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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 35

Hey, everyone! It’s Monday again, which means I’m back with another “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” post, hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. Unfortunately, it was a really slow week for me, reading-wise. Hopefully. it picks up!

What I Read Recently: 

What I’m Currently Reading:

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What I’m Planning to Read Next: 

Well, that’s all for now! I hope I get to finish all these books this week! I’ll just have to wait another week to see if I’ve met my goals! 😉 What books are you reading or planning to read this week? Let me know in the Comments Section below!

–  Sumaya

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ARC Review: Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley

Summary

Debut author Alex Evansley delivers a sweet summer romance in this inventive novel about a young heartthrob and teen author falling in love.

Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, especially if he’d nailed an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of the newest bestselling young adult book series. There’s just one problem: He totally blew the audition. And he’s stuck in a tiny North Carolina airport. And his maybe-ex-girlfriend kind of just broke up with him.

The weekend isn’t exactly looking good until Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her family’s lake house. Away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood for a few days, Teddy starts to relax . . . and somehow he and Bennett just click. But dating is hard enough when you aren’t the subject of several dozen fanblogs, and the Internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy and Bennett . . . gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

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Hello, fellow readers! I’m back with another review! Today’s review is on Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley. From the blurb alone, I knew I wanted to read the book. It had all the things I liked: movies, acting, writing, YA novels, a romantic relationship between the actor and writer. But even with all these factors going for the book, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

Don’t get me wrong; the beginning was pretty great. I loved reading Teddy’s perspective and seeing how nervous he was with things that mattered to him. Also, it allowed readers to delve a bit more into his character to understand the motivations behind his actions. And yeah, I didn’t always agree with his choices, but most of the time, I understood where he was coming from (except this one part where, for the life of me, I can’t wrap my head around).

And then the POV switch happened and Bennet became the protagonist. This is when things started to go downhill for me. I just felt as if Bennett’s POV was too much for me sometimes, because I didn’t understand the reason why she pushed Teddy away. Maybe it was because of trust issues or just because she’s a private person. Either way, it doesn’t explain why acted the way she did after knowing someone for two days! And what’s worse is that we know she can be witty and a joy to talk to, seeing how she was in the first half of the novel through Teddy’s POV, but by the second half, she’s pretty reclusive and is prone to biting people’s heads off. I’m not saying that protagonists shouldn’t have an off day or feel angry or lash out, because that’s the whole point to them being relatable. What I don’t like is the fact that her feelings seem too strong for barely knowing someone. But that’s just my opinion; feel free to disagree!

Well, that’s all I have to say about Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley. It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, but overall, it was okay. If anyone wants to read it though, the book is coming out this Tuesday June 12th!

Have a nice day, everyone!

– Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

Summary

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

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Hi, everyone! I’m back with another review, this one being on My Plain Jane, a retelling of the classic Jane Eyre. Now if I’m being honest, the fact that it was a retelling of Jane Eyre was probably a main reason why I was interested in this novel. I tried to read My Lady Jane, and despite it’s interesting blurb and cover, I just couldn’t get into it. And for a good moment, I thought the same thing would happen with My Plain Jane, but after a couple of chapters, I found the book to be really neat!

First of all, Charlotte Brontë is in it! And apparently she and Jane are BFF! I love how the authors pulled on the fact that they were so many similarities between them, but are also able to contrast to create an effect, for instance in terms of healthy relationships. Also, the fact that we had a commentary other than Jane, who can maintain a bit more objective is great. Because that commentary coincides with Mr. Rochester’s questionable actions, and honestly, it’s amazing!

Paired with the fact that it’s about ghosts and people who hunt them, My Plain Jane is a thrilling retelling that will you leave you second-guessing and wanting more! I especially love how the modern paranormal genre fits into the gothic novel so effortlessly! Plus, the novel had so many references from other works, like The Princess Bride, The Shining, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. It just made the book more enjoyable to read when catching a reference.

Overall, I really liked reading My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows. This retelling makes me really want to go back to the original and read it again. Even after all that sarcastic commentary about it. Especially after all that sarcastic commentary about it. And to anyone who is interested, the book is in stores today!

Have you read Jane Eyre or any other Jane Eyre retellings? Let me know in the Comments Section below!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 34

Hey there, fellow readers! It’s been a while since I participated in this meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date, but out of all the memes I’ve done, this is by far one of my favourites. Possibly because I get to talk about which books I’m reading without revealing too much. It also gives me a chance to see what others are reading as well! 😉

What I Read Recently:

invisible ghosts

What I’m Currently Reading:

my plain jane

What I’m Planning to Read Next:

Well, that’s all for now! Hopefully, I get through these books this week! My Plain Jane is taking a bit longer than I thought it would, but I’m still loving it! 😉  And now, I get to turn the tables on you! What are you currently reading? Feel free to share in the Comments Section below!

Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Summary

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another book review, this one being on The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Now, while the book’s summary did entice me when I first heard about it, I soon realized that this was a book written in verse, which I’m not really used it. But I gave it a chance nonetheless, and I’m glad that I did, because this book was amazing!

In the past, whenever I have read poetry. it usually got me in this confused state where I felt I had to interpret every single line and I still wouldn’t get it. This book is probably a bit different, being narrative poetry, but I found myself racing through the pages, wanting to read more. Not only did I appreciate the way the story developed, but I also appreciated how it was written. It made me reconsider reading poetry and and got me to read The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace (which is a pretty good book, btw).

As for the characters, I really appreciated how complex they were in this book. Before reading The Poet X, I would assume that poetry wouldn’t have been able to delve into someone’s personality, at least enough for me to be satisfied. But I love how this book proved me wrong, describing a lot of Xiomara’s experiences and how they defined her. The relationships she has with her friends and family as well as what they mean to her are fully in view, even the messy contradicting bits.

Overall, The Poet X is a fantastically written book that I would recommend to anyone, even people who say they don’t like poetry! 😉 Have any of you read The Poet X? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the Comments below!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

– Sumaya

ARC Review: Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Summary

Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother’s death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends–a group of magnificently silly theater nerds–while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life–and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn’t telling her the whole truth.

All Rose knows is that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

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Hi, everyone! I’m back! Before I start talking about this book, I’d like to say thanks to anyone who has given me advice about my reading slump problem. I’m currently rereading The Alice series, and I’m having fun with it so far, even though there are a few odd things that I haven’t noticed before… But I’m still rereading with a passion, so I guess it’s not too bad. The series still contains a lot of gems, though. But enough about that; let’s talk about Invisible Ghosts!

Now, if I’m being honest, I was really, really excited for anything written by Robyn Schneider. Especially after The Beginning of Everything and Extraordinary Means. I kept on going back to her Goodreads page over and over again, just to see if she was writing a book and when it would come out. When I finally found out more about the book she was writing, there was nothing that could have stopped me from reading it! Especially since it also had to do with theatre! That hype is probably why it ended up being more of a miss than it would have otherwise. I was just too invested to the point where my expectations would never be met.

It’s not that I didn’t like the characters. They were interesting enough. I especially like Rose and her brother’s relationship, even though it kind of worried me in the beginning. And her friends were pretty fun, albeit a bit slippery. But overall, the dynamic of the characters and dialogue were worth reading.

It was actually the world-building and mythology that didn’t appeal to me as much. There was just so much left open to guessing in that area. Where exactly did Rose and Jamie’s ability to see ghosts come from? How come ghosts haven’t been popping up everywhere Rose goes? How do ghosts affect Rose versus Jamie? And that’s just the tip of the question iceberg! 😉

So, in the end, I didn’t enjoy Invisible Ghosts as much as I thought I would, but I’m glad I got a chance to read another one of Robyn Schneider’s novels. And for anyone who is interested, Invisible Ghosts comes out on June 5th, 2018!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

– Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

It’s Official: I’m in a Reading Slump

Hi, everyone! Sorry for disappearing on you! It’s just that I’ve been faced with a reading slump and have no idea what to do about it. Every book I try to read starts off as enticing, but then I end up bored with it. Usually, when this happens I just read another genre, but that doesn’t seem to be working…

If you have any advice on what to do when in a reading slump, I would love to hear it!

Have a nice day!

– Sumaya

Toronto Prose Mill is Holding an Open Call for Submissions!

Hi, everyone! I just wanted to let all the Canadian writers who follow this blog know that Toronto Prose Mill is accepting short stories for its second issue. Toronto Prose Mill is a literary journal dedicated to publishing short stories by Canadian writers.

Please send all submissions via email to torontoprosemill@gmail.com by May 1st at 11:59 pm, and ensure that they meet the criteria below:

– Stories can be submitted in the ‘Submission’ field by copying and pasting, as a Google Doc link, or sent by email to torontoprosemill@gmail.com so long as authors’ names do not appear anywhere in the document, including the file name *WARNING copy and pasting will alter the formatting of the story
– Each story can be up to 8,000 words in length; there is no minimum word count
– Works must not have been previously published
– Works must be written by the individual(s) submitting the piece(s) for consideration
– Co-authored works must be accompanied by all authors’ approval in order for such submissions to be considered for publication
– Submission forms are confidential and will only be viewed by the Toronto Prose Mill team

If there are any questions or concerns about the submission form please send an email to torontoprosemill@gmail.com. Also, for further information about Toronto Prose Mill, feel free to check out its site!

Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

 

 

ARC Review: Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Summary 

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

pink3

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another review, this one being on Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian. This is actually the first book that I’ve read by the author, but the premise sounded sweet (pun 100% intended), so I thought I’d give it a whirl and request it. Luckily, the publisher granted my request on NetGalley and I got a chance to read the book!

When I first started reading this book, I had high hopes for an enticing plot. And while I did like reading the book overall, sometimes, I would get a bit bored, waiting for something big to happen. It wasn’t until the end where big strides were made in change, and even then, readers don’t get to see how it pans outs. Which is okay for a standalone, but in this case, I wanted to see more action than what I got. The diary entries of Molly Meade were interesting, though. It gave readers a bit more history regarding Meade Creamery.

As for the characters, I didn’t really connect with any of them. But I did respect their development throughout the book, like Amelia, Grady, and even Cate. They all start the summer uncertain of aspects within their life, only for it to be more rectified by the summer’s end. I did admired Amelia’s gumption at the end of the novel. It was great to see her find her passion! I think that’s the time when she really shined (at least, for me).

Well, that’s all I have to say about Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian. While the novel didn’t grab my attention sometimes, I thought that it was good overall. Has anyone else read anything by Siobhan Vivian? If you did, which of her works would you recommend that I read next? Also, Stay Sweet is coming out this Tuesday, for those of you who are interested. 😉

Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

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

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