Review: Suggested Reading by Dave Connis

Review: Suggested Reading by Dave ConnisSuggested Reading by Dave Connis
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 17th September 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal’s “prohibited media” hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren’t allowed anywhere on the school’s premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished.

Many of these stories have changed Clara’s life, so she’s not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal abuses his power. She’s going to strike back.

So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara’s forced to face her role in it.

Will she be able to make peace with her conflicting feelings, or is fighting for this noble cause too tough for her to bear?

I picked up Suggested Reading because it said it was perfect for fans of Moxie (which I haven’t read yet but I feel like it’s one of those books that I should connect with, ya know?) and I was like “YES! A bookworm fights the system!” So I was super hyped. Unfortunately I was disappointed.
I had multiple issues with Suggested Reading, and they all began because I just could not connect with the writing style. First of all, it was all over the place. You know that writing style that feels really bitty and disconnected and unedited? That’s what this was. I struggled to follow the plot because the writing style just didn’t flow.

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Review: Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Review: Kingdom of Souls by Rena BarronKingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
Series: Kingdom of Souls #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 3rd September 2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Here’s my review of Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron! I’m very excited to have the opportunity to review Kingdom of Souls, which I thought was a great fantasy debut.

I have so many thoughts on this one! I’m going to try to be as coherent as possible. And no, that doesn’t mean this was a five star read (not quite!) but it ended up being a very solid four star one!

I read this book in two days. Partly because I had to (deadlines!) and partly because by the mid-way point I was kind of hooked. After about fifty percent, the book starts to kick off and I just could not put it down. But I should probably start from the beginning first.

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Monthly Wrap Up: August 2019 & BOTM Giveaway

Life Stuff

August was a very exciting month for me! It was busy, as usual, but some good things happened, the most important of which was Quill and I finding a new place to live! Due to his job being a lot further away from our current flat, we’re having to move a bit closer so his commute isn’t so long. We found a house at the beginning of the month, and have been sorting out all of the paperwork for it. I’m so excited that I’m considering doing a house tour vlog! Maybe lifestyle vlogging will be my new thing.

My company has started paying for fitness classes, so I’m now doing one of those a week as well as a Pilates class. I’m feeling pretty good about all of that right now. If I can get my running back up to scratch, I’ll feel even better!

Another thing my company is paying for is a monthly session on mindfulness. I’ve always wanted to try meditation but if I’m doing it on my own I get distracted, so these sessions have been quite helpful in helping me clear my head and help me to stay focussed for the rest of the day. Having a guide is really useful, it turns out!

Over the bank holiday weekend, Quill and I went to the New Forest. We were ambushed by a lot of horses and donkeys on multiple occasions, and we ended up doing a 16km walk on one of the days. I had a great time down there, and would definitely like to go back in the near future.

On a more negative note, the climate change and Brexit stuff that’s happening is stressing me out. I’m actually losing sleep over it because I feel so powerless to stop it. The Amazon is burning down and no one seems to really care, and the UK government has been suspended because one man wants it to. Continue reading

Review: Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Review: Heroine by Mindy McGinnisHeroine by Mindy McGinnis
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 12th March 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.

But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

I always enjoy Mindy McGinnis’ books, and Heroine is no exception. I went into this book knowing that it was going to be dark and difficult, and it was, but I also greatly appreciated reading about Mickey’s story.

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Review: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Review: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy RibayPatron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 27th June 2019
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

Prior to reading Patron Saints of Nothing, I knew very little about what is going on in the Philippines right now. I cannot express how happy I am that I picked up this book, as it encouraged me to learn more about the situation.

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