August 2017 Wrap Up!

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Hello! August was a pretty decent reading month for me. I read 9 books and I had a good mix of fantasy vs. contemporary. I do have to say that I’m slightly getting tired of YA contemporary with its tropes and unrealistic expectations for teenagers but I don’t think I can give up reading contemporary still because there are those gems that are amazing.

Anyway, let’s see what I read this month!


I read several books from my August TBR, yay, go me! You can find the link to my August tbr right here

I read The Alchemists of Loom, Eliza and Her Monsters, and The Boy Next Door

Image result for the alchemists of loom Image result for eliza and her monsters Image result for the boy next door by katie van ark

I’ve heard mixed things about the Alchemists of Loom but I really liked it and gave it 4 stars! I really want to read the second one, Dragons of Nova, but it’s not available on live-brary yet. I also loved Eliza and Her Monsters, I have a review of it right here and I gave it 4.5 stars!

I slightly disliked The Boy Next Door and gave it 2 stars. The plot was there but the characters and subplots just were not. This is one of those contemporaries that give the YA contemp genre a bad rep. It just highlighted every bad trope available to YA writers, seriously.


I also read Made You Up, Geekerella, and Daughter of the Burning City

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Okay here’s the thing with Made You Up, I have not given it a rating. This is for a reason of course, I would give it a 4 star rating but while reading I felt something was off about the mental illness in the book. When I looked at several reviews they supported the author portrayed the mental illness (schizophrenia) completely wrong. Now, I don’t know if this is true or not since I know nothing about schizophrenia, so I’ve decided not to give it a rating because if the author truly messed up everything about schizophrenia I don’t want to praise the book in any way, ya know?

Anyway, moving on Geekerella was a super easy one day read that was quite cliche and a cinderella retelling, but I liked it for some reason, so 4 stars it is.

I’ve also heard many things about Daughter of the Burning City, it has been super hyped recently and I thought that it was pretty good! I did think the beginning was a bit slow but then it picked up in the middle. I’m curious actually to read the sequel, though the plot twist was quite predictable with some aspects of it. I also am IN LOVE with the cover!


I finally read Stars Above, the novel wrap up of all of the Lunar Chronicle novellas, I re-read Glass Sword to remind me about what happened so I can finally read King’s Cage in September, and I read Lucky in Love

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I really liked Stars Above and all of its novellas. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series so it was great having more time with the characters. I liked Glass Sword as much as I did the first time reading with a 4 star rating.

I have a review up for Lucky in Love explaining why this one didn’t quite do it for me, you can click right here to read it!


What did you read this month? Link me up with your wrap ups, I’d love to read them!

-Calliope

P.S. I applied for the teenreads.com board and made it! I’m officially on their board until next August!

Lucky in Love by Kasie West // Book Review

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Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017

Page Number: 333 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary download)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

My Thoughts:

The little things in this book that irked me eventually added up and I couldn’t stand the cliches, inaccurate portrayal of teenage life and a main character that I thought was a complete idiot, though her GPA of 4.2 would contradict me.

I read this book in one day, from 8 in the morning to 8 in the afternoon with obvious breaks and doing my daily summer stuff. I actually kept track of the things I didn’t like through texts with my best friend. When things bothered me, I texted my friend to vent so that’s how I know what to talk about actually.

Things I liked: 

Seth! Asian love interest and Asian stereotypes addressed! Also Seth was the best character in general, he was so sweet, even when Maddie was so mean to him.

The cover! The cover is so cute, like most of Kasie West’s books actually.

Fast pace and enjoyability! Some parts of the books were really interesting and kept me reading and I can’t deny that I did like the main plot, (not subplots though).

Things I didn’t like:

So Maddie is supposedly number two in her class with a 4.2 GPA and all of these extracurricular and volunteer hours and yet not once throughout the book does she go to any club at school or stay after. Maddie has to be usual YA teen that finishes school and never has any trouble with school or studying.

She’s also in HONORS ENGLISH, with a 4.2 GPA. I’m not saying anything bad about people in Honors English, really, but to be number 2 in your grade you need to be in AP or IB classes. (Unless California doesn’t do AP)?

Also I get it, Maddie’s parents are chill parents but when Maddie told them she was throwing a party, they said it was about time she did normal teenage things. At other times her mom told her she needed to keep studying for college. It’s very contradictory, either her parents want her to study and be a goody goody or do “normal” teenage things like partying.

I also saw Maddie’s C on that pop quiz coming from miles away. Obviously once the really smart girl gets rich she stops caring about school and studying. And when Maddie was talking on the phone to Seth about how smart she was and her studying all the time, it didn’t feel like it was genuine because Maddie did not study in the book for as much time or enough times to feel like she actually even went to school.

And then when people started taking advantage of Maddie she didn’t even notice. She hired a band before hearing them play and took their word that they made a thousand dollars per gig. Obviously…they sucked.

Maddie’s parents said it was her money and to get a financial advisor, but Maddie of course doesn’t do this until the END of the book AFTER all of the bad things happen that come with winning that much money from the lottery.

Verdict: 

I don’t know why but this book clearly triggered me for some reason. Can anyone play therapist and analyze why I was so triggered haha

My Rating:

2.5 stars


And that is all! Have you read this book? Did you like it? Let’s chat!

-Calliope

August TBR!

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Welcome to my August TBR! I have so many books to get to and some of them I’m very excited for! This is in alphabetical order by the way!


Image result for alchemist of the loom Image result for because you love to hate me Image result for curious incident of the dog in the nighttime Image result for daughter of the burning city amanda foody

I loved Elisa Kova’s other series so I’m excited to jump into this one! I’m also excited for Because You Love to Hate Me, all the authors involved are ones I love and the booktubers also!

My best friend brought The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time to my attention and I’ve heard great things about it! Finally the Daughter of the Burning City has been hyped recently so I can’t wait to read it as well!


Image result for eliza and her monsters Image result for gentleman's guide to vice and virtue Image result for girl who fell Image result for geekerella

These four books are YA contemporaries I think? I don’t really know much about any of them, and I’m fine with that because going into books blind is never a bad thing.


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I’ve been meaning to read Game of Thrones for a while, same thing with the Hero of Ages and King’s Cage, they’re sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to read basically. Lucky in Love by Kasie West has also been a hyped book and really I read all of Kasie’s new releases, even though she can be hit or miss for me.


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Made You Up is by the same author as Eliza and her Monsters, so I want to give it a read. The Ruby Circle and Stars Above have also been part of the book collection sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read.

They Both Die at the End is by an author I love, Adam Silvera, and he’s such a great writer so I’m both scared and excited for his newest book because my emotions may be impacted heavily based on that title.


What books are you hoping to get to next month? Have you read any of the ones I want to read? Let me know how they are!

-Calliope

Are books too unrealistic? // Discussion

TECHNOLOGI

So I recently read By Your Side by Kasie West and it got me really thinking about realistic vs unrealistic expectations in books. The main character in By Your Side had an anxiety disorder and going to parties made her extremely uncomfortable.

Now maybe I don’t understand anxiety disorders enough, but it seemed to me that someone with an anxiety disorder would not be able to touch and sleep in a sleeping bag with a boy from school who she’d been talking to for like one day.

I did like the book in the end but it seemed a little too good to be true kind of a thing.

I don’t know if I have some form of anxiety or not, but today in Spanish Club we had a chocolate fountain as kind of a Valentine’s Day party and there was a huge crowd in a small classroom and I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I just needed to step outside.

And when the girl in By Your Side has a bag stuffed over her head I physically felt like that was me and while reading I was just imagining myself in that position and then I started like freaking out basically.

Anyway, back to my discussion, I feel like a lot of YA books, especially contemporaries are kind of unrealistic and not okay for teens to take as advice I guess is what I’m trying to say.

Books and how well I can relate

It’s hard for me to find a book that I can really relate with and say YES this character is 100% real.

But then I was like hmm isn’t that one of the reasons I read books though? To escape reality and delve into a new world? Well yes, but it would be nice to resurface from a book and be able to apply it to my own life.

Some problems teens have that are not addressed in book enough include the following:

Acne, makeup, self esteem and confidence issues, high school being hard grades wise, parental problems.

And these just might be my problems that no one else has, but I feel like they aren’t.

Things YA books seem to lack

Most books I read have amazing parents. Like I’m jealous. My relationship with my mother is pretty different than most books. But then again, most books I read have American mothers, while mine is not. That’s another thing not addressed enough, being 1st generation American and dealing with being an American and a different ethnicity at the same time almost.

And don’t even get me started on the free time thing! Maybe it’s just my own individual experience again rising up, but as a junior in high school time is something I often lack.

I have to juggle school, being in the IB program, taekwondo, dance, track/cross country, my family, blogging, and writing. It’s a lot. So when characters in books are able to just drive home from school like it’s nothing, have time to date and hang out and go anywhere without parental permission, I’m just mind boggled. Maybe I do too much? But no, college needs to see extracurriculars obviously, so I don’t know how YA characters can do nothing and still get into college.

And also the lack of buses is something I’ve noticed. Everyone can drive apparently. I get it, characters are seniors and have cars and yada yada. But hello, my mother will never let me drive to school even when I get my license in a few months and DO get a car. She says there’s a perfectly good school bus to take me to school. But then again, that could be my mother/she’s not an American mother showing again.

Also grades! I’m smart. I know I am. Then I started IB and taking harder classes and I’ve been frustrated at my declining grades. The thing is, YA characters seem to be geniuses with no homework, school, studying, or procrastination problems!

Is it just me?

I also started to think maybe I’m not reading diversely enough? But I think my reading is pretty diverse, and I read a lot of YA, which should have problems that Young Adults have, right?

Of course I love my cute contemporaries that have totally unrealistic endings of the girl getting the guy, but it would be nice to be able to relate more to characters.

Huh maybe I should write my own contemporary about a high school girl who’s first generation and has all of the aforementioned issues in her life?


So anyway, I think I’ve prattled on for long enough. Let me know your thoughts! Am I being way too silly or do you feel the same way?

No hate on By Your Side btw, I gave it a 4 star rating.

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.s. Everyone is obsessed with junior prom in April, me included! Promposals have already started happening! I really don’t think I will be asked, so I’ll be most likely going with my best friends, which it totally fine with me! 🙂