Book Review | Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot

greeklyAuthour:
Mandy Baggot
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 331 pages
Publication date:
May 22nd 2015
Publisher:
Bookouture
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Fun fact, I never knew that there were all-inclusive resorts in other places besides the Caribbean. Anyways just like its resort setting, Truly, Madly, Greekly is a book that lets its readers escape from all their everyday troubles. While it starts off slow, Truly, Madly, Greekly evolves into a mostly light beach read.

While there were countless situations that were unbelievable and definitely difficult to relate to, however the one thing that the protagonist, Ellen and I shared was our idea of a relaxing vacation. We both would like to just sit in peace and take pleasure in the book that we are currently reading, rather than partake in any resort activities. However, that’s where the similarities end, as I would never let anyone make me do anything other than my idea of relaxing. Though I guess it works and is necessary for the plot of Truly, Madly, Greekly to move forward. And while I initially was unsure of the romance between Ellen and Yan since their relationship progressed remarkably quickly, it was evident that they truly did care about each other which is always nice.

Regardless of my uncertainty of the romance, I thought the authour did an excellent job capturing how families can be dysfunctional yet still work well for the most part. Ellen’s dad and sister are just as self absorbed and stubborn as her, and it was nice seeing that deep down in their own warped way they truly cared about each other. I also loved how Ellen’s sister was able to grow up a bit by the conclusion as it allowed Ellen a chance to discover herself, and what it was that she desired in life.

Thus while it’s not my ideal read, Truly, Madly, Greekly is still an entertaining if albeit cheesy summer beach read which makes it perfect if you’re craving a simple read that doesn’t require you to take things too seriously.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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Book Review | Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash

3 dayAuthour:
Sarvenaz Tash
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 234 pages
Publication date:
May 19th 2015
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Girl meets boy, it’s your typical setup for a summer romance. However, what if they met in 1969 during the legendary Woodstock music festival? The result is the foundation for Sarvenaz Tash’s latest YA novel, Three Day Summer.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the setting of this book was probably my favourite aspect of Three Day Summer. I loved how the issue of gender inequality was addressed through the character of Cora. I loved how she had aspirations to become a doctor, this was uncommon for women during her time, and it made me sad to watch her be discouraged from being ambitious similar to countless girls during her time. For this reason, I loved Anna, who was an excellent supporting character as she always looked out for Cora and encouraged her. Additionally, I adored the delightful cameos from extremely recognizable musicians.

Three Day Summer is a novel that is told from a dual perspective by Michael a teenage boy from Massachusetts who has come to the music festival with his friends and his girlfriend, Amanda. To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Michael as I felt that he was slightly wishy-washy and indecisive which annoyed me a bit. However, in the conclusion, I did appreciate observing how he and Cora helped each other out and changed each other for the better.

Therefore, while Three Day Summer is not a book that I would count among my all-time favourite it is a book that has a summer-y feel to it which makes it an excellent summer read for those who love music and don’t mind books that contain insta-love and a bit of cheating in them.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk

bridesmaidAuthour:
Lindsey Kelk
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 386 pages
Publication date:
June 16th 2015
Publisher:
Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media:
Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
For some of you, readers June is the start of the “wedding season” which means all those invitations to weddings of family and friends. Or perhaps you are the one getting married this year. Either way, if this is you, probably followed by you bracing for some heaving spending. For me neither is true, though my close friends are (mostly) in serious relationships, none of them are getting married anytime soon. And that’s okay, since I can live vicariously through fiction such as Lindsey Kelk’s Always the Bridesmaid which is basically all the excitement of a party without the actual stress from all the drama that usually comes to weddings.

I first time I learnt of this book from Suman at HarperCollins through twitter, and I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Always the Bridesmaid for review from Kaitlyn who told me that it was an extremely enjoyable read (which it was so thank you so much, Kaitlyn!). I love how the relationship between Maddie and her best friends was portrayed in the book since for me; personally it rings true to life. There are times that my best friends and I would do things to drive each other insane, nevertheless when it comes down to it, we are there for each other when one of us needs it. Additionally, I also loved how each chapter starts with an entry from the bridesmaid journal that Lauren gives to Maddie and their friend, Sarah. This means you receive hilarious and amusing snippets of what the journal contains and what it asks the bridesmaids to write about, several of them make sense, however others are ridiculously cheesy, which makes it all the more entertaining.

If you are searching for a light and entertaining summer beach read, then I definitely recommend that you pick up Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk since she truly has a gift for telling stories with flawed characters in a way that you cannot help but root for them to find happiness in the end.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | A Tale of Two Besties by Sophia Rossi

twobestiesAuthour:
Sophia Rossi
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 302 pages
Publication date:
May 12th 2015
Publisher:
Razorbill
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Every so often after reading a large number of heavy subject books, you may crave a break from it all. For me, I usually accomplish this by picking up a light and fluffy contemporary YA novel. Vikki from Penguin Random House suggested that I try A Tale of Two Besties, and she was right it truly was an adorable read.

Tale of Two Besties, concerns two best friends, Harper and Lily who are inseparable that is until Lily’s parents decide that it would be better for her “development” if she attended the special Pathways school instead of Beverly High like the rest of her class, including her best friend Harper.

I liked that the story was told from the perspective of both girls, as we get a glimpse at what each girl is thinking and feeling while they go through similar and occasionally the same experiences and events. In addition it was cool to watch how each girl adapted to high school without each other and their attempts at staying in contact when they went to separate schools.

All in all, I believe this book does an excellent job at illustrating how friendships similar to any good relationship needs to be a two-way street and that it is imperative that friends communicate with each other so that there are no misunderstandings. Furthermore, this book demonstrates that people probably should be realistic regarding their expectations as friendships change especially when people are apart. However, if I were to be honest I ought to say reading Tale of Two Besties felt akin to reading a middle grade novel rather than a YA novel. Although this may be due to the age of the two girls, who in this book are just starting high school. Not that there’s anything wrong with middle grade fiction, in the end it just wasn’t for me.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Words of Asia | Re Jane by Patricia Park

WOA

For a listing to the links for all the other review posts for the Words of Asia blog event click here.

About the Authour:
Patricia Park was born and raised in Queens, New York. Re Jane is her first novel. She has also published numerous essays in several major outlets such as the New York Times, and the Guardian.

Where Does it Take Place?
Re Jane starts off in Flushing, Queens and Seoul, Korea and Jane tries to flee from her actions in New York.

rejane

What’s it About:
A modern retelling with a unique twist to the classic novel, Jane Eyre. We meet Jane Re, a half-American, half-Korean young woman who has grown up in Flushing, Queens for her whole life. An orphan, she lives with her uncle’s family and works in their grocery store. However, wanting to so desperately escape she ends up taking a job as an au pair for a couple of Brooklyn English professors who have adopted a Chinese daughter.

My Thoughts:
While I had some minor issues with Jane Eyre when I read it back in high school I really enjoyed Re Jane. Despite being a sort of retelling of Jane Eyre, Re Jane definitely stands on its own as a strong début novel. I loved the twists that were added to this story to make the book stand out on its own. In particular, I love how Jane in this book was a recent graduate who had only one job offer but due to a corporate scandal the company could no longer afford to hire anyone new. For recent graduates and even post grads, I think many of us can relate to this even now as it is certainly difficult to find employment. I also loved how I could relate to Jane’s naivety and inexperience when it came to life, as I too had a strict, sheltered upbringing just like she had. Overall, I loved what this book had to say about finding what you want and learning to appreciate what you have.

You’ll like this book, if you love:
Books of characters in that emerging adulthood stage of life. As Jane is a recent university graduate, it leads to some interesting storytelling. Also if you are into diverse books, this is a good choice as Park infuses elements of the classic novel, Jane Eyre with the immigrant experiences of Korean-Americans. Even if you have not read or have read but didn’t enjoy Jane Eyre, you should definitely pick up Re Jane.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Nevertheless, regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

fangirlAuthour:
Sam Maggs
Format:
Hardcover, 207 pages
Publication date:
May 12th 2015
Publisher:
Quirk Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“Every fangirl is different. Her very identity as a fangirl is predicated on the fandom that gives her all the feels.” (p. 16)

When I first heard that this book was coming out, my interest was positively peaked. As somebody who considers herself to be a geek and a fan girl, I was definitely interested to read what Sam Maggs had to say.

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks resembles a “how to” guide on the different aspects of fandom such as cosplay, conventions in addition there’s also a glossary of key terms when it comes to feminism and all things geek. While for countless geeks, the material in the book perhaps may seem akin to common sense, I thought it was written in a manner that made it entertaining to read regardless of whether or not you are familiar with the topics discussed in the book. Furthermore I certainly appreciated the section on kick ass female characters as I truly was unaware of several of them, and now that I know of them I am definitely putting them on my list of comics and books to read and shows to watch. In addition I loved reading the interviews with well-known personalities on what being a fan girl means to them.

Overall, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy serves as an excellent introduction to all things geeky, and I loved that it was written from a feminist perspective that is accessible to all. Therefore even if you aren’t new to being nerdy/geek, I believe there are still a few useful things that you can pick up from this book including the section on the list of online resources and websites that are ideal for those looking maybe meet other geeks and gain further knowledge. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is a book that I will definitely be passing along to my fellow geeky friends, even those that aren’t avid readers.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

moleculesAuthour:
Susin Nielsen
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 248 pages
Publication date:
May 12th 2015
Publisher:
Wendy Lamb Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
I was first introduced to Susin Nielsen’s books when I picked up The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen. I was pleasantly surprised by that book, and I ended up finishing it one sitting which for me is rare. With her latest novel, We Are All Made of Molecules Nielsen has done it once again, she’s made me love a story that I didn’t expect to.

Reminiscent of her last book, We Are All Made of Molecules also examines the issues of fitting in and bullying but what I enjoyed with reference to this book in particular was its focus on family. We Are All Made of Molecules is at its core, a heartwarming story regarding unconventional families and being true to yourself and the people you love. Also unlike The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is told from two perspectives, 14 year old Ashley and 13 year old Stewart. While Ashley comes off initially as your stereotypical, spoiled and bratty and selfish I couldn’t hate her since Nielsen is that fine of a writer and I could understand a bit, where Ashley is coming from. On the other hand, Stewart is so awkwardly adorkable. I admired how unabashed he was concerning being who he is and it was sweet to observe him truly attempt to make his unusual, new situation work. However, both Ashley and Stewart have their flaws and it was lovely to witness both undergo some character growth and development by the conclusion especially when it came to Ashley. Overall, the alternating viewpoints, interesting choice that works for this story as we receive two, contrasting perspectives to events that occur throughout this book.

We Are All Made of Molecules is an excellent book for an older middle grade audience as it has a number of mature content that may not be appropriate for the younger readers. Nevertheless, as it is a simple but emotionally powerful book I feel that it would also be a story that resonates with us adults as well as with those who consider themselves to be “young at heart”.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Waiting on Wednesday #21 | The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

wed

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights upcoming titles that we’re looking forward to/dying to read.
It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
fangirl
Authour:
Sam Maggs
Publication date:
May 12th 2015
Publisher:
Quirk Books

Synposis:

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild

When I first heard about this book, I knew I needed it right away. I love that there’s finally a book aimed at female geeks, and I can’t wait for this book to come out. I plan on sharing this book with my group of friends from high school as we all identified ourselves as geeks and would definitely find this book a very useful as well as fun read.

What books are you “waiting” on this week?