Book Review: Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren

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Book Title: Cold Day in the Sun
Author: Sara Biren
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

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Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

With the summer season just around the corner, a book about ice hockey and perpetual snow probably doesn’t seem all that appealing to most of you. I understand there are tons of other YA contemporary reads which are all summer-y and more appropriate for the season, but I ain’t about that right now. I personally prefer cold weather rather than hot, and this is a great book for escaping this heat that I dislike so much.

Set in a small town in Minnesota, Holland grew up with a special love (and skill!) for hockey. Growing up with three brothers who all share the same passion for the sport, she grew accustomed to playing with the boys. So this ultimately led to her decision to play for the boys’ hockey team of her school, instead of the girls’. Of course that doesn’t come easy as Holland constantly gets criticized and belittled because of her decision. So, she always has to try extra hard to prove them wrong and to “earn her spot” in the team. Regardless of the people who don’t believe in her and try to bring her down, what Holland doesn’t expect is that she has a passionate supporter in the form of their awfully crabby team captain, Wes. Now she’s not sure if that would complicate things, especially when feelings get involved.

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Book Review: Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan

24157427Book Title: Don’t Get Caught
Author: Kurt Dinan
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: April 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Mystery, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.


MY THOUGHTS

This book was so much fun! As students, my friends and I occasionally pull harmless pranks to divert our attention from all the stress that is school. I’ve always been drawn to the art of silly pranking and this book is the epitome of silly pranks. Their antics, however unrealistic, were creative and bold. I really enjoyed reading about how they execute each prank and how they get away with it.

I liked all the characters from the start, even the mean ones like Mr. Stranko, except for one. I won’t tell you who it is just because. 😉 But you’ll know what I mean when you read the book, hopefully. Anyway. I enjoyed reading from the point of view of the main character, Max. He is a funny guy and he has a very kind personality. Also, as the book progresses, his character development becomes more evident. He went from alternating between Just Max (his normal, boring side) and Not Max (his outgoing, brave side) to being himself.

Plot-wise, I didn’t exactly love it. It was quite predictable and that pretty much blew the fun experience a bit for me. With that being said though, I still had fun reading Don’t Get Caught, an entertaining quick read for when you want a little mischief.

 


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Book Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

35297272Book Title: Emergency Contact
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Series: None (Standalone)
Publication Date: May 27th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

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Blog Tour: A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (Review & Giveaway)

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37792722Book Title: A Room Away From the Wolves
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

The moment I read the synopsis for this, I just knew I had to sign up. Being such a huge fan of mystery and seeing as I enjoy reading about mother-daughter relationships, the premise of this book appealed to me. Now, after having read it, I’m glad to say that I quite liked the book.

This was a fairly quick read and offers an eerie and mysterious reading experience. Along most parts of the story, I was literally clueless as to what was going on. I like that in a book because it keeps me thrilled and doesn’t let my interest dwindle. The characters were mysterious to me and I wish I could have known the more. The author’s writing style was a bit different from those I normally read but regardless of that, I still really enjoyed A Room Away From the Wolves.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend this to fans of mystery and magic in books.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as HarperCollins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing workshops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.


GIVEAWAY

One winner will get a copy of A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (US only)
Giveaway ends on 9/5.

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Book Review: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker by Kerry Wilkinson

40511582Book Title: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: July 26th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’

A village with something to hide.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She has no memory of how she got there. But she does know that another girl was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer…

A community torn apart.

Eleanor is a normal, every day teenager. She argues with her mum, spends her days with her best friend, and is looking forward to a carefree summer of sunshine and music. Who would want to hurt her?

A shocking secret.

Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her, Eleanor can’t escape the feeling that something awful links her to the previous summer’s murder. But will she find out the truth before it’s too late?

A gripping and extraordinary coming of age novel that will make you question everything and keep you guessing until the very end. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars, Looking for Alaska by John Green and hit TV show Riverdale.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

From reading the book’s synopsis on Netgalley, I pretty much hit the request button instantly. This is pitched as a perfect book for fans of We Were Liars, Looking for Alaska and the TV show Riverdale. Well, I’m a fan of all three of them so that bold claim, coupled with the very intriguing premise, I really thought that I would love this one. That I did, to some extent.

Eleanor Parker, or Ellie, is our main character here. She has been through a lot, with people gossiping about her brother, not being able to eat or sleep, having no recollection of what happened to her, and not to mention that the person who tried to drown her was still out there. But she is just really dull for me. It’s kinda hard to sympathize with the character when she lacks emotions and just goes on about stuff that I couldn’t care less about. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike her. I just couldn’t bring myself to care much for her.

There were also certain times in the book that, for me, felt like dragging. You know what I mean? Like, even though I kept reading, I kept wondering where the fun bits were.

Anyway, what I loved about this book though was the unpredictability. You know me, I try hard to act like Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew whenever I read or watch mysteries. I over-analyze each situation, thinking that it may be a clue to be one step closer in uncovering who the culprit is. But this book. I did not expect the plot twist here.

Overall, The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker was a fun read. Although I wasn’t really biting my nails for the mystery in this one, I sure was blown away by the plot twist.