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January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Manga That I’ve Read and Loved

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

Hi, everyone! It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme is on the more visual mediums of reading, which is why I chose to write about manga. Here are just some of the manga series that I loved reading way back when:

1.  Full Moon O Sagashite by Arina Tanemura

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2. Arisa by Natsumi Ando

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3. Kitchen Princess by Natsumi Ando

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4. Aishiteruze Baby by Yoko Maki

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5. Otomen by Aya Kanno

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6. Dawn of the Arcana by Rei Toma

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7. Beauty Pop by Kiyoko Arai

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8. Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi

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9. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

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10. Maid-Sama by Hiro Fujiwara

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Well, that’s all for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Was there any manga on this list that you’ve read and enjoyed? Or any other manga that you think I might be interested in? If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 52

Hello, lovely 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 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.  #famous by Jilly Gagnon (English and French)

#famous.jpg or #famous2.jpg

Although I admire the typography and little bits of cover art display on the second cover, I kind of like the first cover more. I guess it’s because the second one mixes two mediums, while the first one remains more consistent with just one medium. But that’s just me…

2. Remix by Non Pratt

remix.jpg or remix-2

I really like the second cover! It has much more going on that the first, with the colour scheme as well as the info given about the book right above the cover. To be honest, the colour scheme makes the first book look more vibrant and joyful than the first one. But I really like how the first cover places the author’s name as opposed to the second cover.

3. The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer

the-season.jpg or the-season-2.jpg

Oh, this is a hard one! Both these covers tell us a little about the book. If I had to choose though, I’d go with the first cover. Usually, I don’t go for covers with models when another option is given, but I liked the contrast between the model in the middle with the sneakers versus the other debutantes. It’s very striking. That, and the fact that I like the blue background.

4. Friend Me/Mates, Dates, Utterly Fabulous by Cathy Hopkins

friend-me.jpg or friend-me-2.jpg

First cover forever! You can see the dynamic between the trio of the first cover rather than just a plain cover than doesn’t really convey anything except some cover art that can be generalized to anything, not just friendship.

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! What did you think of this week’s covers? If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share them in the section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Childhood

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

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s topic is a freebie, so I chose to list ten books I remember reading/being read when I was younger. Here are just some of them:

1.  The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

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2. The Babysitters’ Club series by Ann M Martin

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3. A Series of Unfortunate Events  by Lemony Snicket

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4. Rosie’s Dream Cape by Zelda Freedman

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5. The Princess Tales series by Gail Carson Levine

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6. Keep Your Hands Off My Orangutan by Mallory Tarcher

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7. Dear Canada Diaries

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8. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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9. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

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10. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

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Well, that’s all for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What did everyone else write about for their freebie week? Hope everyone had fun with it! If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: green4

(4.25 stars)

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

Hi, everyone! Another day, another review! I’m really excited for today’s review since it’s on A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi!  A Crown of Wishes is the companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen and focuses on Gauri, Maya’s sister. In it, she has to compete in the Tournament of Wishes with a partner in order to obtain a wish to save her kingdom. Her partner turns out to be Vikram, a prince from an enemy kingdom who wants to be an actual leader to his people rather than just a puppet king. Along the way, they learn more about themselves- and each other- in a month’s time than they did in years. I’ll admit, I was mainly excited about this book because of how much I liked The Star-Touched Queen and was interested in what Roshani Chokshi wrote next. I wasn’t heavily invested in what happened to Gauri after the events of The Star-Touched Queen until I read A Crown of Wishes, where Roshani Chokshi made me fall in love with Gauri and a number of other characters as well!

Where to begin… How about  at the beginning and the fact that I loved it! During the first quarter of the book,  I was thinking to myself,”Five stars, five stars, five stars!” The writing quality was outstanding and very realistic (which was a slight problem when it came to food 😀 ), whether it was on imagery, recaps or a character’s thoughts and feelings. I think I take the writing style of a book for granted sometimes, but I could not ignore the stunning writing in this book that made it all the more enjoyable. 😉 I also really liked the set-up and how our main characters entered The Tournament of Wishes. The story flowed from there and to all the adventures they had along the way until they reached their destination in the Otherworld. Along the way, we’re given more information about the Otherworld as our protagonists travel to Kubera’s, the Lord of Treasures, Court and to the Tournament. If you’ve read my previous reviews on fantastic novels, you’d know that I’m  interested in the world-building and myth surrounding the novel just as much as the plot. I really enjoyed A Crown of Wishes’ world-building, not only because we’re already a bit familiar with some otherworldly beings, but so are our main characters. They might not know everything about the Otherworld, but they’ve learned enough to go by without flailing around about what to do. I think that’s my favourite type of fantasy, more immersive than portal quest.

What I loved most about this book though was that it was really consistent. The overarching theme was how dangerous desire was and you could see that in almost every section of the book. That makes the story even more awesome because the supposed goal is that they obtain a wish from Kubera’s tournament. What they learn while competing in the Tournament has the ability to change their whole perspective from what it once was. Then there was an emphasis all throughout the book about the importance of stories, how immortal and fluid they are, ever changing after multiple tellings. As a reader, I fully support the importance of stories and was glad to see that in here. 🙂

While there were some parts of the book where I got bored or didn’t fully grasp, especially at the end, I enjoyed reading A Crown of Wishes and thought that it was on the same level as The Star-Touched Queen, maybe even better since it got me interested from the getgo whereas The Star-Touched Queen was a bit slow in the beginning. Well, that’s all I have to say about A Crown of Wishes. If you liked The Star-Touched Queen, then you should go ahead and add this book to your TBR pile! 😉 If you have any thoughts or questions on A Crown of Wishes or The Star-Touched Queen, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. A Crown of Wishes comes out on March 28th, 2017 for those who are interested! Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 51

Hey, wonderful readers! It’s time for another Which Cover Wednesday. This is a weekly meme that I host in which I compare two different covers of the same book and suggest which one suits the book better. Feel free to participate as well in the Comments Section below. Here we go:

1.  Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

summer-days.jpg or summer-days-2.jpg

In this case, I like the first cover better than the second. Don’t get me wrong; the second cover is a good cover if you’re going for simple, but I think it’s too simple compared to the first one. I like how the first cover uses its space and fills it out accordingly.

2. And I Darken by Kiersten White

and-i-darken.jpg or and-i-darken-2.jpg

First cover again! It just looks so beautiful with the flowers and sword as the focus of the cover. I can actually imagine the flowers falling as the sword rises. Plus, I don’t really like covers with models on them. Although I do like this model’s fierce look in her eyes… 😉

3. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

dark-days-club or dark-days-club-2.jpg

These are both good covers, but if I had to choose, I’d go with the first one. It just has an air of mystery to it, as well as the fact that the second cover looks more like a movie adaptation rather than a cover made for a book…

4. Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski

bras-and-broomsticks.jpg or magic-in-manhattan.jpg

I am loving the second cover! The font is pretty great and I love the background image. I think it’s much more comical than the first and it’s also not cartoonish like the first cover. Because of that, the first cover seems more MG than YA.

That’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Hope you enjoyed reading it! If you have any thoughts about these covers that you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below! Thank you for reading!

–  Sumaya

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books and Hidden Gems

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

Hello, everyone! It’s that time of week again: Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten is about those underrated books or hidden gems we’ve read in the last year. Here are some books that I have read and felt to be less noticed compared to other books, whether the reason is being known and underrated or just hidden from a mainstream audience:

1.  Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

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2. An English Boy in New York by T.S. Eaton

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3. The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey

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4. Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter

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5. Between Takes by Alex Evansley

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6. Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler

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7. No More Confessions by Louise Rozett

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8. All the Feels by Danika Stone

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9. Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

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10. Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

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Well, that’s it for my Top Ten Tuesday! Now it’s your turn: what books are on your TTT this week? Feel free to share your thoughts, questions or links to TTTs in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

Review: Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

My rating: pink3

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

Hello, fellow bloggers! I’ve just finished reading Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl. It’s about a family and the reality tv show, Rolling withe Royces, that follows their lives. The only snag is that one of the family members, Bentley, does not want to play by the show’s rules anymore and has to decide what she wants if it isn’t being on the hit reality tv show, Rolling with the Royces- and what she’ll do to make that happen. After reading the excerpt, I thought to myself, this is a subject you love, the going-ons of reality tv! Once I read it though, I had slightly different feelings about it.

The fact is that I just couldn’t get behind the logic of the book. It was very confusing, between the sudden personality changes of characters to the lack of resolution of their problems. I couldn’t follow how the aftermath and flashbacks were related in some cases as well as the development of characters barely being explained at all. Like Bentley’s mother, Mercedes, making an overnight transformation from distant to loving. I know by throwing in the mothering into her cold personality was supposed to make her more complex and less like this evil one-dimensional character, but all it did was make me wonder what actually caused it. Was it the show or was Mercedes finally waking up and realizing she needed to treat her kids better? Either way, we aren’t given an answer, which I find to be really sad. Or the problems that Bach and Bentley faced because of this reality show. After reading this book, I still don’t know how the ending even plays out for them. What does it mean for their show? Does Bentley get everything she wanted? Although, that might have been more due to the fact that I probably wasn’t paying as much attention at this pint.

But there were good parts. The beginning and ending of the book were really interesting and the only reason I even read the middle part of the book in the first place. There was just so much mystery and intrigue surrounding it that I couldn’t help but read those parts, even if I didn’t get the reasoning at times. That and having the lines blurred between real and reality tv in this book, whether it was facts or characters’ personalities, made this book more enjoyable!

Overall, while Royce Rolls was interesting enough, there wasn’t enough backstory or sufficient development for it to make sense, even as we got a behind the scenes kind of story. If you have any more questions about Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 50

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 sharing your thoughts on these covers in the Comments Section below. Here are this week’s covers 🙂 :

1.  A Tale of Two Besties by Sophia Rossi

besties.jpg or besties-2.jpg

In this case, I’d choose the first cover. Maybe it’s just the placement as well as the typography, or even the background, but the first cover is more appealing to me than the second one. On the other hand, it could be because I don’t really like the second one with the way it sets up the title and the overall paleness of it; this cover isn’t as bold as the first one.

2. The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer

inventor.jpg or inventor-2.jpg

First cover, first cover! As you probably know after reading a bunch of Which Cover Wednesdays, I’m not a total fan of models on the cover. That’s why when it’s possible not to have a model on the cover and still make it look good, I’d go for that cover instead. I do like the colours of the second cover, though, but it’s the first one that wins my vote!

3. Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

beware-that-girl.jpg or beware-that-girl-2.jpg

OMG! And this round goes to the first cover again! I can see what the model of the second cover is doing, trying to be either mysterious or scary, but that is totally undermined by the title’s typography. It just doesn’t match the mood and actually obscures the model’s face instead of enhancing the cover altogether. I think the first cover expresses the thriller genre beautifully with the tones as well as the model facing her back to readers and establishing an air of mystery. Then there’s the wicked typography of the title that I prefer way more than the second cover. All in all, I love that first cover! 😉

4. Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

kill-the-boy-band or kill-the-boy-band-2.jpg

This time, it’s the second cover that gets my love! I really like the way the cover mimics a poster and gives you a bit more on the book than the first one does. With that and the typography, the second cover just looks way better to me than the plain first cover.

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Any covers that strike your fancy? Which cover did you think represent the book best? If you have any thoughts about Which Cover Wednesday, this week’s or on the meme in general, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

My rating: blue3

(3.25 stars)

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

Hello, wonderful readers! I recently read The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli, brought to me via NetGalley. It’s about a girl named Cammie who lives in a prison as the warden’s daughter. During the summer of 1959, before Cammie turns thirteen, she deals with problems of both past and present, working to ultimately move on.

It’s hard to know if I liked this book or not. I mean, I did want to read it till the end, but during that point, there was mostly skimming involved. I got really bored with the protagonist’s story after hearing about all the mayhem she caused. I felt as if someone should have been there for her a long time ago, and that she got away with way too much just because she’s the warden’s daughter as well the tragedy that surrounded her. I felt that the treatment she was receiving was not the proper response in raising a child. It’s not that her father didn’t do the best that he could, but there were hints that there relationship wasn’t the most communicative.

That’s actually a big problem area for Cammie. All throughout the novel, I wished for  more interaction between Cammie and others. That girl was more stuck inside her head that outside with the rest of the world. For good reason, too, she was the protagonist and it was her personality. It was probably what the author was going for anyways, seeing as Cammie does refer to herself as an isolated person. I just didn’t like it so much because all you saw was her being mean to people. I think it was meant to point out how damaged Cammie’s relationships with others was and if she wanted to mend those relationships, something had to change. And while I did like her maturity at the end, I didn’t like how it developed: out of nowhere. I really don’t like when that kind of development is rushed because it’s less satisfying for me to read about. I thought that Cammie’s development within the novel was really flat until the end, where it suddenly spiked and she was shown to be a level-headed and mature person. Overall, this book had its ups and downs, making it more of a 3 star rating than a 4 star one.

That’s all I have to say about The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day, everybody!

-Sumaya

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