Review: Dear Evan Hansen

Review: Dear Evan Hansen

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

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

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…

After Conor Murphy dies by suicide, Evan Hansen finds himself from invisible to visible as a letter from his therapy sessions gets mistaken as Conor’s suicide note. Now, he’s stuck with a lie he never meant to tell. Dear Evan Hansen expands upon the musical of the same name. Told from the perspectives of Evan Hansen and Connor Murphy.

I’ve glad I decided to listen to the musical after I had read this. I’ve come to love the musical so much that I feel like it would’ve shrouded my review of the novelisation of the musical. Which definitely has its flaws.

The characters are absolutely phenomenal, and we get a more in-depth look to all the beloved characters from the musical. Especially Conor Murphy. You get a much better in-depth look into his mind which I really appreciated and loved the most about the book. You don’t get much from Connor that isn’t from his perspective in the musical and the novel did well on his side. Everyone transcends beyond the time limitations of the musical.  Dear Evan Hansen is a thoughtful coming-of-age tale that depicts mental health issues and how social media impacts connections on a global scale.

Like I said before, I’m glad I read this before listening because the beauty of the songs would’ve shrouded my review of the book. There was a bit of frustration at how Evan allows the lies to spread for him to gain a sense of belonging, but it’s understanding of communication and finding meaningful relationships is utterly amazing. But its moral ambiguity of the entire situation was somewhat unsettling. While Evan’s lies did aid them in their grief, it was still disturbing. And how everyone forgives him for it was somewhat disappointing. Maybe, it was easier for plot sake, but I would’ve liked there to be more emphasis on him facing some sort of consequences for his actions, rather than brushing it off. I’ll link to this review which describes some issues of the musical. I don’t think I could put it words better than they had.

Overall, Dear Evan Hansen has its flaws which I definitely acknowledge. The importance of its central message to everyone that they are never alone. And I really needed that. Take a listen to the musical, even if you’re a not a fan of the format, it really is so powerful.


Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Author

Content warning: TBA

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Books I’m Thankful For

Books I’m Thankful For

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’ve decided to keep this concise and not the normal list of ten you’d expect. There’s a different reasoning behind each of these books which have ignited my love for books and I have helped me through some difficult time. I would genuinely recommend everything single of these.

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Glass Houses (Morganville Vampire #1) By Rachel Caine

Glass Houses was, I believe, the most pivotal book in terms of me becoming a reader. and who I am today. Before reading Glass Houses, I wasn’t a big reader who read a lot of books. I usually stuck to whatever my sister read, which was J.K. Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson. She bought the first couple of book and recommended me to read them. And I loved it! My sister later outgrew the series and became less of a reader, and gifted all her copies of this series to me and I later bought the rest of the series myself. (It was really sad I had to give away all my copies because of the lack of space in my house.)  I haven’t had time to re-read the series like I wanted too. (Maybe I’m a little afraid because of the memory haze I have of the series) But I definitely want to sit down and re-read it all again. I have really bad memory but I can pinpoint Glass Houses and the series of the Morganville Vampire as one of the most important books in my life. Because it made me a reader, made me love books, and essentially the reason why I’m typing this post now.

Thief/ Hacker/ ANTIDOTE by Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman is famously more known for her Noughts & Crosses series. Which I never read. (Yet!!) As a kid, those books were always checked out, or the school library just never had it because it was pretty behind on keeping up to date. So these ones were shoved to the side, and I’m pretty sure I picked it up because I accidentally found it. Rachel Caine fuelled my love for fantasy, Malorie Blackman started my love for sci-fi. I clearly remember each of these novels so well, and I looooove each and everyone single one.

Continue reading “Books I’m Thankful For”

Review: A Place for Wolves

Review: A Place for Wolves

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

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

James has begrudgingly followed his parents country to country all his life. And suddenly, he’s separated from sister and has never felt so alone. Then comes, Tomas. And then comes the war. A historical fiction set during the Kosovo War, James and Tomas must survive life on the run and face unspeakable choices to return to their family.

This book took a while to hook me in. I didn’t exactly understand what was happening in the first chapter. But once I understood, the story began to unravel in a good way. A tale of survival for these two boys who were willing to do anything to survive the war and return to safety. Together, they escape the cruel world until they’re both unwillingly yanked back into danger.

It’s actually a shorter read than I expected but a strong one that carried itself all the way through. James and Tomas are both on the run after James’s parents disappear, and are forced to make their way to safety before they’re captured too.

There’s letter addressed to James’s sister at the beginning of each chapter, dated long before the war breaks out and shows a closer look into the relationships James had with his parents, sister, friends and how he meets Tomas. It was a good way of introducing their relationship and how they met and fell in love without taking away from the journey they’re on in the main story.

Overall, Kosoko Jackson has delivered brilliantly on his debut. A Place for Wolves has found its own place in my heart.


Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Author

Content warnings: TBA

Bookish Merchandise

Bookish Merchandise

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 week’s topic Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own. I don’t really buy book merchandise since most of the books I would buy merchandise for don’t have a big enough following to have people making them and I don’t actually have enough space at home to keep them. So this is part what I like/part wishlist of things I would buy. 😂

1. Bookmarks

Bookmarks are like my #1 when it comes to bookish merchandise. Like, you can never have too many markers. When it comes to me, I’m constantly shoving scrap pieces of paper into my books. It’s just neater and nicer to have even a simple bookmark. But having said that, I do lose a lot of bookmarks. 🙄

 

via my Instagram

 

2. Candles

I think candles are something I rarely buy. Since I barely light them myself, I often ignore candles on merch stores. But I often come across so many that have me tempting my shopping cart. 😍

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Shatter Me Inspired Candles by IceyDesigns

 

Continue reading “Bookish Merchandise”

Book Review: What If It’s Us

Book Review: What If It’s Us

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

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

A chance meeting has Arthur and Ben cross paths at a New York post office. When they fail to exchange details, both boys go in search of each other. Ben is suffering from a break up which causes him to lose his main friendship group. Arthur is an intern on a limited time frame. Once reunited, they face a ton of near misses and second third fourth chances. But the universe isn’t exactly always in their favour.

I feel I am yet to find a favourite within both Becky and Adam’s books so far. Both of them have a way of writing that doesn’t always work for me. I was hoping with What If It’s Us, it would be a significant mash-up of everything I liked from both authors.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I liked What If It’s Us, I enjoyed reading it, but in the end, it just wasn’t for me. This book didn’t show the qualities that I had appreciated from previous novels.

I  feel a bit guilty for speaking so negatively later on in the review, but there’s still a lot to love in this book. The side character, including Ben’s best friend, really bought the book together and made it little funnier to read. The diverse cast of characters Arthur is gay and Jewish with ADHD while Ben is gay and Puerto Rican. I enjoy the little conversations about Ben and how painful it is for him and to have his culture erased because he’s white passing. There’s an intense moment where Arthur says something that crossed a line and Ben rightfully calls him out on it. It’s a bit strange and confusing to describe, but I loved many aspects of this book, the concept, the story, I just wasn’t a huge fan of how it was all executed.

I really did not like Arthur or Ben. In my opinion, Ben was more likeable than Arthur. But I really could not click with either of these two. The biggest critique I have to give is predictability. Knowing what’s going to happen can go, either way, you either anticipate the ending you’ve guessed or found yourself reading at a sluggish pace. While Ben and Arthur have charming moments which I loved, there was no real plot. A couple of things happen, but the rest of it just falls really flat. The initial meeting was sweet and fun, and you expect more to come off from it, but it immediately goes downhill as the authors kind of force the relationship to happen. Given the timeframe the book is set in, Arthur is due to return home at the end of the summer, little really happens, and I was left a little disappointed. Once they’ve met, it mostly constant pining from them, Arthur over Ben and Ben over his breakup.

They do eventually come together and actually reach the point where they’re actually enjoyable to read as a couple. I was disappointed that it doesn’t last as long as you’d think. I get everyone hates the ending, but it was the saving point for me. It was quite open, and I understand why everyone would feel frustrated, but it’s a better ending. 

I usually have no issues with current day pop references in novels, no matter how outdated it’ll read in the future. But what on earth was happening? I stopped reading for a bit because every sentence was Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton. Another popular musical. And then another reference. This does not include a very adorable scene where Arthur and Ben sing along to musicals. My stone cold heartfelt warmth for a moment. But I did feel like the references were simply over saturated.

Overall, What If It’s Us is not exactly a disaster read — and I think despite with my low rating, it has its shining moments. Too slow, and not enough was happening. The in-jokes and references became too much. It just didn’t work for me. I won’t cross off both authors from TBR because of it, I appreciate the stories they write, but this book wasn’t the one for me.


Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Content warning: homophobia, mentions of a panic attack, racist comments. (more to be added)

Monthly Rewind: October 2018

Oh, gosh. When I sat down to write this post, I quickly realised how many books I didn’t read this month, like I had planned to. In my defence, it was a busy month. I started the second year of university, my sister got married (walima and mehndi at the end of the month), and I also saw BTS in concert. So I apologize for this very boring rewind.

B O O K S 

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I was contemplating whether to even make a graphic for this month’s rewind… My reading number was extremely low, for me, this month. But I give myself a pass considering everything that had happened. If I was going to read one book, I’m glad it was a book I actually enjoyed. Girls of Paper and Fire was an amaaaazing book. The world is so beautiful but devastating. A cast of characters that were diverse and multi-faceted. Read it if you can.

M U S I C 

monthlyrewind_october18_music

La Vie en Rose – IZ*ONE | Kiss & Make Up – Dua Lipa and Blackpink | Love Bomb – Fromis_9 | Oh! My Mistake – April | Seoul – RM | Waste It On Me – Steve Aoki (feat BTS) | BBIBBI – IU

P O S T S 

 

  • Book Rant: Kingdom of Ash
    • I’ve long stopped reading books by Sarah J. Maas but this review of Kingdom of Ash had me really shocked. Maas’s writing is one of her strongest assets but honestly, these comparisons are really shocking to read.

 

That’s it for this month! Tell me what went on in YOUR life this month! What sort of things was important for you this month? New obsessions? New TV shows? Or book? Any new song recs (I’m always open to new music!)? Best books you read this month?