Edelweiss Reads: Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend

Edelweiss Reads: Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend

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Hello and happy Friday. I probably told you a while ago that I wanted to improve my reviewing game, so today I’ll share my thoughts on a DRC I was provided via Edelweiss. Let’s get started, shall we?

I read Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend by Crystal Hemmingway between August 9th and August 11th, 2019 and gave it two stars. In a few words, I can describe this as a short read but one that is neither memorable nor entertaining. On the plus side, you won’t use too many brain cells while reading this.

According to the first page, this is based on a true story, which I find hard to believe and I think it’s probably a way to hook readers. In that case, the hook worked because it took me three days to read this whole novel, didn’t it? The format also made it a quick read because the story is constructed solely on text messages, emails, and diary entries. That’s something I’m really into, but I honestly felt that I was missing context while reading this book. I consider the texts and the messages as nice inserts that would complement a story, but not as the story in and of itself.

I should’ve known better when requesting this book because I don’t like stories about mothers and daughters in general. It makes me uncomfortable to read about a daughter whose best friend is her mom, and it infuriates me when children don’t treat their parents well. Yes, it was a mistake on my part, clearly, since the title indicated that indeed we would have an exploration of a mother-daughter relationship, and, to make matters worse, there were romantic relationships involved.

As I kept reading, I couldn’t figure out the “point” of the book. Again, I wasn’t (and still am not) sure that this was actually based on true events, so I didn’t quite understand whether the “transcripts” from the mother’s journal were legit or not. Additionally, there were “jokes” related to child molestation, which I never condone and which obviously factored in the two-star rating I gave the book.

This definitely wasn’t the book for me. It wasn’t really harmful or anything (aside from the “jokes” that were completely unnecessary), but I don’t think it was really worth my time. Do you think that you might like this book? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

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A Very Cute Halloween Read

A Very Cute Halloween Read

 

Hello and happy Friday. Let me tell you a story that makes my blogger heart happy.  I’d been getting these emails from Rabbit Publishers promoting a series titled Harry Moon by Mark Andrew Poe, and  I wasn’t really sure whether I’d requested a book from them via NetGalley or what, so I replied to an email saying “hi, you’ve been sending me publicity about your books, and it’s probably because I’m a book blogger and I somehow ended up in your database. I can read and review one of your books if you have them available digitally.” The guy who replied was so nice, and after emailing back and forth for a while, he sent me the digital copies of Wand Paper Scissors both in English and in Spanish. Of course, I am super grateful to everyone at Rabbit Publishers and the author for these copies. Let’s get started, shall we?

I read this book between June 3rd and June 19th, 2019, but I assure you, you can read this in one sitting if you have the time. I rated it four stars and kept thinking about what a great read it could be for elementary students. I love that it has a preface that gives some context regarding the characters in the series. I believe this is the first book, but still, you sort of get an idea of what the book is about. My teacher brain got really excited with ideas about character analysis that can be applied with just the first couple of pages.

I’m a very visual person, so I was really excited to see the colorful illustrations. These books must be gorgeous in physical format (and also a great gift for young readers who are getting into chapter books). I will say, though, that I think readers might need a bit of guidance because there are some “big” words I’m almost certain a fourth or fifth grader will not understand. Again, this is a great opportunity for teaching and reinforcing vocabulary.

Harry, our main character, is an aspiring magician, but his deal is good magic, and I just love how positive this book is. I also enjoyed reading about the societal differences in middle school, that are sadly determined by who’s got more resources and who hasn’t. And yes, there is bullying, and yes, there are scenes that broke my heart because I couldn’t fathom that someone could be so cruel to a classmate for no reason.

Like the title indicates, this is a Halloween read, which you know I absolutely love. It is set in a town called Sleepy Hollow and everything there is spooky. Basically in that town Halloween is celebrated year-round. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love reading about the town and all the crazy things in it.

Finally, this is a book about being decent human beings. Harry Moon’s motto is “do no evil,” which is a message that gets spread among the characters and that is evident throughout the plot. There is no doubt that this message is key for kids of all ages to learn and apply to their lives.

Have you read any of the Harry Moon books? What did you think about them? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

NetGalley Reads: Sweet Liar

NetGalley Reads: Sweet Liar

Hello and happy Friday. Yes, we have an ARC review today because I am trying my best to be a good blogger. I will be sharing my thoughts with Sweet Liar, the second book in the Candy series by Debra Doxer. This book was provided to me for free for reading and reviewing purposes, so I’d like to thank both the author and NetGalley.

I read this book between May 17th and May 27th, 2019 and gave it two stars. I read the first one forever ago and didn’t remember much of it, so I was grateful for a prologue that could give me some context as to what the series was about. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much, to begin with, because I thought this was the second book in a trilogy and I just thought it was the sandwich book. It wasn’t because this is a duology, so my already low expectations weren’t met.

This book gave me major Scandal vibes like it was literally the same story. Maybe if you’re super into that you’ll like the series, but to me, it was a straight-up copy. We have a secret agency and a very weird romance. Basically, the main character’s dad works for this secret agency (kinda like B613) but he’s a traitor for reasons we’ll find out about in the book. Also, the main character’s love interest works in the agency as well as his father, and, you guessed it, they are after the main character’s dad.

On top of that plot, the writing style wasn’t for me. I did not connect with any character or with the story. I just kept reading because I wanted to get it over with. If this review doesn’t deter you from wanting to read the series, keep in mind that the second book deals with psychological as well as physical abuse.

If you have any suggestions for good thrillers or adventure books you think I’d like, let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

NetGalley Reads: My Life as a Bench

NetGalley Reads: My Life as a Bench

 

Hello and happy Friday. As you probably have noticed, I am in the process of reading all the ARCs I requested years ago and sort of forgot about. Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on My Life As a Bench by Jaq Hazell. I want to thank NetGalley and the author for providing me this book to read and review. Let’s get started, shall we?

I read this novel between April 29th and May 4th, 2019 and rated it two stars. I’ll go ahead and say this: I think the concept was interesting but the execution was very poor. When it comes to my thoughts on the books I read, I usually can anticipate early on whether I’m going to like them or hate them, but My Life As a Bench was one of those exceptions in which I thought I would really enjoy what I read, and as I progressed, I realized this wasn’t going to be the case.

I say the concept was interesting because it was about this teenager who dies and wakes up as a bench, which is the memorial her family has ordered for her. Now, there are a few books I’ve already read in which the main character is dead but is still present in the land of the living, like Elsewhere from Gabrielle Zevin and The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter by Kate Winter. We also have the stories in which the main character isn’t dead but they’re basically in limbo and must decide if they want to live or die, such as If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. What I’m trying to say is that the idea has been executed before, but this novel offered us something original, the fact that the main character is not just a bodyless soul but an actual bench that doesn’t move or feel.

The chapters are short, and even as I progressed and became less excited about the story, I felt that need to read one more page, one more chapter, to just keep going. The flashbacks and flashforwards were other factors that had me expecting a lot from this novel, but that at the same time magnified the disappointment. Sadly, the author did not distribute the chapters in a way that made sense to me. There was a point in which every chapter was set in the past, so I felt that the construction of the story was not balanced.

Ren, our main character, has a boyfriend that I really didn’t like in the slightest and that I am actually going to talk about in depth when I list my disenchantments, so stay tuned for that one. I did not connect with any of the characters, and it’s not that they weren’t likable, which happens, but the story was not well constructed. We were being told about stuff that happened but didn’t really get to picture it. The romance did absolutely nothing to me, and I honestly could have done without it.

Another thing that really bothered me was a fatphobic joke that was thrown into the story like it was nothing. No, not on my watch. There was also an ableist joke, and again, I’m not going to take that. They were absolutely unnecessary and did nothing to the plot whatsoever, but they did negatively affect my rating.

Have you read any book about a dead character who, for some reason is still in our world? Let me know about it in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila