Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Reading Quest Sign-Up and TBR


I haven't posted in a loooooong time as I've sort of quit blogging but in a rush decision today I've decicided to participate in #TheReadingQuest hosted by Read at Midnight.

Hopefully, this read-a-thon will motivate me to read more as I want to complete the minimum 5 books for my character class!


I've decided to take the path of the Mage~



Main Questline:
  • A Book With a One Word Title: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  • A Book That Contains Magic: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
  • A Book Based on Mythology: The Savage Dawn (The Girl at Midnight #3) by Melissa Grey
  • A Book Set in a Different World: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray
  • The First Book of a Series: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily #1) by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan



Side Quests:

  • Expansion: Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Mini-Game: Paper Girls volume 3
  • Potions: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan


  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Firstly, thanks to Pan Macmillan for this review copy <3



Date Read: July 15 - 19 2017
Date Released: July 1st 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My Rating:

Synopsis:
"Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she's scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it's a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back - and how to bring her sister home?

Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he's only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.

As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Álvaro's disappearance - and return - their planets start to collide. Linny's life is about to become technicolor, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters."

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If Birds Fly Back is one of those lovely contemporaries that warm your heart and move you with its deeper meaning.

Linny is still grieving over her sister leaving 5 months prior. With nothing but a note, her sister disappeared into the night leaving Linny behind. She feels completely lost without her sister as she believes she lived in her sister’s shadow. When a missing author/movie star suddenly reappears, she thinks that by spending time with him she can understand the reasons why he left and came back, and that this can in turn lead her to Grace. She thinks she’s wandering along listlessly through the book but she’s actually learning to be herself and realising what she wants. I liked her strength of character, the way she spoke her mind even though she considered herself shy. Sorosiak showed Linny’s love for film and photography through the way she perceived the world and noticed the small details in her surroundings.

Sebastian on the otherhand has been wondering his whole life where his father is. When he suddenly finds out said father is alive he literally jumps at the chance to meet him and ask him why he abandoned Sebastian and his mum. But his dad isn’t what Sebastian hoped for and the more time he spends with him, the more confused he is and more questions are raised. I guess Sebastian’s growth was his aim for his closure but I feel he didn’t grow as much as Linny. I wasn’t really sure about his love for astrophysics, other than being told this fact and he was going to Cal Tech to study it. He had more of an obsession with a particular book rather than astrophysics overall in my opinion.

I really liked the different secondary characters. Cass especially interested me. At first I thought she was the beautiful but mean girl who was using Linny to make herself look better. As I kept reading though I understood there was so much more to her. Then there’s Alvaro whose cryptic phrases added to Linny and Sebastian’s already many questions. I also really enjoyed Linny’s interactions with her parents, who she forgets are also victims in the whole Grace missing situation.

The romance is cute and the attraction is definitely there. I felt like Sebastian was attracted more to Linny especially in the beginning. Honestly though I can’t say I cared too much about romance as I was there more for their individual journeys.

The plot is quite interesting as they try to figure out where Alvaro’s been for the past 3 years. But it was quite obvious to me after a few chapters in what had happened to him. I can’t say it was anything profound for me but for the characters I guess it was a shock. While the plot was different, I didn’t feel like If Birds Fly Back astounded me as a lot of contemporaries out these days have deeper meaning plots too. I would have liked Linny’s chapter heading bits to actually relate to the chapter. The writing is well developed though and I couldn’t tell this was Sorosiak’s YA debut.

I think I might sound harsher than I intended in this review. I want to point out that I actually really enjoyed If Birds Fly Back, but I’ve been in a massive reading slump and almost nothing has impressed me lately haha. Great writing and interesting characters made for a lovely summer read about understanding why people leave.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Firstly, thanks to Date a Book (Hachette Australia) for this review copy <3



Date Read: June 8 - 24 2017
Date Released: May 30th 2017
Publisher: Hodder
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My Rating:

Side note: This review has been a long time coming but I’ve been in a massive reading slump and by proxy, reviewing slump since coming back from Europe. I got really sick – I haven’t had such a debilitating cold in 10 years – and then work/life got in the way. BUT HERE IT IS.

Synopsis:
"The arranged-marriage YA romcom you didn't know you wanted or needed...

Meet Dimple.
Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination.

Meet Rishi.
He's rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she's got other plans...

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways."

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When Dimple Met Rishi was so adorable I was fully set on recreating the cover for an Instagram post - me holding my Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino (because I don’t drink coffee), biting my straw and grinning… but then Starbucks stuffed up my order (why does it always happen at this one Starbucks? Why do I never learn?) and I gave up. Anyway my point is, I loved this book so much I thought it was worth the effort had Starbucks not gotten my order wrong.

I was showing one of my Indian colleagues WDMR to help me translate some of the phrases and she said all the Dimples she knew had very happy/bubbly personalities. I can’t say that’s the same for this particular Dimple though. If I had one word to describe her, it would be FIERCE. I could relate to this girl so much – she’s a feminist but at the same time she cannot deny her culture which has conservative traditions. I loved how she felt conflicted because she wanted to uphold those values and make her parents happy, while still putting her ambitions and career first. She is driven, dedicated but also a great friend. During her 6 weeks at Insomnia Con, she’s on a journey to self-actualisation with the people around her and it was so endearing to watch her grow.

Rishi couldn’t be more of an opposite to Dimple if he tried. And yet they were also very similar. While Dimple tried to put her career progression over her parents’ traditional wants for her, Rishi embraced everything culturally. But they are both wonderful friends who stick up for others, loving children who want to please their parents, and all round great people who I honestly wish I knew in real life. Rishi, the hopeless romantic that he is, warmed my heart. I wanted to give him a big hug and tell him to step back and slow down. He seems to have everything sorted out, or does he? I loved that Rishi wasn’t there as just the love interest, he’s got his own story and things to figure out himself. Can I just say I would LOVE to see his art work?

The romance ermagherd. So so SO cute. I loved the way it started, with Dimple throwing her coffee at Rishi. I adore romances that start off with either party (or both) hating the other. Then watching them get to know each other, grow accustomed to one another, find out that hey, they actually like some of their qualities. The outings they planned with each other were so thoughtful (RISHI U R TRU MVP), like let me find a guy like that in real life. Not gonna lie, the romance was quite full on I was like HEY FRIENDS MAYBE HIT PAUSE YOU’RE- ok well if you must, carry on LMAO because I shipped it so hard. But y’all know it’s never quite that simple and remember they’re both only at this con for 6 weeks so…???

The plot doesn’t lose focus which I think Menon deserves extra brownie points for. There’s a lot going on with the romance, the side stories with friendships and family. I loved Celia and Ashish, and the way they juxtaposed Dimple and Rishi. At the heart of it all is Dimple’s purpose at Insomnia Con: to develop an app that will win the con and allow her to meet her programming idol. Dimple will do anything to win, and Menon has her step out of her comfort zone which really added to my belief in Dimple’s dedication. I want to add that I’m so appreciative of Menon for making the ‘bitchy/bad person’ the guys. In so many books I feel like women are demonised, labelled the ‘bitch’ but here the females all kind of stick up for each other. In my own personal experience, when guys want to be horrible/gossipy they’re a million times worse than girls – the stuff they say is more malicious and hurtful. So yeah, GIRL POWER.

Menon’s writing is fun and engaging, her characters multifaceted and the kind of real people you know in real life. She gives the whole San Francisco setting a little extra oomph by introducing us non-SF noobs to Karl. YES, APPARENTLY SAN FRANCISO PEOPLE HAVE NAMED THEIR FOG. I can vouch for this because I asked my SF friend and he said it’s an attraction. He then proceeded to show me a time lapse and Karl looks like this sea and it’s cool and also kind of creepy. This really gives the whole book the tech-vibe because ya know SF, Silicon Valley?



I hear Menon’s next book is called From Twinkle, With Love? Gimme!