Review: Red Tigress (Amélie Wen Zhao)

57408793

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: March 2nd 2021
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 434

Blurb from Goodreads:

Fans of Children of Blood and Bone will love the sequel to Blood Heir. The second book in an epic fantasy series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to liberate her empire from a dark reign.

Ana Mikhailov is the only surviving member of the royal family of Cyrilia. She has no army, no title, and no allies, and now she must find a way to take back the throne or risk the brutal retribution of the empress. Morganya is determined to establish a new world order on the spilled blood of non-Affinites. Ana is certain that Morganya won’t stop until she kills them all.

Ana’s only chance at navigating the dangerous world of her homeland means partnering with Ramson Quicktongue again. But the cunning crime lord has schemes of his own. For Ana to find an army, they must cross the Whitewaves to the impenetrable stone forts of Bregon. Only, no one can be certain what they will find there.

A dark power has risen. Will revolution bring peace–or will it only paint the streets in more blood.


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

My review for Blood Heir.

I truly enjoyed reading Blood Heir in 2019 so I cannot miss this opportunity to review this book as well. 

It has been a while since I read YA Fantasy so reading this was such a breeze because I miss immersing myself in fantasy books like this. However, I forgot some parts of the story and I had to skim through the first book in order to familiarize with story again.

However, Red Tigress really fell flat for me compared to Blood Heir. My problem with this book was it failed to maintain the level of consistency and pacing that was in the first book.  I kept on searching for great chapters and revelations but the book was just not as fun and mysterious like Blood Heir. In my experience, middle books always act like fillers and in a series. They would prepare you for the final book but they would not reveal any major revelations that changes the whole story. 

The only part that made me excited to read was the climax. It gave me hope that after the climax, the story would be more entertaining compared to the first chapters. I didn’t really connect with the supporting characters like Linn and Kais and I felt like there were just there as plot devices and mainly because I forgot what their roles were in the first story. I also felt that Ana and Ramson’s relationship in Red Tigress was not developed well as their dialogues and interaction felt so short with so little development. I think that the author is just saving us their slow burn relationship  for the third book.

All in all, the story was not just memorable enough for me to look back after this. I will definitely still check out the third book, Crimson Reign next year in March 2022.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Red Tigress in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: How To Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and The Breakthroughs We Need (Bill Gates)

52275335._SY475_ Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Allen Lane
Publication Date: February 16th 2021
Format: Hardback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 272

Blurb from Goodreads:

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical – and accessible – plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions-suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

We ask ourselves, is climate change real? It definitely is.

Look at the news. Look around you. When it pours in Kuala Lumpur, it always floods. Cars trapped at roads during peak hours and couldn’t move. This year’s Ramadan is worse too. During the first few days of the holy month, every evening we had this loud thunderstorm accompanied with heavy rain. We just cannot run away from the fact that climate change is real.

In this book, Bill Gates with the help of scientists around the world explain to us how the world can get to zero greenhouse gases to avoid climate disaster. He also reminds us that there are five activities that green house gases come from such as making things, plugging in, growing things, getting around and keeping cool and warm. Most of the activities listed are done by us, the individuals who are trying to make their lives better and the industry or the cooperation making and processing new things to be sold in the market. What I like about this book is the author explains everything in a structured way to make us laymen better understand the situation we are facing. It is not full scientific jargon at all. However, most data and situations are largely based in the US so it makes it difficult for us non-US citizens to relate and understand the climate change that is happening in our own country.

There is a lot of information here to be digested and it gets overwhelming that I had to take a few breaks to finish it. I think informative books like this are meant to be listened via the audiobook so it makes the reading experience even enjoyable and it doesn’t look like you are reading a school book. I would definitely take my time to read it for the second time as I want to further understand and absorb important facts so that I can know what to avoid and what to do in order to help the earth.

I enjoy reading the parts where the author explains about how green house gases come from. However, when it comes to the intervention part, 95% of it is related to the government’s role. I would disagree. We can achieve zero emissions if we, the citizens do our job. I know it is definitely hard for citizens to meddle into the government’s policy and procedure but if we change the way we buy things, eat, travel and also live our daily lives, it can be done. We just cannot simply rely on the government to achieve something. It must come from us. Particularly when the government is busy keeping other people’s interest (read: the rich) before the citizen’s needs. We need to show to them who is the boss.

I cannot help but think how are the developing countries like mine and other poor countries are going to face this climate change? Technologies and research aren’t cheap. The price tag is often tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. It is also not cheap to change from the conventional way of living such as using fossil fuel for energy to fully implementing green technology. It requires years and years of research and trials. My guess is that rich and resourceful countries will be the ones implementing them first and after that other countries will follow suit. This will only happen if the countries are persistent enough to help combat climate change. If they are complacent, millions of dollars will also go to waste to undo what climate change has done such as wildfires, droughts, storms and hurricanes.

In context of Malaysia, Malaysia currently ranks at the bottom of Climate Change Performance Index at 56th place, to the bottom 10 countries. Even our neighbors are so well compared to us. The problem is Malaysia doesn’t have a clear action and urgency to combat this issue. I’m very scared of our current state now and by the looks of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in the country, we are far from focusing on climate change.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me How To Avoid A Climate Disaster in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: My Year Abroad (Chang-rae Lee)

56952734Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: February 2nd 2021
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 477

Blurb from Goodreads:

Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

It has been a while since I read a very long book. Long books are not necessarily bad but when they are too densely packed with mundane information, that is when the reader feels that it is too draggy. That’s how I feel with My Year Abroad. 

I really wanted to like this book as it is about two interesting characters, Tiller Bardmon and Pong Lou. They are totally opposite from each other and that makes me even more curious to read till the end. It has brilliant conversations about life and how are we suppose to live our own lives to make it matter. It has two alternating timelines for Tiller before and after he meets Pong. Although it was hard to distinguish between the before and after events, it took around a few chapters to get used to it. I crave to see how Tiller has developed from being a timid student to a self-realized and mature man. It doesn’t stray away from topics like mental health and suicide and as a warning, those topics are depicted clearly in the book. I found myself enjoying reading about Tiller’s life after his year abroad with his girlfriend, Val and her son Victor Jr. Even though it was about their eventless domestic life, it was nice to read about a family living their lives in the suburbs.

However, reading the book really makes me easily tired and impatient because each chapter is about 20 pages and the narration has a robotic tone like it is regurgitating sentence by sentence to the readers as if we don’t have the ability to infer the story. The long length of the story hinders readers like me to enjoy the essence of the story. I just don’t think that the author’s writing style is for me.

Unfortunately, My Year Abroad fails to amaze me.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me My Year Abroad in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods (Amelia Pang)

Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: February 2nd 2021
Format: Hardback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 278

Blurb from Goodreads:

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: Newsweek Refinery29

“Timely and urgent . . . Pang is a dogged investigator.” —The New York Times

“Moving and powerful.” —Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author 

Discover the truth behind the discounts

In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.
  “Sir: If you occassionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicuton of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”
The note’s author, Sun Yi, was a mild-mannered Chinese engineer turned political prisoner, forced into grueling labor for campaigning for the freedom to join a forbidden meditation movement. He was imprisoned alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and tens of thousands of others the Chinese government had decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.

In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on Sun’s story and the stories of others like him, including the persecuted Uyghur minority group whose abuse and exploitation is rapidly gathering steam. What she reveals is a closely guarded network of laogai—forced labor camps—that power the rapid pace of American consumerism. Through extensive interviews and firsthand reportage, Pang shows us the true cost of America’s cheap goods and shares what is ultimately a call to action—urging us to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies we patronize.


RATING

5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW

Made In China has got to be my most enlightening and engrossing read of the year. This is not just a true crime memoir but it is like a dystopian came to life kind of book! I can confidently say that I have read the most important book of 2021.

Amelia Pang brings us to China and introduces us with laogai (reform through labor) camps and its hidden cost of cheap goods. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is actively sourcing workers to enter reeducation camps to do free labor. They are paid pittance and abused physically and mentally. I cannot even explain to you how horrible the treatment is to the workers in the camps. The fact that prisoners like Sun Yi have to resort to getting help from people outside of China and hence risking his life of getting caught says a lot of the brutality of this cruel and corrupted system. Millions of innocent souls are taken against their will just to fulfil consumerization. 

Apart from forced labor, there is another billion dollar industry behind these reform camps which is organ transplant. They regularly test the workers to see if they are a suitable organ donor or not. They often choose Falun Gong followers for forced and involuntary harvest because they found that they are healthy and free from alcohol and smoking. This is part of the Falun Gong prosecution measures initiated by CCP. What boggles me is there is no functioning voluntary organ donation system in China yet there are currently 1000 hospitals performing organ transplantation. According to China International Transplantation Assistance Centre’s website, patients who need a kidney transplant have to wait only one week to find a suitable donor. Meanwhile in the US, the average waiting time for the same transplant is 3.6 years.

Other than the gruesome story of forced labor and organ transplantation, the author writes a humanizing story about Sun Yi. His mesmerizing story is the interesting part of the book which explains his life from childhood and his ups and downs with his wife, May. I hope to watch the documentary Letter from Masanjia and learn more about his story. 

Made In China also hits close to home because recently Malaysian companies such as Top Glove, FGV Holdings and Sime Darby Plantation have been issued a withhold release order (WRO) by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) based on forced labor allegations. This is definitely damaging to the companies and especially Malaysia. On top of that, our star commodity which is palm oil is at risk now in addition to its bad reputation and sentiment in the US and European Union. That is why the companies together with the government must take immediate action to repair its reputation and fix all issues (if any) in the system first so that the WRO can be taken back by CBP.

Even though it is a difficult read, I urge everyone to read this important book that will change the way you see cheap goods. Stop turning a blind eye just to buy the cheapest thing that you can get at the store because millions of people are and will continue to suffer if we don’t practice sustainable purchase. We can do this if we spread more awareness to people.

If you don’t need it, just don’t buy it.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Made In China in exchange for an honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: Find Your Creative Mojo: How to Overcome Fear, Procrastination and Self-Doubt to Express Your True Self (Josh Langley)

41453694._SX318_Genre: Creativity
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: September 19th 2018
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 160

Blurb from Goodreads:

Author/illustrator and award-winning radio copywriter, Josh Langley, knows how important it is to find your voice and explore your passions. When he did, his life changed!

In this soul rattling manifesto, he delivers the untold truth about why it’s so important to express yourself. This is this perfect call to arms for anyone wanting to unleash their creative spirit, or simply find the confidence to do something different.

A humorous and quirky mix of anecdotes, insights, illustrations and inspirational quotes, Find Your Creative Mojo is the perfect companion for any aspiring creative soul. This is the book that people will want to pick up again and again to inspire them to find their creative voice, or even just to take that first brave step.

Life will never be the same after reading Find Your Creative Mojo. 


RATING

3.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

The title of this book is spot on with my current state right now. In addition with the pandemic, we all live in stress and fear everyday. These negative feelings have certainly taken a toll on ourselves. Once in a while, we need a booster to make ourselves better again. 

This book is separated into four parts which were all based on Josh Langley’s experience from being a struggling artist to a renowned author. His perspective on how to nurture creativity and overcome procrastination is suitable for all kinds of people, no matter if you are a student struggling to keep up his grades, an entrepreneur just starting her business or a person working a desk job. For instance in Part 2 of the book, he wrote about that there is no rules in making art. You don’t need to come from a artsy background or have the proper education and training to become an artist. Everyone can be artist regardless of background and status. The key is consistency and perseverance. 

I enjoyed reading his insights and self-doubts because I could relate to his thoughts and fears. I liked it when he gently coaxed and reminded us that we are worthy and to always believe in ourselves. 

On a separate note, when I was reading this book, I kept on singing the Creativity Song by Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared show on Youtube LOL. If you guys are interested in kids entertainment with a little bit of psychological thriller, you should check them out. 

Find Your Creative Mojo is an enlightening book that tells you to be your own creative self.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me this copy in exchange of honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: Social Chemistry: Decoding the Elements of Human Connection (Marissa King)

48904521

Genre: Psychology
Publisher:Dutton
Publication Date: January 5th 2021
Format: Hardcover
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 368

Blurb from Goodreads:

Social Chemistry will utterly transform the way you think about “networking.” Understanding the contoursof your social network can dramatically enhance personal relationships, work life, and even your global impact. Are you an Expansionist, a Broker, or a Convener? The answer matters more than you think. . . . 

Yale professor Marissa King shows how anyone can build more meaningful and productive relationships based on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and network analytics. Conventional wisdom says it’s the size of your network that matters, but social science research has proven there is more to it. King explains that the quality and structure of our relationships has the greatest impact on our personal and professional lives. As she shows, there are three basic types of networks, so readers can see the role they are already playing: Expansionist, Broker, or Convener. This network decoder enables readers to own their network style and modify it for better alignment with their life plans and values.

High-quality connections in your social network strongly predict cognitive functioning, emotional resilience, and satisfaction at work. A well-structured network is likely to boost the quality of your ideas, as well as your pay. Beyond the office, social connections are the lifeblood of our health and happiness. The compiled results from dozens of previous studies found that our social relationships have an effect on our likelihood of dying prematurely—equivalent to obesity or smoking.

Rich stories of Expansionists like Vernon Jordan, Brokers like Yo-Yo Ma, and Conveners like Anna Wintour, as well as personal experiences from King’s own world of connections, inform this warm, engaging, revelatory investigation into some of the most consequential decisions we can make about the trajectory of our lives.


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

This year I aspire to expand my reading genre so I was grateful to receive this copy in the mail with other books. 

This book explores human networks and the kinds of people such as Expansionist, Broker or Convener. To be honest, I couldn’t relate at all in one of the styles. While reading, I said to myself I must relate to at least of them. After reading, I found that maybe I’m a mixed of the styles. Some people don’t easily fit to the framework. Some parts just didn’t resonate personally to me at all. 

There were definitely some parts that are interesting especially the research about psychology, sociology and networking. Networking to me is something so frightening that your body feels anxious just thinking about it. At first, I was hoping that the book would explain on how to network with people but I found myself reading the differences between the three types of people mentioned earlier. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because I also got to learn about other people in their respective fields. 

However, I still enjoyed the facts and knowledge from various studies presented by the author. I tabbed few pages where I read insightful tidbits that I may use in the future. 

Social Chemistry may be the book for you who want to learn more about networking with people.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Social Chemistry in exchange of honest review.

X

Sabrina

 

Review: Brandsplaining: Why Marketing is (Still) Sexist and How To Fix It (Jane Cunningham & Philippa Roberts)

53308757

Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Penguin Business
Publication Date: February 18th 2021
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 240

Blurb from Goodreads:

Girlboss. Wonder woman. Perfect mother. Feminist go-getter. If you thought misogynist marketing ended with #MeToo, think again.

It’s high time we expose and remedy the pseudo-feminist marketing malarkey holding women back under the guise of empowerment‘ Amanda Montell, author of Wordslut
________________­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Brands profit by telling women who they are and how to be.

Now they’ve discovered feminism and are hell bent on selling ‘fempowerment’ back to us. But behind the go-girl slogans and the viral hash-tags has anything really changed?

In Brandsplaining, Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts expose the monumental gap that exists between the women that appear in the media around us and the women we really are. Their research reveals how our experiences, wants and needs – in all forms – are ignored and misrepresented by an industry that fails to understand us.

They propose a radical solution to resolve this once and for all: an innovative framework for marketing that is fresh, exciting, and – at last – sexism-free.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

This is my first time reading a non-fiction book in a while and I try to make this review as concise as possible.

This book starts with the history of marketing in the twentieth century when it was all about male dominance. Only men had the final say in everything even when it comes to female products. During that time, high ranking jobs were not available to women as women were the ones managing the households. So, this was when the term, brandsplaining was used. The situation where men control everything and they thought that they understood women in and all but in reality, they were far from grasping the whole picture.

The narrative of “Good Girl” created by men during that time was generally accepted by the public and thus it made young girls yearned for the perfect body, skin and clothes. They would be the first one to grab any products that they thought was for them. Now, it is highly criticized by women because of its inaccuracies and the notion doesn’t really reflect the normal women. 

When reading this, I am in awe of the amount of research done by the authors to study about this subject. I learn a lot about the history of marketing, the nooks and crannies of marketing to women and ways to present a new marketing strategy to women. I really hope after this many companies that produce products for women will consult and engage women first. Include women in the conversation and ask about what is our hope and dreams so that women will never be mispresented by brands again.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Brandsplaining in exchange of honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: The Push (Ashley Audrain)

53246178._sy475_Genre: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: January 7th 2021
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 320

Blurb from Goodreads:

‘The women in this family, we’re different . . .’

Blythe Connor doesn’t want history to repeat itself.

Violet is her first child and she will give her daughter all the love she deserves. All the love that her own mother withheld.

But firstborns are never easy. And Violet is demanding and fretful. She never smiles. Soon Blythe believes she can do no right – that something’s very wrong. Either with her daughter, or herself.

Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining it. But Violet’s different with him. And he can’t understand what Blythe suffered as a child. No one can.

Blythe wants to be a good mother. But what if that’s not enough for Violet? Or her marriage? What if she can’t see the darkness coming?

Mother and daughter. Angel or monster?
We don’t get to choose our inheritance – or who we are . . .

The Push is an addictive, gripping and compulsive read that asks what happens when women are not believed – and what if motherhood isn’t everything you hoped for but everything you always feared?


RATING

5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

The Push is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Once GMA Book Club announced this book as their January book club pick, I was even more interested to get this on my hands. It’s Goodreads page is full with praises and positive remarks written by readers.

As someone who is in deep appreciation of great and multilayered family stories, I would have not hesitated to pick this up. I have read fantastic ones such as Little Fires Everywhere and Ask Again, Yes, just to name a few. I went through The Push without reading too much of the synopsis because I wanted to experience the story first hand.

The Push opens up the conversation of epigenetics, which is the combination of nature and nurture. Epigenetics is about how the environment influences children’s experiences and later affects their body down to the gene level, their DNA. This is how children can exhibit different behaviors, skills, health and achievements. It explains how early experience during childhood can have lifelong impacts. That is why it is crucial to provide support and guidance to kids in their early age. It is refreshing to see how the subject of epigenetics is translated into fiction.

In the book, we are introduced to Blythe Connor who has a complex and traumatic childhood. She was often neglected by her mother as a child and that later made Blythe uncertain on her capabilities to become a mother. It also shows how women are always burdened with societal expectation of becoming a perfect mother and wife. Society views motherhood as something you pass or fall at. Motherhood is not always sunshine and daisies, it also involves twists and turns especially when it comes to first time mothers.

What I like about this book is it is written in short chapters, so it is easy to build up the suspense from the beginning. I am still amazed on how Ashley Audrain manage to write about motherhood and turn it into an absorbing psychological drama. It is the story that is utterly unique and compelling and it manage to make me on the edge of my sit. I was immersed and invested in this story so much because I really had to know what happened to the family. Even if you are not a mother, you will be emotionally touched by the honest story. I also like the first person narrative. It makes the readers pay more attention to the narrator’s voice who is Blythe herself. You can feel her every voice, body language, thought and expression. The writing is also perfect. Ashley Audrain definitely writes like a pro that it doesn’t look like it’s a debut.

I am quite shocked that there is no trigger warning stated at front page. It is raw, dark and certainly not for the faint hearted. I stumbled across many reviews that said they would have not read this if they knew the book would be this intense.

I read there is an movie adaptation in the works for The Push. I am excited to watch this movie and see the casts.

Just go and read this guys. This outstanding debut is definitely worth the read.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me The Push in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: Admission (Julie Buxbaum)

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: December 1st 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 337

Blurb from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes an of-the-moment novel that peeks inside the private lives of the hypercompetitive and the hyperprivileged and takes on the college admissions bribery scandal that rocked the country.

It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She’s headed off to the college of her dreams. She’s going to prom with the boy she’s had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer–at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood.

As she loses everything she’s long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?

REVIEW

3 STARS

HERE’S MY THOUGHTS!

The first time I saw this book, I thought to myself, what the hell was this book about? Little did I know, this book was inspired from the biggest college admission scandal in the United States. I thought this was such an interesting and thought-provoking read to discuss with friends. I craved for different and unique YA stories like this one.

The book was written in alternate chapters between Then and Now. I was definitely intrigued in reading the Now section as I wanted to know what happened after they have been caught. I didn’t pay much attention to the Then sections because the chapters were cliché and predictable. The predictable part in the book was when the main character, Chloe fell in love with a cute guy and all of the feud with the best friend thing. I found myself mesmerized by Chloe’s life as the daughter of a celebrity where everything is prepared and polished for her in a silver platter. She didn’t have to worry a single thing about her college education and life because her parents worked so hard to prepare a good and comfortable life for her and her sister.

However, with all of her parents attention didn’t seem to help with her college application and SAT exam. She kept on scoring low marks for her exams till her parents did what normal parents would do. They hired a college admission coach and all was settled. She scored high marks and got into the college of her dreams.

In my point of view, Admission was all about how hard it is for some people to pass their test. Not everyone is deemed to pass even though you have prepared beforehand and hired high skilled tutors. It’s just about luck. In every other YA books we read, we always see how genius and gifted our main characters are, like they will surely get an A even though they don’t study for a test. What I meant to say is how unreflective the generic YA stories are compared to real life.

While digesting the story, I found myself empathizing with Chloe because of what her parents did to her but at the same time I was furious about her parents’ crime. Her parents have destroyed Chloe’s future by damaging her name and reputation. It would be harder for colleges to accept Chloe because of the scandal.

Apart from that, I found myself dissatisfied with the characters. Chloe even though has a hardworking scholarship student who is Black, failed to understand how privilege and race play an important role in college admission and tertiary education as a whole. That shows how insensitive and underdeveloped Chloe was. With all the wealth and sources she had, she could easily Google how to understand and be more thoughtful about the issue. I just couldn’t stand this rich girl living in the bubble trope. I also hated the parents. I understand parents have their dreams but it doesn’t mean that the rule is above you. The problem with rich people is money gives them absolute power to do anything they think they deserve. By cheating the education system, they have denied many people chances to get into their college choices.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Admission in exchange of honest review.

X

Sabrina

Ringing in the New Year Book Tag – 2021

Happy New Year guys!

We are now in the new year, so we must have new resolutions that we want to achieve. For me, it is definitely to read more quality books!

I want to thank the original creator of this tag, Bookmark Chronicles.


Best book/series that you’ve read in 2020?

I have a top #4 favorite books of the year:

  • Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Breathless by Jennifer Niven
  • Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Authors that you’ve recently found and would like to read more of in the new year?

I’ve recently discovered Brit Bennett as I read The Vanishing Half this year. I am excited to read The Mothers soon.

Best book turned movie/tv show in 2020?

I wanna say The Queen’s Gambit because I love the show so much.

Midnight Kiss: favorite ship of the year?

This is no surprise to anyone that my book couple of the year is Claudine and Jeremiah from Breathless. I fell in love with their friend turned to lover relationship so much.

What’s on your TBR for 2021?

I have so many, but these my top ones:

  • A Promised Land by Barrack Obama
  • His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
  • Trancendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • And many more that I cannot remember!! :))

How many books do you hope to read in 2021?

Hopefully 40, but if I can’t manage, 30 is a great number as well.

Will you participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge or any others (PopSugar, Down the TBR Hole, etc.?)

I will always join Goodreads Reading Challenge!

Any New Year’s Resolutions? (Bookish, blogging, vlogging, and otherwise)

  • To post more bookish content on Instagram and WordPress
  • To get a stable job that I love
  • To save and buy a property

Thank you for reading and have a Happy New Year!

X

Sabrina