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Review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Summary

The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

Sourced from Goodreads

Review

My rating:

Hi, everyone! I’ve recently finished reading Riley Redgate’s newest novel, Final Draft! I think I liked this one even better than Noteworthy, the other novel I’ve read by her! At first, I was a bit apprehensive about the story not being as good, and didn’t want to read it as much when I thought about it. But I’m glad I did, because I liked it a lot!

If I had to pin down what I liked most about this book, it would be the character development. Our protagonist Laila starts off as unsure and scared to show other people her work. But throughout the novel, we are constantly being shown ways she is taken out of her comfort zone, which definitely helps her grow. Not to say that she didn’t go down a dark path for a bit, but overall, it benefited her to hear criticism about her work and how she should strengthen it.

I did like reading about the other characters as well! I’m liking what I see lately in the books I read where the book isn’t solely focused on the main character and everyone fades into the background. I loved learning more about Hannah, Leo, and Felix. I even got to learn more about Laila’s family and its history. I hope I can read more books like that in the future.

Well, that’s all for now! Overall, I really liked reading this book – way more than I expected, in fact! Have you read Riley Redgate’s other novels? Did you like them? Feel free to answer in the Comments Section below! And any questions you may have are welcome as well!

Have a nice day, everyone!

– Sumaya

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

Review: Shadows and Dreams by Matthew Cody (ReMade 1.1)

My rating: blue4-copy

(3.75 stars)

This story was provided by the publisher for an honest review. 

Hello, everyone! Today, I’ll be talking about the YA serialization up on Serial Box called ReMade, particularly the first instalment, Shadows and Dreams. ReMade is an upcoming serialization spanning from September to December and written in collaboration by Matthew Cody, Kiersten White, E.C. Meyers, Andrea Phillips, Carrie Harris and Gwenda Bond. The story is about twenty-three teenagers that have died at a certain time (between 9:31 pm and 9:32 pm) and ending up in a post-apocalyptic world, where they are humanity’s only hope for survival. Together, they’ll have to search for the answers of what happened to them and the rest of humanity. This first episode, as they are called by Serial Box, is called Shadows and Dreams and is written by Matthew Cody. It focuses on the perspective of a boy named Holden, one of the twenty-three teenagers in the post-apocalyptic world.

What I liked about the episode was its pacing. There was never really a dull moment in the book, which I appreciated very much. But I think that is also why it failed to add more information on what happened to Holden and Seya, the girl he is with at the time. As a reader, I don’t need to be spoon fed everything about the world of the book from the first page, but I like to know a bit about what was going on. I felt as if I had a lot of unanswered questions that could have been reasonably answered in that episode without giving the storyline away, like what were they doing there, the characters involved with Holden and Seya, the place they were in and where it came from. Maybe a lot of it had to do with survival and the fact that most people would be worried about their life over information that might not be necessary in the long run if they slow down.I understand that it is a great suspense technique to withhold information, but it still irked me a bit. If I were to rate this episode by itself, I’d give it a 3.5 star rating Instead, I feel the episode deserves a 3.75 star rating because I’m anticipating it to be a stepping stone and that a lot of questions will be answered in the next instalment.

That’s all I have to say about the first instalment of the ReMade serialization. I think it’s a really good start to a story, if you enjoy fast-paced stories that leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more! I just wouldn’t read it by itself, but probably with the second instalment right after. If you’re interested in more information about the serialization ReMade, click here. Any thoughts or questions you might have are welcome in the Comments Section below as well. Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

My rating: pink5

(4.5 stars)

Hey, lovely people! I just read the cutest book the other day and cannot wait to talk about it with you guys… It’s P.S. I Like You by Kasie West! This book was just pure cotton candy! It’s about a girl named Lily who gets bored in Chemistry one day only to doodle a song lyric on the corner of her desk. The next day, someone else responds with the next verses of the song and they start to send letters back and forth to each other through that desk. When I first heard about the book, I thought that it was really sweet and put it on my Goodreads TBR pile right away. I was so excited to read it that I was worried I overhyped the book for myself. Luckily, I was wrong and it was just as good as I imagined. 😉

Kasie West’s writing style is just so addictive to read. You can’t help but love how she depicts characters like Lily and her family. And it’s nice to see more involvement from that side of her life, you know? Maybe it’s because the last book I read, there was barely any mention of the protagonist’s parents… or any other parents for that matter… :S But anyways, her family may have been loud and overbearing to her at times, but they were also lively and there for her at other times. I also like the pacing of the novel; it didn’t drag anything out for too long a period of time… Kasie West masterfully buried the lead about what was going on, merely hinting it so that piqued my interest. While I could see how the entire novel would play out, I wanted to know more about the characters (and not only during the course of the novel, but even when referring to the timeline before it) and their relationships with others.

I thought that the whole old-school letter exchange was just lovely! There’s something about written information letting someone’s personality shine. There was also an anonymous factor that lets Lily and her Chemistry pen pal feel at ease in having an outlet to share information with. I felt as if it was such a contrast to how they normally act around people that it was refreshing to read. I think I looked forward to their letters even more than they did! 😛The only problem I had with the book was that I felt as if it ended too early. I wanted to hear more about Lily and her songwriting competition!

So that’s all I have to say about P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. Have you read it? And did you like it as well? I’d love to hear about it in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

Review: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler

My rating: black4

Hello again, fellow bloggers! I’ve just read a really great book that I want to share with you all and it’s called Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies. It’s about a girl named Harper who becomes a summer intern for a teen magazine, only it’s not entirely on her own merit. Finding her personal experiences as boring and lacking the edge required for the application of summer intern, Harper uses the dating stories of her best friend, Kristina, and claims it as her own. Since she claims to be so experienced in dating, the magazine assigns her to be the dating blogger and teach people how to approach potential partners and all that… Something she has no experience in. Now, she has to figure out how to pass as a dating blogger before she gets caught.

So the story begins with our protagonist trying to compensate for something she doesn’t have- romantic experience. And the way she does this is so hilarious and delightful to read about. It’s like she’s following her dating advice at the same time as giving it, almost like a test subject. Harper herself is entertaining to read as a main character. A bit self-justifying, but that’s okay, since it’s offset by her immense guilt of lying to become an intern. She had a funny way of looking at the world and some serious writing chops, courtesy of the author! Even though she had no prior expertise in dating, I couldn’t wait to see what Harper would write, and I knew what she was going to write about. If that isn’t entertaining, I don’t know what is… As Harper starts to finally get used to New York and embracing a more confident side to her, she starts to succeed and it’s great to see! The only problem is that she gets a teensy (or a lot) overboard with pleasing people.

As for the plot, it was great! It was predictable in some ways, like the ending, but really engaging in others. Like when she’s exploring New York and learning funny concepts about the Upper East Side, like people giving their dogs bark mitzvahs… I also really liked how well Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies paired up with Gossip Girl, a show that was frequently mentioned by Harper and Kristina. In fact, I feel as if there are plenty of parallels between the show and the novel, so anyone who is a Gossip Girl fan would probably love reading this book! The only thing I didn’t like about the plot is the ending… not in its predictableness, but in the fact that it could have been expanded on a bit more. I felt as if a lot of the conclusion was oversimplified to enable a certain ending. Maybe if there were more pages in the book- not a lot but just under 10 pages- then the ending might have been as spectacular as the rest of the story.  😉

Well, that’s all I have to say about Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler. If you love The Devil Wears Prada or Gossip Girl, then this book is for you! Anyone who has a comment or question is more than welcome to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

 

The Book Sacrifice Tag

Hey, everyone! It’s time for another tag! Shocking, I know! 😛 But I’m glad that I’m actually doing these tags instead of falling behind on them! 😉 Thank you, Cassiopeia’s Moon for tagging me! I hope I do you proud! Well, here goes nothing:

An overhyped book

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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I think I’ve talked about this book about a million times as something I thought was overhyped. I just don’t get what the fuss is about… especially with a protagonist like Mare…

A sequel 

Situation: Torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

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I thought that the House of Night series went downhill from here…

A classic

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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I remember in 10th grade when my teacher was raving about this book but I just couldn’t be bothered with Holden Caulfield’s views…

A least favourite book 

Situation: Apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

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The idea of it just didn’t make sense to me, which is really sad since I loved the Vampire Academy series as well as the Bloodlines series.

Tags: 

Anyone who wants to do this tag! 😀

Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

 

Which Cover Wednesday 35

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to 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. Feel free to join in on the fun by giving your opinion of these covers as well! This week’s covers are:

1.  Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan (print and ebook)

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I really like the first cover more than the second one. It’s just that the second cover seems a bit more dull with nothing going on but the model holding a dagger. It doesn’t hint at the plot like the first cover does.

2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (English and Spanish)

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While I do like the first cover, I think I like the second cover even more. It might be because of the blue background making things look more lively. Or it could be the amount of cover art that’s all over the place on this cover in comparison to the other. I definitely like the typography of the first cover better, but overall, it’s the second one that’s captured my eye.

3. Venom by Fiona Paul

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This one’s a tough call… but I’d have to go with cover number one! Just look at that smokey background, that intricate mask design as well as the gorgeous typography. It just screams that there’s intrigue and mystery behind this cover! Not that second one isn’t great. However, in my opinion, the model and the background don’t really match…

4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

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When I saw the second cover, I knew right away that I liked it better than the first one. Then again, I’ve never really liked the first cover because it seemed a bit boring with three models in the middle, looking like they are doing nothing. I love how the flowers are placed on the cover, as well as the author name and short blurb. Plus, I usually prefer books without models anyways, so that was a bonus!

Well, that’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! Were there any covers that you liked or didn’t like? Are these the only covers you’ve seen of these books or are there more that you think represented the book better than the ones shown here? If so, please share your thoughts in the Comments Section below, as well as any questions you might have. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

 

Review: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

My rating: blue5

(4.5 stars)

I received an ebook copy from the author for an honest review

Hello, fellow bloggers! I know it’s been a while since my last review (last Tuesday), but I’m back now, and really excited to talk about the second and final book in the Bad Bloods series! November Snow is the sequel to November Rain and deals with the backlash of Serena and Daniel’s acquaintance. The city of Vendona is under attack. By itself. As the election draws closer, people are rallying against bad bloods now more than ever. In this instalment, the Northern and Southern flocks must figure out a way to survive through the upcoming elections that will ultimately decide their fate.

Remember how in my review of November Rain, I stated that even though I had a few problems with the book, I was still in anticipation for November Snow? Well, my anticipation paid off, because November Snow was amazing!

First of all, the two books in the series actually complement each other in a way that most series do not. You really need to read the second book in order to understand the first one, and once you do read the second one, you realize that the first book actually contained the right amount of exposition because everything fit perfectly afterwards. Once I finished November Snow, I was kind of sad that these two books were split from one huge book, even though I knew it was for the best. If the Bad Bloods series was just one book, then it would be a very long book. It isn’t uncommon to have a really long book; it just might have been thought of as more intriguing to consumers as two books…. 

Then there was the amount of connection between characters’ stories. I felt as if everything character-wise had finally made sense within the second book, which does a great job in explaining how the characters came to be in a relevant way to the present, rather than reminiscing on the past like November Rain. Sure, there are a few things it doesn’t really tie up, but overall, I really enjoyed reading this in terms of character relationships and development. In fact, there wasn’t a single character that I didn’t enjoy reading about!

After finishing the series, I would rate both books together as a 4 star read. The first book was a bit slow, but understandable since it was providing a lot of the foundation needed in the amazingly tense and gripping second book. If you’re interested in starting the series and finding out for yourself, November Rain is being offered for free on iBooks, Kobo, and Amazon.

That’s all I have to say about November Snow and the Bad Bloods series in general. Thank you, Shannon A. Thompson, for letting me review these books. It was a treat! 😉 If you all have any questions or thoughts on the series, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 34

Good evening! Well, it’s Which Cover Wednesday again! For those of you who do not know, 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. Feel free to give your opinion of these covers as well! Here are today’s contenders:

1.  Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

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I love the first cover! It has a simple layout and yet something extra with the knit design on the top and bottom of the cover! The second one is okay, but I think it has nothing on the first cover! 😉

2. Evermore by Alyson Noël (English and German)

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OMG! That second cover? It looks amazing! And it gives off more of a haunting vibe than the romantic first cover, tapping into a different aspect of the novel… 😉

3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

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First cover, first cover! I love how much detail was given into this one compared to the other cover! I think that the layout is artistic and sophisticated.

4. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

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First cover forever! I like how the spine mimics the model’s kilt as well as the typography and placement of the words! 😉

What do you think of this week’s covers? Are they all awesome or are some just more awesome than others? If you have any thoughts or questions, I’d love to hear about them in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Hello again! I’d like to start off the day with a book tag! Thank you Emily from The Little Book Affair for tagging me (months earlier, I might add 😉 ). Now, I know I have an iffy relationship with tags, but I really wanted to do this one!   Luckily, I’m getting to it now before it became December! 😛 Be sure to check out Emily’s answers for the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag by the way, because they are great to read! Let’s begin!

Best book read in 2016 so far: 

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

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Best sequel read in 2016 so far:

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

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New release you haven’t read but you really want to: 

My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

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and This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Most anticipated release for the second half of the year: 

Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter

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and

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Biggest disappointment: 

Jinx by Meg Cabot

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Biggest surprise: 

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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Favourite new author: 

Roshani Chokshi, the author of The Star-Touched Queen

Newest fictional crush: 

I don’t really have a new fictional crush at the moment, but I really liked Akinli from The Siren by Kiera Cass

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Newest favourite character: 

Tiffany Aching! 😀

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Book that made you cry: 

No More Confessions by Louise Rozett

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Book that made you happy: 

All the Feels by Danika Stone

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The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year: 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Book you need to read by the end of the year:

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Don’t judge me! 😛 )

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Favourite book community memmber (blogger, booktuber, bookstagrammer):

Sasha of abookutopia and Christine from polandabananabooks! 😀

Tags: 

Zainab @ TeenBookLit101

Ola @ OlaReadsBooks

Shruti @ This is Lit

Meghan @ Meghan’s Whimsical Explorations & Reviews

Anne @ Inked Brownies

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

–  Sumaya

 

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