Book Review

Tweet Cute By Emma Lord | Blog Tour

Hey Guys! I will be hosting the blog tour for Tweet Cute By Emma Lord today! I am so thrilled to execute this blog tour because I fell in love with the novel while I was reading it and it was such a joy seeing how the plot advanced throughout the whole extent of the novel. So, I would like to take this time to thank Wednesday Books (St. Martin’s Press) for sending me an E-copy of this novel and inviting me to join this sumptuous blog tour!

Before we get into the review, I would like to furnish all of you with some essential information:

Release Date: 21st Of January 2020

Genre Of The Book: Contemporary Romance

Number Of Pages: 368

Without further ado, let us get into the review section of this novel!

Tweet Cute_Cover

Synopsis:

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and a constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

My Introspection:

“Just two days ago Paige and I were blasting “Shake It Off” so loudly on a three-way Skype call with our dad that he threatened to start singing himself if we didn’t quit. At that point, considering he has neighbours on both sides of him, it was our civic responsibility to shut it down.” 

Although this novel contains mild references of Taylor Swift, I thought that the referencing here is done better than it did in Again, But Better By Christine Riccio because the author did it subtly and it is, one way or another, relevant to the plotline. For example, the line above shows how loving the father is to her daughters and I live for that kind of relationship. I thought that Young Adult novels rarely showcase the relationship between parent-n-child and this should be a trend because I love these types of relationship so freaking much.

In this novel, we have two main protagonists: Jack and Pepper. Jack is Ethan’s twin and he is constantly in the shadow of his brother and he thinks that he is not good enough and ultimately, it traverses to the point where he thinks that he is unworthy of anything. The fact that he thinks that his brother is destined to perform transcendent acts in the world and he is predetermined to be left behind with his father’s shop perturbed me because all these pent-up insecurities are really relatable and I was really emotionally attached to these tiny moments in the novel. 

Pepper is the other protagonist of the novel and I loved her character growth throughout the length of this book. She inaugurates with that 4.0 GPA and she has that ‘gotta-beat-everyone-in-school’ stance and slowly but surely, she evolves and the readers are able to get a glimpse of why she is stressing herself out with this motto. Her personal life is also illustrated to the readers and we could perceive how both her studies and her family issues are stressing her out. I was so enraptured when her chapters roll by because she has that snarky and malicious but yet, funny and kind personality combination that I cannot look anywhere else but the page and Pepper’s character development throughout the novel is phenomenal, she gradually grows out of her competitive standpoint and starts helping other people out with their homework. Not only that, she becomes more empathetic of the people around her which ultimately, makes her a better person.

For both of these characters, I thought the author did a very superb job in portraying study stress and creating a very solid yet messy in the sense that some of them could not get along family dynamics. I can literally feel the stress that they are feeling reverberating through the screen of my Kindle while I was reading the novel. I am glad that I read this last December because I really needed a character to relate to due to my own study stress (which is still an ongoing battle) and not only did I associate to one character but two which is totally perfect.

The pacing of this novel is like you are moving through the breeze or rather, you are one with the breeze. It is paced like a thriller and I thought it was very well done as all the information can be retained and none of it will be left stranded in the unknown. Personally, I read this in 2 days and I brand myself as a slow reader. Therefore, if you are a fast reader, you would be able to complete this novel in a day or so.

“”Good, good. You should get to know him. Invite him over sometimes” My jaw drops. I know she went to high school in the nineties, but that does not excuse this fundamental misunderstanding of how teenage social interaction works.” 

I loved the romance in this novel. Although it does not happen until the 50% point in the novel, I thought that it was worth the wait because the author builds up the romance subtly and deliberately creates the tension between both of our protagonists to make us root for their relationship to become a thing. I am glad that the author did not take the insta-love route. If she did, I would not have enjoyed this novel as much because one of my recent pet peeves is love at first sight and oh my goodness, it is ridiculous. What if the person turns out to be a killer!? What would you do!? Oops, I got carried away. Well, moving on.

I thought the writing style for this novel was eloquent, elliptical and idiomatic. The author is able to articulate the thoughts of the characters by making it accessible for the readers to understand and I loved how elliptical and at the same time, eloquent the writing style is. It accommodated me gallantly. In addition, the author has this colloquial way of writing that adds a nice touch to the novel.

However, I did not get attached to the characters in the first 20% of the novel. I found the beginning of the story to be a little bland, lack-lustred and uninspiring but everything changes after that first 20% because I started to savour the novel even more and towards the end, I started bawling because it touched me in areas that I did not know existed and yeah, it was a pleasant experience to feel so much anger, sadness and happiness for a romance novel.

In conclusion, I am proferring this novel with a verdict of 80%. I thought it was a solid novel and it definitely deserves all the hype that it has gotten. Do give this novel a try if you are interested in what I had said. 

Early Praises:

Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters.

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight.

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favourite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest.

Book Excerpt:

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her.

“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”

Author Bio:

Emma Lord

 

Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theatre. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

 

Buy Link: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/tweet-cute/

Social Links:  @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)

Tweet Cute_Blog Tour Banner Onsale

Book Review

Fight Like A Girl By Sheena Kamal | Rant Review

Hey Guys! It’s Max here and I will be reviewing Fight Like A Girl By Sheena Kamal today. Before we dive into the review section of this article, I would like to thank Pansing for offering me an opportunity to write a review for this novel by sending this novel to me. So, without further ado, let us plummet into the review section of this novel.

Fight Like A Girl:

Genre: Contemporary & Thriller

Release Date: March 10th 2020

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are solely my own,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

20191206_151417.jpg

Synopsis:

Love and violence. In some families, they’re bound up together, dysfunctional and poisonous, passed from generation to generation like eye colour or a quirk of a smile.

Trisha’s trying to break the chain, channelling her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent. Her father comes and goes as he pleases, his presence adding a layer of tension to Toronto’s east-end townhouse Trisha and her mom call home, every punch he lands on her mother carving itself indelibly into Trisha’s mind. Until the night he wanders out drunk in front of the car Trisha is driving, practising on her learner’s permit, her mother in the passenger seat. Her father is killed, and her mother seems strangely at peace. Lighter, somehow. Trisha doesn’t know exactly what happened that night, but she’s afraid it’s going to happen again. Her mom has a new man in her life and the patterns, they are repeating.

My Introspections:

I thought this novel inaugurated with a plethora of serrated footings and even the first page itself provoked me to a certain degree. The fifth paragraph which is written on the first page by the author already allow me to determine whether or not I cherish the writing style of the novel and, lo and behold, I did not like the writing style of this novel at all.

It is written in a very informal way with an overabundance of brackets and dash to either express the main character’s emotions or random notions. I thought the dash irritated me the most because the author would write a paragraph halfway and dashes it at the end and the next paragraph would be something trivial and the following paragraph would be utilised to recapitulate the one that she dashes. For example:

“Ma wasn’t having any of it today, of all days. When she was about to say goodbye to the love of her life (gag).” – with the bracket.

“I try to force myself to look through the peephole in the door, but the fear is too much for me and whatever bit of courage I had a moment ago-

Calling out who’s there like an idiot

-disappears.” – with the dash.

The romance is farcical because I did not feel a single connection between the main character and the love interest. The only thing that is written on the page is how muscular the guy is and how he stank of cologne. I do not understand why the author would go through such length to introduce a love interest that does not have a single interesting point in the storyline and the love interest is the definition of a one dimensional-character with nothing interesting but his body and kiss. Besides, there is a character in this novel christened Christopher and he is the main character’s best friend. There is a scene in the novel that he kissed the main character with absolutely no reason and also, without consent and I thought that he sexually assaulted her and the main character would voice her concerns but it is never addressed again in the novel and that is not okay.

Moving on, there are several peculiarities that I found distasteful in the novel but two, in particular, infuriated me to no end.

Number 1, where is the thriller aspect of the novel where thrills are to be expected from a thriller novel? I thought the middle section of the novel did a great job at creating an atmosphere of suspense and disbelieve but then it all goes downhill when we enter the section where the book will have to come to an end. The story did not explain itself and at this point, the previous mystery is forgotten and a new lie is concocted (because they murdered another human being) to deceive the policemen so that they would not get apprehended and hurled into jail. 

Number 2, I thought the paranormal aspect will come into play as the author is hinting at it in the middle section of the novel and it got me really excited for how the ending is going to turn out but unfortunately, it is, again, forgotten and discarded. This irked me as I was so ready for the blood-sucking creatures to transform from their human body to their original configuration. How disappointing that the author did not take the route and instead, takes a complete turn and rains havoc to the ending.

The pacing that is embedded in this novel is not monumental. I thought the beginning of the novel was shaky and totally not well-balanced and as the story goes on, it stabilizes itself and it all goes down to the drain as soon as the story comes to a conclusion. The best way to describe the pacing for this novel is a tenuous framework of a building.

The abuse in this book is not well-written whatsoever. Here is the cycle: the mom gets abused by the main character’s dad, the protagonist’s mom abuses her, the protagonist’s dad dies in a car accident, the mom gets another abusive dude into her house, both of them mentally and physically abuse the daughter and it did not get resolved in the end and of course, they live happily ever after. Also, the mom’s friends did not voice up on the abuse even though they know about it. What the hell.

The last chapter (epilogue) of the novel is written in another format. I haven’t read You by Caroline Kepnes but the way that people describe it on Goodreads and Youtube is that the author uses “You” a lot to make the readers uncomfortable. This is exactly how the last page of this novel is written, but instead of making me feel uncomfortable, it made me feel a tinge of annoyance because none of the scenes in this novel warrants an ending that is written in that format. Therefore, I am very displeased with the epilogue of this novel. 

In conclusion, I am presenting this novel with a 21%(E) rating as I really did not care for any of the characters and story and the only thing I enjoyed was the middle section of the novel.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Fight Like A Girl By Sheena Kamal! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

Infinity Son By Adam Silvera || ARC Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and we will be conducting a book review for Infinity Son By Adam Silvera today! I received an ARC of this novel from Pansing and I would love to thank them for dispatching this novel to me. Before we dive right into the review, I would like to equip you with some information about this novel:

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: January 14th 2020

So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review!

IMG_20191013_180001_975.jpg

Synopsis:

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of spectres. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, spectres take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with the power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of spectres has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

My Introspection:

The world-building for this novel is lack-lustred as a plethora of items is thurst to the readers without explanation, for example, how does one fossilize dried tears, what is the limit to their powers, what is the blackout, etc. There is an abundance of ideas that are left unexplained or half-explained and unanswered. There were several occurrences that made me fracture my head a little because of how unenlightened I was about the world. In addition, there is a parable that the protagonist’s brother – Brighton – says that when you approach 18, the Crowned Dreamer might bequeath powers upon you. First of all, who or what is the Crowned Dreamer? Second of all, how does it/she/he bestow endowments upon you? I am confused.

Moving on, we have the villain of the story who is the least comminatory evildoer of all time. The villain, Luna, is a normal human being with no powers and somehow she is able to gather all these people, instilled powers into them through a series of experiments and managed to tame them to become her fellow followers. Ness, a follower, actually thought of this: she doesn’t need to have powers to be scary. Are you kidding me? You have the capability to shape-shift into her most trusted followers and assassinate her without commiseration and you did not. How exactly is she scary if she is powerless and you have the abilities to do whatever you want with your face? However, I do think that Luna is psychotic because she murdered her parents when she was young, took their souls and tried to concoct a potion for immortality. However, I do not understand why she is the way she is? Why did she do the things she did? What is the synergist that spurred her to insanity? I guess we will never know.

The pacing that is engrained in this novel is mediocre at best. I thought that it was action-packed in certain sequences and boring in others and honestly, this book would not survive without the action sequences as I did not find myself attached to any of the characters due to the fact that there is not any character development for any of the characters. They felt like caricatures to me. The monotonous sequences stretch on without any purpose and you could cut those scenes off and still acquire the same story. If those horrible sequences were to be replaced by character development or character-defining moments with edges and expansion, I would have given this book a higher rating but unfortunately, it did not take that route.

The only thing that I appreciated is the representation that is ingrained in this novel and the protagonist’s struggles as I felt that on a deep level. The protagonist struggles with being stick-thin and I, too, struggle with that. The protagonist is being body-shamed and he is scared to take off his clothes on the beach and I struggle with that as well. His struggles and self-image reflect my own and I really enjoyed reading about it as this is the very first time I have read a novel with a character that is like me. There is also a plethora of LGBT characters in this novel which is rare to see in fantasy novels. However, even that could not preserve the rating that I am about to give this novel.

The writing style of this novel is very amateurish as it felt like, to me, a student in elementary school, trying out essays for the first time but foundering miserably. I did not foresee the writing to come to this point as Adam Silvera is an author with four previous works which received amazing praises for and because of that, the writing in this book disappointed me as I thought it would be flourished and well-rounded with beautiful prose. In addition, this is a fantasy novel and the writing is supposed to be better with a variety of sophisticated vocabulary and not limited to a scarce amount of them. Therefore, I dislike the writing style of this novel.

I thought the plotlines in this novel is very slovenly weave together. Everything is confusing and nothing makes sense as the plotlines that are deemed important are not explained and the plotlines that are deemed unimportant are explained partially. I thought that the characters were fighting for no clear reason and the ending made the whole story weaker. The story arc should have gone from 0% to at least 75% but instead, it went back to its origin and again, that ending just blurred everything.

The characters, like I said earlier, felt like caricatures to me as they have no character development and little to no personality throughout the novel. Even when one of them is killed by a loved one, it did not evoke any feelings from the depths of my heart. However, Brighton, the protagonist’s brother, is the only one that elicited any feelings that I have and that feeling is anger. I hated him and throughout the novel, I rooted for the spectres to murder him because of how annoying he is about his Youtube Channel and his jealousy towards his brother’s powers. I totally despise his POV and I would rather read one-dimensional characters POV than his. Thank you very much.

In conclusion, I am giving this novel 15% (F) as I did not like how this novel is formulated and I totally dislike the execution of this novel. Therefore, the rating. 

⇛ This book will soon be available at all good bookstores.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Infinity Son By Adam Silvera! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Fun!

An Overdue Reading Wrap-Up | 2019

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be manufacturing my Very much Overdue Reading Wrap-Up today. The reason why it is overdue is that I have not been composing a reading wrap-up for 4 months and that sets out to be notably defective as I would not be able to show you the books that I had read but not reviewed on this blog. Therefore, we will be rectifying that process today! 

From the month of April to July, I had read a total of 12 novels and I am going to list the statistics of the total number of pages and the average rating for all 12 books below:

  • Average Rating: 3.75 Scintillating Stars
  • Page Count: 3313 

Without further ado, let us dive right into the wrap-up!

*

1. Murder On The Orient Express By Agatha Christie

20190817_115604.jpg

Page Count: 274

Genre: Murder Mystery

I presume what plundered this novel for me is the film adaptation of this novel that was released in 2017 which I mildly enjoyed due to the easy-to-spot plot twist that was settled in the movie. So, I read the book after I watched the film and it was an unpropitious idea due to the fact that I did not enjoy this novel because I can already see the plot twist coming and the characters lacked depth except for the murderers. Therefore, the final rating that I had given this novel is an E (35%).

2. Curse Of The Dead-Eyed Doll By Thomas Kingsley Troupe

cover161893-medium-1

Page Count: 136

Genre: Horror

I had composed a whole separate review for this novel and to give you perspicacity into the review, I shall extract a quote from the review and place it here:

“In this 136 pages novel, the pacing was adroitly composed. In the first chapter, we learn about a school trip to a museum that holds a doll that has a spirit imbued into it. Our main character named Alejandro Padilla travels with the school to the museum to visit this enigmatic doll. He snubs the rules and regulations surrounding the doll and snaps a picture of it, supplementing with insults to fuel the spirit’s seething disturbances. Therein, eerie instances start to occur. The story itself made me flip page after page until I reach the end because of how compelling the writing style was. OH! I almost forgot, there are gorgeous illustrations which expedite the pacing of the novel and keep readers invested in the story.” 

You can read the review here if you are interested. My final verdict for this novel is C (60%).

3. Again, But Better By Christine Riccio

41147279

Page Count: 373

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Again, I had already composed a whole separate review for this novel so if you are interested to read that review, you can click here. I am going to extract a quote from the review and paste it here to give you a simple insight into the review:

“The romance was much more substantial in the second fragment of the story than the first. The first fragment of the story for the romance department was a little bovine because it was an insta-love that bloomed faster than an egg could ever boil. The inner monologues that the protagonist had were tolerably cringe-worthy and if you are looking for an example, take a look at the quote above of this paragraph. However, the second fragment of the story took a different route for the characters as their decisions do not confuse the readers and they were able to be more conscious of their surroundings and resolutions to tasks at hand. Thus, the second fragment was ten times better than the first act.”

Final Verdict: C (65%)

4. We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar

cover162857-medium

Page Count: 304

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT

I had, again, composed a whole separate review for this novel (you guys are probably tired of hearing this haha, sorry) so if you are interested to read the review, click here. I am, again, going to extricate a quote from the review and patch it here.

“This novel follows Michael, a closeted-gay whose father had recently banned his brother from coming home as he had come out to his parents for being gay. His plan was to lay low and not make irrational decisions in fear of being kicked out of the house like his brother by his father. His father, who was verbally abusive, tormented him with abhorrent terms day and night and the only way he could forget all of these for a little while was attending a club christened ‘The Echo’ where he danced it all out and dissipated himself in the flow. As the story progresses, the imminent threat of AIDs became more apparent and everybody in the gay community was afraid that they might catch the disease if they were to have sexual intercourse. This affected our main character on several levels as he was afraid for his best friend, James and his brother’s lives.” 

Final Verdict: (A-) 75%

5. Ms Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal By G. Willow Wilson 

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal

Page Count: 120

Genre: Graphic Novel

Finally, a graphic novel that I enjoyed immensely! I loved everything from the art style to the structure of the story. However, I do not really understand where her power originated from and it took me out of the context of the story multiple times which irritated me to no end. Other than that, I do not have a problem with this graphic novel. Thus, my final verdict for this novel is B (70%).

6. Sharp Objects By Gillian Flynn

20190817_115730.jpg

Page Count: 251

Genre: Thriller

I have something preposterous to confess here… I enjoyed the TV series more than the book. So, hear me out before you carry your pitchforks and proof; receipts and reasons (Get the reference? Okay, I will stop). I preferred it more than the book because they have a class of terrific casts for the show and I was so much more immersed in their lives than I was in the novel. Moreover, that ending for the show with its end credit scene was horrifying and I did not see it coming. However, in the novel, you can see this estrange family dismantling and in turn, you can kind of guess who is the killer by the end of it. In addition, the characters in the show had much more depth than the book. However, I still very much enjoyed this novel so my final verdict for it is A (80%).

7. The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Page Count: 344

Genre: Classic, Dystopian

This is getting out of hand but I have to, once again, declare something outrageous: I enjoyed the TV show more than the novel. There, I said it. The show has stunning cinematography with a collection of supremely casted actresses and actors. The structure of the story in both the novel and the show is devastating and horrifying as the men in the society called Gilead view women as a sexual tool to give birth to babies. It infuriated me when I was reading this because of how unjust this system was and how there was no gender equality in any given way. However, I thought the novel was a little slow and therefore, it did not achieve the highest rating from me. Thus, my final verdict for the novel is an A (87%).

8. The Fifth Wave By Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

Page Count: 460

Genre: Science Fiction

Let me give all of you a piece of advice before you pursuit for this novel: DO NOT watch the film adaptation of the novel before you read this book. It will definitely defile the fun if you watch it before you read it. Actually, don’t even watch the film adaptation of the novel, it is dreadful. I urge you to read the novel though because it has all the elements that I love: atmospheric, character development, fast-paced, amazing writing, discernible voices from varied characters’ point of view, phenomenal plot twists and finally, an astounding story structure and backbone. However, the only thing that irked me was the unnecessary romantic relationship between Cassie and Evan. I thought their love for each other was cringe-worthy and a little bit forced. Thus, my final verdict for the novel is A (88%).

9. Animal Farm By George Orwell

20190817_115509.jpg

Page Count: 141

Genre: Classic, Dystopian

This is one of my favourite books of the year and I am not saying that lightly because I loved every second of this novel and every sentence presented in the novel is absolute gold, the 24-carat kind. I loved the underlined message of this book and how messed up everything was in it. It definitely is a thought-provoking novel as it got me thinking about our society today long after I had finished the book. Therefore, my final verdict for this novel is a scintillating A+ (100%).

10. Nevertell By Katherine Orton

20190727_112948.jpg

Page Count: 375

Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy

Once again, I had already reviewed this novel on this site and if you are interested to read it, click here. I am, again, going to extort a quote from the review and reinforce it here.

“When I first freed this novel and overset to the first folio, the very first sentence of the novel had already captivated me to read on as the writing style was so beautifully crafted and the prose used was on point. It was spontaneously explicit to me that the string of sentences was crafted punctiliously as the sentences were woven and strung together as seamless as silk. Although this novel is a middle-grade novel, Ms Orton did not fail to impress me with the omnium gatherum of words used and I very much appreciated that. Side note: there are illustrations emboss on every chapter headers and they are as beautiful as the writing style of this novel.”

Final Verdict: 80% (A).

11. The Outsiders By S.T Hinton

20190817_115535.jpg

Page Count: 375

Genre: Young Adult, Classic

I did not like any of the characters except for Darry (the only righteous one) as they were bullies being tyrannised by the social classes and bullies browbeating the juniors. I struggled to understand their motivation and their actions because the writing style was all over the place and I could not discern what in the living world the author was trying to convey. There were certain ideas that were brought up but never really established its foot on the groundworks of the novel which I thought was a waste of ideas. Also, most of the characters in this book are cupboard cut-out (2D characters) which irked me endlessly. However, I enjoyed the emotional factor of the novel and the ending as it was pretty devastating to read about. Therefore, my final verdict for this novel is D (58%).

12. Vox By Christina Dalcher

Vox

Page Count: 336

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

This novel felt a lot like The Handmaid’s Tale as the parallels between two books are very prominently displayed. For example, women losing jobs and rights. However, as I proceeded to read on, it became less like The Handmaid’s Tale and more like its own novel and I absolutely ‘adored’ it and thought the novel was as frightening as The Handmaid’s Tale. However, I thought this novel was slightly better than The Handmaid’s Tale as it was paced faster and it was unputdownable. Thus, my final verdict for this novel is A+ (90%).


This is the end of my ‘An Overdue Reading Wrap-Up!’  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what your reading wrap up was in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Have a great day ahead!

Book Review

Nevertell By Katherine Orton | ARC Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be executing a review for a book called Nevertell By Katherine Orton today. Nevertell is Katherine Orton’s debut novel and I was propitious enough to receive a review copy of this book from Pansing, also known as Definitely Books on Instagram. 

Before we head into the book review section, I would like to embellish you with the prerequisite:

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy.

Page Count: 384.

Release Date: November 7th 2019.

So, without further ado, let us dive right into the book review!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are solely on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

20190727_112948.jpg

Synopsis:

Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage – and a whisper of magic – if they are to survive…

My Introspections:

“Bodgan had pitched their hopes on a gamble. An extreme one, at that. But what was it her mother always said? Life is a gamble. Lina couldn’t tell the truth now without getting him into serious trouble. It was all or nothing.” – Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

When I first freed this novel and overset to the first folio, the very first sentence of the novel had already captivated me to read on as the writing style was so beautifully crafted and the prose used was on point. It was spontaneously explicit to me that the string of sentences was crafted punctiliously as the sentences were woven and strung together as seamless as silk. Although this novel is a middle-grade novel, Ms Orton did not fail to impress me with the omnium gatherum of words used and I very much appreciated that. Side note: there are illustrations emboss on every chapter headers and they are as beautiful as the writing style of this novel.

In this novel, we follow Lina’s perspective in a third-person point of view and through her eyes, there is a cast of characters christened Bodgan, Tuyaara, Vadim, The Vengeful Sorcerer, Alexei, The Commandant, Katya and more. Do notice that I coloured some of the names, by ‘some’ I mean 4 of them as I would love to proffer them notable attention. Bodgan and The Vengeful Sorcerer have more magnanimous character developments in the novel as they are prominent in almost every scene, The Commandant and Katya are the driving force of the novel and the rest of the casts are pretty much one-dimensional as they do not actually have any characteristics that are outside of the one-dimensional realm except for specific impulse which I could comprehend flawlessly. However, Lina – the protagonist of the novel – is the best. She is ingenious, expeditious and also, she adapts swiftly to a brand new environment. I cannot help but root for her throughout the novel as she had been through so much and yet, she had not uttered a single complaint. Lina. Is. Freaking. Amazing.

“Humans kill what they think is most terrifying and what is most precious. You cannot deny it.” – Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

One of the idiosyncrasies enmeshed in this novel that I savoured immensely was the pacing. It was fast-paced and I found myself flipping page after page to uncover the journey of the characters as each chapter in this novel ended with a cliff-hanger so fervent that I had to recapitulate. Ms Orton did not waste a single sentence on monotonous functions, she exhorts you on with the meticulously crafted plot and plays with your sense of dread as something nefarious is going to befall the characters. If you are in a reading slump, I think this novel will be a perfect fit for what you are going through as it will help you to get back into reading. 

“I come from a separate climate, far from here, and I haven’t been back in many years. So my warm magic has suffered. And besides, it takes a certain positivity of spirit to grow more than a few peaches, which I am not so inclined to any more.”  Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

The magic system that was installed reverentially in the novel was interesting and unique but unfortunately, it was not explored and scrutinised in the novel. For example, the author would exude an idea for the magic system and explained it for a few paragraphs and never touched upon it again. It occurred several times in the novel which was frustrating as I would love to learn the nonpareil magic system. In addition, I do not understand how The Vengeful Sorcerer arrived in our world and how she tied both worlds together. Moreover, her origin was unexplained and I kept wondering whether or not there were more like her… However, there was some magic used here that was explained in length and used which I totally savoured. 

Into the bargain, I would love to talk about the atmosphere and the world-building mixed into the cauldron of this novel. The atmosphere embedded in the clefts of this novel was suspenseful and chilling but ultimately, it was optimistic and dreamy. The protagonist went through several instances that were remarkably frightening and many times, those instances were near-death experiences. Thus, the suspenseful and chilling atmosphere became apparent in these commotions. The optimistic and dreamy atmospheres were solely due to the writing style. The prose used was extraordinary and in turn, it made the characters more vibrant than sombre. In addition, the world-building of this novel was crafted impeccably as the exchange between the real world and the mantillas asunder for the world of The Vengeful Witch were formulated without any circumvention. Thus, I had taken pleasure in experiencing both the atmosphere and the world-building that the author had established in this book.

In conclusion, I will furnish this book with an 80% (A) rating as I had fun reading the novel and watching the plot unwound. Although it had its flaws, the experience that I had with this novel was all-around positive. Thus, the rating.

⇛ This book will be available at all good bookstores when it is released. Do give it a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Nevertell By Katherine Orton! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar | ARC review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be handling a book review today. The book which we will be reviewing is called ‘We Are Lost And Found’ by Helene Dunbar. I received an Advance Readers Copy of this novel from the lovely publishing company christened Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley to appoint you all with a book review. 

Before we jump right into the book review, I would like to furnish you all with the fundamentals: 

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT Historical Fiction.

Page Count: 304

Release Date: 3rd of September 2019

So, without further ado, let us dive right into the book review!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

cover162857-medium

Synopsis:

A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming of age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate. 

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.

My Introspections:

Apart from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margeret Atwood, this might be the most important novel that I had read thus far this year. As the synopsis had stated, the story is set in the 1980s, where societal attitudes toward homosexuality were not pleasant and the threat of AIDs was discommoding to the gay community as no one understood what was going on and how this disease was supposed to be prevented. This novel allows us to witness the struggles of the people back in the ’80s which I will converse more on in the atmospheric section of this review. 

“But it’s like going back to your old elementary school to visit your teachers and finding the water fountains too low to reach. Maybe The Echo hasn’t changed, but I have.”

This novel follows Michael, a closeted-gay whose father had recently banned his brother from coming home as he had come out to his parents for being gay. His plan was to lay low and not make irrational decisions in fear of being kicked out of the house like his brother by his father. His father, who was verbally abusive, tormented him with abhorrent terms day and night and the only way he could forget all of these for a little while was attending a club christened ‘The Echo’ where he danced it all out and dissipated himself in the flow. As the story progresses, the imminent threat of AIDs became more apparent and everybody in the gay community was afraid that they might catch the disease if they were to have sexual intercourse. This affected our main character on several levels as he was afraid for his best friend, James and his brother’s lives. 

“Oh, Michael, seriously? What do you think they said? That it was random. Wrong place, wrong time. That sort of thing. But even if they’d caught someone, you know how these things play out. They’ll claim I made a pass as them, that they simply couldn’t help but protect themselves from the onslaught of my passions. As if.”

The ambience around this novel was gripping, upsetting and agitating. Upsetting because of how the protagonist and his brother were treated at home. Gripping because of how the threat of AIDs was exterminating people and that there was not an excavated prevention to AIDs as they do not understand what it was back in the ’80s. Agitating because of how society treated people who were gay back then and it tugged at my heartstrings to read about it. 

“James hesitated because he knows I hate inviting myself to places. The feeling that I might be intruding.”

Similar to the writing style of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, the writing style of this novel lacked quotation marks. To be honest, I do not like this kind of writing style as it does not correlate with me and I would also be confused half of the time by the lack of quotations. A sample to how lack of quotations in writing style goes in my brain: Is the character conversing? Is he having an internal monologue? Is he exhibiting his emotions or is he saying his feeling out loud? What? Oh, he is conversing with James. Other than the paucity of quotations, I thought the writing style was well-rounded and polished in a debonair manner. Moreover, I could not stop excerpting the book as the whole book was so quotable. For example:

“Her answer feels wrong. Limited. Like, there have to be more than two options.”

“Rules. My father’s rules: Don’t make noise. Don’t draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself. Don’t stand up for anything you believe in. Don’t show any emotion that isn’t anger. Don’t be yourself.”

“Books. Cassettes. Tiny origami shapes: dragons and roses and stars. My father sneers at these gifts when I don’t get to them first.”

GOOSEBUMPS, am I right?

An element in the book which I did not particularly enjoy was the incessant repetition of our protagonist going to The Echo to dance. It took several homogeneous scenes of our protagonist rollicking in The Echo for something to finally transpire. I thought if those scenes could be shortened down and the plot was to be impelled forward without those verbose displays, this would absolutely be an irreproachable book (exclude the quotation marks). 

In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a (B) 75%. I thought it was an important novel that should be read by everyone as it would give you an insight into the ’80s and how people were treated back then with the emerging fulminations of AIDs. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye! 

Book Review

Again, But Better By Christine Riccio || ARC Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be conducting a book review for Christine Riccio’s debut novel christened Again, But Better today. If you did not know, Christine is a Booktuber who orates about books on youtube and she recently released Again, But Better which I was fortunate to acquire an ARC of it from MacMillan Publisher. Before we inaugurate this review, I shall furnish you with the information regarding this novel stapled below: 

Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 377

Release Date: May 7th 2019 

So, without further ado, let us enter the precinct of the review for this novel.

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

41147279

Synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

My Introspections:

“Now, I’m thousands of miles over the Atlantic in a giant hollowed-out pen with wings, on my way to a study abroad program that’s irrelevant to my major.” 

Let us commence with this review by promulgating on the writing for this novel. I felt that the writing was disjointed and incongruous to the rest of the sentences in some domains and well-polished in others. For example, there was a scene in the novel that initiated with a character’s long-time crush trying to break her heart by flirting and outright assaulting our protagonist- Shane. In this scene, we would be able to notice that [said character] was upset with both Shane and the crush but a few pages later, they reconciled their bonds again without any resolution and this brings us to a topic which I will be commenting on soon – the pacing. In addition, the author applied a plethora of references from Twilight to Lost (TV Show) in her writing which could conceivably make the readers jump out from the character’s world and parachute into the mundane world. 

“If you could go back and do London all over again, knowing everything you know now, would you do it?”

The pacing of this novel was self-contradictory. The first 20+ pages were extremely relatable as the main character had a hard time making friends in the college she attended before and thus, she elected to study abroad to restart her college journey. In addition, she had a hard time voicing her opinions or just merely talking which were highly relatable until they were not. After those 20+ pages were glided over, she was, abruptly, able to make friends (with splutters in her speeches) and was also able to plan a vacation with them even though they just met. I had a sensation that these scenes were hastened in a serpentine demeanour to plunge into the romance section which we will be reflecting on later in the review. The scenes in the novel that were impassive were the ones that bridged the ravine between the starting and the climax (vice versa).     

“This is our second walk in three days. Is this a second date? I think this boy likes me. I think he’s feeling what I’m feeling, and I can barely contain the urge to skip down the road.”

The romance was much more substantial in the second fragment of the story than the first. The first fragment of the story for the romance department was a little bovine because it was an insta-love that bloomed faster than an egg could ever boil. The inner monologues that the protagonist had were tolerably cringe-worthy and if you are looking for an example, take a look at the quote above of this paragraph. However, the second fragment of the story took a different route for the characters as their decisions do not confuse the readers and they were able to be more conscious of their surroundings and resolutions to tasks at hand. Thus, the second fragment was ten times better than the first act. 

“Because of me. Because I let fear make decisions for me. Because I’ve chosen to let the world push me around instead of pushing my way through the world. Why am I even with [said character] if I don’t feel this weird magic around him? Because he asked me out? Because he was cute? Because he was convenient? Because he was there?”

I was surprised to learn that there were a plethora of plot twists in this novel which I was not expecting at all. The shock factors made me appreciate that the novel was not straight-forward without any shock values and it drove me to continue on with the novel and my curiosity for the plot emulsified as each of the plot twists revealed itself. However, there is a plot twist involving magic that had me thinking: ‘Wouldn’t this mess up the timeline? How does this magic even work?’ and the question is not answered in the novel so we will just place that in the plot holes category. 

“Great, I’m Bella Swan-ing circa New Moon.”

Before we move into the next paragraph, I would like to elucidate on the names of the characters that were invented by the author. The main love interest for this novel is cleped, Pilot Penn. Literally. One of Shane’s friends’ name is Babe (which is not her real name but everyone calls her that somehow). I was not used to them in the first 100 pages but after those 100 pages, I found it quirky and funny. Not going to lie, those names are sizeable unique. 

“My heart jumps two feet outside of my chest. Shit. Get back inside of me.”

If I have to speak on one segment of the novel which I particularly enjoyed, it would have to be the conclusion of the novel. I thought that the epilogue for this novel was well-rounded and the life of Shane came to a close with an epic ‘boom’ when the book concealed. Of course, I am not going to spoil the ending of the novel for you to ‘inadvertently’ pillage your fun from the novel. So, do pick this book up if you are interested in reading it. 

In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a rating of C (65%). This was a novel that had its ups-and-downs but in the end, it gave a satisfying conclusion and thus, the rating.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Again, But Better By Christine Riccio! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!