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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

Month

June 2017

ARC Review: All the Wrong Chords

Summary

Scarlett Stiles is desperate for a change of scenery after her older brother, Liam, dies of a drug overdose. But spending the summer with her grandfather wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Luckily, Scarlett finds something to keep her busy–a local rock band looking for a guitarist. Even though playing guitar has been hard since Liam died, Scarlett can’t pass on an opportunity like this, and she can’t take her eyes off the band’s hot lead singer either. Is real happiness just around the corner? Or will she always be haunted by her brother’s death?

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

red2

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

Hello again! I’m back with another review, this one being on All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso. When I first saw it on NetGalley, it seemed to resonate with what I liked, mainly that it had to do with art and entertainment through music. And while I did enjoy reading it in the beginning, by midpoint, I wanted to move on from this story altogether.

Don’t get me wrong; this book has so much potential. It starts off with Scarlett staying at her grandfather’s house for the summer, where they seem to get along quite well. There’s no awkwardness or reconnecting. Even though tragedy had struck their family, they were getting along they best they could. As the story progressed, I thought it would be more about her reconnecting with her brother through music, being part of a band again, her relationship with other family members (like her grandfather) with a light romance on the side. I had no idea how far she was going to go into lovesick mode. I just thought that there would be more development than that…

It just didn’t make sense to me that a girl who hasn’t had a history falling for guys solely based on looks falls head over heels for this jerk who seems more interested in the unattainable. Nor did it make sense to everyone else around her, including herself. But it doesn’t stop Scarlett from imagining herself with him in these superficial lovey-dovey scenarios, which really annoyed me. What also annoyed me was that once she moved on to a different guy, she went all in, focusing her attention on him as if her were her one and only. I know I’m not really invested in romance a lot of the time, but it felt like a bit too much with Scarlett focusing on guys in the band rather than the fact that she’s in a band and doing what she loves… Overall, the book leaned toward romance as opposed to familial issues and healing more than I would have liked.

Well, that’s all I have to say about All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso. I’m pretty sure that there is an audience for this book, but for me, I guess it just struck all the wrong chords (pun intended 😀 ). If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below. For anyone who is interested though, All the Wrong Chords comes out on December 12th, 2017. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

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Which Cover Wednesday 71

Hello, fellow readers! It’s already the middle of the week, which means a whole bunch of things, but in this case, it’s that Which Cover Wednesday is upon us! Which Cover Wednesday is a meme that I host in which I compare two covers of the same book and give my opinion on which cover is better. And I’m not the only one who can participate! You can, too! Just leave your opinions about these covers in the Comments Section below! Well, without further ado, here are our lovely covers for this week:

1.  If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

if-birds.jpg or if-birds-2.jpg

Second cover most definitely! The first cover’s background is okay, but the constellation in the middle seems randomly placed. I like the second cover for its simplicity as well as its cute illustration of birds flying amidst the clouds.

2. Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

our-own-private-universe.jpg or our-own-private-universe-2.jpg

My vote goes to the second cover yet again! While I do love the lighting in the first cover, the second cover looks great with the bold typography and the frozen image of a two girls (who are shown through silhouettes) under a night sky. I guess this is a pretty good example of having a less model-centric cover.

3. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

truthwitch.jpg or truthwitch-2.jpg

OMG! If our previous cover of Our Own Private Universe was a good example of a less model-centric cover, than Truthwitch is a pretty good example of why models can be a powerful asset on covers. You’d think I’d like the second cover more than the first, but the first cover still captures my eye with that amazing background image plus our model conveying a sense of power and mystique. The second cover just seems boring in comparison with its own colour and icon… Although, I’ll admit it has lovely typography!

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the-hate-u-give.jpg or the-hate-u-give-2.jpg

In this case, I’d choose the second cover. Not that the first one isn’t good; it’s just that the second cover has this typography that I really like. It also uses its space more efficiently than the first cover, in my opinion, with the model filling out the whole space as well as a black background.

Well, that’s all for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Have any thoughts on these covers? I’d love to hear them! Also, if you have any suggestions for next week’s Which Cover Wednesday, then feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below! Take care, everyone! And keep reading!

-Sumaya

 

Blog Tour: Until You by Bridie Blake (Review)

About the Book 

Until You by Bridie Blake until-you

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Published by Evernight Teen

Release Date: 26th May 2017

Ellie Foster lives and breathes normal. She’s the responsible one, the girl everyone depends on.

Jason Holden doesn’t know the word normal. Star of the hit Planet Gazers films, his every move is watched by millions.

A chance encounter between the pair leads to a deal that will change their lives.

Ellie needs money for her family. Jason needs a girlfriend for the world tour of the final Planet Gazers movie. It’s a match made in Hollywood heaven.

But what happens when the lines between their act and reality become blurred? Can they figure out what is real and what’s fake?

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Purchase here 

Review

My rating:

black4

Hey, everyone! I recently finished reading Until You, and I’ve got to say that it was just too cute! When I first heard about it, I thought “this has potential”, since I’ve always liked reading books about the entertainment industry. But I didn’t think I’d like the book this much!

At first, it kind of reminded me of Pretty Woman, especially with the fact that she’s being paid to be a part of his world and pretend to be his girlfriend. Based in the entertainment industry, it focuses on the publicity gained by Jason Holden’s new all-American girlfriend Ellie, a first year college student from USC. They’re actually trying to sell the fact that they’re a couple, which makes for cute moments at times and aggravating moments during others. It was a good balance of tension to say the least! I certainly wasn’t bored. One thing I just kind of wish happened was that someone in the novel got their just desserts, but then I guess it’s more realistic this way…

As for Ellie and Jason’s relationship, while I do admit it developed a bit too quickly near the end, it didn’t stop me from rooting for them, especially in the middle! I liked their development and how they got to know each other. It was unconventional, sure, but would it have been as entertaining otherwise? I think not! Also, I really liked the alternating POVs or else my feelings for these characters would be seriously skewed. I would have probably favoured one character over the other (Ellie obviously 😉 ). In this case, I got to learn about both characters and like them for themselves just as much, if not more, than their pairing.

Overall, I would seriously recommend Until You by Bridie Blake, especially if you’re looking for a light read! I’ll certainly be on the lookout for Bridie Blake’s next book! 😉 If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to ask away in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everybody!

– Sumaya

About the Author

Profile.jpg

Bridie Blake lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companions Poppy and Mac at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews.

Bridie is the author of the YA fantasy novel, THE JEWEL OF KAMARA, and YA contemporary novels A DISTANT VOICE and UNTIL YOU.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook|Instagram

Giveaway

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11

Hey, everyone! It’s Monday again, which means I’m back with another “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” post, hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. Unfortunately, it was a really slow week for me, reading-wise. Hopefully. it picks up, but my reading goals for this week kind of reflect that lull of last week… 😉

What I Read Last Week: 

a-different-blue

What I’m Currently Reading:

until-you.jpg

What I’m Planning to Read Next:

kat-and-meg

Well, that’s my reading list for this week! What are you all reading at the moment? I’d love to hear about it in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Summary

Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn’t attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don’t know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can’t love you back might be impossible.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

blue3

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

Hey, everybody! I’m back with another review, this one being on A Different Blue by Amy Harmon. Now I’ll be honest: when I first saw this on NetGalley, it wasn’t the forbidden romance factor that drew me in, but the protagonist herself. I wanted to know more about Blue and witness her development throughout the book. So with that, I really wanted to love this book!

But then I started reading it and realized I didn’t really like Blue as a character. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that she’s been through more than what anybody should have. Plus, I don’t think we’re meant to like her at first, as readers. She’s pretty much mean to everyone at first, but slowly softens throughout the book. But I felt like she had so much more potential than what readers got to see in this novel.
Also, I wasn’t much of a fan of the romance between Blue and Wilson. It wasn’t that I was against it; I just wasn’t really invested in it. Especially when at times I felt there was nothing there between the two characters. What I was invested in were those moments where Blue would learn about herself, her history with Jimmy, as well as how she would try to be a better version of herself, one she could be proud of. Unfortunately, the book ends upon a huge realization, and I would have liked to have seen more develop on that note. Overall, it was an okay read, but not as great as I hoped.

Well, that’s all I have to say about A Different Blue by Amy Harmon. While it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, it did have its moments. Have you read A Different Blue? What did you think of it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments Section below, whether you’ve read the book or not! Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Summary

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

green4.5

Hi, everyone! I’ve got to say, I really liked reading Eliza and her Monsters! Ever since I first heard of i t-and to be honest, I don’t know from where exactly- I knew that I really wanted to read it! Lately (meaning a few years) I’ve been interested in reading fandom friendly fiction, so I thought that this book would be an obvious match for me. And it was! I loved it so much that I couldn’t put it down and finished it in hours!

One thing I liked about Eliza and her Monsters is that it was so engaging, not only with Eliza’s perspective but with the amazing parts of the comics that readers got to see. By the end of the book, I was fully hooked to the comics just as much as actual story that I was grinning so widely at the last comic panel. Plus, it makes me want to read The Children of Hypnos comics, mentioned in the book, which I recently learned was real, only it’s not actually a comic but is told in written format only. 🙂

I also like how the story was set up in relation to the characters. It wasn’t solely focused on the romance; there were other things going on, like Eliza’s relationship with others, her art, herself. Throughout the novel, I thought that Eliza was pretty real to me, and I could understand some of the choices she’d make, even if they weren’t always the right ones, or the ones you know would come back to haunt her…Also, it was nice to see that while Wallace had some effect on her, it wasn’t overdone or unrealistic. For instance, there was this one moment in the book where he was such a jerk, but I liked that it broke from his usual nice guy demeanour. I didn’t like him in that moment as a person, no, but I thought it made the story better and more rounded.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia! Would I recommend this to anyone looking for a really good read, fandom friendly novels in particular? Definitely! If you have any thoughts or questions. let me know in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 70

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.  52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

52-reasons.jpg or 52-reasons-2

Between these two covers, I prefer the first one. There’s just something more comical about it than the second cover, with the way the model strikes her pose contrasted by the hat she’s wearing. Though the second cover is still decent, no doubt! 😉

2. A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

a-different-blue-2.jpg or a-different-blue

In this case, I like the second cover a bit more. Even though both covers basically look the same, I’m fond of the font used for the word blue as well as the colour. Plus,  I really like  how the model’s staring down at us readers in such a bold manner!

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

moxie or moxie-2.jpg

Sorry, but my love goes to the second cover! The first cover, while okay, doesn’t make me want to read the book (it was actually the blurb that made the book sound awesome). I think I’m a fan of the cover art on the second cover, as well as the message on the front saying,”Time to Fight Like a Girl”, which gives an empowering feel to it! 🙂

4. Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

dangerous-lies-2 or dangerous-lies

Hmmm… this one’s a toughie for me. They just both seem really great in their own ways. But if I had to choose, I’d go with the second cover, because of its use of bold typography as well as the detail given to the illustration; it looks almost real to me!

Well, that’s all for now! 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!

–  Sumaya

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Summary

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

purple4

(4.25 stars)

Hey everyone! I’m finally back with another review, this one being on Roar by Cora Carmack! After hearing a lot of buzz about it from other bloggers, I thought I’d give this book a go, especially seeing how I want to read more Fantasy at the moment. And while at first, I was a bit letdown by the book, it picked up very quickly, and kept me interested throughout (except near the end, which was when I realized it was ending on a cliffhanger…😬).

In terms of the plot, I really liked how the trouble progressed. The plot just got a whole lot interesting after Aurora finally took initiative on her life. Plus, the amount of world building that went into this novel made it amazing! I loved all the bits and pieces of information given to readers in between chapters, whether it was in the form of poems, religious text, stories, journals, etc. It gave the sense that there was more to the world than what even the characters were experiencing within the book.

In the case of characters and their development, I thought that the novel set it up pretty well. It was told in multiple POVs, so readers would get moments from a lot of different characters, from teasing backstories to current events. I just wish we’d get a bit more from other characters, like Sly or Jinx. Maybe in the next book? Anyways, I liked how the POVs would switch off, showing off those bits of character development and surprises without stretching it too thin…

Overall, I had a great time reading this book! The only reason I wouldn’t give this a 4.5 star or even a 5 star rating was that I was able to put it down at one point and kind of didn’t feel the need to read it as much. Well that’s all I have to say about Cora Carmack’s Roar for now. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the section below. Take care, everybody!

–  Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

#ARCstravaganza: Moxie

Hey, everyone! With Monday comes another #ARCstravaganza! For those of you who don’t know, here’s a little more info on #ARCstravaganza:

#ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hosted by YA and Wine to give book bloggers/bookstagrammers a chance to show off their ARCs/eARCs that they are most excited about! Remember to comment on their weekly posts with a link to your own #ARCstravaganza blog post, or post a picture on Instagram using the #ARCstravaganza hashtag, and you will be entered to win an ARC copy of an upcoming YA novel! One winner will be chosen at random each month.

The ARC I’m really eager to talk about this week is Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. When I first heard about it on NetGalley, I knew I wanted to read it! Luckily, it was available for request via Raincoast! Thank you to the lovely people at Raincoast Books! 🙂

moxie

Summary

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

Sourced from Goodreads

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Has anyone else heard of Moxie yet? If you’re excited for this book, or any other ARCs, feel free to let me know in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

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