Weekly Wrap-Up – August 19

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Giant Days

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I reading Giant Days by Non Pratt.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the publisher behind Lumberjanes, Giant Days follows the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen. While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university. And it’s a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key–something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere . . .), Esther and Susan decide it’s up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend.

What book are you in bed with today?

Review: In Real Life

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Title: In Real Life
Author: Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author (Little Brother, For the Win) and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow and Koko Be Good creator Jen Wang, In Real Life is a perceptive and high-stakes look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash.

Review:

I’ve always loved video games. One of my favourites, World of Warcraft, is similar to the game Coarsegold that Anda plays  in this book. This book shows both the positive and negative parts of gaming.

Anda’s mother was worried about Anda playing games online. She didn’t want her to speak to strangers. She told her to only speak to kids her age, but you can’t tell how old someone is online. Her suspicions were validated when she sees strange deposits into her PayPal account, which was from the gold farmers that Anda had stopped in the game.

There are also good sides of gaming. Anda made a good friend from another part of the world, which wouldn’t have been possible without the game. She even helped organize a protest for the gold farmers to get health care provided in their jobs.

The game taught Anda how to be a better person, much to her mother’s surprise. I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it for kids and adults!

What to read next:

  • Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

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  • Tournament Trouble by Sylv Chiang and Connie Choi

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Have you read In Real Life? What did you think of it?

 

Stacking the Shelves – August 18

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I received two books from Thomas Allen & Sons this week:

  • The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

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  • The Letting Go by Deborah Markus

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What books did you get this week?

Blog Tour Review: Entrapped

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Title: Entrapped
Author: Claire Ayres
Genre: Romance
Publisher: self-published
Source: Neverland Blog Tours
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes.

Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why.

Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

Review:

When I saw this new book by a fellow book blogger, I knew I had to read it. I love supporting other bloggers. It’s a great book too!

I really liked the story. The narrative usually stayed in the present, but it jumped to the past a couple of times to show important moments in the characters’ lives. I really liked how the romance between Luka and Jess played out. They seemed like they were meant to be together.

One thing that wasn’t very realistic was the way that the characters described their feelings. They explained exactly what they were feeling, even when they were in the middle of an argument. Realistically, they wouldn’t have been able to articulate their feelings when they were upset or emotional.

I really enjoyed this book. If you like steamy romances, this is for you!

What to read next:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

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  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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About the Author:

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Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point.

Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

Website: https://brizzlelassbooks.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrizzleLass

 

Thank you to Neverland Blog Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

 

First Lines Friday – August 17

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“Nicholas Young slumped into the nearest seat in the hotel lobby, drained from the sixteen-hour flight from Singapore, the train ride from Heathrow Airport, and trudging through the rain-soaked streets. His cousin Astrid Leong shivered stoically next to him, all because her mother, Felicity, his dai gu cheh – or “big aunt” in Cantonese – said it was a sin to take a taxi nine blocks and forced everyone to walk all the way from Piccadilly Tube Station.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

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Goodreads synopsis:

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

I love this book! The movie comes out today, and I can’t wait to watch it! You can check out my review of the book here.

Have you read Crazy Rich Asians? What did you think of it?

Review: A Calf Named Brian Higgins

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Title: A Calf Named Brian Higgins
Author: Kristen Ball
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: One Elm Books
Source: Thomas Allen & Sons (book distributor)
Release Date: July 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Thirteen-year-old Hannah Higgins is convinced her summer is ruined when she is forced to travel to Africa and work in a remote village with her mom and uncle. Never having been to a developing country, she finds the food gross and the community filthy. She has to live without electricity or running water. Then she is told she must attend school.
Just when she thinks nothing could make this trip any worse, she learns people there are dying of hunger and preventable disease. Hannah becomes frustrated and wants to help, but when poverty threatens the lives of people she loves, all she wants to do is go home. This story is an adventure of discovery.

Review:

This is an amazing book about an American girl who travels to Kenya. Hannah Higgins knew that Kenya would be a lot different from her hometown of New York, but she didn’t realize how much it would affect her. The people in the small town where her uncle works die from preventable diseases and hunger.

After a tragedy in her family, Hannah wants to leave, but then she feels guilty about not helping the people who live there. She often feels guilty about what she takes for granted at her home, like being able to go into her medicine cabinet for anything, when the people in Sauri, Kenya have to wait for their medical attention.

Hannah had to get used to living without technology. A boy in the town created a cellphone out of wood, so he would have something to play with. She thinks of an app she could create while she’s walking through a corn maze. Hannah learned a lot from the people in Kenya, including how to be compassionate.

Some parts of this story could have been more exciting. Some conversations were summarized, when they could have been written out in dialogue. This happened more at the beginning of the book. I could tell that it was based on real events because it was written like that. The writing improved as it progressed.

This was a great book! It shows the impacts one person can make on the poverty in Africa.

Have you read A Calf Named Brian Higgins? What did you think of it?