Reviews

REVIEW- Final Draft by Riley Redgate

As you may know from the previous post, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. But before I hit that reading slump, I read Final Draft via eARC from NetGalley, courtesy of ABRAMS Kids.

Pub Date 12 Jun 2018

Thank you!

In the end I gave this book 3.5* out of 5.

I enjoyed a lot about this book, but after my original review, of which I will post below, I was kinda left thinking… what was the point of the book? It was a bit of a filler, to me.

Original review:

I can see that this book might get comparisons to Fangirl, but it seems much more grounded to me. It’s such a refreshing read and I related SO MUCH to the struggles Laila went through. I enjoyed the nuances throughout, the diversity, the humour. Sometimes the backstory was a little full on with descriptions but otherwise – a joy to read.

I stand by that, too. But at the same time I wasn’t really sure what feeling I should have been left with, or whether this was open-ended to go into something else, or… whether it was a happy ending, whether our main character had actually learned something from the teacher who came in, why the death was actually there.

The first parts of the book were 100% relatable, with the sci fi nerding and the keen sense of writing. But after a while I didn’t really understand it. The representation of depression was, to me, something that hit home but nothing ever seemed finished off in the story itself.

I did enjoy the romance, but even that felt like an add-on to me. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to take from it, like it was a snapshot of her life. Nothing mentioned ever seemed to come to fruition, things that seemed like they were going to be a big deal ended up being… left unanswered or never mentioned again.

It was well-written and I really think it has potential to affect many teenage readers in the right way, but it wasn’t 100% for me.

3.5*

 

blog awards · Just For Fun · Random Musings

Mystery Blogger Award!

mysterybloggerThe Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto of Okoto Enigmas Blog ,and I was nominated by Hayley of Fangirl Fury — thanks so much Hayley!

The purpose of the Mystery Blogger Award is to honor bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do so with love and passion.

 

 

The Rules

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link their blog.
  • Tell your reader 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

3 Things about Me

  1. I bake–I think people will already know, but I love it. I make my Mum’s birthday cake every year.
  2. I once skipped school after my piano teacher reduced me to tears. The afternoon class was P.E so I was like “Peace” and basically left the piano lesson and walked home without telling anyone. I was fine, cause it was only a few streets away but I think I almost gave my grandma a heart attack.
  3. I keep a dream diary because my dreams are weird

I nominate:

Anna Mercier

Lex @ Lex Writes

Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Mikrael 

Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader

If you’ve done the award already or you’re currently writing like you’re running out of time enough, no worries!

My Questions:

  1. If you could make ONE character come to life, who would you choose?
  2. What was the first book you remember being obsessed with?
  3. Have your favourite genres changed over time?
  4. If you could cast yourself in a TV Show which one would it be?
  5. You’re stuck in jail. Your favourite Disney princess is in there with you. Who is it, and what did you get jailed for?!

Hayley’s Questions For Me:

If you could revive any past TV show, what would it be?

BUFFY. That show was incredible when I was a teenager and I loved how much I saw women being strong and vulnerable all at once. I wanted to be Willow so bad and it completely fit my spooky little aesthetic far more than Charmed ever did. It also showed vampires in their (imo) best incarnation yet.

Do you celebrate any holidays during the winter season?

Mostly Yule and Christmas. And the winter solstice, which is Yule, but sometimes I take it without the pagan reference. OH and my birthday which is 7th November — while it’s technically autumn it’s cold enough to be frickin winter 90% of the time.

What is or was your favorite subject in school?

Art and English. I loved being creative. I also got my highest marks in that. Not sure what the lesson came under, but I also loved weather–where we did little experiments outside or learned about clouds. Anything to do with nature was a plus for me.

If you had a soundtrack of your life, what would be three songs on the album? 

  1. May It Be by Enya
  2. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
  3. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – Moulin Rouge! version

What books are you hoping to get to before the end of 2017?

The Hate U Give
Scorpio Races
Language of Thorns
Forest of A Thousand Lanterns.

I can do it, right?! I haven’t read so much lately because of PitchWars edits/revisions but I hope to remedy that and fulfil my 40 books read this year.

NetGalley · Reviews

When Dimple Met Rishi Review

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3***

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways

Goodreads: HERE

Thank you Hodder & Soughton + Netgalley for the ARC!

Sometimes, contemporary and I don’t get along. Most of the time it needs some magical realism or something else. And I always think everything happens too quickly, of which this book is no exception.

When Dimple Met Rishi is a really important book, though. I’m glad it’s out there and highlighting other cultures within a predominantly white Christian publishing array of same old books. I think it was hyped so much that I wanted more to actually happen in it than the plot allowed.

I really liked Dimple – she’s a fiesty, intelligent girl who knows what she wants, but my problem with contemporary remained in this book. It all seemed so rushed, and Rishi wasn’t a character I bonded with 100%. I enjoyed him taking down the elitist snobs in the restaurant, but after that he seemed a bit inconsistent. I prefer him a lot to the typical douchebags you get in a lot of YA – bad boys turning good, etc – because Rishi was a straight up decent, positive human being from the start. Though I feel sometimes he still came off as a little arrogant.

A lot of his arc was a struggle within himself, whether he would do comics or go to MIT as expected, which was super interesting. I still couldn’t connect with him or his sense of humour. I actually hoped Dimple and he would end up as friends, and subvert the typical tropes of romance, or even the arranged marriage aspect – that the parents aren’t always right.

Dimple was so angry with her parents for setting her up in that way and not understanding her need for education over romance – and rightly so – that when it all goes out of the window because Rishi is cute and an actually ok guy she suddenly changes her mind? She still brought it up that she might never want marriage, and that’s good, but I wanted more insight behind her decision to change her perspective of Rishi and certainly more from Rishi than Dimple just feeling guilty.

Maybe it’s just me, because I’m stubborn af and can hold a grudge for years and might be a bit of a dick that way, but I didn’t enjoy that aspect of the book.

Plus, the contest seemed just to be a plot device to get them together in the book (since that’s what their parents were all about) and faded into the background. And then there’s a talent show that everyone apparently knows about but is only mentioned 50% of the way in.

I also struggled with the POV changes. They happen mid-chapter and because of the kindle format, it wasn’t always clear that we were suddenly in the opposite person’s head.

Don’t get me wrong, it was cute. Sometimes it was amusing. Not a lot happened and the actual fall-out of feelings was slightly awkward – but it was predominantly romance and not a romance I could attach to.

So to finish…. this won’t change my mind about contemporary. Sometimes we get along, sometimes we don’t, it’s an 80-20 split to the latter. It’s definitely a case of “not you, it’s me.”

Again I’m really pleased this is out there showing another much-needed voice and I’m hoping it gets the attention it deserves for YA. Please keep supporting diverse books! Just because one reviewer (me) didn’t gel with this one, doesn’t mean others won’t. 🙂

Reviews · Uncategorized

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

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BEWARE, THERE BE SPOILERS IN YE… anyway spoilers.

3.5* – with one star dedicated to Rhysand and Lucien.

This was recommended and talked about to me SO many times I finally gave in and ordered it. I put off reading it for a while because I wanted to finish The Raven Cycle, but my friends really wanted me to read it and squee. It’s basically a Beauty and the Beast retelling – sort of – in a Fae world.

I understand why it’s popular, I do. But Feyre to me wasn’t a strong enough character to grip me. I think Samantha from Thoughts of Tomes summed it up perfectly – she’s meant to be a hunter, a survivalist, yet consistently makes absolutely stupid choices which put her in danger.

Such as “don’t go into the forest, you’ll get killed.” She goes into the forest and almost gets killed. Before she even went on the mission I literally put the book down and went “so stupid” and didn’t pick it up for about 3 nights because I knew the next chapter she’d get into trouble.

Also. “Don’t come to Fire Night”. She goes to Fire Night. “Don’t drink the wine”. She drinks the wine.

GODDAMNIT.

Similarly with the romance, I didn’t “get” the connection between her and Tamlin. The sex scene (of which I have written and read many so I know what I like) didn’t have much of a build up. Like they were talking cryptically as far as I remember about Tamlin having to shove her back home, and then suddenly they were in the mood and doing it. It felt disjointed to me.

After spending a majority of the book wondering why the heck Tamlin was being so nice to her, and we get told about the curse, it kinda got creepy. Not only because an entire chapter was written for Alis to explain everything to us out loud (aaaaaugh) but like, Tamlin took Feyre to his mansion and was uber nice and tried to give her things just in the hope she’d fall in love with him? At least in Beauty and the Beast the Beast seemed to be acting out of pure beastliness and anger at her father’s wandering into the castle. He might have known about the curse but he was acting on rage.

Here it’s almost pre-emptive.

I didn’t know this was meant to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling when I first started reading it. To be honest I felt it was more of a “let’s use plot points to make this book’s structure and then say it’s a retelling”.

And at the end before she solves the riddle (if Amarantha were Rumpelstiltskin, I would understand, otherwise, WHA?) it seemed too convenient that she remembered Tam and Lucien talking months ago about Tamlin’s heart of stone. How could they POSSIBLY know that would be key plot point in the future enough to leave the door ajar so she could eavesdrop, commit it to memory, and the use that information to their advantage later? Maybe they had a crystal ball.

For the first two thirds, the writing in general seemed fluffy and lengthy and I found myself skimming unnecessary information. Also so. . . many. . . ellipses . . .

The Big Bad was okay, I mean Amarantha seemed to have borrowed style tips from Maleficent, apart from the horns, but snarky and twisted witch uninvited to Prythien for sure.

Rhysand and Lucien were the two characters I wanted to read about most. Though with Rhysand at the end, he seemed to be able to open up a little too much too fast, and he lost his edge, I would still read about him and have in fact just ordered A court of Mist and Fury simply because he will naturally be in it a lot more. I’m also intrigued by the Night Court and the This Court and the That Court, because who doesn’t like Fae Hogwarts Houses, amirite?

Lucien to me seemed the most consistent in that he was loyal, snarky, and his objectives never seemed to change. I also really enjoyed that he rarely accepted any of Feyre’s shit and called her out on it cause damnit, someone had to.

So on the basis there were two characters I enjoyed and will continue to read about (plus I hear the next book is better) I gave this book 3.5*.