Book Review

The Vanishing Half By Brit Bennett | Book Review

Hey Guys! My name is Max and today, I will be reviewing a novel which has been getting a lot of buzz online lately called The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett who also wrote The Mothers which I will be reading soon because this book literally shattered my soul. Before we get into the review, I would like to thank Times Reads for sending a copy of this book to me.

So, without further ado, let us get into the review section of this article.

Synopsis:

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

My introspection:

“She hadn’t realized how long it takes to become somebody else, or how lonely it can be living in a world not meant for you.” ― Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half.

I have been reading a lot of Literary Fiction lately and most of them had managed to impress me and this novel is no exception. This novel approaches tough topics with ease and it weaves the stories of the Vignes family throughout 3 generations – the mother of the twins, the twins and the twins’ children. Although there are some flaws towards the end of the novel, I thought this novel was still insightful, entertaining and well-written.

I thought the pacing for this novel was well-paced. A lot of people might disagree with me because I had read an abundance of reviews stating that the pacing is slow as hell but I thought it was not as slow as what reviewers said it would be because I had read slower books like Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (a terrible novel which is a story for another day) and Heartless by Marissa Meyer (which I thought was confounding) and the pacing for this novel is definitely not as slow as the ones I had listed.

However, I can see why people would say that this is a long-drawn-out novel because the 1/3 of the novel contains a multitude of history of the town and the people and the twins and introduction to the characters without much drama centering around the story but after you get passed that, the pacing did pick up and before you know it, you have reached the end of the novel. The pacing for the 1/3 of the novel did not bother me at all because I was totally invested in the story so I think this is pretty subjective to each and every one of you.

The writing style for this novel is eloquent and it is never once periphrastic. The sentences flow well together and everything about it is just very crisp. Oh, and it is also descriptive which I absolutely enjoyed. Miss Bennett paints these pictures in your head and the visuals are so clear I cannot help but admire her writing abilities.

There are important topics such as the discussion on passing and race and white privilege being talked about in this novel and there is representation of a transgender man in this novel. This book taught me about passing (in case you did not know what passing means, here’s the definition I got from Wikipedia: “Passing is the ability of a person to be regarded as a member of an identity group or category different from their own, which may include racial identity, ethnicity, caste, social class, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age and/or disability status.“) and I cannot believe I have never heard about it before. To say that this book is insightful is an understatement because it taught me so many things from passing to the internalized racism that one of the characters have to the lives and hardships that black people face every single day. I will not speak on the transgender man being a good or bad representation of the LGBT community because I do not identify myself as a transgender but I am happy that there is representation of the LGBT community in this novel.

In this novel, we have Stella, Desiree, Jude, Kennedy and a few others but the novel focuses on these four central characters the most. Stella and Desiree are twin sisters and both of them are vastly different from each other. Desiree is more playful, daring and talkative whereas Stella is more studious, focused and less talkative. They are both complex and extremely interesting and both ultimately ended up in different paths. One decided to pass over as white and the other is perfectly comfortable with herself. Their character growths throughout the novel is very interesting and gradual that I found myself caring each of them equally. Jude and Kennedy are the offspring of both the twins. Jude faces a lot of hardships in her life; from being racially discriminated by her classmates and for being judged by being with a handsome white man. It irks me so much that these racist bitches would invalidate a person like that. Ugh absolutely disgusting. Kennedy is a privilege, spoiled brat and the topic on white privilege is tackled through her. I absolutely loved the characterization this book has and I cannot wait to see what she has to offer in her debut novel – The Mothers.

The ending is the weakest point of this novel for me. There were several parts in the ending chapter that I enjoyed but overall, it left a very stale and lukewarm feeling in my stomach. I enjoyed how realistic it is for Stella’s husband to not know about her real ethnicity as the final chapter closes and how the Vignes sisters no longer talk but the daughters did but everything else did not make the cut. For example, the part where her daughter broke up and got back together with Reese is absolutely unnecessary. Why throw that in the novel in the final chapter and not prolong the book for an extra chapter focusing on that? I would definitely be interested in it but alas, it did not.

My final verdict for this novel is 88% (A). This novel explores race, gender and identity and if you love books that tackle those topics, you should definitely pick this amazing novel up! Also, it is definitely time for me to pick The Mothers up after reading this astonishing novel.

Before you go, do check out this fantastic review of The Vanishing Half by The Storyscape. She articulates this novel better than I do and she brings up a plethora of interesting topics and her real-life experiences in the video.


This is the end of my review for The Vanishing Half By Brit Bennett! 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

Harrow Lake By Kat Ellis | Book Review

Hey Guys! My name is Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for a book christened Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis today. I would like to thank Times Read for sending a copy of this novel to me. So, without further ado, let us get into the book review section!

Genre(s): Young Adult, Horror.

Page count: 305

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Synopsis:

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

My Introspections:

If I were to write a blurb for this novel, it would be this: “Kat Ellis has created a richly-filled landscape of 80’s horror films and it lingers on your skin long after you finish the novel”. I adored this novel and as an avid fan of horror movies, I think this novel does justice for that genre as this novel has a lot of that good stuff in it eg. Diminutive town, estranged family, a character going insane and crazy town with ghastly notions. However, I do have some criticisms to make and I will write extensively on that matter later. 

The writing style of this novel is atmospheric and gloomy with every shade of grey in it. The author has a way of incorporating words to craft a scene to make an innocuous scene seem ominous. In addition, I really enjoyed the references to horror films in this novel, it made my little horror heart leapt with happiness. Furthermore, I thought this novel was very well-paced as the author did not drag a scene out too long (which would make it boring) or cut short a scene during the horror scenes and that definitely made me adore the novel even more. However, the author uses the word – optimum – a lot and over time, it becomes repetitive and slightly annoying.

The atmosphere of the novel has a haunting inflexion to it and I thought that was the strongest point of the novel because it shows that the author has the ability to transport the readers to the head of the protagonist and allows the protagonist’s fears to be projected to the readers.

With aspects like the protagonist’s imaginary friend manifesting to life, a miniature-town which managed to make me feel claustrophobic, a town filled with superstitions and remarkably irrational people and most of all, Mr Jitters, it terrified me. However, I thought the horror aspect and the atmosphere faltered towards the end of the novel because it felt like the monster – Mr Jitters – did not add anything to the story but its main purpose is to terrorize the protagonist throughout the novel with literally no reason. BUT, I thought the people and their thinking and what they did were ten times more formidable than the actual monster of the novel so, those are the aspects that swooped in to save the ending of the novel for me.

The characters in this novel are multi-dimensional and complex. In this novel, there are Lola and Carter. Of course, there are more characters in this novel but we will only be focusing on both of these key characters in this review. Lola has a tendency to steal objects from strangers and write down her confessions on a paper and hide them in places where no one will look for but her. I thought the introduction to Lola was phenomenal and she has an amazing backbone to her character, for example, we learn in the novel that she adheres to her father like a leased dog with no freedom and as the story progresses, we see her character development and her flaws shining through the pages like a mirrorball and I adored it. Carter is a gentle person who assists people even though they insulted him with infuriating words. I thought his character arch was astonishing as well. Honestly, can Carter be my friend? He doesn’t even get mad when people insulted him.

Finally, there are several unexplained ideas that are thrust into the novel that make it seem like the author put them there for aesthetic purpose. For example, why does time slip away faster when Mr Jitters is around, why does Mr Jitters terrorize Lola since day one, is the urban legend about Mr Jitters real? The novel did provide some explanation to certain questions that I had posted but I do not think it is enough to justify Mr Jitters actions and his forces. Thus, I did not fancy the unexplained justifications of the novel.

Final Verdict: 80% (A)


This is the end of my review for Harrow Lake By Kat Ellis! 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

The Book Of Longings By Sue Monk Kidd | Book Review

Hey Guys! My name is Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for a novel called The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd today. A very big thank you to Times.Read for sending a copy of this book to me. Well, without further ado, let us get into the review! 

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Synopsis:

“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.”

Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.

Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humour and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.

My introspect:

I did not know what to expect when I started reading this novel because all I knew about this book was that it follows the perspective of Jesus’s Wife and colour me surprised when I fell in love with the novel. The content of this novel still stuck with me after a week of finishing it and I have a feeling that it would cling with me for a long time.

If the synopsis confuses you, don’t worry, I am here to assist you. So, this novel is about Ana who is the wife of Jesus and it follows her life from 16 CE to 60 CE. Ana is a girl who loves writing and reading and her mom disapproves of her passions. Her parents then tried to marry her off to some farmer, hoping to gain a piece of land even though they are rich as hell. Her resistance to the marriage to safeguard her passions shows how strong of a person she is. Everything occurs from then on. I am trying to give you as little information as possible because I am trying not to spoil the novel but some of the quotes below might spoil the novel but it is minimal so don’t worry. 

“I’ve heard these reasons tenfold. Traipsing about the countryside exposes us to dangers and hardships. We cause dissension among the men. We are temptations. We are distractions. It’s thought we’re too weak to face dangers and hardship. But do we not give birth? Do we not work day and night? Are we not ordered about and silenced? What are robbers and rainstorm compared to these things”

The writing style of this novel is fucking phenomenal. It is lyrical, poetic and daring. The wordplay in this novel is so beautifully crafted that it makes me want to pick up the author’s other works just to see if I would like it as much as the rest of the books in her catalogue. The only problem I have with the writing style is that the author uses a lot of the word – shit – in her writing and correct me if I am wrong but the word – shit – is not used in the 16th BC so… I am confused? Either way, her writing style is still phenomenal and this novel definitely shows where her strength lies. Oh, I almost forgot, you can visualize everything the author has written on the page clearly in your head. 

This novel is definitely well-paced. It does not linger too long or too short on each scene that the author has set out to craft. However, I thought the third act suffered as the pace has quickened and there are also some unresolved questions that the author has presented but not answered by the end of the novel. Other than that, I thought the pacing was astonishing. 

There are a few important characters in this novel that I would like to share with you and those are Ana, Yaltha, and Tabitha. Ana is headstrong and she is such a feminist and I love that about her. She fights for what is right and she speaks her mind and does not flinch back in the face of adversity. In addition, she writes stories of women who had gone through terrible things to preserve their stories so it will not get lost in history. Her character growth throughout the novel was phenomenal. Every time she is beaten down by terrible men in the novel, she comes back up stronger and smarter. Ana is definitely going to be a figure that will remain in my mind for a long time. Yaltha is Ana’s aunt and she is headstrong like Ana but she hides a secret that will change the course of the event in the novel. Her growth throughout the novel is phenomenal too because we see her vulnerable side as much as we see her strong side. Tabitha has one of the saddest storylines in this novel and I will show you some quotes to give you a glimpse of her story below but just know that I love her.

“She’d misunderstood me I wasn’t wondering why Tabitha shouted her outrage on the street. I was glad she accused her rapist. What I didn’t understand was why such horrors happened at all. Why did men inflict these atrocities? I wiped my face with my sleeve. Through my shock, I pictured Tabitha on the first day of her renewed visits when I’d been rude to her. My father says my mind is weak, and my tongue, weaker, she’d told me then. It seemed now her tongue was not weak, but the fiercest part of her.” (part 1/3)

“Mother, however, was not done rebuking her. “It wasn’t enough that she made a show of cursing the soldier, she cursed her father for trying to seal her lips. She cursed those who passed by and closed their ears to her. She was distraught, and I’m sorry for her, but she shamed herself. She brought dishonour to her father and to her betrothed, who will surely divorce her now.” (part 2/3)

“Rage shredded my breath. It clawed straight through my chest. “What crime did your daughter commit to cause her father to cut her tongue from her mouth? Is it a sin to stand on the street and cry out one’s anguish and beg for justice?” “She brought shame on her father and this house!” her mother viciously exclaimed. “Her punishment is spoken of in Scripture the perverse tongue shall be cut out.” (part 3/3)

The feminism theme in this novel is done ten times better than it did in Blue Ticket By Sophie Mackintosh because it captivates the women living in the 16th BC and how Ana goes against the stereotype and tries to change the views of the women and the men in this novel. This novel has so many sexist imageries and it infuriates me how all these men treat women at that time, as objects of desire and nothing more. Some of the women are sexist against their own sex as well which is just… *sighs*. Sexism is still ever-present in the world we live in today and it seems we have not learned from the mistakes of our ancestors and it is time to change as this has been going on for far too long. 

In conclusion, my final verdict for this novel would be 95% (A+). I enjoyed the themes presented in this novel and how impactful and powerful these characters when they looked into the face of the atrocity that is the world they lived in. So, do pick this book up during your free time! 


This is the end of my review for The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd! 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

Blue Ticket By Sophie Mackintosh | Book Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be reviewing a book called Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh today. Sophie Mackintosh is the author of The Water Cure and Blue Ticket is a new novel that she had published in June. Before we get into the review, I would like to thank Times.Read for sending this novel to me in exchange for a review. Without further ado, let us dive right into the book review section! 

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Synopsis:

Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you children. A blue ticket grants you freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And, once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back.

But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?

Blue Ticket is a devastating enquiry into free will and the fraught space of motherhood. Bold and chilling, it pushes beneath the skin of female identity and patriarchal violence, to the point where human longing meets our animal bodies.

My Introspection:

“My husband found out. He didn’t believe it was an accident. He was disgusted with me. But it wasn’t his body.” – Blue Ticket, Sophie Mackintosh.

So, I was expecting to savour this novel like I savour the taste of Mcdonald’s French Fries but alas, I did not. I was severely disappointed in the content of the novel that the author had handed to me because I can recognise so much potential in the idea and the world the author was trying to create but somehow, both of them managed to get lost in the pages of the novel.

If you enjoy a dystopian world without any world-building or history as to why the system works the way it did, this might be the book for you but it definitely isn’t the book for me. There are only a couple of information thrown around in the novel that could give me a grasp on the system of the world and those are:

(1) There is a lottery that dictates women’s entire life. You may get a Blue-Ticket which signifies freedom BUT you are not to get pregnant. You may get a White-Ticket and your only purpose is to give birth? I think? It is not very clear on that end.

(2) If you get pregnant as a Blue-Ticket, you are instantly an exile and your fellow Blue-Tickets will hate on you and try to murder you?

(3) Men hate getting Blue-Ticket women pregnant and will not hold any responsibility for that matter?

(4) White-Ticket women hate Blue-Ticket women who have gotten themselves pregnant.

(5) If you have done good in the community, the emissaries will give you a head start – 12 hours – to run away and hide before they come to find you.

(6) Oh, I almost forgot, when you get your first bleed, you are required to go to the town you have in mind without any help from the adults. So, yeah that is basically it. Those question marks gave nods to my very confused brain. 

“I told him instead that I’d had agency over the things I had done all through my life, even if not over everything that had been done to me. I told him I was not a branch being broken in a stream, carried along by the water until it snapped. I told him he should give my baby back to me.” – Blue Ticket, Sophie Mackintosh.

We follow Calla’s perspective throughout the novel and I thought the beginning was interesting because it shows the desperation of Calla trying to shed her childhood by taking lots of milk and peanut butter to get her first bleed. It was as if she is trying to get away from her father but at the same time, not trying to get away from her father because the first page of the novel shows how much her father loves her. It is very confusing and I don’t know how to feel. Then, in her adult life, she drinks a lot, smokes a lot and starts developing this ‘dark feeling’ which is to have her own baby and family. She proceeds to use this dude, who is an asshole to say the least, to get the baby. She then turns into a fugitive and she is on the run from the emissaries. I thought everything was interesting up until I reached the section where she decides to settle in the cabin. That section manages to slow everything down. Almost nothing happens most of the time during her stay in the cabin and that made me want to rip my eyeballs out. 

This novel should have gotten multiple perspectives to give a wider view on the world. For example, a perspective from a White-Ticket woman, a perspective from the emissary and a perspective from a man in a high position. This would have provided an insight on the world and also, enhance our perception on how brain-washed everyone is. I thought it was not particularly right to limit the perspective to Calla alone because she is not that interesting of a character and her motives are confusing and most of the time, I do not understand why she did what she did. In addition, there isn’t any character development in the novel which further proves the point of getting more POVs. 

The author has a readable writing style that will make you read the novel compulsively  as you have the urge to know what is coming next. Other than that, the writing style is also very beautiful which will make you crave for more of it but unfortunately, the story isn’t very good and I wish there is a better ending for this novel because I did not like that ending because the ending makes it seem like Calla would conveniently give up stuff instead of fighting for it and also, it makes it seem like the book is pointless.

Ultimately, I understand the message the author is trying to convey. She wants us to perceive the misogyny in the world where women have no control over their freedom, their body and their choice and how extremely infuriating it is. This dystopian world that she has created intersects with the real world albeit the weak world-building. Several quotes in this novel perfectly showcase the real world and it is so frustrating to see how we are living in 2020 and yet, misogyny is still a thing. Thus, I thought the message was delivered well.  

Final Verdict: 50% (D)


This is the end of my review for Blue Ticket By Sophie Mackintosh! 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

The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo | Rant Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be doing a book review for The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo today. Before we get into the review section of this article, I would like to thank Pansing for sending me a copy of this book. So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review section of this article.

Genre: Supernatural Historical Romance. 

Page Count: 384

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Synopsis:

Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.

Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family’s only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practised, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days but at a terrible price.

After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor but also by her desire for the Lim’s handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy—including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family—before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

My introspection:

I was extremely disappointed when I finished reading The Ghost Bride as I was expecting to love it. There are a couple of elements in the book that I enjoyed but they are thwarted by the sheer amount of distasteful elements that I could not bring myself to ignore while I was reading the book and thus, greatly affected my enjoyment for the novel.  

“I wondered whether he had merely been polite to me because custom demanded it. But his eyes had lingered too long. Remembering his steady gaze, I felt weak. Was this love? It was like a consuming flame, licking through my defences at a slow burn.”

I thought the romance for this novel was very insta-lovey. Take the above quote as an example. Li Lan, who is the protagonist of the novel, just met Tian Bai at the Lim family estate and she has already fallen for him. You would think that the romance would progressively get better as the book trudges forward, but no, it progressively gets worse. I dreaded reading every scene that both of them are in because their love does not exist and if you insist that it does, then it is as stale as a piece of rancid bread. Li Lan swoons whenever she is near Tian Bai and she barely even knows him. He could be a kidnapper or an en masse murderer and I bet Li Lan will still be languishing over him and not see the facet he is wearing. Towards the end of the novel, there is a scene where Li Lan cheated on Tian Bai by kissing another guy and I was not especially fond of that but she did bear the responsibility and do the right thing in the last few pages of the novel. Here is another quote showing how she swoons over Tian Bai because I want all of you to experience what I underwent:

“I nodded but hardly heard a word that he said. I could only recall the slight pressure of Tian Bai’s finger as it had traced the curve of my cheek.”

The pacing of the novel is all over the place. I do not mind if a book starts off slowly or it picks up speed towards the middle of the book and slows down towards the end or it is slow all the way towards the end as long as it remains consistent. However, that is not the case here. I thought the pacing of this novel started off really well. It is steady and unmistakably pleasant to read. As the book progresses, the pacing starts to undergo a series of chaotic phenomenon like a delicate thread of line being severed from the grand scheme of things. Sometimes it is fast and oftentimes, it is a mix of both fast and slow which showcase how inconsistent the pacing really is. Thus, I can safely state that the pacing is one of the weak points of the novel.

“‘And you – do you miss your cousin too?’ Tian Bai gave me a level look. ‘Not in the least,’ he said.”

Before I read this novel, I thought this was going to be a mystery book incorporated with supernatural elements but my ideas were quickly put into liquidation when I realized the mystery element is merely just the subplot of the novel. Still, I decided to continue on with whatever the author has to offer for the subplot of this novel and I was left dissatisfied. I thought it was easy to decipher who Tian Ching’s murderer is and although I was satisfied with the explanation given by Tian Ching’s murderer on murdering him, I thought it was funny how easy the murderer gives in and offers up an explanation of her wrongdoing… Like girl, aren’t you supposed to deny, deny and deny that you did what you did? Bruh, I cannot believe she just gives up and tells Li Lan who is not at all threatening.

“They had all my favourite kinds of kuih – the soft steamed nyonya cakes made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with palm sugar or shredded coconut. There were delicate rolled biscuits called love letters and pineapple tarts passed out of the rich pastry. Bowls of toasted watermelon seeds were passed around, along with fanned slices of mango and papaya.”

Sure enough, the writing style for this novel is descriptive, crisp and poetic. The author is unquestionably skilled in writing and the quote above is evidence that she could write beautifully. The descriptions of food definitely got me salivating and her descriptions on the landmarks in Malacca allows me to visualize the precinct clearly. Here is another quote that showcases the author’s brilliant writing style:

“In accordance with Islams, the upper-class Malays kept their ladies in purdah and no men other than immediate family members were allowed to glimpse them unveiled. The local Chinese did not observe such strict segregation of the sexes, though too much intimacy between two young people was discouraged.” 

You can tell the author did a lot of research on ghost marriages, Chinese notions of the afterlife, Malaya, Straits-born Chinese, Chinese dialects, Chinese names and Malay spellings as they are all written in the author’s note at the end of the novel which, I thought, was a great addition of the book.

The atmosphere for this novel is crafted immensely well and I can feel the fear radiating off Li Lan’s back most of the time. Other times, she annoyed the heck out of me but we will talk more about that later on. I thought the atmosphere was at its peak when it reaches Chapter 32. That is where Li Lan’s body is being possessed by another soul and Li Lan has to look at what the other soul is doing to her body and her life through the other dimension which I thought was rather ominous. 

“His corpulence only served to accentuate his resemblance to a pig, especially when he sank his jowly chin his neck to regard me.” 

Li Lan is the most judgemental and annoying character in the novel and we are stuck in her head throughout the book. Take the quote above as an example. She incessantly asks her other ghost companion questions and demands for her other ghost companion to take her to places and when her companion asks her questions, Li Lan ‘wishes she would stop asking her questions’. Yes, that is the exact quote from the book. It is rather funny she thought of that because I thought of that as well but in my case, I actually wanted Li Lan to shut the hell up instead of the ghost companion. Also, there is not any character development for Li Lan throughout the novel, she remains exactly the same as she is from the start to the end. 

Tian Ching does not serve much in this novel although this whole dilemma originates from him. He is that spoilt brat who is lazy and enjoys fomenting problems. Yes, that’s all for his character traits. Tian Bai has no personality. Yan Hong is fine but I wish there’s more depth to her character. 

Er Lang is hands down the best character in this novel. He is snarky, funny and likes to banter back and forth with Li Lan. One of the best things he has ever said to Li Lan is this: ‘Stop asking foolish questions and go!’ and I will give an extra quote because I like this quote too: “He cocked his head to one side. ‘If you want to follow someone, you ought not to do so at such a pantingly close range.'”

In conclusion, my final verdict for this book is 35% (E). I really thought I would like this book but unfortunately, it did not work for me. However, I am willing to give the author another try. The Night Tiger which is the author’s second novel sounds like a book I would really appreciate and I would fancy giving that a try in the future.


This is the end of my review for The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo! 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

From A Far Land By G. David Walker | Book Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for a novel christened “From A Far Land” by G. David Walker today. From A Far Land is the first book in the Jaben’s Rift trilogy and I would like to take this section of the article to thank the author for sending this novel to me for review. So, without further ado, let us get into the review section of this article!

Disclaimers:

  • 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!

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Synopsis:

Jason Bennett never intended to change the world, his own or anyone else’s. But when an ordinary family vacation sends the teenager to Teleria, an extraordinary world of might and magic, his arrival sets the wheels in motion on events that will change that world forever.

In Teleria, Jason is thought to be Jaben, a paradoxical figure from ancient prophecy destined to save or doom the world. Through half-truths and misunderstandings, Jason gets caught in a dangerous tug of war between the ruling Circle of Nine and one of his own ancestors from three hundred years in his past. Adding to his dilemma, he finds himself at the centre of a conflict between two of the Altered, a small group of godlike beings, one of whom is secretly aiding Jason’s ancestor, violating a Covenant that has kept Teleria safe from their influence for over a millennium.

Unable to return home, Jason must learn to use the power he isn’t convinced he has, keep from triggering a war between the Altered that could devastate the planet, and survive the plans of some among the Circle who believe the prophecy calls for his death.

Not quite the summer vacation he had in mind.

My Introspection:

While I was reading this novel, the mutated human beings bore some semblance of another series from my childhood called “Beast Quests” which I did not particularly enjoy. I was reminded of that series because of how the mutated human beings are described in the novel. For Example, “The Manarach Species are human/spider hybrids, with human torsos, arms, and heads on hairy, pony-sized spider bodies.” (From the appendix of the novel). I thought the mutants were not entirely original, however, I truly enjoyed the addition of these species or races in the novel as it gives the novel a little flavour by sprinkling around different types of species with different cultures and behaviours. 

The pacing of this novel is tremulous and it dangles on a precarious thread of going too fast and going too slow. The beginning of the novel has a consecutive progression in terms of pacing and I thought it was flawless but when the protagonist reaches Teleria through an antiquated portal, I could not help but notice a radical transformation in the pacing as it begins to slow down and the pacing crawls when the novel reaches the war scenes which I will comment on later in the review. It picks up its speed again when [something] happens and crawls again when the war scenes occur. Thus, I did not enjoy the pacing of this novel.

I did not derive satisfaction from the war sequences in this novel. I thought the sequences did not have the right balance of atmosphere and the writing style in this section feels like a chunk of words bundled up in a knot. I thought that these segments of the novel could have been better if the politics that have played a role before these sequences have a wider and more complex structure to its core as I was not particularly intrigued by the politics instituted in this book.  

The characters in this novel are charming and each of them outshines one another. I thought the protagonist and Lenai have the best character growth throughout the novel as they have more page time. There are a couple of characters in this book that I wish did not exist as they are not really essential to the plotline but it is pleasant to see how they view the war and the politics in this novel. I particularly enjoyed the dialogues between the characters because the author did a fantastic job of capturing the essence of youth and the banters between them are hilarious. Heck, even the thoughts that they have are witty. Thus, I really enjoyed the characters and the amazing dialogues that the author has established in this novel.

Next, we are going to converse on the world-building and the atmosphere formulated in this novel. I thought the world-building was not described as vivid as it should be because I still find myself questioning some objects or histories of the world. For example, why did the humans mutate differently when they were exposed to the same radiation or whatever that blast of energy was? In addition, the atmosphere in this novel is mercurial at segments such as the war sequences but other than that I thought it was well-situated, for example, when the characters are bantering or conversing, the atmosphere is either blithesome or iniquitous and I thought the author did a great job on setting the mood. 

The plot twists that are bestrewed throughout the novel are predictable as they are revealed a little too early in the novel. However, I thought the ending of the novel was phenomenal. 

In conclusion, I am proferring this novel with a verdict of 50%. I thought this Young Adult Fantasy novel was moderate at best as it does not have anything remarkable to it. However, I recommend you to pick this book up if you are in a mood for a Fantasy novel that contains charming characters with great dialogues. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for From A Far Land By G. David Walker! 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

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!

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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

JackPot By Nic Stone | Book Review

Hey Guys! I will be composing a book review for Jackpot by Nic Stone today. I hope you are ready for some extreme gushing because this review is going to be filled with a cascade of compliments and heartache. So, without further ado, let us get into the book review!

Oh, before we get into the book review, I would like to thank Pansing for sending this novel to me. I will forever be thankful for having this novel in my possession as it is one of my favourite books of all time. 

We will now dive into the book review. 

JackPot’s release date and genre: 15th Of October & Young Adult Contemporary Romance.

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!

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Synopsis:

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

My Introspections:

I did not write a review straight away after I consumed this novel is because I do not know how to put my love for this novel into words. This novel is literally on par with one of my other favourite romance book of all time – The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. The thing is, not many romance novels make it up to my favourite list as the genre that dominates the list is Fantasy and the fact that both of these romance novels crawled their way up to the list means a lot to me. So, why do I love Jackpot so much? Because of the characters and the romance, of course.

The characters are well-written in this novel. We have Rico, Zan, Jessica, Ness, Rico’s mother and Jax. Rico is a rather complex character and her actions are sometimes difficult to understand because they do not make any sense and that is a character flaw which I loved as I am really pleased that we did not get a Mary Sue who presumes that she is right and perfect all the time in this novel. Zan is a character who I can relate to and I loved all his dialogues with Rico. In addition, he is the reason why the novel is so fun to read because he makes up the most humorous jokes and performs the most feeble-minded actions in the most random and awkward situations and I could not help but laugh at his stupidity. Moreover, he can be really respectful at times of need and I really liked that about his character.

Jessica and Ness are the side-characters that I thought were characters that are discarded in the beginning but build-up slowly towards the end. You can observe their character growth from the first page to the last page and you will be astounded by how much they have grown as characters in these 352 pages novel. Jax (Rico’s little brother) and Rico’s mother are both heartbreaking to read about because of the underlined stress that the mother faces to cover-up rental as a single mother and Jax who does not have a pleasant and comfortable childhood because of poverty. All these characters deliver this novel near to perfection. 

If you are wavered by the synopsis of this novel, I urge you to ignore it and go into the book with a clear mind and an open soul. Although the synopsis is accurate, it is just a sub-plot of what the actual novel is. This novel explores class, interracial characters, wealth and privilege and I noticed that the synopsis does not actually give justice to the glory that this novel deserves. I cannot stress enough of how magnificent this novel is because of the topics that it has presented in this novel.

The plot of the novel is delicately crafted and most of the plotlines string up together nicely. However, there are several minor plots that the author brought up in the novel and they are not answered and somehow… forgotten: (1) who is Zan’s previous girlfriend and why did he lie to Rico about not having a girlfriend before? (2) What did the previous girlfriend steal from Zan’s house and why is it important for anyone to mention it in the novel?

The pacing of this novel is eloquent and relaxing as it does not have a plenitude of protuberances that will cause the pacing to be treacherous. If a reader were to walk on a certain ground, he/she will discover that the ground is evenly paved just like the pacing of this novel. However, I thought that the ending was a little bit rushed but I was too emotionally invested in the novel to notice how fast the author was driving me to the ending point of the novel to care and therefore, the ending is what we will talk about next.

The ending of the novel has 2 gigantic plot twists that both made me sob endlessly and stunned me to my core. Honestly, I did not see any of them coming because I was so blinded by the romance that a veil did not asunder until the very page that the plot twists occur. In addition, the ending also shows the true colours of both the protagonist and her love interest and that made me love the book even more even though it is so heartbreaking to read about and I cannot stop thinking about it for days and that shows the astonishing characteristics of the novel.

In conclusion, I am giving this novel 95% (A+) rating because of how well-written and endearing the story and the characters are. Oh, just so you know, I think this is an amazing Christmas gift to give to a family member or a friend because this novel starts off in December with snow falling and a bed of white covering the green land. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for JackPot By Nic Stone! 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

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!

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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!

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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!