The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from he publisher for promotional purposes. 

First off, this is not your typical YA vampire book. It’s a very subtle vampire book. The word vampire isn’t even used until way late in the book. 

This book is a slow burn, which I liked. It definitely takes a while to get into the story. I found that the slower pace worked well in creating the mystery and intrigue. This is the first book in a series that is projected to have 4 books, so a lot of this book is likely setting the stage for the rest of the series. The slower pace is to be expected.

The book has a lot of interesting supporting characters. My favorite was Odette. She was awesome. I can’t wait to see how her character progresses in the coming books. There’s a lot to explore with her. I also loved Pippa because she’s quite the mystery. This book didn’t delve much into her past or background so I am intrigued to find that out in the coming books. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I am very curious to see how the rest of the series pans out. I recommend this book if you are interested in a more historical fiction take on vampires and also if you want to read a YA vampire series that isn’t Twilight (no shade against Twilight, I just know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea). 


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Review: Plain Bad Heroines

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (William Morrow Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a unique read! 

The best part of this book was definitely the overall vibe and aesthetic. It had a slightly creepy and gothic feel that ran throughout the entire book, even the present day parts. There was also a fair amount of humor and satire that worked well with the gothic vibes and made for an interesting juxtaposition. 

The structure of the book was very clever. The story within a story element was well done and very engaging. I also liked the footnotes. They were very entertaining and added even more humor to the story.

The story started out very strong, but I was a little disappointed at the end. It didn’t live up to my expectations. I was expecting more of a big reveal or an “a-ha” moment. There are still some things that I am a little confused on. 

This book is classified by horror, but many other reviewers say they find it to be very light on horror. I agree with that and I would say that it is more of a gothic horror. The horror is more of a gothic creepiness than any sort of gore or violence. 

The book also has illustrations throughout the book which I found to be a nice touch. There is even a map of the school which made navigating the story easy. 

Overall, I enjoyed the aesthetic of this book the most. I recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different to read.


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Review: The Places We Sleep

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review.

I was really intrigued by this book because it centers on 9/11. I was only 6 years old when it happened so I never truly felt the magnitude of it. 

This book did an amazing job detailing how 9/11 rocked everyone’s world. You saw how 12 year old Abbey felt. You saw how her mom reacted to finding out her sister went missing during the attack. You saw her dad’s military response to it. You saw how regular civilians felt about the possibility of war. You saw racial prejudices exhibited by Abbey’s classmates to a fellow student. The book covered a range of experiences.

This is a novel in verse so the entire book was written in poetry. As a whole, I thought the poems were well done. However, I would have loved if the poems had titles. Instead, they were numbered. Sometimes titles can help enhance the poem and create a bigger impact. But on the flip side, having no titles made the book more novel like. It reads very smoothly because of that. At times, it didn’t even feel like you’re were reading poetry because you get sucked into the story. 

Plot-wise, I wanted a little more, especially towards the end. I wanted there to be a little more development with some of the supporting characters. Even though this book centers on 9/11, it is also a coming of age story. One of the things that gets explored is periods. I am happy that this book did not shy away from showing girls getting their period for the first time. 

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about the American reaction to 9/11. This book is aimed towards middle grade readers but can still be enjoyed by adults. 


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Review: Superman Smashes the Klan

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was SO GOOD! I loved it.

So first off, the artwork is adorable. It worked really well.

I love that the story did not shy away from depicting racism. It shows both the hard core racism of the Klan and the more casual racism of Tommy and Roberta’s friends. 

I also liked that the book had an even blend of Tommy and Roberta’s story and Superman’s story. Both storylines were well developed and engaging. They also paralleled each other nicely. What I really loved about Superman’s story was how human he was. Like yes he is a superhero with powers, but at his core he is just like us. 

One of my favorite parts of the book happens in the beginning after the Klan burns a cross in the Lee’s front yard. 3 African American men come to help but Mr. Lee doesn’t want it. One of the men says, “They don’t want us around, not even when their house is on fire.” The other African American man (who is the police inspector) replies, “They got a burning cross on their lawn, don’t they? For tonight, at least, they are us. Even if they don’t want to admit it” (pg 48). This small part left a big impact on me because it shows a hint of the anti-blackness that is sometimes seen in the Asian American community. But it also shows a solidarity. That even though they are different races, they still face similar struggles. They are not as different as they may think. 

At the end of the book, there is an essay by the author, “Superman and Me.” The essay gives the historical background behind the story. I really loved it. It not only explained the history of the KKK and racism in the America, but also the story of Superman and how he came to be. 

Overall, I really recommend this graphic novel. Its message is an important one, especially in today’s times. 


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October 2019 wrap-up

Hi beauties! Time for my October wrap-up. After reading only 3 books in August and then rocking it in September with 10 books, I ended up reading . . . 3 books. Not a great month. Life got kind of crazy and I lost motivation to read. I was planning on reading more spooky books this month but I got kind of burned out since I read so many last month.

Here’s what I did manage to read:

Overall, this wasn’t a great month but I am hopeful for November (and my Christmas TBR which I will be starting soon)!

How was your October? Did you read any spooky books?

xoxo,


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Review: Marilla of Green Gables

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours as part of a review tour. 

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables. I read the book and used to watch the animated TV show on PBS. I wanted to live in Avonlea with Anne. So naturally I was excited to read this book. 

I was not disappointed. The book felt in the spirit very much like Anne of Green Gables. I can tell that the author did her research (in her author’s note she goes over in detail how much research she did). It had the same quaint feel as the original. Even the stylistic choices mimicked the original. The book is divided into three parts: Marilla of Green Gables, Marilla of Avonlea, and Marilla’s House of Dreams. The chapter titles even paid tribute too. 

The author has a fantastic writing style. The whole book just flowed so nicely and transported you into Marilla’s world. 

I thought the inclusion of the Underground Railroad in Canada was a bold choice. I was happy the author incorporated it because it was an area of history that I did not know much about. I enjoyed learning more about Canada and its history. 

Overall, this was a worthy prequel to an iconic classic series. I think a reread of Anne of Green Gables is in my future. 


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September 2019 wrap-up

Hi beauties! I am back with another wrap-up and I just have to say that I am thrilled with how much I read this month. After an incredibly sucky August, I smashed September and read 10 books.

Here’s what I read:

Overall, I read some amazing books this month. I read 3 books off of my Spooky TBR which I am really happy about. I’ve never did a themed TBR before so I had no idea if I could actually follow it, but so far so good.

How was your September? What was your favorite book that you read this month? Tell me in the comments!

xoxo,


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Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (Just Read Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

I was interested in reading this book because I am a fan of C.S. Lewis. I hadn’t heard of Joy Davidman before, so I was curious to learn more about her. Please note that although this book is based on real people and real events, it is still a work of historical fiction. 

This book was incredible. It beautifully depicted the relationship between Lewis and Davidman. Their romance was unconventional but epic. The love they had for one another is truly remarkable. I loved how they influenced each other’s work and treated each other as equals. 

Joy was such a strong woman. I enjoyed learning her backstory and seeing how she had the courage to not only leave her alcoholic and cheating husband, but also to start a new life with her children in another country. 

I loved the epilogue. It really gave Joy a voice. She comes from a time where people often silenced her voice and contributions. I liked that the author let Joy have the final word. 

Since this is a book about C.S. Lewis, is also discusses the Christian faith but it doesn’t go overboard with it. If you’re worried that it might be too religious, don’t be. The heart of the book is really their love story. 

Lastly, the endpapers of the book feature a map of Oxford which I found to be a really nice touch, since the Narnia books are known to have maps. 

Overall, this is an amazing read! If you are fan of C.S. Lewis or love books about incredible women, then pick this one up! 

August 2019 wrap-up

Hello beauties! I’m back with another wrap-up. I had a pretty lousy reading month in August. I only read 3 books.

I was super busy with school starting this month which is why I didn’t get around to reading as much. I also restarted my Keanu Reeves movie binge so that interfered with my reading time (not that I’m complaining because as you know, I ❤ Keanu).

Here’s what I did manage to read:

Overall, I’m not thrilled with the amount I read, but I know September will be much better.

How was your reading month? Tell me in the comments!

xoxo,


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Review: Daisy Jones & The Six

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Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from BookSparks as part of their Winter Reading Challenge.

I was really looking forward to reading this book because I heard nothing but great things about it and the author. Unfortunately, for me, it did not live up to all the hype. 

Basically, I was so bored throughout the first half of the book. The book is written in interview format, which is an interesting way to tell a story, but it made for a dull read in the beginning. I wasn’t able to become attached to the characters and didn’t feel any emotional connection to them. It wasn’t until page 200 that I became more interested in the story and characters. 

Additionally, a lot of the story felt generic and to me the story felt fairly simple. I was expecting some sort of magic spark to really pull me in while reading, but I never felt it. 

As for Daisy Jones, I didn’t really like her. To me, she felt like a manic pixie dream girl, especially in the first half. 

I did enjoy the ending, which I know some people did not like that much. I also liked the reveal of the author. I did not see that one coming. Also, the interview format did work well in the second half of the book. I liked that we will never truly know exactly what happened. 

Overall, I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would, but don’t let that deter you from reading it. It wasn’t perfect for me, but it may be perfect for you!