the book again.

I think Katie Cotugno did a really good job with her main characters, Gabby and Ryan, though. They seemed fully fleshed out on the page to the point where I don’t think I preferred one character over the other, but liked them both, which is rare for me. Usually, I have a favourite character in dual POVs; not this time, though! And that’s nice. To me, it shows that the author didn’t develop one character over the other, or try to make the readers sympathetic to one protagonist. Did I think there were moments where these characters could be a bit much? Yeah, but since both of them were a bit much at times, it didn’t really matter in choosing a favourite character. The only thing I could say that was missing from this book character-wise is more inclusion of the secondary characters. Sometimes, they’d drop off the face of the Earth, only to resurface without any explanation or summary of where they’d been.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Top Ten by Katie Cotugno! I liked it, but not enough to get passed what happened in the second half of the book… If you’re looking for a book with great protagonists though, this would be the one! And for those of you who are wondering, Top Ten comes out on October 3rd, 2017. Any other questions about the book that you might have are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading! 🙂

–  Sumaya

I received this copy from the publisher via HarperCollins Canada and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Book Bargain: Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway

Hey there, fellow book lovers! Just wanted to let you all know that on Amazon Kindle, Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway is only 1.99 CAD! It’s one of my favourite Contemporary reads, hands-down, so if you’re looking for a good contemporary, look no further than Emmy and Oliver!

Have a nice day, everyone. 🙂

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 77

Hello, fellow book lovers! Welcome back to another Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a weekly meme I host. What happens is that I compare two different covers of a book and give my opinion of which cover looks better. Feel free to give your opinion of these covers as well! And this week’s covers are:

1.  Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ulman

everything beautiful.jpg or everything beautiful 2.jpg

Second cover hands-down! Even though both covers look similar, I like the second cover’s absence of curtains, even though they pertain to the story being told. Without the curtains, I can appreciate the night sky a bit more, especially with exquisite depiction of stars! Then there’s the typography, which doesn’t draw attention away from the background, the obvious star of the cover. What I’m trying to say is that there’s a balance between typography design and cover art that I really like!

2. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

they both.jpg or they both 2.jpg

Huge fan of the first cover! I love the detailed illustration, especially the shadows on the buildings and of the boys. Plus, I think it’s safe to say that I’m real sucker for starry sky backdrops! There’s just something so peaceful and ethereal about them that just appeals to me… The second cover attempts a more playful approach but ends up looking random to me, with the huge hourglass and the boys standing on top of it… Now if the boys were in the hourglass, that would make for an interesting cover, at least in my opinion.

3. All is Beauty Now by Sarah Faber

all is beauty or all is beauty 2.jpg

While the first cover is okay, it has nothing on the gorgeousness of the second one! 😉  I love the splash of colour and the brightness involved as well as how the leaves frame the edges of the cover. It seems as if the illustrator had put a lot of detail into eve the placement of their cover art, which I really admire! Then there’s the bold typography that suits the cover well without overwhelming it too much.

4. Uglies by Scott Westerfield

uglies .jpg or uglies 2.jpg

In this case, I prefer cover number two over the first one. The second cover is more simplistic in its depiction than the first, yet it still is able to convey the plot through just one image. The first cover, however, seems to rely on a bunch of scenes put together into a collage. Instead of clarifying the book’s subject matter, it just makes things more confusing and unnecessarily complicated.

That’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice night!

–  Sumaya

ARC Review: Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Summary

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.

1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer’s going to be great.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating: black3

(3.25 stars)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hey, everyone! Another day, another book to talk about! And today, I’d like to express my thoughts on Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson. Now, Lily Anderson has already written a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing and Not Now, Not Ever is her second go at another retelling, this time of The Importance of Being Earnest. What really drew me into reading Not Now, Not Ever was the camp aspect of it all. I always love reading about summer camp and thought that this book would be no exception. Except it kind of was…

Now, when I say kind of, I mean that I liked some parts of the book and wasn’t much a fan of other parts. I’d have to encourage myself to read the book instead of wanting to read it on my own at times. There would be moments where nothing would happen, and then wham – the plot thickens. While those latter moments were great to read, it didn’t make up for the fact that I was previously bored and, for a good chunk of the book, wanted to  move onto something else. Then there was that ending, which left me more confused than not. The book’s conclusion just left me with more questions than answers to the point where I wasn’t at all satisfied with it.

Also, I didn’t really like the protagonist as much as I thought I would. In the beginning, I couldn’t really relate to her and the choices she makes, but I did warm up to her nearer to the middle. By the end though, I was back to square one in not understanding her decisions again. I preferred reading about other characters though, like Leigh, Jams, Hunter, Meg, even Trixie and Ben! Sure, Elliot/Ever could be really fun sometimes, but I thought she was way too rash and in the end, I didn’t witness much character development from her.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson. I know that a lot of people loved this book, but, for me, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I would recommend it for people who like retellings as there are a whole bunch of references from the book’s primary source, The Importance of Being Earnest. If you have any thoughts or questions about the book, I’ll be happy to answer them in the Comments Section below. And for those of you who are wondering, Not Now, Not Ever is released on  November 21st, 2017. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 17

Hey, everybody! Long time, no see! But now I’m back with a new segment of “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”, hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. Here’s what I’m reading this week.

What I Read Recently: 

What I’m Currently Reading:

top-ten

What I’m Planning to Read Next:

Well. that’s all for now! To be honest with you, I don’t think I’m going to complete my goals for this week, but here’s to hoping that I at least read Top Ten! I would really like to start reading Neighborhood Girls, though…What is everyone else reading this week? Feel free to answer in the Comments Section below! Have a wonderful day! 🙂

–  Sumaya

Review: Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens

Summary 

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity.

Sourced from Goodreads. 

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Review

My rating:

blue4 copy

Hey, everyone! First review in a long while but I’m ready to get back into writing more of these. 😉 Anyways, I recently read a book that I consumed in one sitting- Dress Codes for Small Towns– and I have to say that it’s pretty amazing!

First of all, Billie is a protagonist I loved reading about. That’s always a good thing because most of the time, the protagonist usually drives my love of a book. Not in terms of whether they’re good or bad, but whether I think they’re good, in terms of being either believable, relatable, or just plain interesting. And Billie is no doubt a great protagonist. Whether it’s with her friends, her dad or herself, you know that Billie has a big heart and will do what she thinks is right in the end. It doesn’t matter that she has a few mishaps on the way. She’s become so endearing to me that I was rooting for her all throughout the book!

I liked reading about the secondary characters and their complexity, too. These characters made the plot super engaging! You couldn’t help but love every single one of them! You can feel the love Billie has for her friends and the love they have for her back. I think what helped was that the story wasn’t in just Billie’s POV, but her friends as well. You not only get a better sense of Billie’s friends, but Billie as well, through their eyes.

Overall, Dress Codes for Small Towns is a nice contemporary novel that challenges views about gender norms within society while keeping a sort of lightness to it. I thought that it was pretty enjoyable read and would definitely recommend it to others. Well, that’s all I have to say about it for now. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Dress Codes for Small Towns has been out since August 22rd, so feel free to check it out when you get the chance! Thanks for reading! 🙂

–  Sumaya

I received this copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Which Cover Wednesday 76

Hey there, fellow readers! It’s been awhile but welcome back to another Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a meme I host where I show two different covers of the same book and choose which one is better (in my opinion). And you can join in on the fun as well by commenting on your favourite covers in the section below.

Without further ado, here are this week’s covers:

1.  My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

my best friend's exorcism.jpg or my best friend's exorcism-2.jpg

Really loving the second cover! While I do admit that the first cover is great with its yearbook image displaying those 80s style haircuts as well as its cute typography, it’s got nothing on cover number two! OMG! The second cover looks like a VHS tape and has a Stranger Things vibe going for it! Plus, I’m a big fan of its use of colour! 😉

2. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

worstnightmares.jpg or worstnightmares2.jpg

In this case, I’d go with the first cover. I like the background colour as well as its symmetrical use of cover art. This cover creates an illusion of filling more space than the second one, which appears to be more blank with a lobster being the only image. I’m not going to lie; it has pretty decent typography, but I feel as if the cover could have benefited from strengthening its other attributes.

3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young

blood-red-road.jpg or blood-red-road-2

To be honest, at first, I was really into the second cover. But now, I admire the amount of detail given to the first cover, from the depiction of the sandstorm to the epic typography and the dynamic movement of the model.  Don’t get me wrong; the second cover’s nice. I just like the first one more! 😉

4. Wildlife by Fiona Wood

wildlife.jpg or wildlife-2.jpg

This one’s kind of tough since, to me, these covers give off a different feel to the story. That being said, I really like the first cover, seeing as it has a lighter mood to it, what with the cloud typography and the fact that both models are presumably relaxing and looking up at the sky. The whole cover seems idyllic, at least in my opinion. The second cover, while possessing an amazing background, doesn’t share the idyllic bliss seen in cover number one. In fact, when I look at this cover, it seems as if the models are contemplating on their problems…

Well, that’s all I have to say for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Now I’d love to hear from you! What did you think of this week’s covers? If there’s any that caught your eye, give it a shout out in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Book Bargain: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Hey, everyone! I know I’ve been gone for a long time, and I’d like to apologize for that. I recently started an internship and things have been really hectic lately. I will try my best to keep posting from now on, but I probably will have moments where I’m super silent. 😉

Anyways, I wanted to let everyone know that Paper Princess by Erin Watt is $1.25 CAD on Kobo and only $0.99 CAD on Amazon Kindle and iBooks! So I say this to anyone who has ever wanted read this great, great soap opera of a book: buy it now! 😀

Have a wonderful day, everyone! And keep reading!

–  Sumaya

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