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review 2018-08-06 22:51
Not the Girls You're Looking For
Not the Girls You're Looking For - Aminah Mae Safi

I was really hoping that I would like this book, unfortunately, it seems that I did not. I was really excited to read it because it focuses on a Muslim girl and her life, which you don't see a lot of in YA fiction. But it just let me down in pretty much every area.

I'm not going to lie to you, I knew pretty much right off the bat that I probably wasn't going to like this book. It starts off with no beginning, in fact, when you first start reading the book, it reads as if you picked up in the middle of a book as if it was the continuation of a sequel. There's no easing you into the stories or the characters, it just starts in the middle of something and keeps on going. Like I finished the book and honestly, I still don't know what the hell even happened or anything about these characters.

There's no plot in this book, at least none that I could see. I know it's a coming-of-age story but there should've been at least something to push the story along. The closest thing that came to a plot was I guess the string of parties everyone kept going to. I know that for some stories it's not the plot that carries it forward but the characters but to be perfectly honest, this didn't have great characters or even interesting ones to keep it moving or to keep you reading.

Moving onto the characters which was my biggest problem and why it took me so long to get through a book that would've normally taken me half a day. I didn't like any of them, they were all assholes and uninteresting, and I pretty much knew nothing about them and I still don't. In fact, I even question why Lulu and her friends are even friends. From what I could tell, they had nothing in common, they were constantly judging each other and trying to put each other down. They never listened to reason.

And most of the problems seemed to come down to simple miscommunication and I hate to tell you this but if your entire story is hanging on some simple miscommunication that can be easily fixed ... then your story probably isn't that good. There, I said it.

Lulu is so like, up her own ass that I just don't get her. Every interaction she had with her love interest at the start of the story was so baffling because he was being portrayed as being the bad guy or being offensive and half the things he did weren't even that bad. Like I get why the "you're not like other girls" thing is bad and a terrible pick-up line but a simple "no thanks" would've sufficed and she could've just gone on her way. But instead, Lulu literally drags that small line on for 2 pages and for what? It was so unnecessary, it was such an overreaction to something that wasn't that big of a deal.

Or she goes to a Battle of the Bands type of bullshit and he asks her "oh are you a fan of the band?" and she literally????? gets so mad????? and for what??????? She takes it as him trying to mock her or provoke her into proving that she's a "real fan" which is literally not what he's doing, he's just asking if she likes the band. Like Lulu is constantly accusing this guy of being an asshole but as far as I could see, she was the asshole in literally 99% of her interactions with everyone. And she kept describing him as looking confused when he was talking to her, and for good reason, because she was taking the conversation in a completely different area than where it was headed and the poor guy was just tryna follow along.

The only thing James, her love interest, did that was actually kind of yikes was take her to see belly-dancing because she was Arab.

Lulu is literally just so antagonistic for no reason over E V E R Y T H I N G. It's really hard to sympathize with a character who is constantly victimizing herself and making everyone else out to be like some kind of idiot who isn't as woke as her. And the funny thing is, she just makes an ass of herself every time because she thinks she's so much better than everyone else, the Ramadan incident being exhibit A.

Sis barely knows any Arabic, hears the word whore in a sentence half of which she can't even translate, and assumes it's about her mother like shut up. Your relatives, assholes they may be, can not only swear at you in Arabic and English but probably like 2 other languages as well, meanwhile you refuse to even tell people how you feel in English, sit down.

Her friends were just so????? I don't even know how to put it but like I said, I don't get why they're friends. I would say they're realistic but other than their interactions with each other, I literally don't know anything about them or their families or their interests, nothing. They're all also assholes in their own right.

Let's start with Audrey who's literally the worst person in this book. 

This girl always has something to say about not only Lulu's sexual activity but literally everyone else like you're an alcoholic at the age of, what, 16? I really don't think you're in any position to be judging someone, get off your high horse. And at the end she comes crying to Lulu like no fuck you, you're a terrible person goodbye.

The only thing that was irritating about Lo was the fact that she was trying to fuck the racism out of Scumbag Luke or something like for someone who has her head set straight like she does, I literally didn't get this one lapse in judgement from her. It just made no sense from what I understood about her character. And then at the end of the book, she's crying because Scumbag Luke turned out to be a scumbag like literally everyone said he was. She even knew that he was a racist, homophobic asshole, it wasn't a mystery, it was a well-known fact throughout the book. So did I feel sorry for her? No.

Next.

Emma, didn't do anything, she honestly might as well have not even been in the book because she literally contributed almost nothing, she only served as some sort of plot point because she's gay, but other than that, she didn't need to be there.

To conclude, is this book worth reading? Not really. I'm just glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-31 05:32
Before the Devil Breaks You
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray

I'M LITERALLY SCREAMING. HOLLERING. I JUST FINISHED THIS BOOK NOT TEN MINUTES AGO AND I'M A RIGHT MESS.

 

 

There's so much to discuss I don't even know where to start or how to put it into coherent sentences. First of all, the writing was phenomenal as always, you really feel as if you're right there in New York with everyone as you read the books, you can feel the hatred leap right off of the pages for the characters.

The book was always scary, the scenes in the asylum were truly frightening, I had to stop reading at night because every time I read spooky things I always go to bed with the distinct feeling of being watched. This series just gets progressively spookier and scarier with each book and I absolutely love it, just when you think things couldn't get any worse they really do.

The characters were as always phenomenal (I'll probably be using that word a lot in this review). With every page that you spend with them they grow even more complex, you become even more attached to them and you truly feel for them and their struggles. I would say that the Sam/Evie/Jericho love triangle has a pretty clear and predictable ending to it but I've come to expect the unexpected from Libba Bray so I won't say it because she could very well pull the rug out from under me and hit me with another Kartik turning into a fucking tree situation.

Towards the last hundred or so pages of the book the plot picks up considerably, you're literally like sprinting to such a climactic ending which is why I'm in such literal shock and my adrenaline is pumping.

Honestly if the conclusion isn't something like 1000 pages long, I don't know how this story is going to end, there's literally so much going on with each character that it's hard for me to imagine the book being anything less. I get why Libba Bray has been taking so long with the fourth book, it'll truly be a monster of a book.

From this point onwards, it's pretty much spoilers because I HAVE THOUGHTS. AND THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO HEAR.

Let's start with Theta. The only non-spoiler thing I have to say is that I forget people in the 1920s didn't have eyebrows because it was the fashion and coloured their lips in the shape of Cupids bows. And why is this important, because I was picturing Theta with eyebrows and she had to draw them on and I had a mini-stroke. And also like I get her fear and why she didn't tell anyone about her whole flaming hands thing but all of the Diviners were literally so supportive and they all had their own problems and self-destructive tendencies so like she would've fit right in. And they did exactly what I knew they were going to do the entire time.

I was literally ready to start throwing hands when Roy came into the picture because fuck this man and fuck what he did to Theta, burn in hell bitch. Literally if this bastard doesn't die and someone, say Same, does die there will be no justice in this world. I was so rooting for Theta to light that bitch on fire and like I get why she didn't, character growth on all, but I also like ... don't care, light him on fire. Do what you gotta do. The scene where she and Memphis get back together was so touching and lovely I literally wanna cry I hope things end well for them. 

Moving onto Memphis, I just hope things end well for him and Theta and my heart was really hurting in my chest when he thought Theta didn't love him because he didn't deserve that, the two of them are so wholesome, so pure.

Moving onto Jericho, while I was fully supportive of Evie going after either Sam or Jericho, Jericho has kind of worn off of me to be honest. Like I still love him and want the best for him, but he just has this inferiority complex that was just like amped up to the max in this book and while I still feel sorry for him and want the best for him and my heart aches for him, I kind of think Evie should pick Sam. 

Will kind of disappears after the first book and doesn't make many more prolonged appearances throughout the story so the ending to this book was bittersweet in regards to him. He dies and he never got to reconcile with Evie, the two of them just left things off really badly and it hurts me to think how she's going to react when she hears about what happened to him. 

Mabel ... oh boy. This is all going to be spoilers. She dies. She gets involved with Arthur Brown, the two of them fall in love and she realizes that anarchy is not the way and tries to stop Arthur but before they can stop the bomb, Mable gets shot and is paralyzed, Arthur gets shot and it hits an artery. And then the bomb goes and the two of them die in each others arms. Also Sarah Snow dies so there's that. 

Evie and Same ... oh my God. I have to talk about these two together because there's no way I can sum them up separately. That fake-dating sting really got these two deep in each other's feelings so I'm not surprised that they ended up sleeping together and falling in love. I was literally like a pile of wet napkin during their love dovey stuff near the end right before Sam is kidnapped. But at least Evie knows he was taken and that he didn't just scram.

Evie's world essentially comes crumbling down and boy when things go wrong in this universe they go out with a bang. I felt so bad for her, especially because of the many discoveries she made about James, who is, by the way, gay.

And this is what I was talking about when I said that the Sam and Evie ship is basically confirmed but because I've read Libba Bray's books before, I feel like she's going to just snap our necks and leave us for dead by killing off Sam. I'm not joking when I say I'm going to lock myself in my room for like a solid week in mourning because I literally won't be able to handle it. She already did this with Kartik, she can't do it again I need a break.

If he does die, I'm literally just gonna act like it didn't happen and find fanfiction. That's the tea on that.


All I have to say about Ling is, WE LOVE AN ASEXUAL KWEEN. Nothing all that bad happens to Henry and her in this book so I won't go on about them, life goes pretty well for them.

And um, I think that's it. I'm basically beating at a dead horse at this point but if inclusivity is really really important to you, I'm telling you this book is meant for you. And I think it serves as a good example to other authors to have a more diverse cast of characters and that it doesn't hinder the story in anyway at all but in fact contributes to it.

 

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review 2018-06-25 03:51
Obsidio
Obsidio - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman

I don't even know where to start. I literally just finished this book five minutes ago. I'm in shock.

 

To be honest this entire series is just one long screaming fest because hOlY ShIt.

 

 

There's so many plot twists and the authors constantly push you to the brink of despair and make you think that everyone's going to die.

 

AND THEN THEY SNATCH YOU BACK FROM THE EDGE AND THEY'RE LIKE SIKE.

 

I think I've said this before, but I know some people had trouble with the way that the story was told as it was told through dossiers and stuff and I'll admit that it's out of the ordinary but I think it really fits the story.

 

I think this entire trilogy does a really good job of showing that there isn't always just black and white, good and evil, there's so many gray areas and showing how people fit into those grey areas. There are so many characters in this book, not all of them important, but you get a little snippet into almost all of their lives that gives you some understanding of them. It does a really good job of showing that good people are capable of doing bad things. And that it's a lot harder to simply cut someone off when you know that person.

 

There were so many characters in the book who had committed some really terrible atrocities and while it made me absolutely livid, seeing them through the eyes of some of the characters and hearing them talk, you begin to hate them a little less.

 

Except for Leanne Frobisher, that bitch can rot to be honest.

 

I really liked the dialogue among the characters, they all had their own distinctive way of talking. I think even without the name labels, you'd probably be able to figure who was speaking when. I also really liked the characterization. Obviously not everyone is likeable, but they feel real, like someone that you might encounter at some point throughout your life ya know.

 

It goes without saying that the plot was absolutely incredible and blew my damn mind.

 

I know that this probably is coming across as very scatter-brained and unorganized but I'm still reeling from the book and trying to get my brain working properly again. 10/10 would recommend and I'm 100% planning on reading this series again in the future.

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text 2018-05-15 05:35
Backlash
Backlash - Sarah Darer Littman

I literally hate this book with every fibre in my being. This is literally the most ridiculous portrayal of cyberbullying that I have ever had the misfortune of reading of my own two eyeballs. I literally don't even know where to begin.

First off, the writing in this is literally so ... mediocre? It literally reads like mediocre fanfiction. And full offense this author literally hasn't spoken to a teenager after 2010 and it shows. I'd feel bad for saying it but I'm getting so tired of adults who have literally no idea what the teenagers of the modern day are like and writing them as whatever stereotype they have in their head. I would've let this slide if this had been written in like 2009 but this was literally published in 2015 so like ... get with the times.

People my age don't use Facebook all that much anymore, at least they don't use it in the way that it's portrayed in the book. Nobody puts you on blast and tells you to kill yourself on a Facebook post in the year of 2015. They just don't. They'll do it on a spam account on instagram or on their snapstory but even then they'll be shady about it, they won't ever mention any names.

Which someone would know if they had ever actually spoken to someone between the ages of 13-20.

Moving on.

All of these characters are like caricatures of human beings, not to mention they're all fucking sociopaths. Everything is so exaggerated to the point that it literally wouldn't work this way in the real world.

Lara is literally so annoying and I should probably feel bad for saying this considering her situation, but she was a fucking idiot. I get where her self-esteem issues came from, seriously I do, but I feel like the way that they were handled was so poorly and it honestly didn't feel like it came from somewhere deep. Maybe it's just me but I literally do not understand why someone would give two shits about the opinion of any boy, especially one they've never met in person. I don't know what it was but her situation just didn't feel real to me.

You mean to tell me, this girl goes from being perfectly fine for weeks and months on end and enjoying life ... to attempting suicide because one boy told her the world would be a better place without her? I don't know, maybe I don't know enough about this type of thing yet to be able to judge whether or not it was realistic, maybe someone really can make a complete 360.

Her sister Sydney is literally ... so self-centered. Her sister literally tries to kill herself and this girl thinks her life is hard because she can't make it to her audition. How fucking hard it must be for you to have a mentally ill sister. Why doesn't she just put on hold so that you can have some attention for five minutes. God she was so annoying but as annoying as she was, she was also one of the only sane fucking people in this book and that wasn't all that hard to achieve since everyone was batshit insane.

Bree is a fucking sociopath, I feel bad for saying this but honestly this girl deserved everything she got and I can't believe the book actually tries to make you feel bad for her. Boo hoo you dumb bitch you didn't make the cheerleading squad get on with your life Christ. Literally who even fucking thinks it's an appropriate thing to create an entire fake account so you can emotionally damage someone you used to be friends with. I literally can't put into words how fucking insane that is.

HER MOM WAS EVEN WORSE.

This woman, instead of scolding her daughter and punishing her for being a literal terrible human being decides tO JOIN IN ON THE CREEPY CATFISH FLIRTING TO BE PETTY AT LARA'S MOM BECAUSE SHE'S AN UNFULFILLED MIDDLE AGED WOMAN. 

The only decent, sane person in this entire book is Liam who calls out his sister for her absolutely insane behaviour and tells her that she's a literal piece of trash.

Look I get it, cyberbullying is a big thing in the age of technology and it's important to talk about ... but this book does a really bad job of it and I feel like if anything, makes it seem a lot simpler than any cyberbullying situation would be.

This book is terrible and I didn't even bother with the last 20 pages, thank you for listening to my TedTalk.
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review 2017-12-24 23:38
Revenge, Ice-cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold
Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold (A Broken Hearts & Revenge Novel) - Katie Finn

Okay, we need to talk about this book.

Because what in the fuck.

To clarify I haven't read the first book but I think the events that happened in the first book were referred to relatively frequently to the point that I basically got the gist of what happened in the end without the nasty details of everything that this bitch Hallie did.

I didn't think I'd end up liking this as much as I would like I was at a solid three stars mostly because the beginning, while not boring, did take some time to build up and get to the good stuff but when it did get to the good stuff HOLY SHIT. This was teenage girl drama but to the extreme, should anything along this line ever happen in real life I would be sincerely concerned for the mental stability of the individuals involved.

I'm going to start off with Gemma because I don't have much to say about her and while I didn't hate her, I did get just a tad bit irritated with her.

Because this girl is fucking stupid. As shit. So stupid. I literally cannot even comprehend the level of cluelessness she expresses throughout this book.

For the first half of this book I couldn't go more than a few pages without Gemma saying, "I didn't understand half of what she said," over the most basic, easy to understand concepts. Like you didn't even have to be especially gifted to understand all of the things that she didn't understand, you just have to have graduated from the 12th grade. And I was like there is just no way, there has to be some sort of exaggeration on her part, there is no way that this girl knows this little.

But as you keep reading you realize, oh but she is this clueless.

And this is what made the plot twists less shocking than they actually were, like half of the things that she realizes near the end of the book, you have figured out before you hit the halfway mark. And she out here acting all shocked

And I'm just here like .... girl are you actually stupid. And maybe you're thinking oh but you're just good at figuring things out, I'm here to tell you no. nonononononono. I'm terrible at figuring things out which is why mysteries are always such a wild ride for me because I literally never put two and two together.

But when your hints are blunt enough that even I figured it out then you either did a really bad job of hiding the hints or your main character is stupid.

Gemma is just stupid.

But total obliviousness aside, I didn't hate her. I actually really liked her, she had really changed by the end of the novel and I appreciate that character growth that she went through and realized that hey maybe it's a good idea to stop acting like I'm 12. Although to be fair it was because Hallie was fucking crazy and it was kill or be killed so she really didn't have much of a choice.

But one more thing that I want to touch upon before we get into the mess that is Hallie.

The biggest thing that I liked about Gemma's growth was her realization that TEDDY AIN'T SHIT BITCH. Like the little details her friends brought up about the way she used to be with Teddy and the increasing level of "ew what the fuck why was I like that" that she experienced throughout the book as she realized how incapable of thinking for herself and being on her own she was when she had been with Teddy. So yeah, I think Gemma came out a better person at the end of this book and I'm really excited to see what happens in the third one.

But moving on to Hallie. This bitch is crazy, this is like the third time that I've said this but for real this bitch is fucking crazy. Like I seriously think she needs to go in for psychiatric evaluation because she is just ... really unstable. And creepy.

This girl is literally so hung up over some ruined birthday party from when she was eleven that this bitch spent like 4 fucking years building up to the destruction of Gemma.

Over a birthday party.

Just let that sink in. 

Gemma like changed the date of the party so that no one showed up on the day that it actually was and this bitch Hallie held a vendetta for like 4 fucking years and spent all that time plotting to get back at Hallie over a birthday party.

As somebody who has had this happen to them in like elementary (not the having the date changed thing, people just didn't work out because I didn't realize how invitations worked in Canada but anyway moving on that's a different story), it's literally not that big of a deal like let it go and move on. What kind of eleven year old has the time and energy to spend doing this shit like last I remember when I was eleven everyone was like losing their shit over tamagatchi's or those little pooh bears in the different outfits.

And it's not like Gemma wasn't sorry like she tried to make things right and from what I understand, not in the best way possible but she did try and this girl Hallie was just determined to spit in her face over it damn.

And Gemma is like maybe I should get a restraining order LIKE NO DUH SHE PUT FUCKING SPYWARE ON YOUR BEST FRIEND'S PHONE A RESTRAINING ORDER IS LONG OVER DO THIS IS LIKE A FUCKING CRIME.

She almost gets Gemma arrested, she gets Gemma fired, she ruins all of Gemma's relationships and for what? A birthday party.

I'm just ... I have no words, there are no words to describe my level of shock as this dumbassery.

But I will say this, it was pretty creative like you never really think about how important a birthday can be until you read this book.

And to end off, if Ford and Gemma do not get together in the third book I'm going to riot, I'm going to set fire to ... idk maybe a napkin I don't wanna burn my books or anything. But they better get together, my boy Ford is so kind and lovely and insanely smart and so sweet I want him to be happy and I want someone to adore him as much as he adores Gemma. He is too good for this world and a true hoe, not even asking any questions before he goes hacking to find evidence for Gemma.

I think I'll end there, my adrenaline has finally stopped pumping.

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