Tuesday, June 12, 2018

American Panda (Spoiler Free) Review

American PandaTitle: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
My rating: 4 /5 stars
Date Read: 4/11/18

American Panda focuses on a Taiwanese American girl name Mei. She is a 17 year old and is starting her first year in MIT. Her parents sacrificed a lot for her and have planned her entire future out. She is to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese guy that her parents approve. Mei however hates germs and has no interest in becoming a doctor. She also has a crush on a guy who is not Taiwanese.

I am half Taiwanese half Chinese and am born and currently live in America. Unlike Mei's parents, my parents are less strict than Mei's when following the Taiwanese and Chinese traditional culture. As long as a get good grades and study hard, they are happy.

Mei's and my life are very different, but they are also very similar. While reading this book, I did learn a lot about the Taiwanese culture that I did not know about. I did understand how Mei was feeling about both cultures and how being raised Chinese (Taiwan is and is not part of China. It is hard to explain) in America and accepting both cultures. It is had. Some of the small things like not knowing and never watching some of the TV shows that most Americans watch and having know idea what they are talking about is something we both have in common and I found that I did relate to Mei a lot throughout the story even though my parents have adapted a American Chinese Taiwanese lifestyle while her parents followed a strict traditional Taiwanese culture.

In this book Mei struggles with the decision of whether or not she wants to follow the path her parents set for her in the future, or confront them and tell them she wants to make her own choice. Her brother did not follow the path he was given my their parents and was actually disowned from the family. This of course makes Mei even more nervous to tell her parents.

This book was cute and I really liked Mei as a character. The writing was the thing that I was not the biggest fan of. I did like it, but it was not the best and it did not blow me out of the water. I felt like this book was missing something that would of made it amazing and I think it was the writing. I thought some parts would be a bit jumpy like it needed another scene to be there before the next scene happened. It may just be me because I know some people really like the writing.

Overall I really did enjoy this book and I would recommend it. It is an own voices book and as an own voices reviewer I can say that the representation is accurate from my point of view.

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Sunday, June 3, 2018

May Wrap-Up (2018) + A Very Ambitious June TBR

Today I am sharing my May wrap-up and June TBR. In May I read a total of 5 books which is great considering that it was a crazy month. Since summer vacation is starting this month, I also have a crazy TBR. This is going to probably be a bad idea since I will be going on vacation on the 20th but oh well.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)The first book I read in May was a reread and that book is Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I gave this 5/5 stars. If you did not know, I am rereading all of the Shadowhunter books in preparation for Queen of Air and Darkness. Clockwork Princess is probably my favorite Cassandra Clare book and I love it to pieces. This is the third book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. The story takes place in Victorian London. I love all the characters especially Will, Jem, and Tessa. Charlotte is definitely an underrated character and deserves more love. I highly recommend this trilogy.

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)The second book I completed was Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard which I gave a 2.5/5 stars. I did not hate it, it just was not my favorite and I had issues with it. I read Red Queen when I was in 7th grade and really liked. I finally decided to pick up Glass Sword and it was eh. I did remember what happened due to the hype and me reading some spoilery summaries but not remembering what happened in the previous book did not effect my enjoyment. The only character I really cared about was Maven. I did not care about Mare, Cal, and the others at all. In fact, I do not really like Mare that much. The fist half of the book was also really boring since nothing really happened. I may pick up the next book or I may not. I have no idea.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
The third book I finished was another reread and that is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I did lower by rating from 4 stars to 3.5. I still liked it but in all honesty, The Mortal Instruments is my least favorite Shadowhunter series. I am not a huge fan of Clary and Jace. I actually finished the series for the story line and Isabelle, Simon, and Alec because they are amazing. Overall I am glad I reread this book since it has been awhile since I read this book and I picked up so many things I missed the first time.

The Astonishing Color of AfterTh forth book I read was The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. I love this book and gave it 5/5 stars. It was exactly what I wanted to read at the moment. The main character is half Taiwanese half White. I am half Taiwanese but half Chinese. So we are similar in a certain way. I love that this book takes place in Taiwan. I have been there before and I loved it. Yes night market food is amazing. There are also a lot of flashbacks in this book and I really liked them and I felt they added so much to the story. This book does have a trigger warning for suicide and depression.

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
The final book I read was In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park. This is an autobiography about a North Korean girl and how she escaped North Korea. This book was powerful and emotional and it is not an easy read. I do think that this is an important book and everyone should read it. I learned a lot in this book. Knowing everything that happens in this book happened in real life makes this story 20x more powerful. I do highly recommend it. Due to it being an autobiography, no rating.

Onto my very ambitious TBR. I have 10 books on my TBR this month and I do not expect to read them all.

1. My Oxford Year (current read)
2. I See London I See France
3. City of Ashes
4. Empire of Storms
5. Love and Gelato
6. The Star Touched Queen
7. Famous in Love
8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
9. The Demon King
10. Flawless.

Do I expect to read every book on this list. No. But I need options. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in my next post.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Click'd (Spoiler Free) Review

Click'dTitle: Click'd
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Click'd #1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Date Read: 3/31/18

Click'd is the book I needed at the moment which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. I need a easy read that was short and this book was just that. I read Every Last Word last year by the same author and I loved it so much. When I first head about Click'd I knew I had to read it because the concept sounded so cool and I am glad I did.

This is a middle grade book following a girl name Allie who is a 7th grader and is really interested in coding and quite good at it. During a summer camp called Code Girls, she creates this app called Click'd. The app helps connect two people with common interests together. Her app becomes viral in her school and then she notices a glitch she has to fix before the coding competition in order to beat her rival.

I am actually planning on studying computer science at the moment and I loved seeing the pros and cons of coding and it helped give me an insight on some problems I would face in the real world when it comes to code.

I do want to say that this book has a very important friendship element. I love that Allie has a great group of friends and that her parents are present in the book. I know. No romance to which was a refresher. It is a middle grade which could contribute to the no romance but still.

Even though this book focuses on Allie trying to fix the glitch in her app, she still does other things like play soccer in her free time.

Overall I do think this is an underrated book and more people should read this. Tamara Ireland Stone is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite authors.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Spoiler Free) Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightTitle: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author:Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 1/5 stars
Date Read: 3/18/18

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a book I really wanted to love. I went into this book with low expectations and still somehow did not like it.

I wanted to read a cute contemporary book and I thought this one was it. I read Jennifer E. Smith's other book This is What Happy Looks like and really enjoyed it. This one though was not for me. The story had so much potential and it ultimately let me down. I rarely give books one star because I usually DNF it before I finish it but this one was short so I ended up pushing through it. I actually skim read the second half.

This book follows a girl name Hadley who misses her flight to London by four minutes. She is on her way to her father's wedding. Hadley does not have a great relationship with her father and has never met her soon to be step mother. At the airport she meets a guy who sits in her row on the plane. They talk and eventually go there separate ways. It sounds like and is a classic contemporary. Yep instalove is back but you can kind of tell by the title.

Despite knowing that there was going to be instalove in this book, I still did not care about the love interest or the "romance." In my opinion, the love interest and Hadley had zero chemistry. I am not going to lie, instalove is not bad if done right.

The one thing that annoyed me the most was actually the writing style. This book is told in third person in present tense. This particular writing style is extremely hard for me to get into. It also made the story awkward in certain point. As soon as I started the book, I already knew this read was going to be eh because of the writing. If you read Three Dark Crowns by Kendre Blake and do not like the writing style and it affected you enjoyment of that book, do not read this one, you will have the same problem. At least I did. Would I enjoy this book more if the writing style was different and I honestly think so.

Hadley was not perfect which is one thing I did appreciate. She had flaws. Her family is not perfect but both of her parents, though separated, still love her and care for her.

Overall did not like it and it was not for me.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Perks of Being A Wallflower (Spoiler Free) Review

The Perks of Being a WallflowerTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 4/5 stars
Date Read: 3/14/18

I heard so many great things about The Perks of Being a Wallflower and everyone seems to love it. I am currently a sophomore in high school and because this books takes place in the 1990's there are some differences. One of them being phone calls. People these days at school text and all have phones. here they use landlines.

Going into this book it is important to know that the entire book is told in letters Charlie is writing. Due to the format of the book, it may not be for everyone. I found that way the book was written and Charlie's narration through the letters was my favorite thing about the book. Charlie is not perfect. He has his ups and downs in his life and it is very realistic. He has his flaws and his strengths and grows as a person throughout the year.

So basically I went into this book knowing nothing else about it and I found that it was the best way for me to enjoy these books. I felt as if I was the person Charlie was writing to. It was as if he was my pen pal but it is only one way. I enjoyed learning his story through his letters and I really liked how honest they were.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very short book. I read the ebook version of it so the page count is kind of funky, but I think it is slightly over 200 pages. I flew through this book not because it was short, but because I wanted to know Charlie's entire story, at least about his freshman year. He had so much to tell.

Family and friends play a very important role in this book. Yes the family exists in this book. It also has some important themes throughout. And also school. Homework exist in this book. Most books I read before that take place in a school setting never talk about the work we get outside of school. Though it is mostly about the English work Charlie gets, homework exists!

Overall I am so happy to say that I enjoy this book and to say I read it. I have not seen the movie yet but now really want to. I do recommend it and I really want a sequel. Like I want to know what happens in Charlie's life next.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Spoiler Free Review

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
My rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: 3/9/18

I have no idea what to rate this book at the moment. I want to give the first 320 pages 5 stars. The last 100 pages 3 stars. So I will just have to give it 4 for now.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of the top ten books I want to read in 2018. I heard such great things about Lani Taylor's books and I heard her writing was phenomenal so naturally I wanted to read something she wrote.

Despite hearing about this book often, I actually had no clue what the book was about before I read it. Because of this I was a tad confused in the beginning of the story but I was very interested at the same time.

This book is about a girl name Karou who is an art student. She is a very talented artist and her sketchbook is filled with drawings of mythical creatures and monsters. She also constantly disappears running errands, and her hair is actually blue. In this world there are also weird burnt hand prints and strange winged creatures flying about.

I had high expectation but not extremely high expectations when going into this book. I was very surprised to find that my expectations were met in the first 300 pages of the book. It was interesting, the writing was gorgeous and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The last 100 pages to me though were kind of boring but once in a while I would become very interested in the story again.

I really liked Karou the main character but my favorite character is probably Zuzana. I just really like her. She is cares about Karou and wants to make sure she is okay when she is troubled situations. In general she is such a good friend to Karou and I hope to see her more in the future books.

Overall I really did enjoy this book and would recommend it. I will also be continuing on with this series in the future because I want to finish this trilogy before reading Strange the Dreamer.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Cruel Prince Spoiler Free Review

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date Read: 3/3/18

I have been seeing the Cruel Prince all over all social media platforms I use so I decided to finally pick it up. I chose to read The Darkest Part of the Forest first which is also by Holly Black and I would recommend it. There are some cameos. I did enjoy this book a lot more than that book though.

The Cruel Prince is told in first person and we follow the point of view of Jude. She is a mortal, has a twin sister, and a sister who is fae. She witnesses her parents murder when she was young and was raised by their murderer in the fae world. We follow Jude several years later and she still is living in the fae relm. She does not fit in with the fae and due to her being mortal, many of them despise her.

The second half of the book was definitely better than the first. The beginning was slow but since this is a first book in a series, duology, trilogy, I honestly have no clue, it is understandable since it takes time to develop the world and characters. The world though is my favorite aspect of the story. I loved it so much and it was so cool and different from the faerie world we are use to.

The characters are not my favorite characters in the world but they are interesting to read about. I think they are suppose to be unlikable because I found many of them unlikable characters but I do want to know what happens to them as the series or whatever this is, goes on.

I was very invested in the story especially in the second half. I could not put the book down because I had to know what was going to happen next. So many things happen that you want to know what is going to go on next.

Overall I highly recommend The Cruel Prince. I would recommend for the people who go into hyped books with extremely high expectations to wait for the hype to die down a bit before reading because the hype will probably impact your enjoyment of the book. I will be sure to read the sequel and I absolutely love this book.

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