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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

Month

April 2017

Which Cover Wednesday 60

Hello, fellow bloggers! 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.  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

the-scorpio-races.jpg or  the-scorpio-races-2

I really like the first cover! It just has this rustic appeal that the second one doesn’t have. And the title’s typography looks amazing! Meanwhile, the second cover seems to just scream “love story with horses”…

2. Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman

blonde-ops or blonde-ops-2

Definitely the first cover! I like the placement of the title and how it fills out the cover more than the second one. Also, the first cover’s title gets a little playful with cover art (the target on the O), which I thought was simple and affective. Plus, I’m a major fan of vespas and cobbled roads…. 😁

3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

seraphina-2.jpg or seraphina.jpg

First cover again! I love the detail given to the illustration of the first cover! 😍 It looks gorgeous! And to be honest, the second cover looks more like a promo poster for a movie or show…

4. United We Spy by Ally Carter

united-we-spy-1.jpg or united-we-spy

While I do admire the second cover’s attempt to mimic the original covers, it’s the first cover that steals my heart! The second cover is a bit too monotone for my taste, while the first cover mixes a bit more colour into it! Plus, I love Cami’s graduation get-up! 😉

That’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! I guess I really gave my love to the first covers this week! 😉 What did you think of this week’s covers? I’d love to know what you thought of them! If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know in the Comments Section below! Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

The Versatile Blogger Award

Hey there, fellow readers! I recently got nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls! I was also nominated by Meghan @ Meghan’s Whimsical Explorations and Reviews a while back! Thank you so much! It means a lot that you both nominated me for this award. 🙂 Now, without further ado, let’s get this started!

The Rules:

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blog.

1.  When I was younger, I was a bit of a prankster. I’d prank phone calls, tie people together via their clothes; that sort of thing. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that phase and just stick to mildly scaring people from time to time… 😀

2. I have this love and hate relationship with the rain. First off, I hate being stuck in the rain. I have no qualms about it when I’m inside my house, sipping a latte and watching the world go by. But once I’m outside and it starts pouring, I’m just put off by it. Probably has to do with the times it would rain in Somalia. Since it wouldn’t rain for long periods of time, when it actually does rain, it pours like nobody’s business. It’s probably also why I’m thankful for it, seeing as the land did need that downpour in order for the wildlife to survive.

3. I’ll never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know this for a fact because I’ve tried several times to read it and could never get past the first few chapters. I know that lots of people love it, and I respect that, but it’ll probably never be my cup of tea and I’m okay with that.

4. I’ve always wanted to work at a bookstore. I guess this would come as no surprise to many of you, but it’s always been a dream of mine to have worked with books and the first job I thought of was working at Chapters Indigo. Even now, if I ever got the chance to work with them and see how the sales side of things go in the book industry, I’d still be interested. Maybe it’ll happen in the future…

5. I haven’t read a Fantasy YA novel in quite a while! I know I’ve been on a Contemporary streak lately, but I really want to delve into a world of magic again! If anyone has suggestions of a really good fantasy novel to read, please share them in the Comments Section below! I’ll read it ASAP!

6. I think I’m slowly on my way to becoming Team eBook… Or at least more than I was before. While I do love having a physical copy of the book at hand, I also love having a eReader with a bunch of books that I can choose to read if I’ve lost interest in one of them. Plus, if buying a new eReader is any indication, it probably means that I’m more dedicated to reading eBooks on a device dedicated to it rather than my tiny phone screen.

7. I don’t own a bookshelf. It’s true! I have a bunch of books but no shelf to put them in. I usually just leave them on the table or in a bin. I’d really like one though… Maybe that’ll be my next big purchase…

I nominate: 

Lia @ Lost in a Story

Hermione and Clara @ Proud and Prejudiced Book Thieves 

Steph @ Lost Purple Quill

Sydney @ Sydney’s Shelves

Laura @ Reading Sanctuary

Des @ Des’ Random Thoughts

Bentley @ Book Bastion

Eliza @ DuskAngelReads

Jasmine @ How Useful It Is

Laura @ thebookcorps

If you’ve already done this award or are not interested, feel free to ignore the nomination. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Down the TBR Hole 3

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to another Down the TBR Pile post, 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. So far, it’s actually been a really great way to sort through my TBR pile! Anyways, I’ll just cut to the chase and introduce this week’s titles! 😉

The books:

1.  Missing You (1-800-Where-Are-You) by Meg Cabot

missing-you.jpg

OMG! I cannot take this book off my TBR ever! Unless I read it, that is… I’ve always loved Meg Cabot’s books and Jess has got to be one of my favourite protagonists that she has written. I’ll try to get back into this series, even if I have to reread it again! 😀

The verdict: Keep

2. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

furthermore.jpg

In this case, I’m not sure… Honestly, I just put it on my TBR because it’s Tahereh Mafi, and I loved read the Shatter Me trilogy. I did read a sneak peek of the book, which made it intriguing, so maybe I’ll just keep it for now!

The verdict: Keep

3. Cashmere by Temple West

cashmere.jpg

This one’s definitely a go! It’s been a long time since I read the first book, which I wasn’t too invested in, excluding the last part…

The verdict: Go

 

4. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

famous-in-love.jpg

From what I can tell, this book is right up my alley with the whole girl-becomes-a-star angle! I’m definitely keeping this! Hopefully I can read this before the adaptation on Freeform…

The verdict: Keep

5. A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter

a-mad-zombie-party

I remember really wanting to read this, especially after the conclusion of Queen of the Zombie Hearts. But now, I’m okay with letting that be the conclusion of the whole series, instead of rehashing that ending…

The verdict: Go

Well, that’s it for this week’s Down the TBR Pile! Are any of these books on your TBR pile as well? And if so, are you still interested in them? By the way, any thoughts about this week’s Down the TBR Pile are welcome in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day, everyone! 🙂

–  Sumaya

ARC Review: Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes

My rating:

red1.5

(DNF review)

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

Hello, everyone! Another day, another review, and this one is on Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes. When I first requested it on NetGalley, I think I only had to read the first paragraph of the blurb to find it interesting. It’s about a guy named Eddie who works as a reporter in a small town called Kusko after flunking out of the University of Anchorage. And at first, I was really invested in it. Especially in the reporter aspects of the novel and the funny articles. But once I read about a third of the novel, and it became less about reporting, I started to lose interest and skimmed. A lot. So much so that I would lose chunks of the story yet somehow still know what’s going on. In the end, what started out as something really enjoyable became something I just couldn’t read anymore.

As I’ve said before, the novel did start out interesting with Eddie’s reporting and articles in The Delta Patriot, the newspaper he works for in Kusko. It was cool to see Eddie go all out for a career he loves, even though the place is less than ideal for him. Everyone tries to warn him about it, but instead of just quitting at the first sign of trouble, he sticks it out, which I had admired. I just wish he kept that resolve later on in the book.

Then there was Eddie’s logic on his staying at Kusko. While I thought it was admirable that he was willing to make up for his mistakes and prove that he is serious about journalism even after his mistakes, all that resolve goes out the window because of a girl he had just met. I’d say it was on a whim except he makes decisions affecting him in the long run because of it. At the very least, Eddie could at least stick to one plan, whether it was to go or stay, and not base it off how a girl treats him. That kind of decision making gets him into all sorts of trouble that’s more than it’s worth…

Overall, I wasn’t as invested in the story as I was in the beginning where it had shown a lot of promise. Partly because of what happens as the plot progresses and partly because of Eddie becoming less of a likeable character. Well, that’s all I have to say about Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes. It wasn’t the novel for me, but I’m sure that had to do with my biases more than the writing itself. If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to leave them in the Comments section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 59

Hello, lovely readers! I’m back with another Which Cover Wednesday! For those of you who don’t know, Which Cover Wednesday is a meme that I host. In it, I compare different covers of the same book and give my opinion on which cover fits the book better. You can also join in on the fun by commenting down below on which is your favourite cover and why. Today’s covers are:

1. A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

the-agency.jpg or the-agency-2.jpg

In this case, I really like the second cover because it gives off more of a mystery vibe to me, with its colour scheme and the shrouded house in the background. Plus, I really admire the second cover’s typography! 🙂 I also like the fact that it looks appealing without the model on the cover. Don’t get me wrong; the first cover looks great as well. But I do have a thing for covers without models and this is no exception!

2. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (US and Polish editions)

siege-and-storm.jpg or siege and storm-2.jpg

OMG! Second cover looks great! While both these covers look similar, the second cover looks like a re-vamped version of the first that I cannot say no to. It just instantly draws my eye to it…

3. Heist Society by Ally Carter (US and Australian editions)

heist-society.jpg or heist-society-2.jpg

This one’s an easy pick! I’d go with the first cover! I like how it’s not too obvious, playing with the pun in the title by having the model mimic someone from high society, with her sunglasses and her top (from what I can see of it). Meanwhile, reflected from her glasses is a painting that she looks ready to rob! The second one just looks like a model stunt, with the effects appearing to be part of the background used to sell whatever it is the model’s selling… Maybe her jacket ( it is a nice jacket… 😉 )?

4. Special feature: Caraval by Stephanie Garber (US, UK, and Russian Editions)

27883214
or

caraval-2

or

caraval-3

Thank you, Liliana @ Liliana N Bookish, for suggesting these three covers! I honestly wouldn’t have even known about the third one if it wasn’t for you!

As to which cover I prefer, I think it would be the US edition first, then the Russian edition, and finally, the UK edition. I love the simplistic and elegant look of the first one. It’s not over the top but it’s intriguing enough to hold its own, all without divulging a concrete image of the characters that’ll be stuck in a reader’s head through the novel. The Russian cover, on the other hand, would be perfect for a graphic novel, with its whimsical animation and attention to detail. I just don’t think that it’s as suited to a novel as the US edition is. And compared to these two covers, the UK edition looks boring in comparison…

Well, that’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! If you have any thoughts or questions about these covers, or suggestions for next week’s Which Cover Wednesday, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

ARC Review: Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant

My rating: green4

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

Hi, fellow readers! I’ve just finished reading Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant, and I must say, that I really enjoyed reading it. And to be honest, I didn’t think I would. It’s about a girl named Eva who experiences residues of emotion whenever she touches things-people, clothes, phones, etc. She tries to limit her touching objects and people to a minimum, and instead, uses her powers to identify people’s math frustrations as a math tutor. Then, one day, Eva tutors a new student named Zenn and finds herself drawn to him. More so once Eva discovers she can touch him without incident. But as she gets closer to him, Eva discovers something about Zenn that can stand in their relationship.

So, as I said before, I didn’t expect this book to be my cup of tea. I haven’t read paranormal romance in a while. But it was really sweet, with its dialogue and the characters who delivered it. While might have been predictable at times, I was still invested in the story and what was going on in Eva’s life. I’ll admit, at first, the backstory was kind of confusing. But as the story progressed, and more was revealed, Eva’s backstory became clear. I actually liked how that was laid out more than if there was just a lot of exposition at the beginning. Although there were a few things that needed explaining by the end of the novel…

While I did enjoy reading Eva’s POV altogether, sometimes I wish I could get someone else’s perspective. She can be really unintentionally judgy at times, which rubbed me the wrong way. It might be because she distances herself from people, so she never really gets to know them, but an idea of them. It was still a bit jarring at times to read about all these stereotypes about teenagers, girls and guys. But I notice that while Eva does live by these stereotypes, it doesn’t mean that other characters have to adhere by them as well. Which is a relief, I might add! The secondary characters aren’t just background noise in Eva’s story, but actually bring their own issues to the table and become more fleshed out because of it.

As for Eva and Zenn’s romance, even I did have my own qualms about it, I did enjoy reading how they met to every little development in their relationship. I thought they were a really good fit for each other! It’s just that the ending doesn’t address my main problem with their relationship, so I’m not as keen on it as I would have been otherwise…

So, that’s my take on Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant. If you’re searching for a nice and fluffy read, then look no further!And any comments or questions about Zenn Diagram are welcome in the section below! Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

 

Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

My rating:

red3

Hey, everyone! Today, I’ll be reviewing the book Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Now, when I first picked up this book, I thought it had an interesting concept: a girl in Florence, Italy being led by her late mother’s journal in order to connect with her. Maybe that was my downfall, since the book was not what I thought it would be. It could also have been the timeframe within the book, which was less than a week, which affected my reading. Anyways, the point is that I did not enjoy the story as much as I thought it would.

My dislike started with the beginning of the novel, in which nothing really happened to Lina, our protagonist, in Florence. While nothing interesting occurred within the first few chapters, it did not stop me from reading Love & Gelato. Plenty of books have started off at a slow pace, so I gave the book a chance. Once I did, I realized that Lina’s point of view was not as interesting as her mother’s untold story. Even though Lina’s story has a happier ending, I actually liked the sadder story of her mother. In comparison to her mother’s story, Lina’s narrative seems uneventful.

Then there’s the timeframe and how it impacted the book as a whole. I feel as if the time within the book is shorter than it should be, given the amount of development within the story. Instead of the events unfolding within months, at least, they unfold within days. It does not make sense for Lina’s relationships with others to develop so quickly, especially in regards to her love interest. Nowadays, narratives tend to move away from instalove, seeing as readers are usually more satisfied with developed relationships. Fitting so much development into a small timeframe resulted in a formulaic story that does not possess much realness to it. Having more time represented within the book would have benefited the story being told.

Another problem with Love & Gelato was its ending. Unlike the middle of the book, the ending was stretched out more than it should have been, adding unnecessary plot to the book. After the metastory, I was ready for Love & Gelato to be resolved, but it was not. If the main goal of the book was for Lina to learn more about her mother, didn’t it already accomplish that? The Acknowledgment pages couldn’t come soon enough!

There were some great parts though, like the metastory of Lina’s mother as well as the setting of the city. I love reading books about Italy, especially when the author goes into detail about the surroundings and its history. The folk stories about Italy were really enjoyable, whether they were in the mother’s time or her daughter’s. Overall, this book was okay to read but I wouldn’t recommend it to people.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Have you read Love & Gelato? And if so, what did you think of it? Any thoughts or questions you might have about this book are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thank you for reading, everybody!

– Sumaya

Book Blitz: True North by L.E. Sterling

About the Book:

True Born by L.E. Sterling

Published on May 3rd, 2016

Published by Entangled Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary:

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood. 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase from the publisher’s site

True North by L.E. Sterling

Published by Entangled Teen

Published April 4th, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary:

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase from the publisher’s site

About the Author:

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter

Excerpt: 

Read the first 6 chapters HERE

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

www.yareads.com

Down the TBR Hole 2

Hey there, wonderful readers! I’m back for a second time round with the meme, Down the TBR pile, 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. So, without further ado, here are the books I’m considering this week!

The books:

1.  The Royal We by Heather Cocks

the-royal-we.jpg

I actually read a sneak peek of the novel way back when and didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I just forgot to take this book off my TBR pile right after that…

The verdict: Go

2. Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

under-the-lights.jpg

Even though I didn’t really like the first book, I’m willing to give the second book a try That’s because the secondary characters that I loved in the first book are going to be the protagonists of this one! Now, if only I could just get around to reading it…

The verdict: Keep

3. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

the-kiss-of-deception.jpg

I actually borrowed the book from the library several times without having even read it. I don’t think I will at this point…

The verdict: Go

4. Crave by Melissa Darnell

crave

I remember putting this on my TBR at a time that I really liked this sort of thing. Now, I’m not really into the whole star-crossed lovers trope.

The verdict: Go

5. Dark Mirror M.J. Putney

dark-mirror.jpg

Every time I think about removing this book from my TBR, I read the synopsis, reminding me why I want to read it and makes me unable to let it go! And this time is no exception! 😀 It just has this Shadow Falls vibe that I really like.

The verdict: Keep

Well, that’s it for this week’s Down the TBR Pile! Were there any books here that you’ve read and liked? Or are they on your never-ending TBR pile as well? If you have any thoughts about this week’s Down the TBR Pile, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. Take care, everyone! And keep reading! 😉

–  Sumaya

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