July Wrap Up

 

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

My review   ★★★★1/2

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

My review   ★★★★

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

My review  ★1/2

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise
“123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)…”

Bridget Jones’ Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you’ll find yourself shouting, “Bridget Jones is me!”

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

My review  ★★★

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Purity by Jackson Pearce

My review    ★★
A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

My review    ★1/2

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

   ★★★

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation so far.

Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.

Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.

Mind Games by Kiersten White

★★

Fia and Annie are as close as two sisters can be. They look out for each other. Protect each other. And most importantly, they keep each other’s secrets, even the most dangerous ones: Annie is blind, but can see visions of the future; Fia was born with flaw

 

less intuition—her first impulse is always exactly right.

When the sisters are offered a place at an elite boarding school, Fia realizes that something is wrong . . . but she doesn’t grasp just how wrong. The Keane Institute is no ordinary school, and Fia is soon used for everything from picking stocks to planting bombs. If she tries to refuse, they threaten her with Annie’s life.

Now Fia’s falling in love with a boy who has dark secrets of his own. And with his help, she’s ready to fight back. They stole her past. They control her present. But she won’t let them take her future.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

★★★

basis, n.

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it―you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving

How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to have fans of Boy Meets Boy eager to devour it. Here are 18 stories, all about love, all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love? With this original story collection, David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.

 

 

The Friday 56 (3)

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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.

ARCs

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend, Sebastian, know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian could never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

Physical Books

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Unflinching, heartbreaking and totally addictive, this novel will push your emotions to the limit.

Lena’s been to the very edge. She’s questioned love and the life-changing and agonising choices that come with it. She’s made her decision. But can she survive the consequences?

 

 

 

 

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena’s emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever…

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers – emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.

 

 

Never Never: Part Two by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisheer

“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can’t imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what’s happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, STOLEN is Gemma’s desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare–or die trying to fight it.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

 

 

 

The Friday 56 (3)

BookTubeAThon 2017 Wrap Up

The BookTubeAThon was my very first readathon that I participated in and I’m glad to say that I’m happy with how it went. Appart from not feeling well for the last couple of days, it went really well and I nearly completed all the reading challenges!

Reading challenges:

  1. Read a book with a person on the cover.

2. Read a hyped book.

3. Finish a book in one day.

4. Read about a character that is very different from you.

5. Finish a book completely outdoors.

I didn’t end up completing this challenge, mainly because I couldn’t bring myself to bear the cold.

6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.

7. Read seven books.

I ended up reading 5 1/2 books. I got halfway through

Overall, the BookTubeAThon was a great experience and I’d love to participate again in the following years.

The Friday 56 (3)

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan review

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published by Allen & Unwin in 2007
Genres: young adult, romance, contemporary
Pages: 183
Goodreads

Nick: “I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”

Norah: I answer his question by putting my hand around his neck and pulling his face down to mine.

Nick’s just seen the girl who dumped him walk in… with a new guy. What else can he do but ask the strange girl next to him to be his new girlfriend for the next five minutes?

Norah would do anything to avoid conversation with the not-friend girl who dumped Nick… and to get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never really dumped. What else can she do but answer Nick’s question by making out with him?

With one electric, unexpected kiss, the five-minute couple of Nick and Norah set off on an uncharted adventure called the “first date” that will turn into an infinite night of falling in and out (and in and out and maybe in and maybe out) of love. Theirs is a first date of music, laughter, heartache, confusion, passion, taxi driver wisdom, and a jacket named Salvatore. And of course, a killer soundtrack.

As Nick and Norah wonder through the middle-of-the-night mystic maze of Manhattan, they share the kind of night you never want to end, where every minute counts and every moment flickers between love and disaster.

REVIEW

I’m discovering that David Levithan can be a bit of a hit or miss for me, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, as well as The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, are two of my all time favourite books. But I didn’t so much as enjoy Will Grayson Will Grayson and unfortunately the same can be said for Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist follows two teens as they go on a night long date, told in the dual perspectives of Nick and Norah. I found the majority of the book to be internal thoughts, similar to a monologue style, where the character aimlessly goes off on a random tangent. I couldn’t connect to Nick and Norah in the slightest, and I felt that the few short hours we spent with them wasn’t enough to delve into them as characters. I didn’t dislike Nick or Norah, but they definitely weren’t memorable. One great aspect of this novel is the diversity, there are characters with different sexualities and religion and it’s treated as if it’s normalised.

Music plays a crucial part in this book, as Nick is in a band and Norah’s father is a record producer. Both hold music close to their hearts and throughout the night they watch bands perform and dance wildly in clubs. Nick and Norah use music as a way to connect to one another, as it’s something they share in common.

Overall, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist just wasn’t the book for me. But despite this, I am still planning on reading Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List, How They Met, Two Boy’s Kissing and Every Day.

★1/2

The Friday 56 (3)

 

Purity by Jackson Pearce review

Purity by Jackson Pearce
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on Apri; 24, 2012
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 218
Goodreads

A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

REVIEW

Purity is a short light read that sheds some light onto some more serious topics such as father-daughter relationships, sex and religion. Definitely a book that you can sit down and finish in one sitting!

The protagonist, Shelby, is a likeable character. She does her best to abide by her mother’s dying wishes and her dad’s rules and she never goes as far as to break them. Shelby is outgoing and lives her lives her life to the fullest, she even has a huge bucket-list that she’s been slowly making her way through with the help of her friends Jonas and Ruby. Jonas and Ruby were great friends, they were supportive of Shelby and understood how she had to live her life by her mum’s promises and her dad’s rules. They never pressure her into doing something that’s unreasonable and they always have Shelby’s best interest in mind. However, I felt like I couldn’t fully connect with the characters, this maybe because the book was so short. The only thing I still can’t wrap my head around is Shelby’s race to have sex before she vows to her dad that she’ll live a pure life. I partially understand where her reasoning comes from, but I think she ends up being a bit rash, doing whatever she can just to get the deed done. I didn’t necessarily agree with Shelby’s mindset or her actions, but she learnt some valuable lessons on the way.

Although Shelby is on a quest to finally have sex, there is little romance in this book whatsoever, I would say maybe only 1%. I didn’t exactly realise this while I was reading the book, and I feel like this book doesn’t require romance to get its point across.

The plot wasn’t the major point of the novel, instead, it focused more on Shelby’s character development and the lessons that she learnt. Contrasting the lighthearted feel of this book were some more serious topics including sex, father-daughter relationships, religion, promises, death, purity. Throughout the novel, Shelby questions her faith and her relationship with God, not understanding why he took her mother away from her. Shelby’s relationship with her own father develops profoundly, and she begins to understand that he just wants the best for her and that he wants to learn what Shelby truly wants in her life, instead of forcing things upon her. However, in saying this, I felt like Pearce just skimmed the surface of these topics, and she could’ve delved deeper in her exploration.

Overall, Purity is both a fluffy and serious-toned novel, and despite its short length is able to address some relevant issues.

★★

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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.

So again last week I found a whole bunch of books for really cheap so I couldn’t resist buying them!

Physical Books

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

Inside Out by Maria V. Synder

Keep Your Head Down.

Don’t Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, she’s certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the boy she left behind. Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure.

 

 

 

 

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them.
Never let Them know
you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase.
And I may not live to see my
eighteenth birthday.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Blood sings to blood, Froi . . .
Those born last will make the first . . .
For Charyn will be barren no more.
 

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home… Or so he believes…

Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Gripping and intense, complex and richly imagined, Froi of the Exiles is a dazzling sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, from the internationally best-selling and multi-award-winning author of Looking for AlibrandiSaving FrancescaOn the Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

If only they’d said no

What if they hadn’t gone? That’s the question Clementine can’t stop asking herself. It was just an ordinary backyard barbeque on a Sunday afternoon. They didn’t know their hosts that well. They were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that beautiful winter’s day.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One yapping dog. It’s a normal weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Once again Liane Moriarty uses her unique, razor-sharp observational skills to sift through the emerging fault lines of seemingly happy families.

It was just an ordinary Sunday afternoon…

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander. The family suffers as Hitler’s army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana’s family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler’s vast war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Clara Gardner knew that as a part angel she would one day have to fulfill her purpose, rescuing Christian from a forest fire…what she never considered was what might happen if she were to fail.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend Tucker, Clara must deal with the repercussions of what happened the day of the fire as the two boys vie for her heart. And, as she is drawn further into the world of angels and part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain after a shocking revelation, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning…

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

The past few years held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner ever could have anticipated. Yet through the dizzying high of first love to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she could no longer deny was that she was never meant to have a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seemed like the best option, so she’s headed back to California—and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must choose her fate once and for all.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Can true love be FORGOTTEN?

As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out – a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling STARCROSSED delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

 

 

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

 

 

Touch of Power by Maria V. Synder

The price of peace may well be her life…

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading teh plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogue who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader – an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own – is unequivocal in his demands; Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Aria has struggled to build a life for herself outside Reverie. It hasn’t been easy adjusting to life in the wilderness but that struggle has been worth it with Perry by her side.

But Perry has other challenges. His people are looking to him for answers. Answers about what happened to his nephew and what’s happening to their world. And they don’t trust the priviledged Aria, one of the enemy, in their midst.

Soon he’ll be forced to chose between the tribe that looks to him for leadership and the girl that looks to him for love.

 

Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star….

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for…and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall — together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

NEMESIS (n)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work – except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn’t hate him. And just maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds  

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

A Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Naomi ♥ Ely

And she’s kinda in love with him.

Ely ♥ Naomi

But he prefers to be in love with boys.

Naomi and Ely have been inseparable since childhood—partially because they’ve grown up across the hall from each other in the same Manhattan apartment building, and also because they’re best friends. Soul mates. Or are they? Just to be safe, they’ve created a NO KISS LIST—their list of people who are absolutely off-kissing-limits for both of them. The NO KISS LIST protects their friendship and esnures that nothing will rock the foundation of Naomi and Ely: the institution.

Until Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend. And a fateful piece of gum in the wrong place at the wrong time changes everything.

Soon a rift of universal proportions threatens to destroy their friendship, and it remains to be seen whether Naomi and Ely can find their way toward new soul-mate prospects… and back to one another.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story about love of all kinds, one that reminds us that any great friendship can be as confusing, treacherous, inspiring, and wonderful as any great romance.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

How They Met by David Levithan

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to have fans of Boy Meets Boy eager to devour it. Here are 18 stories, all about love, all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love? With this original story collection, David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.

 

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody review

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Published by Harlequin on July 24, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Pages: 384
Goodreads

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

I was kindly sent an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

Daughter of the Burning City is an alluring mystery set in the heart of an ever-burning travelling festival. Complete with distinctive one-of-a-kind characters and plot twists that will hit you when you’re least suspecting, this book will take you on a trip through the unimaginable.

The setting of the Gomorrah festival was both enticing and devilish, with its bewitching performance acts set amongst the provocative sex workers and corrupt criminals. This unique setting was one of the books strong points, conjuring an entrancing atmosphere to go alongside the murder mystery. However, going into this book I was anticipating a more wicked and sinister carnival feel to what this book ended up providing.

The wacky but wonderful characters that we are introduced to in Daughter of the Burning City are remarkably bizarre, each with their distinctive abilities and quirks. There were charm-workers, fortune-workers, poison-works and an entire variety of different magical abilities. The protagonist, Sorina, is exceptionally unique with her ability to create physical illusions, she also lacked eyes though she could see perfectly fine. The uniqueness of the characters was an aspect I relished, it was continually fascinating meeting new people with extraordinary capabilities. Sorina was a loveable character, she cared about her family of illusions so profoundly, when they started being murdered one by one she was determined to seek out the perpetrator. Although she is sixteen, Sorina was very mature and acted like a mother to her illusions, despite some of them being older than her. The characters are also diverse, with Sorina being attracted to both women and men and Nicoleta preferring women.

Luca was a charming character, and he definitely won me over with his confidence and charisma. He was an intriguing character, as it seemed there was constantly more to discover about him which supplied an air of mystery to him. Sorina and Luca’s relationship was sweet and endearing, it wasn’t merely physical attraction but their relationship was formed from getting to appreciate each other on a deeper level. Luca even says “I guess I don’t just look at someone and think…attraction […] it takes, I don’t know… I have to care about the person first.”

Being a murder mystery, the plot was suspenseful with two significant plot twists toward the end. We are constantly trying to unravel the mystery at hand, questioning everything. How can the illusions be killed? Who killed the illusions? Are the murders aimed to be a personal attack against Sorina? I had a few theories as to what I thought was occurring, but I was nowhere close to the truth! So when the plot twists were revealed I was completely shocked!

 

Amanda Foody’s writing complemented the story well, it didn’t interfere with the narrative, nor did it take away from it. I didn’t really notice anything significant regarding the writing because I felt that I blended seamlessly with the story.

Conclusively, Daughter of the Burning City is a solid debut set in a mystical festival consisting of striking characters and an astonishing mystery that is gradually unravelled piece by piece. Although I could say I was wanting a little bit more from this book, just a touch more wicked and whimsical, I still recommend it!

★★★

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BookTubeAThon 2017 TBR

This year I have decided to participate in the BookTubeAThon, I’ve never partaken in a readathon before, but I thought the BookTubeAThon would be the perfect way to start! All the books I have picked are under 300 pages, that way I can hopefully finish a book a day.

The reading challenges:

  1.  Read a book with a person on the cover.
  2.  Read a hyped book.
  3. Finish a book in one day.
  4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
  5. Finish a book completely outdoors.
  6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.
  7. Read seven books.

 

TBR:

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Challenge 1

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Challenges 1, 3 and 4

Fia and Annie are as close as two sisters can be. They look out for each other. Protect each other. And most importantly, they keep each other’s secrets, even the most dangerous ones: Annie is blind, but can see visions of the future; Fia was born with flawless intuition—her first impulse is always exactly right.

When the sisters are offered a place at an elite boarding school, Fia realizes that something is wrong . . . but she doesn’t grasp just how wrong. The Keane Institute is no ordinary school, and Fia is soon used for everything from picking stocks to planting bombs. If she tries to refuse, they threaten her with Annie’s life.

Now Fia’s falling in love with a boy who has dark secrets of his own. And with his help, she’s ready to fight back. They stole her past. They control her present. But she won’t let them take her future.

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

Challenges 5 and 6

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation so far.

Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.

Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Challenges 2 and 3

basis, n.

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it―you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

Purity by Jackson Pearce

Challenge 3

A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

Challenges 3 and 4

Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door.

His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things…

 

 

 

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Naomi ♥ Ely

And she’s kinda in love with him.

Ely ♥ Naomi

But he prefers to be in love with boys.

Naomi and Ely have been inseparable since childhood—partially because they’ve grown up across the hall from each other in the same Manhattan apartment building, and also because they’re best friends. Soul mates. Or are they? Just to be safe, they’ve created a NO KISS LIST—their list of people who are absolutely off-kissing-limits for both of them. The NO KISS LIST protects their friendship and esnures that nothing will rock the foundation of Naomi and Ely: the institution.

Until Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend. And a fateful piece of gum in the wrong place at the wrong time changes everything.

Soon a rift of universal proportions threatens to destroy their friendship, and it remains to be seen whether Naomi and Ely can find their way toward new soul-mate prospects… and back to one another.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story about love of all kinds, one that reminds us that any great friendship can be as confusing, treacherous, inspiring, and wonderful as any great romance.

 

Are you participating in the BookTubeAThon? What books are you planning on reading?

The Friday 56 (3)

 

 

How I Write Book Reviews: guest post with Namitha @ Teen Memoir

Hey, everyone! I’m Namitha over @teenmemoir and today I’m going to be doing a guest post on Katie’s blog all about How I Write Book Reviews. Click here to check out Katie’s post on how she bookstagrams! She seriously posts the best pictures and I’m in love with her Instagram feed! Working with Katie was honestly so much fun and I hope to collab with her more in the future!

Tips/Things to Remember

Have an outline: Before you start writing, have an idea of what exactly you want to say in your review. Think and organize your thoughts. For example; Make a list of the things you liked/hated most in the book. Ask yourself questions like “What stood out to me the most?” or “What could have been better?” Then, try to group them under categories such as plot, characters, writing, pros, cons, etc. Next, outline your review. Do you want it to be a long write up? Do you want it to be in bullets? What do you want to say in each paragraph/category? Basically, find an outline that works best for you. I’ll be talking about my outline further ahead of this post.

Avoid summarizing: By this, I don’t mean you shouldn’t include a summary at all. Sometimes providing a summary of the novel can be beneficial to the readers. It can help in understanding the theme of the novel in a much better way. However, some reviewers tend to include a lengthy account of the events that happened in the novel and I really don’t see the point in that. The whole point of a book review is to make the reader read/not read the book, so why break the whole story down for them?

Spoil with care: Again, I don’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate a few spoilers into your review. Just make sure to include a “SPOILER ALERT” or a “SPOILERY DISCUSSION” wherever necessary. Sometimes, though, reviewers accidentally reveal a little too much than intended without realizing that it is a spoiler. Reviewers may think that they are just giving more information, but this can be a little dangerous. While you’re proofreading, I suggest that you ask yourself if you wouldn’t mind knowing this particular information before reading the book. That way, it’ll make you think if you’re spoiling your readers or not.

Make it crisp: I think it’s fair to establish the fact that we, reviewers, think way more about these books than we mention in our reviews. It’s just impossible to fit everything into one review. True story; my book review for The Upside of Unrequited was almost 2 ½ pages long! An important thing that you should remember is to make your review crisp and straight to the point. You need to remember that you are writing this review for others to read and judge and that you need to make it interesting for them. While proofreading, try to put yourself in the shoes of a reader and edit the parts that seem dragged or unnecessary.

Add quotes: This tip may seem needless, but using quotes from the book that you are reviewing can make your review much more interesting! Quotes are pretty much self-explanatory and make the readers know exactly what kind of book it is without giving too much away. Personally, I haven’t used quotes for all of my book reviews, but the difference is pretty evident.
“Good quotes make a good review” Lol.

Be honest: Writing a book review is all about being honest. However, being honest while reviewing an ARC becomes a little difficult. The first ever ARC I reviewed (Paper Hearts) was an okay read for me, but I felt obligated to give a good rating as they were one of the first publishers to approve my request. After a lot of thinking I decided to be honest and straightforward. I thoroughly explained the things that I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. I ended up giving it 3.5 stars. I believe that you should be grateful for receiving an ARC and thank the publisher, but that shouldn’t stop you from being honest.

Outline

My Outline:

Introductory paragraph: There are certain things that I include in this paragraph: start/finish date, a short gist of what the book is about, things I liked in a nutshell and basically whether I enjoyed the book or not.

Second paragraph/Writing style: While writing about the writing style I mainly keep two things in mind: its descriptiveness and authenticity. Don’t worry! It’s not as complicated as it sounds like! When I talk of descriptiveness I mean how the author described things, what words he/she used, whether his/her writing flew and whether it was hard/easy to imagine what he/she was trying to describe. By authenticity I mean whether the author has described the plot/character in an authentic way. Whether the character’s emotions/thoughts/actions seemed genuine and raw or not.

Third paragraph/Plot: In this paragraph, I talk about how interesting the plot seemed to me. Is it unique? Does it try to make a difference? Is it slow/fast paced? What was the intent of the author when he/she created the plot? Was the plot executed in an efficient manner? These are some of the questions that I explore.

Fourth paragraph/Characters: I usually talk about the protagonists of the novel here. I write about their characteristics and how it contemplated the plot of the novel. I also write about character building and development and whether it was/wasn’t organized throughout the novel.

Concluding paragraph/Overall + Rating: In the last paragraph, I add a few words that describe this novel in whole and rate it. I also explain the reasons for my particular rating. I end the review by mentioning whether I would/wouldn’t recommend this book.

Other bloggers’ outlines:

Nerd in New York

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https://novelersblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/the-girl-at-midnight-book-review-an-action-packed-read/

Distinctive feature(s): I love the way she categorizes her review into plot, characters, writing style and final rating. I also like how she talks about the pros and cons of the plot and organizes her thoughts into bullet points.

Krysti YA and Wine

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https://yaandwine.com/2017/07/17/little-monsters-review-and-pre-order-giveaway/

Distinctive feature(s): The wine pairing is such a cool concept! Basically, she pairs a wine that corresponds to the theme of the particular novel that she reviewed! Sometimes she also includes aesthetics that remind her of the book!

Teacher of YA

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https://teacherofya.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/zodiac-romina-russell-review-and-giveaway/

Distinctive feature(s): Along with the review and rating, Stephanie also mentions whether this book is classroom appropriate and has a separate rating system for that feature! So cool, right?! Along with that, she talks about how age appropriate it is and how this book could be included in the school curriculum.

As you can see, there are a ton of different ways you can review! You can also be creative and add unique things of your own! There’s no one perfect format.

 

Thanks so much for reading guys! Hope you took something out from my post today!

Have a great day!
Bye 
Namitha

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!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Book beginning:

I peek from behind the tattered velvet curtains at the chattering audience, their mouths full of candied pineapple and kettle corn.

56%:

He grabs my hand and twirls me around quicker than Blister’s top, and I’m spinning too fast to remember to be sad. At one point he dips me so low that my hair brushes the floor. He makes quite the show of waltzing around the dance floor.

 

The Friday 56 (3)