Gingerbread (Cyd Charisse #1) Book Review

 

Gingerbread (Cyd Charisse #1)

Author: Rachel Cohn
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Released: November 3rd, 2015
Genre: YA, Fiction
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Characters: Cyd Charisse, Nancy, Danny, Shrimp, Sid-dad, Frank(Real dad), Justin,…

 

Synopsis (Goodreads):

After getting tossed from her posh boarding school, wild, willful, and coffee addicted Cyd Charisse returns to San Francisco to live with her parents. But there’s no way Cyd can survive in her parents’ pristine house. Lucky for Cyd she’s got Gingerbread, her childhood rag doll and confidante, and her new surfer boyfriend.

When Cyd’s rebelliousness gets out of hand, her parents ship her off to New York City to spend the summer with “Frank real-dad,” her biological father. Trading in her parents for New York City grunge and getting to know her bio-dad and step-sibs is what Cyd has been waiting for her whole life. But summer in the city is not what Cyd expects—and she’s far from the daughter or sister that anyone could have imagined.

My review:

“Sometimes you need to lose a person to find yourself. Sometimes only then you can get that person back.”
– Rachel Cohn, Gingerbread

First up, I bought this series totally because of the cover and it sounded fun, like a while ago when I bought it. Now, that I actually picked it up. I’m feeling “uh-not-so-sure”. This series revolves around Cyd Charisse, as the title of the series shown. Starting off with Gingerbread, I was already confused. There were too many characters introduced and it was all over the place. And I was like what is this Gingerbread? Doll or imaginary friend or what? Rachel created Gingerbread as if it was alive yet it was merely a doll but I don’t know, it was all so weird. I didn’t really get that part and the saddest part is the whole book is named after Gingerbread, yet I couldn’t make connection with it and I couldn’t see the significant of the doll.

Next is the plot line. This book has no direction for me. It has the content and the characters all sort out. But where was it going? No definite direction, no specific purpose. It was just rambling about Cyd meeting her real dad and the purpose or the final destination was surfacing towards the end, like Cyd somehow learnt a few things and stuff and will turn up to be a better person after the trip, but honestly, it wasn’t strong and convincing at all.

One thing that was good about this book is that at certain points, Rachel Cohn succeeded making connection with the readers effortlessly. There were parts that I could relate thus making reading this book fun and pleasing. The writing style was also easy to follow through. The characters are also fun and distinctive, personality wise, which is another aspect I like about the book.

Would I recommend this book? I’m not so sure. But you could give it a try if you like to read about a story of a teenage girl facing somewhat difficult situations in her life.

rating: 3 / 5 stars

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Invisibility Book Review

Invisibility
Author: Andrea Cremer & David Levithan
Publisher: Speak
Released: April 22nd, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Characters: Stephen, Elizabeth, Laurie, Millie, Maxwell Arbus, …

 

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Stephen is used to invisibility. He was born that way. Invisible. Cursed.

Elizabeth sometimes wishes for invisibility. When you’re invisible, no one can hurt you. So when her mother decides to move the family to New York City, Elizabeth is thrilled. It’s easy to blend in there.Then Stephen and Elizabeth meet. To Stephen’s amazement, she can see him. And to Elizabeth’s amazement, she wants him to be able to see her—all of her. But as the two become closer, an invisible world gets in their way—a world of grudges and misfortunes, spells and curses. And once they’re thrust into this world, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how deep they’re going to go—because the answer could mean the difference between love and death.

“People say that time slips through our fingers like sand. What they don’t acknowledge is that some of the sand sticks to the skin. These are memories that will remain, memories of the time when there was still time left.”
― David Levithan, Invisibility

My review:

I started this book because I really enjoyed David Levithan’s books that I’ve read so far. Starting this book, up to page 100 or so, I really enjoyed it. Loved it even, the writing style, the story development and the characters were all so good for me.

“Just as a fever makes cold feel colder, love can make loneliness feel lonelier.”
― Andrea Cremer, Invisibility

However, I was expecting this book to be like YA contemporary, maybe something like Everyday, but instead of that, I was given a surprise with some magic element, spells and curses as the story and secrets unfold. I was accepting it at the first place and expecting the story is going to better, a little magic is usually good. But when I reached page 250, I just couldn’t really enjoy the book thoroughly like I first started it.

“When no one can see who you are, no one really knows you. The loneliness must be like an ulcer that’s always gnawing at your gut.”
― Andrea Cremer, Invisibility

The element of magic didn’t seem to fit in and only after I finished reading, I realize that the magic element lacked of depth, not much of explanations and it was too shallow for me to believe in the content and the magic world built. There were a lot of books regarding this spellseeker and cursecaster thing in the hexatorium(something like library I guess) but it was not exploited wisely by the authors who created the place, they could’ve used those books to explain the history of the magic world they tried to sell to me in this story. Then, we have Millie who was supposed to be someone old enough and familiar with magic and as an experienced spellseeker, but she always said she didn’t know much and clueless about things. Thus, these are the reasons why I’m saying the book lacked a lot of stuff, materials wise. It wasn’t convincing enough. Thus, the YA and fantasy world combination didn’t seem  really fit in.

“Each of us has our own unit of measurement, our own relativity. Spaces between loves. Spaces between destinations. Spaces between deaths.”
― David Levithan, Invisibility

The ending was so-so for me, nothing surprising. It is such a waste that it started off so good yet it ended as an okay-ish book. Anyhow, I love the writing style, choice of words are brilliant. The characters were great as well for me.

Would I recommend this book? I’d say yes, maybe. But really, you gotta check it out to experience it yourself. 🙂

The Hate U Give Book Review

The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Published by: Balzer & Bray
Released: February 28th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 453
Format: Hardcover
Characters: Starr, Maverick, Maya, Chris, Hailey, Khalil,…

 

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

“Good-byes hurt the most when the other person’s already gone.”
-Angie Thomas, The hate U Give

My Review:

First of all, I was so excited to read this book for a YA read-along by a book club I joined, BookendsMY. I don’t even know where to start but I just loved everything about this book. The writing style was amazing. The plot was developed really well, the story line was greatly executed by the author. I cried 4 freaking times and I was not even a 100 pages into the book and this was my first time crying so hard at the BEGINNING of a book (and also throughout the book, of course). I just adored how the author was able to write and convey so much emotions into this book that I as a reader was easily affected by her words. Starr’s story definitely pulled me deep into this book, it opened up my view so, so much regarding things like rights and voices and be true to yourself. The write up to me was brilliant overall.

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
-Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

Characters wise, all of them really stood out. They had their own moments in the book. Even though the story revolved around Starr, other characters had such impact on me as well which I found less likely to happen in YA books. I could remember almost all the characters mentioned from Starr’s youngest brother to her lawyer. I could picture them in my head and played the story again easily in my memory.

“People are realizing and shouting and marching and demanding. They’re not forgetting. I think that’s the most important part.
Khalil, I’ll never forget.
I’ll never give up.
I’ll never be quiet.
I promise.”
-Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

The ending to me was perfect as well. The words put in the book was brilliant and it really left an impact to the readers. A book so empowering, so heartfelt, and definitely overflown with emotions. So worth it! I highly recommend this book to everyone out there, it will definitely bring you to a whole new perspective altogether.

Rating: 5/5 stars!

 

I Want Superpowers Book Review

Have you ever wanted a superpower? What would it be? Caitlin has been waiting for her whole life to be manifested and to join the Supergenics. But what if it turned out she is just another mere dreg?

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I Want Superpowers
Author : Steven Bereznai
Published by: Jambor
Released: November 26th, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 260
Format: Paperback
Characters: Caitlin, Bradie, Normand, Trenton, Liliane, …

Summary (Goodreads) :

The Genetic Wars that turned most of the planet into a wasteland are over. The so-called “dregs” (short for “DNA regulars”) and superpowered “Supergenics” now live separately from each other: the Supergenics in the shiny towers of Jupitar City, the dregs across the river in the squat concrete buildings of the boroughs. But Supergenic children are still born to dreg parents, and under repressive laws must be sent to live with their own kind. To find these special few, every teen faces their Testing Day. When her turn comes, socially isolated Caitlin Feral is determined to Manifest superpowers. If she fails, she faces a lifetime of loneliness and drudgery in the boroughs. But how much is she willing to sacrifice to be the supergirl she’s always wanted to be? And when she uncovers dark secrets kept by both sides, does she dare start another war to reveal the truth?

My review :

First of all, I wanted to thank the author for sending me a copy of his book in return for an honest review. Trust me, I’m being totally honest and unbiased when I say that I loved this book to death!

This book is described as The Hunger Games meets X-Men and when I was like about 50 pages into the book, it was indeed felt like The Hunger Games. But the more i dug into it, oh man, it was so genuine and so eventful. There was also a concept of comics that was used in the book and I think it was quite interesting how things revealed in the end and the significant of the comic drawings to the story. Also, this book is hilarious and the writing style is easy to be read and not confusing at all.

For setting, it was almost like any other dystopian book, where there are boroughs for the dregs and Jupitar City for the Supergenics. (THG much? Districts for the people and the ones at the Capitol live luxuriously controlling the people in the Districts). But there were more areas to be discovered in I Want Superpowers, and the world built up for the story is simply brilliant!

The characters, they are amazing, the personality given to them are authentic and you can never expect how each character would end up in the end of the book. However, Caitlin didn’t appear to me to be the daring or rebellious girl, everything she did was initiated or encouraged by someone else, she’s just a doer honestly. She might have the thoughts and imaginations and all, but most of the time, she was scared and felt inferior. She broke some of the laws, was also because of the people around her. But I still love Caitlin for who she is and I loved Bradie and Normand too! They were both so cute to be honest. Oh, it’s not a triangle love, no worries! 😉

What I loved the most about this book is the plot twists. It was mind blowing and so insane, so many unexpected twists happened. Even the unimportant characters suddenly appeared to be so, so important towards the end. I even cried during one part of the book (SPOILER! A character died *sobs*). It was so genuine and touching(or maybe it’s just me being a crybaby, Idk *shrugs*).

The ending is killing me and I need a sequel! I really hope that there would be a sequel to this amazing book because I am dying to read more of this story and of this world.

Overall, this book is simply awesome. It could really be a start of a series that is as good as The Hunger Games, or even better! It talks about friendship, freedom, love, loyalty. Also being a superhero doesn’t mean you need superpower but it means to be yourself and fight for a great cause and this is what lacking in our community nowadays, this book just portrayed that message so perfectly. So, yea, please, go get your copy now! Especially the dystopian lovers out there! YES YOU! This book is perfect for you. ❤

Rating : 5 /5 stars!

January Wrap Up

img_20170201_1239541This is the first time that I post a monthly wrap up. Just hoping that I can do this every month. :p

Last month was a starting of a new semester and it was hectic and yet for a slow reader like me, I somehow managed to complete 3 books, (okay, I cheated a little, I started Kalifus Rising a while ago, but still :p )

So, here goes the 3 books I read in January :

 

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Click on the image of the book for full review 🙂

Kalifus Rising by Alane Adams

Rating : 4.5 / 5 stars

I enjoyed this middle grade/ fantasy book so much. The characters, setting and fast paced story line made reading so exciting. The ending of this book though that made me excited for the third book of the series! Keep an eye on The Raven God that is coming out in September!

 

 

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Click on this image for the full review 🙂

The Boy Who Lost His Sight by Bella Zamri

Rating : 3/5 stars

Cliche usually works on me but it seems like it has lost its charm for this book. I also found that everything just went a bit too fast and sometimes it didn’t make much sense to me. But overall, I did have a nice time reading this one. It’s writing style is simple and there were also some lovely quotes in it.

 

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Click this image for full review!!!

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Rating : 5 /5 stars!

I’m so happy that I end January with a bang! This book made me cried, more like sobbing so hard. The ending is just so perfect! It’s a really great read for me.

 

 

 

So, that’s it from me, for this month, till I write again for the next monthly wrap up! (Let’s hope it’s February) And tell me what are some of your favourite reads in January ! 🙂

 

The Boy Who Lost His Sight Book Review

Author: Bella Zamri
Published by: Terfaktab
Released: October 12th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Characters: Riley, Ellie, …

 

 

Synopsis (Goodreads) :

Away from Lenoir, Ellie Burke found a place to breathe again. A brighter home surrounded with her loved ones. A-once-in-a-lifetime chance to change her life.

Everything seemed perfect enough – until she met Riley Flynn.

A mysterious young boy with a devilish smile, silently living with a traumatic secret buried away from others. In the midst of rain, uncertainty and burning desire – Ellie Burke finally found her salvation.

But when there is hope, there is always a risk for a major heartbreak.

My Review :

First of all, I was so excited to read this book and the reviews plus the views on wattpad was so high! (Yes, this book was originated from Wattpad and then was made into a book.) It got me all pumped up to read this cute little book. It also has such a great blurb at the back of the book. Everything seems so good and tbh, this book did not disappoint me entirely but it went a little downhill for me as it didn’t hit that high expectation I set in the first place.

Being the first full Malaysian English novel that I read, it was not bad at all. I enjoyed reading it. The Boy Who Lost His Sight had such a pleasant story line, it was eventful, the idea was there. But somehow there were a few things that I didn’t enjoy that much.

First, THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY SCREAMING ‘CLICHE’ at my face the entire time. Cliche usually works on me. I like cliche love story. But this one somehow didn’t work that much because I was expecting some kind of plot twist, but there was none! Everything was almost too easy to be predicted. Upsetting? A little. The story created was perfect but I just hope that there was something done to it that could spice up the story a little.

Also, a lot of readers claimed this book was heart shattering and made them cry. But it did not work for me (AGAIN!) and considering that I’m such a cry baby when it comes to sad scenes or parts in a book, it just really frustrated me. The thing is I kind of came across some sad parts in the book and knew it was that part that cracked readers until they cried. But I just didn’t cry. I guess it lacked something for me, maybe the timing wasn’t right? I’m not sure.

Next, the pace of the story was a little bit too fast for me, that it sometimes didn’t make much sense. I hoped that things could be stretched a little longer, that maybe there were some kind of appropriate ‘fillers’ could be inserted in between some of important parts in the book. For instance, I think Riley fell in love a little too fast with Ellie and Riley received her help a little too easy without much justification to why he really felt so good about her.

Then, Riley’s character. Riley for me was a little confusing in the first part of the book, but later on, after he dated Ellie, he got a little better and came up stronger with a new personality and character, which was good. Comparing to the first part of the book, I thought he was supposed to be this cold and stubborn and just quiet kind of guy, almost like Edward Cullen. But once he spoke his lines, he was talking too much and didn’t go well with his character. So that was why I was confused.

I guess those were the 4 main points of the things I didn’t like much about the book or didn’t work out for me. Overall, I did have a nice time reading The Boy Who Lost His Sight. The writing style was reader friendly, it had some nice simple quotes(even though they didn’t give a deep impact to me) and it is a book that you can read anywhere, at any time. So, to whoever loves some cliche love story, go grab this cute one here!

Rating : 3/5 stars

#2016bestnine

This post is to showcase my best nine books read in 2016. I believe that this hashtag is popular on Instagram in showcasing the best nine photos posted of the year. So, I thought of adapting the idea on the best books I read this year. Oh, I mean last year. 😛

So here it goes, my #2016bestnine books read (in no particular order):

  1. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

holding-up-the-universeThis book is so inspiring, funny, bright and one of the best books published in 2016. What I adored so much about this book is:

  • The characters, especially Libby
  • The humour
  • The quotes (OMG I have so many tabs on this book, I swear!)

 

“We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one.”
― Jennifer Niven, Holding Up the Universe

2. Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius
ghost-boyReading this book can cause you to be on an emotional roller coaster ride. It was heart wrenching, inspiring, beautiful, and at certain point you will feel disgusted on how worse human can be.

For people who adore biography books, I highly suggest this one here!

 

 

“It’s right to say that people fall in love. We don’t glide, slip, or stumble into it. Instead we tumble head first from the moment we decide to step off the edge of a cliff with someone and see whether we’ll fly together. Love might be irrational, but we make the choice to risk everything.”
― Martin Pistorius, Ghost Boy

3. Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

ellenCome on, who doesn’t love Ellen? Just go get this book already.

One more thing, don’t read this in public. I warned you.

 

 

 

 

“Accept who you are. Unless you’re a serial killer.”
― Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously… I’m Kidding

4. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

harry-potter-and-the-cursed-shildThere’s been mixed reviews on this book. Some people who had read the series commented this book is not as good as the series. But I personally enjoyed this, and yes, I have not read the series yet. But I believe different people has different perspective and I also believe that even if I have read the entire series, I’d still give this book well deserved 5 out 5 stars. 🙂

 

 

“The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
― Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two

5.  Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
mitchIt’s no secret that Mitch is my top favourite author. I adore all of his books. Everything about Have a Little Faith is beautiful. The way it portrayed faith was really inspiring and just go read it already.

 

 

 

 

“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.”
― Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith: a True Story

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl This book is cute, relatable and funny. The ending drove me nuts! And also I quote this from my own review on Goodreads:

“This book is on a roller coaster ride that keeps going up.”

 

 

 

“There are other people on the Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

7. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

landline If anyone is in for a light yet awesome read, pick this book up! It is one good book with a magic phone. I don’t usually read a book with a main character of age 30s. I prefer the characters to be at teen age or early 20s but this book just blew me away. It was nice and it can really melt your heart away.

 

 

 

“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Landline

8. Library of Souls ( Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs

library-of-sould A great book to end the series. I love how it summed up the whole story.

“Maybe lots of people go through life never knowing they’re peculiar.”
― Ransom Riggs, Library of Souls

 

 

 

9. First Year (Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter

black-mage-1 This was my last read of the year. It was simply one of the most enjoyable book I’ve read. It has romance, magic, rivals, friendship, family bond and so much more. I love the characters as well as the pace of the story line, it was fast and eventful.