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Friday, April 07, 2017

Different in a Good Way: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

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Different in a Good Way: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
Done Dirt Cheap
Sarah Nicole Lemon
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: March 7th, 2017
by Amulet Books

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Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.
-A copy was provided by Amulet Books for review-

Motorbike clubs is always a good way to get a person’s attention but I honestly did not expect what I got from Done Dirt Cheap. I assumed there would be an element of fluff to the book but instead, what I got was a complex, thoughtfully crafted novel with words that just jumped off the page. There are some books you finish that will oddly make you feel nostalgic for something you don’t even quite remember and Done Dirt Cheap was that book for me. In some ways it was reminiscent of the contemporary YA novels I grew up on.

I think part of the nostalgia for me came from the focus on female friendships in this book. Like both the main characters have their love interests and those relationships are important (and thoughtfully developed) but the way Tourmaline and Virginia interacted WAS the highlight of the novel. It is what breathed life to it and what made it such a compelling piece of work. It kind of reminded me of the powerful female friendships I read about in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was a bb8, growing up.

The romantic relationships ~are~ important in the novel but only so much as how the main characters are defined by them (but also, those boys were both cute and IDK which one I liked more.) I love that they don’t necessarily read like an after thought but the novel doesn’t center around them. It only uses the relationships as a way to further character development.

There are more than just compelling female friendships in the novel though. THERE ARE GOOD FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. Good in that they are well developed. They are not at the front and center of the novel bu they linger in the background in ways you can tell are important and that the book wouldn’t be the same without them.

Honestly, this book is like a 7 layer bar. Its got subtle details that might not work on their own, but together, ITS A FEAST. But maybe that’s not the best simile. There are just a lot of complex layers to the book that make it what it is. Details that shouldn’t matter but the book wouldn’t be the same without it.

The reason why this book doesn’t get all five stars though is that I felt like the plot was missing something. It is a character driven book and there is nothing wrong with a book being character driven but plots are equally important and I wish I had been able to see more of a definite plot arc.

Overall though, Done Dirt Cheap is a book you will want to have on your TBRs if you love character driven contemporary novels with pretty covers.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

One of the Most Important Books: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

One of the Most Important Books: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Posted by on 03/23/2017 • 2 Comments

It’s in the title of this review post but I am going to repeat it anyway: Amina’s Voice is one of the most important books published this year and has clearly not gotten the hype it deserves. It’s a middle grade book and I know a lot of people shy away from reading those because reading tastes vary but please don’t overlook this book. Amina’s Voice is such a wonderful, heartfelt book and deserves and infinite amount of love from everybody.

I should take a moment to say I am neither Muslim-American or Pakistani-American but Amina’s Voice still resonated with and I found myself nodding along and feeling Amina’s struggle with her cultural identity on a spiritual level. I grew up feeling similar struggles and even though it wasn’t ~my story~, it felt really…

DNF Review: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

DNF Review: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Posted by on 11/27/2015 • 11 Comments

Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place) Such a lovely face Plenty of room at the Hotel California Any time of year (Any time of year) You can find it here

Let me tell you something about my childhood. Back when I was a kid, I would fly to the Sultanate of Oman (a very peaceful Middle Eastern country) to spend time with my father. He worked there as the head Quality Surveyor of a pretty kick-ass construction company, and the times I spent there were one of the very few times I could be with him (the rest of the year would be spent in the Philippines, away from his loving arms). Every time we were in the car, he would put on…

Review: PIXU by  Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon (Illustrations), Becky Cloonan (Illustrations)

Review: PIXU by Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon (Illustrations), Becky Cloonan (Illustrations)

Posted by on 09/23/2015 • 1 Comment

I don’t read a lot of Graphic Novels, but I do enjoy them once in a while. I have come across a lot of really great ones, but unfortunately this was not one of them. The artwork was beautiful, and the story was creepy and disturbing, but it left a lot to be desired. I understand that with this type of novel, you are a bit limited, though there is no reason that it couldn’t have been a more fully developed story. Others I have read are plenty well rounded. Anyways, this is a great creepy novel for going into Halloween season. It was a short and quick read. Be forewarned though, there is much adult content in this. Not just in the blood and gore, but the subject matter…

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Posted by on 08/26/2015 • 10 Comments

Long story short: this book got me out of a dreadful book slump.

One of a bookworm’s worst nightmares? That feeling when you just can’t get into any book. I’ve started feeling this way recently, having started at least five novels in the last five days and not finishing a single one. I just couldn’t feel anything towards them. Is it me or is it the book? Either way, I was a wreck with the guilt, considering the backlog of books, ARCs and otherwise, that have been on my shelves for months.

Leave it to Rae Carson’s fantastic storytelling skills and genuine characters to pull me out of that abyss. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

This book gave me newfound life. The Gold Rush era + an uncanny ability to feel…

BEA Recap

BEA Recap

Posted by on 06/10/2015 • 35 Comments

Hello everyone! Today I am going to do my best to recap the awesomeness that was BEA! This was my first time going, and it was both amazing and overwhelming. Luckily, I was with some pros, so it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

So off I go to NYC by train on Wednesday, while those already there enjoyed their first day atBEA. It was actually a pretty good trip. I just listened to an audiobook and enjoyed the ride. I got into NYC around 6:30pm and headed to the hotel to join Giselle from Xpresso Reads, Micheline from Lunar Rainbows, and Rashika from The Social Potato. We had so much fun! We had dinner and settled in for the…

Review: Blood Will Tell by April Henry

Review: Blood Will Tell by April Henry

Posted by on 06/01/2015 • 0 Comments

I love a good mystery, and I did enjoy the first book in this series. I guess it’s not really a series as much as companion novels, but whatever. This was actually a really cool one since you actually know rather quickly who the killer is, but all evidence points to the wrong person. So instead of trying to figure out who did it, you are trying to find out how it all points to someone who is innocent. Much like the first book, this is told in numerous POV’s, which took me a bit away from the story, but it also gives you a full picture of what is going on. I have to say, I had no clue how in the world the evidence could be possible until…

Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Posted by on 05/15/2015 • 9 Comments

Another contemporary that covers stereotyping. I love these types of books. This one happens to have a forbidden type romance as well. I really liked the characters a lot. Especially Arden. He was fantastic and totally not what you are initially expecting. I really liked the story to this too. It’s much deeper than the town sheriff’s kid falling for the poor “Mexican” girl, which by the way, she was born and raised in the US, not that it matters either way. Also, it focuses on the pressure that are put on kids. They are sometimes forced to grow up way too quickly or to follow what is expected instead of finding what they want out of life. I thought it was well done with some extra messed up stuff…