book review · books · Shar · Uncategorized

Review: Allegedly

Hi virtually readers! I’ve been super busy travelling in the last week and have had like NO time to read or comment or almost anything book and blogging related. But I’m here now and I’m reviewing a very interesting book that I mentioned in my list about teen pregnancy. Continue reading “Review: Allegedly”

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book review · books · Shar · Uncategorized

Review: Want

I *claim* to be a fan of the sic-fi genre. I’ve said before that it’s my favourite. But it has come to my attention that I read far more contemporary and fantasy than sci-fi, which is shameful. So as soon as I heard about Want and realised it was sci-fi/dystopian then I knew I had to read it. So I did. want-by-cindy-pon

Title: Want

Author: Cindy Pon

Genre: YA Sci-fi

Themes: deception, pollution, climate change, activism, friendship, rich people are literally bubble heads.

My blurb: In futuristic Taipei, there are two types of people. The ultra-rich yous protect themselves from the terrible pollution with oxygen suits and money, while the meis die young, suffering from all the environmental degradation and their poverty. After someone Zhou loves is murdered trying to bring in new environment laws, he and his friends decide they’ve got to do something to get back at the corporation who is responsible. But their plan is risky and the first thing they need is a lot of money. Zhou’s actions are about to get him into a game of deception and risk where he might lose sight of the end goal…

There were a lot of good things about this book, but first I have to complain about something important. Namely, the writing style. I haven’t read anything by Cindy Pon before, but the way this book was written really affected my perception of the story. The book required a lot of worldbuilding because of its dystopian nature, but instead of showing aspects of the world of pollution and global warming and poverty inequality, it was totally told. Especially at the start of the book, the writing had what felt like paragraphs spouting information that wasn’t always that relevant, though it did help paint the scene. At other times Jason (that’s his code name—we never learn his real first name, which is weird) comes up with information that you wish he’d announced earlier, like ‘oh I was not sick now because I had the flu when I was 10’ or ‘this person said X important thing to me the other day’ instead of actually showing it happening. This made it feel like the things being narrated didn’t happen.

The writing was also occasionally confusing, especially during action scenes, and there was a big reveal at the end that wasn’t made to feel that big. The book opens on an action scene, then goes back to ‘two months earlier’ to explain what’s going on. After that, though, there is no explanation of the time gaps, even though it becomes evident that weeks or months have passed with only a few days or events having been described. Generally, something about the writing style really made me feel disconnected from Jason and the other characters, even though it was a first person narration, which normally is easier for me to connect to.

However, there were some good things about this book. Firstly, I really liked how it was set in Taiwan, because I’ve never read any other books set there (and the author was born there) and my ex really good friend is Taiwanese. I liked the descriptions of food and although it made the future look bleak, it wasn’t hopeless either.

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I also liked how it dealt with wealth inequality, something that’s rapidly becoming a bigger problem and environmental degradation. I personally believe both of these are going to be big problems in the future and I don’t get why more dystopias don’t tackle them. Like I don’t think the US is going to become a monarchy that likes to play games to amuse the prince and help him find a wife. But growing commercialism, the ethics of surveillance without consent, bio-warfare and deadly viruses, and poverty and climate change are all things that are already problems now and will be in the future. I liked how this book touched on all of these.

Also, I just generally love sci-fi and dystopia, not gonna lie.

 

I really liked the love interest character! I liked how she wasn’t only petite and subservient, but she wasn’t just the Stronge Female CharacterTM archetype. She was a combination of all of them. Jason’s ‘gang’ and all the minor charcters were really interesting.

The plot was intense and usually interesting. I liked how I thought the plot was going to centre around all of Jason’s deceptions getting him into trouble and be something where nothing would happen if everybody was honest, but it wasn’t.

Overall, I liked the idea of this book, and it definitely tackled some good topics, but failed to execute them well enough to make me like it.

Characters: 3/5

Writing: 1/5

Setting: 4/5

Plot: 4/5

Total: 3/5

Have you heard of this? What other books have you read set in South east/East Asia? (I need recommendations) Is there a genre you claim to love, but never read? What have you read which has a really great concept but not as good writing?

book review · books · Shar · Uncategorized

Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Hi Virtually readers! This book was one of my favourites of last month. Basically: READ IT, FOOLS.

417b881d-36a7-406c-814c-1aa04332b06bimg100Title: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Genre: YA Contemporary

Themes: Friendship, growing up, parents, family, gay-men-who-collect-17-year-old-children-in-the-best-way

Blurb (from Goodreads): Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

I really liked Ari & Dante when I read it in 2014 (which reminds me to reread it). I read this one in a day and LOVED IT. Here’s a list of some of the things I liked (because if I wrote everything, I’d probably just paste a copy of the whole book. And apart from being illegal, that would be far too long for a blog post.)

Things I liked about The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

  • The writing. I totally believe the author is also a lauded poet. I really liked the writing style and Sal’s voice ad the way he narrated what was happening in his life—death, family, confusion (but mainly confusion #relatable). I think in another book, I would have said that the writing style felt too distant, if that makes sense, but because this wasn’t exactly an action novel, it worked perfectly.
  • The focus on family. Sal’s dad is one of the nicest fathers in YA literature that I’ve ever read. And Sal and his best friend Sam and their other friend Fito basically end up like siblings. Plus Sal has an amazing Mima (grandma) and extended family. Because Sal’s adopted, he has some quite interesting thoughts about how he feels Mexican because that’s what his family is even though he’s white. Building on that, there’s no romance so family is the central theme.
  • Like Sal, Shar is my nickname because my full name is too long and hard to say. A book that finally got the problems with long names and didn’t just feature Bellas, Graces, and Dans.

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  • THE FOOD. I haven’t eaten that much Mexican food, but this book totally sold me on it. A lot of cooking goes down and it’s excellent and made me hungry.
  • The characters. Sal and his confusion about everything, really, and his development through the book was really accurately portrayed, because aren’t most people constantly confused? Or is it just me? Anyone? I think most people would agree that your last year of high school is pretty confusing. Sam and the way she deals with grief was really well written and, I feel, accurate, as were the characters of Fito and Mima. Sal’s dad, Vicente, was amazing yet also imperfect. I haven’t read many other books featuring gay parents and this one really rang true for me. Basically, the characters were just excellent.
  • The setting. It wasn’t a generic American town, but was in Texas right next to the Mexican border. I liked the inclusion of a lot of Mexican culture and got a good sense of the town in general.
  • The fact that not much of the actual action happened at school? Like, the characters went to school but it wasn’t the most important thing to them.
  • The theme of belonging. I guess the need to belong is a human trait that most people think about but because Sal is adopted, he spends a lot of time thinking about his birth parents, and especially if he takes after his birth father or adoptive one.
  • The chapter titles and parts. I just really like these.
  • Words for the day. it seems like a fun practice.

Overall, this was a well written, deep and beautiful book. It didn’t have much plot but that wasn’t the point.

Plot:– (like actually there wasn’t one)

Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Writing: 5/5

Themes: 5/5

Total: 5/5

Have you read this? How do you feel about books that are half poetry? Have you read many other books featuring gay parents? What’s one contemporary without romance that you’ve enjoyed?

 

book review · books · shanti · Uncategorized

#LoveOzYA and also this book

In case you haven’t heard of it, Begin, End, Begin, is a short story collection by a bunch of Australian Young Adult authors, and I adored it. Each story was excellent, and the authors I hadn’t read made me want to try out their full-length work(Will Kostakis and Alice Pung, I’m coming for you. I like short fiction, because it’s like dipping your toe into a story, and not worrying too much about info dumps or even background info. The story is a perfect capsule in and of itself, and it’s such a joy to have a variety of tales all together. Each author just really got teenagers.

30844667The YA event of the year. Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars. This anthology has them all. With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.
One Small Step My only critique is that Kaufman seemed to be trying a bit too hard to tick aalllll the diversity boxes? But it was a lot of fun. I loved the setting on Mars, and this one had lots of action. I also liked how it confronted what you do after school, because it’s been something that’s on my mind a lots lately.
I Can See the Ending I definitely didn’t expect this one to have a magical realism twist. It was nicely incorporated into the story without too much spaced wasted on explanations. Anyway, Kostakis has this excellent way of showing what it means to embrace a relationship, and what a struggle that can be.
In a Heartbeat I loved this concept, and how the central tension between the narrator and her mother was resolved–not perfectly, but realistically–as well as dealing iwht what it means to be a good mother and accept responsibility. The flashbacks and format as a letter were also excellent.
First Casualty I have no idea who Michael Pryor is, but this was a really sensitive, galactic way of approaching xenophobia, in society and within ourselves. It’s not easy, but it was lots of fun.
Sundays I’ve read Cinnamon Girl and Outer Space, and I think I liked them more than this? I loved the ‘group friendship/relationships are complicated’ thing, and the movement through the part lent the story a lot of dynamism
Missing Persons Whoops, I accidentally forgot everything about the Every trilogy which I didn’t finish. Anyway, this kind of stands alone, and has friendship and not much crime, which I liked.
Oona Underground I love Lili Wilkinson’s cute contemporary, but this had a darker vibe. I liked the idea of finding your way amidst mystery and silence, and trusting in your relationships.
The Feeling From Over Here I just had to look this one up in my ebook because it’s very forgettable. Again, I appreciated the contained format, and it’s easy to read, but the characters don’t have much nuance. Anyway. Gabrielle Tozer is still great.
Last Night at the Mount Solemn Observatory This was really fun. I found that it was subtle in all the right ways–the inclusion of a variety of characters was seamless, and it dealt with that central YA concern of figuring out who you are without someone else, in this case an older brother.
Competition Entry #349 Jaclyn Moriarty is WONDERFUL. Her minimalist worldbuilding was EXQUISITE and I liked the way this story looked at how one person’s experience is just one way to view an event–there’s always other things going on, and time travel can reveal that. oh, and it’s really funny!
If you love Australian authors or YA in general, this is a top notch collection that will make you feel so understood. I’m so glad it exists!

have you read many short stories? tell me in the comments!

books · discussions · shanti · Uncategorized

Reflections on Non-Fiction

Hi Virtually Readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful Easter Sunday. If you don’t know, this is the day Lent ends, which is great, because now I can read fiction. I spent the last month and a half ONLY reading nonfiction books, which was an interesting experiment. Here are some things I learnt from it.

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One: I learnt a lot about my interests. I read several books about psychology, several memoirs about grief, one book about economics, several books about language, one book about human history, one book about smart girls, one book of poetry, and a book about sewing (which I didn’t really read so much as use for a project which is still in the works. I did include the caveat that I could read classics, but this didn’t really happen; my only fiction was school related stuff and audiobooks (like 1 audiobook totally) From this list, I glean that I’m just really interested in people and how they work. My standout books were Lingo, When Breath Becomes Air, and Smart Girls. I was not a big fan of Drunk Tank Pink or Fun Science, mostly because the writing style didn’t work for me (at some point when I’m less busy there will be reviews.

Two. I read less. This might have happened anyway, because I had a very busy six weeks (seriously, this week I had exams + 10,000 words of essays because I’m an overachiever who thinks that wordcount limits are AGENTS OF THE OPPRESSION and I still felt very stressed and unsuccessful and like I didn’t have enough time…) but still, it was harder to pick up a book, and most books took me a week + (but I had several on the go at once).

Three. I learnt many interesting things. This sort of goes without saying, but I really think that this challenge forced me to learn a lot about the world, which was exciting, and it may have made me think a bit differently about certain issues, or even just become aware of things I didn’t know about before. For example, there used to be a town called Embarrass in Wisconsin, and Scottish Gaelic doesn’t use letters in a very logical way, and all sorts of other trivia that will undoubtedly make me look weird in conversations for years to come.

Four. I want to read more non-fiction. I want to read more stuff that isn’t YA, full stop. YA will still be my main genre for the foreseeable future—there are so many wonderful things about it that make it a genre I love SO MUCH. But there’s a lot about the world that I don’t know, and I don’t think YA has all the answers. I don’t think any one genre has all the answers, so I really want to read as diversely as I can, while still making reading something I love.

So all in all, it was a worthy experience. I have a month a a half left of high school, so hopefully in the second half of the year I’ll be reading A LOT (also my new kobo is coming soon YAS). I thought I’d just talk about some of the books I want to read soonish.

In the next two weeks

-Literally by Lucy Keating

-The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne (reread)

-The Host by Stephenie Meyer (reread)

-Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (and maybe Illuminae, we’ll see)

Before I Graduate

-reread The Lunar Chronicles

-reread Protector of the Small

-reread Harry Potter

-The Star Touched Queen

-Strange the Dreamer

-reread Chaos Walking

-reread The Montmaray Journals

And the non-fiction I didn’t get to (for *sometime* in 2017)

– I know Why the Caged Bird Sings

-the Elements of Style

You may notice a lot of rereads on this list. I don’t know. I guess I’m just in the mood for some nostalgia, because some of these books have really informed my high school experience and matter a lot to me, so I want to read them one last time.

How’s your Easter weekend? What’s a nonfiction book you love? do you try to read in different genres? tell me in the comments!

 

books · discussions · Uncategorized

My Reading Challenge

Hi Virtually Readers! It’ll be a short post today because I have a lot of schoolwork and also very sore arms because I went rock climbing this afternoon. I’m so busy, in fact, that I haven’t had time to schedule already written blogposts *facepalm*. Anyway, today is the first day of Lent, which is the 40 day period leading up to Easter. Christians often challenge themselves to go without something for Lent, and I’m going to tell you about what I’m doing without. Unsurprisingly, it’s related to reading.

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So, what’s your challenge? I’m not *gasp* going to read any fiction. Before you all freak out (if you were ever that invested to begin with, haha), I will still listen to YA audiobooks because I listen to about 1 audiobook a month anyway, and want to finish the one I’m on. And I’m also going to read classics, which for these purposes are defined as literature which is somehow canonical and also over 50 years old. Obviously, stuff I have to read for class or other activities does not count.

Why are you doing this? Well, I read a lot of YA. And I love YA, don’t get me wrong. But I’m also curious about history and psychology and people, and this will mean that, instead of prioritising YA literature over everything, I’ll get a chance to read some books that I wouldn’t otherwise.

What does this mean for Virtually Read? Basically nothing. If I read anything interesting, I might post a review here, but otherwise I have heaps of YA book reviews that I can use for the blog, and some posts pre-written, and I’ll still be thinking about YA and interacting with the YA blookunity. You will see more nonfiction stuff on Twitter and goodreads, though.

What are you going to read? That’s a great question, imaginary person. Some of the books on my TBR, though I won’t necessarily get to them all, are

  • This Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Smart Girls by Shauna Pomerantz
  • An Edible History of the World by Michael Standage
  • Here I Stand by Amnesty International
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks.

Would you like my recommendations? Heck yes.

How will you survive? By reading interesting things that I care about and learning new things and just seeing how I go.

So what do you think? Could you survive without fiction? And do you have any suggested reading for me?

 

books · Uncategorized

Entertainer Blogger Award

Hi Virtually Readers! It’s almost the end of the holidays and I’m feeling a little blog-slumpy but I WILL PUSH THROUGH. I keep distracting myself by reaidn articles on the internet. Anyway, the lovely Holly @ Nut Free Nerd nominated us for the Entertainer Blogger Award. Thanks Holly!

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Rules

-write a post to demonstrate your award

-Thank the person who gave you the award

-answer the questions

Nominate others to receive the award ( I tagged people last tme I did a tag, so according to my random self imposed rules, I don’t have to this time.)

Questions

1. Why did you start your blog in the first place?

Um, actually, fun story, I was reading my journal from ninth grade, and some teachers who thought I was good at writing said that I should start a blog to write more, and then I procrastinated for like a year and finally did it! And I did end up writing more so it totally worked, and also reading more and becoming more obsessed with books.

2. What is your favourite book?

Petition to have this question banned because IT’S SO HARD TO ANSWER (seriously, a university tried to make me answer it) I love The FitzOsbornes in Exile, Lirael, Days of Blood and Starlight, The Wrong Side of Right, Emily Climbs, and The Boy Most Likely To, but there are more (there are always more)

3. What do you dislike the most?

I  don’t know, I dislike a lot of things, half of which I do. I dislike people leaving things (like writing blog posts) to the last minute (that was a joke. don’t leave essays to the last minute, but blogs are fine). And also people who miss deadlines (I’m a newspaper editor and we’re sensitive about these things.)

4. What is your favourite food item from the mall?

I don’t go to the mall much, because it’s an hours drive away, everything is expensive, and there’s no bookshop. (seriously, I’ve been to my ‘local’ mall 1 time aside from school trips) So instead, some of my favourite indian snack foods are: green mango with salt and chili, and aloo tikki, which is fried potato patties with youghurt and tamarind sauce, and bel puri, which is salsa with cruncy bits and more tamarind sauce.

5. What is your favourite pastime?

Aside from reading, writing, frittering away time on the internet, and yelling at newpaper writers with overdue articles (or being yelled at by them because they didn’t like my edits) I love crafts! Knitting, friendship bracelets, embroidery, colouring in, making jewellery, making bookmarks–there are many fun things to do.

And that’s it, Virtually Readers! What do you do when you’re not reading or writing? Do you have a favourite snack food? Tell me in the comments!

blogging · Uncategorized

Mini reviews + a reading challenge (!)

HI Virtually readers! After 19 days away from home in warm south india (we went to 6 states + more passing through by train), we’re home. Hopefully this means that I can dedicate more time to blogging. I really need to go and read people’s blog posts and stuff, but I had a really nice break nevertheless. PLUS I read 13 books, which was obviously fabulous. So I’m going to review a few that I don’t think I’ll give a full review today and also talk about this reading challenge I’m going to do this year.

The Fault in Our Stars

This was actually my 3rd or 4th reread, I can’t remember. ( The last one was on a wobbly whale-watching boat in Sri Lanka, fun fact).  I’ve previously said I think this book is overrated. While I disagree that it’s ‘the best book I’ve ever read ❤ ❤ <3’ like I’ve heard some people say, I did enjoy it. So here are some of my thoughts.

  • Hazel had a really distinct voice, which I really liked.
  • Building on that, I really liked Hazel’s tone (i.e. her attitude to the story) and the book’s mood (the kind of emotions it portrays, I guess)
  • John Green/ this book really seems to ‘get’ how teenagers work, or at least how I work.
  • I felt like it was realistic: the horribleness of cancer certainly wasn’t romanticised.
  • TFIOS explored the question ‘do we need a legacy’; Augustus’ obsession with doing something great was really thoughtfully explored.
  • I generally enjoyed all the references to philosophy and literature etc.
  • The ending is really great
  • So are the secondary characters, like Hazel and Augustus’ friend Isaac and Hazel’s mother and Peter Van Houten.

However, I still feel like TFiOS is overly focused on romantic love, and it’s not (to me at least) one of the best books ever.

Characters: 5/5

Plot: 3/5

Setting: 3/5

Themes & writing style: 4/5

Total: 3/5

Peter Pan

I wanted to read this classic after being in a Peter Pan play last year. If I had to summarise it in a sentence, I’d say: Boy takes girl to imaginary island and stuff happens. So in case you can’t tell, it was confusing. The plot didn’t really know what was going on? I have a longer review (because I reviewed all the of 13 books I read LIKE A BOSS), but here are some thoughts.

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  • The Crocodile: Neverland, of course, has a crocodile. At one point he swallowed a clock (at another point he swallowed Hook’s hand, fun fact) and so a) whenever Hook hears ticking he panics and b) whenever someone wants to know the time, they hang out near the crocodile until it strikes the hour, then go back and tell everybody the time.
  • Tinker Bell: gets so jealous of Nancy, because they both like Peter. Peter is very nonplussed by all this.
  • Political correctness: was not very present. Then again, it was published in 1902, and the entire book was pretty mocking of a lot of other things, so I could deal with it. But Nancy was basically there to be a housewife. The boys had all the adventures by themselves, and it basically was not an empowering-women story. On the other hand, in the end the boys all grow up and become boring while Nancy and her daughters get to go back to Neverland. Also there was this whole passage about Red Indians vs Palefaces, which didn’t make much sense.
  • After acting in Peter and the Starcatchers, reading Peter and the Starcatchers, and reading Peter Pan, I should probably watch the movie.

Plot: 2/5

Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Theme/Writing: 4/5

Total: 3/5

Also, I might post more photos from my holiday (we went to this really cool fort, for example), but if not here’s this photo of me in a bookshop in Bangalore:

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I’m also announcing that I’m doing the Ivyclad Bingo! 2017 reading challenge hosted by Rain@ Ivyclad Ideas. It looks really fun, and also doable (except maybe the over 500 pages one). Today I made a chart so I can keep track of it. If you’re interested in joining (which you totally should), go over to her blog!

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I should rotate this, but I’m not in the mood frankly

Are there any good books I should read? Which posts have I missed? What have you been up to recently? What are your feelings about TFiOS? TELL ME THE THINGS

 

Uncategorized

Review: Wing Jones

Hi Virtually Readers! It’s Shar 🙂 🙂 Did you miss me? I really missed posting and the blogoshpere. I’m still on holida, but I do have internet. And since I’ve been reading a lot (10 books since I last posted, give or take), I’m going to be boring and post yet another review. All is not lost, though, because I’m getting home (to good internet!!! To my pets!!! To my laptop!!!! To my bookshelf!!! later this week. And I have had a nice time on holiday, although I have tan lines like you wouldn’t believe. Also I have been posting on instagram so if you super missed me (hahahahaha maybe) then go and stalk me there @virtually_read . Also this is a review of a book that was published in 2017 just to prove how recent I am. 

25909375Title: Wing Jones

Author: Katherine Webber

Published: Jan 2017 (oooooh see evidence that I’m super recent, again :P)

Genre: YA contemporary

Themes: family, athletics, the 90s, discovering you’re secretly super talented at running

Basic Idea: Wing, a Ghanian-Chinese-American, doesn’t really fit in anywhere, except with her holder brother Marcus, his best friend Aaron, and girlfriend Monica. When a terrible accident threatens her whole family, Wing’s about to discover she can do more than she ever thought.

I LOVED this book. So I wrote it a letter:

Dear Wing Jones,

How do I love you? Let me list the ways:

  • Your main character is biracial. So am I! Although unlike Wing I don’t really know where I belong, I loved the representation. I haven’t ever read about a Ghanian-Chinese main character, and I don’t expect I will for another while.
  • You are diverse! Apart from all the PoC representation (yay!) there was also some secondary LGBTQ+ representation.
  • Your setting was interesting. You are set in 1995-1996 pre-olympics Atlanta. I really liked that you weren’t set in modern times. It just made everything more interesting, without having to be exactly historical. I was a 90’s child too so I liked getting to know my mother-decade (I only experienced the last 3 months of the 90’s, but let me dream, okay?). On the other hand, yoursetting was a typical American high school like almost every other contemporary of ever but somehow I just liked it.
  • One of your main themes was running! While I’m a (relatively untalented) cross-country runner, not a sprinter, I adored this aspect. You weren’t a typical MC-is-already-athlete book or a love-interest-is-star-football-player book, but instead talked about Wing becoming an athlete and the good aspects of high school sports culture rather than drunken afterparties or whatever.
  • You also included some fantastical/mythical elements. Wing has a lion and a dragon who only she can see and encourage her when times are hard or help her do the things she needs to do. While I didn’t necessarily get whether they were real or how that all worked, I felt like they were a really unique addition to the story. At another point there’s a metaphorical ghost getting in between two character’s relationship. It also worked really well.
  • Your romance was slow burn and totally shippable so YASSSSS
  • You focused on family. Although Marcus and Wing’s mother didn’t have a large part in the story, both Wing’s grandmothers did. They constantly bickered and were oth hilarious and the whole family aspect rocked.
  • All. your. Characters. Were. So. Realistic. and. Generally. Amazing. That is all

Wing Jones, my only problem with you was our ending. It just felt a little too perfect. However, you were my first 2017 release and first five star book of the year. So I can say you were pretty dang great.

Plot: 3/5

Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Themes: 5/5

Total: 5/5

Have you read this? Do you want to now? (you better) What books have you read with characters that are like you? Were you a 90’s child like me (or so I like to think)? 

book review · books · Uncategorized

Review: P.S I Like You

Hi Virtually Readers! Before I start this review, I have a mini announcement: Shanti and I are going on holiday! We’re mainly going to the beach at a little ex-French-colony in South India called Pondicherry (we’re also stopping at some other places on the way there/back). I think we’ll have internet and still manage to post, but since it’s a holiday, it may be sporadic. In any case, we’ll be back for good at the end of January. 

25486998Title: PS I like You

Author: Kasie West

Genre: YA contemporary

Themes: Friendship, falling in love, family, music, bonding over being useless at chemistry

A (invented by me) blurb: Lily can’t focus in her Chemistry class, so she doodles and obscure song lyric. The next day, she’s very surprised to see that someone has replied with the next line. So begins a conversation made up of many letters. Lily’s starting to really like the person she’s writing to, but will she have the courage to tell him who she really is?

wanted to like this book. I really did. But I couldn’t get past some of the problems.

The setting: was a generic high school in America. It didn’t fascinate me, it wasn’t interestingly described; I couldn’t picture it in my head. I get that the focus was the characters, but why did the setting have to be so bland?

The lack of diversity: As far as I could tell, every characters was white, straight, and of normal abilities. There was no sense of any diverse perspective, and as a brown girl who’s never been to America, that annoyed me. I guess Lily’s family was poor (if that counts as divers) but not so poor they didn’t have a house or two cars or phones or anything.

The plot: was entirely (And I mean entirely) predictable. I saw everything coming from miles off. Lily was supposed to be surprised by who she’s writing to, but I basically knew almost from the start. Also, there were two other boys called Lucas and David whose presence added nothing to the plot and felt like a waste of time. Even the twist with Lily’s guitar and her little brother was super obvious.

The characters: I’m on the fence (hahaha get it?) about this.Only one character annoyed me: the love interest. (It’s a ‘surprise’ so I won’t spoil it). It was completely a horrible-boy-on-outside-turns-out-to-be-a-cinnamon-roll trope, which doesn’t make sense. Good cinnamon rolls act like cinnamon rolls, yo.

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But there were some things I did like.

The other characters: Lily was really interesting. She’s the first YA songwriter heroine I’ve encountered, which was cool, and I liked her practicality and also how she actually spent time at home. She was a good character, although I had less respect for her lack of attention in chemistry. Chemistry is interesting and fun and deserves more attention than Lily ever gives it.

Lily’s best friend Isabel, and their relationship was AMAZING. She was such a great best friend. At one point, Lily’s willing to give up said boring love interest for their friendship, until Isabel says that she’s okay with it.

The family: as the (co-) eldest of four children, like Lily’s family, I liked how family was presented. Like Lily, I’ve never had my own room, and my house is also mildly chaotic (aka rarely tidy, apart from my half of my room). I loved all Lily’s family members, and how they actually enjoyed spending time with each other.

Overall, PS I Like You was a fluffy read with great potential. Like On The Fene, tough, too many aspects just didn’t quite work for me.

Plot:1/5

Characters: 3/5 (would be 4 without the unnecessary boys floating around)

Setting: 2/5 (I’m being generous)

Total: 2/5

Have you read this? Do you pay attention in chemistry ? What’s the last thing you read? What are your favourite (and least favourite) tropes?