Monday, December 5, 2016

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

  • Release Date: November 1, 2016
  • Pages: 384
  • Genre: Contemporary
  • Publisher: Crown (Random House)

Tasha Kingston's family is 24 hours away from being deported to Jamaica after her father drunkenly tells a police officer they've been in the country for over a decade on expired travel visas. Tasha isn't ready to leave America, she has a fake social security number and was prepared to go to college and become a data scientist. She resolves to spend her last day doing everything she can to find a way to delay the deportation. What she doesn't plan on is meeting Daniel Bae, the idealistic aspiring poet  who believes their meeting was an act of faith. Tasha is pragmatic and doesn't believe in fate or soul mates but as they spend the day together Daniel starts to change her mind and get inside her heart. But what does any of it mean when in 24 hours she won't be allowed back in the United States ?

Honestly I was kind of lukewarm on the romance, I just have a hard time investing in romances in such a condensed timeline. To me the most interesting thing about this book is how the story is structured. Not only do we get Daniel and Tasha's POVs we also get these mini sections called "brief histories" that give you a minor characters past and future or give you a history on a certain subject. I liked the way these sections broadened the 24 hour timeline a little bit.

Maybe I'm getting old, but there were parts of this book that were just a little too earnest for me, especially with Daniel. I feel like his mean older brother was made almost manically mean just to be his foil. Daniel has a lot of angst about the fact that his parents want him to go to Yale when he just wants to be a poet and I don't know I'm just like:

I mean...Yale has an English department

Okay, I'm going to talk about diversity for a second here. I think you can draw a straight line from the beginnings of We Need Diverse Books hashtag to a book like this getting so much great pre-release buzz. I think this book is what success and publishers "getting diversity" looks like. The Sun is Also A Star is about an interracial couple with two POCs that isn't all about The Struggle and not really being marketed for it's diversity; It's being marketed for it's  story. Books like this are pretty rare and I hope with her success we see more !

The Sun is Also A Star is  a book I think we will be hearing a lot about for a long time. It's about first love, family and all the little coincidences that throw two people together in the right place at the wrong time.

This book has one of my Top 5 Title Drops.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Vivian Apple At The End Of The Word By Katie Coyle

The only reason this book is on my radar is because it was a part of the Tumblr's Reblog Book Club. Vivian Apple is set in a modern day America where a corporate leaning evangelistic church, The Church Of America, has taken over the country.

 One morning dutiful daughter and all around good girl Vivian Apple wakes up to find her Church Of America believing parents missing and two holes in their bedroom ceiling. The rapture has happened and Vivian is all alone. But is it all real ?

Now Vivian Apple is breaking all the rules to find the truth,  She's not the old Vivian Apple anymore; shes' Vivian Apple at the end of the world.

With her best friend and the knowledge that there has to be something more, Apple embarks on a cross country road tip to figure of what she believes.  This book has an odd tone about religion that both questions and accepts the idea of belief,

This is my first Julia Whelan audiobook, Whelan has a broad range and a knack for teenage voices. I can't wait to check out her other YA audiobooks.

Vivian Apple At The End of The World is one of the weird YAs where your not sure what's going to happen next and like the characters you will question what's is and isn't real and what it means to believe.

Friday, November 25, 2016

#BFRAT Guess the Cover Challenge !

Welcome #BFRAT participants ! We're entering the last few hours of the read-a-thon and now it's time for a challenge ! Below are 25 thumbnails of mostly YA,  some adult fiction, a nonfiction and a romance novel that came out in 2016. The goal of this challenge is to figure out which books the thumbnails are from. 

Enter your answers in the GoogleForm below. The person who guesses the most correctly will win a tote bag + swag ! 

(click to enlarge)

Contest Over ! Look below to see the answers ! 


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#Black Friday Readathon !

I'm sitting out the crowds at the mall this Friday and doing the Black Friday Readathon hosted by Du Livre books and Mocha Girls Read. I haven't done a readathon in a while so I was super excited when I saw this one. You can sign up here !


It's been  kind of a rough personal week so I've decided to create a pile of fun, escapist, light books. My goal is just to settle into a book with some Thanksgiving leftovers and gingerbread latte. Here's what is in my stack:

I'll be updating mostly on Twitter and Goodreads and you can also check back here on Friday for a challenge !

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

When Cecilia Fitzpatrick opens a letter that is to be read in the event of her husbands death, unfortunately her husband is very much alive and what's in the letter will entwine the lives of Cecelia and two other women in the St. Angela's Parish community.  It will send her happily organized family life into darkest of depths and she could lose everything. 

At first I thought this book would be too "slice of life" and domestic for me, but as you read you sort of get pulled into the sinister things in these women's everyday lives. If you are looking for a book where characters make all the right choices this is not the book for you. There is something almost voyeuristic about watching the seams of these women's life come apart.

Throughout the book the POV switches between the three women, however once I was done I had a hard time figuring out why Moriarty included once characters story because I don't think it would have changed the events of the book if it was missing.

Moriarty writes this super omniscient narrator who has the ability to go back and forth in time but also give insight into the alternative timelines about what would have happened had characters made different choices, which is something I don't think I've seen before.I also enjoyed all the Australia-isms in this book, though I might have missed some things by not understanding Regional Australian culture. - 

I plucked this book out a free book pile in my aunt’s apartment because I’ve noticed Moriarty just dominating the NYT Bestsellers List and Anne Kingman on the late BOTNS podcast (pour some out) gave a raving recommendation for her twice.

Big Little Lies starts with a murder at an elementary school trivia night and then goes back six months earlier to explore the goings on of parents of the kindergarten class in the fictional beach town of Pirriwee Australia and how this murder came to be. At first I thought this book was just going to be a cozy mystery type murder about the “mommy wars” in the kindergarten class, but it delves into deep and darker material.

I really enjoyed this novel. I didn’t know what I was getting into but I loved the focus on women and their relationships to each other. My favorite of all the mom’s was Madeline, the newly 40-year-old who comes off as confident and brash at first but also has a silly side.

But really this book is all about that reveal of the whodunit and who it got dun to. I read the reveal scene multiple times because so much was going on.

I think it's funny that The Husband's Secret is blurbed by chick lit author Emily Giffin and Big Little Lies is blurbed by Stephen King. Those two authors are like polar opposites in my mind.  Also I think having Stephen King blurb a book as scary on the cover makes it seem like this book has horror elements when it really doesn't.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

  • Release Date: September 20th 2016
  • Pages: 288
  • Genre: Psychological Thriller/Grip-lit
  • Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
After going missing for 12 years the Winters' family only daughter, Rebecca, is back. Rebecca doesn't remember where she's been and her memories are fleeting mostly because the girl who returned isn't Rebecca Winters. She's an impostor simply looking to hide out. But somebody from the shadows is on to the deception and before this impostor is found out she will discover that Rebecca's perfect suburban life was lie.

This  Aussie thriller moves between time, following the exploits of the impostor in 2014 and the uneasy life of the real teenage Rebecca Winters a decade previous. Snoekstra sets the scene of an idyllic life with a disturbing underbelly and while the novel doesn't have the same eerie pathos of a Gillian Flynn novel, you will find yourself flipping the pages to find out how this ends.

Because we spend so much time exploring the life of a teenage Rebecca coming of age in the '00s, this thriller has major crossover appeal for teen readers who can relate to her best friend drama and secret crushes.

While some  reviewers found the way coincidences that popped up to keep up the facade  to be too much,  I gave it the benefit of the doubt because when I read this I'd just watched the A&E documentary, The Impostor, on Netflix. This is the true story of a European man who pretends to be a missing American boy. So. Truth in fiction ?

I've been reading a lot of Australian authors like Liane Moriarty,  Max Barry and Anna Snoekstra and I've watched The Australian show The Slap and they all have multiple POVs and time shifts. . .  is this like an Australian thing ? Inquiring minds.

Also I thought this was a very good length for a book at just under 300 pages.


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