Every Reason We Shouldn’t – Book Review

Author – Sara Fujimura

Genre – YA/Romance/Contemporary/Sports

Publisher – Tor Teen

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

Olivia Kennedy’s dream of being an Olympian is crushed. But she is trying to be a normal teen as much as possible. But its not that easy being the daughter of Olympians Michael Kennedy and Midori Nakashima. Enters Jonah Choi who is training at the Ice Dreams which belongs to Olivia’s parents. Olivia connects with him instantly and he understands him in a way no one else does. But is that enough? What about Olivia’s dream of achieving Olympic gold? Will Jonah choose Olivia before his own dreams?

Review

The writing and the premise of book is really interesting. It keeps you hooked from the start. Characters are well thought and you can see them developed throughout the book. The title does not go with the book at all.

I like the side character Mack way more better than the protagonists. She is badass, caring, mature, fun, quirky and super intelligent.

Sometimes you really feel sad for Olivia because her family is not caring at all, they don’t even have any idea what is going on in her life. But at times she is obnoxious and feels she is extra just because she is in sports and won a gold medal. The way Olivia and Jonah thinks normal teens do drama all the time is really wrong in so many ways and on the other side those teens were always kind and supporting.

Author is trying to discuss too many issues at one time but she has more miss than hits. Food habits of Olivia and Jonah is not normal and any sensitive person going through body issues can be triggered by it. Lockdown situation in school was deal with very casually. Like the next day no one is even talking about it. Even Olivia’s own mother doesn’t realize about it until next day and all she says is sorry and nothing else.

There are too many sports terms used in the book. I wish author could have simplified it or added any notes explaining them. Because of this the ending is just too confusing for me. I couldn’t understand it and there were so many subplots that remain open. Ending was too rushed and felt author just want to wrap it up everything very quickly.

The premise of the book has so much potential because it deals with a lot of issues in teen life which can be relateable but author couldn’t executed it properly. And in turn felt like Olivia and Jonah were actually very extra which was not needed at all.

What about kissing someone you actually thinks like a brother? Egg Olivia’s rink partner was really negative in my opinion. Using a kiss to add drama to your performance and except that it has no purpose or affect in the overall story at all. Abandoning a minor in the other state and everything is just fine at the end I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Plus he was being total mean in that scene.

Even with all this issue the book is really good and has some really cute moments and I would recommend this book only for Mack. She is superstar of the book and she deserves all the praise. And I would really like a sequel based on the life of Mack.

Thank you so much theffbc for including me in your blog tour.

Everything’s Not Fine – Book Review

Author – Sarah J. Carlson

Genre – YA/Contemporary

Publisher – Turner Publishing

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis –

Rose Hemmersbach has a perfectly laid out plan maintain her GPA in senior class, complete the Balwyn college application assignments and escape from her small town Sparta. But when her mother is found almost dead from drug overdose in her hall everything is going to change. Rose priority has shifted to her siblings and Dad. She doesn’t even have an ounce of creativity or willingness to paint and her senior year is just passing by in a blur.

But when her Art teacher gives an assignment to paint mural for school homecoming with Rafa, a new student at Sparta, maybe there is a slim chance of painting again. But still she and her family have to address the elephant in the room.

Review-

The book deals with a lot of elements at once importance of family, mental health, drug overdose and addiction. And it does justice to them by displaying the bold consequences of addiction and laying out the emotions perfectly of the family affected by it.

It takes a lot of efforts to get invested in the book. In the beginning it is filled with painting references which is hard to understand. But after 50 pages it definitely gets interesting and more gripping.

Characters are well thought and their development arc is really well defined. You can feel the struggle Rose is going through. Her inner turmoil, her guilt, her love for family and her self destruction. Author captures the aftermath of addiction perfectly.

There was lot of sudden shifts in the scene, so it destroys the essence of a perfectly invested emotional scene. One minute Rose is feeling empty and lost and in the second she is bantering with Rafa. I understand she is a 17 year old but still if author could have executed it in a slightly different manner it would have hit home.

The writing was also a little bit difficult to understand. Though I am impressed with the way author has described paintings and their meaning in real life, it took me a lot of concentration to finish the book.

I like the ending of the book. It is not your cliche happily forever ending, it is as real life as the rest of the book. You take one day at a time and can’t predict future.

Thank you theffbc for the review opportunity.

The Sweeney Sisters – Book Review

Author – Lian Dolan

Genre – Fiction/Contemporary

Publisher – William Morrow

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis –

Bill Sweeney a renowned and internationally acclaim writer and college professor died on a cool June night. His death shocked everyone in the literary business. But the person affected the most were his three daughters Liza, Maggie and Tricia. Though they grew up with a happy childhood they have drifted apart after their mothers death fifteen years ago. Their only rock was their father Bill Sweeney. Now all the sisters are back to Southport, Connecticut in their childhood home to gave the wake their father deserves.

Sara Tucker is a journalist in Washington DC. When she receives an online DNA testing card as a gift Sara decides to use it on a whim. There is 99% match with her childhood neighbor Bill Sweeney. Turns out her WASP mother Birdie Tucker had an affair with Bill Sweeney.

But was it just one night stand? Will Sweeney sisters accept Sara as their own? What does Sara want? And the most important question where is the memoir Bill Sweeney wrote?

Review-

This book has some of the most real characters I have ever read. They are imperfect, they make mistakes, they are greedy, emotionally aloof, bold, genuine, unapologetic in their actions, mature, irresponsible but most important they are family.

This book is hilarious and witty. The writing is very entertaining, you would want to finish this book in one sitting but at the same time savor it as much as you can.

The plot is definitely not predictable. Author keeps playing with your emotions throughout the book. Whom you love in the starting just keep irritating you at the end. And whom you think will be negative turns out the most lovable character.

My favorite character is Tricia and Sara. They both seems emotionally distant but they don’t shy away from what they feel right. They are persistent in their work but they would go to any lengths for their family.

Each character has an amazing character arc except Maggie. I was slightly irritated by her actions throughout the book. I understand that was how her character is supposed to be but still I couldn’t understand the change at the end.

Just because they are your family do you know them completely? Will they stand by you when everything goes wrong OR when you are wrong? Will they support you in your time of need? Author answers all of this in a beautifully manner with a dysfunctional family in the background.

The ending was perfect. It is not your happy and complete ending but more of a happy and new complicated beginnings. I love how Liza turned out in the end.

This book is funny, witty, unexpected, shocking, hard hitting and makes you love your sisters a little bit more. I would highly recommend this book. And I would love to have a sequel of Sweeney Sisters.

Thank you theffbc for making me a part of the blog tour.

Last Girls – Book Review

Author – Demetra Brodsky

Genre – YA Thriller Mystery

Publisher – Tor Teen

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Honey Juniper and her sisters may seem a little weird to their school mates but they are so much more than just weird. They are preppers. They are always prepared for the end of the world as we know it. On a secret compound in Washington wilderness there are group of preppers training to hunt, to fight and to survive in a deadly situation.

But lately something is off. Everyone is having secrets and acting shady. When Honey’s sister Birdie gets involved in a mission which got busted only because of her, shit really hit the fan. And Honey will do anything to protect her sisters.

Review-

One thing is for sure I am not prepared for zombie apocalypse or end of the world. But Honey, Birdie and Blue are definitely prepared. This book was totally not what I was expecting.

Three main female characters, they are badass and artistic. Honey is protective and a painter, Birdie is passionate and draws comic and Blue is sensible and does embroidery. I am a sucker for such female characters and I freaking LOVE all of them.

This is my first book by the author and I really like her writing, Though in the start it takes time to get hang of the things because author just plunged you into the world of preppers without any base information.

Halfway in the book you will be able to guess the suspense very easily but the overall plot and the writing is so good that you will still be amazed by the ending. Each chapter reveals something and keeps you hooked for the next. I really like the title of each chapters they are really cool.

It has a subtle love story too but I like the fact that it was not dragged and or added any unnecessary subplot to the book. It happens with the flow and it is genuine and heartfelt.

One more emotion which author has banged on is family ties. Sisters always sticking together, protecting each other and going against anyone and everyone if they cause harm to any of them. In the end family is all what you have.

This book is a great YA Thriller Mystery and one of its kind with the characters and the plot.

Thank you theffbc for the review copy and including me on your blog tour.

One Day In December – Book Review

Author – Josie Silver

Genre – Romance

Publisher – Penguin Books

Year – 2018

Ratings – ⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis –

Laurie didn’t believe in love at first sight until she experienced it on a cold December evening. From her bus window she sees a man who is reading some hardcover book and just as the bus halts at the stop the man looks up from the book and stare at her. They look at each other maybe for sometime or maybe just for seconds but they both felt that instant connection. But just like that the moment is over and the bus started again.

After almost a year Laurie best friend Sarah introduced her boyfriend to Laurie. And the guy is none other than the man from the bus. What happens after is a story of friendship, loss, love and finding oneself through the darkness.

Review-

First of all I don’t believe in love at first sight and when I read the blurb I thought there will be some chemistry or the characters will know each other better after the first moment. But no trust me it is what it is just Love at first sight story which just gets extend into 9 years of love story. And there is no proper communication or a moment that defines love between them.

Am I the only one who didn’t like Jack at all? Because he got everything he wanted. He was a jerk and then troubled one and then casinova and then suddenly loving Laurie again. I am sorry but I just think he was selfish throughout the book.

My favorite character has to be Sarah. She loved Jack and Laurie with her whole heart still she suffered the most with no fault of hers. Laurie character shows a lot of growth and maturity which is impressive. You could see her character arc and her transformation from the start.

I felt it was unnecessary to have a timeline of 9 years when it could have been finished within 4-5 years. Maybe author wants to give the 10 year mark but apart from that I didn’t felt any use of it. Instead it just add confusion and complexity to the whole plot.

The whole Christmassy vibe is spot on. You can definitely feel the snow and Christmas in the overall story as major twist & turns happen at that time.

I am not completely bashing this book. It is definitely a feel good, make you believe in true love kind of book and it completely fulfills that part of the job. I enjoyed reading it but I just couldn’t believe it enough as much as I want to.

Shadows of Winterspell – Book Review

Author – Amy Wilson

Genre – Middle Age Fantasy

Publisher – Pan Macmillan India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

Stella has been living alone on the border of the magical forest with the ghost of her grandmother and her imp. Now soon to be thirteen she desperately wants a human friend or an acquaintance or even a human connection. She decides to join school to be normal. But things doesn’t turn up as she was expecting. And to stop the shadows of the forest she has to uncover her own family secret.

Review

I love the writing of the book. It is simple, easy to understand and makes you want to read more.

The characters development is commendable especially of Stella and Zara. I really like the women power they showed at the end. Though with Yanny I thought he had not that much importance in the end.

I love the magical creatures in the book and they have been given due importance too. My most favorite has to be Peg. I so wish to be sassy and witty like him.

The plot of the story is really fresh, cute and magical. There are enough twists & turns to grip you till the end. This could be easily turned into a series but I like that author has kept it crisp, short and with a perfect ending.

The only thing which I didn’t like about the book was the different species of fae, fairy and sprite mentioned. They have given definition of them but my problem was that the characters were not sorted properly. Like I could not understand who was fae or fairy or sprite.

This book comes under children category and I think it is a perfect book for a child to start with their fantasy magical world.

Thank you Pan Macmillan India for the proof copy.

Crescent City – Book Review

Author – Sarah J. Mass

Genre – Adult Fantasy

Publisher – Bloomsbury India

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

Half fae and half human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day she is doing an odd job at an antique gallery selling barely legal magical artifacts and enjoys doing party with her friends at night. But one murder changes everything in the city and in Bryce’s life.

Two years later when the murderer strikes again Governor asks for Bryce help as she is somewhat at the center of this mess.

Hunt Athalar personal assassin of the Governor is to protect Bryce and help her in the investigation. Hunt wants nothing to do with this investigation and Bryce but Governor offers a deal which he can’t refuse.

As Hunt doesn’t expect much from a party girl he is shocked to know the real individual behind the facade. And as they follow the lead they come across some shocking revelations which will affect the entire city and will change their life forever. Are they prepared to face the real reason behind these murders?

Review

This is my first SJM book and I am in hopelessly love with her work!!!

The character building, the fantasy world, the emotions, the plot, every twists & turns and the execution of it all is truly amazing and PERFECT.

I can’t tell you how much I love Bryce, Danika and Hunt character they were imperfect, messy, confused and vulnerable. They are loyal to their cause and will give everything for their love.

The starting is really confusing with tons of characters and the political framework of the Crescent City but after around 50 pages you are totally invested and hooked to this book. And I think there was too much action and too many plot twists in the end. But I am not complaining at all because I love every part of it.

Bryce is sassy and fashionable and always living behind a facade that she doesn’t get affected by anything. Danika is the best friend that we all need. I know it is fiction but still I desperately want a friend like Danika. Hunt Athalar is so big, mean and as people call it Shadow of Death but when it comes to Bryce he let his facade down and show all the realness of him.

Every side character is distinct and unique in their own way. They all have their own personal battle to fight and SJM blends it perfectly with the main story.

The chemistry between Bryce and Hunt is really interesting and funny to read. How they both help each other and support each other without expecting anything in return. Their chemistry is bomb that too without any much erotic scenes.

After finishing this book I felt like I was a part of this adventurous journey and could feel every character growing and developing in the process. This book is around 800 pages but I could read another 800 pages without any complaint whatsoever.

I can never have enough words to describe this book except it is MASTERPIECE!!! I want to write so many things but at the same time I am totally speechless. And I guess I will never come out of Crescent City.

Thank you Bloomsbury India for making me a part of this awesome Instagram tour.

Frozen Beauty – Book Review

Author – Lexa Hillyer

Genre – YA Contemporary Mystery

Publisher – Harper Teen

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Three Malloy sisters Kit, Tessa and Lily each different from the other from their hair to their nature to their passion except Boyd. Boyd a boy who lives next door is a part of their growing up and each sister loved him in their own way.

But what happens when one secret turns Kit dead and all the evidence points toward Boyd. Lilly is the one who saw Boyd with Kit at that night but Tessa is sure about Boyd’s innocence. Will one secret and one boy will tear three sisters apart?

Review-

I really like the writing of the author its very descriptive and easy to imagine the scenes that unfold. The characters are very distinctive and interesting to read. But I believe Lilly’s character was somewhat flat and predictable as compared to Tessa and Kit.

The plot is very intricately written with every aspect related to one another. Before gives an insight on the relationship of the sister and Now tells us the impact of the murder on Tessa and Lilly.

Though the POV continuously shifts but at no point it creates confusion. And the constant change in POV makes it more interesting to read. As on one page they are happy and sassy and in next page they are sad and heartbroken. It keeps you hooked emotionally throughout the book.

The murder mystery is very brilliantly created with every person being a suspect but the hype and the twist were so good that it didn’t match upto the expectation at the end. The murderer was definitely shocking and impressive but the way murder took place I felt it was quite unplanned. The murder scene was just written in haste without giving proper attention.

The school life and the teen romance also plays an important part in the whole book. It gives the perfect YA vibe with the murder mystery. But don’t get your hopes high on the romance part because suspense part is overwhelming in every aspect.

The book gives you a cold December vibe so keep your blankets and coffee ready while reading this book because it will definitely give you chills and keep you hooked to the end.

Thank you so much FFBC for including me in this blog tour.

The Degenerates – Book Review

Author – J. Albert Mann

Genre – YA Historical Fiction

Publisher – Simon & Schuster

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

The Massachusetts School is for moron and imbecile. Once you enter the school there is no escape as there is no cure for feeble minded people.

Maxine who despite knowing the reality dreams of having a beach house, being a singer and an escape from this institution along with Rose. Rose whom everyone thinks knows nothing, but she knows more than she lets on. Alice who is accustomed to institution routine and lifestyle says nothing and shows no emotion because showing emotions means letting your weaknesses known to another.

Maxine, Rose and Alice are not happy but they have accepted their faith and living their life with as much normalcy as possible. But everything turns upside down with the entry of London. She is determine to escape this place as soon as possible. But what will her freedom cost?

Review-

First and foremost if you are a sensitive reader you have to be careful of some explicit and some dark emotional scenes. Being a sensitive reader myself it affected me quite hard.

This book is gut wrenchingly emotional. The institution, their routine, the situations of the girls, their enmity, their hope, their dreams and their reality will shook you from your core.

The writing is impeccable. It hooks you from the first page itself and the ending just live you in tears. Characters are way different from each other but still they fit perfectly well with each other.

Author has not shy away from writing some hard hitting emotional scenes. She is unapologetic and raw and real. Among all the unpleasant scenario an unbreakable bond of sister and a pure love is like fresh air while drowning. It helps you survive from all the other heavy situations in the book.

The plot is meticulously woven and shown how each character survives in their own way. But some parts were quite not believable. Like the changing of the shifts and obtaining certain things.

The ending was definitely not what I was expecting. Though I felt it was quite rushed but it was shocking and part satisfying. Why only part satisfying? For that you have to read the book.