Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed


March 2017

ARC Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

My rating:


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

Hey there, fellow bloggers! It took me a while, but I finally finished Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally. To be honest, I thought I’d finish sooner but between being busy and my lack of interest in the book, it actually took a few days. Which is pretty funny since I remember finishing the last Hundred Oaks book in a day… But enough about that- for now. Coming Up for Air is told in Maggie King’s perspective. She is a competitive swimmer trying to make it to the Olympics and realizes that she’s never made time for anything other than swimming and her tight-knit group of friends. She’s never even had a real boyfriend or experience in that area. And she realizes she wants that sort of experience before college but trusts none other than her best friend, Levi, to “teach” her. As you can imagine, drama ensues. 😉

What I liked about this book was the fact that we got to see characters from earlier on in the series again, so readers can know what they’re up to and whatnot. Especially with the epilogue! That was just pure sweetness! I also liked the book’s main message about how people have experiences within their own time and that they shouldn’t compare themselves to others. The important thing is that whatever you’re doing matters to you. It doesn’t mean that I fully understand Maggie’s reason to practice with her best friend to ensure no drama occurs. Mainly because, to me, that seems like a recipe for drama.

Other than that, I guess my problem with Coming Up for Air  was that I was hoping for more. All Maggie ever does is swim or want to hook up. There’s not much else going on other than funny anecdotes from the her interaction with secondary characters. Sure, she has her moment to shine in the end when she figures a few things out, but I felt as if she was single-minded in her endeavours. We only hear how her swim meets went and how her love life is going. The issues between Roxy and Maggie never get resolved, or at least hashed out, and other than merely mentioning their problems, we never hear from secondary characters unless it’s to comment on Maggie’s life. Why can’t they get some sort of resolution as well? Maybe I’m asking too much for such a short book, but do I have so many questions left unanswered!

Well, that’s my take on Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally. It was probably my least favourite Hundred Oaks novel, but I recommend this to anyone who likes short contemporary novels, though! Coming Up for Air comes out on July 1th, 2017, for those who are interested. Oh, and any thoughts or questions are welcome in the Comments Section below. Hope you all have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

ARC Review: Maud by Melanie Fishbane

My rating: pink3

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

Hi, everyone! Today, I’ll be reviewing Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery by Melanie Fishbane. As the title suggests, it’s a novel focused on the early years of  L.M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series. As she’s coming into her own as a writer, she faces challenges in the form of grandparents who try to tame her, classmates who try to ruin her, and an absentee father on the other side of the country who seems to want nothing to do with her. While I was able to read the book from cover to cover, I discovered that it wasn’t my cup of tea. 

What I  liked about this book was the protagonist, Maud. She always tried to do the right thing while trying to balance what was right to her versus what was proper at the time. Maud also had a wicked sense of humour, which always goes far with me! 😉 Plus, I always felt like I was in her corner whenever someone was trying to undermine her, whether it was her grandparents, stepmother, or schoolyard bullies. Probably because I have a thing for championing the underdog, which Maud seemed to be most of the time.

As a whole, I really enjoyed reading a fictionalized account of Maud’s life. Especially when I felt there was a Little Women vibe going on within the book. Maud reminded me a lot of Jo. In fact, whenever she (Maud) would mention Little Women, it would make me so ecstatic! I almost forgot that this was based on the author of Anne of Green Gables and was just another fictional protagonist. I usually don’t read historical fiction but this was different. While the book was rooted within the past, I could imagine it easily and enjoy what it had to offer. 

However, I didn’t like how it the book dragged on after a certain point or was divided into parts rather than just a continuous story. Sometimes, especially at the end, I felt myself skimming parts to get to the juicier parts of the story. Overall, the fact that it dragged on, starting from part two of the book, really affected how I feel about this book during and after reading it. I’d give this a 3 star rating overall.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery by Melanie Fishbane. It had a protagonist that I admired, but I couldn’t lose myself in the story. Any comments or questions you might have about the book are welcome in the section below. And for anyone whose interested, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery comes out on May 16th, 2017.  Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 58

Hello, fellow bloggers! It’s time for another 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). And you can join in on the fun as well by commenting on your favourite covers in the section below. The covers for this week are:

1.  Something in Between by Melissa de le Cruz

something-in-between or something-in-between-3.jpg

I know I already reviewed covers of this title before, but I saw the cover that came out for the paperback version this week and couldn’t help but share it! Look at how pretty it looks with the purple haze, that sunset, the water, and those fireworks! 😊 It’s like the perfect photograph made into a cover! And I love it! I also like how the typography is simplistic and underwhelming in relation to the image.

2. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (English and Portuguese)

all-the-bright-places.jpg or all-the-bright-places-2

Even though both these covers look the same, I kind of like the second one more because of its brightness and cluttered mess. Yes, the first one has a blue background that I think stands out more than the white one. But it also looks a bit too organized for my taste, but that’s just me…

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Synder

poison-study.jpg or poison-study-2.jpg

In this case, I’d go with the first cover! The second cover seems generic to me, with the model centre stage in a nice dress with a forest background… But the first cover catches my eye with the architecture and the spiral staircase covering the model’s face (which allows readers to imagine the protagonist how they want to rather than battling their image of the protagonist with the cover’s). I like that both covers show a sense of movement, though… 🙂

4. Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel and Brent Bradshaw (English and French)

everybody-knows-your-name.jpg or everybody-knows-your-name-2.jpg

This one’s a toughie. To be honest, I don’t really like either of them, but if I had to choose, I guess it’d be the first one, because it has more relation to the story’s plot than the second. That one looks like your run-of-the-mill Contemporary YA novel…

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Any of these covers make you want to pick up the book immediately? If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

The Unique Blogger Award

Hey there, lovely readers! I’m back, this time with an award post! I’d like to thank Eliza @ DuskAngelReads for nominating me! Now, without further ado, I’m ready to answer some fun questions! 🙂

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

Eliza’s questions: 

1. What is your least favourite Book to Movie adaptation?

This is a tricky one since I’ve been avoiding book to movie adaptations for a while now… hmmm… probably The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower…

2. Do you read one book at a time or more?

Most of the time, I stick to reading one book at a time. This is because I know I’m going to lose interest in one book or the other and end up not reading it anyways. Plus, it’s easier to focus on one book and finish it quicker than to spread the reading between two books (or more) and take longer…But I’ve always been a bit envious of people who could read a lot of books at the same time! 😉

3. Would you ever try and write a book? If so, what genre do you think you would try?

I don’t know if I have the patience to write a book (I barely have any patience when writing short stories), but if I did, it would probably be a Contemporary YA novel about best friends! 😀 Probably because I’d like to see more of those, instead of just romance in Contemporary YA (sometimes even excluding the romance altogether).

I nominate…

Krysti and Sarah @ YA and Wine

Jeyran @ Review Tales

lit this & that


Angelica and Rosie @ The Book Cover Girls

Lia @ Lost in A Story

A.J. @ Lacy Literacy

Faith @ Geeky About Books

My Questions:

What book are you anticipating the most for this year?

What is your favourite trope (it can be from any form of media)?

In terms of POVs, do you prefer one or more?

If you’ve done this award before or aren’t interested in it, feel free to ignore it. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

My rating: 

(3.75 stars)

Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a restful weekend! 🙂 I’m back with another review, this one being on Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. I actually read this book a while ago, but I’ve been meaning to review it, especially since I plan on reading its sequel… It’s about Zoe, who recently moved to your run-of-the-mill town after her mom’s divorce. It might have derailed her plan for getting into Princeton, but as long as she got out of town into a prestigious boarding school, she should have no trouble  getting back on track. But then she met Digby, amateur detective, who had a knack for getting her into a lot of trouble. Together, they investigate and discover secrets that might have been best left alone.

Well, first of all, I’ve got to say that this book reminded me a lot of Sherlock. Probably because when I read this book, I was anticipating the BBC version Sherlock by watching the episodes over and over again until it came on. In fact, the day I finished reading this book was the day before Sherlock was coming on. And I was anticipating season 4 most anxiously… That being said, I saw lots of parallels between Digby and Sherlock that made me think that this book was inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic. But that wasn’t the only enjoyable thing about the book. I really liked how suspenseful it was. I literally felt myself panicking for a character because I got to relate with her. Now, this didn’t always happen, with her being less relatable in the beginning, but by the end, I felt as if I knew and liked Zoe as a character.

But God, I liked Digby a whole lot more. He was basically the whole interesting side of the story. Her life was pretty much uneventful until she moved with her mom after the divorce to where Digby showed up. He was witty, made solid arguments, had this whole reckless thing down to a T and then there was the mystery surrounding him and his family. Due to the ending involving both these characters, I felt as if the first book was setting up the scene, and that hopefully the second book, Trouble Makes a Comeback, will be much more exciting. My only problem with this book was that it had a slow start in being exciting. Sure, there were a few good moments here and there in the beginning, but once it got to the nitty gritty of the situation, I got really invested. So that’s why I’d give this book a 3.75 star rating.

There are so many unanswered questions that I’m hoping to return to once I start reading Trouble Makes a Comeback, the sequel to Trouble is a Friend of Mine! Hopefully, Zoe’s character development will grow even more within it! Well, that’s all I have to say about Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Take care, and keep reading!

– Sumaya


Down the TBR Hole

Hi, everyone! I thought I’d give this meme a try! It’s called Down the TBR Hole and it is hosted by Lia @ Lost in a Story. This meme is dedicated to uncluttering your TBR pile, going through each book and choosing which one should stay or go. I know that there are some book on my TBR pile that I’m never going to get to, so this tag is a nice solution to my never-ending TBR pile! So, here goes nothing!

The books: 

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


I don’t think I can return to the world of Shadowhunters and invest myself in another series. I’ve had my fun with the first two series, although The Mortal Instruments did drag on for a bit too long…

The verdict: Go

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


Time and time again I’ve been meaning to read it, but I never get to… However, the premise sounds really good and everyone I know seems to rave about, so I’ll give it another go!

The verdict: Keep

Until the Beginning by Amy Plum


The sad thing about this book is that I really wanted to read it once I was done After the End. But now so much time has passed, I’m not sure if I’m even invested in the story anymore. But I can’t seem to let it go…

The verdict: Keep

Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales


Well, the only reason I wanted to read this book was because it was by Leila Sales, author of This Song Will Save Your Life. That and the nice cover! Other than that,  I don’t feel as attached to it.

The verdict: Go

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin


I remember liking the premise before, but I’m not really into Historical Fiction at the moment, so I don’t think I’ll read it anytime soon…

The Verdict: Go

So what did you think? Were there any books you’ve seen here that you’ve read or given up on? If you have any thoughts about Down the TBR Hole, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

Hello, fellow bloggers! It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of tag, but notsomoderngirl made this tag seem like so much fun, so I thought I’d give it a whirl! 🙂 Thank you again for tagging me! And for getting me back into posting tags! 😉

The Rules:

  • Choose 5 books!
  • Randomly set up your books in order.
  • Flip to a random page in the book and write the first two names you see.
  • Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them!
  • Cry at how screwed you are…
  • Tag some more people to join in the fun

My Books:

  • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
  • The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson


The first person to die: Hiral (The Thousandth Floor)

Well, he does has a record of getting caught…

The first person you trip to escape the zombies: Rylin (The Thousandth Floor)

No! Not Rylin! Why would I do that? I liked her! Did I accidentally trip her? Yeah, that must be it!

The first person who trips you to escape the zombies: Tyrus (The Diabolic)

Now that I think about it, I can actually imagine that happening. Tyrus is nothing if self-preserving…

The Team Idiot: Sidonia (The Diabolic)

While she’s not actually dumb in The Diabolic, we don’t get much help from Sidonia in it anyway. Who knows? Maybe she’d be grasping at straws in this situation…

The brains of the group: Kitty (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

I can see that! As long as she can keep her impulsiveness in check.

The team medic: Margot (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

When I think of Margot, I don’t think of team medic. Support system, yes… Medic? Not so much… Hopefully, she learns quickly on the job!

The weapons expert: Jenny (Dead Girls Society)

Oh no, we’re doomed!

The team brawler: Ethan (Dead Girls Society)

Double doomed!

The first to turn into a zombie: Frank (Since You’ve Been Gone)

Is it bad that I don’t mind if he was turned into a zombie?

The team leader: Beckett (Since You’ve Been Gone)

If it’s anything like that play he was in charge of, then I don’t see it to be such a bad thing. However, I’d like to know how good Beckett can improvise before feeling safe that he’s our leader against the zombies…

Well, my team may not be the best, but we’ve got some good players. And who knows, maybe Tyrus will align with us after that tripping incident. Or we could stay inside a bunker for a really long time… I’m all for plan B as long as we have enough food and space.

I tag: 

Eliza @ DuskAngelReads

Tiana @ The Book Raven

Krysti and Sarah @ YA and Wine

Jeyran @ Review Tales 

Annie @ The Misstery

…and you!

If you have done it before or aren’t interested, feel free to ignore it! Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya


ARC Review: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

My rating


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

Hello again! I hope everyone’s enjoying their Saturday! I just finished this book I got from NetGalley called It Started With Goodbye by Christina June. It focuses on Tatum  after she’s falsely accused of a crime, ghosted by her best friend, and being treated as guilty by her father and stepmother. As a way to pay for the fine of the charges against her, Tatum starts her own graphic design business. During the course of the summer, Tatum discovers more about her family than she has in years, with these surprising revelations changing the way she sees them.

First things first: I loved reading this book! I actually started yesterday in the middle of the night, and even though I was tired, I still wanted to read it. Usually, if I’m tired, I get bored with the book pretty easily and just continue reading the next day. But not this book. I can’t exactly put my finger on it. Maybe it was the tone, or the arts component of the book, implementing visual arts, ballet, contemporary dance as well as classical and popular music. It could be that I related to Tatum and always wanted the best for her, or the fact that there was always something to look forward to when reading the book. It could have been all of those things! Overall, for me, this book was unputdownable! Plus, everything I wanted to happen occurred in the end, which is really satisfying in a book. Most of the time, I might get some sort of resolution but it isn’t fully realized. Or I’d have questions about certain issues that were left unanswered in the book. I really like how It Started With Goodbye ties up all the loose ends nicely. The only thing I’m wondering after reading this book is why it is called It Started With Goodbye. Seriously, if any of you know why, please let me know!

Character-wise, I thought that everyone was okay. No one really stood out to me as boring, but there were some flat characters, mainly because the focus is on our protagonist, Tatum, and her family. The relationships between Tatum, Tilly (Tatum’s stepsister), and Belén (Tilly’s mom and Tatum’s stepmother) was interesting to read about. I love how it started off complicated but by the end, they were opening up to each other and to new possibilities. It goes to show that if you  can’t expect progress if you don’t try to change the narrative.I think that Tatum learns that lesson this summer. She could have just given up on people in general after being accused of a crime she didn’t commit, but she keeps on going and actually tries to make things better. It doesn’t always turn out the way she wanted, but at least she tried, I’ll give her that.  😉

Well, that’s all I have to say about It Started With Goodbye by Christina June! It was a really great read and I’m so happy that NetGalley granted my wish! I recommend this to anyone whose interested in reading about the arts as well as a contemporary novel concerning family. It Started With Goodbye comes out on May 9th, 2017 for anyone whose interested! By the way, if you have anything you’d like to share about this book (like the mystery of the title), feel free to talk about it in the Comments Section below. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

ARC Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

My rating: blue4-copy

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

Hey there, fellow bloggers! It’s time for another review and this one’s on The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares. The book focuses on Sasha, Ray, Quinn, Mattie and Emma as they deal with the aftermath their parents left them with. Emma, Quinn and Mattie’s parents ended their relationship years ago, have remarried and had more kids (Sasha and Ray). The only thing left connecting them other than their offspring is the house they share in Long Island. Every other week, a different family spends time in the house, and never do those two families meet. It sounded really intriguing to me, which is why I requested it on NetGalley! 😉

I’ve got to say, I’ve been on a Contemporary YA role lately, and it looks like it has no signs of stopping. I don’t know why exactly I’ve been riding the Contemporary YA train. Usually, when people ask me what genres I like, I usually respond with Fantasy first, then Contemporary. But lately, I haven’t been wanting to read much Fantasy… hopefully that’ll change soon…

Anyway, back to the review at hand. I really enjoyed reading The Whole Thing Together. At first, it took me a while to get used to the 3rd person narrative and invested in the characters, but when I did, it was great! I especially liked it when I got to learn more about Sasha, Mattie, Ray and Quinn. Not so much when it came to Emma though. I feel as if she didn’t really have anything at stake in this book in terms of development or wanting to bring about development. Whenever the 3rd person narrative would get to her, I always found myself unable to connect with her, feeling as if she’s a flat character. Maybe the author tried to give her more depth later on by adding some flaws, but I felt as if it were too late by then to develop Emma into a complex character. The book was practically over by that point.

As for the plot, things were really tense in terms of the book’s tone, which made me want to keep on reading. It was mainly the history surrounding the parents and their fallout that made me intrigued in the book. I wanted to see how things would unfold, especially between the two families, because it most certainly was going to. However, I did not see that it was going to unfold the way it did, or the revelations that happened along the way. Overall, The Whole Thing Together was a bit predictable, but not too much that it ruins the book.

Well, that’s all I have to say about The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares. I recommend this to anyone looking for a good Contemporary YA read as well as to any fans of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. There were some similarities I found between that series and The Whole Thing Together. And for those who are interested, The Whole Thing Together comes out on April 25th, 2017! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

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