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where YA books are reviewed

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November 2016

Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

My rating: pink3

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

Hello, fellow bloggers! I haven’t reviewed a book in a while, but I’m breaking that streak with this review! 😉 It’s on Alterations by Stephanie Scott, which focuses on Amelia’s story as she goes to New York for a summer fashion program and leaving behind everything familiar, including the Laurenti brothers, Ethan and Liam. It sounded interesting, due to the fashion aspect, so I requested it on NetGalley right away. Even though I didn’t like Alterations as much as I thought I would, I’m glad I got a chance to read it.

I liked reading this book at certain times, like when Amelia is working on her fashion projects. I just love seeing the enthusiasm that comes out of her in those moments. Truth be told, I actually chose to request this book because of the fashion side of things. I wanted to see more of that, instead of the weird love triangle that Amelia has surrounded herself in. So, yeah, I’m a bit bias in that regard, and it is probably the reason I didn’t completely like the book. Because I only liked part of the premise. In fact, I kind of wished that the book ended with Amelia finishing her summer program, and expanded a bit more on that instead of the romance factor that had to be dragged out longer than it should have been. Even when she had an epiphany about it.

As for the characters themselves, I don’t think I really liked them. With a few exceptions, like Amelia’s relationship with her mother and grandmother, I didn’t like the characters’ personalities or their interactions with each other. I guess the main thing I didn’t like when it came to the characters was Amelia, Ethan, and Liam. They were just so annoying at times that I couldn’t even believe them! Plus, there’s the fact that I’m not really a fan of love triangles (unless it’s Tessa, Will, and Jem from The Infernal Devices).

Well, that’s all I have to say about Alterations by Stephanie Scott. If you like love triangles and fashion (but not necessarily together), then this is the book for you! If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

– Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 47

Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’m back with another Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a meme I host where I compare two covers of the same book and choose which one I think is better for that book (based solely on my opinion). And you can participate as well, in the Comments Section below! Here are the covers for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday:

1.  A Thousands Nights by E.K. Johnston

a-thousand-nights.jpg or a-thousand-nights-2.jpg

In this case, I really like the second one. Something about the shades of colour as well as the windy motion of the fabric appeals to me. That, and I find the first cover’s model kind of odd, just levitating there…

2. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

ink-and-bone.jpg or ink-and-bone-2.jpg

First cover for sure! The second cover looks a bit washed-out compared to it, with the neutral colours and the simplistic cover art. I love how the first cover plays with the typography, as well as the background.

3. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (English and Serbian)

finding-audrey.jpg or finding-audrey-2.jpg

Even though both these covers are similar, I like the second cover a smidgen more. I like how it uses the space its been given, with the title, as well as the close-up of the girl on the cover. I do like the first cover’s font much more, though…

4. Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding

kissing-ted.jpg or kissing-ted-2.jpg

First cover, first cover, first cover! While the second one is nice, I prefer the first cover much more because it brings more of the storyline into the cover than the second one. That and I think that the cover art is super cute! 😉

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday. If you have any comments or questions about these covers, feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 46

Hello, fellow readers! It’s time for Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a weekly meme I host. What happens is that I compare two different covers of a book and give my opinion of which cover looks better. And feel free to join in by giving your opinions on these covers in the Comments Section below. Without further ado, here are this week’s covers:

1.  Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Helper

dream-factory.jpg or dream-factory-2.jpg

I prefer the first one over the second cover. The second one just lacks a lot of colour and still looks like an unfinished version of the first cover.

2. How to Love by Katie Cotugno

how-to-love.jpg or how-to-love-2.jpg

I usually don’t like covers with models, but I really like the second cover! Maybe it has to do with the fact that the first one is a bit too plain for me. Maybe it’s the fact that I love the background and typography for the second cover. All I know is that the second cover is way more appealing to me.

3. Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

dream-a-little-dream or dream-a-little-dream-2

First cover looks gorgeous! It also sets a different mood as a cover, and is totally appropriate for this novel. The second cover seems to be a bit on the light side of things, like the model found a magical wonderland of some kind.

4. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

trial-by-fire or trial-by-fire-2

In this case, I’d choose the second cover! The first cover, while neat, I like the cover art on the second!

That’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! What did you think of this week’s covers? Were there some you liked? If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: Textrovert by Lindsey Summers

My rating: pink4

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

Hello, fellow readers! Hope you all are reading something good today! 😉 I’ve just finished reading Textrovert by Lindsey Summers, which was quite a treat! It was previously published on Wattpad before being picked up by Kids Can Press and is about a teenage girl and boy who accidentally swap phones and start sending messages to each other from those phones. The story is told from the perspective of the girl, whose name is Keeley. When I saw this on NetGalley, I thought that the idea behind the book was really cute, so I pressed the Read Now button that allowed me to read it instantly. And let’s just say I did! 😉

I really enjoyed the book’s writing! The characters had such good chemistry with each other, and there wasn’t too much suspenseful drama that would make you side with a certain character or whatnot. I mean, there was drama, but it wasn’t directly related to Keeley, just a result of something she was a part of. It was really nice to have a light read, especially after recently reading The Cage by Megan Shepherd! That being said, I was really invested in the characters and sad to see them go after I finished reading.

While I liked the relationships between characters, I felt as though I could have saw more of the characters than I did in the story. In the beginning, Keeley is a bit boring with this need to always adhere to everyone else’s desires before her own. That starts to change within the book, but I would have liked to see more of that. We start the story with Keeley not knowing what she wants to do after high school. I’m not saying she had to have a life plan down right there and then, but some decision about what she would do after high school would have been nice to see. I would have also liked to hear more from the secondary characters of the story, like Zach (her twin) and her best friend Nicky. They seemed to have a lot of influence over Keeley, yet we barely get anything resolved with them at the end of it all.

That’s all I have to say about Textrovert by Lindsey Summers. If you’re looking for a light contemporary read, then this is definitely the book for you! Any thoughts or questions you might have are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

My rating: green4

Hey, everyone! I’m back with another review, and this one is one The Cage by Megan Shepherd. It’s about a group of teens who are abducted by aliens for their own safety and to ensure the survival of the human race. The story is told in many different POVs but most of these chapters are told from the perspective of Cora, the daughter of a senator who recently got out of juvie. Her fellow captives include Lucky, Nok, Rolf, and Leon. Together, they must figure out a way to escape their space prison/ otherworldly zoo or end up living the rest of their lives under the custody of their alien jailers.

I’ve got to say, this book was intriguing in the way things were set up. I thought that things were revealed at the right time, with certain information being withheld just for suspense’s sake. OMG, and the huge reveal at the end? That was something I really liked! I also enjoyed reading the characters’ backstories along with the plot; in this case, I thought it was well done and helped readers sympathize with the other characters. However, I felt as if the sympathy skewed towards Cora, the one who gets the most voice-time, as well as the known rebel of the group. It would have been nicer to get more of the others’ thoughts at times, because I would be wondering what the others were going through and how they were holding up. I would only get snippets of that, and as result, the development of the characters wasn’t as profound or believable in relation to Cora. That was my main pet peeve. But other than, I didn’t really have a problem with the story.

As for the characters, there were times I was on a character’s side only to have questioned their logic later on. While they were in captivity at the otherworldly zoo, each character was trying to convince themselves that they were doing the best they could in order to survive and that everyone else was in the wrong. My opinion on that is that everyone in that place was going slightly paranoid and that was bound to affect their interactions with others… While their behaviour was really problematic, I thought that it made sure that no one was a flat character and that they were more interesting to read about. And that’s just looking at the humans in the story. The aliens were a whole other matter. While the story illuminates a bit about the origin of these aliens, I hope that the next book elaborates more on the world(s) surrounding them.

That’s all I have to say about The Cage by Megan Shepherd. If there’s one thing about Megan Shepherd’s books, it’s that she knows how to write a gripping story that will have you reading till the very last page. If you have any thoughts or questions about The Cage, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 45

Hello, fellow book lovers! Welcome back to another Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a weekly meme I host. What happens is that I compare two different covers of a book and give my opinion of which cover looks better. Feel free to give your opinion of these covers as well! And this week’s covers are…

1.  The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

museum-of-heartbreak or museum-of-heartbreak-2.jpg

I’m in favour of the first cover! Even though I think the second cover looks nice, it’s kind of generic as far as covers go, while the first cover connects to the title in such a dynamic way. You can almost imagine what a museum of heartbreak would look like…

2. The Cage by Mega Shepherd (German)

the-cage or the-cage-2

Again, loving that first cover. I like the second cover’s menacing vibe, but it would have been a lot more effective if the model of the cover was somewhat recognizable within the text. Or if there were more colours than black and white…

3. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

born-wicked or born-wicked-2.jpg

OMG, why are all these first covers getting my love? Regardless, I love the bohemian feel of the first cover in terms of background and cover art, especially the typography and the flowers.

4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

forest-of-hands-2 or forest-of-hands.jpg

In this case, I’d actually go with the second cover. I’m a huge fan of simplistic covers that don’t use models, so that’s why this cover is the one I prefer.

That’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice night!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: green1-5

(DNF at 33%)

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

Hello, again! Another day, another review! This one is on The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. Now,  I don’t believe I’ve ever written a DNF review, but there’s a first time for everything. The story is based on The Little Mermaid and follows Evangeline, a ward of King Richard, as she tries to escape her a political marriage by running away and pretending to be a mute servant. Along the way, she meets Westley, whose kindheartedness and good looks she falls for. But things get complicated as the truth about Evangeline’s true standing becomes known. When NetGalley granted my wish for this request, I was really excited. Especially since I enjoyed the author’s previous book, The Merchant’s Daughter. I’m sorry to say that I had to DNF this book at 33%. The reason behind this was that I didn’t want to read a book that I had a lot of problems with. For instance, I felt as if the book had more potential to be uncovered by the author. The amount of dialogue in this book compared to description is a lot more, and I didn’t think it was that developed. The story premise was intriguing to me, so maybe if the book is worked on a bit more, then it would have reached its potential.

Then, there was the insta-romance. When it comes to love and romantic relationships, I really hate instal-romance. I feel as if it’s a quick way to get characters to connect with each other for the purpose of the story. It didn’t seem like Evangeline and Westley were really attracted to each other, but more of their ideas of the other. I’d rather have a build up when it comes to emotional attachment, instead of characters liking the first pretty face they saw and just trusting them because of that. In fact, what really bothered me was the fact that in this novel, pretty equaled good guys and ugly equaled bad. If this was simply meant to be a fairytale set in the 1300s, I get it, but come on; this is a fairytale adaptation. It should be at least more complex than that.

Other than that, it just didn’t feel real enough to me. The story depends on people being kind hearted to Evangeline in a time where things were really tense since the peasants’ Uprising happened recently. And I’m not just talking about respecting others. I’m talking about how no one minds that she can’t really work even though she’s pretending to be a servant. Wouldn’t anyone be suspicious of her real talents? Overall, I think that I was expecting more from the premise, but the book didn’t meet my standards.

That’s all I have to say about The Slient Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. I didn’t really enjoy it, but maybe it gets better in the second half of the book. Who knows? If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added to my TBR

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

Hey, everyone! I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to the books that have been recently added to our TBRs. Using Goodreads, I was able to figure out the last ten books I’ve added to my TBR pile and here they are:

1. The Hunt (The Cage #2) by Megan Shepherd

the-hunt.jpg

2. The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepherd

the-gauntlet

3. Flower by Elizabeth Craft

flower

4. Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel

everybody-knows.jpg

5. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

coraline .jpg

6. How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

how-to-hang-a-witch

7. The V Girl by Mya Robarts

the-v-girl.jpg

8. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys

19364719

9. Dreamfall by Amy Plum

31371729

10. You Don’t Know Me, But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

you-dont-know

Well, that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Are any of these books on your list? If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

– Sumaya

 

Which Cover Wednesday 44

Hello again, lovely readers! Welcome back to another 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 you can join in on the fun as well, by commenting about these covers in the Comments Section below. Here are this week’s covers:

1. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

the-rose-and-the-dagger.jpg or the-rose-and-the-dagger-2

I really like the second cover! It’s so simple in design but the execution behind the idea is amazing! Those rose petals look exquisite as well as the dagger and the cloth under them. Plus, the typography is great! Not that I don’t like the first one; I just like the like the second one more…

2. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

this-savage-song.jpg or this-savage-song-2.jpg

This is a really, really hard choice! Both these covers would have my vote against almost anything else, but given some context, I like the first cover a bit more since it has a violin on the cover. These two covers look really gorgeous though…

3. Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Eaton

boys-dont.jpg or boys-dont-2.jpg

While both these covers look pretty similar, I guess I like the darker cover of the two. It uses more of its background. Plus, I prefer a darker background in comparison to a brighter one.

4. Fury by Elizabeth Miles

fury-2.jpg or fury.jpg

Second cover, second cover, second cover! The model’s bold stare on cover two is giving me chills! That’s the main reason I like this one better than the first cover.

Those are this week’s covers! Which one did you like the best? Any thoughts of questions are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

 

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