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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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Review: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Review: Opposite of Always by Justin A. ReynoldsOpposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 5th March 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . . 

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

Opposite of Always is a very hyped book, and I can see why. I read it back in February, and as someone who’s not normally a fan of romance and main characters who are all about their romantic relationships, I ended up really enjoying it.

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Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment by Samira AhmedInternment by Samira Ahmed
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 19th March 2019
Publisher: Atom
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

I went into Internment knowing that it was going to break me, and in some ways it definitely did. Samira Ahmed poured so much into this book and it made me feel a lot of feelings. I think the main thing that got to me was that it felt so real. The things that happen in Internment could definitely happen in the USA, especially since they’re already happening in other countries around the world today, namely China. It wouldn’t be too much of a leap for US citizens to be treated this way.

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Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but Better by Christine RiccioAgain, but Better by Christine Riccio
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 7th May 2019
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane's made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time's a ticking, and she needs a change—there's nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She's going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

I feel like I have to put out a disclaimer saying that I didn’t go into this book expecting or hoping to hate it. I was planning on supporting a fellow Booktuber, because I think it’s great that Booktubers and book bloggers are getting book deals after they’ve worked so hard on their writing. Unfortunately, Again, But Better didn’t work out for me, and I’m gonna explain why. Continue reading

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen HaganWatch Us Rise by Ellen Hagan, Renée Watson
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 21st February 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission. Sick of the way that young women are treated even at their 'progressive' New York City high school, they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. One problem - no one shows up. That hardly stops them. They start posting everything from videos of Chelsea performing her poetry to Jasmine's response to being reduced to a racist and sexist stereotype in the school's theatre department. And soon, they've gone viral, creating a platform they never could've predicted.

With such positive support, the Women's Rights Club is also targeted by trolls. But Jasmine and Chelsea won't let their voices - or those of the other young women in their city - be silenced. They'll risk everything to be heard and effect change ... but at what cost?
 

Watch Us Rise had a lot of promise as a feminist YA story, but unfortunately it fell pretty flat for me. I was unable to connect with any of the characters, mostly because they were either lacking substance or completely irritating.

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