Backlog reviews #1

These are all reviews of books I had received during my semi-hiatus but I found it too late or not enough time to post a full review of them. (excluding WITCH because I’m not good at reviewing poetry so I kept it short and placed it in here)

I received an ARC of each book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The witch doesn’t burn in this one, Amanda Lovelace | a witchy poetry sequel – ★ ★ ★ – WITCH is the sequel to PRINCESS. It’s short, a little repetitive in my opinion, but very good. Although I’m no longer a fan of this poetry style and though I enjoyed the first collection more, WITCH is a decent second instalment with a newer empowering selection of poetry.

27 hours, Tristina Wright | distant sci-fi adventure where a group of teens have only hours to save their home – ★ ★ ★ – I’m quite in the middle with this book. There were select moments which were quite thrilling but then I found myself quite bored a lot of the time, especially with its world-building. Aimal says it much better than I could ever about its colonialism issue. (Also, I suggest you follow her – her blog is great) I don’t intend to read its sequel but its cliff-hanger ending that peaked my interest – will depend on future reviews of the sequel.

Love, hate and other filters, Samira Ahmed | an aspiring filmmaker faces conflicting choices in the face of a terror attack – ★ ★ ★ – An interesting read, I enjoyed the focus on her conflicting identity as Maya deals with family, education and her future. There’s important dialogue within the story, the romance is really cute but the plot didn’t grip me as much as I thought it would.

I Am Thunder, Mohammad Khan | A story of a young teen being pulled into extremism. – ★ ★ – The overall plot and concept were great. You witness how Muzna is swept along unknowingly into a dangerous lifestyle through manipulation and grooming. I just didn’t enjoy the character voice and the pacing was a bit off.

God, Reza Aslan | a human look of the account of God – ★ ★ ★ – Aslan studies the human development between of the relationship between God and man and it’s very fascinating. A non-scientific approach with an interesting analysis that actually made me want to learn more. I hope I find the chance to read on this later.

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Book Review: They Both Die At The End

Book Review: They Both Die At The End

Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Just minutes after midnight, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio receive their Death-Cast calls: they are going to die today. Despite being total strangers, they find themselves meeting each other and having one final adventure on their last day ever.

Can you believe he spoils the ending with the title and I still found myself a total wreck by the end? I have not read any single Adam Silvera book before reading this, but if they’re all as gut-wrenching and amazing as this: count me in.

The concept is so fantastic and Silvera has created such an inventive, alternate world.  It’s very character-driven as the book encompasses a whole day in the life of two teens as they go around whatever they want. Mateo’s introverted, while Rufus is more outgoing, but both use this day to truly be themselves without the fear of judgement because, hey, they’re dying today.

They visit their favourite food places, close friends and visiting Mateo’s dad in the hospital. It’s packed with moments of emotions and first experiences. The plot was very sweet and sentimental. They’re very empathetic characters which such different personalities but somehow connect and spend the day working together to have a fulfilling ‘Last Day’. At its core, it’s basically a message of carpe diem but it plays out in such an interesting way

One of my favourite parts was the inclusion of other character’s perspective. When I first saw it, I wasn’t too sure of it since most of the time, it never works. But here it did. In between the main story, we get a brief glimpse into the lives of many other characters. Even though they aren’t central to the main story, it shows how the actions of other people are connected to plot in some way.

To be honest, I don’t have many criticisms aside from the technicality of Death-cast and the one-day love story. I would ignore this if I was you guys, I’m just being technical. You’re called on your mobile that you’re doing to die that day but what if you don’t have a phone? Does some scary man knock on your door at midnight and be like ‘so ya, you’re gonna die today?’ Or maybe the universe is set up in a way that everyone has one but just doesn’t seem plausible. Also, I’m just very sceptical of one-day love stories, maybe it was all for plot’s sake, though, but I loved their story, nonetheless.

Overall, it’s easily one of my favourite books this year. It’s so great and I definitely need to bump Silvera’s books up my reading list. I would recommend this one to anyone!


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

tw: death of LGBTQIA+ characters, anxiety, mentions of suicide (if you’ve read the book and feel like I’ve missed something out, please tell me!)

 

Book Review: Dreadnought

Book Review: Dreadnought

Rating: ★★★★☆

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

In a world where superheroes and villains are a regular occurrence, Danny finds herself being the passed the power of Dreadnought when he falls out of the sky and dies right in front of her. The side effects of this transform Danny’s body into what she thought it should be. To Danny, she now looks like the girl she knows she is even if everyone around her says otherwise. Dreadnought is her origin story which follows her first few weeks of superhero living. While trying to juggle her new life, she’s also trying to find the old Dreadnought’s murderer, who is still threatening the streets of New Port City.

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Book Review: If I Was Your Girl

Book Review: If I Was Your Girl

Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

“I’m not brave,” I said, smiling despite myself. “Bravery implies I had a choice. I’m just me, you know?”

Amanda is the new girl in school and she’s trying to keep a big secret. Amanda is transgender and moves to Tennessee in hopes of keeping her head down and getting through high school. Soon she makes friends and meets Grant.

If I Was Your Girl was such a charming read. I really enjoyed it. The plot, characters and hilarious sense of humour just made this a really great book. I really loved how the narrative jumps between real-time events and Amanda’s childhood. It added great suspense and was equally heart-breaking. (don’t want to spoil but my heart broke at the diary scene)

I’m not a huge romance reader, which is why I put this book off for so long, and while their romance came across generic, I found it so sweet. Maybe my cynical self needed some adorable picnic dates and cute film dates. They were so lovable and dorky together that I didn’t care it cheesy. I also may or may not had become a mushy mess on the train when I read the Halloween scenes. (Spoiler: Grant goes as Boba Fett and Amanda dresses as Leia. IT’S SO CUTE I DIED)

What I really enjoyed was the happy ending. In our media, TV, films and novels, there are so many characters who are LGBT+ and are constantly killed off for shock factor. Amanda gets a happy ending, despite everything that happens, Amanda’s happy.

Overall, I admired this book. The biggest issue I could think of was pacing in certain scenes but I definitely recommend this to anyone and add this to your TBR if you haven’t! (Also, I loved the separate author’s note Russo adds at the end: one for her cis readers and one for her trans readers.)

I should note while it’s wonderful that anyone reads my reviews at all, but I should remind you if you don’t know: this is a story about a trans girl written by a trans woman and I am a cis reader. This obviously means my perspective is limited and I will point you all towards reviews written by trans writers. (edit: i thought I bookmarked them but it appears I didn’t so once I find them I’ll link them up)


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE

Book Review: Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel

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you can find the book at:
GoodReads | Author’s bio | Amazon | BookDespository
Rating: ★★★★☆

As an Iranian-American, Leila’s different enough but if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when Saskia shows up, Leila begins to struggle to sort out her feelings.

I really wanted to love this book. It’s diverse, challenging, and absolutely needed in YA. But Farizan’s writing style doesn’t appeal to me at all. What I liked about Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel was that it captured the awkwardness of high school. Leila has a great and sarcastic sense of humour. Her small comments were really funny and I think she’s a well-rounded protagonist. I liked reading about her cultural conflict, in both her sexuality and future. While I can’t relate to the former, I could certainly relate to the latter. This kind of cultural conflict introduces a newer perspective that isn’t really discussed in young adult literature.

However, the story, overall, felt extremely simplistic in terms of plotting and characterisation. And I felt like the story focused way too much on Saskia as an attempt to bring in some drama when Farizan gives us so much more than the novel could’ve focused on if the plot hadn’t revolved around Saskia so much. (Leila’s family, Lisa’s family history, the way she used the Twelfth Night was a favourite part of the novel and I really wished that was introduced earlier into the novel and developed more.)

Despite the problems I had with Farizan’s characterisation, I did enjoy Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel. While the plot was a little cheesy and predictable, but the romance between Leila and a certain character was adorable, and I loved their backstory. I know I’ll be reading more from Farizan.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers
ASIN: B00KNCWLP2

Book Review: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

25322449you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Author’s website
my review:
Rating: 5/5

*ARC received from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Frances only had one thing on her mind –  study and make it into one of the UK’s elite schools. But when she finds out her friend Aled is the mysterious voice behind her all-time favourite podcast she finds a new sort of friendship in Aled and Universe City. But when it goes viral everything comes crashing down, and Frances has to confront her past.

I really enjoyed Radio Silence. Although I do tend to stray away from YA novels that attempt to mix in fandom into its plot because I often find it doesn’t use fandom as well as it could. But I really enjoyed how Alice used fandom to show the beauty and danger of the internet while creating a stable novel about choices, and whichever path you take doesn’t matter, so long as you decide the course of your future. Frances’ experiences felt so true to me, as someone who is currently in the position she’s in- the transition from college to university is scary. Frances has such a significant character development- from a quiet girl who doesn’t feel comfortable about talking what she likes to openly enjoy all the strange things she thought people would judge her for.

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