Posts Categorized: Review

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jason Reynolds Mini Reviews

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April was basically the month of Jason Reynolds books. We got not one but TWO NEW RELEASES but THE GREAT and since I wasn’t doing that great last month and sucked at reviewing, I FINALLY got around to talking about these great books. Ratings haven’t been included since I cannot make up my mind and regardless, Jason Reynolds writes great books.

For Every One
Jason Reynolds

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Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.
 

 
 
 

I don’t think anyone will ever deny that Jason Reynolds is a creative genius and is deserving of all the hype. For Every One is a poem and a letter spanning 116 pages. It is rousing and empowering and even though it is written for a younger audience, even people beyond that target age range can find something to take from it.

At its core, For Every One is a poem meant to remind you that even when you think that nothing could possibly work out or your dreams seem a million miles away, all hope is not lost. You can achieve your goals and dreams and you can be happy. It is entirely possible to ‘make it’ even in the face of failures. So. DON’T GIVE UP.

Or. If you’re sad and feel like everything is hopeless, read For Every One.

Sunny
Jason Reynolds

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Sunny Lancaster is a winner. Wih-winner. When it comes to the 1600 meter, Sunny can beat anyone by, well, a mile. But for Sunny, winning is boring. Buh-boring. Truth is, Sunny doesn’t like running. Never has. What Sunny really loves… is dancing.

The boom-bap bap of his teacher. Aurela’s dance routines beats the chick chick chick of his track meets any day. Sunny loves his team, though, so he can’t quit, but he also can’t be on a track team not run. And he definitely can’t be on a track team and dance. But it turns out track isn’t just chick chick chick. It’s also whoosh whoosh ahh.

If Sunny lets loose everything he’s been holding inside, will it be his best move ever, or will it be his biggest mistake? 

I think Ghost was actually the first book I read by Jason Reynolds. Ever. And I read it in November last year which just shows you how bad I am at keeping on top of all the hype trains (of well deserving authors.) My library didn’t have a copy of Patina so I was never able to read it but since the books in this series can all be read as standalones, I decided to read Sunny even though I hadn’t read Patina.

Sunny Lancaster is the best runner on his team and yet, he doesn’t actually love running. He wants to dance. While he is scared of quitting running and disappointing those around him, he chooses to pursue his dreams and with the help of coach, finds a new way to fit into the track team.

This book is full of heart and complex relationships. Jason Reynolds knows just how to write a book that younger readers can see themselves reflected in. I have so much love for this series and genuinely hope everyone reads them and gives them they attention they deserve.

Moral of the story: Jason Reynolds is the greatest. 

What a Girl Wants with a Twist: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

What a Girl Wants with a Twist: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Posted by on 05/11/2018 • 1 Comment

Rachel Hawkins is an auto-read author for me so I barely even glanced at the Goodreads blurb before diving into this. I just saw her tweet a bunch about it and decided I definitely needed this book in my life. Anyway, so. I dove in. Fell in love and then realized I should probably look up the Goodreads blurb. ANYWAY. SO. A book about royalty!!!! Most books about royalty feature that one character who finds themselves amongst royalty because they have fallen in love with someone who is royal except that is absolutely, 110% not the case with Daisy. Daisy’s sister has fallen in love with the Crown Prince of Scotland. This is not ideal for Daisy, not because she has royal aspirations of her own but because she really…

A Graphic Novel Memoir To Keep On Your Radar: Amla Mater by Devi Menon

A Graphic Novel Memoir To Keep On Your Radar: Amla Mater by Devi Menon

Posted by on 05/04/2018 • 2 Comments

I hadn’t heard of Amla Mater but when I was approached to review it, I was immediately on board. The graphic novel memoir is rich in nostalgia and the memories of the motherland. Amla Mater is told from the perspective of a pregnant immigrant. It starts with a craving. A craving for something from home and from the Mili’s childhood. Something that can transport her across time and space.

One day, her significant other brings home some gooseberries, some amla. She decided to try to pickle the amla the way her childhood best friend’s grandmother would. While she is waiting for the amla pickle to mature and be ready to consume, she reflects on her life until the moment.

We are taken on a journey that begins with Mili and her…

When Will Book 7 Be Out: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

When Will Book 7 Be Out: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Posted by on 04/24/2018 • 0 Comments

It is no secret that I have been in a pretty big reading slump this month. I’ve mentioned it in a post or two and if you’re a frequent visitor, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted a review in a while. It isn’t that a bad book or a really good one put me in a slump, it is that I haven’t really wanted to pick up a book and just keep on reading it until I finish. When After the Wedding landed in my inbox, I messaged my pal Lisa asking if she wanted to buddy-read since we had both been waiting for this book for what felt like a millenium. We got off to a rough start but soon, I literally couldn’t stop reading and maybe jumped…

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 03/30/2018 • 1 Comment

I’ve been reading Jenn Bennett for half a decade now and she’s been one of those authors I basically just read anything by. I don’t need a summary or acclaim, I JUST NEED BOOKS BY JENN BENNETT. This book had the added advantage of having an enemies-to-lovers/friends-to-lovers romance trope and an survival-esque story so like… yeah.

Unsurprisingly, I loved this book but I also got to buddy-read it with a close friend which made my experience reading it all the more better. But as anyone knows, loving a book doesn’t make writing a review any easier. It probably makes it a lot harder.

Zorie and Lennon used to be the best of friends and were on their way to becoming something more when something goes wrong. Now they go out…

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Posted by on 03/26/2018 • 0 Comments

I Have Lost My Way was my first book by Gayle Forman even though I’ve wanted to read a book by her for the past 5 years. I guess I am just going to have to go back and read more because I am in love with her writing style. I finished I Have Lost My Way feeling satisfied and warm gushiness from the good vibes in the book. However, upon hours of reflection, I can see that this book is not perfect for a number of reasons.

For starters, I was slightly uncomfortable with the way Forman wrote Harun’s story. Harun is a gay Pakistani-American. Throughout the book, we see his struggle with those identities and I felt like that struggle wasn’t really Forman’s to write about? I felt like she did…

Cute but Needs Work: How the Cowboy Was Won by Lori Wilde

Cute but Needs Work: How the Cowboy Was Won by Lori Wilde

Posted by on 03/16/2018 • 0 Comments

When one of my mutuals pointed out How the Cowboy Was Won was an Emma retelling, I was all aboard. I adore Jane Austen novels and I especially adore retellings of them. I don’t think I’ve seen many literary Emma retellings so it’s amusing that this year, there are two on my TBR!

So. Anyway. I have a complicated relationship with this book. There are parts of it I really liked but there were a bunch of things that rubbed me the wrong way and I haven’t seen many reviews talking about some of the things that bothered me which makes me more inclined to be critical. I want issues to be talked about. SO. ANYWAY. I am going to start with the good stuff first and break this review down…

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Posted by on 03/14/2018 • 7 Comments

I never read Rick Riordan’s books. The short story is that there was no real reason to why I didn’t pick the books up. The longer (and a little pointless) story is that when The Lightning Thief first came out, it had a completely different cover then what it has now. I was in the middle school and our librarian told us all about it. I grew older but it stayed in the corner of my mind, I was in eternal search of the book with the white cover and never realized until a year ago (seriously!!!) that that book was the same one written by Rick Riordan that was so beloved now. Anyway, long pointless story short, I am weird and specific about what I read.

So I missed Rick…