4 stars

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira AhmedLove, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 16th January 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a "suitable" Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City--and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she's only known from afar. There's the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya's last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

For such a short book, Love, Hate & Other Filters packs quite a punch. It tackles Islamophobia, identity struggles, first love, and so much more.

It took me no time at all to get sucked into this book and fall in love with Maya. She’s such a great main character and I loved following her on her journey as she tried to be a Muslim, and an Indian, and an American, and a teenager.

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The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo SurmelisThe Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 30th January 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan’s only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is. And, yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s his best friend Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. It’s Henry who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he’s more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by avoiding attention at all costs.

The Dangerous Art of Blending In is a really tough book for me to review because it is about such a dark subject matter and also, without going into too much detail, it hit very close to home and it was triggering. I had to keep putting the book down because Surmelis’ wrote certain scenes so well that I had to step out of the story for a bit.

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Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis by Andy WeirArtemis by Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 14th November 2017
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz's problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself - and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.

Along with everyone else in the world, I had been waiting for something new from Andy Weir with bated breath. I was completely ready to read more about Mark Watney because after reading The Martian he became one of my all time favourite characters. But Artemis is actually about a young woman called Jazz.

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One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManusOne Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 30th May 2017
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

One of Us is Lying is a fast paced thriller that is perfect for your holiday reading! It completely hooked me, and I read it in two sittings (I was forced to take a break, meh) because I just couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to Simon. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending as well, which always makes for a good thriller.

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffGemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 18th October 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

I wasn’t too sure about Gemina before I read it because I was on the fence about Illuminae. In the end, I picked it up because I was in the mood for something written in a style such as this, and I knew that I’d at least somewhat enjoy the story. What actually happened was I ended up liking Gemina a lot more than Illuminae because I felt more connected to the main character, and I feel like the story flowed better.

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