Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

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I decided that I’m going to take a break from the endless amount of reviews I need to write to do something a little bit more fun! I can’t believe the year is halfway over, there are still so many books that I want to read.

  1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year?

Looking back at all the books I’ve read so far, I have to say that none of them really stand out as the “best book I’ve read so far.” There are some five-star reads but I don’t know if any of them deserve the best book title. If I had to choose though I guess I would pick either History is All You Left me or When Dimple Met Rishi, both really great reads.

2.Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far This Year?

I’ve read barely any series this year, expect for the Red Rising trilogy which is absolutely  amazing. So I guess Golden Son is the best sequel I’ve read this year though it is the only one.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To?

That’s like an impossible question to answer, there’s so many! To name a few: Girl Out Of Water, The Hate U Give,The Upside of Unrequited and How To Make A Wish

4.Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of The Year?

The Girl With The Red Balloon sounds pretty awesome, other than that I can’t really think of any other ones that I’m excited for.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

Fall On Your Knees was pretty disappointing, it wasn’t my lowest rated book but I was really excited to read it and came out reading it, feeling really gross and just really didn’t like what went on in that book.

6.Biggest Surprise?

The Book of Negroes, I really did not expect to like it as much as I did and thought for sure that it’d be one of those books that just dragged on forever but it didn’t and it was super engaging and I absolutely loved it!

7.Favorite New Author(Debut or New To You)?

I absolutely loved Anna- Marie  Mclemore’s Wild Beauty and thought her writing style was absolutely gorgeous! So good and I can’t wait to read her other books.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

I don’t really get fictional crushes because I need so much information to even develop a crush on someone which very rarely happens in books.Rishi was pretty cute I guess or Rishi, either or.

9.Newest Favorite Character?

I think either Linus from Meg and Linus or Griffin from History is All You Left Me

10.Book That Made You Cry?

I never cry because of books though some books have made me come pretty close to tears. I was close to tearing up when reading What I Lost, there was some pretty intense scenes in that book.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

When Dimple Met Rishi, Meg and Linus, and The Sun Is also A Star were all adorable reads.

12. Prettiest Book You’ve Bought or Received This Year.

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The Reader is a pretty gorgeous book:inside and out.

13. What Books Do you Need To Read By The End of The Year.

There’s so many I want to get to! I hope to get a Kate Morton I bought,try to finish The Chaos Walking Trilogy, maybe read Simon Vs Homo Sapiens Agenda, and hopefully many more awesome books!

14.. Favorite Book Community Member?

That’s so hard to chose, I love Fadwa’s blog and twitter and Aimal’s blog and twitter and instagram. There’s probably like a million others that I like but they’re all escaping me at the moment

What Were Your Answers For These Questions.How Has Your 2017 Been so far?

You Bring the Distance Near by Mitali Perkins Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new

Disclaimer:I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

You Bring The Distance Near is one of those books that though is classified as Young Adult can be seen as an adult book which is honestly the best type of book. We follow five girls from the same family across three generations as they deal with first loves and their culture among other things.

I loved everything that was discussed in this book, and loved seeing the girls adapt to American culture. I also thought it was a really interesting way to tell the story as we started in 1973 and finished in 2006 so we got to see the characters progression and got to be introduced to new characters.The subjects that were addressed were very relevant and done in a very poignant manner. I really liked the discussion of racism and also racism within certain cultures as we saw one  of the characters marrying an African-American and a biracial child being born out of that marriage and how the two families  dealt with that. A certain disdain towards black people was portrayed which I think is important to discuss in books like these.

One issue I did have with the plot was the pacing of the novel. I felt as though they focused a lot on two of the girls:Tara and Sonia for the majority of the book and then the other two girls: Chantal and Anna were kind of like afterthoughts, I think if would’ve been a little more interesting if an equal amount of time was spent on the two generations of girls instead of really developing the first generation but not as much the second.

Characters

I thoroughly enjoyed all five girls that were the focus of the story and especially identified with Sonia as she was very bookish and intellectual and I just love reading books with characters like hers as I think they’re very important. As i said previously, I would’ve liked to see more development from Chantal and Anna’s part and while I really loved what I saw, I found it kind of odd that their storylines weren’t as developed. Another thing that I found kind of odd was the fact that Sonia’s and Tara’s mother was considered the fifth women despite the fact that her perspective really wasn’t something that was expanded or shed light upon.This wasn’t really the fault of the author but more of the synopsis.

Another aspect that I think could’ve been expanded on is that of the love interests.While all four girls have boys that they fall in love with, I feel as though we really didn’t get enough expansion in regards to these love interests and would’ve liked just a little bit more insight. This is a pretty short book so I think that had the book been like maybe 100 pages longer, a lot of things could’ve been expanded on which would’ve made the book a lot better.

 

 

Follow Me Back by A.V Geiger Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Disclaimer:I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

Before I start talking about the actual book, I just wanted to say one thing. I really don’t like Wattpad.While I do appreciate what it has done for young readers and I do know that a lot of people wouldn’t read anything if they didn’t read stuff on Wattpad but I think it definitely lowers the standards of writing.This is just my personal opinion and while I may sound elitist, it’s what I believe. That being said, I did appreciate Follow Me Back despite te fact that it was originally a Wattpad sensation.

Follow me Back is filled with tropes galore as we follow mega-fan Tessa as she copes with her Agoraphobia. Her only gateway to the outside world is through twitter as she posts about Pop sensation Eric Thorn. The story is told in alternating chapters as Tessa engages in a online friendship with an Eric Thorn hate account, not knowing the actual identity behind the account..

Despite the fact that Follow Me Back was filled with cliche after cliche, I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Obviously it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read but it was really fun. I loved the format of the book and how it was told in police transcripts, Dms and tweets and not just typical prose. I also enjoyed how we saw just how scary fans can be and the shit stars can deal with it.  Books that deal with fame is one trope that I can get behind.

While I did enjoy it I did find that it was falsely advertised as a thriller when that really wasn’t the main focus of the novel. That was mostly towards the end and the rest of the book really focused on Tess and Eric. I kind of wish there would have been a lit bit more thriller aspect to it because I wasn’t completely satisfied with what I got. I am curious how there’s going to be a sequel because I don’t know what else could happen.

Characters

Follow Me  Back is one of those books that you really need to like the main characters as they’re basically the only characters that you get to really know. To be honest I wasn’t the hugest fan of either of them and felt their romance was kind of weird and just way too quick and rushed. It didn’t really matter for me though as I was just in a certain mood where I just wanted something super light with not much development so I got what I wanted. I would’ve liked to see a little more of Eric’s and Tess’ personalities.

One thing that  really had me upset was the portrayal of Agoraphobia. Basically the entire time we know that Tess went through something traumatizing and then towards the end this traumatizing event is kind of resolved so she basically says that  that her agoraphobia is gone because it’s no longer a threat. With things like those, while a certain event may be the spark that triggers the illness, such trauma doesn’t just go away because it’s resolved. You can’t just get better magically after months of staying inside with horrible  anxiety. It’s  a gradual process that takes lots of time and I think that they should’ve portrayed it as such instead of just making her mental illness miraculously  disappear. It seemed as though she needed the illness for a plot point and once it was no longer important decided to cure Tess. Really wasn’t a fan of that.

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again.She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size-zero obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

My Rating:4/5 stars

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

Plot:

Books like these are never easy to read but they are so important and instrumental to this generation. If you are able to read books like these without triggering yourself then I highly recommend that you do because I think they shed some light on a subject that is very oftentimes tabooed. Other than Wintergirls, I really can’t think of another book dealing with eating disorders that I’ve read so I’m really glad that I picked this up because it was really good.

What I Lost explores really well the process of getting better in situations like this , and shows that recovery is a huge process that doesn’t happen overnight or once you leave a treatment facility. We also how family really shapes things like this and I liked how we saw Alexandra’s mom’s struggle with eating and showed your behaviors really  influence your children.

A part of the story I really wasn’t that big of a fan was the whole mystery behind the packages.It just felt kind of out of place and while I did like the way it did turn out and I really appreciated the choice Alexandra had made, I still feel as though it didn’t have to be a part of the story.

Characters

Like any contemporary, the characters were definitely the best part of this story. Every  single character that we encountered was really well developed and we really got a backstory for all of them. I loved seeing the girls that Alexandra that she met in the treatment center and how they helped her.

As I said before I really liked seeing the mother storyline and I thought her character was really interesting and there was some really good character development. I think I would’ve liked just a little bit of Alexandra’s  dad but I did like what I saw.

The one character that really really needed development was the secret admirer. I just felt like we barely knew anything about him  and I would’ve liked to understand him a little bit better but I did like him.