(ARC) Review: Here’s The Thing


Here’s The Thing
by Emily O’Beirne
Series/ Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 19th, 2016
Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Ylva Publishing in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.

But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.

As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.

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Wow. This book is real cute.

Here’s The Thing follows the story of Zel, a teenage girl who has to move from New York to Sydney due to her parents’ job.  It shows the struggle to trying to fit in again and again, and the way Zel adjusts to her new life in Sydney. It’s a story of heartache, new friendships and acceptance.

I have to admit, I wasn’t quite impressed by the start of the book. It felt a bit boring and I wasn’t a fan of the ‘speaking to the audience’ type of narration. But as the story progressed, I fell in love with Zel and the rest of the gang.

Zelda is an amazing, smart and level headed character. She is quite comfortable with her sexual identity and doesn’t make a huge deal of it. She sees people for who they are and is not as judgemental as other teens. The other characters, Prim, Antony, Michael, Ashani and Stella were also well developed. They each had their quirks and flaws and felt very real. Prim, a character I was not very impressed with in the beginning, grew on me and by the end I loved her too. Prim and Zel’s subway adventures were quite fun.

O’Beirne’s writing was quite good and the story flowed naturally. The narration changes from the present to flashbacks of Zel and Prim but it never felt confusing. Props to the amount of diversity present in this book too.

All in all, a very cute and feel good read! Definitely recommended 😀

Divya

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5 reasons why you should read The Hammer of Thor


The Hammer of Thor
by Rick Riordan
Series/Standalone: Series – Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard #2
Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Rating: 5 stars

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.

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Rick Riordan’s signature wit is back. His last two books haven’t been my most favorite books of his, but this one definitely had me flailing throughout and The Hammer of Thor is now one of my most favorite books this year, right after ACOMAF ❤

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The amounts of diversity in this book. With Samirah’s religious faith playing an important role, and the introduction of gender fluid characters, there’s a lot of diversity in this book, and it was actually done right for once. It didn’t feel forced at any point, and all the characters felt so natural. That brings me to:

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The characters. In the first book, it felt like Magnus was a parallel universe version of Percy, but in this book, he definitely shone. And so did all the other characters, including Sam, Amir, Alex, Blitz, Hearth, Jack (YES HE IS A SEPARATE CHARACTER) and the gang of Floor 19. The latest addition, Alex, was just awesome. I don’t want to speak any more because of spoilers, but all the characters were just kickass. Also, Amir and Sam are SO SWEET! I ship them so hard.

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The pace. From the first page to the last, there was never a slow moment. I could not put the book down once I started reading. All the fight scenes were awesome and the different worlds they travel to were shown very beautifully. Rick has made sure we do not get confused at any point, and I’m really grateful for that. Both the pace and the writing are awesome. This book definitely didn’t suffer from Second Book Syndrome.

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The chapter titles! 😛 If not for the above mentioned reasons, atleast read this gorgeous book for the chapter titles. Here’s a small preview:

I Am Saved From Certain Death By Being Killed

Never Take a Bubble Bath With a Decapitated God

The Most Awkward Viking Luau Ever

What’s a Guy Gotta Do to Get a Standing Ovation?

Samirah and Magnus Sitting in a Tree, T-A-L-K-I-N-G

If that doesn’t grab your interest, I don’t know what will. 😀

All in all, this was an engaging, fast-paced and gloriously sarcastic book and I recommend it with all my heart. GO READ IT. NOW.

So have you read Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard? If you have, what did you think about it? As good as Uncle Rick’s other books or not? If you haven’t, why not? Read ’em!

Divya

#SBPT16 – Dana @ DanaSquare’s Favorite Reads of 2016

Hello, everyone! Today, I have the wonderful Dana @ DanaSquare who’s going to be sharing her favorite reads of 2016 with us. Here’s what she had to say:


Top Favorite Reads of 2016 (so far)

I have read a total of 67 books this year. These are the books that I gave 5 stars this year, there were a few that I left out because they were re-reads and received the same 5 star review as the first time I read them. I feel like this is an amazing mix of books that really shows off my reading tastes. 

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Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

I just binge read the Grisha Trilogy and Siege & Storm was by far my favorite of the series. It was non-stop action. I loved seeing Alina become a strong character. Also, Sturmhond was a great new addition in this book.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

I knew that this book was going to ruin me and sure enough it did. I didn’t expect to get so wrapped up in this story. I was up until 3 a.m. sobbing and crying. The next day I had an interview for an internship so that was probably not the greatest idea, but I fell in love with this story and these characters.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Does this need much of an explanation?

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Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin 

This is an emotional topic for anyone, but it hits really close to home as a New Yorker. I love that the theme of this book is more about before the event than the event. One day could change how we live our lives. 

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am a huge Jennifer L. Armentrout fan and I think this one moved right up to my top five of her books that I have read. It is so different from her usual style, but I truly loved it. 

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

This is the first David Levithan novel that I have read and now I need to read more. The craft of this book is just unbelievable. The story was fantastic. I cried, laughed, and was touched in my heart by this book.

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Edgewater by Courtney B. Sheinmel 

This was a read that I picked up on a whim and now it is one of those under-rated reads that I keep on recommending to anyone and everyone. Go into blind and you will be hooked!

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

This book is worth all of the hype that it received. I read it in one sitting. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

OH MY GOD. This is unlike any book I have ever read.

Thank you Divya for having me on your blog today!

It was great having you here, Dana!

4 Reasons Why I Loved Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting
by Dahlia Adler
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genres: Contemporary
Age Category: Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 stars

Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective…only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants…only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

Reason One

Diversity. This book is chock full of diversity, and it was actually done right for once. One of the MCs is Mexican, her mom is deaf, and one of the guys is Indian. Yet, it never felt like the author included them just so she could check off a box for diversity. I especially loved how Victoria and Reagan both learnt sign language!

Reason One (4)

↪ The Friendship. Most of the YA contemporaries I read focus on the romance and not on the friendships between the characters, but that’s so not the case here. The friendship is highlighted more than the romance, and that made me very happy. The romance was also quite sweet, though. It’s nice to see the good guys get the girls for once 😉

Victoria and Reagan shared an amazing bond. Both of them were immediately there for each other whenever needed. They were quite different from each other, with Victoria being more interested in fashion and sororities and boys and Reagan concentrating more on her work and grades. But their friendship was so natural, and I absolutely loved it!

Reason One (3)

The Writing. Dahlia’s writing is so beautiful and easy to read. I read this book from start to end within a day. Her writing flows and once you pick up this book, you definitely cannot put it down. I cannot believe that this is the first book I’m reading by her, and I definitely want to read more!

Reason One (5)

The Cover. Last but definitely not the least, I want to say that I am so in love with the cover of this book. Look how cute it is! Both the girls running, and the beautiful field with the clear blue skies and that cute aqua font. The cover was why I actually picked up this book! #coversnob

 

Just Visiting is definitely one of the best contemporaries I’ve read this year. With amazing characters, beautiful writing, loads of diversity and an epic friendship, you’ll definitely love this one!

Have you read Just Visiting? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven’t, go ahead and read it right now!

Divya

 

(ARC) Review: Heroine Complex

Heroine Complex
by Sarah Kuhn
Series/Standalone: TBD
Genre: Sci-Fi, Superheroes
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 5th, 2016
My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley for my review. Thank you, Berkley Publishing Group!

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right… or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

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SUPERHEROINES FOR THE WIN!

Heroine Complex is the story of Evie Tanaka, who is the best friend cum assistant of San Francisco’s beloved superheroine, Aveda Jupiter (or, as she was known before she rose to fame, Annie Chang). When a portal from Otherworld opened into SF eight years ago, Aveda took it upon herself to become the protector of the city, and her steady rock is Evie, her best friend.

This book surprised me. I dove into it without any expectations, and it left me feeling satisfied. What I really loved in this book was our MC, Evelyn Kickass Tanaka. She was reliable and loyal and helpful and just pure awesome, period. I love how she always tried to be there for Aveda, even when she was being way too annoying. Speaking of that, Aveda sure got on my nerves a lot. Since the book has to end on a positive note, she does redeem herself, but I felt like strangling her sometimes. She was whiny and inconsiderate and jealous of Evie, and never tried to take Evie’s feelings into consideration. There were some movements, especially the little flashbacks of their childhood, which I loved, though. I wish she stayed Annie Chang instead of becoming Aveda Jupiter.

The romance between Evie and Nate, their HQ’s researchologist, was cute and sweet. I love hate-to-love relationships, so I was bound to like this one. The other characters, including Scott, Evie and Aveda’s childhood best friend, and Lucy, Aveda’s bodyguard were pretty cool. But Evie’s little sister, Beatrice Tanaka, is another character I’m not really fond of. Her role model is Aveda. ‘Nuff said.

This book’s weakest point, IMO, is the antagonist. I do not want to reveal their name in case of spoilers, but trust me, I was NOT IMPRESSED. It honestly felt like a parody, and I’d rather Aveda kill cupcake demons (as pictured on the cover) than deal with the villain.

Well, then, why’d I give it four stars? Because I loved the MC, and many of the supporting characters, and the writing was really fun and flowed smoothly, and due to the heaps of diversity present in this book. YAY for Asian superheroines! Also, #INTENSECOVERLOVE

Does Heroine Complex sound like something you’d pick up? And who are your favorite superheroes?! TELL ME ALL.

Divya

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Finding Audrey

finding audrey Finding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness
Age Category: Young adult
Release Date: June 9th, 2015
Rating: 4 stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

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Finding Audrey tells the story of Audrey Turner, a fourteen year old girl who is suffering from anxiety. This is Sophie Kinsella’s YA debut, and man, did she enter the world of YA with a bang. It covers a very serious topic, but also has many light-hearted and humorous moments.

I loved almost every single character in this book. Audrey is a great narrator. She is witty and down to earth. I loved reading from her point of view, and was rooting for her throughout the book. Her older brother. Linus, the love interest, is SO DAMNED CUTE. Frank and Felix, Audrey’s brothers, were also pretty awesome. The only character whom I have a problem with is Audrey’s mother. She was overwhelming and unrealistic and basically, insane.

Audrey and Linus’ romance was sweet and endearing. He saw Audrey for she was, a witty teenage girl, underneath her anxiety. No, he didn’t heal her. Audrey managed to recuperate on her own. He motivated and helped Audrey overcome her anxiety. I really loved him. The only thing was, I felt that Audrey warmed up to him way too fast, considering her anxiety. Except for that tiny detail, I loved their relationship.

Finding Audrey is not a typical sick-lit book, but is a ray of sunshine among the other books dealing with serious topics. Kinsella balances out the darker moments of anxiety with her usual humour. Even though it is not very realistic, I loved Finding Audrey and getting to know Audrey and crew. Congratulations, Sophie, on a wonderful YA debut!

Divya

Review: Absolute Brightness

Absolute Brightness
by James Lecesne
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Realistic Fiction, LGBT
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: May 31st 2016
Rating: 2

I received this book through The Fantastic Flying Book Club from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

From Academy Award-winning writer, actor, and activist in the LGBTQ community comes a groundbreaking story about love, prejudice, and being yourself.

Phoebe’s life in Neptune, New Jersey, is somewhat unremarkable. She helps her mom out with her hair salon, she goes to school, and she envies her perfect older sister. But everything changes when Leonard arrives.

Leonard is an orphan, a cousin who Phoebe never knew she had. When he comes to live with Phoebe’s family, he upsets the delicate balance of their lives. He’s gay and confident about who he is. He inspires the people around him. He sees people not as they are, but as they hope to be.

One day, Leonard goes missing. Phoebe, her family, and her community fight to understand what happened, and to make sense of why someone might want to extinguish the beautiful absolute brightness that was Leonard Pelkey.

This novel by James Lecesne, the cofounder of The Trevor Project, inspired the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway show The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.

A William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist

“This book will encourage you to be exactly who you are.” —Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues

“This complex, illuminating and beautiful book reminds us we have to look for the light even in the darkest corners.” —Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

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ARC Review: Ink and Bone


Ink and Bone
by Rachel Caine
Series/Standalone: Series – The Great Library #1
Genres: Fantasy, Alternate Universe
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Rating: 3.5

I received an arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

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Review: The Raven Boys


The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater
Series/Standalone: Series – The Raven Cycle #1
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Rating: 4.5

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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Book Blitz: Ella’s Twisted Senior Year

Ella's Twisted Senior Year banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Ella’s Twisted Senior Year by Amy Sparling. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 31 May till 6 June, you can view the blitz schedule here.

Ella's Twisted Senior YearElla’s Twisted Senior Year
By Amy Sparling
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: May 31, 2016

Blurb:
Having spent most of her senior year flying under the radar, the last thing Ella Lockhart expected was to have a tornado rip straight through her house, leaving her homeless. It’s bad enough that the whole school now pities her, but did her parents have to let the neighbors take them in?

Now she’s sharing a house with Ethan Poe, her former best friend-turned-enemy. All those feelings she used to have for him are starting to rain down on her again. Too bad he’s a jerk and his new girlfriend has territorial issues. Thanks to Mother Nature, Ella’s house and her entire life have been turned upside down.

Ethan isn’t quite sure why Ella hates him so much, but he does know she wants nothing to do with him. He’s never quite gotten over the crush he had on her as a kid, and now that she’s living across the hall, it’s hard to stay away. His girlfriend isn’t helping the situation and when she shows her true colors, he doesn’t want to date her anymore. He wants to date someone like Ella. Too bad she hates him.

You can find Ella’s Twisted Senior Year on Goodreads.

You can buy Ella’s Twisted Senior Year here:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia

Amy SparlingAbout the Author:
Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She lives in Texas and has an addiction to sparkly nail polish, taking photos of her cute dog, and swooning over book boyfriends.

You can find and contact Amy here:
Website
Facebook
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