10 Things You Should NEVER Say To A Bookworm

So quite a while back now I had a rather unpleasant encounter with one of my teachers at my old school… Quite ironically, the little witch (that word would usually start with a different letter) taught me English… And although I usually respect my elders, and of course teachers belong to that ‘category’ – she evokes a feeling of hatred and apathy for all things English related when I see her wonderfully sickening bright green coat appear on the horizon (although this year the coat seemed to have been replaced with a slightly toned down grey one – my eyes are thankful for whatever happened for her to make that change).

During a meeting of this particularly rude individual with my father and I, she seemed it was entirely appropriate to say that I am by far too studious, and reading (and blogging) is not a hobby I should not be doing as it “is not relaxing and you should think about doing sports such as tennis or swimming”.

i beg your pardon julie andrews

I couldn’t help it, I got defensive and proceeded to tell her that blogging and reading are perfectly good hobbies which are more beneficial, and potentially life-saving (seeing as I have yet to master the art of swimming) than her choices off pastime whilst making a mental note to ignore her future “advice”.

But the moment I got back home, I was somewhat inspired So I guess sometimes good things do come out of awful situations, go figure.


So here are 10 things you shouldn’t say to a bookworm based on my own experience…

10. “Ew, you read? Isn’t that like, boring?” 

Yes, yes, I do – and your invalid opinion will do nothing to change that. Also, since when is visiting other countries or maybe even dimensions boring?

09. “Don’t you have enough books? No more books for you.” 

If you try to stop me from placing 12 new books on my TBR…. well, good luck to you my friend because you’re in for a quest and a bit… it’s not going to be a fun one either. Please just don’t try, for your own good and my sanity.

08. “What’s your favourite book?”

You mean my favourite 20? You do not understand I cannot pick just one. That’s almost like  much worse than picking a favourite child. I can give you maybe a top 3-5 from each genre? That will have to suffice. Buckle up, we’re gonna be here for a long while.

07. “Oh that title, I watched the film instead/ prefered the film…”

Whilst you get a bit of credit in my eyes if this particular title is one of my favourites it is unlikely that I am going to applaud you for not realising that the book is most probably much, much better. Or that a book existed to begin with. Or denying the fact that the book might be better because films tend to miss out the best bits and generally don’t tend to convey everything the book does in a satisfying way? (Honestly directors and casting crew, I beg you… get your crap together – I’d much rather watch a perfect adaptation after waiting a long time for it, even if it meant sitting in the cinema for a solid four hours and paying an exorbitant amount, that’s the sacrifice I’d be willing to make to watch my favourite titles come to life before me.)

06.

this is so long, i decline to read it.gif

I mean yes, we all get intimidated by big books sometimes. But that sort of reaction? Nu uh. We see a big book, we conquer it and move onto the next one – it’s like a mountain you see, you don’t just plonk your ass down half way and be done with it. You climb that mountain to the bloody peak and take in the view (even though in the bookworm’s case the view is the TBR pile which has slowly taken over all the floor room in every room of the house…)

05. “Wait… wait, you skipped that party on Friday to read?”

You mean you skipped reading time to get wasted and have a hangover the next day? Yeah… not my idea of fun. Thanks but no thanks, you’re dismissed.

04. “I prefer *insert book format here*”

Well isn’t that great, now consider this: I read all of them…. I know, I know. A wild concept that may be. But ebooks are great to take everywhere with me on a daily basis, my Kindle is my child and I actually cried real tears when my old Kindle broke. Paperbacks, well I have so many of them it seems like I like them, they smell good and are generally an alright substitute for the kings of the book formats (or at least in my opinion) the HARDBACKS. If I could afford it (but then who can when they’re broke and going to stay that way for the foreseeable future given the fact that they’re departing into studentland in the next two years) I would have an entire library full of just hardbacks. But we can’t always have what we want, so we make do. Now shh and consider the fact that not everyone is you.

03. “I want you to read *insert title here* chapters 1-whatever for homework, due next week”

DON’T. Please I beg you, don’t torture me so. School has ruined so many books for me like that, starting with The Woman In Black and ending with Tuck Everlasting and Private Peaceful from good ol’ Year 7 Reading Lists – this is the primary reason I dropped English when going to study A-Levels… other than the fact that it’d be useless in the areas I want to go into in the future.

02. “Uhm…I don’t know where the book you let me borrow is / I’m sorry, it’s a bit ripped/stained/bent/crinkled.”

Honestly at this point just keep it, unless it has been ruined by the tears of baby Jesus and the blood of a pegasus (yes, both are required) just don’t bother returning it. Also, do not expect me to let you borrow another book ever again, not after I misplaced my trust in your abilities to not ruin them – especially if this is one of my signed editions. When I let you borrow a book – just know that this is probably one of the utmost levels of trust I could give you, don’t make me regret it.

01. “IT’S JUST A BOOK”

Yeah, no. That’s where you’re wrong my friend. books are adventure.gif

And no, I will not stop crying, or smiling like a slightly crazed mental asylum inhabitant from the 1800s whilst reading. That’s how I tell the good books from the great books, okay? You’re going to have to accept that. And book hangovers are a thing too, let me experience them.


So this post was a result of a slightly annoyed me, but it also allowed me to vent my anger and channel it into my reading/bookworm pet peeves so that was actually quite nice of it.

Do you have any bookish pet peeves or have you been on the receiving end of any of those phrases? How do you deal with annoying people who don’t understand your love for reading? Tell me in the comments below 🙂

Discussion: Blogging Burnout

SO this has actually been an issue of mine for quite a long while now and I guess that this post is also an update of sorts as well as a discussion.

I do not know why, or how, or when but at some point along the line I have started viewing this whole blogging thing as a chore more than anything else.

The enjoyment of it seeped out, leaving me where I am currently: unable to think of ideas for more original content (instead of just reviews, although those seem to be received quite well by my audience – so big thanks for that) and with very little will to blog at all – because without new ideas, is there really a point?

BUT for some reason I cannot bring myself to do anything about it – I’ve heard of people taking hiatuses to focus on their lives, and if  I was being honest I could probably do with one of those seeing as there are a lot of things going on at the moment. From deciding my entire future in the next 6 months and keeping my grades up to a high enough standard to allow me to pursue my aspirations in medicine, to my private life and all the issues that may arise in that from time to time, one could definitely say that I have quite a lot on my plate. And okay, maybe in retrospect this period of my life won’t seem at all that bad but currently, it is a lot to deal with and I can’t say I feel like I’m doing a good job balancing the whole thing.

And yet even with all that going on in the background, I still continue to write my blog – so maybe not all hope is lost in that respect. Although in recent days I have also hit a major reading slump to the point where it has now basically been two entire weeks since I touched a book…. which, uh… yeah doesn’t help the feeling of utter uselessness when in comes to this whole blogging thing.

So I guess the real point of this post was to open it up to you guys: have you ever experienced something similar to my situation, or maybe just a plain old blogging burnout? How did you deal with it – are there any tips that you would tell your past self now that could possibly help me as well? 

Book Review: Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

Synopsis:radio-silence-cover

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.


I received an e-copy of this book courtesy of HarperCollins UK, Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

So finally,  it has come.

The review of my favourite book of last year and my favourite read for a very, very long time. Why it has taken me so long to review it, I don’t really have an answer to that; I could only suggest the fact that this book was such an incredible masterpiece that has stayed seared in my brain for so long after reading it that I could not even begin to fathom words that would do it justice. And I still cannot, but this post is going to be a crude attempt at doing so.

let-me-list-my-feels

And feels there were. I am pretty sure I actually cried for a good portion of the story, but with good cause.

Oseman crafted such realistic, diverse and relatable characters it really didn’t take long for me to become attached to them with no way of turning back. And I loved every single one of them.

Frances was a brilliant protagonist (and it was also great to see that she, unlike many other YA protagonists out there had a very supportive, unicorn-onesie-wearing mother in her life to care for her), I think she portrayed the struggles of teenagers in Britain’s sixth forms remarkably well. I mean, with the first-hand experience of how attending one of said institutions feels like – I can definitely confirm that a good percentage of the ‘smart’ individuals definitely have multiple crises a week…

Which in turn leads me to my next point. I honestly feel like thanking Oseman for her realistic take on the British (and probably global) education system. It was not sugar-coated in the slightest – there was failure, it was also shown how easy it is to be deemed a failure; especially by relatives when following a path in life that they do not quite approve of or not wanting to follow a path that they do… This book also dealt with the pressures put on students by the schools themselves, which of course do not help at all when trying to deal with the whole ‘life’ thing whilst being told that it “only gets worse in the real world” whereas, in all fairness, the hardest years will probably be over once school and university for those who want to attend it are over and done with.

Back to the characters, their relationship was so bloody refreshing. A book based solely on the ideas of friendship is rare, especially where there is potential for some romantic chemistry to occur. I mean Frances was bisexual and Aled identified as asexual, so there was basically no reason for them not to get together other than the fact that their relationship was entirely platonic. THANK YOU SO MUCH BOOK GODS FOR FINALLY ANSWERING MY PRAYERS FOR AN AUTHOR WHO FINALLY UNDERSTANDS THAT TWO TEENAGERS OF OPPOSITE SEX CAN BE FRIENDS WITHOUT WANTING TO GET INTO EACH OTHER’s PANTS AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER.

Their friendship was honestly flawlessly written, whilst still possessing flaws – there were fights and disagreements but it was clear that there was a lot of platonic love between them, and paired with understanding and a general love of similar things – they made a wonderful pair.

This book was definitely not an easy read, with the aforementioned reflections on the education system – but also with the general works of being a teenager and trying to find yourself whilst simultaneously losing yourself in the process whilst trying to overcome all the other hardships that life will throw in your way such as familial issues, and general not knowing what to do which comes quite often as a teenager in present-day society which inadvertently pressurises us to get our metaphorical shit together and adult slightly before we are actually ready to in a lot of cases. I mean – deciding what I want to do with my life at 16? No thanks… I’d much rather not, but unfortunately, there is just no escaping it.

I loved every single thing about this book, down to the way in which it was written, the style was easy to read and made the 470 page book shrink down into one sitting of just over an hour and a bit…. The transcripts were a brilliant addition, and I honestly felt as though I could hear Aled speaking when reading them. The concept of Universe City was truly brilliant (have I used the word brilliant enough in this post??) and whilst it definitely made me cry towards the end, I appreciated the messages which it carried.

Also, may we talk about how bloody realistic and relatable this book generally was? Oseman honestly did a brilliant job, and I think that is partly due to her age – there were honestly so many points during the novel at which I simply felt like saying “same” or “that’s me and so and so” and I honestly don’t think enough books have gotten that sort of reaction out of me, so huge HUGE kudos to the brilliant author.

One thing that actually had me bouncing with excitement was the fact that this book was actually set in my home town’s surrounding area. The descriptions of the highstreet and its cobblestone streets rang a bell whilst reading, but it didn’t fully click why it was a little bit too familiar until I found out Oseman’s origins. This in turn left me a wee bit inspired and with hope that I too may be able to create similar wonderful things with my writing if I stick with it… so I guess this is a huge personal thank you for her from me too.

I could easily continue, but I feel as though it would be boring and many of the next points would be bordering on spoilery, so I am going to end my review here. I hope that many of you who read it will choose to embark on the journey that this book provides, because it truly is an extraordinary one that I will likely never forget.

My Rating: More than 5 / 5 Stars

“And I’m platonically in love with you.”
“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

Happy Birthday To Me! (And To This Blog)

So it’s a Wednesday, which actually thankfully coincides with the day I post and the 2nd Blogiversary of this blog- making my busy, shit-storm (pardon my French but there was no eloquent way of putting it) last week of term slightly easier.

So it’s a Saturday now, and I haven’t wanted to post on here in a while. My absence, whilst probably only noticed by a few has been deliberate, in truth – I do not feel the desire to blog lately and this post is taking me much longer than it possibly should.  It was supposed to be posted on the 14th of December, and yet here we are, ten days later with it still in the editing stages.

I can’t actually believe it’s been two years since I first decided to post on this very website. It feels like much longer sometimes, but then others it feels like only a few months.

I guess that’s because over the last few months (or this year in general really) I’ve started taking the whole blogging thing more seriously, trying my best to keep to all the various schedules and blogging more etc. etc. with varying degrees of success – but I definitely put in a valiant attempt at the whole thing.

And I mean, that all counts for something…right?

Or at least it did.  Until pretty much now where I’ve started questioning it all.

But I mean, I cannot take for granted the things I have been able to do/ learn through blogging. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people; authors, publicists, booksellers, and bloggers alike and honestly it’s been a wild ride because I am an extremely awkward person when it comes to new people (to the point where my opening line once was “HI I’M RATHER AWKWARD AND KNOW NO ONE HERE SO MIND IF I HANG WITH YOU GUYS?” said in a slightly panicked/manic/crazed voice – but hey, no one judged which was great).

I also learned time management, to a certain extent – I mean, I will still do school work the night before it’s due, but hell – I will not allow it to get in the way of me posting even if that means procrastinating both while having the title of a biology essay as well as an unfinished post draft open and unfinished in front of me for hours. But hey ho. I’ve managed to agree the two somewhat this year, surprisingly also around exam time when I learned to be slightly more efficient with my time use which is definitely a good thing.

 I guess I just hope that this learning curve will continue to extend, but it’d be nice if it only extended in the upwards direction and not in the squiggle it seems to have been doing these past few weeks.

I’m definitely thinking of minimising the amount of books I review from publishers, I’ve made mistakes when I first entered the realms of NetGalley, which is the greatest invention going really, but I honestly shouldn’t have requested all those goddamn books which I’m now not sure I really want to read which has actually landed me up in an uncomfortable reading slump over the past year at various points. I’m thinking of taking reading back to the few review copies I’m lucky enough to get given by publishers and the few books I really CANNOT wait to read till after release. Most importantly though, I want to go back to reading books which have been on my to-read for a while but have been shoved to the back of the pile by the review copies my request-happy, younger, silly self decided to acquire.

I’m hoping that the above will enable me to enjoy this whole thing more, perhaps even as much as when I first decided to take blogging on as a hobby after ditching my other ones (I used to draw and write a lot, but both of which I have decided to retire for a variety of reasons which I couldn’t possibly name). Because despite wanting to delete this site at times, I don’t think I’m quite ready to let it go yet, and both my metaphorical and physical voices of reason have tried (and succeeded I guess) to convince me to continue it, at least for a little while. To the voice of reason that actually reads these, thank you – I think I would have had many a regret if you hadn’t been there.

So I guess

happy birthday to me.gif

and to this blog, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to those who have been here throughout the last two years, and there are definitely a few- thank you for sticking by with my hectic attempts at writing my posts and let’s hope for a few more years of this whole blogging thing.

“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” 

-Anne Tyler

Writing Prompt: Describe A Person You Admire

I’m currently undergoing some sort of reading and blogging slump and it was suggested to me to try something a little different. A while ago in my English class, we were asked to write a piece on a person you admire, and me being the indecisive person that I am, decided to do it on authors – because why not nerd out in an essay if you’re given the perfect opportunity to? And I guess this post will be a slightly more reviewed version of that.

I cannot say if this feature will become a regular thing on my blog in between the usual reviews and general booknerdery, but this week I just couldn’t bring myself to write another review, so I’m sorry for anyone who has come here expecting this. I’m willing to take any criticism and comments on this particular piece, any ideas for improvement are welcome.

I will hopefully be returning with a review next week, but in the meantime – here goes nothing!

thumbs up gif.gif


When I met one of my ultimate, all-time favourite authors, I was disappointed.

Not because he was some grotesque, unpleasant person (because he truly was the opposite of both of those things; thankfully, I might add) but because he was… well – just an ordinary man dressed in equally normal jeans and a shirt who sounded much alike any other American I had ever come across.

And yet that didn’t stop me from becoming an incoherent, rambling mess when conversing with him on a pleasant night of ‘partying’ (if one may call a gathering of bloggers who ate flying saucers whilst discussing books and the like partying – if you can, then please invite me to more parties) in Central London.

Whilst ink had flown through my veins from a young age, begging to be released in the form of words on paper, I had never been able to achieve what my role models seemed to be doing with ease – creating something so alive and furiously vivid that it stayed in people’s minds and thrived on for long after they had closed the covers.

What more, allowing them to find themselves in the characters, so carefully crafted to give the transcendent illusion that they were not alone at that moment in time, or ever – making them realise that other people out there were struggling with the same problems and that there was a possibility that these issues could be overcome if they kept trying and stayed alive to see the sunshine at the end of the storm. That the end of one story didn’t have to mean the end of a beautiful series, and that any potential evil could eventually be overcome if enough sarcasm and wit and strength and friendship was applied.

If I was being honest, I would say that books had helped me too in that way, giving me the power to continue through life and dispelling the notion created by Disney that I would need a prince to come and save me, and making me realise that I, myself could achieve it.

All of this because of tattooed corpses of trees…

So when I met the creator and mastermind behind a particularly beautifully crafted tale, I was  disappointed, for I had expected a god-like giant of a being, possibly with a golden aura radiating around him and a pet Pegasus at his feet for ease and convenience of travel. And definitely not a human being who spent the night chatting away and answering each of our weird and wonderful questions with patience and care, whilst making everybody present feel welcome. (And looking back, I am in a way sure that this disappointment was for the best, for I think that the internal screaming would have reached dangerous levels had it been otherwise).

Despite these differences from the concept created by my imagination, I could simply not deny the fact  that he had still created the world that I had gotten lost in, a world that had open my eyes to new possibilities, a world that made me challenge some ideas I had not had the courage to do so previously, a world that had made me cry, and laugh – sometimes simultaneously in a strange flurry of emotions. Most importantly, he created a world that has stayed with me since then, reminding me of its words of wisdom such as “Per Aspera ad Astra,” in times of difficulty and need and comforting me with the knowledge that for the most part, whatever happens , the most important things in life will turn out all right.

“I Dare You” Book Tag

 

i-dare-you-book-tag-graphic

I made my own graphic for this tag, I hope the lovely creator of this tag doesn’t mind.

 

Hello, hello!

Today I decided to try something a little different, I was tagged in the “I Dare You” Book Tag by Kayla @ KDrewTheBookworm, a tag originally created by Lena @Bookfandom1001. Thank you so much for the nomination! And for those reading, be sure to check out their blogs.

Here are the rules:

-You must be honest 

-You can’t not answer a question 

-You have to tag at least four people 


1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest? 

Honestly, I have some books I got within weeks of being born somewhere on my shelves, but they are rather hidden behind the multitude of novels I have collected over the years, so it is probably something rather Polish, most probably some sort of book of the fairytale variety.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

I am in the process of reading Six of Crows by the lovely Leigh Bardugo, after having finished Black Waters by India R. Adams this morning. I will most probably be reading Crooked Kingdom right after I am finished with Six of Crows.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

This year’s example of a book that followed the its-not-you-its-me-2

pattern that I don’t often get to experience is definitely Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz, you can read what bothered me about it here , but I do realise that I was amongst the minority when it came to opinions on this particular novel.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Most probably The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I had started it before, and each time gave up miles before it was finished; so I think it’s safe to say that it will reside unfinished on my shelves.

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

Must I really think that far ahead? Can I say a re-read of Twilight? I think it’ll be interesting to see what old, frail (this one’s a joke, I still want to kick butt once I’m retired) me thinks of Bella and her antics. If that answer is not legitimate enough, I can’t think of any other one – sorry!

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Lemme tell you a story… On a bright winter’s morning, 12-year old Ola thought it’d be a brilliant idea to read the last page of The Fault in Our Stars. One might think that it was a brilliant idea, surely nothing could go wrong? Could it? Could it??? I was young and naive, and boy was I in for a surprise. Needless to say, I don’t read the last pages of books since that incident.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

I think that acknowledgements are somewhat a necessary part of novels,  but I do find that I am much more likely to read author’s notes than acknowledgements as those usually provide me with more information on the books which I had just read. Although I find the acknowledgement part of books a lovely thank you to those who supported their creation.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Uhm, I think it’s safe to say I’d be at least a wee bit dead if I traded places with most of the characters I love and admire. Could I change places with any of JLA’s girls, though? I mean, they go through some awful things, but for the most part, they come out unscathed and almost all of them are badass. Sign me up!

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

I think I will forever associate The Woman in Black with my English teacher…. whom I honestly had a rather turbulent relationship with. Two years of studying said novel managed to completely ruin it for me.

10. Name a book you acquired in an interesting way.

Daylighters by Rachel Caine was borrowed from my friend… until she decided that it’d be better for me to keep it, as it looked rather at home with its predecessors on my shelves.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I can’t say that I have. I don’t tend to let go of my books once I have them, much like a labrador and a tennis ball – you want my books you’re going to have to chase me around the garden in circles. All jokes aside, I lend books to people, but if I want them to have a copy of a book I deem worthy of their possession, I’m more likely to give them a fresh copy which they can enjoy .

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

All the books on my Kindle have travelled far and wide with me, across borders, towns, cities, villages, seas. I think we get the gist by now. So the answer is too many to name individually without you falling asleep.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high secondary school that wasn’t so bad two years later? 

Honestly, I still either despise the books I was forced to read as part of the curriculum (another reason as to why I dropped English at A Level, I didn’t want to ruin any more novels for myself by having to study them repeatedly), or I found them alright, like Tuck Everlasting, I honestly think  that book was the best book our school forced us to read, followed closely by Private Peaceful… both of which were read in Year 7 – which tells you how long I have despised required reading for, given that I am currently in year 12.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve found in a book?

Apart from all sorts of bookmarks, all I’ve found in books I’ve borrowed from places like the library was a plethora of questionable stains and possibly the most exciting bookmark of all which was made of dried flowers and dated back to the last century, it was rather remarkable.

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15. Used or brand new?

I prefer to buy new books because I have a thing about broken spines and dog-eared pages and sometimes used books have both and my soul dies a little each time and so I just prefer the pristine condition in which I can buy books from bookstores and isn’t this such a long sentence. If someone read that sentence out loud, they would have probably died from lack of oxygen, I apologise for the lack of punctuation but I think it illustrates the mental turmoil that causing harm to books causes me.

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

I’ve read bits of Inferno and The Da Vinci Code, but I’m not particularly into those sorts of novels at present. I will most probably finish both books and perhaps read more of his works with time.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

I think that TFiOS was definitely a case of this, I cried more at the film than I did at the book. There have been a few more, but I feel like I’m already committing sacrilege by admitting that so I’ll just go now. Moving on.

18. A book that should have NEVER been published.

I agree with Kayla and Lena on this one, such an awful question to demand a blogger to answer, but I am going to have to say any book that is racist, homophobic, sexist or downright rude about anything (unless it is aimed to look down on such outlooks) should not have a right to be published.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Yes, Heartless by Marissa Meyer did a wonderful job of making me hungry with all the descriptions of the cakes made by Catherine…. I wanted to try all of them.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I have some trusted reviewers with whom I usually agree on bookish opinions, so most probably those. But I am usually willing to take any recommendations from anyone really, as long as the book sounds vaguely like something I might want to read.


I tag:

It’s okay if the aforementioned people do not wish to participate in this tag, but I would love to see their responses!

Do you largely disagree with some of my opinions? Or maybe we share an unpopular opinion? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned -or perhaps you want to recommend any of your reads? Tell me in the comments below.

ARC Review: Something In Between – Melissa de la Cruz

Synopsis:something-in-between-cover

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.


I received an eARC copy of this book courtesy of Mira Ink via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A+ for effort, a good C- for everything else though…
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Yes, this is going to be unpopular opinion time, no I am not going to change my mind about this novel at present, maybe at some point in the future if/when I decide to re-read it and give it another go. This is largely my own opinion, I do know that the vast majority of people disagree with me, however I do reserve the right to state my opinion in my review as I am obliged to not lie.bored-eugene

I honestly feel like Eugene, whilst everyone else is Rapunzel… There were  just a number of reasons why this book really did NOT work for me in the slightest.

But okay, let me start of with the good things – the plot had potential. The political parts were so interesting, and I found that they reflected the reality of the American political  system brilliantly, I thought that the author did a brilliant job in writing this into the story, and found that it was a quite interesting topic to base a book on; especially given the current elections and the candidates in it…

The writing itself was easy to get into and I think it was largely what made the book good enough to finish, because honestly, if the writing style was anything than de la Cruz’s familiar style, I would have noped it out of there in a blink.

I also have to say that I did feel for Jasmine, she honestly didn’t deserve the situation she was placed in, and I really wouldn’t wish a similar situation upon anyone, especially given the negative impacts which it had on her mental health – no one deserves to have a legitimate identity crisis over a messed up political system, and I cannot be the only one who thinks that way.

However, the book did outright piss me off enough to throw my phone and Kindle down upon several occasions, and I really cannot look past that.

Why on earth was there even a love story? The plot did NOT  benefit from it in the slightest, what more, why, just why did it have to be insta-love??

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While, okay, they did make a quite cute couple, they were also an annoying one. They had the whole “on and off” thing going for the entire novel. And who meets someone, exchanges phone numbers as normal , AND THEN SUDDENLY THE NEXT TIME THEY SEE EACH OTHER THEY’RE ALL OVER EACH OTHER… Why and how did that even happen?

I also thought that they were irresponsible, I mean, I could accept the dating thing, but no one in their sane minds decided to marry WHILST STILL AT SCHOOL… I honestly doubt any guy in modern day high school would decide to marry his on-and-off girlfriend (with whom he clearly shares some trust issues) just to try to keep her in this country, I thought I was going to scream when I read that part of the novel. It was just stupid and dumb and I couldn’t deal with it, my friends had to take my phone away because I thought I was going to break it. Luckily, that situation resolved itself, but I honestly thought I was going to explode with fury over what they were doing.

Jasmine herself was a painfully flat and average heroine, which also leads me onto my next point, but before I do – I can assure you that I really do not think she was deserving of the scholarship she received, not because she was an immigrant or there illegally, but because I know for certain that there are people out there working part-time, doing more extra-curricular activities than just cheerleading, with a perfect GPA (which Jasmine surprisingly didn’t have?), plenty of hours of volunteering  on their resume, as well as a chosen career path (I mean, okay, it’s pretty normal to not know what one wants to do with their life, but you’d sort of expect a “high achiever” like Jasmine to at least have an idea of it) who would not be able to receive the scholarship, or the Stanford offer that Jasmine received, because times have greatly changed and it is now harder than ever to get into a semi-decent university and it seems like the author completely brushed past that fact as though it didn’t exist. I think that knowledge and facts on that part of the story could have been better researched…

So I think the next point doesn’t come as a huge surprise: this book had more happy coincidences than a Disney movie; which also annoyed me because whilst I know that the author was probably trying her best to put a positive spin on an awful situation, there’s just no way that some of these things would have happened; from her undocumented mother being able to get another job “just like that” with no questions asked to her little brothers somehow not hearing the screaming match that went down over the green cards (while they were still in their rather small house) and staying oblivious to the whole situation…. The whole book just seemed to be filled with things that most probably wouldn’t be able to happen in real life and a lot of the time made me sit there like:

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because I really didn’t buy any of it, maybe because I didn’t try because the rest of the novel was already annoying me far too much… In saying that though, I do wish that the sorts of things that happened in this book could happen to real people, because I do believe that people like Jasmine and her family do exist, but do not have as much luck as they did, and are often sent back to where they came from with no way to argue about it.

The pace of the novel felt a bit off too, maybe as a result of a combination of the aforementioned things, I didn’t really get into it until the end part of the story, and I wasn’t fully engaged until the author’s note… which I think tells you a lot about my feelings when it came to this book.

So yes, whilst I give huge kudos to the author for raising this issue, I really did not like this book and felt that it fell largely short of my expectations, which were ridiculously high due to it being one of my most looked-forward to novels of 2016.

My Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

 “It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?”

-Jasmine de los Santos