11 June 2017

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

source
Author: Sara Barnard

Genre: UKYA, Romance, Contemporary, Mental Health

Blurb: Steffi doesn't talk. Rhys can't hear. They understand each other perfectly.

Love isn't always a lightening strike. Sometimes it's the rumbling roll of thunder...

I thought this was a ruddy good book. I actually enjoyed this despite it being a romance.

When Steffi and Rhys (by the way, is it pronounced 'rice' or reese'?) got together, I was actually surprised that I actually approved of their relationship. There was no insta-lust in this novel. Their relationship was quite cute with them using sign language and being lost in their own world.

Popcorn. The way he put up his finger as his face pinged like a microwave. He's so adorable. Oh God, I think I love him.
A bit of an exaggeration, Steffi, but I get what you mean.

 I didn't even feel like vomiting (okay, there was that one scene that I did not enjoy at all but whatever at least it was only once).  
Okay slight confession but I was kinda hoping that they would break up in the end because I'm a bitter person of course but I wasn't really disappointed when they made up. At least they resolved things after their fight, right?>
As for the friendship! Tem and Steffi were #friendshipgoals (I wonder how long this term will last). I can boldly say that I like Tem a lot more, though (though I wish her name was short for Temitope instead of September). She was a lot more than the loud friendly person who would dare to speak to quiet people. She felt real. I connected with her a bit more because we have some similarities apart from being black and having natural hair. (Also, what kind of hair did she have?  Type 3 or Type 4 (mine) here and also here ?). However, she did make a comment about getting diabetes from Steffi and Rhys being lovey dovey around each other but I'll let that go because nobody's perfect, you know?

nostalgia, people

 I liked Steffi (definitely a lot more than the main character of Beautiful, Broken Things *rolls eyes*). I worried at first that she would be boring because enough people think that we people with selective mutism are really dry. Thank you Sara Barnard for breaking that stereotype in this book! I liked the accurate portrayal of selective mutism. Steffi definitely has it worse than me :( but I could relate to her all the same.

I'm mostly fine when it's one on one, but if there's a group I find it almost impossible to say anything out loud. A lot of that is because I can't insert myself into conversations, I literally don't know how

I appreciated the inclusion of a more conservative worldview to remind people out there that yes, some teenagers do think like this as well.

...Temi likes boys. She likes flirting and kissing and falling in love. But sex, she insists, is not an option until marriage. Most people don't believe her when she says this - "People still do that?" is a common response- but the mix of Christian commitment and Tem stubbornness is potent.

I liked Steffi's father. He was pretty cool. I'm glad he knew uni isn't everything.

"There's no shame in not going to university. It's a good thing to consider alternatives."

And the last of the positive stuff: Steffi didn't get drunk at the party she went to and the twists in the book were great.

*Gloomy Grace makes an appearance*

So... Rhys has abs. That's kinda annoying because a lot of boys in real life don't have abs but book boyfriends do. A lot of YA book boyfriends are perfect while the girl is an absolute pain in comparison. I just want a more even balance, you know?

I also wished there was a little less romance and more Meg. It would've been a bit nicer if she had more appearances. I really liked the platonic relationship between her and Rhys!

Recommendation: 16+

Content: Swearing, drinking, a sexual scene that was fully described (no, I'm not talking about the sex scene).


 


8 June 2017

May Updates

It's been a while since I've made a wrap-upish kind of post.


I've been pretty lazy and also busy which is such a weird combination for me.

I was much happier with myself because I finished 6 books last month which is the most I've finished in some months. I haven't felt the need to read these days because a lot of the books I've read haven't lived up to my expectations and it honestly drains the energy out of me. Hopefully the next books I read will be much more interesting. 

source

Also, I actually moved house last month in the space of a few days. I have very few bookshelves so I have to put all my books into a cardboard box. It's really disappointing :(

I've learned more Korean and also used the website Linguti to help me. The only problem is the site is pretty slow. Also, I'm trying to watch some Spanish YouTubers because I've slacked off with Spanish.

This week, my mum told me that my cousins both have jobs so I decided that I really need to get one soon.

me on a mission to grab a job except I'm not a man but shh

 I've also lost a lot of motivation to drive. I don't know where it went! I still want to drive but I don't know when I actually will. 

Also, I haven't written a lot.

source

Also, I just feel pretty bitter these days. I just hate people sometimes.

source





1 June 2017

We Are All Made of Molecules

Long time no see! I've been really lazy with reviews lately and I hope to make it up this month!






Author: Susan Nielsen

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Drama, Family

Blurb: Stewart is geeky, gifted but socially clueless. His mom has died and he misses her every day.
Ashley is popular, cool but her grades stink. Her dad has come out and moved out - but not far enough.

Their worlds are about to collide: Stewart and his dad are moving in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it even as he struggles to fit in at his new school. But Ashley is 110% horrified and can't get used to her totally awkward home. And things are about to become a whole lot more mixed up when they attract the wrong kind of attention.

This book was set in Canada, which I found pretty interesting because I'm so used to reading American books. There was also a lot of British English in this book such as 'maths', 'biscuits', 'bums' (rather than butts) and others. If you Canadian people use these words, let me know.

So basically, my first reaction to the main characters was a typical reaction. I thought Stewart was nice, socially clueless and smart while Ashley was popular, mean and dumb. Of course, they turned out to be more than this.

Ashley's POV annoyed me a lot. I get that she was annoyed at her dad for leaving her family and I understand that she doubted if her dad ever loved her. Heck, I could even understand how she would take things out on Stewart. However, I felt she was over-dramatic and way too mean; calling Stewart a freakazoid when he was nothing but nice to her. Calling someone a freakazoid is not only rude, but is also totally lame. I mean, who says freakazoid? And I couldn't help but roll my eyes at her sheer stupidity sometimes.

"I hardly think Lauren's going to murder anyone," I told her. Claudia can be very dramatic.
"God, you're literal," she replied.
"Not really," I said. "I don't even like reading."
"Not literate. Literal," she said, rolling her eyes.

Stewart was easily my most cherished character in the novel. He was super weird, adorably sweet and smart! Honestly, if you're not used to really eccentric people, you might find him incredibly odd. I really liked his energy and his enthusiastic response to puns.


"What did one quantum physicist say to another quantum physicist when he wanted to fight him?" I whispered to them near the end of class. "Let me atom!"
As the novel progressed, Ashley slowly improved and was less rude to Stewart. <spoiler: Then again, he did introduce her to this guy who became her boyfriend. Jared. A total player...

I knew he was an 'eff boy'! And isn't it ironic that he's homophobic yet he was obsessed with pulling Stewart's shorts down? But that isn't any of my business >

Though the novel was very enjoyable, I felt that one of its weak points was its predictability and also the lack of character development in the side characters. I would have liked to know more about Stewart's best friend Alistair and also Phoebe.

If you're looking for diversity in a YA/children's book, then you won't be disappointed with this read.

Recommendation: 13+

Content: Mild language, sexual assault, homophobia


3.5 stars out of five






1 May 2017

Mini Reseñas (feat. Nothing Tastes as Good)

Yay, a new month! So a new post with old reviews I should have posted a while ago.




Legend - Marie Lu

Image result for legend marie lu goodreads
source

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance

Blurb: Los Angeles, California, Republic of America
He is Day, The boy who walks in the light.
She is June, the girl who seeks her brother's killer. 
On the run and undercover, they meet by chance.
Irresistably drawn together, neither knows the other's past.
But Day murdered June's brother
And she has sworn to avenge his death...

Yeah, it's true. It's your typical dystopian novel. What bothers me is that this is compared to The Hunger Games. This is more like Divergent than The Hunger Games and yet I'm reluctant to give it that label.

The two protagonists are June and Day. I wasn't so fond about the names but was happy to find out that 'Day' was only an alias.

I was grateful for the obvious POV transitions. In the edition I had, Day's POV was in bold font. However, I felt that June and Day were a bit too similar. They were both very cocky in very similar ways.

The romance... -_- Should I even comment on it? I should probably let it go since this book is kinda old.

Content: Slight language, violence, kissing





Mother Tongue -Julie Mayhew

Image result for mother tongue julie mayhew goodreads
source

Genre: Russian, Cultural, YA

Blurb: Darya Ivanova is looking forward to September. She has looked after her little sister, Nika, since she was a baby. Now Nika is starting school. Maybe Darya can find a job with her own tidy desk. Perhaps even a boyfriend. But when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Darya's life plans are fractured. Stalled. She is afraid. What if she never knows real love? What if she never finds somewhere she belongs?
If only she could get to Moscow. There, Darya could escape. There, she could become someone else...

Intermission: This took me 8+ days to read this, the heck? Also, I thought it would be Historical Fiction. It is not.

This book read like a typical school novel. It was interesting but I was not that emotionally invested in it. We have our main character, Darya Ivanova, who has a younger sister Nika. Ever since her mother became sick, the responsibility rested on Darya's shoulders.

She had her manipulative moments like when she had sex with Dmitriy when her English teacher Jonathan rejected her >
I liked the writing style so it was unfortunate that the first 30 pages bored me.

Content: Drinking, innuendo, smoking, a sexual scene





Nothing Tastes as Good - Claire Hennessy

Genre: YA, Irish, Contemporary, Mental Health

Blurb: Don't call her guardian angel. Annabel is dead - but she hasn't completely gone away. Annabel immediately understands why her first assignment as a ghostly helper is to her old classmate: Julia is fat. And being fat makes you unhappy. Simple, right?
As Annabel shadows Julia's life in the pressured final year of school, Julia gradually lets Annabel's voice in, guiding her thoughts towards her body, food and control. 
But nothing is as simple as it first seems. Spending time in Julia's head seems to be having its own effect on Annabel... And she knows that once the voices take hold, it's hard to ignore them.

At first Annabel really annoyed me with her constant remarks regarding Julia's weight. Later on I realised why she was so spiteful: Annabel was anorexic before she died (not really much of a spoiler, to be honest).

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that it was set in Ireland! I went into it thinking it would be UKYA, but my eyes were opened when I saw the Irish references!

There is a school newspaper run by Julia, Gavin and other students in the school. It was refreshing because it wasn't something that I usually see in real life or in Irish books.

Content: Drinking, swearing, innuendo, eating disorders


NOTE: My full reviews of these books are available on Goodreads.
~

So guys, that's it for today! I'm heading to church soon. Have a nice day everyone!

Gracie_ee youtube conan gray GIF




25 April 2017

Making Blogger Friends (It's Easy?)

In all honesty, I just wanted to make a gosh darn book review. Maybe later, huh?

So whenever you're reading this post, you're probably expecting me to reveal all the tips and secrets for making friends within the blogosphere, aren't you? Aren't you?!

Well... you might have guessed at this point that I won't be doing that. At all.



Technically, the title wasn't click bait. Originally, I wanted to name it: Making Blogger Friends (It's Easier Than I Thought!) before remembering that 1. This isn't YouTube and 2. There's a fine line between being silly/dorky and just being annoying. I don't want anyone to virtually slap me, okay?

Not. Today. Satan.

Now, that I have revealed my true intentions for creating this post, HOW DOES ONE MAKE FRIENDS IN THE BLOGOSPHERE, HOW?!

I say this because I'm not sure if anyone considers me as their blogger friend. I don't know if anyone even wants to befriend me. And how do you ask people if you want to be friends?

Me: Hey there, I wanna be friends

*sends*

*cringes the moment message is sent*

If I sent a message like that, I'd be filled with so many thoughts such as:

"What if they just don't like me?"

"What if they think I'm insincere and disingenuous?"

"What if we become friends for about 2 months and ignore each other shortly afterwards?"  

"Who even has anything in common with me, anyways?"

The last one is often a worry to me because... it's kinda true. Now hold up... I don't mean that in the most literal sense. After all, we're all bookworms. We all like books at least. However, I'm really picky and bitter when it comes to seeing romance in books 😂 I give Negative Nancy a run for her money! Who is she when Gloomy Grace is in your area? That should be my trademark? Pseudonym? I should use it more often. It fits me quite well.

Also, I'm not really in any book fandoms (maybe Geek Girl? but I don't know many people who fangirl about it as much as I do). I liked the first Lunar Chronicles book: Cinder (need to get that review up soon as well) so perhaps I'll like that series as well. And everyone else likes Hamilton, Superheroes, latest movies/shows that are out and I'm like...

"... I like Korean entertainment. Yeah.."

And then everyone would laugh and tell me how lame I am and all this is only in my head of course. (what was that sentence)

I also like to learn languages. I have mentioned that I'm learning Spanish and Korean in so many posts, it must get on someone's nerves by now. And I don't bump into many Spanish and Korean language learners. I have definitely found Spanish bloggers but not really any that read a lot of books I read, you know? And I know beggars can't be choosers but I just zone out whenever I see an entire website entirely in Spanish/Korean. It's intimidating! I will try to push myself, though.


~


And now, for you guys: how do you make blogger friends and what makes you want to become friends with a certain blogger? What draws you to them?

Do you have any tips for me to make friends?


16 April 2017

April! April! April! (I'm late, but forgive me)


Um... hi.




In my last post, I promised to explain why I went on a random hiatus. And then I went on another one. Oops.

The main reason was because I fell into a slump. Basically. A bookish one and I guess a life one?

I guess you wouldn't know this unless you follow me on Twitter (or maybe you still might not know as I didn't mention it too often) but I did work experience in a charity shop for ten days! 

I found it quite easy and was happy that nothing really triggered my social anxiety even when many customers filled the store. Then again, it's a charity shop... not very big 😭

The down side was that because there were a lot of volunteers, there wasn't much work so I  spent a lot of time pretending that I was busy. The upside was that there was a very nice looking bookshelf that contained a lot of books that were waiting for me to buy them. At first, I thought I wouldn't get any because I'm a snob when it comes to second hand books. I had to check them all thoroughly for stains. Some even looked new so that made me a little happy. I got most for one euro and some for fifty cents (some volunteers decided to give me a discount because they love me. I'm quite lovable despite what the haters say. okay the haters may not be existent but that proves my point. alright!). 

Reactions smile glee excited smiling GIF
source

And now I shall reveal the books I got!



I know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou (yesss)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai (yaas)

The Ice Twins - S.K. Tremayne

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

And also Life of Pi. 

I got The Ice Twins because I realised I don't read much mystery/thrillers.

Also, I haven't been reading much lately. It took me a week+ to finish Six of Crows and the same was for Crooked Kingdom. Ugh, but thankfully I got to read a contemporary afterwards and that was quite quick. I guess I'm out of the slump!

I'm also hoping to get a job and driving licence. Let's see what will happen...