ARC Review: All The Things We Never Said (Yasmin Rahman)

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher:
Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 
July 11th 2019
Format:
ARC Paperback
Source:
Pansing Books
Page Count:
448

Blurb from Goodreads:

16-year-old Mehreen Miah’s anxiety and depression, or ‘Chaos’, as she calls it, has taken over her life, to the point where she can’t bear it any more. So she joins MementoMori, a website that matches people with partners and allocates them a date and method of death, ‘the pact’. Mehreen is paired with Cara Saunders and Olivia Castleton, two strangers dealing with their own serious issues.

As they secretly meet over the coming days, Mehreen develops a strong bond with Cara and Olivia, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through. But ironically, the thing that brought them together to commit suicide has also created a mutually supportive friendship that makes them realise that, with the right help, life is worth living. It’s not long before all three want out of the pact. But in a terrifying twist of fate, the website won’t let them stop, and an increasingly sinister game begins, with MementoMori playing the girls off against each other.

A pact is a pact, after all.

In this powerful debut written in three points of view, Yasmin Rahman has created a moving, poignant novel celebrating life. ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID is about friendship, strength and survival.


RATING

5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Wow, this year is truly a good year for diverse and mental health young adult books! First, The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf is truly a masterpiece, and then comes All The Things We Never Said, this indeed blows my mind!

Why am I saying that this book is a masterpiece? This book revolves around three awesome and relatable characters who share their own journey on fighting their mental health issues until their destiny intertwines by a website, they finally meet with each other. We don’t always get to see mental health books with multiple POVs, and that makes the story even reachable and profound at the same time. This book is a page-turner, once I start, I cannot stop reading it. Their lives are so interesting, I love reading about how they interpret and discover their own self while facing their mental illnesses.

They have their own struggles that they face and when they become friends, they share their feelings and problems with people who are in their shoes, the ones who can truly understand themselves. Even though they come from various races, religion and sexual orientation, they are able to support each other very well.

This stunning UKYA debut is totally a book you don’t want to miss reading this year!

Special thanks to Pansing Books for providing me this awesome ARC!

X

Sabrina

 

 

 

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Review: Wildcard (Marie Lu)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

My review for Warcross.

I am happy to say that I truly enjoy reading this sequel to Warcross. Despite all of the mixed reviews on Goodreads regarding the story and characters, it does not stop me from enjoying it. It is way better than I anticipated!

After reading The Young Elites trilogy, I was kinda disappointed because there was no specialty about it whatsoever. However, this series blown me away! I have never enjoyed reading science fiction this much other than this series. Some sci-fi series are pretty much bland with no clear plot but this one is truly the best out there! I live for good sci-fi stories with elements of morality and Wildcard is one of them. It is not like other sci-fi stories that leave you completely confused with the story.

Even though I have read Warcross during January last year, I don’t have any difficulty in comprehending the story at all. The story is fantastic, honestly I don’t know what to expect from the story while reading since anything can happen to the characters. Marie Lu’s writing is always amazing and it never fails to make me captivated.

All of the explanation on artificial intelligence are very interesting to ponder and how scientists used to imagine stuffs about A.I. back then and turn them into reality is so surreal. Preserving human intelligence in A.I. is totally their goal that they want to achieve someday. However, abusing other people by implementing immoral human experimentation to achieve their goal does not abide to the Law of Nature. At the end of the day, people only care about your end result of the experiment, they don’t bother to know what is the true cost of it.

I totally recommend you guys to start reading this series because they are so well-done!

X

Sabrina

Review: Flame in the Mist (Renée Ahdieh)

 

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Blurb from Goodreads:

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.


RATING

3.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I’ve read The Wrath and The Dawn series last two years and I totally love it. We all know that Renée Ahdieh’s writing is always flowery and magical, with her intricate and fascinating world that she introduces to the readers. It’s very easy to get lost in her world, not realising how many pages and chapters that you have gone through.

I start this not knowing anything, but I do know for a fact that this is a Mulan retelling, so I am intrigued. I love Mariko as a character, with her wit and courage to fight her inner self, to prove to her family that she is more than just a women. I find the main character to be similar in personality, like Shahrzad from The Wrath and The Dawn. They are both so good with words and have great courage.

The main theme about Flame in The Mist is the worth of women. During Feudal Japan, women were not respected and often undermined by the society. By the time they reach seventeen years old, they would be married off to their parents’ choice. What I love about Mariko is she wants to prove to everyone that she has something better to offer to the world. She can be a warrior and a protector, just like anybody else. Reading about Mariko’s story about her journey in finding her strengths truly inspires me.

However, while reading, I somehow come to a point where I don’t really retain any important information whilst reading the story, I am not sure it is because I read it too fast, maybe it is because of the foreign world that I have yet to accustom that makes me confused with the storyline.

I would totally recommend you guys to check out this book, since the writing is so fantastically done.

Looking forward to read Book 2 soon!

X

Sabrina

Review: The Burning Maze (Rick Riordan)

40018739.jpgBlurb from Goodreads:

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .


RATING

3.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

It’s good to be back to the world once again! Other than delving into the Wizarding World, Percy Jackson’s world is also my most favourite place to settle down once in a while.

I started reading the first book of the series last year, and to be honest with you, Lester is not my favourite character. I mean like, he’s not like Percy or Annabeth who you can always count on to when it comes to saving the world and giving jokes etc. He’s definitely the opposite from them all. However, there is something about Lester that makes me stay with him till the end of the book. He has learned to have a sense of humility and to be more understanding, since he was once a God and Gods in his world are always often boastful and indifferent towards others.

This series also includes other characters from the Heroes of Olympus series so it is good to read about them as well. It is heartwarming to see them all helping Lester in completing his quest for the well-being of their universe.

There is a part where I feel like this is not even real. I could not get over with that particular scene and I really hope that it is not true. I cannot believe that it just happened. I am hoping for more exciting adventure from the wonderful characters!

I look forward to the next book from the series!

My review for

The Hidden Oracle
The Dark Prophecy

X

Sabrina

Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut Children of Blood and Bone.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zelie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The movie of Children of Blood and Bone is in development at Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions with the incredible Karen Rosenfelt and Wyck Godfrey (Twilight, Maze Runner, The Fault In Our Stars) producing it.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

This book is such a ride. I don’t know what to expect going through the book, so I put my expectations lower despite the great hype from the bookish community. I am not sure why, but when I read something that is totally loved and has extensive promotion by the community, somehow I would not be able to enjoy it as much as other people do. Don’t get me wrong, I love the story, but the pacing seems very slow during the first hundred pages and that makes me so unmotivated to continue. That is why I take so long to finish it.

Apart from that, all is good! Children of Blood and Bone is a West-African inspired fantasy set in Orïsha. Their life revolves around magic, and magic has to be restored to the people as it has been taken away by the King because it has been seen as a thread to the royalty.

Tomi Adeyemi’s intricate world-building needs to be praised. The world is so unique, the people and the culture in this book is so well-crafted to read as well. After the hundred pages, I am so intrigued to read it as it becomes so good that there are many revelations and plot twists revealed.

I love the character contrast between the main character, Zélie, with her determination to help her people restore magic to the land, and also Inan, the prince of Orïsha, who is also determined to finish his father’s will to destroy magic to the world. In the book, somehow their fate intertwine with each other, something happens and later it becomes complicated for both of them. I am excited to read their journey in the next book, because the ending is such a cliffhanger and many things are unresolved with the characters’ wellbeing.

I NEED THE SECOND BOOK NOW THANKS!

X

Sabrina

Review: The Weight of Our Sky (Hanna Alkaf)

43121540.jpgGenre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: 
Salaam Reads
Publication Date: 
February 5th 2019
Format:
Paperback
Source: 
Pansing Books
Page Count:
288

Blurb from Goodreads:

A music loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.

Melati Ahmad looks like your typical movie-going, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother’s death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied.

A trip to the movies after school turns into a nightmare when the city erupts into violent race riots between the Chinese and the Malay. When gangsters come into the theater and hold movie-goers hostage, Mel, a Malay, is saved by a Chinese woman, but has to leave her best friend behind to die.

On their journey through town, Mel sees for herself the devastation caused by the riots. In her village, a neighbor tells her that her mother, a nurse, was called in to help with the many bodies piling up at the hospital. Mel must survive on her own, with the help of a few kind strangers, until she finds her mother. But the djinn in her mind threatens her ability to cope.


RATING

5 STARS!

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Reading The Weight of Our Sky is just like returning home, to my roots. I have spent my entire life reading books which are foreign to me, delving into other people’s story that sometimes I find comfort and warmth in it.

I am very grateful that I am given a chance to read this homegrown masterpiece, a masterpiece that I can totally connect with. A gripping narrative that we, Malaysians are always reminded of, that I am ashamed of myself for not knowing about the significant and true history behind the  May 13 1969 tragedy.

The dark chapter of Malaysian history is told by a sixteen year old girl named Melati who finds joy in listening to Paul McCartney’s The Beatles. When she faces such life or death situation, she is forced to fight her inner demons that pushes her to the core.

The book is brutally honest and undeniably heavy to read, with such taboo issues discussed such as racism that leads to the tragedy. This book is so unapologetically Malaysian—I love all of the references that Hanna introduces to the readers, from the diverse people who consists of Malay, Chinese, Indians and Sikhs, the speeches and dialects, food that never fails to make me drool to the superstitious believes that people back then used to and still believed in.

“Allahu akbar!” they yell. “Allahu akbar!” And for a moment I am struck by how strange it is to proclaim the greatness of God, a phrase we say over and over again in prayer five time a day, while doing their best to destroy His creations.

What I love about this book that it does not only set during the riots, it is also a book about anxiety and OCD. The constant tapping rituals that the main character does continuously to please the djinn inside her is something very different from I have read before about OCD and at the same time, very sad. Due to the alternatives provided and stigmatization of mental health issues during that time, people diagnosed with mental illness are often forced to consult witch doctors to spiritually heal themselves. To see that Hanna writes this mental illness subject with such attention through Melati’s point of view touches my heart the most.

“Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung. It means where we plant our feet is where we must hold up the sky. We live and die by the rules of the land we live in. But this country belongs to all of us! We make our own sky, and we can hold it up—together.”

The Weight of Our Sky reminds us about a piece of the past that we should never forget and also a random act of kindness can result in great things.

Thank you Hanna for writing this masterpiece that we can call it home! 

Special thanks to Pansing Books for providing me this review copy in exchange of an honest review! 

X

Sabrina

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.


RATING

5 SPARKLING STARS!

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Most seventeen-year olds do not even have a clue on what to do in their lives after school, but Harry Potter has got his life predicted by a prophecy, and there is no way of turning back.

In this book, J.K. Rowling has given us answers upon answers about the mysteries and problems since the first book of the series. I love how complex and complicated the series are, with more characters who are introduced in the book and more emotional and action-packed stories. This is truly not a story that you can create in a span of a night, this requires major plotting and crafting within years to complete! J.K. Rowling is such a genius.

Every time I want to reread this, I feel a surge of trauma inside of my mind because I totally sense how Harry is facing in this book. It truly shows how affected I am with the main character of the book, it tells that I am deeply attached to Harry. However this time, I want to overcome that fear and after all, I just want to finish my whole Harry Potter reread for the year.

It is crazy that I have spent so much time reading the books, watching the movies and listening to the audiobooks by Stephen Fry for me to immerse in the Wizarding World again. No other series in the world will make me feel good and better than what Harry Potter does to me. I am happy that this series is dearly loved by all and it makes it more wonderful to share the experience with others.

The Prince’s Tale and King’s Cross chapters are my favourite chapters in the book. I love how all their detailed plans come to a conclusion and make sense at the end.

There are many references on Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them series, one of it is about Ariana’s condition which is said that she is indeed an obscurus – a manifestation of the repressed energy of a magical child. In light of the recent events in Crimes of Grindlewald, I am excited to see how things will reveal in the next movie, since it is stated that Credence Barebone, who is also an obscurus, is Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius Dumbledore, which in my opinion doesn’t make sense at all.

There are many profound quotes that I am attracted to, most of them are from my favourite character, Albus Dumbledore. 

“Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”

“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it” – Albus Dumbledore

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” – Albus Dumbledore

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Albus Dumbledore

What I truly love about this series is between the thousands of pages and millions of words in the series, many topics and discussions on life are covered in the book such as race and racism, hate, ignorance, arrogance, power and influence of the media, slavery, dictatorship, revolution, feminism, depression, death, loss, equality, love, and lastly, the value of friendship. It is no question that this series can impact the world so deeply. It changes the perspective on how we view life. It is fulfilling that we have seen these topics in our real life situations happen to the world now. Reading can change the world!

This is not an in-depth review of the technicalities of the book, this is my view of the book and the series as a whole. No words can really describe how thankful I am to have the chance to read Harry Potter for the past years.

J.K. Rowling writes a gripping ending to Harry Potter’s farewell that leaves the fans pleased yet craved for more!

But it is not really a farewell isn’t it?

My review for:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Sabrina