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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

Month

June 2016

Review: Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius

My rating: pink3

Hello, everyone! It’s time for another review, and this one’s about Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius. Love Charms and Other Catastrophes is the sequel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, in which a group of teenagers stops a charms maker named Zita from controlling their town, Grimbaud. The sequel deals with the aftermath of defeating Zita and how Grimbaud  needs a new charms maker to fill the void that Zita had left. Now, when I first picked up this book, I couldn’t wait to start reading it. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have, because I didn’t really like the first book of the series; it’s just that the covers are so attractive that they call to me, siren-style! I can’t help but pick them up! Plus, I was interested to read about Hijiri after her intro in Love Fortunes and Other Disasters.

I’ll start off by saying what I liked about this book. It provides a nice background of our protagonist, like where she is from, how she got into charm making, and her home life with her parents. It was really insightful to have these kinds of scenes in the book, because you can understand Hijiri and why she thinks in a certain way. Then there’s her relationship with Ken that I loved, in the end! No matter how they came to be, their chemistry was always of the sweetest kind! To be honest, I wasn’t totally on board with their relationship in the beginning. But as the story went on, they were just too cute to disregard! And by the end, I was actually rooting for them to stay together! 😀

What I didn’t like about this story was its dialogue. The lines that were said didn’t seem realistic with their perfect responses. It wasn’t just one person; everyone was prey to bad dialogue. I thought that the reasoning behind their words was too simplistic and diminished my view towards the story. The novel was also pretty predictable, and not in the way some novels are when you know how it should end. It was obvious what was going to happen and how Hijiri and her friends were going to save the day. Even the secret villain was obvious from the getgo. By the time I got to the end, I was speed reading and couldn’t wait to see the Acknowledgments pages. Maybe if the execution were a bit different, I might have liked the plot more since the concept given in the blurb was great. Overall, the story was okay, but it wouldn’t be in my favourite books list.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius today. If you liked her first book, you’d probably like her second, since they’re pretty similar in terms of plot development and voice of characters. Any questions or comments you might have are welcome as well! Have a nice day. 😉

-Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 24

Hello, wonderful readers! It’s that time of week again: Which Cover Wednesday! 😉 Which Cover Wednesday is a meme I host where I compare two different covers of the same book and suggest which one is more appropriate for the book. And you can join in on the fun as well! Just leave your thoughts about the covers in the Comments Section below. Well…let’s begin! 😀

1. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

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In this case, I’d go with the first cover! Now, usually I would prefer the cover that relies more on typography than the model  because it gives us more reign to imagine the character(s). But this one is done so well, with the model looking ethereal and otherworldly! Both have very nice typography, though… 😉

2. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

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This one is pretty hard since I’m not really a fan of both of these covers, but if I had to choose, I’d go with the second one. It has a bit more to do with blood imagery and states the subject matter more clearly in its cover. Plus, the model in the first cover looks a bit bored…

3. Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne (English and French)

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First cover forever! I think that the first cover looks amazing compared to the second, not only because of the model, typography, cover art and background, but also because the second one has these lines across the cover that seem to have no purpose. That’s why I choose the first cover!

4. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

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Second cover again! While the first cover is pretty, it repeats that “girl in a dress” theme and makes Mackenzie seem more stationary than she is in the book (from what I remember). I think the second cover is a better representation of her, plus did you she that hidden cover art in the branches? So cool! 😀

So those are the covers for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Were there any covers that really caught your eye? Which covers would you choose? Feel free to leave your thoughts and questions in the Comments Section below. That’s all for today! Thanks for reading! 😉

-Sumaya

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey, everyone! How have you been? It seems like a long time since I’ve last posted…. and now it’s Tuesday again, which means Top Ten Tuesday! 😀 This Top Ten is about the second half of 2016 and the books we’re excited for. Let me tell you, I don’t think I’m as excited for any releases in the second half of the year. Sure, I have some books that I know I’m going to buy, but to be honest, compared to the first half of the year, my anticipated reads for the second half isn’t much… So my Top Ten won’t really be a Top Ten, but a Top Seven. 😉 Well, here are the books:

1. Harry Potter and Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

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Cannot wait for this! Already had it preordered a while ago! 😉

2. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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The premise seems really sweet! 🙂

 

3. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Need to read the fourth book still, but other than that… 😀

4. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

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I want this! 🙂

5. My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill

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Love any books focusing on the entertainment industry!

6. Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter

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The last book of the series! 😦

7. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon

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After Everything, Everything…. I’d love to read more by Nicola Yoon!

That’s my list! Are any of these books on your TTT? What other books are on your TTT this week? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Just leave your TTT in the Comments Section, so that I can check them out! Thanks for reading, everyone!

-Sumaya

Review: No More Confessions by Louise Rozett

My rating: blue4 copy

Hey, everyone! I’m back with another review and this time, it’s No More Confessions by Louise Rozett. No More Confessions is the third book in the series and focuses on a girl, named Rose, whose father died in Iraq and how her life is affected by it. Even though it’s been a long time since I’ve read the second book, surprisingly,  it didn’t affect my reading of the third book as much. The last book came out in 2013, before this one came out in 2015. Now, I must confess, I was a little on the fence about reading this last book, since it was only available on Amazon and nowhere else. I was hoping that the library would have it, or at least Indigo, because I didn’t want to invest in a book I didn’t think was going to be good. This is mainly because No More Confessions came out two years after Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend, so I was worried about the quality of the third book. But I finally caved in after reading a sneak peek and just bought it for my Kindle app (yes, that’s how good of a speak peek it was)!

The story starts in Rose’s junior year, after she and Jamie have split up. She’s trying to be better about her anger issues than she was in the last two books, and for the most part, that improvement has shown. Not to say that she still doesn’t get angry, but unlike Confessions of an Angry Girl and Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend, she’s more aware of the need to control it. Other than a few circumstances, Rose knew when to pick her battles and how to express her opinions more calmly. She also focuses more on being empathetic to others in the end (which is probably the main driver of this book: thinking about others). Compared to her younger self in the first book, she’s really matured. I’m so proud of her! 😀

There were some issues Rose still has to deal with, though, like her panic attacks and how affected she is by others. I think in the end, she’s beginning to break away from this train of thought (thinking of herself in terms of others), but only time will tell if she sticks with it.

And then there’s our main pairing! Romance-wise, Rose and Jamie are a mess of a couple, mad at each other one minute and passionate with each other the next. As much as I love when Rose and Jamie are together, even I can see that they are no good together at that point in their lives. Rose and Jamie do resolve some problems they’ve had with each other by the end of the book, but it’s left open ended for the reader to imagine what happened.

Overall, the plot pulled me in and I don’t regret reading this book at all. I’m really glad that Louise Rozett continued to write after Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend, because there was an enormous emotional cliffhanger 😉 . However, I hope that this is the last book of the series unless there’s a time jump (like 5 years). Not only because I’m still afraid about the quality of the book (although No More Confessions eased my concerns somewhat), but also because the title sounds so final. So if you liked the first two books of Louise Rozett’s Confessions series, you should really read this one. If you have any thoughts about this book or any others within the series, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day, everyone, and keep reading!

-Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 23

Hello, my fellow bloggers and readers! It’s Which Cover Wednesday again! Hooray! 😀 Which Cover Wednesday is a meme I host where I compare two different covers of the same book and suggest which one is more appropriate for the book. And I invite you all to participate and comment below to choose your favourite cover. Here are this week’s selection:

1. Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard (English and French)

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Well, in this case, I’d go with the first cover. Not that the second cover is bad, but the first cover links the art with the story. The second cover could be used for a multitude of stories.

2. Timeless by Alexandra Monir (English and Polish)

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First cover again! This cover is simply beautiful! The background is nicely done with its fog and colour scheme, shrouding the model and making her look mysterious. Also, not to take the title literally, but the first model looks more “timeless” than the second cover’s model (in terms of fashion).

3. Twilight (Mediator #6) by Meg Cabot

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Well, I kind of feel bad for choosing the first cover again, but then I wouldn’t be true to my opinion, would I? So…first cover all the way! 😀 In its vagueness, the first cover leaves us to imagine what the characters would look like, rather than giving us features that we have to contend with, in our minds.

4. Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

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This one’s a bit more harder, since these covers are both great within their own right. The first cover makes the model appear to be troubled, while floating, tying into the ghost haunting motif. While the second one is appropriate with its fog and  bare trees, it reminds me of the cover of Fallen by Lauren Kate (especially with the model in that position on the cover, surrounded by trees). So, for originality (as well as a beautiful and ethereal cover) , the award goes to… the first cover! 🙂

Well, this week’s Which Cover Wednesday has come to a close. Were there any covers you liked (or disliked)? If you have any comments or questions about this week’s Which Cover Wednesday, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

-Sumaya

Top Ten Tuesday: Why Granny Weatherwax is so amazing! :D

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey, everyone! It’s Top Ten Tuesday again! This week, it’s all about the love! Whether you love a character, book, or series, you can talk about it on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. My Top Ten is about Granny Weatherwax and how much I love the character. So without further ado, the reasons I love Granny Weatherwax:

1. She doesn’t tolerate being called mother when she isn’t one

Granny Weatherwax is proof that someone doesn’t necessarily have to be a mother in order to have a vital role within the Discworld’s society.She’s only Granny Weatherwax to a few, including the reader… To most, it’s Mistress Weatherwax.

2. She actually wishes she looked more like a witch

Granny Weatherwax cares about her appearance in the sense that she would really like to have none of her teeth and a few more warts to look more like a witch. 😉

3. Her words

Granny Weatherwax has some of the best lines in the Witches series of the Discworld. I remember, in Witches Abroad,  when Mrs. Gogol said to her, ” I don’t want to hurt you, Mistress Weatherwax,” and she answers, ” I don’t want you to hurt me either.” Other than those funny sayings, she’s portrayed as really wise.

4. Granny Weatherwax is the most highly regarded leaders the witches don’t have ! 😉

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She shows you that you don’t have to be super sociable to be a respected leader; you just have to be the best in your field and want others to strive for the same.

5. Her relationship with Nanny Ogg

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Esmeralda Weaherwax and Gytha Ogg make one of the best femships I’ve ever seen, They compliment each other completely, and understand one another after a long time of friendship.

6. Her relationship with Tiffany Aching

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Out of all Granny Weatherwax’s relationships with her mentees, the one I like the best is between her and Tiffany Aching. With Eskarina, you knew that Granny Weatherwax was kind of new to the mentor gig, being awkward with the eight year old and all. And then there’s Magrat’s relationship with her, which seems a bit antagonistic at times… But with Tiffany, they just click, understand and respect each other immediately.

7. The names given to her by the dwarves and the trolls

They just make me laugh! “Go around the other side of the mountain” and “She who must be avoided” are the names given to her (in translation) by the dwarves and trolls. Which just goes to show what kind of reputation she’s built! 😀

8. Her meddling

Known meddlers, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg will go around helping people and causing trouble, sometimes in that order and at other times, in the reverse… 😛

9. Her broomstick

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That piece of… equipment is legendary throughout the Discworld as being one of the most oldest brooms in existence. Hence, it doesn’t work as efficiently as a flying broomstick should…

10. Magic versus “headology”

Granny Weatherwax rarely relies on magic. Rather, she uses “headology” in most cases ( which is basically psychology), like tricking a person to believe he’s a frog rather than turn that person into a frog (which sounds way more comical 😉 ).

So that’s my Top Ten! Hope you enjoyed reading it! Are there any characters or books that you’re mentioning in your Top Ten Tuesday? I’d love hear about them in the Comments Section below! Have a nice day!

-Sumaya

 

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

My rating: red5 

(4.5 stars)

Hello, wonderful readers! Hope you enjoyed your weekend! I’m finally back with a review! I’ve been posting all last week, but it wasn’t the same without a review in the mix… The reason behind it is because I couldn’t get into the book I was reading at the time, which was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. You might be wondering why in the world would I pass up the opportunity to read that title for a standalone contemporary instead. Well, the fact is that I just couldn’t get into the book; it seemed like it was taking forever to read. The book was even more harder to finish due to the fact that it’s really long. This is why I swapped A Court of Mist and Fury for This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. For a moment there, I thought I was in a reading slump, but then I read this book and I discovered that it was just A Court of Mist and Fury that was causing this slump. Anyways, back to the review!

I have to say, while I liked the premise of this book, it passed way beyond my expectations of how much I would enjoy it. This Song Will Save Your Life is about a girl who wants to be more liked by her peers and her development as a person. I had to remind myself constantly that I had assignments, which is the only way I could tear myself from the book. Other than that, my eyes were glued to the screen as I tried to find out what would happen to Elise. I always knew where the story was heading in a general sense, but I just loved the detailed execution of it! Another thing I loved about the plot was that there was a pretty big unexpected twist that I really didn’t see coming and I thought,”Really? This wasn’t what I expected.” It might not sound like much, but for the author to do that in a Contemporary is pretty nice.

And it also helped that Elise is a character you just can’t help but root for! She is quirky personified with her precocious behaviour and someone who has a sort of wisdom. For instance, she’ll say things that might sound simple, especially at the end of the novel, but are actually applicable to life. It might be me being sucked into her story, but I found myself agreeing with Elise a lot! 😁 Her development was enjoyable to read, and the way she was disillusioned about how the way things works is for the better. Most times disillusionment is seen in books or stories is when a character experiences a sense of losing their innocence. This time, experiencing that sort of disillusionment is a good thing, since it allows her to see thing for what they really are. The thing about this story is that while Elise grew as a character, she basically remained the same person she was in the beginning. It’s not to say that she didn’t change in some ways (she certainly does change her goals), but she ends up staying true to herself, something she’s been against since the beginning of the story.

However, since this story is about her, other characters  are put on the sidelines like her classmates and even Pippa, Vicky and her band. The ending was also slightly unrealistic… but I’m not sure if that’s my only from my perspective… Probably…

Overall, this book is great for those who like to read about the music scene, the socially awkward and staying true to yourself. While there are other books out there that cater to those separate desires, this book is particular enough to stand on its own and be different. That’s all I have to say about this book. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!
– Sumaya

 

 

Which Cover Wednesday 22

Hey, wonderful readers! Hope you all are doing well this Wednesday! I’m back with another Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a meme I host where I compare two different covers of the same book and suggest which one is more appropriate for the book. And I’m not the only one who can participate; you can, too! Just leave your cover preferences in the Comments Section below. Here are our covers :

1. The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak (English and Italian)

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In this case, I like the second cover than the first one. Both are great, but the second one is more appealing to me because of its abundance in colour as well as the fact that it doesn’t show the faces of our protagonists. That way, they can look however we imagine them to be… 😉

2. Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

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I love the first cover! While the second cover has amazing typography, the first cover is more connected to the story, seeing as it deals with Emme and her ability to trust her own talent, rather than relying on others.

3. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

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First cover for the win! 😀 I love how the protagonist is so focused on this cover as well as the message in the letters of the title (LOVE). I think this particular picture on the first cover is from an actual passage within the book, so it’s more relevant than the second one, which is a bit too generic for my tastes.

4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (English and Dutch)

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This time, it’s all about the second cover. I think it plays with typography way better than the first cover as well as the fact that there are hidden images within images , like the school bus at the bottom of the tape cassette. I didn’t even recognize it until after a while! 😉

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Do you have any covers that you prefer? Or any suggestions for next week’s topic or titles? If you do, feel free to post your thoughts in the Comments Section below! Have a nice night, everyone! 😉

– Sumaya

 

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