Book Review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Title: Final Draft
Author: Riley Redgate
Publisher: Amulet Books, ABRAMS
Date: June 12th, 2018
Pages: 272
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

Review:

Of all the books Amulet scheduled to release this Spring/Summer season, Final Draft was the one I was looking forward the most.
The premise sounds just right up my alley, as I also like to write and rewrite, so having a main character who’s so into writing was (in my case) a recipe for commonality.
Diverse representation is always a plus, and this novel represents pensexuality, homosexuality, Ecuadorian, Korean and anxiety (if I missed something, I do apologize!).

Reading Final Draft, when it comes to enjoyment, was like being on a roller coster. One chapter it was everything I wanted from a ya novel, when the other was dull, and I had to push myself to concentrate on the story.

The thing is, it was a similar experience to the one I had when I was reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Parts with the main character’s writing I didn’t find interesting, when other parts of the story were really good with some boring/not interesting enough moments.

Laila was an interesting, likeable character and it was easy to emphasize with her.
Her best friend, Hannah was awesome and it was a pleasure to read every page that included her.

However Laila’s teacher Nazarenko, who’s appearance is one of the most important (or remarkable) part of the book, was so unlikeable, that even today I find it hard to explain just how badly she got on my nerves.

Final Draft is not only a great choice for a reading pleasure, but it is also somewhat useful, as it contains some writing advices.

Even though I had a good time reading this novel, I have to admit that unfortunately it is (at least in my case) not a memorable piece. I don’t think that I’ll remember much about it even 6 months from now.

Nevertheless, I would still recommend it to young readers (and aspiring authors), especially to those who enjoyed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

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Book Review: The Girl with More Than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass

Title: The Girl with More Than One Heart
Author: Laura Geringer Bass
Publisher: Amulet Books, ABRAMS
Date: April 17th, 2018
Pages: 288
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): There are times we all feel we need more than one heart to get through. When Briana’s father dies, she imagines she has a new heart growing inside her. It speaks to her in her Dad’s voice. Some of its commands are mysterious.

Find Her!  it says. Be Your Own!  

How can Briana “be her own” when her grieving mother needs her to take care of her demanding little brother all the time? When all her grandpa can do is tell stories instead of being the “rock” she needs? When her not-so-normal home life leaves no time to pursue her dream of writing for the school literary magazine? When the first blush of a new romance threatens to be nipped in the bud? Forced by the loss of her favorite parent to see all that was once familiar with new eyes, Briana draws on her own imagination, originality, and tender loving heart to discover a surprising path through the storm.

Review:

Once I read the premise for The Girl with More Than One Heart I had a feeling it would be emotionally difficult, but I knew I want to read it.

My feeling was right. There was so many things that our main character Brianna had to go through: losing her beloved father, having a mom that suffers from depression, taking care of her brother who has autism and also losing her best friends in the process. My heart was wrenching for her because no 13 year old should go through what she went trough, but that was the reality of the story: life is sometimes unfair.

After Brianna’s father died, she felt another heart growing in her belly. It whispered her with her dad’s voice and sang to her songs her dad used to sing.
I love how the reader can experience that aspect of the story in two different ways: One, like magical realism, and other, like a metaphor Brianna created in her head to help her dealing with everything she went through.

This book made me sad most of the time, but it also made me angry at Brianna’s mom, because I couldn’t help, I was blaming her for Brianna’s misfortune.
If only she made more effort and thought about her children more, Brianna’s life would be so much easier.

As I understood, this book came to existence after the writer wrote her memoir after her own’s father death, who helped her a lot with her own son who is on the spectrum.
So in a way, writing this book was also some sort of therapy for Laura Geringer Bass.

The Girl with More then One Heart is a middle grade novel, but I think it could be read and loved by older readers too.
In all honesty, I even thought it was a bit too hard for younger readers, but I guess it was just my unintentional ignorance. It sometimes happens to me, I think something would be too much for children, when in reality, they are much stronger and can understand so many things so well.

The book is written in first person with simple writing style that reads pretty fast.

Even though I enjoyed reading this novel very much, I have to admit that I wasn’t invested the whole time and some parts I found a bit boring. That’s why I couldn’t give it higher rating.

But still, I would recommend this book to all generations, because it is a wonderful story that is hard to forget.

Book Review: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Title: The Perfect Girlfriend
Author: Karen Hamilton
Publisher: Wildfire
Date: March 8th, 2018
Pages: 359
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Review:

First of all, let me say that this book won my mind and soul with it’s uniqueness. I have never read anything similar to it in my entire life, and now when I finished it (I read it twice, in case you wonder, that’s how good it is!), I wonder why there isn’t more books like this out there? Or maybe there is, and I am just not aware of them (In case you know anything similar to this (novel, short story, a movie or a TV show), please recommend!)?

The story follows Juliette who figured out how to be a perfect girlfriend, and nothing will stop her this time around to have her happily ever after with Nate.
You see, six months ago Nate left her and broke her heart, but now she knows how to win him over, make him fall in love again and be everything he ever wanted and needed.

The best thing about The Perfect Girlfriend is it’s perspective. We get to see everything from the psycho’s POV, every move, every thought that Juliette has, we get to experience there with her.
And the best part, even though we know what she’s doing is wrong, we still feel the empathy.
At least, that’s what my reading experience was like.

I caught myself rooting for Juliette even though I knew what she was doing was so wrong. I even detected myself breathing hard thinking: “No, don’t do that, you’ll turn him off from you! No, This is wrong, you should do it differently!” like I wanted for Juliette to complete her mission and really manipulate Nate into falling in love with her.
Even though I knew that my compassion is coming from the wrong place, but I still couldn’t help myself.
I guess Juliette manipulated me as well! 
Or maybe there’s a little psycho squatted in me, and this book helped her to see a glimpse of light.

Enough with my philosophy, I will tell you just few more things about the book.

The writing style is amazing (as you probably already concluded basing on my previous ramblings) and the fact that this is Hamilton’s debut novel blows my mind! I can’t wait to read her next novel, and the one that’ll come out after that one, and every one after that, because I just want to be in the first class on that Karen Hamilton wagon that will takes us whatever it will take us. I don’t care where, I just know I want to be there (again me and my philosophy, it is obvious I haven’t write reviews for a while).

The Perfect Girlfriend is a brilliant piece of work. Thrilling and unique read that will stay with readers long after they finish it.

I highly, highly recommend it!

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Cover reveal: No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister

Today is the day when Gillian McAllister’s new book cover will be revealed (or was revealed, bc of time you’re reading this).

In my personal opinion, the cover looks fabulous! It’s so beautiful, detailed but still simple, and it has that recogizable Gillian McAllister style.

What do you think?

Here is the cover:

 

Synopsis:

The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

Original, devilishly clever and impossible to forget, this is a thriller with a difference. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the trial that will determine both sisters’ fates.

 

Preorder your copy here:

I don’t know about you guys, but I simply can’t wait for this book to come out. I adored McAllister’s Anything You Do Say. It was so brillian and perfect for book discussions. My copy still circles around my office, because someone is always reading it.
So I don’t think I have to stress out how badly I want to read No Further Questions.

 

 

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