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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

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October 2016

Which Cover Wednesday 43

Hey there, lovely people! It’s Wednesday, which means 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 give your opinion of these covers as well! This week’s featured covers are:

1.  Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle (English and German)

famous-in-love.jpg or famous-in-love-2

I really like the first cover in comparison to the second. It’s simple, understated and it works, with the bright lights in the shape of a heart and the good typography. Plus, the second cover oddly reminds me of The Cuckoo’s Calling

2. Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

something-in-between.jpg or something-in-between-2.jpg

Both these covers are amazing! But if I had to choose one, it would be the second cover. I just like how it has the world map cropped to the Philippines and California in relation to the story. I also really like the colour scheme!

3. Hotel Ruby (also known as Hotel for the Lost) by Suzanne Young

hotel-ruby.jpg or hotel-for-the-lost.jpg

In this case, I like the second cover, as it gives me this eery feeling that I’m reading a scary story with a haunting plot! The first cover’s okay, but I feel that the second one gives off more of a mysterious vibe than someone peeking out of a door…

4. Ghost House (also known as Lament) by Alexandra Adornetto

ghost-house.jpg or lament.jpg

My vote goes to the first cover! I know I’ve said it before, but I’m really tired of seeing a girl in a dress as the focus of the cover. She’s not even doing anything except standing there and looking at the reader. I honestly like how the model is not the main component of the cover, but the background and typography are…

That’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Were there any covers you really liked? If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for future Which Cover Wednesdays, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

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Top Ten Tuesday: Scary books in my TBR

Hey, fellow bloggers! Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday! Since Halloween is right around the corner, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is centred around it. Whether it’s about the scary books you’ve read, are going to read, bookish costumes or non scary books to read for Halloween, this week’s post is generalized to cover all these topics! My particular post is about all the books on my TBR that I think are scary (based on their blurbs), which isn’t much, since I don’t read scary novels usually… 😉 Here is my list:

1.  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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3. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

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4. Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

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5. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

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6. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (anthology)

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7. The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

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8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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9. RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

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10. Dreamfall by Amy Plum

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Well, that’s all for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. Have you come across any of these books before? And if, you’ve read them, what did you think of them overall? Any thoughts or questions are welcome in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

 

Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

My rating: black4

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

Hi, everyone! Another day, another review. This one is on a YA Contemporary book called The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras. It’s told in Viviana’s (the main character) perspective  and talks about her need to be perfect, especially after her ex sends out racy photos of her to the whole school. I’ll admit, it sounds generic with the classic overachiever, but there’s something more to it. I feel as if the experience surrounding her social and family life makes this book and its protagonist stick out a bit more than it would have.

First of all, this book had me right from page one!  I liked how the plot was set up, with Viviana dealing with the aftermath. It doesn’t dwell on the act but the reaction of the images going viral. I thought that the author handled the subject matter really well in showing through Viviana how a person would feel exposed in that type of situation. The only thing I wish I saw in this book is for Viviana’s ex to get what he deserves! I know it’s not really realistic, but I hated him so much! Other than that, I thought that the plot unfolded pretty well overall, although it was a bit predictable at times. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to genre fiction. You know something’s going to happen in a certain way that will eventually help develop the character.

The thing that really had me reading this book was its writing! The author made me fall in love with Viviana and her little sister Mila! I think that especially in Contemporary, writing is really important to make the book stand out. Also, I really liked how each chapter was set up as an SAT question that related to Viviana’s life. The first chapter also helped me establish myself as Team Viviana, forever on her side even while she does. Well, except in extreme cases… But I did empathize with her. The plot is semi-predictable, but it doesn’t mean that the characters have to be. I believe that at the end of it all, there has to be some sort of character development, otherwise, why bother reading the book? Unless you’re looking for a sadder tale, that is.

That’s all I have to say about The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras. While the plot was okay, it was really the writing that captured my attention and how the author portrayed the main character, Viviana. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the Comments Section below! The Best Possible Answer comes out next week on November 1st, for anyone whose interested. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

My rating: red5.png

(4.5 stars)

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

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another review; this time it’s on Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys. This book is about a girl named Hope who is sick with cystic fibrosis and has an overprotective mother who doesn’t really let her do much. One day, she’s invited to be part of a challenge – compete against other girls in a series of dares to win $100, 000. Bored with her life, she accepts, not knowing what danger she has landed herself in. When I requested this on NetGalley, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. Sure, the blurb sounded exciting, but I didn’t think I would like it much. Wow, was I wrong! And so glad to be wrong! This book had me on edge, and not just for the thrilling plot, but also because it had some really great writing overall!

I really love how the plot comes together; you don’t know what’s going on or whose responsible but then, slowly, clues trickle in. People start sharing information with each other, or you notice that someone knows more than they should. Reading this book, I felt as if everyone was in the Society. That’s how paranoid I got! 😉 In terms of romance, it was okay, but it wasn’t the main attraction of the book- that belongs to the Society’s involvement with the girls and how they react to it. Then there was that ending! I’m not sure whether I’d be satisfied if this is a standalone novel versus the first in a series. The ending leaves us with an eternal cliffhanger if it is a standalone. Other than that, I thought that the book was purely entertaining and had me reading quickly till the end.

Also, the way the characters were written was just phenomenal! I could really relate to Hope; I thought that she was pretty funny and had great insight! I wanted to know more about her and the rest of the girls. While she was reckless (who else would accept an invitation like that?), it”s understandable with the way she’s been sheltered for most of her life, especially in the beginning of the book. She just wants an adventure, and sometimes it means she isn’t willing to compromise with her body. I think Hope has learned a lot about herself within the novel, what she can and cannot handle, which is always nice to read about ( I always like it when characters develop)!

So, that’s all I have to say about Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys. For anybody whose interested, this book is comes out on November 8th, 2016. If you love Pretty Little Liars, you’ll probably love Dead Girls Society as well! Any thoughts or questions you have are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

 

Which Cover Wednesday 42

Hello, everybody! I’m back with another Which Cover Wednesday! 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. Feel free to join in on the fun by giving your opinion of these covers as well! Here are this week’s contenders:

1.  #Nerd by Cambria Herbert

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I like the second cover a bit more than the first. I like the photo collage! It makes the cover look more professional than the first.

2. The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

the-ring-2.jpg or the-ring.jpg

Between the two, it’s the first one that’s captured my eye! I really love the colour of the cover to the second… The first one just seems boring in comparison.

3. Heartless by Marissa Marr

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In this case, the first cover is more appealing to me! While both of these covers look great, the second one looks more MG than YA…

4. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

radio-silence .jpg or radio-silence

The second cover has my vote! It seems more empty of people with an open, endless road, letting the phrase above connect with the cover so clearly. It’s both simplistic and affective!

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

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Great Names!

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

Hi, everyone! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday again! This one is dedicated to character names and which ones you would want to name your child, pet, car, etc. In this case, I’m generalizing it a bit to include names I liked and still remember years later! Here are just some of the names that I thought were amazing (whether they were from books or TV) !

1.  Nesta from the Mates, Dates series

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2. Tallulah from the Misadventures of Tallulah Casey series

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3. Minerva from the Harry Potter series

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4. Inez from Cyberchase (TV show)

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5. Rayyan from Little Mosque on the Prairie (TV show)

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6. Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series

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7. Margo from the Starstruck series

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8. Aidan from The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

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9. Paige from Charmed (TV show)

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10. Lucas from One Tree Hill (TV show)

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That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! If you have any thoughts, questions,  or would like to share your TTT, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Blog Tour: Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter

Hello everyone! Today, I’m happy to be a part of this blog tour for C.C. Hunter’s last book of the Shadow Falls series, Midnight Hour! I’ve been keeping up with series since it first came out, and I’m both sad and excited for the conclusion to such a wonderful series! 😉 At the moment, I’ll be providing a standard review, as well as some extra information.

Summary 

Being a dyslexic witch is a curse in itself, but Miranda Kane’s time at Shadow Falls has helped her harness her magical powers. Now, just as she’s finally mastered them and is preparing to graduate with her friends, a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

Miranda awakens in the hospital with a mysterious tattoo that no one can explain. As she struggles to make sense of it – and questions her feelings for a certain irresistible shape-shifter and a hot new guy – the strange markings begin to spread all over her body, leaving her desperate to find answers. But before she can solve that problem, a new one arises: her sister is missing.

Has her sister been kidnapped? Miranda will risk her life to find out. Will she live to share the day she’s worked so hard for with her friends? When the clock strikes midnight, will Miranda make it to her graduation at Shadow Falls?

Review 

My rating: blue4-copy

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

I’ve got to say, it was a real treat to read the conclusion, especially with the nostalgia associated with it. I also find it fitting that Miranda is the one who finishes off the series. On the other hand, I’m really sad that she didn’t get more of a story, like Kylie and Della!

Plot-wise, this book is really slow. The plot is basically dragged out and what is only a few days becomes a whole novel. I’ve seen plots dragged out longer, but it was kind of sad to see, since Della and Kylie have gotten more time within a few chapters than Miranda did in the whole novel! Or at least, that’s how it felt like to me. Other than that, and the one of the character POVs disappearing abruptly, the plot was fairly interesting with the book keeping you guessing until the very end. All throughout, readers will ponder on who did what, and why. I thought that it’s one of the main factors that made the book exciting. 🙂

As you can probably tell by this point, I loved getting the chance to read Miranda’s story! 😉  The only other time we got her perspective was in Spellbinder (a novella in between books Eternal and Unspoken), where readers were left in a cliffhanger about Miranda and secrets within her family. Since this book is the last within the world of Shadow Falls, maybe the author felt compelled to answer any questions about how Miranda felt at the end of the series. Or maybe it was because it just felt right to write about Miranda at the end. No matter the reason, I’m glad she did instead of ending the series right after Della’s story arc was over. Also, not only did we get a chance to hear from Miranda, but Perry and even Shawn as well. I felt as if their stories complimented each other quite nicely.

That’s all I have to say about Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter. I thought it was a pretty great read and had me pretty nostalgic for the Shadow Falls world as a whole. If any of you are interested, Midnight Hour is available to read on October 25th, 2016. If you have any thoughts or questions on this book or any other Shadow Falls books, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below.

Buy links

AmazonAmazon CA | Amazon UKKobo | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

Fighting Back novella and pre-order promotion 

For anyone who pre-orders Midnight Hour before the 24th, there is also a short story that comes with the purchase called Fighting Back, featuring Kylie and Lucas (two characters that are old hats in the Shadow Falls world). All you have to do is send an e-receipt to St. Martin’s Press before the 24th and then on the 25th, you’ll receive Fighting Back for free!

About the author

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C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she’s still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

For more information on C.C. Hunter and the books she writes, check out her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Sweepstakes Giveaway

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There is also a giveaway for Midnight Hour as well as some swag to go along with it! It’s restricted o contestants in Canada and the U.S. only, though. For full contest details, click here.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

 

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

My rating: black4.png

Hey, everyone! Just finished Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake and I cannot wait to share my thoughts on it. It surrounds the magical island of Fennbirn and the triplet girls who are born to a queen every generation. Instead of a typical succession of age, once the triplets girls reach sixteen, these girls have to fight to the death in order to prove themselves worthy of the crown. At first, I was reading it more as part of the Book of the Month for a Goodreads group, even though I had it on my Fall TBR. I just thought that it would encourage me to read it even if I tire from it. But I’m glad that that wasn’t the case because I really enjoyed reading this novel!

While the plot itself did move pretty slowly, to the point where it was sometimes almost standstill, I think that it kind of makes sense. Since this is a trilogy having to do with the battle between these three sisters, the only way this would happen is that the plot was stretched out for as long as possible. I think that the author did the best she could in that case, by having lots of perspectives- not just of the sisters, but anyone connected to the sisters, for their own stories. And while the main story might have been slow, the book shows how the crowning affects everyone in the book. And it was really rewarding to read on only to find my theories about characters to be correct! 😉

The characters were incredibly interesting as well! I loved all three sisters and just wanted the best for them, maybe in the form of breaking whatever binds them to the island. I particularly enjoyed reading Arsinoe’s perspective but liked Mirabella’s and Katharine’s, too. Although, sometimes Katharine’s perspective doesn’t seem believable to me. Especially when she talks to Pietyr… Also, the additional characters like Jules, Joseph, and Billy only add to the story! It got me thinking about the people who are connected to the queen not merely as side characters, but characters of their own merit!

That’s all I have to say about Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake for now. If you enjoy reading books that are more character driven than plot, then I certainly recommend this book! Any comments or questions are welcome in the Comments section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

Review: Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski

My rating: purple4

(3.75 stars)

Hello again! I’m back with a review on the book Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski. It’s about a girl named Emily, who is occupied in deciding what to do after high school. She doesn’t really know what she wants but isn’t content with just sticking around her hometown. I thought that this book was quaint and charming, but not enough in terms of pages and information about what would happen to the protagonist later on.

Don’t get me wrong; for a book that was under 300 pages, the author does a wonderful job of creating a complex world where nothing is really generalized and most of the story is as fleshed out as can be. It’s just that after the book was over, I wasn’t really satisfied with how it ended. I wanted to know more about the characters, like where they would end up and if they would ever stay in touch. I felt as if this book was the beginning of their story, and readers were only getting a sneak peek of what is in store for these characters. That being said, I never really got bored reading Watching Traffic.

I also loved how the characters were displayed in this book! Our protagonist’s perspective is unique enough yet believable and relatable to readers. While I cannot say I understood what she has been through, I empathize with Emily’s traumatic experience and current predicament. Emily also has a great sense of humour that coloured the story and made it more than just the sad story it would have been without it. I really liked her, and I wish I got to know more about her!

Overall, this was a great read, but really short, so I’m not sure if I fully enjoyed it. If you enjoy short, poignant but brilliantly funny reads, this would be the book for you. That’s all I have to say about Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski for now. If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

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