Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Sun is also a Star


Being an immigrant is hard, what's more to say when one is born in a country that people still sees you in colour instead of your nationality. No matter how much you love your country, sometimes the people in it can put your spirits down. 

The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon tackles that issue, an illegal immigrant, an Asian born into a western country how different it is for the both of them and what happens when they meet. This is my first attempt of this author as her debut book was greatly raved about and also the movie was just released not too long ago. An author who so quickly have a movie based on her debut book is surely one good writer or so I expected. I have to say after reading quite numerous amounts of contemporary in the young adult category I was not amazed or captured by this book. In my honest opinion the spark just isn't there for me but I appreciated the messages that was highlighted. 

Bringing forward the issues of migration, it is tough when parents make the decision to move their children from their home country to somewhere new and then when there's so much to offer, moving them back again. The female characters feels that she will be isolated going back as she no longer understand the culture of her home country yet not accepted in America where she's loving currently. There is much to lose for her and while trying to sort her problems she met the male lead. He is lost as whether to live up to his parent's expectation or to live his own dreams. Being the Asian in America, his parents gave up much to move and all they want is to see their children succeed.

We all know sometimes it doesn't end well as Daniel is struggling to make a choice. When he first met Natasha, she caught his attention and soon he is pursuing something that is out of the norm for him. Their relationship is a fast pace one and I think it developed in a quite reasonable way, I appreciated that it wasn't some insta-love that I'm reading even though everything happened in the time span of a day. Both characters are unique and realistic when it comes to the circumstances that they grew up in. I enjoyed reading about their past and their interactions with their family. I guess that is the part which impressed me.

The other thing unique about this book is apart from having the POV of the main characters, other characters who cross their path have a small story of their own to tell. I enjoy how the characters interact with each other, how their fates intertwined and affect each other. This is the unique part of the book.

The flow and pace of the book is good, everything happens at great timing. I did not think that the twist and turns were shocking at all, just mediocre and predictable. Overall I like that in a span of one day these things could happen but then again this is fiction. I did not fell in love with this book hence I felt that if I missed out on this book, it would not make a difference in my book reading journey. I probably have to read her debut book to have a better judgement of her writing. This was just an okay book for me, I would not recommend if you are a reader who wants more emotions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By Your Side



When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn't think things could get any worse, But that's before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn't know much about Dax except that he's trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he's not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn't come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn's old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax's side? - excerpt from book

By Your Side by Kasie West is a young adult contemporary. Never judge a book by its thickness as this was quite a surprise for me thinking it'll be that typical girl meets boy romance. The summary of the plot was about two teenagers being trapped and something would happen. There is more of course, a heartfelt message about the foster system, about perception and judgements and also dealing with anxiety. 

I did not expect a young adult romance book to have such serious topics injected and it certainly gave the characters some flare. I enjoyed how we get a glimpse of the female lead's past that relates to her influenced perception of the male lead. It was crucial to know how she used to think and how it would change along with the plot. Having their own personal problems yet trying to live life as normal as they could, these two young leads have quite strong personalities that makes their interaction fun to read about. As the individuals that they are, it was realistic for them to react the way they did.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It Ends With Us


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 the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon name 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. - excerpt from book.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is a new adult genre and it's my first time attempting it. There have been many raves about this author for this genre, so I decided to try it by reading the latest published book. I went in without any expectations and I was quickly hooked to it. I really love it from the start to end as it brings out a good topic of domestic abuse.

Jumping into the plot, the beginning itself will capture your attention as a little bit of mystery surfaces for the characters. I love that the timeline of the story progresses with a good pace where days and months are clearly mentioned and not everything happens in a short period of time. As we  journey further, there were some twist and turns that were fun to read about and when the big one comes it makes such an impact that you will feel for the characters. The author does a great job in keeping you addicted to the pages.

The characters surely gave life to the story while stressing on the importance of the message. I love how the main heroine meets all the new people in her life and their interactions with her is intriguing and heart warming. Her relationships with other characters are well written and realistic. I especially love her interactions with the men in her life and the conflicts it causes has so much tension. The thoughts of the main heroine is definitely realistic and thought provoking for women in love. I often feel pain and sadness for her, not that I can relate to it but I definitely can sympathise with her.

Overall I quite enjoyed my time with the book as it managed to keep me interested and I wanted to read it as soon as I had free time. I did tear a bit as it was such a dear story to the author herself. The author has certainly made it to my authors to take note of list and I'm excited to read her other books. If you're new to her and this genre I suggest to just try any of the other titles as most of it have quite good reviews. Readers who enjoy realistic love should pick up this book and I hope your heart will be touched. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life





Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn't really hers. But on day her dreams are bound to come true, aren't they?

Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-sucessful boss Demeter giver her the sack. All Katie's hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then, Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter- the woman who has everything- actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems - excerpt from book.

My not so perfect life from Sophie Kinsella is a standalone novel about a woman who lost her job and maybe her dreams and then an opportunity to get revenge surfaces. This author is naturally an auto buy for me as I have always been well entertained with her stand alone novel for years. The summary at the back of the book is just the surface of the book and it's one with more meaning to it than you expect. 

It's definitely funny at certain parts and also some self discovery. At first I was a tad annoyed with the main character Katie as I felt that she can be long winded and too naive but as the story progresses there's more to her than meets the eye and I'm glad that the character did have some growth. As for the side characters they surely made interactions fun and interesting. I think those characters actually kept the story going at some point in the middle and you could feel the pull of wanting more for them. The personalities of those characters complements the actions and attitude of Katie quite well.

The flow of the story was a bit dry here and there which did not grasp my attention well enough until part two started and then I was hooked. The twists in the book weren't really jaw dropping but just mediocre to the point that I could predict some of it. 

But nonetheless it's the typical Sophie Kinsella writing that you would expect and to compare with her other books this was not impressive. I would have prefer more Oh My God moments between Katie and a certain someone and more emotional between the family. As those laugh out loud moments, I still felt it was lacking as I have been spoilt by her other books. I will give credit to the meaning of this book and what the author is trying to tell her readers. In this current technology generation, it's obvious that we should always be reminded you only see what you see, you do not know other people's story. It's a quick read so if you're a fan of Sophie then I think this would be a good book to read but not necessary. If you have not tried any of her titles, this book is not a good start because it does not highlight her best writing, I would introduce you to Twenties Girl or Can you keep a secret.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Holding Up The Universe



Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, but no one's ever looked past her weight to see who she really is. Since her mum's death, Libby's been hiding, but now she's ready for high school. 

I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too- sexy, aloof and too cool for school. But Jack's swaggering confidence is hiding a secret he must keep at all costs.

Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone.

Then Jack meets Libby. And their worlds change. 

Because sometimes when you meet someone, the whole universe just comes into focus. - excerpt from book.

Holding Up The Universe from Jennifer Niven is a young adult contemporary story. Firstly I have to say the tile sounded serious where it somehow indicated to me that it's tough to carry burdens. Never judge a book by its title of course as in taking in its literal meaning. This book is about a girl with a struggle meeting a boy with a different struggle from very unlikely social circles. The struggles faced by both parties are somewhat unique especially the boy's. What drawn me to the book is the fact that the first book this author wrote gained many fans so I decided to give her another shot. I preferred this book more than the first because of those struggles.

The point of view was a swap between the two of them and I guess I'm used to this style of writing from her previous book so it wasn't amazing or anything. It's good to have two perspectives because we all view the world and our struggles differently. Taking into account of what the main characters are going through, it is quite realistic and also a slight eye opening effect on the boy's condition. Needless to say I've learnt something from this book.

The interaction between characters were quite good and I love how they react to other people's actions. I love the attitude of the girl and how she tries to overcome her struggles. The boy was just okay as I thought he would step up more but alas he did not meet my expectations. The plot of the book was mediocre, having some flashbacks were good while the twists were just minor shocking for me. The pace was slow at the start and it picked up halfway through. I had a hard time reading it at first but power through the middle and got my attention captured awhile.

I would not say this was a fantastic contemporary book as it did not make an impact for me. I did not cry or feel related to the characters. In the end, it felt like a book telling me about the problems of this world and I just learn a little bit about what could be the reactions of a teenager. If you loved the author's first book then I'm pretty sure you'll like this too but I wouldn't recommend this for those who wants your emotion drawn out.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Boy is Back



Reed Steward thought he'd left all his small-town troubles - including a broken heart- behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich abd famous on the professional golf circuit. Then one tiny post on the internet causes all those troubles to return... with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior-relocation business, but she's worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns- until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can't avoid another- or the memories of that one fateful night. And soon everything they theought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they- and the entire town of Bloomville- might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back. - except from book.

The Boy Is Back from Meg Cabot is a standalone book in the Boy series. I absolutely loved this book as it was so funny from start to end. I laughed out loud multiple times and have gotten weird glances those times. The format of the book is text messages, emails and etc which made it a breeze to read and it was quite refreshing for me. I noticed I quite like formats like these most of the time and that's because it's simple and straight to the point conversations. Sometimes I don't see the point of romance novels with too much descriptions, I love reading more on interactions or conversations between characters.

Whenever some event happens it's talked about in their conversations and it is so funny to read about because the reactions of the characters are reflected through it. How they handle the situation is also wonderfully projected in the conversations. I honestly think Meg Cabot is quite an expert when it comes to romance comedy, she will pull you in with the comedy and the romance subtlety at first and it just gets better and better.The plot of the book is smooth with some twists and turns that were interesting. It has page turning effect on you.

I would call this a quick read for sure as it's not too thick of a book but the entertainment value of it is just great. You'll not be disappointed if you love romcoms and I guarantee that if you're a Meg Cabot fan you'll love it even more. If you have not read anything from this author previously, I'm pretty sure this will hook you in, just be ready to laugh out loud in public. 
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