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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 38

Hi, everyone! It’s Monday and you know what that means: time for another post of “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. I’ve recently read some great books and hope that this streak continues!

What I’ve Read Recently: 

What I’m Currently Reading:

What I’m Planning to Read Next:

Well, that’s all for now! What are you reading this week?

– Sumaya

ARC Review: Scream All Night by Derek Milman

Summary

A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

Sourced from Goodreads

Review

My rating:

Hey there, fellow readers! I recently read Scream All Night by Derek Milman and I’ve got to say that I really enjoyed it! At first, I was a tiny bit skeptical that I would like it, what with it being compared to Nice Try, Jane Sinner and all. I loved Nice Try, Jane Sinner right off the bat, so when I didn’t like this one right away, I thought it was a sign that I wouldn’t like the book as well. But it’s just that Dario is definitely his own character and comparing him to Jane Sinner wasn’t really fair of me. Thankfully, I kept on reading to see what happened next and I’m glad that I did!

What did I like about this book? Where do I begin? Other than it obviously being in the realm of the entertainment industry and Moldavia Studios itself having an elusive history, I really liked the relationships represented in this book. From Dario and his family, to Hayley and Moldavia as well, this book explores all Dario has left behind when he was forced to leave home as a child. All these connections made him the person he is today, whether he wants to admit that or not. In the end, Dario has to figure out how to accept his past if he wants to start the next chapter of his life.

I really liked the pacing of the story as well. Even though a lot of time has passed, that can easily be explained away by how oddly time can move being secluded in Moldavia. This made the story more fast-paced and less involved in the details. It also contained little articles that helped push the story along, whether it was about Moldavia Studio’s founding, Dario’s parents, or Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, the movie Dario and Hayley starred in when he was young. Honestly, it was kind of hard to finish this book since that meant leaving the characters and their compelling stories.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book by Derek Milman and glad it was recommended to me. If you like reading about B-rated horror movies, the ongoings of the entertainment industry and people trying to figure out their place in the world, you should definitely check out Scream All Night. It comes out on July 24th, 2018. Also, if you have any questions about Scream All Night or any recommendations on books like Scream All Night, feel free to comment in the section below.

Have a nice day, everyone!

– Sumaya

I received this copy from a publicity agency via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Summary

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

Hello, fellow readers! Another day, another book read! Today, I’ll be reviewing Roshani Chokshi’s Star-Touched Stories, short stories set in the same world as The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes. I was so happy to get a chance to read this as I’ve loved the author’s previous books! And I’m glad to say that these short stories didn’t disappoint!

The collection is comprised of three short stories, focusing on the relationships of Night and Death, Aasha and Zahril, as well as Gauri and Vikram. These stories were pretty engaging in getting into the heads of the protagonist, describing the plight in such exquisite detail! And the romance! Oh, my! The romance between these characters was just amazing! It reminded me of old relationships within the previous books as well while also giving me a burgeoning new relationship that make my heart flutter!

Also, I’ve got to say that I’m a big fan of Roshani Chokshi’s writing style. It’s beautifully descriptive, with imagery that gets you right inside the stories. Even when nothing’s going on at that specific moment, I couldn’t help but enjoy the story because of the writing.

Overall, I really liked reading these short stories, with the only thing I can comment on is the fact that they’re way too short for my liking! 😉 But such is the way of a lot of the stories I’ve been reading and loving lately. I just hope to see more stories from this series! If anyone is a fan of this author’s work or would like a taste of her writing, I would definitely recommend reading Star-Touched Stories. And to those who are interested, the book comes out on August 7th, 2018!

That’s all for now! Have a wonderful day, everyone!

– Sumaya

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

 

Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

Summary

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating:

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another review, this one being on Leila Sales’ latest book, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say. I, for one, more think that this book could be great for book clubs, at least the discussion part. At least, I felt the need to talk about it with whoever would listen, even to people who didn’t read the book. Especially to people who didn’t read the book. I wanted to hear their opinion on the hypothetical situation of someone saying the wrong thing on the internet. Do they deserve empathy? Or do they deserve being stripped of everything they’ve achieved so far in their life?

One thing I can say is that Winter’s a pretty interesting character. She may be a little naive and grasping at straws sometimes, but at least she tries to be a good person. She’s just someone whose mistake was plastered over the worldwide web trying to get her life back. Not only that, but this book shows how it affects others in Winter’s life, from her parenting expert mother to her sister at college, even her friends and their tightly-knit group.

While I did like the character development, the plot was a bit slow for me. Some places, I just skimmed through to get to the parts that dealt with character development. Don’t get me wrong; the book was engaging to a certain degree. It just didn’t keep my attention when it got to the slower paced parts.

Well, that’s all I have to say about If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say for now! While I did like This Song Will Save Your Life a lot more than this book, it was pretty solid character-wise. Have you read Leila Sales’ latest novel yet? Or any of her previous ones? Feel free to talk about them in the Comments Section below!

Thanks for reading, everyone! And happy Canada Day to all the Canadian bloggers and readers out there!

– Sumaya

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12

Hi again! It’s time for another post of “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. So, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve read last week, especially since  I got to read As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti! Plus, I didn’t plan on reading as much as I did, but I’m glad that I did! My only regret is putting off Kat and Meg Conquer the World. Hopefully I get to it soon!

What I Read Recently:

What I’m Currently Reading: 

moxie

What I’m Planning to Read Next: 

Well, that’s what I plan on reading for the week! I feel like these books will be awesome! What books are you reading this week? Feel free to share in the Comments Section below! Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Which Cover Wednesday 39

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 Start of Me and You by Emery Lorde

the-start-of-me-and-you or the-start-of-me-and-you-2.jpg

I really like the second cover and how it uses pastels as well as the simpleness of it all. The second cover is also a bit more accurate, plot-wise, than the first…

2. The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

the-wrong-side-of-right.jpg or the-wrong-side-of-right-2.jpg

Love that first cover! It has such beautiful typography and colours (I really like the ombre mix of pink and orange). The second cover is alright but it seems a bit bland compared to the first one…

3. Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

extraordinary-means.jpg or extraordinary-means-2.jpg

In this case, I’d pick the first cover. It kind of matches Robyn Schneider’s first novel, The Beginning of Everything, and I think it looks pretty cool with the background image. The second cover’s image looks a bit obscure. I get why it’s depicting a cross between a lung and tree, but I don’t think that it looks as appealing as the first cover’s background.

4. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

something.jpg or something-2.jpg

OMG! That second cover is gorgeous! Not that I don’t like the first cover; it’s just a bit too generic. The second one looks way more eery and matches the title as well as the subject matter! 😉

That’s it for this week’s Which Cover Wednesday! If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

My rating: red3

Hey, everyone! Happy Wednesday! I just finished reading The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, and I’ve got to say, I don’t really know how I feel about it. The book is told from the perspective of Paige, who lost her boyfriend, Aaron, two years ago to drowning, but is making an effort to move on and be happy again. I thought it would be interesting to read and a few people did recommend this book to me so as soon as I found a copy, I thought “why not?” There were parts I really liked and parts I didn’t like at all. I think it actually took me until about halfway into the book before I actually started to enjoy the book. And even after that, I thought to myself, should I really be spending my time reading this book?

Don’t get me wrong; there were times where I really enjoyed reading The Start of Me and You and it probably made up for half the times I didn’t. Like when Paige unabashedly gets her nerd on or does something brave for once. I liked the QuizBowl matches and hope that Paige still continues with it in the long run! 😉 And I really enjoyed reading about Paige’s friends, who are always there for her whenever she needs them, and vice versa. A bonus was that there was no major drama between them, which was a relief to read about!

But then there was the stuff that just bothered me. I didn’t really like how Paige put so much importance in establishing a relationship with the perfect guy. I get that she wants to date again after Aaron, her last boyfriend. However, it felt as if she obsessed too much over that one goal and not enough on other goals she made for herself, which were accomplishments in their own right. Then there was the ending and how even I thought Paige shouldn’t have had to deal with a certain person’s (for the avoidance of spoilers, this person shall not be named) attitude. It seems to me that if Paige was trying to talk it out, that person should have tried a bit more as well! Or at least sought out an explanation… :/

Well, that’s my take on The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. I guess I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would (although it was an okay read). If you like a light contemporary read with a lot of emphasis on finding love, then this is probably the book for you. If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to ask in the Comments Section below. I’d really like to hear what you all think about this book or how you liked this compared to other books by Emery Lord. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

My rating: green4

Hey, everybody! I just finished The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima and I’m kind of sad to say that… I should have read this book a long time ago! It was really good! The Demon King follows the perspective of Princess Raisa and Han Alister, a reformed thief. Both these characters battle the limited amount of choices their positions put them in and from them, readers get to see different perspectives of Fellsmarch (the capital) in order  to get the whole picture of what is going on in the queendom of the Fells.

At first, I felt like I couldn’t get into it. I was immensely bored and almost wouldn’t have continued reading the book. But after struggling for a few chapters, I finally got in the zone and started speed reading like nobody’s business! 😉 I really liked how Cinda Williams Chima chose to reveal certain pieces of information and even use the perspectives of our main characters by complimenting them in order to advance the story. Even though their stories do not seem as interconnected at first, it’s nice to see how the perpectives slide from one character to the other without ruining the story. In fact, in some cases, it’s such a smooth transition between their stories that it works out great! It’s just that as I got to the ending, I was more interested in what was happening and may have been guilty of skimming a couple of pages in order to find out… 😀

I was really impressed by Raisa, and not just by her character: stubborn, caring and a warrior at heart. What I was really impressed by was the fact that Raisa admits she has flaws. After reading The Great Hunt where the princess was pretty bland and proper in everything, it was nice to read someone who was more critical of herself and her surroundings. It’s also a plus that her time away from court helped her learn different skills other than the ones forced upon her by her mother, Queen Marianna as well as society. I just wish she listened to her instincts more!

And then there was Han! He was a real treat to read and I couldn’t help but get excited every time I’d get to his POV. He just has a certain charm about him, you know?  It’s not just Raisa that gets to be more complex than the average princess stereotype, but Han as well. Han is in between so many things during the book. He doesn’t want to cause trouble, but trouble seems to follow him no matter what. He wishes to be able and stay with his friends in the clan camp, but he also has a duty to his mother and sister as well. He’s more than what he seems and I can’t wait to see his development in the future!

That’s all I have to say about The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. As much as would like to marathon this series (since I have The Exiled Queen ready at hand), I also really want to read another book! How about you? What are you reading this Friday? Hope it’s a great book! If you have any thoughts or questions about The Demon King feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a great weekend!

–  Sumaya

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

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