Review: On the Come Up

Title: On the Come Up
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Review:

This is another amazing book from Angie Thomas! I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down.

There were some elements of this story that reminded me of The Hate U Give. It is set in the same community, though the characters don’t know each other. They do mention the shooting that happened in THUG a year previously.

Bri goes viral with a rap song she wrote, but it gives people the wrong impression of her. It’s compared to an incident that’s she had in school where the security guards threw her down when she was entering the school. Bri has the conflict of being who she is, versus becoming famous for something she didn’t do.

Even though this book is similar to The Hate U Give, Bri and Starr come from different backgrounds. Starr comes from a middle class family, and she goes to a predominantly white private school. Bri’s father was shot when she was a child, and her mother is a former drug addict. Though they have different backgrounds, they come from the same community and fight for social justice.

I loved this book! I can’t wait to read what Angie writes next!

What to read next:

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Jackpot by Nic Stone

Have you read On the Come Up? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – December 28

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 three books from HarperCollins Canada:

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

I was approved for two books on NetGalley from Oni Press:

Gudetama: Love for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark

Dew Drop by Katie O’Neill

Thank you HarperCollins Canada and Oni Press for this book!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Northanger Abbey

Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Fiction, Classics
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 12, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Catherine Morland longs to be as interesting as the gothic heroines she reads about in novels. When she is invited on her first trip away from home, she leaps at the chance. New friendships and flirting lead her to the imposing Northanger Abbey, where Catherine discovers that a little imagination can be a dangerous thing. 

Review:

The first time I read this book, I had a hard time getting through it. After reading it again, I really enjoyed it.

There are some problems with a lot of the story. It is called Northanger Abbey, but they don’t actually go there until the last third of the book. Also, the mystery of the Tilney family and what happened to their mother is a small part of the story. It would have made more sense if it was supposed to be about their time spent in Bath, which takes up a lot of the story. I also didn’t like that a lot of the dialogue was described, rather than actually spoken by the characters. It was confusing to figure out who was speaking when the conversations were described, rather than actually written out in dialogue.

Most of the other books I’ve read from this publisher are simplified versions of classic stories, which are intended for children. I like the cover of this book, and I think it would appeal to kids, but the story was the same as the original. If it had been simplified, it would have been a better book for kids.

This is a good story.

Thank you Sweet Cherry Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

Have you read Northanger Abbey? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – December 27

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:

“Those months, the months before she disappeared, were the best months. Really. Just the best. Every moment presented itself to her like a gift and said, Here I am, another perfect moment, just look at me, can you believe how lovely I am?

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell.

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Goodreads synopsis:

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. 

NOW 
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. 

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. 

Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. 

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. 

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? 

Who still has secrets to hide?

Have you read Then She Was Gone? What did you think of it?

Review: What's Up, Maloo?

Title: What’s Up, Maloo?
Author: Geneviève Godbout
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Maloo the kangaroo has lost his hop. Can his friends help him find it again? This sweet picture book explores the idea of sadness and the importance of friendship through ups and downs.

No other kangeroo can hop like Maloo! But one day Maloo’s friends find him stepping instead of hopping. What’s wrong, Maloo? His pals look for ways to help Maloo regain the spring in his step. With patience, support and a little “hop” from his friends, Maloo gets his bounce back.

Simple text and adorable art convey the power of friendship over a gloomy mood in Geneviève Godbout’s charming debut as both author and illustrator.

Review:

Maloo is a kangaroo who loves to hop. One day, he stops hopping and only walks. His friends are concerned and figure out a way to get him to hop again.

This story shows that sometimes people don’t feel well, and don’t behave the way they usually do. Maloo’s friends came together to help him. This shows kids that it’s okay to feel bad sometimes. Everyone has bad days, even kangaroos.

The images were beautiful. They looked like pastel illustrations. I really liked them.

This is a great children’s story.

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Small Things by Mel Tregonning

Have you read What’s Up, Maloo? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – December 26

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Stand on the Sky by Erin Bow.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A middle grade debut by author, Erin Bow, about a young girl who defies her family’s expectations in order to save her brother and become an eagle hunter.
It goes against all tradition for Aisulu to train an eagle, for among the Kazakh nomads, only men can fly them. But everything changes when Aisulu discovers that her brother, Serik, has been concealing a bad limp that risks not just his future as the family’s leader, but his life too.

When her parents leave to seek a cure for Serik in a distant hospital, Aisulu finds herself living with her intimidating uncle and strange auntie — and secretly caring for an orphaned baby eagle. To save her brother and keep her family from having to leave their nomadic life behind forever, Aisulu must earn her eagle’s trust and fight for her right to soar.  Along the way, she discovers that family are people who choose each other, home is a place you build, and hope is a thing with feathers. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Christmas Shopaholic

Title: Christmas Shopaholic
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: The Dial Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic! 

The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

Review:

This was one of the funniest books I’ve ever read!

There was loads of shopping in this story, but there were also a lot of other Christmas traditions, too. I really liked that everyone had their own storyline, including Becky’s sister, her daughter, and even another parent at school. Since every character had their own plot, it felt like they were real people.

I laughed out loud so many times while I was reading it. There were so many clever punchlines that developed throughout the story. Some of them only came out close to the end, but they were built up through the story. This was a hilarious and clever story.

I loved this book! I’ll have to reread it next Christmas too!

Thank you Random House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

One Week ‘Til Christmas by Belinda Missen

Have you read Christmas Shopaholic? What did you think of it?