October ’16 Wrap Up

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Hello everyone!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I am here today to wrap up all the things I read, posted and accomplished in October. This month was a lot calmer than the last one, thank God. There were still some ups and downs but that’s how life is. I also read a lot more books than I thought I was going to. I had a lot of fun in the Halloween readathon! I got to talk to a lot of people on Twitter because I made the effort to interact on the hashtag and while I didn’t read as much from that list of books, I read a lot from my overall TBR and I can’t wait to show you guys my thoughts!

SO let’s get started!

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ARC Review – The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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The Sun Is Also A Star Cover

The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Publication: November 1st, 2016

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

Format: e-ARC, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: October 2016

Nicola YoonGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Penguin Random House UK Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

5 Stars

Synopsis
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book was so good! The plot takes place in the course of one day. The basic plot is about the whirlwind romance of the two main characters and they obstacles they have to overcome individually and together. However, it also deals with family, race, immigration, discrimination, love, regret, faith and honesty. The way all of these themes are interwoven together in this book is just beautiful.

Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
I became a huge fan of Yoon’s writing style when I read her debut novel, Everything, Everything but this one was so much more! She has a tendency to always add unique formats to her storytelling and this book was enchanting because of that special aspect. It’s beautiful, intense, powerful and smart. It deals with the different themes head on and both points of view were interesting and easy to read. I loved it.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Natasha and Daniel are the main characters in this novel and they couldn’t be more different from each other. Natasha is an immigrant from Jamaica who has spent most of her adolescent life in the United States. She’s about to start her senior year when her family gets deported and that makes her angry and jaded and scared. She’s really smart and she’s loves science. But she has a very practical and logical view of the world which would honestly drive me crazy if she was my friend. She’s sad and vulnerable and on her last day in the US is where Daniel shows up. He is a first generation Korean American who has dreams of becoming a poet but is dealing with the expectations his parents have for his future. He’s sweet and kind and romantic. He lets himself be taken away by life and what it brings into his path. He has a lot of pressure on his shoulders and he almost feels like he’s going down the path of eternal unhappiness so he takes a little detour and becomes rebellious. They worked well together despite all of their differences. And one of my favorite things about this book is getting to know their side characters and their stories from the little anecdotes written in from their points of view.

Emotionally

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The Cover Switch Tag

the-cover-switch-tag

Hello everyone!

I am here today to share another tag, but one that is pretty unique. I saw Emma @ llady literary do this tag a while ago and it looked super interesting and kind of challenging so I thought, why not try it out myself?

Basically you have to pick two books which you could swap covers (sans title and author) but would still stay true to the theme of the book.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

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Labyrinth Lost Cover

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklynn Brujas #1)

Author: Zoraida Cordova

Publication: September 6th, 2016

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBTQ+

Read: September 2016

Zoraida CordovaGoodreads

 

 

4 Stars

Synopsis
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is totally action packed and exciting, though it could get a bit confusing. The world we travel to, Los Lagos, is such an expansive and well described world though I had issues picturing it sometimes. This story is full of magic, family, self-acceptance and just a little splash of romance. It was really fun and entertaining and I’m looking forward to the next book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Cordova’s writing style is simple and easy to read. It’s descriptive and detailed but like I mentioned above, sometimes I had a hard time picturing things, though that could be just me. The narration and point of view is a bit dry because of the main character and I felt like I couldn’t feel from her enough. But I loved that it was fast paced and that it had so much Latinx influence and Spanish dialect in it.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
There’s a huge cast of characters in this series but I feel like I didn’t get to know them as much as I wanted to. Alex is the narrator and our main character. She’s actually a bit selfish but it comes from a place of fear and worry. She’s reluctant (to say the least) to receive her powers and her family blessing and she does anything to stop it which causes a huge back fire that affects her entire family. However on her journey she becomes determined and powerful. Towards the end she’s remorseful and much more willing to embrace her destiny. Yet, even with all this emotional turmoil and trauma, I just felt like I didn’t get much emotion from her. I didn’t feel her pain or struggle as intimately as I wanted to. There are two side characters that get more attention in this book than the rest and I found both of them to be really different from each other. One is smart, sweet and funny. They have a very gentle personality but also tends to be really encouraging and positive. They also have great sassy comebacks that pretty much made my day. The other is a lot more mysterious and quiet. They put up a front to protect themselves but also come off as rude and uncaring at times which was annoying. Alex’s family is also a huge part of this book and while I loved their dynamic and how each member was a complex individual, I felt like I didn’t get to see Alex’s relationship with them as much because they were absent from her presence throughout most of the book. I hope that’s rectified in the next one.

Emotionally

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Book Traveling Thursdays Oct. 27th – Halloween Is Here!

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Hello everyone!

It’s BTT time! This is a weekly meme created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch. You can find all of the information you’ll need to participate on the Goodreads page.

This week’s topic is Halloween is here! Choose a spooky read that you have either read or want to read. I don’t really read a lot of spooky books (not counting this month). I tend to designate October as the one and only month where I read things that scare me because I have issues. I decided to pick a book that I read last year and which I enjoyed and whose companion novella I hope I’ve already finished reading this year.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Oct. 26th – Favorite Spooky Settings

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Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Favorite Spooky Settings. And I thought  a lot about what my choices could be because I don’t read a lot of spooky or scary books (besides this month) but I am easily creeped out by a lot of things. And this list turned out to be a mix of contemporary thrillers, paranormal retellings and some mythology as well.

Mild spoilers ahead if you have not read some of these books. Beware as you read.

SO let’s get started!

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The Amsterdam Book Tag

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Hello everyone!

It’s that time of the week again where I shared one of the many tags I’ve got backlogged (it’s a lot guys). The lovely Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much tagged me to do The Amsterdam Book Tag. I’ve never been to Amsterdam (or Europe for that matter) but I’ve heard it’s a really beautiful place. It was really interesting to learn a bit more about the city and what happens there through this tag.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – Yellow by Megan Jacobson

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Yellow Cover

Yellow

Author: Megan Jacobson

Publication: February 1st, 2016

Publisher: e-penguin

Format: Kindle Edition, 239 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal

Read: September 2016

Megan JacobsonGoodreads

 

 

4 Stars

Synopsis
If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth.
Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he makes her popular, gets her parents back together, and he promises not to haunt her. Things aren’t so simple, however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This story was a mix between a coming-of-age story and a paranormal experience. It felt like I was reading two stories at once. It was raw and honest and powerful. It was really emotional and all about the main character’s growth. I loved the setting as well since I’ve never read a book set in Australia before. It was a bit disorienting at first but I fell in love with it.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s very simple but manages to pack an emotional punch. It’s honest and real. It’s really easy to read which made the book fast paced. It has a certain poetic edge and is full of different kinds of metaphors which I found completely beautiful. It’s so powerful and beautiful and emotional and it lent so well to the story it was telling.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book is all about Kirra who immidiately annoyed me when I first started reading this book. She’s quiet and shy and has a meek personality. She lets herself be manipulated into friendships and situations that she doesn’t want to be in. However, she’s really smart and kind. Slowly she starts to meet people that accept her and she starts to realize that she can change the things she doesn’t like about her life. She has a more hopeful attitude and I loved the growth that happens with her character throughout the whole book. However, Willow is my favorite character in this book. She’s kind of everything that Kirra isn’t. She’s spunky and honest. She has a take no shit attitude and a tell it like it is phillosphy which I appraciate. I liked the way she was introduced in the book and how she became a part of Kirra’s life. Lastly there’s Noah who while I found kind of cute, definitely didn’t feel like he added much to the story and was kind of unnecessary in my opinion. There’s also a lot of focus on Kirra’s relationship with her parents and I really liked that aspect.

Emotionally

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Monthly Obsessions #8

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Hello everyone!

I am so excited to bring you my monthly obsessions for this month because I have so many things to say! Not only has this month been amazing for cover releases (and it’s been really hard to pick a favorite) but I also started re-watching one of my favorite series of all time in honor of this month and I have something new that I’m currently obsessed with to share with you!

SO let’s get started!

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The Actor Book Tag

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Hello everyone!

It’s Saturday again and I’m doing another tag because I have a huge list that I still need to do and I have no other ideas for features! Anyway, Monique @ That Wild Soul tagged me to do the Actor Book Tag, so thank you so much! This one is actually a bit more complicated than the ones I’m used to since I kind of have to pick my own actors but we’ll see what happens.

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who tagged you
  2. Chose your own 8 actors (or you can use the ones I gave you) and create descriptions and compare them to book characters like I did
  3. Put in photos of them from the movie roll
  4. Answer what book character fits the same description as the movie character
  5. List 8 people to tag

SO let’s get started!

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