Blog Tour || The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Publication Date: February 28th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

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, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This book is revolutionary. I’m honestly left without words. I don’t even need to pitch this book because I’m pretty sure it’s either you’ve already read it or it’s on top of your TBR pile. If you haven’t heard of this book, well, where were you in the past several months?

I feel like this review is going to be really short because I’m still speechless about this book. This is just going to be me, pushing the book to you.This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and damn right it’s a great tale.

This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and damn right it’s a great tale. I really enjoyed the story and the characters and their dynamics. Starr was relatable and a badass heroine. I love her relationship with her family. Her brothers are funny, and her parents are basically her OTP! She’s also close to her Uncle Carlos. The book practically contained 40% family relationships.

“It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.”

It also explored interracial relationships and I really appreciated it. The Hate U Give opened my eyes and mind further when it comes to racial issues and the whole Black Lives Matter movement. I felt more educated about it and this is why this book is really important. Besides racism, it also tackled police violence and the criminal justice system.

This book has been making noise and has never left the spotlight since last year and it definitely deserved all the early praises and hype. Angie Thomas’s writing is thoughtful and genuine. She perfectly incorporated relevant social issues in a contemporary novel, which is something I’m definitely looking forward to reading more in the future. Honestly, if you haven’t read this book yet, please do!

Blog Tour || History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

history is all you left meHistory Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Publication Date: January 17th 2017 by Soho Teen
Source: ARC for Blog Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

I received a review copy of this book as part of a Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This is my first Adam Silvera book, albeit having a lot of friends that have already read and enjoyed his first book, More Happy Than Not. Good thing though, that I have my copy of MHTN at home so I could read it whenever I want to AKA soon.

Every single praise about this book is true. It’s brutally honest and basically one big emotional sucker punch to the gut. Upon reading the first chapters of the book, I already made the conclusion that I’ll love this book to pieces.

I really enjoyed reading through Griffin’s voice. The story is very character-driven and it was easy to follow suit. What’s interesting about Griffin is he’s actually an unreliable narrator and I didn’t see that coming. It was also eye-opening to read about his OCD impulses, and this was very new to me because the usual stereotype about people having OCD was them being a neat freak. This book is also an #ownvoices novel and it made me realize how hard it is for people to deal with OCD.

“I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.”

Each character in the story leaves an impact to the reader. I didn’t have any expectations with Jackson, I knew he would surprise me but Wade surprised me more. I guess he’s one of the most loyal characters I’ve ever encountered in a book.

Another thing I loved about the book is the non-linear narrative. It’s told in two POVs and timelines, both Griffin’s but the present timeline refers to the reader as Theo.

I loved the conflicting and raw emotions from the characters and how they filled the book. It’s definitely one of the most honest and raw novels I’ve read so far. I fell in love with Adam Silvera’s writing the moment I finished the first chapter. His writing style is so genuine, poignant, and full of passion.

“People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

Overall, this novel is an exceptional tale of grief, loss, friendship, and most of all love. It’s beautifully crafted and well balanced in terms of light and heavy scenes. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Adam Silvera’s works, but for now, let me settle with More Happy Than Not.

Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas by Emily McKay

Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas by Emily McKay
Publication Date: February 13th 2017 by Entangled Crush
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Rating: ★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Falling in love with the best man wasn’t on the program.

Willa is happy to be the maid of honor in her dad’s upcoming wedding to uber-celeb Mia McCain. Not as happy about the best man being her soon-to-be stepbrother, the infuriating—and infuriatingly gorgeous—Finn McCain. Every time their paths cross, the attraction simmering between them grows a little harder to ignore. Willa knows all about guys like Finn—they only want what they can’t have. What’s between them isn’t real.

Finn has never felt anything more real than what’s developing between him and Willa. Sure, her dad warned him to steer clear, but it’s not just about forbidden temptation. He’s determined to prove to Willa he’s not going anywhere—and that happily-ever-after will always be worth the risk.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a wedding so crazy it’ll make you laugh, a stepbrother so hot he’ll make you swoon, and a heroine so real she’ll make you cry.

I received an ARC of this book from the Author. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

I don’t have any background or anything with this series but I decided to pick it up because it sounds really interesting to me. I haven’t really read any contemporary romance that features stepsiblings as main characters. I don’t know, it just feels a little weird to me, so I try to stay away. So really, I have no idea why this book caught my attention.

Willa’s dad is getting married to Finn’s mom, Mia McCain, who happened to be a super popular celebrity. I can tell how much controversy and gossip that may stir, so Willa found herself in the middle of them all and it wasn’t all pretty.

Willa and Finn have different personalities, yet they complement each other. Their polarities made the story very interesting. I also quite enjoyed the whole “let’s-pretend-we-don’t-have-feelings-for-each-other-since-we’re-going-to-be-practically-siblings-anyway”. It was really fun to see the whole thing, romance included, unfold.

It was enjoyable overall, but a little inconsistent in terms of the pacing. Some things I found too cheesy and cliche as well, but it was a good one!

Blog Tour || Freeks by Amanda Hocking


Freeks
by Amanda Hocking
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Source: ARC From Publisher for Blog Tour
Rating: ★★★ ½
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Freeks is definitely a fresh book for me to start the year. For the last several months, I’ve only been into contemporary romances and thrillers and I’m really glad I have this paranormal novel to kick off my year.

Freeks is set in the 80’s and there’s a little Stranger Things / AHS Freak Show vibe to it which really helped establish the setting. I love the overall vibe of the novel. The supernatural abilities of the characters were also interesting. The story started a little slow and it picks up towards the middle. This was where I started to get hooked.

The plot wasn’t really that unique but it was unpredictable which was cool. The characters fell a little flat and there wasn’t really a development. Still, it was pretty awesome to see a diverse cast within the group.

Mara’s character was easy to relate to, but then again the characters weren’t that complex. Mara feels a little out of place in the group since she doesn’t really have a power. Not one known to her, at the beginning. Her mom, on the other hand, is a necromancer. She can talk to the dead and use tarot cards for it. It’s been a long while since I read a book with tarot cards and it’s really awesome to see it again. I also loved the tarot card illustrations in the book.

Another thing I had issue with was the romance. Yes, it was sweet, but it really felt too rushed. There’s chemistry between Mara and Gabe and they weren’t really playing around or chasing each other by being hard to get. They’re pretty straightforward with their feelings but I think it’s just so fast paced. The events in the book happened only for a week and a couple of days. So yeah, you get the idea.

Overall, the book was very enjoyable to read amidst some issues I had. I definitely a cool book to start the year with! I’m a little sad that this is a standalone because I would have loved to look forward for more!