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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

Month

July 2016

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

My rating: green4

(3.75 stars)

Hey, everyone! I’m back with another review and this time it’s on Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. This was actually supposed to be posted a while ago, but since I was reading this book with a buddy, I chose to hold onto this review for a little bit longer. Since You’ve Been Gone is about a girl named Emily and what happens to her when she’s left behind by her best friend, Sloane, without anything to go on but a list. This list has things she needs to do, like kiss a stranger, ask for Mona, ride horses and other things. Emily immediately thinks that this will lead her to Sloane, so she sets out on completing the list.

This book was on my TBR pile for a long time and I probably wouldn’t have gotten to it so soon, if it wasn’t a buddy read. It seemed interesting enough, so I was excited to start it. I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t like it so much, though. I just thought that it would be interesting, but I hated the characters at first. I thought that Sloane was being rude and inconsiderate by not telling Emily she was leaving. And Emily seemed afraid of everything… But once I got into it, somewhere on the fifth chapter, I was actually excited to see what Emily would do and how she would accomplish her tasks…. 😉 As for Frank Porter, I thought he was okay, but my real interest was in Emily’s development as well as the flashbacks with Sloane, explaining some of the issues they face in the present.

The story went on and while I was invested for a good amount, near the end, I lost interest in it. I just was waiting for things to come full circle. By the time it was over, I was ready to go onto another book… Don’t get me wrong; some parts of the ending were great, but I noticed myself starting to skim, especially when it came to Emily and Frank. I felt as if there was so much misunderstanding between them that it was just ridiculous!

Well, that’s all I have to say about Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. It was nice to read, but it wasn’t my favourite contemporary novel… Have you  read it? What did you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as any questions, in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

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Which Cover Wednesday 30

Hello, lovely readers! It’s time for Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a meme I host where I compare two different covers of the same book and give my opinion on which does it better. And feel free to join in on the fun as well, by commenting about these covers in the Comments Section below. Here are this week’s covers:

1. Fallen by Lauren Kate (English and Italian)

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Love that first cover! While both books share a similar background, I like how the model is front and centre in this one as opposed to being on the side. Also, the typography’s slightly more fancier and having that dress doesn’t hurt! 😉

2. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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First cover! It just conveys a much more darker tone to the novel, rather than the second cover, which looks like a soap opera…

3. My Blood Does Approve by Amanda Hocking

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This time, it’s the second cover! It looks more “put-together” than the first one, with its beautiful typography, the placement of cover art and model. The first cover, on the other hand, doesn’t make as much use of the space and looks more empty than the second cover…

4. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

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OMG! I’d go for the second cover in this case. The layout is more appealing to me, with an understated gate depiction on the bottom of the cover. There’s also the necklace of the model, which suggests a component of the story. And what about that windswept hair? That was nicely done! 😉

Well, that’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday. Were there any covers you liked or disliked? If you have any thoughts on these covers, I’d love to hear about them in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading! 😉

–  Sumaya

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: purple4

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

Hey, lovely readers! It’s been a while, but I’ve got another review for you! This time, it’s on  The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. It’s about a princess named Maya whose cursed with a horoscope that pairs her with death and destruction, so naturally, her kingdom fears her. After a political arrangement gone wrong, Maya ends up married to a stranger named Amar, who is king to this magical, in-between  place called Akaran. Once there, Maya discovers secrets, new and old, and must unravel the truth about herself before it’s too late.  I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time, so it’s nice to finally get to it. Especially when all these books on my TBR are competing for my attention, saying “Read me! Read me!” 😉 While there were moments where I lost interest, overall, this book was a great read!

Even though this book was enjoyable-to the point where I stayed up till 1 a.m. to finish it-I can’t discard the fact that the story didn’t interest me right away. There were times where I would skim the pages and had to go back again in order to understand what just happened. Maybe because I felt as though nothing really happened in the beginning, but once Amar pops onto the scene, things start to get really interesting. Like right before part two of the book, there was  a really tense scene that basically played with my heartstrings and becoming really riled up after that scene! Afterwards, I saw more urgency within the book, which was really nice.

The characters themselves were interesting to behold. I kind of wish we had more of a chance to see some of them fleshed out, but at least A Crown of Wishes is coming out next year, which is about the protagonist’s sister (who is really fascinating, btw 😉). But the main characters-Maya, Amar, and Nritti- are really great to read about, even though it’s all in Maya’s POV. The complexity of these characters has you rooting for them, while at the same time acknowledging that they have flaws, too. For example, while I like Maya for being smart and resourceful, at times, she could be quite annoying. It’s just that she doubts herself way too much. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was nice seeing every character at fault, and that it was too complex to just put blame on a certain person. By the end of it all, you have empathy for a lot of people within The Star-Touched Queen.

Overall, I liked reading this book and encourage anyone who has this on their TBR pile to read it as well. It may be a little tedious in the beginning, but the ending is where it’s at! That’s all I have to say about The Star-Touched Queen; thanks for reading! If you have any questions and thoughts, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

– Sumaya

Top Ten Tuesday: The Book Made Me Do It! :P

Hi, everyone! It’s Tuesday again, and we all know what that means: Top Ten Tuesday! I was kind of iffy about doing this week’s topic, because I don’t really get inspired to do things from books. Do I gain more empathy and understanding from other view points? Most of the time. Other than feelings, does the book affect me in any other way. Not as much as you’d think. I guess it’s because I go to books for having a good time more than anything else. Well, here’s my list of what books have inspired me to do:

1. Try to start an internet revolution

2. Get into reading a certain genre

3. Made me watch tv shows or read books that were referenced

4. Wish that I could babysit like in The Babysitters’ Club

5. Get me itching for travel… like in Italy, France, or ComicCon (San Diego or New York)

That’s all. I know; it’s pretty small this week! Hope my list is bigger next Top Ten Tuesday! If you have any questions or want to post your TTT, feel free to do so in the Comments Section below. Night, everybody!

– Sumaya

 

 

Which Cover Wednesday 29

Hey, everybody! Welcome back to Which Cover Wednesday. Now, for those of you who don’t know, 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). Feel free to join in by giving your own opinions in the Comments Section below. This weeks covers are:

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (English and Italian)

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Even though I love the intricate detail given to the sword hilt of the second cover, as well as that eye contact the model makes, I’m going to give my vote to the first one. It’s just that the second one has flowers and other faint designs around in the background… The first one, though, has great placement as well as the model looking, well, grave. 😀

2. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (English and Estonian)

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While I’m hard-pressed to choose between the two, I’m going to go with the first cover again. Not that the second cover doesn’t look interesting with that clockwork angel in the middle, but first of all, there’s Will Herondale to consider. 😉 Secondly, the background of the first cover looks amazing! 🙂

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (English and German)

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In this case, I love that second cover! There’s something ethereal about that light, hinting at the fact that she might be going somewhere as well as the playful movement of the model…

4. Soulless by Gail Carriger

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Second cover all the way! I’m a sucker for cloth covers and this is no exception with its golden embossing and great cover art! It just makes it look classy, with its simple elegance… Thankfully, it doesn’t lose the important details, like the parasol and the  clockwork “O” in the title that’s related to the genre of the book, steampunk.

Well, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Did you see anything you liked? If you have any thoughts or questions about Which Cover Wednesday or this week’s titles, I’d love to hear about them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

– Sumaya

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside of the U.S.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hi, everyone! It’s Top Ten Tuesday and I’m ready to jump into this week’s topic; it’s about all those books set outside the U.S.! It’s interesting to think about because a lot of the books I read are set in the U.S., but I also make it a priority to read books set in other places. Here are some of the books I’ve read that are set outside the U.S.:

1. Frostfire by Amanda Hocking (Canada)

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2. Secrets of the Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed (Pakistan)

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3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (Australia)

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4. Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Australia)

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5. Kissing in Italian by Lauren Henderson (Italy)

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6. City of Masks by Mary Hoffman (England and alternate-reality Italy)

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7. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (Canada)

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8. Me and the Blondes by Teresa Toten (Canada)

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9. Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung (Australia)

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10. Die for Me by Amy Plum (France)

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Well, that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. Have you read any of these books? And what books are on your TTT this week? I’d love to hear about them! Just leave a link to it, as well as any comments or questions you might have, in the Comments section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

My rating: blue4 copy

(3.75 stars)

Hello, everyone! Another day, another review; this time it’s on Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson. It’s a book about two people finding a connection through fandom and how they become friends because of it. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I love books about fandoms! But this book was different from all the others I’ve read; not in a bad way, at least where the fandom is concerned.

First of all, this book felt like two books instead of one. It goes from upbeat and lightish, to really dark and suspenseful. It’s not as if the subject matter of the book couldn’t be dark and suspenseful; it just came out of nowhere. And once it went down that path, I knew the lightness of the book’s beginning wouldn’t truly come back. Not with so little pages left in the story (the whole book was 287 pages). But it would have been nice to have so many questions answered, because I know this book will probably not garner a sequel (contemporaries almost never do, and even then it could be in another person’s POV). I guess it affected me that way because I loved how it started out in the beginning, with Gena and Finn becoming friends and how they were really sweet together! And then when they finally meet, that was something special! But somewhere along the way, the book decides to stop being the happy read that it was and starts being of a sadder tone. And while I’m not out to say that sad books are horrible, I’m just saying that it would have been nice to have a heads up because it kind of blindsided me…

As for the characters, I really loved them! There was Gena with her fics and poems, her brilliant imagination, her strength and vulnerability. Finn with her understanding, beautiful drawings, and friendship. And Charlie with his love and support. Reading the dynamic between characters was amazing as well as hearing their inner thoughts. I just wish (again) that the book didn’t take the turn that it did….

That’s all I have to say about Gena/Finn for now! Have you read this story? And did you like it or not? By the way, any comments or questions are welcome in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

One Year Anniversary! 

Well, I can’t believe it but it’s been one year since I’ve started this blog! Even with the hiatus, it’s been such a great experience! I loved getting knowing other bloggers and seeing posts that would influence me into reading books I wold have never picked up otherwise. And I loved participating  in memes like Top Ten Tuesday and posting reviews of book that I loved (or didn’t love 😉 )! In this time, I also invented Which Cover Wednesday, a meme that compared covers of the same book.

I’d like to thank anyone that’s commented and liked my posts as well as followed my blog! So far, I have 221 followers and 145 blog posts (including this one)! After being gone for so long, it feels like such a feat! Hopefully, I stay in the blogeverse for many more years to come! 😀

Thanks for reading!

– Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 28

Hello, everyone! It’s that time of week again: 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). Feel free to give your opinions on the books as well, in the comments section below! And the covers for this week are:

1. Bewitching by Alex Flinn (English and German)

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Love that first cover! It looks so vibrant with the waves rushing behind her as well as her dress and hair blowing in the wind. And look at that dazzling dress! An amazing cover for an amazing book! The second cover just looks a bit too plain in comparison… and the swirls in the design don’t make any sense in terms of placement…

2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (English and Portuguese)

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In this case, I’d go for the second cover. While both covers are pretty similar, the second one  just seems more appealing to me in how the model blends into the background… It conveys the idea that she’s trapped somehow, which connects it to the novel.

3. Ash by Malinda Lo

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First cover gets my vote! The second cover just looks a bit more suited towards MG fiction. Also, I feel as if the first cover is conveying more emotion and story than the second, with the model in fetal position, lying in the forest.

4. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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First cover forever! This is a good example of when cartoon does not equal childish cover. The artwork is pretty great in its detail and the fact that the models are in a hurry to get somewhere just makes me like the first cover more than the second one. Look at how Buttercup is peering over her shoulder as if something is after them while Westley is looking forward ready to take action! 😀

So that’s it for my Which Cover Wednesday!  Were there any covers that you liked or dislikes? Let me know if you have any particular favourites or suggestions on topics for next week. Thanks for reading, everyone!

-Sumaya

 

 

 

 

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