Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Upside of Unrequited

Book Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Book Author: Becky Albertalli

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5

The good news is that this book is readable. I was able to tolerate it till the end. Well, just about!

The bad news is that this book is all hyped up.

Or maybe, just maybe its targeted towards a really younger generation, though I have a feeling my eight year old niece would drop it after the first few pages.

It’s about Seventeen year old Molly who is unlucky in love or its more like she’s afraid to take that leap and act on the zillion crushes she seems to be having. She’s afraid of rejection and has this idea that fat girls have to be careful. Unlike her twin sister who is somewhat the total opposite of her. In a turn of events, Molly finds herself at the attention of not only one, but two “cute” boys that got her living in an emotional turmoil.

I really should have paid more attention to the synopsis. Now that I have written it down, it makes me wonder why I have even bothered to pick this one up. I’m blaming it on the cover. This is a truly “don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of situation.

Cover aside, I have read quite a number of YA book which I thought really did a good job of delivering important messages with a good plot line and impeccable writing styles.

There wasn’t much of a writing style on this one. No character progression. No storyline basis as well. If it was a TV show, it would be one of those shows that you put on just for the sake of some noise in the room while you are doing something else. Or watching ‘keeping up with the Kardashians’

Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with it. Just move on.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Night Circus

Book Title: The Night Circus

Book Author: Erin Morgenstern

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This is a second book I have read about the circus and again I can say I was not disappointed!

This book is a bundle of joy! It takes you back to your childhood days and you start to remember those good ol’ circus times. I can even smell the popcorn and caramel apples!

Circus and food aside, the real story is what goes on within. A competition between two contestants who were bound to it since childhood and have no idea who the other one is.

That’s my ‘but’ with the book. I couldn’t imagine or feel the fierceness of the competition. We are not told on the spot what is happening or how it happened but instead are just being told about it.
I would have liked, as a visitor of the circus, to actually feel and experience it on the spot, rather than being told about it.

All in all, it’s a great story filled with awesome magic that would keep you wanting more.
A must read. Go pick it up!

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Thirteen Reasons why

Book Title: Thirteen Reasons why

Book Author: Jay Asher

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5

Hannah Baker, a depressed teenager, sends out tapes to certain people from her school explaining thirteen reasons why she had decided to kill herself.

I’m half tempted to mention my own thirteen reasons why I did not like this book but I don’t feel bothered to give it that much attention. It was recommend by a cousin of mine, bought it and have been sitting on my shelf for years. It was only after the hype and good reviews of its TV show that encouraged me to pick it up and read it.

I wish I hadn’t. It wasn’t exactly easy to read and I don’t blame it on the writing style. On the contrary, the writing style was fine. It was the structure of how it was written that was confusing. There were two main narrators on the book, and I got lost multiple times as who was narrating which line. They were kind of overlapping each other.

Narrations aside, the story was very intriguing especially with the idea of the tapes and how it was left to be passed around so Hannah would get her message through. The basis of the story was an important subject and as I am a big of realistic fiction, I loved the idea of it.

“But” having watched the show, I would strongly recommend it over the book. The show portrayed Hannah and the rest of the characters on a deeper level. You feel more connected to them and there were lots of elements included in the story that were missing in the book.

It saddens me to say that it’s a shame with such a great story line and characters, the book didn’t just pull through. It could have been one great book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. But, recommend, I would not.

ARC Review, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : All the Good Things

Book Title : All the Good Things
Book Author : Clare Fisher
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : June 1st 2017


If you could list all the good things in your life on a page, what would it say?

Twenty-one year old Beth was in prison and she was asked to do exactly that. She was to list all the good things in her life as a way to make her feel good again.

Throughout the book, with the exceptionally creative chapter titles, we were taken back and forth into Beth’s life which helps us understand her character more. I thought it was a very clever idea and works well with the plotline; to know more about Beth then find out what was the bad thing she did.

Though it gave me “The Catcher of the Rye” vibe, I still loved its distinctive narrative style and I think it’s unique in its own way. I was so afraid that the ending would not measure up but in my opinion, I find that it did pull through.

All The Good Things was a tormenting and emotional one that I have read with an open-mind. I loved how realistic it was though it did get a bit of a drag in some parts.

It wasn’t very easy for me to write this review. I have typed, deleted, retyped and I’m still finding it hard to place exactly how I feel about it, but I believe I was able to pull through it cause I’m a sucker for books that voices subjects about psychology and mental health issues.

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Everything Everything

Book Title : Everything Everything
Book Author : Nicola Yoon
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : September 1st 2015


 

I’ve seen this book a lot around in the bookstagram community but even with its lovely cover and good reviews, I still wasn’t interested in picking it up. Turn it into a movie, and yes, I’d pick it up in a second. Which was the case with this one.


Everything Everything was such a delightful read. I devoured this book up in one short sitting. I was truly enjoying it and thought it was so adorable.


Madeline was almost eighteen and was not allowed to leave the house because of a rare disease she had that prevents her to do so. She lives with her Mom and her nurse, Carla and have an exceptionally awesome relationship with them. That was one of the things I totally loved about the book.

Madeline was super content with her life and accepting her disease when one day, a moving truck arrived and along came Olly, her interesting neighbor whom she just couldn’t get out of her mind. After meeting Olly and her interactions with him, Madeline realized there is more to life than being safe. Thus, a wonderful journey begins about self-explorations and life itself.

As engaging as the book plot sounded, it did have quite a few “buts” in my opinion. I didn’t appreciate the ending so much as I felt it was completely rushed. We weren’t given time to digest the major events that happened. There also wasn’t much of characters’ depth or progressions.

Overall, I’d mark this book as a cute, easy read to enjoy between heavy ones. I would recommend it as I was actually laughing out loud in a lot of parts. I would just advise not to put your hopes up high or expect much from the book.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Rosie Project

Book Title: The Rosie Project

Book Author: Graeme Simsion

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I have seen this book around at book stores a lot, I have picked it up and dropped it immediately after. Every Single Time. I was seriously indecisive about it which is super strange and so unlike me as I am known to be a very impulsive shopper.

I was glad I received this book as a gift though (Thank you Jigz @book.amour ). And after reading Adam Sharp, a book by the same author, everyone was rooting for me to pick The Rosie Project up.

Again, I’m glad I gave in and picked it up. It was a delight to meet Don Tillman, a professor in genetics, who have never been on a second date. He’s your typical genius guy, socially awkward and have set his own rituals and rules to live by. He decides it’s time for him to get married so he invents The Wife Project, an approach to find a compatible wife. With a turn of events, he meets Rosie who is the opposite of what he is looking for and totally unsuitable for The Project Wife.

I found it to be a good read. It was funny, it was cute, fast paced and an enjoyable one. BUT- you guessed it, a BUT is on its way! – I found it to be mediocre. There was nothing special about it. Don reminded me so much of Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory which is also an OK show for me.

Did I laugh? I did but not out loud. Did I connect with the characters? I did but I probably won’t remember them after a while.

Overall, it was an OK read for me, mostly maybe because I’m not much in rom-com anymore and it would be one of my last choices to pick up a book with such a genre.

 

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Caraval

Book Title : Caraval
Book Author : Stephanie Garber
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : January 31st 2017


It’s becoming a hobby of mine to pick up books that has so much hype. I was very intrigued by Caraval as I have seen lots call it the next “The Night Circus” which I totally love so I marked this as my next read.

Regardless of the extremely good reviews. I began reading it with no expectations. Neither low nor high.

The book started out fairly well, we got introduced to the sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, their abusive father and their desire to see Caraval – a once a year performance where the audience participates in the game and are warned not to be swept away with it.

Totally a page turner full of fun characters and unexpected plot twists which felt like a roller coaster ride with all the questions of whom to trust, what is real and what is not.

My only but in the book which I totally over-passed, that it was not as magical as I think it should be. It was also given it was a game with a winner in the end, but it didn’t feel like a competition. There was hardly any mention of the other competitors and it felt more like a survival game.

Overall, I totally recommend this book if you are looking for something fun and fast-paced to read. Lots of “feels” but not overly packed with it which makes it very tolerable. I also need to mention that this book is number one of a duo-logy which had me anxiously look forward to the next book.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Hate U Give

Book Title: The Hate U Give

Book Author: Angie Thomas

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I finished this book and did not hesitate at all to give it a five star when I was rating it. The hype was absolutely right about it.

It was a real pleasure to meet sixteen year old Starr Carter who was lost between two worlds, the poor neighborhood she lives in and the fancy one she goes to school in. Having witnessed her childhood friend get unfairly shot and judged made her unbalanced and rethinking her life.

This was an important book with an important topic. And while it has been brought up millions of times, whether they are in books, TV shows or movies, it was still good to read about it and learn something new.

Black lives matter is not an easy or pleasant subject. Angie Thomas have touched this subject in a powerful and informative way. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, it is affecting you. This message was beautifully delivered and it triggered lots of emotions within me.

I would totally and easily recommend the Hate U Give and I think it would make a good book club discussion.

 

ARC Review, Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : Exit West

Book Title: Exit West

Book Author: Mohsin Hamid

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date: March 7th 2017

This was my first Mohsin Hamid book so I had no idea what to expect. It wasn’t so difficult to get into the mood of the book or get connected with the characters. They were simple enough, first names basis, easy going and didn’t say much. Though I’m not sure whether this was the character’s mood or the books but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
The book follows two people, Saeed and Nadia, who met and fell in love. Shortly after, they had to leave their homeland behind because of the war and they find themselves entering a door that lead to an alien and uncertain place.

I liked the idea of the book. I took it mostly as metaphorical especially when it comes to the places they go to, the people they met and the new place they have found and assumed it would be their sanctuary.

But, here comes the but, as much I liked it, there were some parts that have been a bit slow for me. I also felt the need to be more connected to the characters, it was left up to our imagination most of the time as to what they are thinking which could work for some readers.

All in all, it was a good read but get ready to have a very open mind as you will have to grasp what you can and have your own interpretations of the book.

I’d first love to thank Penguin UK books @penguinukbooks for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blog, Book Reviews, Other Reviews

Book Review: Homegoing

Book Title: Homegoing

Book Author: Yaa Gyasi

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date: June 7th 2016

“This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others.”

This was a great example of what storytelling should be like.  I wasn’t sure if I could rely on all the reviews and recommendations I’ve got about this book and I knew I had to experience it by myself.

I was not disappointed.

Yaa Gyasi made it really easy for me to mark this Historical Fiction as one of the best reads for this year. Set in Ghana, a captivating tale about two half-sisters, unknown to each other, born in different villages. Effia was married off to an Englishman, comfortably living in Cape Coast Castle, while Esi was sold into slavery and shipped off to America.

I didn’t know what to expect but I was so convinced this was going to be a tale about sisters reuniting, bonding with each other over tears of happiness and what’s not. Boy, was I mistaken. This was so much more than what it is, way more!

This was about history! It was about culture and traditions. It was about slavery, prejudice and racism. Lots of it!

I thought it was really clever how the structure of the book was written. Each chapter is unique and focusing on a descendent, alternatively, of one sister which talks about generational diversity of different times and places, where we get to experience their struggles whether it’s mentally, socially or physically.

I would totally recommend this to all historical lovers and especially if you are a fan of short stories.