Book Review: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner @PRHGlobal #partner #BookReview #Contemporary #YoungAdult

Title: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House
Date: February 26th, 2019
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

After spending some time only reading adult fiction and non fiction, I found myself craving some ya literature. I already read some fantasy this year, but what I really wanted in my life was good ya contemporary, since it was my favorite genre for the longest time.
This novel reminded me why I love this genre so much, and even though it wasn’t a 5 stars book for me, or a brilliant masterpiece, it still made me feel that familiar feeling you have when you return to something you love after a long time, and only from that point only, hours spent with Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee were worth it.

The story follows two best friends: Delia and Josie who work together on a TV show in which they talk about horror movies and they also show old cult horrors.
Josie wants to spend her life working on tv, so the show is her step to start her career, while Delia does the show in hope that one day her father will recognize her and make connection.
Delia doesn’t want for Josie to move on after the graduation, because she doesn’t want to be left alone.
On the other hand, Josie knows she has to move to another city to go to college, and she feels bad about leaving Delia behind.

I liked how the story shows the reality of life. It pictures perfect how hard  it is to succeed, and how many people try to reach their dreams, but they don’t.
Sometimes people do their best, but there is a reason why they say that success is hard work + luck + good connections.

The story is written in two POVs, Delia’s and Josie’s, both written in first person.

I liked each point of view, but if I have to state one that I liked better it would be Josie’s.
Maybe it’s because of Lawson, who is her love interest, and is also an interesting character who contributed to the story with his amazing personality.

It is kind of sad for me to say that I liked the girls the best when they were separated.
I know, it sounds awful, especially because this novel is about friendship, but I have to be honest. Together, they sounded kind of rude, especially when they talked to strangers.

Also, one down side of this novel were dialogues. They mostly sounded too forced. They were too much, and unrealistic.
But then again, maybe teenagers do talk that way these days, I wouldn’t know for sure. All I know is that I didn’t click with the way characters talked in this story.

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee talks about friendship, family and life.
It also covers serious topics like mental illness and poverty.

It is still pretty early and there are not many reviews for this book, but from what I see most people enjoyed this novel more then I did, so keep that in mind when reading my thoughts.

I would recommend this book to young adult contemporary lovers.

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The one with intelligent humour: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (Book Review) #BookReview #ComingOfAge #YoungAdult #Contemporary #BookLovers

Title: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
Author: Preston Norton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 410
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

Warning: This novel contains strong language and touches the topic of suicide.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe is the one novel I feel like I had on my kindle app for the longest time. I got it unsolicited from the publisher (which I’m very thankful for) way before it was published, and then at first I saved it so I could read it closer to it’s releasing day, but then life got in a way, I hit that blogging and reviewing slump, and this book was one of the victims of the mental state I was in.

As Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe was on many bloggers lists of favorite books of 2018, I decided it was the time for me to read this book myself, and now when I finished it, I only feel sorry I didn’t get this book a chance sooner, because it was amazing!

The story follows Cliff who is known at school as Neanderthal because of his height. He got into fight with a popular boy at school, Aaron Zimmerman, and he is on his mission to get revenge.
However, after nearly death experience Aaron comes back to school claiming that God spoke to him, and gave him the list to make their high school a better place, and Cliff is the chosen one to help him complete the list.
From there we watch a new friendship being born and follow our main characters on their adventure to discover life.

First of all, this book is really funny. It talks about serious topics like poverty and suicide, but it still has that intelligent humour that never came over board. I really appreciate it for that.
Second, the way serious topics and problems were talked about made me appreciate this novel even more, because it touches important things, but never loses that light tone.

I think that I’ve read that this novel is perfect for fans of John Green and I agree, but also I have to stress out that there is something unique that Preston Norton gave to this story, something that is entirely his.

I know, in my reviews, I usually say that I want to read author’s other books, but this time I’ll say I know I will read Norton’s next novel, because there is no way I’m going to let myself miss it. I will probably read it as soon as it comes out!

As you probably guessed, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe impressed me, and if I read it last year, it would probably on my list of favorites too, but there is a big chance it shows up on my 2019 favorite lists.

If you like ya contemporary and coming of age stories, trust me, you do not want to miss this one!

Book Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri (Blog Tour) #BookReview #BlogTour #WhiteStag #Fantasy

I am so honoured to take part in this blog tour.

I really liked this book and I’d like to thank Maghan Harrington from St, Martin Press, for giving me this opportunity.

About the book:

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

Get your copy HERE. 

My Review:

White Stag is young adult fantasy that made notice even before it was released, and now when I read it, I can see why.

This is the first fantasy about goblins that I have ever read, and I can tell you that I have enjoyed learning about these creatures that I knew so little about before (basically, my whole knowledge before this book came from Lord of the Rings movies).

The world was fascinating, and I wish we got to see more of it. Since this is only first book in the series, I hope we will learn more about it in next installments.
I would really want to explore it more, because some scenes (like the one when Janneke looked around her and thought how beautiful this world actually would be if she wasn’t in a position she was) captivated me, so I crave for more of it’s beauty.

I was always fascinated with faeries. They are my favorite creatures, and I loved reading about them even before they were popular in literature.
Goblins have some similarities with them (like, how they can’t lie or how manipulative they are), so it was natural that I was fond of them too.

White Stag is an action packed story. I loved it’s pace and it reads so fast.
There’s an action at the very beginning and it lasts until the end (with some slow parts in the middle).
I liked it, but I wish we got at least two chapters at the very beginning to learn about politics in this world.

What I liked the most in this novel is one phrase that stayed with me, and that is how everyone is a monster in some way (I’m paraphrasing it here so don’t quote me on literal words).
One particular scene when our main character realized that stuck with me the most. Ever since I finished this book, I feel like every day I think about that scene, and her words.

The writing style is solid. I really enjoyed reading Barbieri’s words and I can only imagine she will even get better at times.

Some scenes reminded me of Twilight Saga, but in a good way. I strictly talk here about dialogue.
Also, some sentences in the novel (and don’t take it like a bad thing because it is a 400+ pages long book) reminded me of ones I already read somewhere (like breath she was holding, you know that one!).
What I have concluded is that the author probably read many ya novels so they influenced her.

I like how atypical the ending was. It really stood out in my eyes, and welcomed it wholeheartedly.

I loved White Stag and I will gladly be continuing with the series.

Book Review: Tainted Luck by Cynthia Austin #BookReview #TaintedLuck #Halloween #Horror

Title: Tainted Luck
Author: Cynthia Austin
Publisher: Britain’s next bestseller
Date: July 30th, 2018
Pages: 129
Format: eARC
Source: from Author for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Levi Kast was content living his life in the shadows. He didn’t want much, just his dad’s attention and the girl of his dreams to notice his existence.

Instead, he got more than he had bargained for.

Taylor James was the new student at Kennedy High. She was eccentric, impulsive, Gothic and…dark.

She always got what she wanted, and she decided instantly that she wanted Levi Kast. He became her obsession.

Despite Levi’s initial response to retreat from her other world presence, he was eventually drawn to this girl and her obsession of death and ghosts.

But Taylor had skeletons in her closest, including a dead boyfriend, and before Levi could understand them, he found himself her next victim.

Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about suicide and mental illness.

This book is short, so I’ll try to make my review short as well.

I have to admit that if I haven’t been contacted by the author I would probably never read this book. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to, but because I simply haven’t heard about it before.
This is why reviews are so important.

Tainted luck is a story written from Levi’s POV, about a new girl in the school who is mysterious but also a bit addictive.
It has paranormal elements and talks about witchcraft in bits.
If you ask me, the biggest part of this book centers around mental illness.

The story itself is good. I loved how it was developed, from one atmosphere when everything was mysterious and cutesy to the other when it became dark and dangerous.
I loved that, and the whole story was really good. Yes, it had some problems and holes that could be easily fixed, but my main problem (and I hate to say this) lies in the writing style.

I really feel sorry to say that, especially because I was contacted by the author, but I feel that if the story was told in a different, better way it would be so much better.
It had potential to really become Britian’s next bestseller, but sadly, I don’t think it will.

It wasn’t just the writing, I had some issues with characters too.
Levi was not totally unlikeable, but he was annoying at times. However, I would ascribe it to the writing style. With his unpleasant comments he would throw on almost every time when talking about Taylor or describing certain situations.
One sentence even made me feel uncomfortable, and I am quoting it here for you, so you can get the picture what I’m talking about.

“…I turned to her, my patience as shaky as an anorexic supermodel…”

Taylor was unlikeable and rude. This is the was she talked to her own mother:

“Yeah, whatever Mom. How about doing your fucking job and put some dinner on the table?”

What is even more troublesome, that sentence right there made Levi see Taylor in a different way, he started to respect her because from then on.

As for others, they were just stupid most of the time. Didn’t have the courage to stand for themselves, but let that Taylor girl do whatever she wanted, even though their destiny was in question.
I don’t think that anyone could start a seanse in my presence against my will.

I won’t say anything else, I think you got the idea.

Even though you maybe wouldn’t say from my review, I am glad that I read Tainted luck.

I would recommend it to fans of paranormal and to those who want to read something quick and easy, since it has only 129 pages and it reads pretty fast.

Book Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White @PHRGlobal #partner #BookReview

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Penguin
Date: September 25th, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Review:

I think The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein was my most anticipated book of the year, when it comes to ya titles.
I do have to admit that I lack when it comes to that genre this year. I feel like so many books came out and after my blogging/reviewing slump that started last year and lasted until August this year, all I try to do is catch up, by trying to see/read what was popular and what still have to come out, I feel kinda lost. The struggle is real!

Reading this novel was a relaxing pleasure for me. This time I didn’t go blind into the book (I know, shocking!) and I liked it that way.
I have already watched/read other reviews so I kinda knew what to expect, but that didn’t ruin my reading experience. If anything, it made it even better.
Why?
Because I already expected a slow plot developing so it didn’t bother me.

The other reason why I wasn’t bored by the slow plot is that I knew this is a retelling of a classic, and most classics that I’ve read were pretty slow when it comes to plot developing and pace.

Character wise, this book was excellent.
Elizabeth was an amazing protagonist and I enjoyed reading her POV. I loved how everything she did was based on her purpose to survive in the best conditions possible.
I also liked side characters, but also Victor, who was likeable and mysterious.

The whole time I was reading I felt like the author was hiding something from readers, something important.
I didn’t understand why Elizabeth and Victor were connected on such a strong level, and I loved the feeling of the hidden mystery, of the atmosphere it created.

The writing style was great. This book reminded me how much I loved White’s writing in Paranormalcy.

Also, I chose the perfect time to read this book. Now when everything is in Halloween decorations and spooky books/movies are desirable, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein came as the best option.

I would recommend this novel to lovers of retellings, spooky books and young adult genre.

Movie Monday: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #MovieReview #MovieMonday #TooAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore #Netflix

Movie Monday is a feature here on my blog, in which I’m rambling about movies I’ve watched lately.

These days I haven’t been watching many movies, so I decided to give you my two cents when it comes to To All the Boys I Loved Before, the Netflix movie that took twitter by the storm.

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

If you’re active on twitter, there is no way you haven’t heard about the movie called To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

It was long anticipated, and once this ya comedy came out, everyone talked about it on twitter, and everyone seemed to love it.

I have read Jenny Han’s book the year it was published and I loved it so much, I even rated it 5 stars. It is a perfect young adult contemporary story and even though I think that in this case the book is better, the movie was also amazing.

The story follows Lara Jean who used to write letters to boys she liked, and kept those letters under her bed.
One day all of her letters were being sent out and now she has to find out how to manage the situation. What makes things more complicated is that one of the receivers is her sister’s boyfriend.

As I already stated, I loved this book, and I also loved the movie.
I watched it with my sister and my fiance and I have to admit that they were not as delighted as I was. They both said that the movie is good but nothing special, and my fiance also stressed out that Love, Simon was “way, way better”.

When it comes to actors I thing that Lana Condor who plays Lara Jean was excellent. I don’t usually comment on one’s acting skills while watching the movie, but I couldn’t notice how great she was.
I also couldn’t notice how not-so-good Israel Broussard who plays Josh was.

I was so glad to hear that Netflix will film the sequel.
I wasn’t a fan of that book because I think that the guy Lara Jean chose has been treating her badly, but I hope that in the movie his sins would not be as heart hitting as they were in the book and that the movie will be better.

Two Short Book Reviews: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and Someone Else’s Summer

Last month I wrote two short book reviews on my blog, for books I have previously read but never reviewed here on my blog. Since I am pretty satisfied by how they turned out, I decided to do it once again, for books that I have read while I was in a reviewing slump.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a ya time-travel novel that will make you laugh more then few times while reading.
This is just like you could imagine from the title, a sweet, fluffy story that could even make you swoon (just) a little bit (I mean, Lorenzo is swoon worthy all the way!).

I remember how confused I was at the very beginning, because our main protagonist Cat travels time in a heartbeat, and it feels like she isn’t even freaked out about it. I mean, not at all!
I was confused myself but she had no problem figuring out what was hapening or fitting in.

The story is silly at times and the first half was bit boring (sometimes), but the second half is really intense and it makes you read more and faster. In other words, it compensates the first half.

This is a ya, but I would like to note that it would probably be more appealing to the younger audience (between 13-16 years old teens).

I had fun reading this book and would recommend it to those who look for some fluffy entertainment in their reads.

 

Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman

First of all, how cool the author’s surname is?! It’s almost like Batman, but with E in between.
And now… let’s get into the book…

This book is perfect for summer (ok, I know I’m late, but you can always read it on a sunny day, even if it’s not summer, or maybe save it for next year?), and it’s perfect combination of serious and emotional with lovely and swoon worthy.

The story follows Anna who lost her sister Storm. One day she finds her sister’s bucket list, and along with Storm’s best friend Cameron she spends the summer trying to cross of as many things from the list as she can.

This novel is an emotional roller coaster that I couldn’t put down, and I understand why many people say it’s their favorite.