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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

Month

May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s topic is on beach reads and you’ll be able to tell from my list that to me, beach read usually equals romance or contemporary! 😉 I guess there could be other novels that you’d bring to the beach with you (to each their own), but I’d look for something light and easy, usually without a cliffhanger. Well, instead of explaining it, why don’t I just show you? Here are books that I think are beach reads:

1. The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

I just love the theater aspect of the book as well as emotional issues being resolved!

2. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

This one’s just too cute for words!

3. A Match Made in High School by Kristen Walker

Because you’d never see this happening at high school! 😉

4. The Siren by Kiera Cass

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It’s not just a beach read because of the cover! 

5. Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

It was such a quick read! 🙂

6. Last Chance (or Keeping the Moon) by Sarah Dessen

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Coincidently, this book is set in the summer… 😀 

7. Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

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Another book set in summer, but a really enjoyable read, nonetheless!

8. Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

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Such a sweet standalone! 

9. The Fairy Tale’s Return and Other Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine

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A few good stories that people can choose to read in which ever order they want!

10. For the Record by Charlotte Huang

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Summertimes tours and all their drama! 😉

So that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Do the titles match on any of your Top Ten or are titles you’ve read before? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section below! Even if you haven’t read or recognized these books, I’d still love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments! Well, that’s all for now! Tune in next week for another Top Ten. Have a nice night, everyone!

-Sumaya

 

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Swoon Reads and its Impact on Publishing

For those of you who don’t know, Swoon Reads is an imprint of Feiwel and Friends (which is also an imprint of Macmillan) that was established in 2014. It is similar to Wattpad, but instead of it being a community that is based on noncommercial writing, Swoon Reads clearly has the goal of publishing in mind. Prospective authors of Young Adult romance are encouraged to submit a manuscript online, where it will then be assessed by an online community of readers in these categories: heat, laughs, tears, and thrills. Readers also have the option to write a detailed review of the novel they have just read, which the author then receives. If the publisher believes that the story has enough popularity, then they will publish the story in both print and eBook format. Some of the books from Swoon Reads include A Little Something Different, Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, All the Feels, Been Here All Along, and so much more!

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The impact Swoon Reads has on the publishing industry is that it allows discoverability of certain stories by an online community of readers. This allows people from all over the world access to Swoon Reads’ submitted manuscripts. Additionally, Swoon Reads forgoes the barrier between publisher and reader, with the publisher using reader reviews to determine which titles are worth publishing based on an established platform of readers willing to support its release. Not only does the publisher have direct access to readers’ thoughts, but writers can also interact with readers before the editing process. Swoon Reads allows writers to receive feedback from readers before the book is considered for publishing. If nothing, submitting a manuscript at Swoon Reads is a learning experience, teaching writers via constructive criticism. What’s great about Swoon Reads is that there is no downfall to submitting a manuscript, seeing as worse-scenario is receiving criticism for the work while best-scenario is gaining popularity and being published.

However, while Swoon Reads is a great way for books to be published, there are still a few minor adjustments that can be made. One is that the Swoon Reads tech team should work on an app that writers can use to monitor their views and comments as well as readers being able to save and read books from there. Even though people can read from their mobile through a browser, the book is not saved indefinitely. Once an app is developed for Swoon Reads, it will create more ease among users who contribute to the feedback of an author’s work.

Overall, Swoon Reads is a great place to start for people with YA romance manuscripts and has an advantage that most publishers don’t: a direct link to the reading community. It shows that this imprint is dedicated to bringing readers the stories that they want.

-Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 21

Hello, fellow bloggers and readers! It’s already the middle of the week, which means two things: the weekend’s coming soon and Which Cover Wednesday is upon us! Which Cover Wednesday is a meme that I host in which I compare two covers of the same book and give my opinion on which cover is better. And I’m not the only one who can participate! You can, too! Just leave your comments in the Comments Section below, if you have any thoughts about these covers! Well, without further ado:

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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For this first title, I’d go with the second cover. Both covers are pretty amazing, but the second one seems to create mystery, with the old crumbling house opening its door slightly, all the books lying around and that handprint! Oh, the architecture! 🙂

2. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

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In this case, I’d go with the first cover, because I like its typography as well as the main image of the book compared to the second one. Cover number two’s main image is a flower, and doesn’t appear to be appropriate for its genre…

3. Beastly by Alex Flinn

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First cover again! This cover of Beastly is a classic, so simple and elegant with the flower coming out of the Y like its own stem! While the second cover builds on the first (in matters of typography), and is an amazing cover in its own right, I think that the model on the cover diminishes its power, since it isn’t the protagonist and our main focus, Kyle Kingsbury, who is on the cover.

4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

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So far, so many gorgeous covers! I’m really impressed with the covers of Across the Universe because. each one has the potential to bring in a variety of readers.  If they like romance, then readers are more likely to go for the first cover, with its fairytale-esque cover. But if readers are searching for a Sci-Fi adventure, then using the second cover would be the better choice to entice the target audience. I honestly have no major issue with either cover, only that I personally like the first cover with the colours and space background! 😉  Other than that, I believe that both covers are great within their own right.

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Have any thoughts on these covers? I’d love to hear them! Also, if you have any suggestions for next week’s Which Cover Wednesday (theme, covers to discuss, etc.), then feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below! Have a wonderful day, everyone! 🙂

-Sumaya

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hello again! It feels like a long time has passed since last Tuesday! Anyways, another Tuesday means another Top Ten list, this time focusing on books I feel differently about over time (whether I liked or hated a title more after a while). The topic itself was kind of hard for me, since there aren’t many single books that I could think of (instead, I would be able to think of series that I feel differently about). But I succeeded in making a list of titles I’ve changed my mind about, for better or for worse. Here they are:

1. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

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This is actually a book I liked after some time has passed, due to it setting up the story later on in the series…

2. Keep Your Hands Off My Oranguatan! by Mallory Tarcher

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I remember first being unable to read it and after a while, finding it enjoyable… 

3. Matched by Ally Condie

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This was one that I fell out of interest with because of the whole Dystopian scene at the time. 😉

4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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Rereading this was really difficult. It made me question why I enjoyed it the first time…

5. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

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Enjoyed it less later on as I thought about the characters, especially Greta.

6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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I didn’t like it in the beginning and my dislike for the story only grows. 😛 

7. Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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This is a book I’ve enjoyed more and more over the years! 😀

8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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At first I didn’t like it, but after a while, I learned to like the concept… 😉 

9. Alice in Rapture, Sort Of by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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I got this at the school book sale and never thought I’d want to read it. Lo and behold, I read it and loved it! 🙂

10. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

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The more I think about it, the more anticlimactic and meh the book seems… 

These are my Top Ten this week! While there is a mix of titles that I’ve grown to like and dislike over time, most of these titles seem to be in the “Dislike After a While” category. Oh well! I hope I can find more books that I like for longer stretches of time, rather than just falling out of interest. Well, that’s all for now! Any comments or questions are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

-Sumaya

The Gilmore Girls Book Tag

Hello everybody! I’m back with another tag. This time, it’s the Gilmore Girls book tag, courtesy of Eve Messenger. If you haven’t already, you should check out her blog and her answers to this tag; you’ll find them really entertaining! Well, without further ado, here are my answers to the tag:

1. I JUST GOT HIT BY A DEER: character having the worst day ever

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  • Calaena in the second half of Crown of Midnight (it was more than a day, but it was still pretty bad…)

 

2 . STARS HOLLOW: wildly eccentric cast

  • Mia’s friends in The Princess Diaries series

 

3. COFFEE: a character you’re addicted to/ a character with an addiction

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  • Jem in The Infernal Devices, with his addiction to yin fen.

 

4. SOMEONE DEVIL EGGED MY CAR?!: a great act of revenge

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  • Frankenstein’s creature from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ( OMG! The things he put Frankenstein through, not that he didn’t totally deserve it…)

 

5. MR. MEDINA: an illicit affair

  • Benedict Lightwood and demon pox. Nuff said.

6. KIM’S ANTIQUES:  a world you’d be afraid to enter

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  • Narnia, just because it seems like it would be a lot of work just to stay there….

7. HARVARD VS. YALE: character who needs to make a life-changing decision

  • Percy Jackson at the end of The Last Olympian by Rick RiordanMa, when he is given his reward

8. LUKE’S DINER: comfort read

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  • Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi, because I would go back to that book over and over again.

9. AM I CRYING OR LAUGHING?: a book that messed with your emotions

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  • Falling for You by Lisa Shroeder had me crying even on the subway!

10. EMILY: the HBIC

Grandmere from The Princess Diaries totally fits that description! 😀

11. LORELAI AND RORY: favourite family dynamic

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  • Stella and Cara from The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak. They wholeheartedly support each other! 😉

12. I PUSHED HIM IN THE LAKE: a book you’d throw in the lake

  • The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill is that book. If I had been near the lake at the time, I probably would have left it there, since it was pretty boring…

13. 1000 YELLOW DAISIES: favourite romance

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  • At this point, it would be Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I remember reading it and thinking that it was the sweetest thing!

14. JESS: an unpopular opinion

  • Love, Lucy by April Lindner, just because of the star rating it was given on Goodreads versus how much I enjoyed it (a lot more than its star rating…)

15. FIRST SNOW: snowy or holiday read

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  • My True Love Gave to Me anthology sounds like a perfect fit for this category! 😉

16. HEP ALIEN: book centred around music

  • Any book in Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series, since she always has a playlist at the back of those books pertaining to certain scenes.

17. HE’D BETTER HAVE A MOTORCYCLE: your book crush

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  • Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices! *swoons* ❤ ❤ ❤

18.IT’S REPETITIVE AND REDUNDANT: a book that could have been shorter

  • Every Last Breath by J.L. Armentrout, since that book was mostly filled with character development rather than plot (I think there should be an equal mix, plus it’s the last book!).

19. KIRK: the weirdest book you’ve ever read

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  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffry Chaucer. While it was mostly enjoyable, it certainly gave me pause in some (a lot) of places.

20. IT’S A LIFESTYLE, IT’S A RELIGION: that one book that means more to you than any other

  • I can’t think of one at the moment…

TAGS:

Anushka @ Living in Pages

Michelle @ The Bookish Librarian

Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer

Charleigh @ Charleigh’s Book Nook

Sarah and Faith @ Sublime Reads

Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews

I invite you all to participate in this tag (as well as anyone who’s read this post)! But if you have already done this tag or aren’t interested, you can choose to ignore it. That’s all for today! Until next time… 😉

-Sumaya

 

 

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

My rating: green4

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

Hello, everybody! I’m here with another review and this time, it’s on Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally. This book is part of the Hundred Oaks series, focusing on high school students who attend the school, Hundred Oaks High School. Defending Taylor is the seventh book in the series and about Taylor, our protagonist, a senator’s daughter who recently wrecked her public image.

I really enjoyed the book because of the protagonist’s voice as well as the writing style of the author. She’s written for characters that aren’t too similar in my opinion (except for some character traits like sass 😉 ), so you get the feeling that she’s not writing the same story. But she does recycle characters from previous and I’m all for that! 😁 I love seeing the continuity of older characters, like Savannah or Maya, and how they interact with newer characters in this book.

Also, I love how the time set in the book is more obvious than not. It seems to be set in really recent times, since I notice that Taylor’s opinions are similar to what is filtering in the media today, especially gender rights. It’s not explicitly stated as a political stance, but an offhand opinion, which shows exactly how these ideas filter into an individual’s values.

As for the plot, I thought it was interesting since I was always invested in the story, wanting to know what happened. Even though from a technical standpoint, it was a painful experience to read on my phone compared to my computer, I just bared through it because the book was just that good. The thing about this book is that it covers concerns such as second chances, especially when being exposed to the media. Taylor handled it way better than most people could have (way better than I would have handled it 😉). However, she did put a lot of the drama on herself, like giving herself extra responsibilities that she doesn’t really need to worry about. Whether she learns anything in the course of this novel, I’m not sure. She understands the chance she has been given but there were certain things that remained unresolved by the end. Maybe the loose ends will be tied up in the next book (if there is one)? This was my only problem reading the book; other than that, it was a pretty enjoyable read. 

That’s all I have to say about Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Contemporary YA. It’s a really good example of the genre, with its themes and length (page-wise as well as standalone in a series). For those of you who are interested, Defending Taylor comes out on July 5th, 2016. Thank you for reading this post. If you have any more questions or comments, I would love to answer them. Have a nice day!

-Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 20

Hello, lovely readers! I’m back and so is Which Cover Wednesday! 😉 For those of you who don’t know, Which Cover Wednesday is a meme that I host. In it, I compare two different covers of the same book and give my opinion on which cover fits the book better. You can also join in on the fun by commenting down below on which is your favourite cover and why. And our covers today are:

1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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In this instance, I choose the second cover wholeheartedly! 😀 Let me just say that I love the new covers of the Delirium series! Especially this one! It uses its one image and colour to convey the themes of the novel without the cover being too empty. All that blue and sadness as well as the fractured heart makes for a good cover! 😉

2. The Oracle of Dating by Allison van Diepan (English and French)

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This one is a bit more tricky, since both covers relay the content of the novel by using a girl with a laptop. However, I’d say that the first one appeals to me more because of the title’s word art, which looks much more creative and visually appealing.

3. Jinx by Meg Cabot

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First cover forever! While the second cover has a nice font and cute background, the first cover is much more mysterious with the model’s back turned to us and her hair blowing in the wind slightly. Even though Jinx is a Paranormal YA novel, it still has a lot of mystery in it, making the first cover a great fit!

4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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Second cover all the way! 😉 I’m not saying that the first cover isn’t great, because the two are basically almost the same. It’s just that I don’t like the first one as the intricate red design obscures the model, making it seem unorganized and diminishes the cover’s charm.

That’s it for Which Cover Wednesday! I hope you enjoyed it! If you have any suggestions for next week’s covers, questions, or comments about Which Cover Wednesday, please leave them in the Comments Section. Thanks for reading!

-Sumaya

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Chosen on a Whim

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey everyone! It’s Top Ten Tuesday and this week’s topic is a really easy one for me! Almost too easy! It’s about all those books we’ve picked up without a recommendation. This has actually been the norm for my reading experience years ago, when I would walk to the library everyday and see what books are there. Now, there are less books I choose to read based on a whim, thanks to all the recommendations online ;). Here are just some of the books that I have read with recommendation:

10. Love, Lucy by April Lindner

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Found this in a library, picked it up and just started reading, right there and then. 😉

 

9. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

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I wanted to go back to the witches’ scene… 😀

8. The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

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The cover had a lot to do with picking up this book… 😀

7. Matched by Ally Condie

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It was one of those books that followed Dystopian YA craze. 😉

6. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

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I was always interested in fairytale retellings…

5. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

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Came across it and liked the blurb, so I picked it up! 😀

4. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

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Found this in the “New for Teens” section of the library’s website

3. Book of Shadows (Sweep #1) by Cate Tiernan

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Witches, witches and more witches! 🙂

2. Switched by Amanda Hocking

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Also found in the “New for Teens” section! 🙂

 

1. Beauty by Robin McKinley

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Just trusted the fact that it was Beauty and the Beast retelling! 😉

Well, that’s it for my Top Ten. Are there any books you’ve picked up on a whim that you’d like to discuss? Feel free to post any comments or your Top Ten link in the comments section below. Happy reading!

-Sumaya

Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

My rating: purple4

Hey, everyone! Hope you’re all doing well. This is my first review since returning to my blog and for that, I’m covering The Crown by Kiera Cass! 😀

This book is the final one in the series and the second book in Eadlyn’s perspective. Now, while The Selection books are pretty popular, I’ve got to say that the last book didn’t match the standards of the other four books, even The Heir, in which we meet a bratty Eadlyn. Maybe because the pacing in that book is more slower than The Crown. The last book of the Selection series is attempting to tie any loose ends, but in doing so, it felt too fast paced without any room for actual development. The book tried to do too much in so little pages (288 pages compared to The Heir‘s 368 pages). I’m not saying that The Crown wasn’t good; it just wasn’t great enough to give the book five stars.

Another problem with the plot was the ending. Before The Crown came out, I thought,” Wouldn’t it be funny if Eadlyn ended up with him?” only to find out that she actually does end up with him. And I was kind of worried about how easy it was for her to end up with him. Maybe because her declaration of love wasn’t strategically placed. Eadlyn realizes she loves him near the end of the book, which makes their relationship seem less developed. Sure, she comes up with a few instances that explains her feelings. I just wish they had more of a developed story at the end, instead of seeing only the beginning of their relationship.

Then there was Eadlyn herself. Compared to The Heir, she has grown into a strong and capable leader who is sensitive to other people’s needs. Without the crisis that happened in the end of The Heir, I wouldn’t have believed it to be possible in such a short amount of time. But Eadlyn stepped up to the point where she almost was a Mary Sue. Luckily, there were a few moments that brought back her realness. But there was a drawback; Eadlyn started to care so much about other people’s thoughts that she became obsessed with serving others, even if it meant her own happiness is diminished. I think the main lesson she learns from the last book is that she should balance her duties to others and herself. The Heir shows her lacking empathy for others outside her station, while in The Crown, Eadlyn deals with the concerns of her people and takes on so much. But in the end, she decides to be careful and not take on all her people’s problems at once, without any help. I think, at least character-wise, it was a good way to finish.

That’s all I have to say about The Crown for now. What do you think? Do you believe that Kiera Cass ended The Selection on a good note? What will she write next? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. For those of you wanting to read more Kiera Cass after the Selection series, I think you should read The Siren, because it is just amazing! 😉 Thanks for reading!

-Sumaya

 

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