Posts Categorized: Review

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield

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Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
Ballad for a Mad Girl
Vikki Wakefield
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Publication date: May 29th, 2017
by Text Publishing

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Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. 

That night she experiences something she can’t explain. The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.

As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.

Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?
-A copy was provided by Text Publishing for review-

For someone who has had Vikki Wakefield on her tbr for over half a decade, it has taken me a surprisingly long time to finally pick up a book by her. I went in with the expectation that I would at least like it but ended up being surprised in pleasant ways.

OZ YA, in my opinion, tends to be much grittier than US YA so its always refreshing to find myself lost within the pages of an OZ YA. Ballad for a Mad Girl is many things. Its partly a paranormal murder mystery, partly an exploration of mental health and partly a coming of age.

Grace Foley is a bit of a prankster. She takes risks few people are willing to take and has a whole lot of fun being judge-y and occasionally mean. Of course, she and her family are still dealing with the reeling loss of her mom and trying to figure out their new family dynamics. I KNOW. It feels like such a cliche of “jerk character with a sad back story” but I feel like Grace is written in a way that never feels inauthentic or too trope-y.

While taking on a dangerous dare to stick it to the snobby private school kids, something happens. Grace hears a voice and sees something. Perhaps something paranormal? Something related to an unsolved murder that happened in her town two decades ago.

Her body is changing but so are her friendships and her familial relationships. Partly because her friends and family don’t really believe her but also because Grace has never been big on change and she struggles to come to term with the ways in which her friends and family defy the roles she has always known them to occupy in her life.

Ballad for a Mad Girl is truly a remarkable book because it is so many things occupying the same page-space. I love that it can be a truly creepy mystery while also having important discussions about mental health and grief. The unreliable narrator-esque narration style takes the book and readers to a whole new plane.

Is it cheating to say that words are too hard to really describe how great Ballad for a Mad Girl is? I feel like it is but at the same time, it truly is a phenomenal book and starkly contrasts EVERYTHING IVE READ THIS YEAR. It is a breath of fresh air and makes me want to beat myself over having not read Vikki Wakefield earlier. SO YES, you should read this book because it has something to offer all kinds of readers and it is extremely well written.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Imperfect but 100% Lovable: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Imperfect but 100% Lovable: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Posted by on 07/11/2018 • 2 Comments

So, even though When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my most anticipated books of 2017 and I winded up with two/three copies of it, I actually never ended up reading it. Of course, Sandhya Menon is a champ and regardless of whether or not I had read When Dimple Met Rishi, From Twinkle, With Love was already on my TBR and most anticipated for 2018. Of course, May went back, Twinkle came out and I still hadn’t read it because that’s WHO I AM. A PROCRASTINATOR. But. then. I decided to do a thing. I decided to read the GODDAMN BOOK and it was absolutely, 100% worth it. 

I think it is worth it to mention that I found that Twinkle wasn’t as easy to get into. It’s written exclusively in letters so it…

Amazing Secondary Characters: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Amazing Secondary Characters: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Posted by on 07/09/2018 • 1 Comment

Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite romance authors and after finishing The Day of the Duchess. I was eagerly anticipating the start of a new series and some new characters to fall in love with. I think the best way to state my relationship to this book is that while I wasn’t as invested in the storyline of the two main characters, I was incredibly invested in the overarching plot of the series and the placement of this book within it. I LOVED the secondary characters and I am eagerly awaiting their stories in the future installments. 

SO. I didn’t love Wicked and the Wallflower but I am in love with the The Bareknuckle Bastards series?? The question marks at the end because I feel like that is a confusing statement and…

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Posted by on 07/04/2018 • 2 Comments

There have been so MANY amazing anthologies on my radar this year but A Thousand Beginnings and Endings might have been my most anticipated for the year. 

I’ve talked this about a lot so I sometimes feel like a broken record, but it is an important point and a huge part of my love and excitement for this anthology so it is worth repeating. I grew up without much rep which was weird and confusing. Obviously, this review is not meant to be an analysis of my trauma but even as a teen, this was so evident when I’d open all those angel/vampire books that were soaked in Christian and western myth. Myths I grew up on, or other people grew up where never part of mainstream media even though they…

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Posted by on 06/25/2018 • 0 Comments

That Thing We Call a Heart was one of my favorite books of 2017 so obviously, when I heard about Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, I was ecstatic and ready to dive in. This review is particularly hard because even though, overall, I definitely enjoyed Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, there were times when I felt let down by some of the things the characters said.

I am grappling for words as I attempt to describe my feelings because I want to be respectful and clear that these experiences aren’t invalid but one of the biggest dichotomy in the book is how Mariam is raised vs how her friends are raised. Mariam grew up in a household that wasn’t religious or super connected to their cultural roots and her mom was super…

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Posted by on 06/21/2018 • 2 Comments

Save the Date is neither unpredictable nor does it really break any moulds. It is exactly what you would expect it to be and it is fucking amazing. If you, like me, are a connoisseur of rom-coms & chick-flicks and are upset by how few are being made lately, this book is what you deserve.

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this week, her family home is being sold, and her brother who she nor her parents have spoken to in almost two years is gonna be coming back for the wedding. To add to the stress, Charlie’s long-time crush and her are feeling the sparks which makes things awkward because a certain brother is crashing with her crush instead of with the fam. Charlie just wants…

In Conversation With Nick: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

In Conversation With Nick: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Posted by on 06/04/2018 • 1 Comment

Nick (The Infinite Limits of Love) is the one who made me read this book so it’s only right that my review of it is actually just me fangirling over it with her. ENJOY!

Rashika: Nick left me here to write a review while she is showering and I don’t know what to say. IT’S HER FAULT I READ THIS BOOK. WHY ISN’T SHE HERE TO TALK? HMPH.

Nick: BACK FROM THE SHOWER! Let me just preface by saying this: Michael Phan is mine. No one is going to steal my book boyfriend from me.

R: Wow. UM. Michael is mine. I am sorry to break it to you. AND EVEN IF YOU READ THE BOOK BEFORE ME, IT DOESN’T COUNT. WE GET TO FIGHT IT OVER NOW. But speaking,…

A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Posted by on 05/31/2018 • 3 Comments

I Believe in a Thing Called Love was one of my very few five star reads of last year so I was eagerly anticipating the release of The Way You Make Me Feel. While The Way You Make Me Feel was not a five star read for me, it was still absolutely delightful.

Clara Shin is the class clown. Her life revolves arounds making snarky remarks and pranking her enemies. When her prom prank results in the school almost being burned down, both her and her arch nemesis are suspended. Clara’s dad is able to negotiate a deal that may just be worse. She has to spend the entire summer working on her dad’s food truck with her arch nemesis Rose and use her earnings to pay the school…