Monday, October 30, 2017

Mini Reviews: Now is Everything by Amy Giles and The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

From Goodreads: The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret. Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed. When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Now is Everything by Amy Giles was a fast-paced, engaging read. Alternating between the present where Hadley is the sole survivor of a plane crash and flashbacks that show Hadley’s life in the months leading up to the crash, Giles had me wondering if the plane crash was really accidental. While the plot was interesting, I found the romance somewhat unbelievable. I can never buy into the premise that a player suddenly becomes faithful to one girl because “she’s different from all the other girls before her!” 

Now is Everything will be released on November 7, 2017 by HarperTeen! 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.
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From Goodreads: Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father - whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war - Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance. Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified - but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure. But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power. With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Lauren DeStefano’s The Glass Spare was a book I was really looking forward to reading because it features a princess who turns people into gemstones when in a state of adrenalin. For some reason however, the beginning of the book failed to captivate me, despite Wil killing someone she loved and being banished by her father from her kingdom. When Loom was then introduced as a character, I knew The Glass Spare was a lost cause because Loom pretty much fell for Wil after meeting her, without knowing anything about her. The final strike against this book was a cliffhanger ending that left me feeling bored and gave me no reason to continue on with this series. 

The Glass Spare was released by Balzer + Bray on October 24, 2017.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

Helloooo ... anybody still here? With teaching, tutoring and taking a course, I feel like there's barely any time to read, let alone blog; and as a result, I've kind of neglected this space in the past month or so. I'm hoping to slowly get back into the swing of things, but I make no promises. I did recently read Anna Priemaza's Kat and Meg Conquer the World however, so here's my review of it. 
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From Goodreads: Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They’re both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos. It might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship - if they don’t kill each other first. 

My Rating: Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: You know how sometimes you read a book with no expectations and it completely surprises you? Well, Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza was that book for me. I read it simply because the author was a Canadian, without caring much for the cover or skimming the synopsis like I usually do.

Since Kat and Meg Conquer the World chronicles Meg and Kat’s daily lives, it’s important that you connect with the characters … and Priemaza does a fantastic job of making you care about them. Even rarer, this is a YA book that focuses on a realistic, positive female friendship. I loved how Meg encouraged Kat to deal with her anxiety and how Kat helped Meg become more focused. What I couldn’t relate to as much unfortunately was how obsessed the two girls were over a gamer on YouTube. I know many gamers are very popular on YouTube – Pewdiepie is just one example – but I just don’t get why. Thankfully, Kat and Meg Conquer the World is written well enough that it will appeal to readers even if they don’t love online gaming and fictional YouTube gamers.

Kat and Meg Conquer the World will be released on November 7, 2017 by HarperTeen. 

Comments About the Cover: Staring at that background too long gives me a headache! 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.
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