Reviews

Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews : Monstress Vol. 1 + Archie #1

I wasn’t planning on reviewing these because I already have so many books to review, but I decided to do a mash-up of mini-reviews in this one post. I don’t really read many graphic novels and they’re not my favorite things to read, but there are the occasional graphic novels that I find enjoyable. anyway, here are four of the graphic novels I’ve read in 2017:

(Click on covers to add on Goodreads)


MONSTRESS, Vol. 1: Awakening (Collected Editions #1)

by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

                            
In this graphic novel we follow Maika, a girl who is bound to an ancient demon and becomes a target in a war-torn world.

Monstress was a creepy, truly terrifying delight. I was really surprised at how gory and bloody it was. And though I flinched through many of the scenes, I actually loved the horror aspect of it. And the artwork is GORGEOUS! One hundred percent the most beautiful graphic novel I’ve read so far. Also, it’s set in a steam punk world of an alternate matriarchal Asia. How amazing does that sound?

I loved Maika. She’s fierce and intense (and downright scary sometimes). The side characters- even the villains- were intriguing. The storyline had me confused for the first half because you kinda get thrown in into this complex world without explanation, which can be a bit jarring. But as I went along, I got more and more of the whole picture. I recommend this to anyone who loves complex fantasy worlds, beautiful art and bad-ass women.


ARCHIE #1 (Archie (2015-) (Single Issues) #1)

     by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples

Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-read #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun — but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens — and the entire town? Find out in this exciting and remarkable first issue!

                                                                              

This book was so hard to rate. The artwork is gorgeous, the characters are fun and lovable, and the story is kinda interesting. But it just wasn’t for me. It’s set in a high school, with dating drama and rich kids. It’s just not something I’m into. I don’t even know why I picked it up.

 I didn’t care a single bit for any of the characters (Ok, maybe I like Jughead & Betty) and I was bored through the most part. I put this one down too many times because I wasn’t invested in any aspect of the story. I was also a bit put off by the way the story unfolds. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s a bit all over the place.

Reviews

Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray / Fast-paced Sci-Fi With A Sassy Robot And A Badass Soldier

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Blurb

DEFY THE STARS (Constellation #1)

Author: Claudia Gray

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, 503 pages

Published: April 4th 2017 

 Buy At:  Amazon logo   Barnes & Noble    bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

She’s a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.
Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination. 

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

I LOVED THIS BOOKS SO MUCH! It feels like it was written specifically for me. I’ve been getting into Sci-Fi lately and Claudia Gray made me fall in love with the genre even more. The writing, the characters, everything…I adored it all. Defy the stars has definitely made it to my 2017 favorites. I don’t think I can write a coherent review but I’ll try anyway.

Let’s start with the writing because that was my most favorite thing. It worked so well with setting; it’s like Claudia Gray was born to write Sci-Fi. The characterization of a robot boy and a fierce soldier was so well done that it’s now my favorite trope (BRING ME MORE BOOKS LIKE THIS). The story is well-paced, has the right amount of action and is filled with unforgettable characters. Also, the romance never gets in the way of the story. If you read the synopsis and got a tropey-romance-centered-YA-book vibe, you’ve got it wrong. This book is so much more.

Abel and Naomi… I love these characters so much. I can’t even.

Abel is the definition of sassy. A sassy robot, that is. And Naomi is a head-strong, loyal soldier. Their banters give me so much life. I would read a whole book of just them trying to one-up each other passive-aggressively.

Another thing this book has going for it is the world-building. I absolutely loved learning about all the planets and technology. The tension and conflict between the different planets is complex and intriguing. Each planet has different rules and values; as well as moral conflicts that come with their way of life.

Overall an entertaining and gripping novel (that I believe might be the best ever YA novel set in space) that revolves around the question: What does it mean to be human? I recommend it to everyone! Read it then come and suffer with me while we wait for Book 2. 


Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn’t choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn’t), because I’d always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven’t) or even because I’m hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I’ve been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

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Reviews

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson / Thieves, Gangs & A Mystery set in Kenya+Congo

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Blurb

CITY OF SAINTS & THIEVES

Author: Natalie C. Anderson

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, 401 pages

Published: January 24th 2017

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(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling murder mystery set in Kenya.
In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother–and why–keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

This book was a big surprise. I knew I’d like it after reading the synopsis, but it was far more enjoyable than I expected. The writing is pretty darn good for a debut author and Tina is a protagonist that you’ll immediately fall in love with. She just felt so real and to top it all of: she’s badass. She has a quite intensity and she’s smart. Also, she’s a very talented thief of one of Sangui City’s gangs.

Tina is Congolese, but she and her mother came to Kenya as refugees. Her mother never mentions their past life and Tina has no idea who her mother really is. Because of that their relationship is a bit strained. When her mother is murdered, Tina sets out to find the killer and exact revenge. I would say that this book has two parts. The first half is set in Kenya where Tina is working for the Goondas (thief gang) while setting her plan of revenge in motion.  The second half mostly takes place in Congo, Tina’s home country, where she delves into her mother’s past in hopes of finding the killer and their motive. The author did a good job with the setting; the cities and villages were depicted in rich detail and the perfect amount of tension is invoked when needed, which made her writing almost atmospheric. 

I liked all the side characters are interesting; they’re all complex and intriguing. There are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters. The synopsis doesn’t even begin to describe what this book is about. Things go unexpectedly dark later on. It goes deep into crime and corruption that is the reality of many African countries, and the harsh lives of women caught in the midst. 

Overall, an intense and fast-paced read that kept me on edge throughout. The fact that it was set in Kenya and the amazing set of POC characters won me over from the beginning, and the mystery kept me latched on to the pages till the very end. An easy 5-star for me.

Trigger warning: Mentions of rape and kidnap


Natalie C. Anderson

Natalie C. Anderson is a writer and international development professional living in Boston, Massachusetts. She has spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children’s Writer in Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints and Thieves.

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Reviews

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh / Swoony, Feudal-Japan-set Mulan retelling

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Blurb

FLAME IN THE MIST (Flame in the Mist #1)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, 368 pages

Publish Date: May 16th 2017

Pre-order At:  Amazon logo   Barnes & Noble    bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

If the Mulan aspect of this book has you excited then I can tell you now that you’re gonna love Flame in the mist. I’ve seen others say that claiming that it’s Mulan-inspired is far-fetched and I disagree. Yes, it’s set in feudal Japan instead of China and the plot and story is completely different, but I can definitely see similarities.

Mariko, while travelling to her betrothed’s city, gets attacked by a gang of bandits known as “The Black clan”. She survives the attack and dresses up as a boy before she sets out to infiltrate the gang, to figure out why they wanted her dead.

Although most of the story is told from Mariko’s POV, there are other perspectives thrown in. The story is a complex, interwoven thing and all the characters are equally as complex. It felt like there are no side characters in this story because all of them were fully fleshed out; they were all just so interesting. Mariko was of course a stand-out. I enjoyed seeing everything through her voice. Mariko is clever and, although she has no strength in a physical sense, she is badass when it comes to weaseling out of trouble and confrontation. She comes from a privileged life so it was refreshing to see that she didn’t immediately grasp everything; fear still grips her and she still has a lot to learn.

I loved the Black clan members and I loved the relationships within the gang, especially between Ranmaru and Okami. The dynamic Mariko has with those two is also pretty enjoyable. I should point out here that there is no love triangle (I know that it’d be a turn off for many of you). The romance is a bit of a slow-burn, a lot of tension and swooniness. In summary:

                

Another thing I enjoyed was the gruesomeness. It doesn’t shy away from gory details. The setting was immaculately done and you can tell a lot of research has been done in invoking the atmosphere. I was immersed into this world. It almost felt like a historical drama set in feudal Japan because of all the unexpected political intrigue and complexities.

The only complaint I have is the implausibility of some of the situations Mariko finds herself in. I felt like things were a bit too convenient for her. And the fantasy element in the story felt disjointed. I don’t know… At some point, blood-sucking trees and forest spirits started appearing and it was out-of-nowhere. Also, I was a bit lost on the plot; I got a bit confused in the middle. That might be my fault though, because I flew through this book.


Renee Ahdieh

I live in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with my husband Victor and our dog Mushu. In my spare time, I like to cook, mess with makeup, and wreak havoc on the lives of my characters.

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Memes, Tags & Lists

April 2017 Wrap-up

12

I read a total of  8 books this month and I’m a bit disappointed because I was aiming for at least 12. But, overall, it was a great reading month since most of the books I read turned out to be very enjoyable. The first few days were filled with 5-star reads (mostly Sci-Fi for some reason). Again I cheated and snuck in two graphic novels lol. Someone needs to stop me from cheating again…

 

These are the books I’ve read in January and February. Below each book is my rating. Click the covers to add them to Goodreads!

ARCs :

              

5 star      5 star     4 half star     5 star

Others :

            

3 star     4 half star     4 star     

So far, this is what my Goodreads challenge looks like: 

Which of these books have you read or added to your TBR pile?  Let me know in the comments below 😀

Reviews

The Hunted by Meagan Spooner / A Lush, beautifully-written Beauty & The Beast Retelling

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Blurb

HUNTED

Author: Meagan Spooner

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Published: March 14th 2017

Buy At:  Amazon logo   Barnes & Noble    bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

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adri's review

Hunted might be my favorite fairy-tale retelling ever. I loved it way more than I had expected.

It has all the fairy-tale elements, complete with beautiful writing and a Russian-like setting. The main character, Yeva, is my favorite aspect of the whole story. She is fierce and strong but in a subtle and genuine way, not at all like many of the YA main characters we get today who are supposed to be ‘fiesty’ and ‘strong’ and end up feeling like tropes. She has become one my favorite YA characters; she is calm, rational and genuine- but not without flaws.

Yeva lives with her two older sisters and her father. They’re all pretty close and they live comfortable lives, having all their necessities met, with the exception of Yeva who’s always felt like something is missing in her life. Unfortunately, their father makes a mistake and all their fortune is lost. They’d all have to go to an old cabin in the woods where their father goes back to hunting.

Soon everything takes a turn for the worst as the father gets more and more delirious with each trip to the forest, claiming that there is something watching him and lurking in the woods. Yeva, having learned hunting from her father, begs to join him but gets turned away each time. Until he goes one night and never returns. Yeva has to resort to her rusty skills of hunting and tracking to find her father in the woods and hesitantly leaves her sisters to search for him. Little does she know that she’d be gone for a long time.

I don’t want to spoil anything else, but I will say that the whole Beauty and the beast element is definitely here, and although the romance was subtle and more of a slow-burn, it felt very believable and just heart-warming.

This was a fast read for me and even though it had a familiar story arc, it still felt very much like its own story. I was kept on the edge of my seat and flew through the pages. I loved the writing, the romance and the characters. The relationship between the sisters was beautifully portrayed and the story overall had a depth to it that I wasn’t expecting.

 


about author

Meagan Spooner

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there. She’s the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

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Reviews

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller / Kick-ass lady pirates and A fast-paced adventure

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Blurb

DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING (Daughter of the Pirate King #1)

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Format: Hardcover, 320 pages

Published: February 28th 2017

Buy At:  Amazon logo   Barnes & Noble    bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

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adri's review

Daughter of the pirate king is a fun, fast-paced read that I really enjoyed. The main character, Alosa, is snarky and witty and I just loved her from the very beginning. I enjoyed the pirate element in this story all in all, especially because the characters were a tiny bit violent (including Alosa). She was kind of a badass and bit merciless. Another thing I loved about this book was the crew of kick-ass pirate ladies (although we don’t get to see them much).

But I should say that it felt more like a romance novel than a pirate one; the romance plays a huge part of the story and it was of a lighter tone, which tends to take away from the grit and ruthlessness that you might want from a book about pirates. That aspect disappointed me. I did like the love interest and I liked the banter and chemistry between those two, but there was no substance to it; I don’t know what they saw in each other past physical attractiveness. Also, the situations and the development that based the romance felt a bit far-fetched considering the circumstances both characters were in. The romance just felt a bit unnecessary and that caused me to be more annoyed than on board with the ship.

It was a fun, light read but I just wanted more- more violence, more grit and more character development. There was so much potential for it to be a “great” read but it ended up just being a good one. I did enjoy myself and I do very much love pirate books so I couldn’t rate it lower than I did despite me having some problems with it.

 


about author

Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller writes historical fantasies for young adult readers. Her debut, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING, is set to release Feb. 2017 from Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

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Memes, Tags & Lists

Top Ten Fandoms I’m Part Of

Copy of French Country

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme that is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

This week’s topic is Top Ten Tuesday : Fandoms

Here are ten fandoms that I’m part of :

1. The Gentleman Bastards

Everyone knows by now just how obsessed I am with this series. If you haven’t read The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, what are you even doing with your life? Like, GO FREAKING READ IT! The gentleman bastards are like my fav crew ever. I mean morally-grey characters, thieves, con-artists and funny banter. What more do you need???

2. Six of Crows

Do I even need to explain how much I love this duology and this author. The Six of Crows crew are #squadgoals. I can’t go a single day without having random thoughts about how much I love these characters. And the ships in this book…It’s SHIPS GALORE.

3. BTS

(If this GIF doesn’t describe them perfectly, nothing will)

Okay, this might come as a surprise to many as I’m not exactly vocal about my love for this Kpop group, but they’re basically my most favorite band (and the only Kpop group I really listen to tbh). I love these boys and I’m obsessed with their music. I have a few mutuals on Twitter who are also BTS stans and I’m just…it’s so perfect when another book blogger/tuber/instagramer/reviewer is equally as obsessed with BTS as I am.

4. Yuri on Ice

How could I not be in this fandom?? There’s A+ quality fanart to gorge in and the anime is just so gorgeous. I can’t even wait for Season 2 (which I’m sure will exist… right??) I miss Yuri and Victor and Yurio and I NEED SEASON 2!

5. Avatar: The Last Airbender

This show will forever be my all-time favorite series. I’m so obsessed with this show that whenever I see even a single picture or GIF related to it, I’m immediately back to craving it and feeling so nostalgic. I’ve seen it like 6 times but I never get enough. Literally talking about right now is making me wanna drop everything and watch it. It’s an addiction I tell you.

6. Shades of Magic

Another YA fantasy fandom. You can’t blame me, YA fantasy is really killing it with these addicting characters. Shades of magic is another series with a bunch of loveable and shipable dorks. I love them all so much, although I adore Holland significantly more than any of the others. Tbh, I’ve rooted for him ever since the beginning, even more so than I did for the main protagonists. The last book recently came out and it’s still a sore topic for me. That last book RUINED ME. 

7. Sherlock

Another favorite TV series. It recently ended and I refuse to accept that they’re done for good; I’m still hoping for another season (or five) although the ending on Season 4 wrapped it up pretty perfectly. I just want more Sherlock and John and Mycroft. Such a fantastic show that I’ll be re-watching soon. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and start watching it now.

8. Shadowhunters

Strictly the books only. I don’t like the TV show, at all. I know many people love it and I really do appreciate a lot of things about the show, but I personally can’t watch it without cringing. These books, though, are gold. I love almost every character introduced to this world and even characters that we are yet to see but are teased about by the author. I love everything about the Shadowhunter world and its characters. I would read 50 more book series if Cassandra decides to write more of this world tbh.

9. The 100

This TV series got a whole lot problematic when the writers killed off Lexa (who was, for me, the best character in the show). It really turned me off to the show and although I don’t enjoy it now as much I used to, I can’t stop watching because I’ve grown to love the characters and I’ve been permanently drawn into the storyline. This show is very addicting.

10. The Song of Achilles

(Credit to felixsketches.tumblr.com)

This is one of my favorite books. I want to cry whenever I think about this book. It took the author 10 years to write it and it really shows. Having seen Patroclus and Achilles through childhood, growing to become friends and then more has me really attached to them and their relationship. The song of achilles broke me, made me a mess but it’ll always be close to my heart. Not to mention the fandom puts out quality fanart ❤

 

Reviews

Body-positivity, Unbearable cuteness and Wonderful diversity / The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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Blurb

THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED

Author:  Becky Albertalli

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

Format: Hardcover, 352 pages

Published: April 11th 2017 

 

Pre-order At:  Amazon logo   Barnes & Noble    bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

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adri's review

This book was just so adorable and warm and PERFECT! Definitely one of the best contemporary novels I’ve ever read.

Cuteness level :

                              

  • Molly, the main character, is like the sweetest cinnamon roll ever. Like, can I be your friend?? She’s so relatable; her awkwardness, her anxiety issues and the 25+ unrequited crushes speaks to me on the highest level. I loved that the whole book doesn’t revolve around her being fat. Aside from the self-image issues and insecurities any teenager would feel, the book doesn’t linger on that fact, because Molly owns it and I loved this book for it.
  • Diversity aspect = A+  I think this book might’ve ruined me for other contemporaries. The diversity and inclusivity was so on point that it felt like real life. The main character has two moms who are an interracial couple and her twin sister is a lesbian. There were pansexual, gay, POC and Jewish characters, too. And it didn’t feel like they were token ‘diverse’ characters, it felt like the most true depiction of reality.
  • Features close family and friend relationships. The sister relationship between Molly and Cassie was sweet, infuriating and a bit sad -as most sibling relationships really are tbh. I got close to drowning from adorableness whenever they teased or cheered each other through their respective pursuits of a romantic relationship. We see a lot of their moms and the dynamic in this family is just… *squishes an innocent plushie to obliteration* I love seeing the long-standing friendships Molly has and the new one she forms throughout the awkwardness of first meetings and the painfulness of parties. Becky Albertalli is a master of conveying the authentic teenage experience through the pages.

In this book, you follow Molly as she and her sister try to score her at least one requited crush, but there is so much more to this book than you could expect and it’s just such a fresh, feel-good read. Her long-standing relationships are tested and some of the new ones she forms grow or take unexpected directions; all while she learns to fully embrace herself and find her place. So many hilarious, awww-inducing and tear-jerking moments and so much cuteness. I can’t recommend this book enough. Whether or not you’ve read Simon Vs. The homos-sapiens agenda, whether or not you love YA contemporary, PICK THIS BOOK UP!! You will not be disappointed. 

Have you read the other book by Becky Albertalli (Simon Vs.)? Did you already add The upside of unrequited to your TBR? Let me know down below! 😀


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Becky Albertalli

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March 2017 Wrap-up

12

March has been a fantastic reading month for me! I was aiming for 16 books but I’ve read 13 instead, which is absolutely fine by me. It’s the most amount of books I’ve read in a single month. Although, I did kinda cheat by reading two graphic novels lol, but hey, graphic novels are books too so…

 

These are the books I’ve read in January and February. Below each book is my rating. Click the covers to check out my reviews for each book. Most of these don’t have reviews yet!

ARCs :

                    

4 star            5 star      5 star     4 half star

Others :

                     

3 star     4 star             5 star      

            

5 star             

So far, this is what my Goodreads challenge looks like : 

13

  • I didn’t add anything at all to my WIP this month.
  • But I’d been doing some research and trying to figure out the plot, as it tends to be the hardest part for me. 
  • I know I said I’d outline during spring break but that hasn’t happened. 
  • I decided to give the story some time to be more fleshed out, so I won’t be writing it until summer. Hopefully that is enough time for me to figure out where my WIP is going. 

Which of these books have you read or added to your TBR pile?  Let me know in the comments below 😀