#ArcAugust Wrap Up

Okay, I’m going to need someone to remind me to never do two or more reading challenges at once because I have zero planning skills. I managed to read all my books within the month but it was a rush since I developed the biggest reading slump, then result’s day happened and I was working a lot as well. But here’s my wrap up of the books I read for ArcAugust and my thoughts on them!

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Mask of Shadows

A non-binary thief enters a royal competition to join an elite group of assassins to avenge their past. An interesting fantasy novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. While there were moments where it felt slow and Sal’s personality took a while to take a liking but nonetheless one of the better books I read for #ArcAugust! It’s quite like Throne of Glass in the way that I know I would find myself enjoying the sequel better because it’s getting to the part of the plot that interested me since both spend a lot of time with stuff like training and fighting.  3/5

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

I.. actually don’t remember much about the main plot of this for some reason aside from some major plot points. But I do remember really enjoying the portrayal of friendship groups in this, it was quite intense but there were some really sweet moments. 2/5

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Book Review: The Blazing Star

Book Review: The Blazing Star

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

After finding themselves stranded in Ancient Egypt with no way out, Portia, alongside her sister and freshman Selene must navigate their way to safety. But the trio discover their appearance is anything but random.

It took me a while to finish this book, due to my massive book slump during the exam period. Luckily, I did finish it in the end and I’m glad my lack of desire to read didn’t affect my opinion on this book massively. To start, the book’s introduction was incredibly difficult to get through. To be honest, I found it rather dull. At first, their introduction didn’t really hook me in. The character of Selene was a big question mark until you learn what her part is in the novel. At the beginning, the only thing kept me going was the fact Portia and Alex were twins. However, it started to changed once they actually made it to Egypt. Trust me when I say staying put with this book was worth it.

Being a twin, I’m always a bit biased towards twin books and Blazing Star follows the similar pattern most YA novels do. One twin struggles with her own identity while under the shadow of their overachieving sibling. But the location makes it different and interesting, we mainly watch Portia learn to accept herself but it lacks in the twin dynamic since they’re mainly apart for most of the novel. Since it’s very character driven, Portia grabs your attention as she evolves from an insecure person to a stronger and more self-assured character.

The book’s strength lies in its location, its description of the city, its people and culture. I particularly liked how everything is introduced into every interaction, you definitely feel Portia’s exasperation as we learn everything about Egypt as Portia does. I feel like there should’ve been more of a contrast between the language. They speak a lot in slang and feel like no one questions it as much as they should. It could’ve added greater tension between the two different groups. Sometimes the girls from the present speak in ways that didn’t seem fitting or wouldn’t have been understandable to someone from Ancient Egypt however, I brushed that off quite quickly since, maybe, writing wise, it’s easier.

The main problem with this book was its pacing. It was just so slow! It takes a while for the premise to finally kick in and towards the end, it truly delivers. It’s a shame that I can tell many people will be put off by this and will fail to see a truly decent book by the end. The ending ends on such a good cliffhanger, I definitely need the sequel since I know it will be better now that we’re past the introduction. I still enjoyed it despite its flaws, but I will anticipate anything Imani Josey will do with this series and any future novels she will write.

Overall, structurally and pace-wise, THE BLAZING STAR could’ve been better but definitely look into this if you love fantasy and time-travel. It was, towards the end, a truly fun and diverse read.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

Images and graphic are attributed to MediaLoot.com. Cover source: Goodreads.com

Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe

Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

When her supposed best friend snitches on her, Julia finds herself expelled and stuck in a mainstream school who aren’t kind to the only Deaf girl there. The only thing she takes with her is her paints and Julia tags wherever she can. But someone is adding to them and a graffiti war is the last thing she thought she’d find herself in.

The last book I read with Deaf characters was Soundless by Richelle Mead and just comparing these two you tell the difference of research that went into the portrayal of Deaf characters. YWU depicts Deaf culture; the way she texts, how ASL is, in fact, a language not an extension of English, the typical experiences a deaf student faces when in a majority hearing school. We’re shown her lifestyle and it’s not just a case of simply replacing said/says with signed. (I did have a review from a Deaf reader to put in here but the links I had are no longer available)

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#TheReadingQuest TBR

If you haven’t yet heard, #TheReadingQuest is a video-game themed reading challenge hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight between August 13th and September 10th! I don’t want to repeat everything because the rules are quite long, so if you’re interested in participating make sure to check out the sign-up post for all the details.

The challenge is kind of like a bookish bingo where you aim to read as many books as possible that follow the prompts on the board. However, you to choose one of four characters whose path you must first complete before embarking on another journey. (another one of the characters, if you complete early!)

I’ve chosen to begin as the Rogue, with multiple side quests. I’ve opted to not do another character if I finish early because the likelihood of me finishing early is very slim. So if with some luck I do complete everything, I would continue to do more side quests.

All of the character art was created by the amazing CW @ Read, Think, Ponder, and the resources for creating your own can be found in the sign-up post.

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#ARCAugust TBR

#ARCAugust TBR

It’s literally almost August 1st as I’m writing this. But I just wanted to say that I’m doing #ARCAugust. It’s an event hosted by readsleeprepeat which is all about getting to those unread piles of advanced reader copies. Check out their SIGN UP post for more details and check out my TBR below. SORRY FOR SOUNDING BLUNT BUT I LITERALLY FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS AN HOUR AGO LOL. Also, all of these technically aren’t ARCs anymore but I received them as ARCS

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Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Set in Washington, D.C., THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED follows the summer story of 17-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso, who has had 26 unrequited crushes (and counting!). Molly considers herself the opposite of her fraternal twin sister, Cassie. But things begin to change when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a new possible boyfriend for Molly. But Molly might have co-worker, Reid, in her mind instead.

I think if I had to sum up this one book in one word it would be cute. The Upside is the second book from Simon vs. author Becky Albertalli and it’s just as fun and adorable as its predecessor. If you loved the humor and pace of Simon vs., you’ll definitely get the same feeling from The Upside. Similar to Simon Vs., Becky’s writing is simple and easy, everything is kept light and hilarious.

Unrequited is about different relationships, while focused on romance, it also includes familial ones and Molly is, easily, a relatable lead. She’s super cute and witty, I found myself rooting her from the very beginning. Becky Albertalli knows how to write awkward moments and happy scenes that create true-to-life scenarios that make this cast of characters feel so real.

Speaking of the cast of characters, rarely do I read a book where I would happily read a novel of each separate characters. From Molly’s mothers, who are strict and loving while they might not get it all the time, they’re clearly caring parents who will do anything for their children to dorky Reid, short stories of just him working in his parents’ store would make me happy. Looking back at the story now, I’ve realised how much Becky has packed into this novel but it never once felt overwhelming. It all felt natural following Molly’s story, but also her sister’s and her friends and family.

I think what got me the most was the fat representation in this book. I loved it and I saw myself in it. While I didn’t personally relate 100% when Molly spoke about her crushes but when it came to her body image, I could relate so much.

Overall, The Upside of Unrequited is a fun and enjoyable read, dealing with multiple issues faced by teenagers and portrays them in such a positive way.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY |