Review: Sex and Vanity (Kevin Kwan)

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Genre: Fiction
Publisher:
Doubleday
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Format: Hardback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 315

Blurb from Goodreads:

The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with a glittering tale of love and longing as a young woman finds herself torn between two worlds–the WASP establishment of her father’s family and George Zao, a man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.

 


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I couldn’t deny that I was so thrilled to receive this gorgeous copy of Sex and Vanity in the mail. Crazy Rich Asians is one of the most celebrated literature for Asian representation, so I was definitely interested in reading Kevin Kwan’s writing and to judge it by myself. Having to know that this new book will also be adapted into a movie, I went through Sex and Vanity like watching a movie in my head. I love the movie Crazy Rich Asians so I could definitely familiarize with the vibes of these ultra wealthy folks.

In the first chapter, we are instantly introduce to Lucie Churchill, the main character of the story who attends a friends’ wedding in Capri. The wonderful visual descriptions of Capri’s landscape made me feel as if I did travel there. The whole reading experience was so immersive that I was definitely looking forward to research on the history of Capri. Capri is definitely a must to visit when you set foot in the Europe.

While on the other hand this is an entertaining read about the shenanigans of the ultra wealthy, it is painful for me to say that the characters were so intolerable to say the least. All of the characters in Sex and Vanity are cliche and two dimensional. From the surface, they all looked great, happy and content with their lives however, when we discover about the essence of each character, they were actually pretentious and superficial. It gave me headache to read about these characters and their shallow problems because it’s definitely not worth my time. I care for deeply researched characters, not just the story. I grew tired of reading about their wealth and status to a point where I had to stop reading and clear my mind. I didn’t even care to google on many things that I haven’t heard before just because. I want out-of-the-box characterization because it makes the story even more meaningful and exciting to read. In other words, reading about rich people is not my cup of tea.

My other complaint is the first half was far too long. I didn’t expect that the wedding chapters would be too long but it took a wrong decision to drag it until half of the book. It made the second half felt so rushed. However, the author did a decent job in explaining about internalized racism that Lucie face from young. Being born a WASP might be difficult for her to adjust and adapt to her parents’ extended family so it is understandable that she always cares for other people’s opinions instead of hers. She is used to people correcting and criticizing her about her looks and needs.

I understand the uproar from my fellow Malaysian reviewers about this fictional character created by Kwan, who is the Sultanah of Penang. I am confused on why he added this royal character into the book and all of the royal monarchs in Asia, why choose this country? I guess he just wanted to add more representation. Not just that, I also rolled my eyes reading about the inaccurate description of Malay lingo. What does “Kami bersedia untuk Ratu” means anyway? It isn’t that hard to ask for sensitivity or beta readers to proofread.

Nonetheless, it is still quite an eye-opening read about how the 1% navigate their lives. Will I watch the movie? Yes! Will I continue reading the series? Probably.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Sex and Vanity in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: The Great Godden (Meg Rosoff)

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: July 9th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 245

Blurb from Goodreads:

Everyone talks about falling in love like it’s the most miraculous, life-changing thing in the world. Something happens, they say, and you know …

That’s what happened when I met Kit Godden.

I looked into his eyes and I knew.

Only everyone else knew too. Everyone else felt exactly the same way.

This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer – the summer when everything changes. In a holiday house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers – irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.

From Meg Rosoff, bestselling author of the iconic novel How I Live Now, comes a lyrical and quintessential coming-of-age tale – a summer book that’s as heady, timeless and irresistible as Bonjour Tristesse and The Greengage Summer.


RATING

2 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I’ve always enjoyed reading summer books and now it is the perfect time to read them since we are in the midst of summer.

The cover of the book really reminds of We Were Liars as it displays about family gatherings during summer time and even though I haven’t read the book, I am positive that these books have a thing in common, which is about summer gone wrong.

The description sounds very appealing and it makes me want to finish this in one sitting. Unfortunately, I was kinda disappointed because the content in the book was not that interesting to me, maybe because I had high expectations with this story. The story lacked solid plot and it made the storytelling stagnant and weak. The flimsy plot made me hard to continue with the story.

The characters were underdeveloped to a point where I didn’t care much of them and their well being. The author barely even scratched the surface of the characters’ motivations to begin with. The author made a rather peculiar decision to not name and say a word about the main character’s gender in the book. I think in a sense the author wanted to create suspense to the readers and wanted the readers to guess it. By the way of writing and how the main character speaks, I was guessing that it’s a girl. However, if I could connect and understood the main character, my reading experience would be far better.

The ending was kinda underwhelming and it was still something that we didn’t expect to happen at the end.

Even though Meg Rosoff’s writing was beautiful and poetic, the story itself was not enough to hold my attention and made me interested in continue reading.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending The Great Godden in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: Ask Again, Yes (Mary Beth Keane)

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Genre: Fiction
Publisher:
Penguin General UK
Publication Date: May 14th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 374

Blurb from Goodreads:

A gripping and compassionate family drama set between neighbours in suburban New York.

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours. Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope — cold, elegant, unstable — wants to be left alone.

It’s left to their children — Lena’s youngest, Kate, and Anne’s only child, Peter — to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all. A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later …

A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood — villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. A story of how, if we’re lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I have always enjoyed reading family stories that take me on a journey across time, even decades. I love a good and messy family drama and Ask Again, Yes is definitely one of the best out there. I was drawn to this book because of its high ratings and reviews. This book is also perfect for fans of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and if you guys don’t know, I love that book so much.

Ask Again, Yes seems like the story of how people achieve the American Dream, where people own big houses in suburban neighborhoods and have good-paying jobs during the day. That’s just the facade of the book. It’s about the relationship between two neighbors destroyed by a violent act in just one night. An act that will tie both of the families forever.

This novel is an exploration of life as a whole and it doesn’t shy away from discussing big problems like alcoholism, mental illness, infidelity and terminal disease. It’s about the trials and tribulations of two families after the big incident, where each family has their way of processing and handling grief. For most part of the book, you heart will be pulled into two because you feel bad for each of them as they have suffer tremendously over the years.

Once I started reading the first chapter of the book, I was totally engrossed with the story. Mary Beth Keane is an exceptional author. She writes with perfect understanding for each one of her characters with such depth, compassion and tenderness. I cannot deny that this book touches all sorts of emotions, from happiness, sadness, frustration, hope, love and forgiveness. I love for the fact that the author puts endless time into explaining and portraying each character with the same amount of justice that we can totally understand how and why a person reacts to every problem. Each main character has their own chapter in the book so it gives us a chance to process them in a wholesome way. I love character-driven stories and this is definitely one of the best out there.

The only reason why I didn’t give this book a five star is because I have so many questions left unanswered after I finished reading it. I wanted to know more about the characters especially Peter’s father, Brian Stanhope. There were some parts which I didn’t understand why she left certain things hanging.

Read this thought-provoking story if you are interested in studying about the nuances of human beings and complexity of relationships.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me Ask Again, Yes in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: The Yellow Bird Sings (Jennifer Rosner)

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Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: March 5th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 294

Blurb from Goodreads:

Poland, 1941. After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Roza and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer’s barn. Forbidden from making a sound, only the yellow bird from her mother’s stories can sing the melodies Shira composes in her head.

Roza does all she can to take care of Shira and shield her from the horrors of the outside world. They play silent games and invent their own sign language. But then the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Roza must face an impossible choice: whether to keep her daughter close by her side, or give her the chance to survive by letting her go . . .

The Yellow Bird Sings is a powerfully gripping and deeply moving novel about the unbreakable bond between parent and child and the triumph of humanity and hope in even the darkest circumstances.


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I am always fascinated with war stories and how people live throughout the days of Holocaust. While choosing books to read, I am definitely drawn to the essence of the story which is about a mother and a child trying to survive in this tough time while their people, the Jews are rounded up by the German soldiers.

Music plays an important role in the book as Shira, the daughter is a music prodigy herself. However, Shira’s upbringing is hard because she is forbidden from making any noises or sounds as they want to avoid suspicions from the public. The mother, Roza does whatever it takes to keep her only child safe.

The story starts off slow and builds as it goes along. That is why I take two months to finish this book. To be honest, I am only intrigued by the last 50 pages of the book where the story becomes better. I struggle to read the first parts of the book mainly because the story is slow and there is nothing that interesting happens.

The Yellow Bird Sings portrays a mothers love and just how far they sacrifice themselves to keep their daughters safe. It is definitely an emotional read for me. I cannot imagine how painful it is to let go of your child to keep her safe from danger. To leave your kid behind with a stranger and start a new life at a new place. I cannot never fathom the experience. Some people may be lucky that they will reunite at the end of their lives but some don’t get to experience that. However, I am glad of the ending because it shows how life will always find its way.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me The Yellow Bird Sings in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: The Kingdom of Back (Marie Lu)

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Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher:
G.P. Putnam Sons
Publication Date: March 3rd 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 336

Blurb from Goodreads:

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart. Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear. And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything. In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


RATING

3.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW

This is one of my highly anticipated reads of the year. Marie Lu is one of the big shots in YA literature so I would not want to miss reading her first book that she wrote 12 years ago when she was only 23.

I love reading historical fiction so reading this was such a delight and refreshing since The Kingdom of Back is a YA book. I was very much interested in reading about Mozart or Woferl and his upbringing as stated in the synopsis. Little did I know he had a older sister named Maria Anna or Nannerl, who was the main protagonist in this story.

The Kingdom of Back is also a fantasy story, as the name was invented from the siblings’ imagination, a magical place where everything is backwards, blue and empty. It became their way of passing the time during their tours.

I love reading about their musical journey from young until they reached adulthood. We read how their father raised them to play and write music until they became prodigies. They traveled around Europe to showcase their art that even the royals wanted them to play. Imagine being so talented at a very young age.

I love the message that the writer wanted to show here, which is women are also capable of doing what men can do. In The Kingdom of Back, Nannerl was given a voice that has been largely forgotten by history. However, women during that era did not have the chance to be as successful as men. If Nannerl had been given the same kind of attention and access that her brother enjoyed, she would have been as remarkable and popular like her brother. As quoted in the book,

“How many other countless talents have been silenced by history, whether for their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic circumstances?”

There were also parts that I didn’t like about the book. I felt like the fantasy part was so weak that it truly bored me. It was very unsatisfying to read because of these issues, it really affected my pacing to read this book. Give me the book without the magical realism, I am good to go.

Despite my complaints, I enjoyed reading it since it was mainly about sibling relationship. Reading the ending was so depressing and sad as based on the history, we know what happened to the them.

All in all, I truly recommend The Kingdom of Back to those who like to read about the Mozart siblings and enjoy some magical realism.

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

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Sabrina

Review: The Iron Will of Genie Lo (F.C. Yee)

43909015Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher:
Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 15th 2020
Format: Hardback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 304

Blurb from Goodreads:

The fate of the heavens is at stake in this hilarious and highly-anticipated sequel to the The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi
  
Genie Lo thought she was busy last year, juggling her academic career with protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as the Heaven-appointed Guardian of California, she’s responsible for the well-being of all yaoguai and spirits on Earth. Even the ones who interrupt her long-weekend visit to a prestigious college, bearing terrible news about a cosmos-threatening force of destruction in a nearby alternate dimension.
 
The goddess Guanyin and Genie’s boyfriend, Quentin Sun Wukong, do their best to help, but it’s really the Jade Emperor who’s supposed to handle crises of this magnitude. Unfortunately for Genie and the rest of existence, he’s gone AWOL. Fed up with the Jade Emperor’s negligence, Genie spots an opportunity to change the system for the better by undertaking a quest that spans multiple planes of reality along with an adventuring party of quarrelsome Chinese gods. But when faced with true danger, Genie and her friends realize that what will save the universe this time isn’t strength, but sacrifice.


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

My review for The Epic Crush of Genie Lo.

I was pretty much excited to get this copy on my hands because I really enjoyed reading The Epic Crush of Genie Lo last December. I have been wanting to read this series since it was first published in 2017.

It was nice to finally be reunited with the characters such as Genie and Quentin after reading about their adventure and mischief in book one. This time around, Genie is busy saving the world and handling a crisis that might destroy the world. Not to mention, Genie also struggles in her relationship with her parents because they are not speaking on terms with each other. Their relationship feels very forced as they try to be a present parent to her. However, Genie doesn’t want them to suffer just because of her.

However, unlike the first book which had a better and clearer direction, this book was sort of blurry in terms of the story line. Frankly speaking, I truly struggled reading this second book because I couldn’t follow the story very well. The story was not flushed out compared to book one. I felt like the plot and writing got a bit messier and at most parts of the book, I didn’t even know what was happening to the story. The action and humor also felt very flat to me. I didn’t know what really happened during the writing and edits session of the book because I really think that this book deserves some rewriting.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was such a great book and had the potential to become a great series like Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus. Unfortunately, this was such a let down. I was even more disappointed because The Iron Will of Genie Lo is the final installment in the series and that made me even more unsatisfied with the ending.

I really hope that this series can continue because Genie has so much more to explore as she is just entering her college phase and I would love to see more of her parents’ rekindled relationship.

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes YA fantasy inspired by Chinese mythology.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me The Iron Will of Genie Lo in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: Last Tang Standing (Lauren Ho)

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Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: June 9th 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 399

Blurb from Goodreads:

Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones’s Diary in this funny and irresistible debut novel about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact, and opening oneself up to love.

At thirty-three, Andrea Tang is living the dream: she has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore’s hottest clubs and restaurants. All she has to do is make partner at her law firm and she will have achieved everything she (and her mother) has ever worked for. So what if she’s poised to be the last unmarried member of her generation of the Tang clan? She doesn’t need a man to feel fulfilled, no matter what her meddling relatives have to say about it.

But for a dutiful Chinese-Malaysian daughter, the weight of familial expectations is hard to ignore. And so are the men life keeps throwing in Andrea’s path. Men like Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive rival for partner and the last man she should be spending time with, and Eric Deng, a wealthy entrepreneur whose vision for their future is more lavish than she could have imagined. With her workplace competition growing ever more intense, her friends bringing dramas of their own to her door, and her family scrutinizing her every romantic prospect, Andrea finds herself stretched to the breaking point. And she can’t help but wonder: In the endless tug-of-war between pleasing others and pleasing herself, is there room for everyone to win?


RATING

4.2 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

This book was such a fun read and perfect to take your mind off the current pandemic situation. Sometimes we just need a little bit of romance and comedy to spice things up.

I love the movie Crazy Rich Asians, so receiving this ARC was definitely a delight for me. I picked this book up yesterday and then here am I writing this review because I couldn’t put it down. I just had to finish this book in one sitting because it was that good.

Andrea Tang has the perfect life, but not enough to impress her mother. Her mother longs for a son-in-law and grandchildren, as any other Asian parents do. The book started off with a Chinese New Year family gathering scene with interrogations by bossy aunties and relatives asking Andrea about marriage. That gathering alone made Andrea feel challenged to bring a boyfriend home ASAP.

I really enjoyed reading this book as a whole. I love reading about Andrea’s journey on climbing the corporate ladder with her rival, Suresh, her relationships with her boyfriend and girlfriends and her family ties with her mother and sister, Melissa.

I was mainly interested in reading about her progress in getting partnership at her firm. Andrea is such workaholic that she did anything she could to deliver her greatest performance for her boss. She sacrificed a lot in terms of time and relationship just to achieve what she wanted. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. I loved for the fact that this story did not truly center around Andrea’s relationship only and it shows how work is indeed life for certain people. Some romance books tend to sugarcoat about relationships to a point where it becomes unrealistic to our world.

Towards the end of the book, there are some important messages for readers to bring back home. For instance, you must listen to your gut instead of others, especially when it comes to your personal life. When we have problems, we always turn to family and friends for advice. But at the end of the day, we will have to face the music alone. Second, we must be grateful of what our parents have done to us. They have fed, sheltered, supported and love us. They sacrificed their life to improve ours hence when it is time for them to rest, we must repay them.

I totally recommend Last Tang Standing to those who are searching for this wonderful romcom story. I can’t wait to see what Lauren Ho writes next.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me the ARC of Last Tang Standing in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

Review: The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida (Clarissa Goenawan)

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Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: March 10th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 278

Blurb from Goodreads:

University sophomore Miwako Sumida has hanged herself, leaving those closest to her reeling. In the months before her suicide, she was hiding away in a remote mountainside village, but what, or whom, was she running from? To Ryusei, a fellow student at Waseda; Chie, Miwako’s best friend; and Fumi, Ryusei’s older sister, Miwako was more than the blunt, no-nonsense person she projected to the world. Heartbroken, Ryusei begs Chie to take him to the village where Miwako spent her final days. While he is away, Fumi receives an unexpected guest at their shared apartment in Tokyo, distracting her from her fear that Miwako’s death may ruin what is left of her brother’s life. Expanding on the beautifully crafted world of Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan gradually pierces through a young woman’s careful facade, unmasking her most painful secrets.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

TW: Sexual assault.

Wow, what a ride.

I really thought this book was only about universities sophomores finding love in campus, but boy I was indeed wrong. It’s more than that. It’s actually about a young woman enduring such excruciating secrets about herself.

I was really hooked from page one, as we were firstly introduced to the male protagonist in the story, Ryusei. There were three point of views in the story, firstly from Ryusei, Chie and Fumi-nee. All of the views would eventually lead to how and why Miwako Sumida lived her life that way. It was so interesting to read how each of them revealed their feelings and perspectives towards Miwako Sumida page by page, from her careful facade to unraveling her deepest secrets. They also shared on how each of them tried to understand why Miwako did that and later dealt with the aftermath of Miwako’s passing. The chapters alternated with the past and present, so we received glimpses of Miwako’s past and present life. This story was actually so sad to read as Miwako faced so much pain in her life that she swallowed all of it until the end without sharing it to anyone.

The most fascinating part in the book was from Fumi-nee point of view. In Ryusei’s POV, she was written to be such a mysterious and secretive character. However, she has a story of her own as she endured so much pain and suffering from a young age. The revelation about Miwako at the end was totally unexpected that I had to reread the previous pages a few times to confirm.

The writing was perfect and easy to follow and the main characters were really fleshed out. This book is perfect for those who love psychological mystery.

In The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, the writer shows the exploration of grief and pain and how pain can truly cost lives. This is one of those books that will stick with you for some time. One of the best books I’ve read so far in 2020.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me a copy of The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida in exchange of an honest review.

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: Viper’s Daughter (Michelle Paver)

51638604._SX318_SY475_Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Zephyr
Publication Date: April 2nd 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 238

Blurb from Goodreads:

A boy. A wolf. The legend lives on.

Viper’s Daughter is the seventh book in the award-winning series that began with Wolf Brother, selling over 3 million copies in 36 territories. Like them it can be read as a standalone story.

For two summers Torak and Renn have been living in the Forest with their faithful pack-brother, Wolf. But their happiness is shattered when Renn realizes Torak is in danger – and she’s the threat.

When she mysteriously disappears, Torak and Wolf brave the Far North to find her. At the mercy of the Sea Mother and haunted by ravenous ice bears, their quest leads them to the Edge of the World. There they must face an enemy more evil than any they’ve encountered.

Viper’s Daughter plunges you back into the Stone-Age world of Torak, Renn and Wolf: a world of demons, Hidden People and exhilarating adventure which has entranced millions of readers.


RATING

2 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I didn’t know where to start about this book. While reading, I just lost my whole interest to read this. Firstly, Viper’s Daughter was the seventh book of the series called Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Therefore, I couldn’t understand anything about the characters and plot line from this book. Even though the book said that it could be read as a standalone, it was hard for me to comprehend and follow the flow of this story. 

I ditched this book last November because I couldn’t force myself to continue reading something that I couldn’t understand at all. However, I tried to continue and understand the remaining of the chapters because I wouldn’t want to miss this moment to read and review this. But, nothing of the book’s content changed my initial perspective towards this book. If I have read the previous books in the series before, there would be a chance that I would probably enjoy Viper’s Daughter better. The only thing that I could comment was the writing. The writing was okay and understandable, suitable for middle grade and adult audiences.

2020 has not been my best reading year so I am hoping to read more quality reads for the remaining months.

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: The Vanishing Trick (Jenni Spangler)

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Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Publication Date: April 30th 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 294

Blurb from Goodreads:

Step into a world of secrets, folklore and illusions, where nothing is as it seems and magic is at play…

Madame Augustina Pinchbeck, travels the country conjuring the spirits of dearly departed loved ones… for a price. Whilst her ability to contact ghosts is a game of smoke and mirrors, there is real magic behind her tricks too – if you know where to look.

Through a magical trade, she persuades children to part with precious objects, promising to use her powers to help them. But Pinchbeck is a deceiver, instead turning their items into enchanted Cabinets that bind the children to her and into which she can vanish and summon them at will.

When Pinchbeck captures orphan Leander, events are set into motion that see him and his new friends Charlotte and Felix, in a race against time to break Pinchbeck’s spell, before one of them vanishes forever…


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW

Middle grade books are always easy to read and comprehend! The Vanishing Trick is one of them.

Once I read the first sentence of the book, I could tell that the story was interesting. The three main characters, Leander, Charlotte and Felix were very distinct from one another as they both have different background.

I truly appreciate that there were three POV in the story as some books tend to have only one POV and that made the story to be two-dimensional. The children were tricked by Pinchbeck because they thought she was their savior and she would give them shelter and food in exchange of their behavior. It was sad that these kids were cheated by the villain because all children pretty much rely on adult for emotional connection to live.

The Vanishing Trick revolved around bravery and friendship. It was admirable that they risked their lives to protect one another in order to defeat Pinchbeck.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me the ARC for The Vanishing Trick in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina