Blog Tour Review: Just My Luck

Title: Just My Luck
Author: Adele Parks
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It was supposed to be the lottery win they’d always dreamed of…

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends. Over drinks, dinner parties and summer barbecues, the three couples have discussed the important stuff—kids, marriages, careers—and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything.

But then the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone is caught in a lie. And soon after, six numbers come up that change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth millions. And their friends are determined to claim a share.

#1 Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping tale of friendship, money, betrayal and good luck gone bad…

Review:

For fifteen years, a group of six friends have bought a lottery ticket every week using the same numbers. Lexi and Jake always buy them for the group. One night, they have a fight, breaking the group apart. However, the following week, their numbers come up, and Lexi and Jake have the winning ticket. Despite their fight, their four friends want a share of the winnings. This is only the start of a series of devastating events, which they can’t recover from.

Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but it doesn’t have the dreamy outcome everyone imagines. Once you come into a lot of money, everyone you’ve ever met expects some of it. This happened in this story when Lexi and Jake won the lottery. It was complicated since they had been in a group, buying tickets together for many years. The question is did they really had a fight and dissolve the group or are Lexi and Jake just saying that to keep the money. This prize of 18 million pounds led their lives to spiral out of control, with affairs, a kidnapping, and many betrayals.

This story had some shocking and disturbing scenes. There was some abuse of a teen and a miscarriage. These scenes were intense and made the story suspenseful, but there were many flashback scenes which slowed down the pacing. There was a lot of unnecessary information that gave a full story of all the characters, but wasn’t necessary to understand the whole plot. It would have had much faster pacing if some of the flashback scenes were shortened or cut.

This was an intense thriller that will make you think twice about buying a lottery ticket.

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

What to read next:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks

Other books in the series:

Adele Parks is the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of twenty novels, including Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck, as well as I Invited Her InJust My Luck is currently in development to be made into a movie. Her novels have sold 4 million copies in the UK alone, and her work has also been translated into thirty-one languages.

Have you read Just My Luck? What did you think of it?

Review: Lucky

Title: Lucky
Author: Marissa Stapley
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For fans of The Flight Attendant​, a compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter named Lucky whose past comes back to haunt her.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means the police will arrest her for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid arrest and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose complicated past is catching up to her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, complicated character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.

Review:

Lucky Armstrong is a talented con artist. She’s ready to leave her grifter life behind and move away with her boyfriend, when he disappears and leaves her wanted by the police. Lucky goes on the run. Then she discovers that the lottery ticket she bought has won the jackpot. The problem is that she can’t cash it in since she’s wanted for scamming people out of millions of dollars. To avoid being captured, Lucky has to travel around the country to see her father who raised her, her mother who abandoned her, and other people from her past to figure out her future.

This was a gripping thriller from the start. I started reading it before going to sleep and I was tempted to stay up all night to finish it. There were twists that surprised me. Lucky’s past was full of secrets, which were revealed in flashbacks throughout the story. There were shocking reveals right until the last pages.

I loved the ending of this story. There was a part in the opening of the story that didn’t seem related to the rest of the story. I was hoping it would all come together in the end and it did. It was a great ending that left me satisfied with the whole story.

This is such a great thriller! I highly recommend it!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

Have you read Lucky? What did you think of it?

Review: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)

Title: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Purchased
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

Review:

Braden Mack is an expert on romance novels, and the creator of the Bromance Book Club. Liv Papandreas is a pastry chef at a restaurant owned by a celebrity chef in Nashville. After spilling a thousand dollar cupcake in Braden’s date’s lap, Liv discovers her boss harassing the hostess of the restaurant. Liv is fired and she vows to expose her former boss for the harasser that he is. Since Braden is an owner of new clubs in Nashville, she goes to him for help in bringing down the celebrity chef. Braden enlists the Bromance Book Club to help with Liv’s plan and to help him figure out his love life.

This is such a great series. The Bromance Book Club get together to study romance novels. Braden is the founder of the club, and he uses the novels to guide his romantic life. However, he doesn’t have a girlfriend, so his plan isn’t working. The guys in the club study the romance books, but they don’t always realize when their lives are following a romance novel plot.

Sexual harassment was a prominent topic in this book. Liv’s former boss was known among his female staff for sexually harassing them. Once Liv discovered it, she wanted to expose him right away, but it wasn’t that easy. The women who had experienced his harassment weren’t eager to go after him. Liv thought she knew the answers from where she was standing on the outside of the situation, but she couldn’t see the perspective of the women who had been attacked. Liv had to wait for the appropriate time to reveal her former boss’s secrets.

I really enjoyed this story! I can’t wait to read the next one.

What to read next:

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Other books in the series:

Have you read Undercover Bromance? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Tigers, Not Daughters

Title: Tigers, Not Daughters
Author: Samantha Mabry
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say. 

In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.

Review:

A year ago, Ana Torres fell out of her bedroom window to her death. Her younger three sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are dealing with their grief in different ways. Jessica acts out and has a dangerous relationship with her boyfriend. Iridian finds comfort in books and writing. Rosa tries to help animals. Strange things begin to happen in their house, and the girls decide that it must be Ana’s spirit communicating with them. They have to figure out what Ana is trying to tell them.

This was an intense story. The sisters were grieving for their sister, but their dad had other ways of dealing with the pain. He checked out of their lives, so they had to look after themselves. They had to grow up quickly, but they each had their own ways of coping.

I really liked the magical realism aspects of this story. Ana’s ghost appeared to her sisters and to the neighbors next door. She didn’t always appear as a person, but she would do things around the house to let them know she was there. There were also some storms that happened around her appearances, which added to the spooky atmosphere.

This was such a beautiful story!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

The Marrow Thieves by Cheri Dimaline

Have you read Tigers, Not Daughters? What did you think of it?

Review: A Taste for Love

Title: A Taste for Love
Author: Jennifer Yen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking ShowA Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.

To her friends, high school senior Liza Yang is nearly perfect. Smart, kind, and pretty, she dreams big and never shies away from a challenge. But to her mom, Liza is anything but. Compared to her older sister Jeannie, Liza is stubborn, rebellious, and worst of all, determined to push back against all of Mrs. Yang’s traditional values, especially when it comes to dating.

The one thing mother and daughter do agree on is their love of baking. Mrs. Yang is the owner of Houston’s popular Yin & Yang Bakery. With college just around the corner, Liza agrees to help out at the bakery’s annual junior competition to prove to her mom that she’s more than her rebellious tendencies once and for all. But when Liza arrives on the first day of the bake-off, she realizes there’s a catch: all of the contestants are young Asian American men her mother has handpicked for Liza to date.

The bachelorette situation Liza has found herself in is made even worse when she happens to be grudgingly attracted to one of the contestants; the stoic, impenetrable, annoyingly hot James Wong. As she battles against her feelings for James, and for her mother’s approval, Liza begins to realize there’s no tried and true recipe for love.

Review:

Liza Yang helps out at her family’s restaurant and bakery, Yin and Yang. Her mother holds a competition every year for young bakers, with the prize of a scholarship. Mrs. Yang is eager to find husbands for her daughters. Her oldest daughter, Jeannie, is attending school in New York and is working as a fashion model. Liza has always been the rebellious daughter who dated American boys, rather than Asian boys. Liza is given the opportunity to help her mom judge the baking competition for the first time, but as soon as she sees the contestants, she realizes this year’s competition has been set up as a dating competition for her. Each of the contestants is an eligible Asian teen boy. One of the contestants is James, who has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Liza. Despite that, and even though Mrs. Yang approves of him, Liza can’t help but be attracted to James.

I’ve been binge watching the Great British Bake Off in the last few months, so this book was on trend for me. The competition that Mrs. Yang holds in the story is very similar to that baking competition. There was even an episode of the Bake Off that was referenced in the book that I watched a few days ago. The characters made a wide variety of baked goods in this story. I had to look up some that I had never heard of but they all sound delicious so I’ll have to try them!

This book also had me hooked when I realized it was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. There have been so many retellings that it’s hard to get an original story. This one definitely worked for me. I really enjoyed this story because it wasn’t an exact copy of Pride and Prejudice. Some of the plot points were rearranged, but it followed the general story of the Jane Austen classic.

This was such a fun story. I recommend having sweet treats on hand while reading it!

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

What to read next:

American Panda by Gloria Chao

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Have you read A Taste for Love? What did you think of it?

Review: Bruised

Title: Bruised
Author: Tanya Boteju
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart.

So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get.

The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.

Review:

Since Daya’s parents died in a crash that she survived, she has given herself bruises. She keeps bruising herself so she can physically feel the emotional pain from losing her parents. Daya learns about roller derby teams, and she realizes that’s an activity that will give her lots of bruises. The sport is more physically grueling and painful than she expected. She idolizes the star of the team, Kat, and she befriends Kat’s sister, Shani. Roller derby opens up Daya to exploring her own feelings and finding her personal strength.

This was a coming of age story. Daya had to learn to accept the death of her parents, and she also was coming to understand her own romantic feelings. Daya blamed herself for her parents’ death, since she survived their car crash, so she self harms by bruising herself. Daya also discovered her sexual identity. She became vulnerable by beginning a relationship with a girl that she didn’t expect to have. Daya had a lot to discover about herself in this story.

Despite the serious subject matter for most of the book, there were some entertaining characters. Daya’s aunt and uncle who were her guardians were quirky actors. They would dance and play games without worrying about how they looked to the outside world. Daya met some older characters through her roller skating. They were former roller skaters who still liked to get dressed up and help the younger skaters. They were all funny characters who lightened the mood of the story.

This was a great young adult story!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal

Have you read Bruised? What did you think of it?

Review: The Dating Plan

Title: The Dating Plan
Author: Sara Desai
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

Review:

Daisy Patel works as a software engineer at a startup company. When she’s at a tech conference to find funding, she runs into her old boss (who is now dating Daisy’s ex) and her aunt (who has brought an eligible bachelor to introduce to Daisy). Daisy runs right into a childhood friend, Liam, who she hates. Liam was Daisy’s brother’s best friend, but after he stood her up for her prom, she never heard from him again. In the spur of the moment, she kisses him to get away from her former boss and her aunt. When Liam realizes he needs a fiancé to get his inheritance from his grandfather, he asks Daisy to be his fake fiancé in exchange for helping her company. Daisy puts together a dating plan so they can convince their families that they are really engaged before they get married. It will take a lot for Daisy to forgive Liam for what he did to her when they were teens but they both need their fake engagement to work out.

The fake dating trope is one of my favourites. The characters have to keep many secrets from others and from each other. Some of these secrets were kept until the end, such as the real story behind why Liam didn’t go to the prom with Daisy.

I loved the families in this story. Both Daisy and Liam had large extended families who were involved in their relationship. Neither of their families believed they are actually getting married so quickly because it doesn’t seem like something they would do. Liam’s family was visiting following the death of his grandfather. They were a loud, funny, boisterous family. Daisy’s family was very big. She had relatives that worked all over the city, at every place she visited with Liam. It was so funny to see how she had connections everywhere. I really enjoyed seeing their large, entertaining families.

This was a fun rom com!

Thank you Berkley Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

Other books in the series:

  • The Marriage Game

Have you read The Dating Plan? What did you think of it?

Review: Love in English

Title: Love in English
Author: Maria E. Andreu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Ana has just moved to New Jersey from Argentina for her Junior year of high school. She’s a poet and a lover of language—except that now, she can barely understand what’s going on around her, let alone find the words to express how she feels in the language she’s expected to speak.

All Ana wants to do is go home—until she meets Harrison, the very cute, very American boy in her math class. And then there’s her new friend Neo, the Greek boy she’s partnered up with in ESL class, who she bonds with over the 80s teen movies they are assigned to watch for class (but later keep watching together for fun), and Altagracia, her artistic and Instagram-fabulous friend, who thankfully is fluent in Spanish and able to help her settle into American high school. 

But is it possible that she’s becoming too American—as her father accuses—and what does it mean when her feelings for Harrison and Neo start to change? Ana will spend her year learning that the rules of English may be confounding, but there are no rules when it comes to love.

With playful and poetic breakouts exploring the idiosyncrasies of the English language, Love in English tells a story that is simultaneously charming and romantic, while articulating a deeper story about what it means to become “American.”

Review:

Sixteen-year-old Ana moved to New Jersey from Argentina. She likes to write poetry, but now she’s somewhere that she doesn’t speak the language. She meets Harrison, a cute American boy, who needs her help with math. Then, she meets Neo, a cute Greek boy, in her ESL class. Harrison is the ideal boyfriend she imagined having in America, but she has a lot in common with Neo, as they both help each other with English. Ana has to navigate this new world with a new language, while also dealing with the usual issues of growing up.

English is the only language I speak, so I’ve never had the experience that Ana had. However, everyone at some point in their lives has felt left out of a group, whether at a new school or a new workplace. When I was a child, most of my friends spoke English as a second language. I was reminded of them while reading this book. After reading this story, I feel like I have a better understanding of how they felt coming to a new country and learning English.

This story gave an interesting view of the English language. There are so many strange things in the language that really don’t make sense. Some sayings, such as “have your cake and eat it too,” were mentioned a lot because Ana thought it was so strange. She also pointed out how the words dough, rough, and bough look so similar but have completely different pronunciations. I don’t usually examine these parts of English, since it’s the only language I know. It was fun to see all these unusual parts of language pointed out in this story.

This was a fun and beautiful story!

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

What to read next:

Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

Have you read Love in English? What did you think of it?

Review: Hot British Boyfriend

Title: Hot British Boyfriend
Author: Kristy Boyce
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.

When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes as she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in—if he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.

But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, one that takes her on adventures to some of England’s most beautiful places, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems…and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her. 

Review:

After a video goes viral of Ellie being rejected by her crush for her best friend, she has to escape town. She signs up to join a semester abroad in England with her high school classmates. Everyone from her school knows her from the video. Ellie isn’t an honors student, like the other ones who are on the trip, so she has to work a lot harder to keep up with them. When Ellie and her new friends go to town, she meets Will, her ideal hot British boyfriend. She doesn’t want to make the same mistakes that she made with her last crush, so Ellie decides to learn everything about Will’s interests and make him like her. However, Will doesn’t get to know the real Ellie, so she has to figure out if he’s really the perfect hot British boyfriend for her.

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I would love it. It did not disappoint! Ellie was an imperfect protagonist who made mistakes when it came to love. She ended up throwing herself at her crush, when he was actually speaking to her best friend. Not only did that happen, but it ended up going viral online. She had to deal with teenage drama on a large scale that even followed her to England.

I loved the setting of England in this story. I miss traveling, especially to England. Reading this book felt like I was returning to London. They went to all of my favourite tourist attractions. The characters also traveled to another city in Europe that I haven’t been to but would love to go after reading about their trip.

This is such a fun story! The only thing that would make it better is if it came with a real Hot British Boyfriend!

What to read next:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

Have you read Hot British Boyfriend? What did you think of it?

Review: Amina’s Song

Title: Amina’s Song (Amina’s Voice #2)
Author: Hena Khan
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Source: Publisher
Format: paperback arc
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the companion novel to the beloved and award-winning Amina’s Voice, Amina once again uses her voice to bridge the places, people, and communities she loves—this time across continents. 

It’s the last few days of her vacation in Pakistan, and Amina has loved every minute of it. The food, the shops, the time she’s spent with her family—all of it holds a special place in Amina’s heart. Now that the school year is starting again, she’s sad to leave, but also excited to share the wonders of Pakistan with her friends back in Greendale. 

After she’s home, though, her friends don’t seem overly interested in her trip. And when she decides to do a presentation on Pakistani hero Malala Yousafzai, her classmates focus on the worst parts of the story. How can Amina share the beauty of Pakistan when no one wants to listen?

Review:

Amina is on vacation in Pakistan to visit her extended family. She loves everything on the trip, including the food, the shopping, and spending time with family members. During the trip, Amina takes lots of photos and videos to save her favourite memories. Amina had to return to the US when the summer was over, but her uncle makes her promise that she will share her memories of Pakistan with her friends. Her teacher assigns a project to research a person who has made a significant contribution to history. Amina chooses Malala Yousafzai, to show her students an important person from Pakistan. However, her classmates only remembered the negative parts of her story, like that girls in her village couldn’t get an education, leading her classmates to believe Pakistan is a bad place. Amina had to show her friends and classmates that her family is from a wonderful country.

This story gives an informative look at Pakistan. I’ve never been there, but it sounded like a beautiful place in the story. Amina was surprised when her cousin told her that she would be too scared to visit America. The stories her family hears are only negative ones, since those are shared more in the news. At the same time, Amina was scared to go to Pakistan at first, because she had only heard stories like Malala’s story of being attacked by terrorists, so that was her image of the country. This shows that you can’t always believe the stories that you hear about a place without visiting for yourself. This reminded me of how Toronto, where I live, used to be known around the world for the SARS virus. Only a small number of people had the virus, but the news story about it being in Toronto made it around the world, giving us that reputation for years. Just because a country or city is known for one thing, doesn’t mean the entire place is like that.

This book is a companion to the book Amina’s Voice. The events of that book are mentioned in this story, but you could read this one as a stand-alone.

This was such a beautiful middle grade novel!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

More to the Story by Hena Khan

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed (editors)

Other books in the series:

Have you read Amina’s Song? What did you think of it?