Bookish Fun!

Most Anticipated Books Of 2021

Hello everyone! I am Max and happy new year to all of you! I hope in 2021 the current pandemic will come to an end and this year will be better than the atrocities that came about last year (although an abundance of messed up things had already occurred in early January, we have to remain optimistic!). Anyways, new year new books! Thus, today I will be manufacturing an article on my most anticipated reads of 2021!

If you did not know, this article is part of my year-end series and this series consists of 3 articles and one of them had already been posted:

  1. Worst Books of 2020
  2. Most Anticipated Books Of 2021
  3. Best Books of 2020

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

*Note: this list is in no particular order and I will provide the synopsis for each book mentioned on this list.*


Concrete Rose By Angie Thomas

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

The Portrait of a Mirror By A. Natasha Joukovsky

Wes and Diana are the kind of privileged, well-educated, self-involved New Yorkers you may not want to like but can’t help wanting to like you. With his boyish good looks, blue-blood pedigree, and the recent tidy valuation of his tech startup, Wes would have made any woman weak in the knees—any woman, that is, except perhaps his wife. Brilliant to the point of cunning, Diana possesses her own arsenal of charms, handily deployed against Wes in their constant wars of will and rhetorical sparring.

Vivien and Dale live in Philadelphia, but with ties to the same prep schools and management consulting firms as Wes and Diana, they’re of the same ilk. With a wedding date on the horizon and carefully curated life of coupledom, Vivien and Dale make a picture-perfect pair on Instagram. But when Vivien becomes a visiting curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art just as Diana is starting a new consulting project in Philadelphia, the two couples’ lives cross and tangle. It’s the summer of 2015 and they’re all enraptured by one another and too engulfed in desire to know what they want—despite knowing just how to act.

When The Stars Go Dark By Paula Mclain

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When overwhelming tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives–and our faith in one another.

Of Woman and Salt By Gabriela Garcia

In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.

From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals–personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others–that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America’s most tangled, honest, human roots.

The Upstairs House By Julia Fine

There’s a madwoman upstairs, and only Megan Weiler can see her.

Ravaged and sore from giving birth to her first child, Megan is mostly raising her newborn alone while her husband travels for work. Physically exhausted and mentally drained, she’s also wracked with guilt over her unfinished dissertation—a thesis on mid-century children’s literature.

Enter a new upstairs neighbor: the ghost of quixotic children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown—author of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon—whose existence no one else will acknowledge. It seems Margaret has unfinished business with her former lover, the once-famous socialite and actress Michael Strange, and is determined to draw Megan into the fray. As Michael joins the haunting, Megan finds herself caught in the wake of a supernatural power struggle—and until she can find a way to quiet these spirits, she and her newborn daughter are in terrible danger.

The Nature Of Fragile Things By Susan Meissner

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

The Scapegoat By Sara Davis

A mesmerizing postmodern debut novel, The Scapegoat is a propulsive and destabilizing literary mystery that follows a man at a university in the San Francisco Bay area as he investigates his father’s death

N is employed at a prestigious California university, where he has distinguished himself as an aloof and somewhat eccentric presence. His meticulous, ordered life is violently disrupted by the death of his estranged father–unanticipated and, as it increasingly seems to N, surrounded by murky circumstances. His investigation leads him to a hotel built over a former Spanish mission, a site with a dark power and secrets all its own. On campus, a chance meeting with a young doctor provokes uncomfortable feelings on the direction of his life, and N begins to have vivid, almost hallucinatory daydreams about the year he spent in Ottawa, and a shameful episode from his past.

Meanwhile, a shadowy group of fringe academics surfaces in relation to his father’s death. Their preoccupation with a grim chapter in California’s history runs like a surreal parallel to the staid world of academic life, where N’s relations with his colleagues grow more and more hostile. As he comes closer to the heart of the mystery, his ability to distinguish between delusion and reality begins to erode, and he is forced to confront disturbing truths about himself: his irrational antagonism toward a young female graduate student, certain libidinal impulses, and a capacity for violence. Is he the author of his own investigation? Or is he the unwitting puppet of a larger conspiracy?

Cormorant Lake By Faith Merino

On a cold November night, Evelyn Van Pelt steals her roommate’s two underfed and neglected little girls from their beds and drives to the northwestern hometown she fled fourteen years earlier—Cormorant Lake. There, hidden in the mountains and woods, dense with fog and the cold of winter, Evelyn grapples with the guilt of what she’s done, and as she attempts to reconcile her wild independence with the responsibilities of parenthood, she reconnects with the two women who raised her—her foster mother, Nan, and her biological mother, Jubilee. But by coming home, she has set in motion a series of events that will revive the decades-old tragedy that haunts Cormorant Lake—and lead her to confront the high cost of protecting her secret.

Sorrowland By Rivers Solomon

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.

Hour Of The Witch By Chris Bohjalian

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary–a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony–soon finds herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows.

The Mystery Of Mrs. Christie By Marie Benedict

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark exploration into the shadows of history, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such a murky story.

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?

Ariadne By Jannifer Saint

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods.

The Night Always Comes By Willy Vlautin

Barely thirty, Lynette is exhausted. Saddled with bad credit and juggling multiple jobs, some illegally, she’s been diligently working to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother Kenny. Portland’s housing prices have nearly quadrupled in fifteen years, and the owner is giving them a good deal. Lynette knows it’s their last best chance to own their own home—and obtain the security they’ve never had. While she has enough for the down payment, she needs her mother to cover the rest of the asking price. But a week before they’re set to sign the loan papers, her mother gets cold feet and reneges on her promise, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need.

Set over two days and two nights, The Night Always Comes follows Lynette’s frantic search—an odyssey of hope and anguish that will bring her face to face with greedy rich men and ambitious hustlers, those benefiting and those left behind by a city in the throes of a transformative boom. As her desperation builds and her pleas for help go unanswered, Lynette makes a dangerous choice that sets her on a precarious, frenzied spiral. In trying to save her family’s future, she is plunged into the darkness of her past, and forced to confront the reality of her life.

The City Of Good Death By Priyanka Champereni

Banaras, Varanasi, Kashi: India’s holy city on the banks of the Ganges has many names but holds one ultimate promise for Hindus. It is the place where pilgrims come for a good death, to be released from the cycle of reincarnation by purifying fire. As the dutiful manager of a death hostel in Kashi, Pramesh welcomes the dying and assists families bound for the funeral pyres that burn constantly on the ghats. The soul is gone, the body is burnt, the time is past, he tells them. Detach.

After ten years in the timeless city, Pramesh can nearly persuade himself that here, there is no past or future. He lives contentedly at the death hostel with his wife, Shobha, their young daughter, Rani, the hostel priests, his hapless but winning assistant, and the constant flow of families with their dying. But one day the past arrives in the lifeless form of a man pulled from the river—a man with an uncanny resemblance to Pramesh.

Called “twins” in their childhood village, he and his cousin Sagar are inseparable until Pramesh leaves to see the outside world and Sagar stays to tend the land. After Pramesh marries Shobha, defying his family’s wishes, a rift opens up between the cousins that he has long since tried to forget. Do not look back. Detach. But for Shobha, Sagar’s reemergence casts a shadow over the life she’s built for her family. Soon, an unwelcome guest takes up residence in the death hostel, the dying mysteriously continue to live, and Pramesh is forced to confront his own ideas about death, rebirth, and redemption.

The Other Black Girl By Zakiya Dalilia Harris

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

Vera By Carol Edgarian

An astonishing feat of imagination, a grand adventure set in 1906 San Francisco—a city leveled by quake and fire—featuring an indomitable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe and her quest for love and reinvention.

Meet Vera Johnson, the uncommonly resourceful fifteen-year-old illegitimate daughter of Rose, notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians. Vera has grown up straddling two worlds—the madam’s alluring sphere, replete with tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and scant morality, and the violent, debt ridden domestic life of the family paid to raise her.

On the morning of the great quake, Vera’s worlds collide. As the shattered city burns and looters vie with the injured, orphaned, and starving, Vera and her guileless sister, Pie, are cast adrift. Vera disregards societal norms and prejudices and begins to imagine a new kind of life. She collaborates with Tan, her former rival, and forges an unlikely family of survivors. Together they navigate their way beyond disaster.

This Close To Okay By Leesa Cross-smith

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.

Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets.

The Ophelia Girls By Jane Healey

In the summer of 1973, Ruth and her four friends were obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings—and a little bit obsessed with each other. Drawn to the cold depths of the river by Ruth’s house, the girls pretend to be the drowning Ophelia, with increasingly elaborate tableaus. But by the end of that fateful summer, real tragedy finds them along the banks.

Twenty-four years later, Ruth returns to the suffocating, once grand house she grew up in, the mother of young twins and seventeen-year-old Maeve. Joining the family in the country is Stuart, Ruth’s childhood friend, who is quietly insinuating himself into their lives and gives Maeve the attention she longs for. She is recently in remission, unsure of her place in the world now that she is cancer-free. Her parents just want her to be an ordinary teenage girl. But what teenage girl is ordinary?

The Prophets By Robert Jones Jr.

Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr. fiercely summons the voices of slaver and the enslaved alike to tell the story of these two men; from Amos the preacher to the calculating slave-master himself to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminate in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.

The Chosen and The Beautiful By Nghi Vo

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

The Maidens By Alex Michaelides

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.


And that concludes my ‘Most Anticipated Books Of 2021!’ Be sure to let me know what your Most Anticipated Books Of 2021 are down in the comment box below! I hope you all enjoyed this article and follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Fun!

Worst Books Of 2020

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be attempting to construct one of the articles in my “end of the year series” today. This series consists of Worst Books of 2020, Best Books of 2020 and Most Anticipated Releases of 2020. Today, I will be manufacturing the most controversial article in this series and that is the Worst Books I’ve read in 2020.

Disclaimer: Please do not get offended if some of your favourite books are on this list. The books that are mentioned on this list are based solely on my own opinions and taste and please, just take my words with a grain of salt.

*Side Note: this list will go according to my least disliked to my most disliked books of 2020. So, we will start off with my least disliked and make our way down to my most disliked.

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


9. Blue Ticket By Sophie Mackintosh

Blue Ticket is more of a disappointment than a straight-up egregious book. I had high hopes going into this novel because I really thought that it would blow me away with the story and the writing as the synopsis of this novel suggested that I can and should put all my expectations on it as it has everything that I love: notions on feminism, dystopian society, discussion on body rights, segregated society and it is written in a literary fiction style and instead of getting those, the final product of this novel is a confusing and convoluted plot, the lack of world-building and a plethora of chances for the story to swirl in the right direction but the author decided to let the story bite its tail. Therefore, it made it on my Worst Books of 2020 list.

Here’s the full review for this novel that I had constructed in July if you are curious to see the ups and downs of this novel.

Final Verdict: 50% (D)

8. Midnight’s Twins By Holly Race

Young Adult fiction has been a hit or miss for me this year and this is, no doubt, a miss for me. The characters in this book, other than the protagonist and the protagonist’s brother, have zero character trait and radically, they are just caricatures and their foremost objective there is to advance the plot. Also, I did not say this in my review but the names of the characters, especially the name of the protagonist’s mom, are way too fantasy-like. They are supposed to live in our world not in some fantasy world with unique sounding names. In addition, the world-building for the dreamscape land called Annwn is very weak and it does not make sense on several levels. Therefore, it is number 8 on the list.

Here’s the full review for this novel that I had constructed in mid-December if you are curious to see the ups and downs of this novel.

Final Verdict: 45% (E)

7. The Other Americans By Laila Lalami

The writing style for this novel is, no doubt, beautiful and easy to absorb. The story, however, is a different situation altogether. It is extremely forgettable and it does not have re-read value. The characters in this novel have different motivations and most of the time, I do not understand why they do the things they did. The pacing is atrocious; it is a hybrid of both slow and fast and it is very unevenly distributed. Every time I put this book down, I do not have the urge to pick it back up. Besides, there’s a drug abuse scene where the protagonist’s sister is about to confess to her but did not manage to do so and it is never brought up in the novel again. This can be potentially triggering to people with a history of drug abuse and I do not fancy how the author executed this element in the story. Moreover, topics on racism are brushed under rug so often in this novel. I do not understand why the author would bring it up and put it aside as quickly as possible.

Oh, let’s not forget that I thought this book was a literary thriller but apparently, it is not. The synopsis of this novel makes this book sound like it is a literary thriller and I think it is purely for marketing purposes only. If you want to read this book, keep in mind that it is more of a character study (although the characters are not that exceptional to study anyways) than a thriller/mystery.

Final Verdict: 40% (E)

6. In The Shadow Of The Wolves By Alvydas Slepikas

Going into this book, I was expecting to love it and instead of enjoying it, it made it on this list. The writing style for this novel is both beautiful and over-the-top. It is beautiful when it has amazing quotes like:-

“Lotte poured some boiled water from the teapot into a cup, and gave it to Helmut. There hadn’t been any wolves around for a long time; these days they existed only in fairy tales. People were like wolves now.”

-but the author had to switch it up and made it over-the-top without any reason. Sometimes, the children in this novel do not even sound like children. They sound like dramatic poets in the making.

Although everything in this book is morbid, I do not feel attached to anyone or anything in the novel because of how inordinate the author had written this book. I tried really hard to get into the right headspace and to immerse myself into the story but I could not do it. The writing style made it impossible for me to get into the story and therefore, it is on this list.

Final Verdict: 38% (E)

5. The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo

Are we even surprised The Ghost Bride made it on this list?

I had not thought about it ever since I finished writing the review in May and I could not really remember the story (but have a vague idea of it) and that shows how utterly forgettable it is.

The romance in this novel is laughable. It is purely ‘love at first sight’ material and the protagonist of this novel is a dumbass. Like what I commented in my review: “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.” The pacing of this novel is an abomination and it should never have seen the light of day. 

I have a full rant review up on my blog and if you are interested in that, you should click into it. What I wrote above is just the icing on the cake and there’s a more in-depth review of this book on that rant review article.

Final Verdict: 35% (E)

4. Vanishing Girls By Lauren Oliver

The only pro in Vanishing Girls is the astounding writing style. Other than that, it is all cons.

First of all, that closing is one of the worst closings I’ve ever read in my entire life. The conundrum or rather, the centre of the mystery falls flat towards the end of the novel. It is inconceivably anti-climatic and it is eminently predictable as well. When I read a thriller, I want to be pleasantly startled by the plot twists and the structure of the story but this did not assuage any of that. 

Second of all, the pacing of this novel is disastrous. Normally I am okay with slow-paced books but this novel is so slow from start to finish and nothing happens for about 70% of the way through this book and things only pick up towards the end and even that can’t save the book. Note that this book is only under 300 pages.

Lastly, the young adult characters are the exact image of any other thriller novels you will find under the sky and they are one-dimensional characters. I expected better from Lauren Oliver because she wrote one of the best Young Adult books I’ve ever laid my eyes on and that book is Before I Fall. For that book, she manages to capture the essence of a teenager but for Vanishing Girls, the essence is gone and it is replaced by amateur character structure.

Final Verdict: 25% (E)

3. Tuck Everlasting By Natalie Babbitt

To summarize my review for this novel, it would be:-

-the writing style has more “tells than shows”, this book promotes pedophilia despite being a classic children novel, the pacing is shambolic, the messages the author is trying to convey are not evergreen and they have been talked about time and again in recent years.

Here’s the full review for this novel that I had constructed in 3 days ago if you are curious to see the ups and downs of this novel.

Final Verdict: 15% (F)

2. Angels’ Blood By Nalini Singh

Where do I even begin?

This book is, undisputedly, smut. It does not really have a plot. The author makes it seem like the plot of this novel is secondary and the smut is the primary focus of the novel. Everything else is tertiary and not important. The ‘everything else’ includes character development, world-building, writing style and atmosphere. None of those is present in the story, the only thing that the author wants you to know is that there are smut and an overabundance of sex in this book and those are the primary focus. 

The plot of this novel is quite absurd and it does not make a lot of sense. Characters that got together do not have any chemistry or anything in common and do not even get me started on the number of times the protagonist screams “NO!” to the mind-controlling thing that her alpha-angel-boyfriend does to her. I cringed inside every time she says “NO!”. Consent is basically non-existent in this novel.

The ending of this novel is another one of the worst endings I’ve ever deposited my eyes on. It does not make any sense! How did they surgically sew a pair of angel wings on the protagonist’s back when no one in this world knows that that is a possibility? It is remarkably ludicrous and it made me laugh like a horse.

Final Verdict: 10% (F)

1. The Cheat By Marita A. Hansen

The only reason I requested for this book on Netgalley is because I want to read a book that is from a genre I’ve not explored before to get out of my comfort zone but… I would pretty much like to go back to my comfort zone now.

Both of the protagonists of this novel do not have the basic knowledge of consent. There’s a ridiculously large amount of fatphobia in this book which is absolutely infuriating to read about. The scene where the mother of the female protagonist who is frantically watching the male protagonist stripping and practicing onanism by his window scarred my eyeballs. There’s cheating in a relationship in this novel which did not get resolve by the end because this is a 4-part series. Also, the female protagonist watching the male protagonist strip by his window is weird (she thinks he doesn’t know she is watching) but what’s weirder is that the male protagonist does it on purpose and he did it with pride and he knows she is watching so he does it. *allow me to retch in the toilet.*

The writing style of this novel is amateur at best. It does not have the most ludicrous writing style and it does not have the most lucrative writing style either. It is just… there.

Final Verdict: 5% (F)


And that concludes my ‘Worst Books Of 2020!’ Be sure to let me know what your worst books of 2020 are in the comment section below! I hope you all enjoyed this article and follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Fun!

Anti-TBR Book Tag

Hello there! I am Max and I know I have not constructed a book tag article since 2018 but I will make a book tag comeback post for this forgotten category on my blog right now. Therefore, today I will be doing the Anti-TBR Book Tag, a tag which has been floating around the book community recently and I am extremely excited to answer the questions and take my own spin on this rather controversial tag!

So, without further ado, let us dive into the questions and answers.

Tag created by Nicole & Her Books

1. A popular book EVERYONE loves that you have no interest in reading?

What a pleasant surprise, am I right? WRONG. Although the first book in the Twilight Saga was pretty decent when I read it in 2018 (not sure how it would fare in this day and age), the remaining two books – excluding Breaking Dawn because I have yet to read that – were not convivial in the sparsest. I hated and still despise New Moon to this day and Eclipse was slightly (only slightly) better but not pleasant enough for me to move my hands to the last book in the series. I will probably read Breaking Dawn someday but not anytime soon because I want to know how it ends. I will not read Midnight Sun because I heard that it is basically Twilight told from Edward’s point of view so erm, no thanks honey. It sounds like a cash-grab.

P.S why is this book 662 pages long!?

2. A classic book (or author) you don’t have an interest in reading?

Is it blasphemous to say that I will probably never read Great Expectations By Charles Dickens? I know almost nothing about this book and I have never watched the film adaptations of this novel. The cover and the synopsis do not hold any interest in me. I read the synopsis a couple of times on Goodreads and I still do not know what this book is about so, this wavers me away from reading this classic.

3. A problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading?

Okay so, I read the Harry Potter series way before she who shall not be named started spewing her transphobic thoughts on Twitter through a series of tweets and threads and now I do not want anything to do with her or read any of her future releases. She basically dragged Harry Potter and her reputation through the mud by making those disgusting statements and I am pretty sure that people who love Harry Potter would not want to associate with her in the future.

Click here to read a complete rundown on what occurred on Twitter in case you missed it and do donate to Homeless Black Trans if you are able to. Click here to donate.

4. An author you have read a couple of books from & have decided their books are not for you?

None at the moment because I love to give a profusion of chances to an author before I put a stop to it and if the book from the author I did not like is hyped up, I am bound to pick it up to see what the appeal is. Therefore, none. However, if this question is worded this way: An author I have no interest in reading from, it would be Jodi Picoult.

Her books – based on the synopsis – do not really intrigue me but they definitely do appeal to a wide audience. So, it is me thing although I am quite intrigued by Her sister’s keepers. Maybe I will read that in the future, who knows.

5. A genre you have no interest in OR a genre you tried to get into & couldn’t?

None at the moment because I want to try out all the genres before I come to a conclusion.

6. A book you have bought but will never read? (this can be a book you have unhauled/returned to the library unread)

Picture #1

Ermmmm… Probably the rest of the Matched series by Ally Condie. I read the first book in that series last year and it was so astonishingly monotonous that it took me an aeon to finish. Also, maybe the rest of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series… I read the first book in that series and I did not like it. I have a review for this book on my blog, you can check it out here. Yeah, well… At least I tried reading them.

Picture #2

7. A series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started & have dnf’d?

I started reading Beautiful Creatures in 2018 I think and I did not like it. I thought it was boring, the characters were 2D cutout characters, the story in itself did not push me to read the next book in the series and I utterly abhorred the ending of the novel. Maybe someday I will come back to the series with an open mind but as of right now, there are many more wondrous books out there waiting for me to pick them up.

8. A new release you have no interest in reading?

Yeah so this is totally not my type of book after reading several reviews on Goodreads about this novel.


This is the end of the book tag for ‘Anti-TBR book tag!’ 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

Everything I Never Told You By Celeste Ng | Book Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be reviewing Everything I Never Told You By Celeste Ng today! If you do not know who Celeste Ng is, she is the author of Little Fires Everywhere, a book which I absolutely adored and Everything I Never Told You is her debut novel.

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

Synopsis:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Review:

Where do I even begin, Miss Ng? You annihilated me with this novel and I am immensely grateful that you did because this turns out to be one of my favourite books of all time. I cannot stop thinking about this book ever since I had finished it because it left an enormous impact on me that I do not think that it will get off me anytime soon. In other words, this novel is a masterpiece that leeches on your brain after you finish and I am about to explain to you the ‘why’ and the ‘how’s.

Although this book may sound like an exciting thriller with a pace faster than the maturity of an instant noodle packet from the synopsis, it is not what it seems. In fact, it is the polar opposite of what this book is. This novel is categorized in the literary fiction genre and it is slow-paced. It is a character-driven story that focuses on the everyday life of the Lee family and how the very core or essence of the family crumbles as they face the death of a loved one and how the family recovers from this tragic event when all hope of recovery seems lost amid grief.

The writing style of this book is similar to what she did in Little Fires Everywhere but, it is milder and more natural in every way possible and let me illustrate why. In Little Fires Everywhere, we get perspective from everyone and by everyone, I mean people who are not even that relevant to the story and they have mini flashbacks that we, the readers, do not fret about. In Everything I Never Told You, there are only flashbacks and perspectives from the Lee family and it does not only make the story progress better, but it also makes the story less saturated with insignificant narratives. With that aside, the writing style is elegant with sentences twine together effortlessly which is stunning to witness.

This book consolidates racism, sexism, challenges of interracial marriage. Although it has all of those, none of them is the prime focus of the novel however, they are tied deeply into the story. For example, Lydia’s mother – Marilyn – faces sexism in her University and at her mother’s house that she vows to teach Lydia not to become her mother and to be a doctor in a field dominated by men. With that comes parental pressure and parental expectations which send Lydia spiralling down a dark path. As with racism and interracial marriages, there’s negative stereotyping, open intimidation, friendless as they stand out in a school filled with white people, disapproval of a family member and insults such as racial slurs.

The book has its prime focus on loneliness, resentment and jealousy. Loneliness befalls due to the lack of friends the Lee children experience. Resentment and jealousy transpire as the parents focus more on Lydia than Nath and Hannah. For example, every time Nath – the son – has something distinctive to declare like getting admitted into Harvard, it is proclaimed promptly with reactions that are short-lived from the parents and the focus will expeditiously return to Lydia instead. Hannah (the youngest daughter), however, has little to no reaction from the parents as they often forget that she even exists. These three qualities fuel this novel with rich family drama that forms cracks in a broken family that did not know they are crumbling from the inside.

The first 15 pages of this novel managed to evoke emotions from me and towards the end of the novel, I was bawling my ass off because of how incredibly relatable the characters are and how the story almost hit too close to home for me. So, if you are looking for a good cry, do pick this book up to read.

My final verdict for this book would be a whopping 100% (A+). Going into this novel, I did not expect it to leave as much of an impact than it did on me and that’s what makes this book so special to me because the characters are deeply relatable, there’s realistic flaws in the characters, the deep character study that Celeste Ng explores and the focus on the crumbling of a family after the death of a loved one and the recovery of a broken family.


This is the end of my review for Everything I Never Told You By Celeste Ng! 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 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

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

Bookish Fun!

Most Anticipated Reads Of 2020

Hey Guys! I am Max and today, I will be manufacturing one of the most celebrated series on my blog and that is called the “Worst, Best and Most Anticipated Novels of [said] Year”. I have decided to start off the series with my Most Anticipated Reads of 2020 before moving into the juicy section that is the Worst Books of 2019 because that is where I will rant and spill some hot tea of the books that had, unfortunately, landed on that list. If you would like to take a look at the order of articles in this series, I will record it down below:

  1. Most Anticipate Reads Of 2020
  2. Worst Books Of 2019
  3. Best Books Of 2019

[Ps.] Not all the books that are recorded on this list will be 2020 releases but I promise, a majority of the novels on this list are 2020 releases. 

So, without further ado, let us get into the article! 

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1. The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes By Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

Synopsis:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

Me:

The news of this novel blew up all over my Instagram story, twitter and Goodreads feed and I cannot help but feel invigorated by the energy inundating this series once again. Suzanne Collins, an author who had us waiting for her next novel since The Hunger Games trilogy ended, has finally resolved to bestow another book of hers in The Hunger Games series/trilogy(?) to us and I could not help but feel a flutter of joy in my tummy. I can’t wait!

Release Date: May 19th 2020

2. The Boatman’s Daughter By Andy Davidson

The Boatman's Daughter

Synopsis:

A “lush nightmare” (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou.

Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

Me:

That synopsis! It sounds fucking phenomenal and I cannot wait to read it! Apparently, the genre of this novel is supernatural-thriller and I am- *gulps* I am so excited for it because one of the television series I am watching now called Nancy Drew is shelved under that genre as well and I am so obsessed with the way the story is crafted in the show. Thus, I have high expectations for this novel (which is a bad thing but still…).

Release Date: February 11th 2020

3. Bone Crier’s Moon By Kathryn Purdie

Bone ​Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, #1)

Synopsis:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first, she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

Me:

First of all, the cover of this novel is gorgeous. Second of all, the synopsis sounds really badass and that is all I really need to know to get bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about a novel. 

Release Date: March 10th 2020

4. The Deep By Alma Katsu

The Deep

Synopsis:

Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near-fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

Me:

The synopsis for this novel sounds like it could be a supernatural novel and I am here for it! I hope I get an ARC for this *cries*

Release Date: March 10th 2020

5. Follow Me By Kathleen Barber

Follow Me

Synopsis:

Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbour with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

Me:

This sounds… like a nightmare. I want it to haunt my dreams.

Release Date: February 2020

6. Strange Exit By Parker Peevyhouse

Strange Exit

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Lake spends her days searching a strange, post-apocalyptic landscape for people who have forgotten one very important thing: this isn’t reality. Everyone she meets is a passenger aboard a ship that’s been orbiting Earth since a nuclear event. The simulation that was supposed to prepare them all for life after the apocalypse has trapped their minds in a shared virtual reality and their bodies in stasis chambers.

No one can get off the ship until all of the passengers are out of the sim, and no one can get out of the sim unless they believe it’s a simulation. It’s up to Lake to help them remember.

When Lake reveals the truth to a fellow passenger, seventeen-year-old Taren, he joins her mission to find everyone, persuade them that they’ve forgotten reality, and wake them up. But time’s running out before the simulation completely deconstructs, and soon Taren’s deciding who’s worth saving and who must be sacrificed for the greater good. Now, Lake has no choice but to pit herself against Taren in a race to find the secret heart of the sim, where something waits that will either save them or destroy them all.

Me:

The synopsis of this novel sounds like it is from an episode of Black Mirror and that is wild and creepy. I love the concept of it and I cannot wait to read it! (I know I sound like a broken record but I am genuinely excited to read all of these novels okay… Don’t judge)

Release Date: January 14th 2020

7. The Woman in Apartment 49 By Ross Armstrong

The Woman in Apartment 49

Synopsis:

She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

Lily Gullick lives with her husband, Aiden, in a brand-new apartment opposite a building that has been marked for demolition. A keen bird-watcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.

Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars, and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Convinced of foul play, she knows she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.

But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

Me:

One word, YES. 

Release Date:  February 18th 2020

 8. Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

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Synopsis:

For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Me:

If you have been following my recent posts on Instagram (it’s okay if you haven’t), you would know that I bought Where the Crawdads Sing recently in Australia from a bookstore named Dymocks and I am so excited to read this book ever since I got it but somehow, I have not gotten around to reading it? Therefore, it is my goal to read it in January.  


And that concludes my ‘Most Anticipated Books Of 2020!’ Be sure to let me know what your Most Anticipated Books Of 2020 are down in the comment box below! I hope you all enjoyed this article and follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

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!

Bookish Fun!

16 Books Reading Wrap Up | 2019

Hey Guys! It’s Max here and today, I will be manufacturing an article that has been long behind schedule and that is a meticulous wrap up of my reading progress from the last time that I had updated all of you. As you can tell from the title, I had read 16 books since the previous wrap-up and I am kind of proud of that progress because this has been a busy year in terms of studies and adapting to a new environment such as college and to still be able to have time to read, however little, is considered a blessing to me. Therefore, I am thankful for the free time that is bestowed upon me even though I am far behind on my ‘read 100 books this year’ goal and will definitely fail it this year and probably the next because of my finals. Finger-crossed for a good reading year next year.   

So, without further ado, let us get into the wrap-up!

*

1. THE GOOD THIEVES BY KATHERINE RUNDELL

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Page Count: 336

Genre: Middle-Grade

I had constructed a review for this novel and I raved about this book in that article. I thought it was clever and a confounding stepping stone from The Wolf Wilder, a book which I thought was obtuse and contained an absolutely ridiculous ending. If you are interested to read the review for this novel, click here.

I am going to give all of you a snippet of the review that best describes the book:

“The atmosphere of this novel is a mixture of comedic relief, hatred and anger. It is facetious because of the constant banter between the characters and the arguments seem to never end which I, at times, found myself laughing at the exchange of words between them. Hatred and anger come into play due to certain characters doing nasty businesses and I thought the author did a good job at extracting our emotions out from our body and let it diffuse into the atmosphere. Thus, I admired the crafting of the atmosphere made by the author.”

Final Verdict: 75% (A-)

2. ASCENSION BY VICTOR DIXEN

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Page Count: 496

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Again, I had manufactured a review for this novel and I had expressed my frustration and love for this novel in that article. If you are interested to read it, click here. I will extract a paragraph from the review to give you an insight into what this book is about if you do not want to read the whole article which I perfectly understand:

“Another thing that I unconditionally adored about this novel was the readability and the pacing. I found myself compulsively reading this novel due to how easy it was to get into this novel and thus, contributed to the pacing of the novel. The pacing was pretty consistent throughout the novel EXCEPT for the speed-dating scenes and Andrew’s scenes. I thought those scenes were drawn out and I thought it could be moderated to drape in with the rest of the story. Otherwise, everything would be perfect.” 

Final Verdict: 70% (B)

3. THE GIVING TREE BY SHEL SILVERSTEIN

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Page Count: 64

Genre: Children’s Fiction

I understood the symbolism that is presented in this tiny picture book but I do not understand why this book is so popular? Is it because of the nostalgia factor? I did not read this picture book when I was young and this is the first time that I cracked open the book to read it. I thought the story was okay and the drawing was mediocre. I have nothing much to say because it’s a picture book and you have to read it for yourself to perceive the way you feel about it. 

Therefore, my final verdict for this picture book is 60% (C)

4. 13 REASONS WHY BY JAY ASHER

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Page Count: 352

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

I read this book in 2 sittings and I could not stop thinking about this novel after I had finished it. It was so heartbreaking to read about Hannah Baker’s life and the way she narrated the story and the trauma that she had gone through was truly plaintive. It was an eye-opening novel for me and I love a plethora of quotes in the novel, especially this one: 

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”

Final Verdict: 85% (A) 

5. Mooncakes By Suzanne Walker

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Page Count: 256

Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

It was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. The art style was nicely crafted and the storyline was easy to follow. However, I did not enjoy the problems that were presented in the story as I thought they were resolved in a matter of seconds.

In addition, I did not enjoy the world-building. After I finished the last page of this graphic novel, I came out of it knowing so little about the world and its magic system that I couldn’t give it a rating that is higher than 3 stars as I thought this graphic novel was lacking the basic foundation of its world-building and the limitations to the usage of magic.

Overall, I enjoyed the graphic novel but it wouldn’t be something that I would re-read.

Final Verdict: 62% (C)

6. INFINITY SON BY ADAM SILVERA

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Page Count: 368

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

I had manufactured a review for this novel and all I can say is that a pretty cover is not equal to a great story. They are mutually exclusive for this novel. If you would like to take a look at the review that I had made for this novel, click here

Here’s a snippet of the review if you are interested:

“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.”

I do not want to be a terrible person so I will try out Adam Silvera’s to see if his novels are for me. 

Final Verdict: 15% (F)

7. JACKPOT BY NIC STONE

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Page Count: 352

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

I do not want to say much for this novel because I am going to construct a full review for this novel but I am going to list a few things about this novel:

  1. This is one of my favourite books of the year,
  2. Amazing characters that I had fallen in love with throughout this novel,
  3. A nicely woven plotline, 
  4. Astounding pacing.
  5. Read this book. 

Final Verdict: 98% (A+)

8. SPEAK BY LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON

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Page Count: 384

Genre: Graphic Novel; Contemporary

I do not know how to put this graphic novel into words because I loved it but that does not sound right because it tackled hard topics such as rape. I really loved the author’s note before the story starts though, it was so saddening to read about and I almost cried out of sadness and by the end of it, I am so proud of the author for writing this novel. 

I need to watch the adaptation of this novel because there is Kristen Steward in it and also, because of my love for this novel. Moreover, I bought another book from this author which is called Chains and I can’t wait to read that novel! I will be buddy reading that novel with my best friend who is currently on vacation. 

Final Verdict: 100% (A+)

9. THIS DARKNESS MINE BY MINDY MCGINNIS

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Page Count: 352

Genre: Psychological Thriller

I enjoyed the 1/3 section of this novel. I thought it was unique and nothing like I had read before and then it went downhill afterwards. I do not find this novel as weird as most of the reviewers were vocalizing but what made me disentangle myself from the mess that was this book was how awful the execution and the pacing were. The plot went to a rediculous direction and nothing was resolved in the end. Normally, I enjoyed an unreliable narrator with horrible personalities but towards the end of the novel, I realized that I was not enjoying my time with the main character in this novel. I thought she was ego-centric and a know-it-all-but-really-she-doesn’t and I was rooting for her sister inside her body to consume her and take over her body all this time even though her sister was supposed to be the antagonist. So, yes. 

Final Verdict: 40% (E)

10. 13 MINUTES BY SARAH PINBOROUGH

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Page Count: 413

Genre: Psychological Thriller

I thought this book was suspenseful and filled with a plethora of delightful thrills and plot twists. The characters were terrifying in terms of the way they function and the bullying which will never cease as long as the Barbies (the name of a popular girl group in school) was there. The ending, to me, was the most petrifying thing I had read in a while because of how the [said character]’s brain worked and twirled in the little head of hers. However, I thought the beginning was tedious and a little long-winded and I did not particularly enjoy the very last page of the novel but my friend who borrowed me this novel loved it so, take my word with a grain of salt and read the book to test where your footing for the last page lies. 

Thus, if you have not picked this novel up, I urge you to drop everything and pick it up from the bookstore right now because of how amazing it is.

Final Verdict: 90% (A)

11. A COLLECTION OF POETRIES BY VARIOUS AUTHORS

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Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav had some poems that I enjoyed but I thought a lot of the poems in this were either poorly executed or poorly written. Some of them rhyme but most of them do not. Therefore, my final verdict for this poetry book is 48% (E).

Delicate Thoughts by M. Ballard was slightly better but it was forgettable. No other comment. Final Verdict: 55% (D).

She Felt Like Feeling Nothing by R.H Sin was the best out of these bunch and most of the poems in this book punched me in the gut with sadness. I enjoyed reading this and would highly recommend people who love poetries to pick this collection up. The only thing I did not like was how it ended and some other poems in this collection were not as good as it should be. Final Verdict: 78% (A-).

12. THE OTHER SIDE OF EVERYTHING BY LAUREN DOYLE OWENS

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Page Count: 272

Genre: Domestic Thriller

Spoiler alert: this is going to be in my worst books of the year list because of how horrible it is. First of all, a guy raped ‘said girl’ and an unknown girl who does not know the details said he did not do it even though the guy tried to use this unknown girl as a shield to run away from the police by hiding in her place. Second of all, for an antagonist who was a threat to the whole society throughout the course of this novel, he died in a couple of pages after he was introduced. Thirdly, there are 3 points of view which I thought was too excessive and unnecessary. Lastly, the writing style for this novel was so dry and flaky that I could strip it off the pages and damp it with water and it will still be dehydrated. 

Final Verdict: 10% (F)

13. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN

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Page Count: 355

Genre: Young Adult Romance

This book was amazing in almost every aspect except for some major plotholes which I will not spoil and I did not particularly enjoy how Josh relationship with Song sisters was instantly recovered after that major stunt that he pulled in their house. In addition, I did not like how certain situations were handled and I thought some of them were downright stupid but I still love this book and I am willing to recommence with this series. So, my final verdict for this novel is 89% (A).

14. Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

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Page Count: 225

Genre: Classic

I finished this novel today and I thought it was a very interesting book because of the way it conveyed its message and the ending to this marvellous novel was chilling because of how the main character almost died from those children that had turned into savages. However, I thought the beginning was tedious and it could have quickened up in terms of pace if it was not for the long description of the forest, the trees and the rocks.

Thus, my final verdict for this novel is 87% (A).


This is the end of my ‘16 Books 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!