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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

Month

July 2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 16

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to another post of “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. Barely read anything last week… After I eagerly finished In Some Other Life on Friday morning, it took me two days to get back to reading again. Oh well! Hopefully I’ll do better this week! 😉

What I Read Recently: 

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What I’m Currently Reading: 

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What I’m Planning to Read Next: 

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Well, that’s what I’d like to read this week! I actually think I can get to it all! What are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the Comments Section below! Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

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ARC Review: In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody

Summary

Kennedy Rhodes turns down an acceptance to an elite private school, instead choosing to stay at her high school and jump at the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams. Three years later, Kennedy walks in on that same boyfriend cheating with her best friend—and wishes she had made a different choice. But when Kennedy hits her head and wakes up in the version of her life where she chose to attend the private school, she finds that maybe it’s not as perfect of a world as she once thought.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

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Hey, everybody! I just finished reading In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody and couldn’t wait to talk about it! Now more often than not, if I take a while to finish a book, it usually shows my disinterest. That certainly wasn’t the case with this one! Every time I picked it up, I was intensely interested in the story and what was happening to Kennedy. Even when things got really dire and mysterious! My only problem was that I didn’t have enough time in the day to read it quickly enough!

I remember saying in this week’s #ARCstravaganza that I really liked the story’s concept and I stand by that statement. The idea of choices leading you on multiple pathways is not an old one, but one that used a lot in today’s media. But at the end of it all, right or wrong, Kennedy learns that people have to live with their choices and make the most of it.

I also liked how this book explores the other characters in relation to Kennedy. For instance, although Laney isn’t a main character or seen often in this book, In Some Other Life does revolve around Kennedy’s crumbling relationship with her best friend, spurring her into action and the plot of this book. And all the while, Kennedy is given a chance to reexamine her friendship and realize a couple of things about Laney. Other than these two, there are a whole bunch of characters enriching the book and making it so much more enjoyable!

Well, that’s all I have to say about In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody. If you like a lot of contemporary with a bit of scifi, then this is the book for you! Now I really want to read Jessica Brody’s other books, like A Week of Mondays! It sounds right up my alley at the moment! So if In Some Other Life is a book you’re interested in, get ready, because In Some Other Life comes out soon on August 8th! Oh, and all comments and questions are welcome in the section below! Have a restful Sunday, everyone!

–  Sumaya

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

Book Bargain: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Hey, everyone! Just wanted to let you know that Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is only 1.99 CAD on Amazon! Perfect for people who like grittier contemporary, especially fans of Katie McGarry! It’s an oldie but a goodie, that’s for sure! 😉

Take care, everybody!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 75

Welcome back, fellow book lovers, to another Which Cover Wednesday! Which Cover Wednesday is a weekly meme I host. What happens is that I compare two different covers of a book and give my opinion of which cover looks better. And I would love to hear your opinions on these covers, too! Feel free to leave comments about them in the section below. 🙂

Here are this week’s covers:

1.  My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

my-life-undecided or my-life-undecided-2

I’m really a fan of the second cover! It’s neat and simple, with its lightly styled typography and the cute heart mouse! I think it fills up space nicely without it being too overwhelming. It also gives readers a little more info on the story. The first cover, while still informative, doesn’t seem as appealing to me with the model’s questioning face being the only anchor to story… Maybe if she was more dynamic, writing her blog and such, it might have made for a better cover.

2. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

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First cover for sure! Did I ever mention my love for rustic keys? Because it is almost as great as my love for buttons! The intricate design of the keys mixed in with that faded out background of a girl staring and the typography makes for a beautiful cover! The second cover, while possessing pretty typography, is kind of boring in comparison with the model merely standing there.

3. Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey

love-and-other-alien-experiences.jpg or love-and-other-alien-experiences-2.jpg

This one’s so hard because I really like both covers! I love the background of the first one as well as how it plays with different typographies on the cover, although I’m not too fond of the cover art. And while I might not like the second cover’s typography as much, I definitely love its cover art decorating the background. Overall, I think I’ll go with cover number two for using its space efficiently.

4. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

second-chance-summer.jpg or second-chance-summer-3.jpg

In this case, I’d pick the first cove hands-down! Other than my major appreciation for its typography, I love the background colour scheme with the wood as well as how nicely it represents summer with only a few details. The second cover however seems to incorporate a lot more details, and adding to the fact that its clustered around the title, it doesn’t appeal to me as much.

Well that’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! If you see any covers you like, give a shout out in the Comments Section below! Have a nice day, everyone! 😉

–  Sumaya

 

#ARCstravaganza: In Some Other Life

Hi, everybody! Ready for another #ARCstravaganza post? I am! For those of you who haven’t heard of #ARCstravaganza yet, here’s a little more detail on it:

#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.

Today’s ARC is actually one that I’m currently reading and loving at the moment! It’s In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody. I like the idea behind it and the fact that I can really relate to Kennedy. Hope I like it even more as I continue! 🙂

in-some-other-life

Summary

Kennedy Rhodes turns down an acceptance to an elite private school, instead choosing to stay at her high school and jump at the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams. Three years later, Kennedy walks in on that same boyfriend cheating with her best friend—and wishes she had made a different choice. But when Kennedy hits her head and wakes up in the version of her life where she chose to attend the private school, she finds that maybe it’s not as perfect of a world as she once thought.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Have any ARCs you’re excited to read? Feel free to gush about them in the Comments Section below! 🙂 Take care, everyone!

–  Sumaya

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 15

Hey there, fellow readers! Another week has gone by, but unfortunately, I haven’t read much within that week. After reading Girls Made of Snow and Glass, I kind of hit a mini-slump, but I think I’m out of it now, judging by how intrigued I am by my most recent read!

What I Recently Read:

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What I’m Currently Reading:

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What I’m Planning to Read Next: 

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Well, that’s all for now! I’m going to set a small goal for myself this week, but hopefully, I’ll surpass it! Thanks for reading, everyone!

– Sumaya

ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Summary

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Sourced from Goodreads 

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Review

My rating:

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Hi, everyone! I’m back with another review, this one being Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. I remember a while back when I mentioned how excited I was for this title in an #ARCstravaganza post. Ever since, I’ve been itching to read it. Now that I finally have, I can say without a doubt that Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a unique and well-written story.

I think what I liked most about this book is the way it subverts the Snow White fairytale. At times, you can see a little easter egg of the older fairytale, but there are twists that make it almost unrecognizable. I’m a huge fan of that kind of retelling. Sometimes, I come across the opposite, where the retelling doesn’t really do anything new with fairytale other than setting or different characters, so it becomes predictable. And in some cases, I find that to be really problematic because we’re either given the same flat characters or we’re given messages that do not represent our time or what we are striving towards. Overall, I can honestly say that Girls Made of Snow and Glass isn’t like any other Snow White retelling I’ve read.

At the same time, this retelling is trying to convey a message that women shouldn’t be trapped in a system that doesn’t serve them at all. That women shouldn’t be admired based on an idea, but who they are. Throughout the novel, Lynet and Mina suffer from this as Lynet is never seen for herself but merely an imitation of her mother. Mina has to pretend to be something she’s not in order to keep her place in society. But it’s grating at them both until they finally come to a resolution, no matter how hard-earned it may be.

I also really liked how fleshed out the characters were in this novel. Even the secondary characters, who are sometimes never heard from, have depth to them and makes you want to know more about their thoughts and motives. Plus, the flashbacks were amazingly vivid and had relevance to the story at hand, particularly in Mina’s case. The only character that didn’t have the opportunity to be fleshed out is Gregory, the magician and Mina’s father, although I think that’s on purpose, so I don’t mind it as much…

Well, that’s all I have to say about Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. Are you excited to read Girls Made of Snow and Glass!  For those of you who are interested, Girls Made of Snow and Glass comes out on September 5th, 2017, so mark your calendars! If you have any other thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to leave a comment in the section below! Have a nice day, everybody!

–  Sumaya

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

 

Which Cover Wednesday 74

Hi, everyone! It’s that time of week again: 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 if you have any thoughts you’d like to add about these covers, I would love to hear about them in the Comments Section below. Now, without further ado, let’s begin!

1.  The Disenchantments by Nina Lacour (English and German)

the-disenchantments or the-disenchantments-2

While I like the feel of both covers, my vote goes to cover number two! I love the collage set up with all the interesting pictures telling more of a story, as well as the lighting and colour scheme. Plus, it reminds me a lot of Katie Cotugno’s novels. 😉

2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

love-at-first-sight.jpg or love-at-first-sight-2.jpg

First cover for sure! I love how the first cover uses black and white photography, and blurs the images around the couple so that they seem to be the only ones who matter. Plus, just look at that typography! The second cover is alright, but I feel as if the first cover put in much more effort…

3. That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard (English and German)

joined-the-circus.jpg or joined-the-circus-2

In this case, I’d go with the first cover hands-down! I choose the first cover mostly because of the atmosphere created with the lights, the elephants and tents, the solitary girl embarking on a journey. I also really like how the typography is understated in this cover because the overall amazing illustration. That way it isn’t overdone. The second cover, while okay, looks more like an MG novel than a YA with its typography and design…

4. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

graffiti-moon or graffiti-moon-2

Loving that second cover, especially in the way it uses graffiti in the typography as well as the cover’s job in conveying the story a bit more. The first cover just gives a spray can and nothing more, although I do find the words coming out of the spray can to be clever. 😉

Well, that’s a wrap for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! I’ve got to say, I really liked the covers this week, especially for That Time I Joined the Circus! If you have any suggestions for next week’s Which Cover Wednesday, or would like to add your opinion to the mix, feel free to do so in the Comments Section below! Have a wonderful day!

–  Sumaya

ARC Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Summary 

Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea…

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:


Hi, everybody! Another day, another review! This time, I’ll be reviewing Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman. Now, I’m going to be honest here. When I first got this book, I wasn’t too eager about the cheaing aspect of it. I was more interested in the characters as individuals rather than a couple. I wanted to see their development and I think that affected how I read this book. It was an okay read but far from my favourite contemporary. 

First of all, I didn’t get into the book until past halfway. It’s just that I couldn’t really relate to Jill until she tried to be a better person. Don’t get me wrong; she was an awful person. I sympathesized with her when it came to familial issues, but as a person, I couldn’t get on board with what she was doing. She was basically helping Max cheat on his girlfriend. That’s how I felt in the beginning. But by the end, I thought that it was admirable that after all that, Jill has a desire to do the right thing. She wanted to be better, and makes an effort to do so. The second part of the book goes more into character development, where I believe that the first part sets the scene.

Anyways, other than that, it was kind of your average Contemporary YA novel with your stock characters like the best friend, the mean girl, the girl next door, etc. In some cases, thus actually stopped characters from becoming fully fleshed. I feel as if Becky, Max’s girlfriend, suffered the most from this. She had no motives or desires other than being Max’s girlfriend, from what I could tell. Even if she was a mean girl, I would have liked to have known more about her and the possible underlying reasons for that. 

But I did really like the dash of baking the book added! In fact, whenever the book got to talking about Jillian’s passion for baking or her confectionary masterpieces, I probably gave it my full attention, at the same time thinking, I must check to see if there’s a recipe for that I could bookmark for later…

Well, that’s all I have to say about Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman. While I didn’t find the beginning to be all that intriguing, by the end, I liked it a bit more. I think this book is your standard contemporary, so if you are looking for that, I’d suggest adding Kissing Max Holden to your reading lists. 😉 And for those of you who are interested, Kissing Max Holden comes out on August 1st, 2017. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading, everybody!

– Sumaya

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

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