TBR Waitlist

TBR Waitlist
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.
This is according to my newer GoodReads account that I made in 2014: the books that have been on my TBR the longest.

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  1. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  2. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  3. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  5. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

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  6. Rot & Ruin – Jonathan Maberry
  7. The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan
  8. Feed – Mira Grant
  9. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  10. I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
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Mini-review: The Unit & One of Us is Lying

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

* I received a copy of The Unit from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Set in future where the elderly become dispensable (women at 50, men at 60) and are placed into the Reserve Bank Unit where they’re expected to live the rest of their lives. They’re fed well, clothed and have access to many social activities. In return for the comfortable lifestyle, they must partake in medical trials and donate their organs when needed until the final one. The longer you contribute, the longer you live.

The Unit is quite sad since it asks the question of what makes a person indispensable? Why does someone’s life mean less because it doesn’t conform to what’s required? And the government in this book tries to cover it up by treating the people who enter the Unit well. There are a few sweet moments as Dorrit makes new friends and finds a love she never had outside and despite the circumstances, they have a place where they finally fit.

The Unit is an interesting idea but there were so many plot holes and moments of ambiguity that brought down the story a lot.


Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

If One of Us is Lying was a tv show, everyone would’ve finished the entire series in a day. (Most likely would receive similar hype as Riverdale and 13RW) Five students enter detentions, but only four come out alive and become prime suspects for the death of the fifth person. Simon, the one who died, ran a blog that exposed everyone’s dirty secrets and had a secret for each suspect. McManus did a damn good job in this. Using very stereotypical aspects of a high school, she gave the characters more depth and substance than I had expected. McManus is very good at writing suspense and making the reader question everything. It’s sort of a mash up between The Breakfast Club, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.

But that’s all the good things I have to say about the series. The first half was thrilling and fun but towards the end it became so disappointing. Using someone’s sexuality and having them be outed against their will shouldn’t have been treated as a plot twist. Their sexuality shouldn’t be something shocking. Also, villainising mental illness was an instant no-no for me. (Trina @ Between Chapters has a more thorough review. There was another I had read but I’ll link once I find it again)

Content warning: a character being outed against their will, harmful rep of mental illness.

Monthly Rewind: March 2018

B O O K S

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (3/5) – From what I can tell, this book is clearly a beloved children’s series in the US but here in the UK, it isn’t as popular. I wasn’t even aware of this book until the film project was announced. But this is a really cute and fun story, I kind of wish I had read this as a child. (I vaguely remember my primary school focusing on UK authors when it came to English and reading groups)

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (3/5) – The first half of this book was soo good, it was really engaging and fun but I felt a bit disappointed towards the end.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (2/5) –  Interesting plot but I found it a bit too ambiguous to really enjoy it.

Final Draft by Riley Redgate (5/5) – Stolen from my review of Final Draft: Final Draft is a coming of age story about grief, first love and self-love as Laila learns to manage the fear that holds her back. It’s very relatable, straightforward and entertaining to read.

Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: March 2018”

Book Review: Final Draft

Book Review: Final Draft

Rating: ★★★★★

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Laila Piedra lives for the stories she writes, and the only person who reads them is her creative writing teacher. Until he ends up in the hospital and he’s replaced by a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who is exceptionally critical and continuously unimpressed. Her strange assignment leads Laila on an obsessive journey to win her praise.

I have a soft spot for Riley Redgate. Seven Ways We Lie, her debut novel, was the reason I started giving contemporary novels another chance and I really, really enjoyed Final Draft. There was something personal yet universal about it.

Final Draft perfectly tackles the anxiety of writers. Laila has no idea what her future holds but what she is sure of is her stories even if she never lets anyone read them. I related so damn much with part of her. I couldn’t also allow anyone read any of the fanfiction I had written when I was younger, even hiding under a pseudonym so it couldn’t be traced to me. Laila yearns to make something that people will love, the same way she loves her favourite series. But she’s never satisfied, even when she’s told she is doing well. She’s literally her own worst critic. But the introduction of the new teacher means Laila must face a different approach and starts to experience more things in a real-life setting to improve her writing.

The only one real criticism I have, which is practically the same as Seven Ways We Lie, was the lack of responsibility the new teacher had. Though technically she can claim deniability since she never told the students explicitly to do the things they do but suggesting students do things that could potentially put them in danger and or upset someone was a bit irresponsible. But she’s a very ambiguous character, so you’ll understand what she’s trying to do while not fully appreciating the ways she does it.

Final Draft is a coming of age story about grief, first love and self-love as Laila learns to manage the fear that holds her back. It’s very relatable, straightforward and entertaining to read. Look out for this when it comes out.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

Books Set In Another Country

Books Set In Another Country

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

I actually have a lot of books on my TBR that is set in other countries, but I haven’t got round to actually reading them yet, so this list was shortened to just five books that I have! A majority of these books aren’t 100% set in the country, I think in most of them, they often travel to that country or a major part of the novel is set in that country.

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The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan (Taiwan)

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Afghanistan)

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Tangier, North Africa)

Have you read any of these yet? What did you think? What books do you recommend?

 

Book Review: The Fi Experiment

Book Review: The Fi Experiment

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

A copy of the book was given to me in return for an honest review.

The Fi Experiment follows Alice, who visits her cousin, Dicky, who has previously left his job and moved into an old family home, now long abandoned. Alice hasn’t seen him in years, but when she meets him again, he’s desperate for her help to record something that will change the world. At first, Alice thinks he’s lying, but upon closer inspection, she begins to discover the secrets behind the mysterious beings that visit her cousin. Told through a written narrative, along with linked videos, The Fi Experiment is an interesting read.

The premise and the execution of this book were different and very exciting to read. I found myself kept on my toes, especially since the narrator has a lack of knowledge which continues through the novel. I thought it would be irritating, knowing there’s part of the book we’re missing out since she never experiences it herself but the way Dicky reveals it himself was intriguing. The story narrative also includes QR codes which link to videos of Dicky’s video diaries about his interaction with the aliens. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this format before, so it’s what appealed to me the most about it and it lent itself well to the plot.

[Spoilers (I think)] I think my favourite overall part of it is a fact we don’t know if Dicky is ever telling the truth. The book ends with Alice believing him, but we never really see what Dicky saw, and I liked that. It’s up to the reader to decide for themselves what was the truth.

The book doesn’t explore the political landscape of discovering aliens, nor does it show much of the scientific or technological aspects in so much detail. Much of the events happen in retrospect, but their weekend meetings/filming sessions are catch up session on events after they unfold. This lead to a much of the story being more telling rather than showing, and we witness Alice’s response in real time. Although I wanted more detail on how things happened, the book does progress at a rather fast pace that kept me surprised until the very end with an ending that I didn’t expect.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY