Waiting on Wednesday – April 25

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out, and life in the spotlight after being labeled the latest celebrity trainwreck in Jen Wilde’s quirky and utterly relatable novel. 

As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: The City on the Other Side

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Title: The City on the Other Side
Author: Maighread Scott
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a wealthy and sheltered young girl stumbles into a pitched war between two fairy kingdoms, the fate of San Francisco itself hangs in the balance!

The first decade of the twentieth century is coming to a close, and San Francisco is still recovering from the great earthquake of 1906. Isabel watched the destruction safely from her window, sheltered within her high-society world.

Isabel isn’t the kind of girl who goes on adventures. But that all changes when she stumbles through the invisible barrier that separates the human world from the fairy world. She quickly finds herself caught up in an age-old war and fighting on the side of the Seelie—the good fairies.

Review:

I really enjoyed this middle grade fantasy graphic novel!

Isabel crossed the barrier between the human world and the fairy world. There are two types of fairies, the Seelies and the Unseelies. It was hard to distinguish between the Seelie and Unseelie because each fairy was a different creature and they didn’t have any defining characteristics.

Isabel was a great character. She gained a lot of strength while in the fairy world. She had to problem solve to find the princess. She was also a very dedicated girl, since she didn’t give up on her quest to find the princess, though she didn’t know anything about that world.

I loved that there was an explanation of the creation of the story at the end. It explained the setting of San Francisco and the earthquake that happened in 1906. It also explained that many different fairies were inspired by mythological creatures. This was so helpful, because I was wondering why they all had such unusual appearances.

This is a great graphic novel for middle grade readers!

Review: You Think It, I’ll Say It

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Title: You Think It, I’ll Say It
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories
Publisher: Random House
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

‘Most people I know who have read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld would read anything else the woman wrote, me included’ The Times

In ‘The World Has Many Butterflies’, a married woman flirts with a man she meets at parties by playing You think it, I’ll say it, putting into words the bitchy things she guesses he’s thinking about their fellow guests. But she is in for a shock when, in time, she finds out what was really in his mind. ‘The Nominee’ sees Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, confessing her surprising true feelings about a woman journalist she has sparred with over the years. In ‘Gender Studies’, a visiting academic sleeps with her taxi driver, for what turns out to be all the wrong reasons.

The theme that unites these stories in this dazzling first collection by Curtis Sittenfeld is how even the cleverest people tend to misread others, and how much we all deceive ourselves. Sharp and tender, funny and wise, this collection shows Sittenfeld’s knack for creating real, believable characters that spring off the page, while also skewering contemporary mores with brilliant dry wit.

Review:

I loved Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel Elgible! It is one of my favourite Pride and Prejudice adaptations. So I was excited to read her new collection of short stories.

I really enjoyed these stories. The stories all give the same message at the end: people are often misjudged, either by ourselves or others. This was more obvious in some of the stories than others. This message became clear in the second story entitled “The World Has Many Butterflies.” In that story a man and woman play a game which they call “I’ll Think It, You Say It,” where the woman judges people nearby, presumably saying what the man thinks about them. After that story, I understood the point of the collection.

Some of the stories were so detailed and hooked me right away, so I was left wanting more. I loved “Plausible Deniability.” It had a great twist that I didn’t see coming. “A Regular Couple” was also good, and kept me holding my breath to see how it would end. These stories could be expanded into great novels.

I liked this collection! It is clever and entertaining.

Top Ten Tuesday – Frequently Used Words In Thriller Titles

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Frequently Used Words In Thriller Titles. Here’s my list:

1. Girl

2. Gone

3. Dark

4. Woman

5. Lying

6. Secret

7. Mother

8. Sister

9. Dead Girls

10. Perfect

(all images taken from Goodreads)

 

Review: Vi

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Title: Vi
Author: Kim Thúy
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The perfect complement to the exquisitely wrought novels Ruand Man , Canada Reads-winner Kim Thuy returns with Vi , once more exploring the lives, loves and struggles of Vietnamese refugees as they reinvent themselves in new lands. 

The youngest of four children and the only girl, Vi was given a name that meant “precious, tiny one,” destined to be cosseted and protected, the family’s little treasure.
Daughter of an enterprising mother and a wealthy and spoiled father who never had to grow up, the Vietnam war tears their family asunder. While Vi and many of her family members escape, her father stays behind, and her family must fend for themselves in Canada.
While her mother and brothers put down roots, life has different plans for Vi. As a young woman, she finds the world opening up to her. Taken under the wing of Ha, a worldly family friend and diplomat lover, Vi tests personal boundaries and crosses international ones, letting the winds of life buffet her. From Saigon to Montreal, from Suzhou to Boston to the fall of the Berlin Wall, she is witness to the immensity of the world, the intricate fabric of humanity, the complexity of love, the infinite possibilities before her. Ever the quiet observer, somehow she must find a way to finally take her place in the world.

Review:

I’ve never read a Kim Thuy book before, but she’s won many awards. Her books are translated from French into English and Vietnamese. This makes it a unique experience since it is not in the original language. The language was still poetic and beautiful, so I don’t think anything was lost in the translation.

The story moved quickly. Everything in it was so new to me because I don’t know much about Vietnamese culture. There were small stories that weren’t about Vi’s family, but that framed the atmosphere in Vietnam at the time. One example was a story about a young couple who had a Romeo and Juliet style romance. At times the story was confusing because it jumped from one time and place to another, but the overall story was enjoyable.

The format of the story was confusing to me. I was reading an e-ARC, so it may have been a problem with my file, so I didn’t include this in my rating. I’m curious to see a hard copy of the book to see how it looks on paper.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it!

Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Purchased
Release Date: March 20, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Review:

This book definitely lived up to the hype. I met Jenny Han at a book signing last year, and I have all the books in the series, but I hadn’t read any of them until now.

I loved Lara Jean. I found her very relatable. She makes mistakes and can own up to them. Even though it wasn’t her fault that her letters were sent out, she still accepted that it happened and tried to move on.

I liked the family dynamics of the story. The Covey family is unique. Their mother died when they were young, and their father works as a doctor, so most of the housework and cooking fell on Margot’s shoulders because she was the oldest. Then she has to pass that off to Lara Jean when Margot left to go to school in Scotland. The youngest sister, Kitty, was so funny. She was sarcastic and wise beyond her years, so she made many funny comments.

I loved this book. I already had some spoilers to what happened since I’m reading it so late, but I still really enjoyed it.

Review: Real Friends

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Title: Real Friends
Author: Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When best friends are not forever . . . 

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Timesbestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.

Review:

This is a great graphic novel for kids.

I loved the art in this book. It made the story quite funny. Shannon’s sister was depicted as a bear sometimes. Shannon had daydreams about creating fantasies with her friends. These things couldn’t have been demonstrated in the same way if it wasn’t a graphic novel.

The story is important for all kids to read. Shannon had trouble making friends. She would have a friend and then they would move away. She didn’t fit in with the popular group, though she tried to join them. When she tried to leave them, she couldn’t get anyone to join her new group. Many kids have these kinds of problems at some point in their lives, so this would show them that they aren’t alone with their feelings.

Shannon also had problems with her sister. They didn’t get along most of the time. But then it was revealed that they actually had a lot in common. Sometimes you don’t like things about someone else because they remind you of yourself. This also shows that it may not be your fault if you don’t get along with someone.

I really enjoyed this story. I recommend it for young readers!