Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

 

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rosecityreader and The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, be sure to visit their blogs!

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Book Beginning:

I FEEL SUCH A FRAUD

56%:

“Let our women work! Let our women work!” The people chant it over and over. Some hold brightly coloured signs proclaiming LET OUR WOMEN WORK and WOMEN’S WAGES HELP FEED FAMILIES and OUR FAMILIES ARE HUNGRY.

 

 

The Friday 56 (3)

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline review

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Arrow Books on April 5 2012
Genres: Science fiction, fiction, dystopia
Pages: 374
Goodreads

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

REVIEW

Ready Player One is a novel with an undoubtedly incredible premise, a scavenger hunt through virtual reality in epic proportions. An entertaining science fiction novel that is a must-read for video game geeks and lovers of the 80’s.

The book had a relatively slow start, with a great quantity of foundation work and heavy explanations. This picks up around the 80-page mark where things suddenly get moving exponentially. Cline’s descriptive writing gave a real sense of the world and the intricacies of the OASIS virtual reality, however, at times I found him to be droning on. The novel was quite sporadic, extreme action packed scenes punctuated with bouts of lengthy descriptions. Nevertheless, the book certainly held my attention, and at times I found it unputdownable! The virtual reality that Cline conceived was undeniably elaborate, I found it astounding how he formulated the OASIS and the labyrinthine scavenger hunt, it seemed that every minute detail was considered meticulously.

The characters present in Ready Player One were equally as complex and Cline possessed the ability to bring them to life between the pages. The characters were from all walks of life, with different nationalities and upbringings. Wade was brought up by his aunt and lacked deep emotional connections with people in the real world, thus why he (like most people) turned to the OASIS, where he found solace with other avatars. I adored Wade’s persistence and intense passion for the hunt and everything 80’s, even though he got sidetracked for a while when he met Art3mis. My favourite character had to be Art3mis, she was feisty and fierce, yet she also had a tender vulnerable side to her. She was equally as determined to win the hunt as Wade, thus the two made an ultimate partnership. Aech, Shoto and Daito were incredible sidekicks and when all five of them teamed up together, they made a mad crew. The teamwork and respect they had toward one another was endearing. There was plenty of diversity present within this book with a Canadian character, a gay African-American character and Japanese characters. Not to mention the flaws that each character had, which added to the authenticity of the novel.

The plot was action-packed and intense, despite knowing the end outcome, it was still thrilling and there were some twists and turns that were unsuspected. The scavenger hunt became intense and some characters went to absurd lengths to obtain Halliday’s egg. Eventually, the scavenger became deadly and ultimately real life threatening. It took a turn for the worst which I was definitely not expecting!

Overall, Ready Player One is a story like non-other with its elaborate virtual reality world, dynamic characters, intense action-packed scenes and an epic scavenger hunt.

★★★★

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Worlds, be sure to check out her blog! To participate just answer these questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I started Ready Player One yesterday and I only have 100 pages left, I’m planning on finishing it tonight. I’m really enjoying it so far, but it had a pretty slow start. Once it picked up around the 80 page mark I was fully invested! I love the premise and it’s unlike any book I’ve ever read before. My review should be up tomorrow.

 

Recently read

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

I received an arc of this and I LOVED it! It was fast paced and exhilarating, another incredibly unique read. This book is definitely hard-hitting at times and it deals with a lot of dark themes. I highly recommend this book! You can read my review here.

 

Reading next

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I’m FINALLY going to do it, I am going to read this book! I’ve been feeling under the weather lately and I’m in the mood for a light, happy contemporary read that will cheer me up. I was browsing my shelves and Simon stuck out, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book! Hopefully it’ll lift my mood 🙂

 

 

The Friday 56 (3)

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson review

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Published by Oneworld publications on July 6 2017
Genres: Young adult, mystery, contemporary
Pages: 432
Goodreads

Street-thief Tina breaks in to the luxurious house where her mother was killed to steal from Mr. Greyhill and nail him for her mother’s murder. She is caught red-handed.

Saved by Mr. Greyhill’s gorgeous son, Michael, the pair set in motion a cascade of dangerous events that lead them deeper into the mystery, and reveal dark and shocking secrets from Tina’s past.

Tina and her mother fled the Congo years ago as refugees, trading the uncertain danger of their besieged village for a new, safer life in the bustling Kenyan metropolis. The corruption and politics of the Congo, and the gangster world of Sangui City, are behind Tina’s mother’s downfall. Is Tina tough enough to find the truth and bring the killer to justice?

I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book to review via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

City of Saints & Thieves is a riveting mystery novel that got me hooked from the very first page. Embark on this unimaginable journey across the countries of east African, a twisty- turny labyrinth of lies, murder and intrigue that will set your heart racing!

I dove into this book with limited knowledge of the narrative and I was instantly engulfed into the story from the beginning chapters. Personally, I believe that going into this book fairly blind is the right way to go, this novel wastes no time jumping straight into the action, and after the first chapter I was already starting to ask questions. City of Saints & Thieves is unlike any mystery novel I’ve read in the past, it’s raw, gritty and utterly heart-pounding! The constant abundance of action and intensity put me continually on the edge of my seat, anxious of every outcome. Despite being a solid 432 pages, I flew through this heart-wrenching story in under two days, it’s fast-paced narrative pulling the story along at a rapid pace. The constant twists and turns in the narrative meant that I failed to predict the storyline, leaving me intrigued and ultimately shocked when the plot twists were revealed. Heavy on the plot-line, this book is driven chiefly by the plot instead of focusing on character development.

City of Saints & Thieves certainly isn’t a light-hearted book, it delves deep into some sinister themes including rape, abuse, death, gangs, refugees and prostitution. This book definitely doesn’t hold back when depicting the truth that lies in east Africa, at times it can be hard to swallow, but it adds authenticity to the plausible plot-line. Following the main character, we gain an insight into the unyielding savagery of living on the streets in Africa and the uncertainty of working for underground gangs. Furthermore, It sheds light on the small towns of Congo and the sheer helplessness the people of the town must feel, being constantly attacked by the militia. And what it’s truly like to be a refugee fleeing for your life in search of a safer home. These monstrosities are sharply contrasted with the high life of Sangui city’s prestigious, who live in grandeur mansions and thrive on taking advantage of the suffering. Reading about the actuality of these occurrences was incredibly eye-opening and equally as heart-wrenching.

The characters within City of Saints & Thieves are unparalleled with their individuality. The protagonist Tina, is a force to be reckoned with, steadfast, resilient, capable, fierce and intelligent, she was the ultimate character to lead us through the story. I loved how Tina didn’t need to rely on anyone but herself, and her confidence and sureness of herself was empowering. Michael and Boyboy were loyal and trustworthy sidekicks, both with their individual perks that brought life to the story. There was mounds of diversity present within the novel, with African characters, biracial characters, children born from unsuspecting parents and a gay character. Anderson really brought everything together to create an astounding harmony within this book.

Overall, City of Saints & Thieves is a heart-pounding mystery with an unprecedented plot-line, severe depictions of Africa’s vulnerabilities, and relentless, cutthroat characters. This is definitely a book that I’ll keep thinking back on long after I’ve finished it.

★★★★1/2

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

ARC’s received

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

I’ve already read and reviewed this, you can read my review here.

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.

eBooks

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

The world is breaking. And so are they.

Kate Harker isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

August Flynn once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

The war has begun.

The monsters are winning.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

Avenged by Amy Tintera

A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.

Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Fiercely independent Camille “Cami” Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

Roar by Cora Carmack

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Want by Cindy Pon

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

 

Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

The Friday 56 (3)

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Thank you so much to Priyasha @ Books and Co. for tagging me in this, be sure to check out her blog because it’s amazing!

1. The best book you’ve read so far in 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

This book took my heart and completely obliterated it, this book was the end of me! I will say, A Court of Mist and Fury still takes the cake for the best book in the series, but ACOMAF came pretty damn close. If you haven’t already, please read the ACOTAR series, honestly what are you doing, READ IT NOW! you can read all my gushy thoughts and opinions of this book in my review.

 

2. Best sequel of 2017 so far?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Well that was no surprise… honestly guys I swear I’ll try not to put any of the ACOTAR books as ALL my answers, which is pretty much what I always do in every tag. Buy hey, I wanna be truthful when writing my answers, right? You guys a are probably so sick of me already, SORRY!

 

3. A new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Yes I pre-ordered Lord of Shadows, no I still have not finished The Mortal Instruments, I know what you’re thinking, I’m strange. One of my goals this year was to get caught up with all the Shadowhunters books, but I’m still not sure if I want to as I know for a fact that I’m going to have a massive book hangover after reading Lord of Shadows and I don’t really want to wait 2 years for the next instalment. Thoughts? Should I read TMI and The Dark Artifices?

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I only heard about this book recently, but as soon as I heard the synopsis I wanted to get my hands on it ASAP! But I have to wait until September until this one is released *cries*. So basically this book involves faeries, different fae courts, and a fae prince you can shape shift into a Raven? TAKE ME MONEY! The premise sounds to good and there are already rave reviews up on Goodreads which have got me stoked for this book!

5. Biggest disappointment?

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

I’ve heard some great things about Jennifer Niven, especially about All The Bright Places. But this book was such a let-down for me. The characters were whiny and immature, and I’m sad to say I just didn’t enjoy this book. However, I still own All The Bright Places and I’m still going to give it a go and see how I sit with it, hopefully I enjoy it a lot more.

 

6. Biggest surprise?

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

when I received an arc of this book to review, I thought I was going to enjoy it, but I never knew I was going to love it as much as I did! 180 is the perfect feel-good contemporary, I laughed, I cried and I sped through this book in what felt like 180 seconds. It had now become one of my favourite contemporaries, and that’s saying a lot. I NEED to buy a finished copy for myself, because I know I’m going to be re-reading this book over and over again. You can read my review here.

7. Favourite new author?

Sally Thorne the author of The Hating Game

Sally Thorne is hands down one of my new favourite authors, I LOVED the Hating Game to bits and you bet I’m going to be pre-ordering her next book The Comfort Zone! Sally has become one of my auto-buy authors, anything new she releases I’m definitely going to purchase, I couldn’t get enough of her writing style and adorable characters.

 

8. Newest fictional crush?

Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Joshua, Joshua, Joshua… if you don’t already know about Joshua Templeman, firstly what are you doing? Get of your ass and experience the sexiness that is Joshua Templeman by reading The Hating Game, he is one of those guys who has a bad boy persona but is actually so precious when he opens up and ugh, I just can’t. SO MUCH SWOOOON ❤ Apart from Rhysand, my ultimate bae, I would say Josh is pretty high up there on my book boyfriend list.

9. Newest favourite character

Ebsen Baylor from 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Esben is one of the reasons I loved 180 seconds so much! He is humble, down to earth and uses his mass social media presence to help other people, not just to reap the benefits for himself. Esben is the ultimate “good” character, he’s so caring and thoughtful, and the way he treated Allison was so adorable, I can’t, Ebsen Baylor is a major cutie!

 

10. A book that made you cry?

If I stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay wasn’t my favourite book, if I’m being honest I was hoping to like it a whole lot more than I did. But despite that, this book made me cry, SO MANY TIMES. There were just some tender moments where I couldn’t help but shed some tears, and usually when a book makes me cry it ends up being one of my favourites, but somehow I still found this book to be mediocre. I’m not sure why, but I just did.

11. A book that made you happy?

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I don’t want to keep repeating the same answers, but honestly, the Hating Game made me happier than any book I’ve ever read before. I remember listening to the audiobook of this and I had a massive smile pasted on my face the ENTIRE time, I also laughed out loud more times than I could count. If you’re looking for a pick me up book, or a book that will just make you happy for days, PLEASE check out The Hating Game, you won;t be disappointed!

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

I enjoyed the book A Dog’s Purpose, but the movie hit me in all the feels, I cried countless times and I honestly think I liked the movie better than the book, and that NEVER happens for me! I love dog’s so it was the perfect movie, if I tiny bit too fast at times, but it was so adorable and heartfelt. If you haven’t already watched this movie I suggest watching it, especially if you’re a dog lover like me! Read my book review here.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year

Goodbye Days  by Jeff Zenter

My review for Goodbye days was one of the one of the reviews I really enjoyed writing. I got really immersed in writing my review, and after writing it I felt like I had actually rated the book too low, as I realised I enjoyed the book more than I thought! So right before posting my review I changed my rating, that’s never happened to me before, I think it goes to show when you’re really into writing a review, you can realise things you had never realised beforehand! You can read my review here.

14. Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year?

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chockshi

I think you guys have already heard enough about my love for the gorgeous cover that is A Crown of Wishes, I gush about it a lot. I have this book as an eBook, but I’m DYING to get my hands on a hardback copy, as the print version just cannot compare. In person it’s all metallic and shiny, UGH I love it so much! ❤

 

15. Books you need to read by the end of the year?

 

I NOMINATE:

Lyndsey @ Lydnsey’s Book Blog / Ally @ Ally Writes Things / Nadwa @ Painfullyfictional

The Friday 56 (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Aftercare Instruction by Bonnie Pipkin
Published by Flatiron books
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 265
Goodreads

In the tradition of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell, a big-hearted journey of furious friendship, crazy love, and unexpected hope after a teen’s decision to end an unwanted pregnancy

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

This powerfully immersive and format-crushing debut follows Gen from dorm rooms to diners to house parties to auditions—and ultimately, right into readers’ hearts.

I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

Aftercare Instructions is an increasingly relevant read that spotlights some hard-hitting topics. Although I wouldn’t necessarily be comparing it with Rainbow Rowell and Jandy Nelson’s works, as I felt like it had the potential to pack a greater punch than it did.

The premise of Aftercare Instructions is exceptional, teenage abortion is a sensitive topic and it takes a lot to be able to pull it off and this is the first young adult book I have read that deals with abortion. Pipkin explored the ins and outs of abortion is an excellent manner, as well as delving into the topics of sex, family, relationships and suicide. Despite this books length there were an abundance of relevant topics discussed and this book had the ability to really hit home. However, I felt like Aftercare Instructions failed in that respect, maybe it’s just me, but I felt as if I couldn’t relate to the characters or the story, it didn’t affect me as much as I was hoping to. I felt like the message could’ve been more powerful than it ended up being. Nonetheless, the narrative was intriguing and I sped through the book in two days, I also loved how the flashbacks were written as if they were scenes from a play, this aspect added uniqueness to the story.

The characters weren’t as compelling as I’d originally hoped they’d be, and I felt like they lacked a sense of depth. Maybe it was just how immature they seemed, especially Gen, she was doing a lot of things that she knew she shouldn’t do, getting herself in trouble more often than not. However, I think a lot of Gen’s actions can be excused due to her unconventional family situation. Rose was a supportive best friend, I liked how she was constantly on the lookout for Gen and how she always had her best interests in mind. Seth was an adorable character and I liked how he treated Gen.

Overall, Aftercare Instructions was an enjoyable read but it didn’t end up packing the punch I was hoping for. It was a quick, pleasant read that dealt with important topics, the characters weren’t considerably memorable. This book juts didn’t hit home for me, unfortunately.

★★★

The Friday 56 (3)

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

I was sick with the flu and a fever last night so I didn’t get to post my Book Beginnings and Friday 56, I’m all better now so here it is!

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rosecityreader and The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, be sure to visit their blogs!

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Book beginning:

PREPARATION
A Few Things They Tell You:

  • No food or drink for six hours prior to appointment time.
  • If you receive the IV conscious sedation, make sure to secure a ride home or have an escort for public transportation.
  • Dress is loose, comfortable clothing, with socks and flat shoes. Bring an extra pair of underwear and a sweater or sweatshirt.
  • Bring a picture identification and your insurance card if you are planning to use insurance. Payment is collected in full at the time of visit.
  • One, and only one, escort may accompany you to the health centre. Your escort will be asked to wait in the designated waiting room, ad will not be allowed into the medical centre with you.

The Thing I wish I’d Known:

  • love you doesn’t come with any guarantees

56%

“I stopped doing ant theater because I didn’t want to look into the audience and not see him there.”
“What did you do instead?”
“I guess I fell in love.”
[…]
“Are you still in love?”
“I don’t think so.”
[…]
“Have you ever been in love?” I ask him.
[…]
“Yes, I have.”
“Have you ever had your heart broken?”
“Completely crushed.”
we stop, and look at each other again. It’s easy to open up to him, and I’m not exactly sure why.
“So,” he says. “Is your heart broken?”
“I guess it is.”
“And it’ll heal in three weeks?”
“Three weeks? Oh. Well, part of me will.”
“Okay.”

 

Have you heard of or read Aftercare Instructions? Let me know!

The Friday 56 (3)

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari review

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Windy City Magic #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 16 2017
Genres: Fantasy, young adult, romance
Pages: 336
Goodreads

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.

I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

The Best Kind of Magic is an enticing urban fantasy novel with a humorous and headstrong female protagonist and an atmosphere of bewitching magic and mythical creatures.

Set in modern-day Chicago, The Best Kind of Magic is an urban fantasy where witches, sirens, vampires and other mythical creatures roam the streets, only they look fairly like your average human being. Therefore, regular humans are mostly oblivious that they exist. I found this concept to be intriguing as these supernatural beings were essentially descendants of their original ancestors, only they are more like “watered down” versions. Although I found this to be an intriguing premise, I wished we were provided with more of a back story to this world and how it came about. Although the main character, Amber, is a matchmaker the novel felt similar to a contemporary novel at times, which I think is good for people just starting to get into fantasy. Due to this, I found the book to be a fast-paced, lighter fantasy read. I enjoyed the air of whimsicalness and enchantment.

The Best Kind of Magic surrounds amusing and striking characters, who brought the story to life. Amber, the protagonist, was fierce and funny, I love how she never let anyone bring her down. Also being a matchmaker and seeing her do her job was very intriguing, I don’t think I’ve ever read another novel where the protagonist is a matchmaker. Her best friend Amani (a precog) was equally as humorous and the bond that they share together is so precious. Charlie brought something different to the mix, being an ordinary human being Amber had to help him understand the world with all its creatures. Charlie was endearing and a gentleman, however I would’ve liked to see him a bit more fleshed out. What were some of his interests? What did he do in his spare time? The relationship between Amber and Charlie was cute, if not doomed, and although I wasn’t 100% crazy about the pairing, it was adorable nonetheless. There was also some diversity present within the novel with some LGBTQ+ characters and one of Amani’s brothers being deaf, so both Amber and Amani knew sign language and they used it a couple of times to communicate throughout the book.

Overall, The Best Kind of Magic is a delightful urban fantasy novel that intertwines mythical creatures with our modern world, complete with interesting and vibrant characters.

★★★

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Worlds, be sure to check out her blog! To participate just answer these questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

I received an e-arc of this via NetGalley, it’s an urban fantasy where fairies, ogres, sirens and such are real, however they look like your regular everyday people. The protagonist is a matchmaker, she only needs to look into someones eyes for 5 seconds before she can see who their true love is. The catch is, it doesn’t work for herself. I’m 25% through and I’m really enjoying it so far, my review is planned to be up tomorrow!

 

Recently read

The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

I also received an e-arc of this via NetGalley. I finished this two days ago and I quite enjoyed it. It follows a girl names India whose mum marries into a wealthy family, and she has to traverse the fields of Boston’s blue-bloods. It has lots of character growth and development as well as hidden secrets, rumours and plot twists. 3/5 stars, you can read my review here.

 

Reading next

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

This is another one I received via NetGalley. It follows Gen, a pregnant teenager whose boyfriend Peter leaves her when she’s about to get an abortion. Apparently it deals with a lot of important topics, and there are rave reviews on Goodreads. I can’t wait to read this one, my review is planned for this Saturday.

 

 

Have you read any of these books? Or are you interested in any of them? Let me know!

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