Monday, July 1, 2019

Mini Reviews | 11

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh
Published June 26, 2018
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Audiobooks
Review:
I’m usually not a big fan of anthologies just because right when I start to feel invested with the story or the characters, the story ends. So I never feel really satisfied while reading them. However, there were a few stories in here that I really enjoyed but, also, there were a lot that I could care less about. 

The ones I enjoyed the most was Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong, The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers, Nothing into All by RenΓ©e Ahdieh and Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa. I thought they were quite fascinating and I enjoyed how most of them (even the ones I didn’t care too much for) really focused on feminism especially when the original tale might have a male lead but in these versions, the author(s) introduced a female lead instead. 

Unfortunately though, like I stated, most of the short stories fell flat for me and just a few days after listening to them, I pretty much forgot all of them except for the few that stood out to me. I think that goes to show how much I enjoyed them.
Rating:
🌟🌟1/2

LET'S CHAT!  DO YOU TYPICALLY ENJOY ANTHOLOGIES OR SHORT STORIES?  DO YOU HAVE A RECOMMENDATION?  LET ME KNOW πŸ’•

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published June 16, 2015
Review:
So because I am not OCD and so I am not the rep for this book, I can’t say for certain if the OCD rep in this book was done well. However, from what I could tell, I thought it was portrayed really well. I liked how the author differentiated between how there are different types of OCDs – ones that are purely O and others that have more Ds. I did not know that there were different variations prior to reading this book but upon reading it, I found it very informational. 

I also really liked reading about Sam’s OCD while trying to hide it from her supposedly “best friends” who were also the popular girls in school. And I liked reading about her struggles about fitting in with them and trying to be true to herself. 

My favorite part was definitely the plot twist at the end of the book. I definitely did not see that coming at all and when it did, I literally was just shell-shocked because I never once got an inkling about it at all. However, looking back, it made sense. There was also this romance in this book that I absolutely adored because he was just so wonderful and an overall great guy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I have to say, Tamara is quickly becoming a must-read author for me!
Rating:
🌟🌟🌟🌟

LET'S CHAT!  DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WITH OCD OR ANY OTHER KINDS OF MENTAL ILLNESSES?  DO YOU ENJOY BOOKS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESSES IN GENERAL?  LET ME KNOW πŸ’•

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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Published April 3, 2018
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository
Review:
An alternate reality with zombies set in the 1800s with a POC main character? Unfortunately this book fell extremely flat for me. I found Jane to be incredibly irritating and annoying. Katherine was also a miss. And the overall book to be kind of boring. 

For whatever reason, I just never got into the story and perhaps it was because I listened to it via audiobook but I found myself somewhat confused at the situations that Jane and Katherine found themselves at times. I just found the plot to be very messy – there were so much chaos going on and it felt that the beginning of the book seemed so different than the latter half. It was as if there were two very distinct books mushed into one and there was no good way to bridge the two. 

The only positive thing that I could say about the book was that I liked the feminism discussion that went on as well as the great representation it had (sexuality and racial). Other than that though, everything else fell flat and I should have DNFed it around halfway through but since I had it on 2x the speed, I though it’ll go by fast. It didn’t.
Review:
🌟

LET'S CHAT!  WOULD YOU PICK UP THIS BOOK AND GIVE IT A SHOT?  DO YOU ENJOY ALTERNATE HISTORY NOVELS?  LET ME KNOW πŸ’•

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American Panda by Gloria Chao
Published February 6, 2018
Review:
So I was at Kat Cho’s launch event recently and she said something that really stood out to me. It was something along the lines of #ownvoices and the fact that even though it’s technically #ownvoices, it might not be relatable to you because everyone is different. Just because you share one rep (sexual, racial, etc.) doesn’t mean we’re all the same. 

So that’s basically how I felt for this book. This is an #ownvoices novel for me since Mei is Taiwanese American and I am as well. However, her experience with her parents is vastly different from my own. It was honestly so shocking to me to see how her parents treated her regarding grades, her career and who she can date. I have heard stories about what it was like in Asia but never actually knew anyone whose parents were like this. It was like a culture shock to my own culture. 

The one thing that I could relate with her (other than the fact that biology is boring) was the fact that she hates germs. Ever since I moved to NYC, I have definitely became more germaphobic after seeing how disgusting NYC can be so the fact that she carried around hand sanitizer was so relatable to me. 

Overall, I did find this book to be entertaining but her parents were honestly the worst. They were so stubborn to the point that they would rather disown you than try to compromise or even just listen to what you have to say. Regardless of her parents, I enjoyed the book and really liked the romance with Darren as well.
Rating:
🌟🌟🌟

LET'S CHAT!  WHAT WERE YOUR PARENTS LIKE IN TERMS OF YOUR GRADES WHILE GROWING UP?  DID THEY TRY TO MAKE ALL DECISIONS OR DID THEY LET YOU DECIDE?  LET ME KNOW πŸ’•

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Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
Published April 13, 2013
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Audiobooks
Review:
Firefly Lane was my first Kristin Hannah book where I fell utterly in love with her writing, her characters and her story. So I’m not sure how it took me so long to realize that there was actually a sequel featuring Tully all over again. And of course, I had to devour this book immediately. 

I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed every single second of it. The book takes place after Kate’s untimely death while battling cancer and how after her death, the way how her family and Tully responded to it was just so tragic. It was so heartbreaking to see how they all fell apart – Marah with her inability to cope with her mother’s death and becoming unreachable; Kate’s husband tried to handle things but couldn’t because Kate wasn’t there; and Tully who tried to best to handle her kids but doesn’t know the first thing about motherhood or parenting. 

The book also followed Dorothy who is Tully’s mother and was known for constantly abandoning Tully as a child when she was younger. I really liked how the book went into her past as well so I could finally understand where she was coming from and why she made the decisions that she did. 

There were just so much heartbreak in this book but also so incredibly uplifting and hopeful as well. I definitely enjoyed the first book more but I can’t not give this book a 5* as well because it fully deserves it. The characters’ growth, the journey that they went through after Kate’s death, and the message about second chances was just so incredibly rich and fulfilling to read about. I can’t recommend this one enough.
Rating:
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

LET'S CHAT!  HAVE YOU READ ANY OF KRISTIN HANNAH'S BOOKS?  DO YOU ENJOY BOOKS ABOUT REDEMPTION, GRIEF AND LOVE?  LET ME KNOW πŸ’•

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