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.

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Sabrina

ARC Review: Clap When You Land (Elizabeth Acevedo)

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Poetry
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: May 5th 2020
Format: ARC Hardback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 417

Blurb from Goodreads:

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I’ve never read anything from Elizabeth Acevedo but whenever I stumbled across reviews of her other books, there were always praises and positive feed backs. This was my first time reading Elizabeth Acevedo’s masterpiece, I could proudly say that I enjoyed reading Clap When You Land.

The theme of Clap When You Land was about grief and trying to make beauty out of it. The theme was written in such a beautiful and moving way that touched the readers’ heart to the core.

To be honest, it took me a few chapters to differentiate the two narrators between Camino and Yahaira because the narration was too similar with one another as initially they were both trying to grasp the reality of their father’s demise. The emotional connection between Camino and Yahaira was intensified along the book as if they have bonded before and that was truly special and sweet. They have lived through separate lives before the incident only to realize that they have this familial connection that eventually brought them together.

I am such a fan of free-verse poetry in general so reading this was totally smooth sailing. I didn’t have any problems in reading and understanding the story itself because the author did a great job in building the plot slowly to make the readers familiar with the characters and setting first.

All in all, Clap When You Land is a beautiful story that showcases about the determination and strength of two sisters.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me Clap When You Land in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

ARC Review: Are You Watching? (Vincent Ralph)

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Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: February 6th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 371

Blurb from Goodreads:

A page-turning new YA thriller for the social media age, perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and One Of Us Is Lying.

Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.

She was the first of his victims but not the last.

Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the killer once and for all.

The whole world is watching her every move.

And so is the Magpie Man.


RATING 

3.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

When I was told that Are You Watching? is perfect for Karen M. McManus’ fans, I was sold! I’ve never read her books and based on reviews, they’re really critically acclaimed by readers.

The premise of Are You Watching? is definitely the main factor on why I choose to read this, which revolves around a YouTube star catching this serial killer named Magpie Man who once killed her mother. With the help of the internet, Jessica hopes to increase awareness about this issue and find clues to catch this perpetrator. Chosen with other four applicants, Jessica feels the need to present a ‘hook’ on the first episode of the show to make her stand out from her other contenders.

Even though this is YA book, in my opinion, the narration seems to come from a 12 year old. I am not sure why the author writes Jessica to have immature thoughts but it does not suit Jessica’s image as a 17 year old.

There is no denying that thriller books are such page turner, same goes to Are You Watching?. In addition, the short chapters in the book makes it easier and faster to read. The book is also fast paced and easily digestible, as the author writes it to be so gripping. The chapters also usually ends with a cliffhanger, so it makes you really want to read the next one.

To be honest, the ending is kinda disappointing and underwhelming. I still have questions on why the killer did all of the killings. That bothers me the most, considering the Magpie Man has killed over 10 women.

All in all, Are You Watching? is a thriller book that keeps you at the edge of the seat at most times and makes you root for Jessica so bad in order to catch Magpie Man.

Special thanks to Times Reads for sending Are You Watching? in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

 

ARC Review: Yes No Maybe So (Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed)

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Publication Date: February 4th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 440

Blurb from Goodreads

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate – as long as he’s behind the scenes. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing – with some awkward guy she hardly knows …

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer – and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

You have no idea how excited I was when I received this ARC in the mail.

This is my first time reading a book that is written by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed and man, they are truly great writers! They can write a YA book over 500 pages and I will never get bored.

At first, I thought I was going to read about teenagers and their problems with school and young relationships and I was definitely wrong. It is more than that.

Yes No Maybe So is about two teenagers with political aspirations to change America for the better. It is a moving moment for me to read the message from the two authors, saying that the 2016 election sparked the whole idea of Yes No Maybe So.

Yes No Maybe So is about Jamie and Maya, whom both have different practices of faith, work together on a campaign for a special election. They spend time together during the summer break to canvass and knock people’s door to encourage people to vote. They certainly have the bravery to do that because not everyone is welcoming enough to let a stranger preaches about politics. However, they overcome that obstacles to fight for the election. On the other hand, Maya is having another crisis at home as her parents are on a brink of separation. Her world is even more worst when her own best friend is busy for college and ignores her for a new roommate.

I love the setting of the book, which is during Ramadan. I can somehow relate to Maya because it is definitely tiring to do volunteer work when you are fasting and she makes it through nonetheless. I love the time when she spends at the mosque to break fast and it shows how the Muslim community can also socialize with other non-Muslims during this holy month.

I appreciate the family relationships between Maya and her family. Even though her parents are not on good terms, they make time and effort to support Maya during her canvassing journey. They reward Maya with a car because of her efforts to involve in the election. Her parents talking about the act and consequences of interracial dating is a highlight from the book because not all parents are understanding enough to let their kids date a non-Muslim. It shows how concern and open-minded they are as parents.

It is also interesting to read about Jamie’s background as he is Jewish and how Jewish holidays are celebrated. I applaud how diverse this book is and it shows how America is build based on diversity.

It is refreshing to see a YA book talks about politics. Even though Jamie and Maya are currently too young to vote, the political scene of their area opens their minds towards the political issues surrounding America, for example the bill where it targets Muslim women wearing scarves. It is a good opportunity to explore this area to enlighten our young generation how serious and detrimental this issue is.

I love it when they are also pop culture references such as Matilda, The Good Place and The Office. I am currently in the midst of binge watching The Good Place and I am surprised how coincidental the timing is.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to those who are interested in some politics and in for some romance.

Special thanks to Pansing Books for sending me Yes No Maybe So in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

ARC Review: The Highland Falcon Thief (M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman)

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Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 30th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 238

Blurb from Goodreads:

Harrison Beck is reluctantly joining his travel-writer Uncle Nat for the last journey of the royal train, The Highland Falcon. But as the train makes its way to Scotland, a priceless brooch goes missing, and things suddenly get a lot more interesting. As suspicions and accusations run high among the passengers, Harrison begins to investigate and uncovers a few surprises along the way. Can he solve the mystery of the jewel thief and catch the culprit before they reach the end of the line?


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

The Highland Falcon Thief is the first book of the Adventures on Trains’ series.

This was such a fun read! I didn’t have enough luck with middle grade stories so far this year, so reading The Highland Falcon Thief was such a surprise for me. I read this just within hours, just to tell how enjoyable this book was.

I went into this book with such low expectations because middle grade stories could be a little be repetitive and predictive, but this totally caught me off guard. The Highland Falcon Thief didn’t disappoint me at all.

The story was so interesting that it glued me to the book. I was pretty much hooked from the first page. I always have some kind of fascination towards train and mysteries, and I was glad that this book offered us that.

I just love everything from the book, from the likable characters to its technical explanations on trains and the history behind it. I also love the relationship between Harrison and his uncle, Nat in this book where they were up for more action and adventure. It was also cool to read about his uncle’s job as a journalist who traveled around the world just to write books. Such a dream job. I love Lenny’s addition in this book and how it changed Harrison’s perspective towards life, that life is more than just playing video games, as he was an avid gamer before.

My favorite aspect from the book was the mystery part where the book kept us guessing from the start, about who was the prime suspect of the theft. Honestly, I couldn’t guess it from the start because the book kept on changing our view towards the characters thus I had a really hard time to pick the culprit behind the robbery. The closure was very unpredictable and I was impressed by the fact that these two children were able to unravel the mystery.

Although the book was written by two authors, M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, I couldn’t even tell the difference between their writing style. It shows how they have taken the effort to merge their writing styles and systems together in order to write the book perfectly, without making each other’s writer distinct from one another.

I am excited to see what the next book will offer us. I expect that the next adventure to be outside England, as hinted at the last page of the book.

All in all, one of the best middle grade books so far this year.

Special thanks to Pansing Books for sending me The Highland Falcon Thief in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: Deep Secret (Berlie Doherty)

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Anderson Press
Publication Date: January 2nd 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 253

Blurb from Goodreads:

Grace put out her hand, almost touching the mirror. Her image did the same.
‘There’s another world in there.’
‘We could float in and out of it.’

Deep in a Derbyshire valley live two girls, twins, so alike that even their family can’t tell them apart. But tragedy is waiting. When the valley is sold to be flooded for a huge dam, the villagers are forced to leave their homes. Deep secrets are uncovered. New characters enter their lives and desires, love and grief come to the surface.


RATING

2 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I was very much confused by this book. Initially I expected it to be set in a modern era, however it was set to be a few years after World War 2. So, the setting was kinda dull and flat for me mainly because the only thing that the kids in this book wanted to do was to get married and have kids.

Deep Secret was loosely inspired by the story of building of Ladybower reservoir in North Derbyshire, England. The history behind the construction was pretty interesting, but this story wasn’t. I was hoping to get more from what was explained in the synopsis of the book.

I knew that the book had sad elements in it as they were so many tragedies that happened with the characters, but I couldn’t evoke any kind of emotions.

SPOILER DISCUSSION COMING UP

It was so bloody stupid that the mother couldn’t identify and compare which and who was Madeleine and Grace. When reading the book, I was frustrated that the Mother herself couldn’t tell which one was the dead and alive child.

SPOILER ENDS

All in all, it’s not a book that I will read again.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me Deep Secret in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: The Tyrant’s Tomb (Rick Riordan)

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher:
 Puffin Books
Publication Date: September 24th 2019
Format: Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 469

Blurb from Goodreads:

You will get to the Tiber alive. You will start to Jive.

I am Apollo
I will remember

The former God Apollo, cast out by his father, Zeus, is having a pretty rough time of it.

Well, for one thing, he’s called Lester. But being an awkward mortal teenager is the least of his worries.

Though he and his friends (some of them) have emerged from the Burning Maze, rescued the Oracle and lived to fight another day, they can’t escape the tragedy that has befallen them, or the terrible trials still to face.

So, with heavy heart, Apollo (OK, Lester) and Meg have a triumvirate still to defeat, oracles to rescue, and prophecies to decipher, so that the world may be saved, and Lester may ascend into the heavens to become Apollo once again.

But, right now, Caligula is sailing to San Francisco to deal with Camp Jupiter personally, and they have to get their first. Or risk its destruction . . .


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

My review for The Trials of Apollo series:

The Hidden Oracle
The Dark Prophecy
The Burning Maze

This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I’ve always enjoyed reading Rick Riordan’s books for the past few years, firstly with Percy Jackson and Hero of Olympus series because of its uniqueness in telling about Greek and Roman gods and mythologies. That is the reason why I continue reading The Trials of Apollo.

I also love that Rick Riordan incorporates his other books into The Trials of Apollo series because you can see the growth, development and change within the Percy Jackson’s world. Even though you will get confused with the old Greek and Roman’s god, goddesses and emperors, there is always a guide at the back of each book for you to refer.

I’ve always loved Lester as a character in The Trials of Apollo. He’s very different from other heroes like Percy Jackson. He’s a former God named Apollo, he is banished by his father to Earth and he has lost everything he knows including his sister, Artemis. His narrative is extremely amusing and that makes me truly entertained throughout this book. I also love Lester and Meg’s relationship, even though by contract Meg is Lester’s master, they are like family who understand and take care of each other in every way. There is a reference to Avengers: Infinity War in this book and I truly appreciate the pop culture reference in this world.

In this book, we meet characters from Heroes of Olympus series such as Reyna, Hazel, Frank Zhang and Ella the Harpy and it is great to see and read about their journey in protecting Lester and Camp Jupiter’s safety from the prophecy. By reading the ending, I can truly sense that we will meet characters from Percy Jackson series like Percy, Annabeth and Grover again soon because we are going to reach the end of The Trials of Apollo series, The Tower of Nero.

Now, we will have to wait for another year to pass by for The Tower of Nero. I’m doomed.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me a copy of The Tyrant’s Tomb!

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Sabrina