Protected by Claire Zorn Book Review

I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?

Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?

In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl’s struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal.

My rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Whenever I read books about bullying I am always skeptical. “People can’t possibly be this mean,” I tell myself but then I have to remind myself that I went to a high school with 100 people where everybody knew everyone so my perspective of the world is pretty sheltered. I feel like everyone is tired of hearing about bullying but it’s an important issue that I believe to be still pertinent. It’s especially relevant now because bullies grow up and they suddenly have this enormous amount of power which is just terrifying.

Books like Protected aren’t easy to read and there were more than one moment throughout the novel where I needed to put it down in order to take a little book because damn this book is intense. It’s a very emotional read so definitely be prepared for that. There’s so many interesting layers to the story and everything is addressed wonderfully. You have Hannah’s unbearable grief after her sister dies and her having to deal with the fact that Katie’s her sister- has actually made her life better as the bullying has stopped. There’s also some great family dynamics, not just with her sister but with her mother and father and how Katie’s death has affected them all differently.

I thought it was really interesting to see Hannah’s grief played out. In all the flashbacks,I really hated Katie and honestly there were no redeemable qualities about her but nonetheless her death was really sad and heartbreaking. I think it was a really unique take on grief and I really enjoyed watching Hannah’s conflicting feelings play out.

One thing that I really liked about the book was the character of Josh. From reading the synopsis, it sounded like he would play the role of “love interest who cures her and makes all her problems go away.” but it wasn’t like that at all. He definitely was an important part of the story but he didn’t overtake the story nor did he overtake Hannah. Their friendship and the possibility of something more was adorable but the author left the ending really opening so there was no implication of them falling in love and living happily ever after for the rest of their lives which was so nice. I also found that he was a really different type of love interest- I don’t really know how to explain it but he wasn’t quite like anything I’ve ever seen and it was very refreshing.

Brooding Ya Hero by Carrie DiRisio Book Review


Goodreads Summary:Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?
Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?
Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. 
As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat. 

My rating:4.5/5 stars

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

My thoughts:

If you’re on twitter and you’re not following @yabroodinghero, you need to go and remedy that because it’s honestly so golden. It’s probably one of my favorite twitteraccounts so when I found out a book was coming out I was over the moon. I was really unsure whether it’d translate well into a book format but it was honestly so great.

This is one of those books where you really have to have read the cliche YA novels to fully appreciate the humour of it because  god the shade was incredible. From talking about “letting go of the breath they didn’t know they were holding” or the classic “character wakes up and describes themselves while looking in the mirror”, the author mocks countless tropes and it had me laughing out loud quite a number of times. While being funny, it also focused on some serious problems with YA literature like the token characters and killing off PoC to further the main characters. I think the discussions about diversity were on point and were delivered in such a wonderful way.

I thought the characters of Broody McHottiepants and Blondie DeMeanie were hilarious and I loved the discussion we got about feminism from Blondie: everything I read from both characters was so on point and accurate. It was just so fun reading it and being like “that’s exactly how it is!”

Honestly if you’re in the mood for a good laugh and some great commentary on diversity and feminism: I highly recommend it. I think of the most important parts of this books is that it doesn’t look down at YA novels: it’s a totally friendly mockery. YA novels are amazing but you can laugh at even the greatest of things, right?

What are your Favorite/least favorite  tropes in YA literature?

One year blogversary + Q&A

So according to WordPress, it’s been one year since I created this little blog. It’s been a great year and I’m really proud of the things I’ve posted, and the connections I’ve made. I definitely want to try to keep a steady output of content,and try to blog hop a lot more because I love to talk to other bookish people. All in all I’m really happy of how this past year has turned out in terms of my blog, regardless of the small number of followers.

So as a one year celebration I thought’d be cool to do a little Q&A where you guys ask me any questions that you might have and Ill answer them in a later post. So if you have any questions, post them in the comments below!

Some really good books that I’ve read lately.

For the past month or so I’ve been trying to catch up on reviews for review copies and have been failing miserably and am still tremendously behind. Because of that, I’ll probably not be able to do reviews for some really good books I’ve read lately, so I’d thought I’d make a post talking about those books!

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  1. The Wrong Side of  Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

I picked this up at chapters because it was like three dollars,the cover was pretty and it seemed vaguely familiar. I had 0 expectations going in but I came out  really impressed. It’s not a favorite or anything like that and I think I rated it like 4.5/5 stars but it was so well done.  It basically follows this girl who finds out that her father is one of the men running for president and she’s kind of thrust into the world of politics as she tags along for the campaign.The characters were stellar, I loved the family dynamic, the plot was so interesting and the romance was A+ very good. It also handled some really important topics which brought me close to tears a few times. All in all, it was a really good book and I would really recommend it.

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2.Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty

I had previously read her “The Husband’s Secret.” and while it was good, it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. I was a little wary to pick this up but boy am I glad I did. It was so gripping and exhilarating and I practically flew through it.  The characters were so good and every page had me guessing and then second-guessing. I loved seeing the petiness of school moms because I basically live for petiness.Anyway this was amazing and the plot twist had me reeling. I really can’t wait to watch the t.v show, tho i’m not sure how I feel about the casting.

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3. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Ever since this book has been relased, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. I’ve been wanting to read it for so long but was never able to so I finally picked it up this month and absolutely fell in love with it. I love simon so so much and just all th the characters are so great and I’m really excited to read the Leah spinoff. It was just such a feel good book and it was just so godamn adorable. I low key can’t wait for the movie,i think it’s going to be so good.


4. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

The minute I read the description of this book I knew I had to read it and plus I had to support this amazing author who was getting harassed by neo-nazis. It was sooo good. I loved the focus on family, the setting and just everything about it was freaking perfect.plus the love interest was super swoon worthy. Such a great summer contemporary,highly recommend

Have you read any of these books? What are some books that you like?

May Wrap-Up

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Note:All Diverse Books are marked with an asteriks

1.Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie Macdonald

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I liked: How everything was revealed and the alternating between past and present

What I disliked: The ending was fucking weird and disgusting and just gross.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon* Indian Mc and writer

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked:The adorable rom-com feel to it and all the amazing characters

What I disliked: Honestly nothing but of course there was the classic cringe/second-hand embarrassment moments

3. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket and 4. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

Goodreads

Goodreads

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The dark humor  and the resourcefulness of the child

What I disliked: The repetivedeness of it all and how the unwilling the adults were to listen.

5.The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson

Goodreads:

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked:The boarding school setting,the backdrop of debate and the mystery

What I disliked:The autism rep was kind of iffy

6.The Leavers by Lisa Ko* Chinese Mc and writer

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The subjects that were addressed and the characters.

What I disliked:The writing was stilted at times

7.Noble Genes by Rune Michaels*Mc’s mom has deppression and bipolar disorder

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I liked: The seriousness of the subjects discussed and the portrayal of mental illness

What I disliked: The ending. This is the second book I read this month with an ending like that and it’s just so fucked up. I hate it.

What Did you Read This month?

April Wrap-Up

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Note:All diverse books are marked with an asteriks

  1. The Reader by Traci Chee*Asian Mc and author

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The amazing world building

What I disliked: It was a little slow at times which is more of a personal thing but it made it a little less enjoyable.

2.History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera* Gay and Bi characters, and Character with OCD

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked: The rawness of it and the character development.

What I disliked: I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the characters but it didn’t really render my enjoyability

3. The Beast is An Animal by Peternelle Van Asdale

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The unique premise and mood.

What I disliked:It was rather slow and kind of anti-climatic

4.All The Forever Things by Joelle Perry

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The tragic ending

What I disliked: The juvenility of the writing style which reminded me of a middle grade book.

5.The Siren by Keira Cass

Goodreads

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked:  How intriguing it was and the unique concept and spin on sirens.

What I disliked:The writing style wasn’t the best but other than that it was really enjoyable.

6.The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanthan*Indian Character and Author

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I liked: Learning about an event in Canada that I had never heard of before.

What I disliked: It was kind of weird and had lots of random side plots and there didn’t really to be a point to any of the book.

7.Just Fly Away by Andrew Mccarthry

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I Liked: The  premise and the relationship between the Mc and her grandfather.

What I disliked: The awkward writing style and melodramaticness of the the Mc

8.Promises To Keep by Genevieve Graham

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The fact that it was set in Canada and the amount I learnt about Canadian history

What I disliked:The romance could’ve been developed a lot more

9.The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J Church

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4.5/5 stars

What I liked: The unique spin the author took on Los Alamos and the characters

What I disliked: The affair wasn’t the greatest thing though I understand that it was important.

10. Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked:The pettiness,the drama, the plot-twists, the characters, I loved everything

What I disliked:Nothing!

11.The Thousandth Floor By Katherine Mcgee

Goodreads

My rating:4/5 stars

What I liked:The premise,the intrigue and how fucked up the characters were.

What I liked: The incest, and the rushed ending.

 

What did you read this month?

 

 

 

 

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life…

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

My Rating:5/5 stars

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

Plot:

Despite the fact that I have only read three of Riley’s books she is still becoming one of my favorite authors.While her plots are oftentimes formulaic and cliche, there’s just something about them that makes me want to read a thousand of them.While it’s not the most unique books, they’re still pretty darn good.

This is the third book in a series following six sisters who’s adopted father,Pa Salt, has just died. None of these sisters are related by blood and have been all adopted from different part of the worlds. When he dies, he gives each of them a letter which will help them figure out where they came from.  The third one follows Star who discovers the life of a woman named Flora living in the early 1900s While this is a series, you’re able to read the books on their own as standalones though you will miss out on the overall plot of the stories. This is first one in the series that I have read but I do eventually plan on reading the rest.

Honestly the drama in the book was so petty but I live for pettiness. I love historical fictions featuring English drama,at this point I don’t know why I haven’t watched Downtown Abbey yet.Despite the fact that there was a lot of pettiness, it was really interesting and I learnt some interesting facts about English history.

Stories like these aren’t complete without some great plot-twists and I wasn’t disappointed.They weren’t the best but they were still pretty darn good.

Characters

I think my favorite part of  this book were the characters because I really related to them. Star is so similar to me and it was really nice to read a character with a similiar mindset,Flora was also very relatable and it’s always more enjoyable to read a book featuring relatable characters.I also loved all the side characters from the owner to the bookstore that Star works at to  all the historical figures that popped up in Flora’s life. I loved seeing both Star’s and Flora’s journey and really loved seeing Star’s evolution. In the beginning she is very attached to one of her sisters but then gradually she began to realize that the dependance that she had on her sister was unhealthy and began to distance herself a little more which was really nice to see.

Also this is random but I liked the way they casually mentioned sexuality and they even used the word asexual and I’ve like never seen anything like that in an adult book so that was cool. It could’ve been more prominent but it was nonetheless nice.

The Atomic Weight of Love By Elizabeth J Church

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Goodreads Summary:In her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era.

In 1941, at seventeen years old, Meridian begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. She is soon drawn to Alden Whetstone, a brilliant, complicated physics professor who opens her eyes to the fundamentals and poetry of his field, the beauty of motion, space and time, the delicate balance of force and energy that allows a bird to fly.

Entranced and in love, Meridian defers her own career path and follows Alden west to Los Alamos, where he is engaged in a secret government project (later known to be the atomic bomb). In married life, though, she feels lost and left behind. She channels her academic ambitions into studying a particular family of crows, whose free life and companionship are the very things that seem beyond her reach. There in her canyons, years later at the dawn of the 1970s, with counterculture youth filling the streets and protests against the war rupturing college campuses across the country, Meridian meets Clay, a young geologist and veteran of the Vietnam War, and together they seek ways to mend what the world has broken.

My Rating:4.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Plot:

The Manhattan Project has always something that has fascinated, so when I found it that this book portrayed an young ornithologist who follows her husband to Los Alamos I knew that I had to read it.I’m really glad I did because I absolutely loved it! I had no idea that they continued doing research after world war 2 and that they still have a research facility today.This book really focuses more on Meridan and not  anything that her husband does as his research is confidential, but it was nonetheless a really interesting read. I never really thought of  all the wives that followed their husband to Los Alamos, and how a lot of them had to give up their entire career and forgo the years of education and knowledge that they had. They could’ve been just as successful as their husbands and it’s amazing what women in those times sacrificed.

Characters:

I absolutely loved Meridan’s character,loved seeing how she evolved as she got older, loved seeing her struggle. I loved how always upkept her passion for birds, and never let anyone take that away from her.I especially loved seeing all the things she managed to do in her long life.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole affair thing, but I did understand its importance and did appreciate the value of it more towards the end of the book.It’s just that I’m never a fan of cheating storylines,regardless of the situation.

I really didn’t like the husband and there were so many moments where I just wanted to scream at him because I hated him so fucking much

I also really loved Meridan’s friendship with her friend May, and it was really tragic to see the way that whole thing ended.

 

March Wrap-up

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Note:All diverse books are marked with an asteriks

1.Meg and Linus*Gay and Lesbian characters

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked:This was honestly just a really cute book about two friends who were both gay and just their high school life. It was adorable and I loved every minute of it

What I disliked:Honestly nothing, it was great.

2.Get it Together Delilah by Erin Gough*Lesbian Mc

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:3.5/5 stars

What I liked:It was an interesting read with lots of potential and  was a quick fluffy contemporary

What I disliked:The story was really underdeveloped and just everything needed a lot of work. I liked the idea of it but it was really badly executed

3.The September of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer*Set in Iran and Mcs are Jewish

Goodreads

My Rating:4/5

What I liked: It was an interesting read about the aftermath of the iranian revolution and I learnt a lot of things and I’m always up for a non-western setting. Plus I love when there’s Jewish characters

What I disliked:I felt as though there wasn’t a point to the the whole book. While I did enjoy it, I felt it lacked purpose and some of the Povs were uneeded.

4.Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee* Chinese American and African American Mcs

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: It was a great historical fiction novel with diverse and amazing characters.

What I disliked:Not a huge fan of the whole girls dressing up as guys so that threw me off at first but I actually really ended up liking the trope in the end!

5.The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Helig* biracial and Persian Mcs

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4.5/5 stars

What I liked: The awesome time travel concept paired with a great cast of characters and excellent writing

What I disliked:  I really would’ve liked it if the author talked more about the treatment of natives because it was barely addressed and it’s something that I feel should’ve been talked about more.

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy*Set in India

Goodreads

My Rating:2.5/5 stars

What I liked:I liked the mystery behind it and was intrigued enough to continue on.

What I disliked:While it wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t great either. It was really boring and the writing style was weird and just the entire plot was weird. And while I did like the mystery I also found it to be a little bit of a let down tho. I guess literary fiction just isn’t my thing.It took me a long time to read it which is why I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to

7.Brick Lane by Monica Ali*Characters are bangladeshi

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5

What I liked:I liked seeing the perspective of a muslim woman moving to england and adapting. I also liked the commentary of Islamaphobia and how muslims were affected after 9/11

What I disliked: It was kind of a slow book and I wasn’t a fan of the romance or the other perspective which was told in letter format. Also the husband was hella annoying and I just wanted him to stop talking.

So that’s my march wrap-up!What books did you read in March?

 

 

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