Another Cookie-Cutter YA

Another Cookie-Cutter YA

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. When I read the title The Night We Said Yes and saw the cover image, I thought I was going to be presented with something similar to How to Get Away With Murder, you know? Like, what did those four friends say yes to? Why are they all standing in what looks like the middle of the beach, or a deserted football field? And then I read the actual novel by Lauren Gibaldi and was very disappointed.

You know that once a book has let me down, I will find other flaws in it, and since I discovered that this was a teenage love story instead of a college murder mystery, well, let’s just say that I kept my eyes peeled for things that annoyed me. Now, I’m going to be totally hypocritical here and say that the main character was super negative. She does mention having being hurt in the past, which explains why she’s so bitter, but still.

A redeeming quality of this novel is the fact that it is a summer read, and we all know that those are my favorite books and the ones I read the fastest. I also appreciated that there was a gay character, only to find out that he was in the story as a filler and that wasn’t even present for 90% of the plot. Seriously, what was the author’s goal with that? To say that there is representation because out of all her (white) characters, one is gay? Technically there are two gay characters, but we are never introduced to one of them, we just learn from him because the other characters in the book talk about him.

Something that annoys me big time is when I can predict the plot of a book. Remember how I mentioned that the main character was bitter because she’d been hurt? Well, she’d been hurt by this Matt guy, and he’s mentioned earlier on in the novel. Also, I know he’s important because there is a companion novella titled Matt’s Story. The plot twists, right?

I really enjoyed the flashbacks and flash-forwards, and I really appreciated the fact that what happened in the past was narrated in the past tense. I think this was a clever choice by the author to give us a hint as to where we were standing in the story. It’s also one of those plots that take place on a single night, which I’m undecided about.

Like I said at the beginning, I thought there was going to be some depth to this novel, and that it was going to be more serious. At some point, it even gave me vibes similar to How to Love by Katie Cotugno or Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover. But no, there’s no depth to this book. It’s literally a novel about teenage drama. I didn’t appreciate the shallowness one bit.

Have you read any YA novels lately? Were they any good? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Advertisements
How I Pick My Reads

How I Pick My Reads

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today I’m going to show you my process to choose what book to read next, and how I manage my TBR lists. Let’s get started, shall we?

I start by drawing a title from my TBR Jar, although I will be honest and say that at times I end up taking different papers until I get a title that really catches my eye.

I then go through my TBR list and highlight the title of the book.

Then I do the same in digital TBR.

And that’s pretty much it. I would love to be one of those people who just look at their bookshelf and pick a title, but I have too many books to read, both physical and digital, so I prefer to have a system. This has also stopped me from going on full-on reading slump mode because as soon as I finish a book, I select the next one.

Do you have a system for selecting the books you’re going to read or do you just pick any title you want? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Horrible Quotes from “Counting to D”

Horrible Quotes from “Counting to D”

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

img_0077Hello and happy Wednesday. As promised, today I bring you another post related to Counting to D by Kate Scott. I usually link the book titles so that you can check them out on Goodreads, but since I gave this novel one star because of ableist jokes, I will not link it. I seriously wouldn’t want anybody reading this book, and I gave you a few reasons to explain this in my other post, but I think you need to see for yourselves. I collected some quotes from the first few chapters, which were either cringe-worthy or plain and simple horrible. Let’s get started, shall we?

“Arden knew me so well -way better than my stupid mother did.”

Arden is the main character’s best friend, who’s consoling her after the main character’s mom tells her she finally got a job after over a year of being unemployed, but it happens to be in a different city. Brat much?

“She spouted some garbage about how much she loves me and how we need to stick together as a family.”

This made me even angrier than the “stupid mother” comment. Girl, your mom pretty much raised you on her own and has had serious struggles because she’d been unemployed for a while, and now that she’s found a job so that you can continue to have the lifestyle you know and love, you’re being a horrible human being to her? No, sweetie, that’s not how life works. I am 25 years old, and if my mom decided to work in another city, I’d go with her, and I’d go happily.

“The other girls at our school are serious bitches. If they aren’t making fun of you for being lysdexic they’re teasing you about being an übernerd.”

These are the best friend’s encouraging words when the main character complains about moving because she won’t have any friends. If those girls actually made fun of someone for having a learning disability, then clearly they’re bad people, but calling them bitches doesn’t make you any better, either.

“I spent the period stressing about my lack of a social life instead.” 

This was her first day in a new school, and it was the first class she was taking if I’m not wrong. So it makes total sense that instead of listening to her teachers, she’s stressing about not having friends. I’m telling you, this book is a complete mess.

“These kids were smart. They’d want to be my friends, right?”

Seriously, kid, stop it. This is your first day of class and as important as it is to have friends, you should be focusing on your classes or something. Also, you can’t just assume that someone is going to want to be your friend because they look like they might be nerds.

“The problem was that my best friends were both in San Diego, and the only person I’d talked to in this town had blue hair and facial jewelry.”

The problem is that you’re a narrow-minded little brat, who is so superficial that won’t even appreciate the fact that someone wanted to approach you and talk to you. She was nice enough to start a conversation with you on your first day on class when no one else did, and you care more about how she looks? Wow, you really don’t deserve her as a friend.

“Had I just made a friend? Would survival at this school really be that easy?”

So now you’re not bothered by her looks because you consider her your friend. And I know that teenagers tend to overreact, but “surviving” a school sounds a bit too extreme, especially considering that you made a friend on your very first day. Also, give yourself some credit.

“Agradable encontrarte. Me llamo Nacho”

This is supposed to be the Spanish translation for “Nice to meet you. My name is Nacho.” Only what it really says is “Friendly to find you. My name is Nacho,” because the author most likely used Google translate. The correct way of saying it would be something like “Gusto en conocerte. Me llamo Nacho.” You might think it’s stupid, but Spanish is my first language and including it just for the sake of adding some filler to a bad plot doesn’t make any sense to me. At least make sure what is being said is accurate. Also, Nacho is not short for Nate, it’s short for Ignacio.

“I would have said he looked emo, but his jeans fit properly and his faded black hoodie could pass as baggy, so he may have just been sloppy.” 

Okay, number one, nobody really looks emo anymore, not since 2009. Number two, again with this judgemental girl. This is the second person who talks to you during the first day of school and all you are able to do is look at his clothes and make assumptions about him.

“It was my first day in this town, and I was already crushing on a snack food.”

Where do I start? Okay, yes, I know: PORTLAND IS NOT A TOWN. Now that we got that out of the way, it doesn’t bother me that she developed a crush on the guy who approached her in Spanish class because I was that girl who liked every guy who acted civilized towards me. But, was the “crushing on a snack food part” really necessary? It honestly feels like it’s there so that we’re reminded of what a big nerd the main character is.

Now I want you to help me with this last quote by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

“I relaxed a little when I saw that the three guys sitting with her all had normal-colored hair.” 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

TBR Jar Revision

TBR Jar Revision

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. Every few months, I get into obsessive mode and start reorganizing all my bookish things. I don’t just physically reorganize my bookshelves, in fact, that rarely happens and maybe I should do it. No, I mean I reorganize my TBR list, my wishlist, and yes, my TBR jar.

A TBR jar is essentially a jar or any other type of container, which contains pieces of paper with the titles of books you own and you want to read. In my case, having one takes the anxiety out of picking a book every time. I would rather be surprised.

The original idea was to dump the contents of the TBR jar and check each title, just to see that there were no repeats and to remove the titles that I’d already read. In theory, this plan was brilliant, but in practice, I started getting super confused.

This resulted in me throwing all these papers to the trash can and starting over, using my TBR list as a guide. That’s an exhausting process, but in the end, it’ll give me peace of mind. Hopefully.

What book is at the top of your TBR list and why? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

This Book Deserves Two Posts

This Book Deserves Two Posts

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. I was convinced this book was an ARC and I was going to launch a new series with a review, but I’ll guess that’s going to happen some other day. I don’t know how and why the book Counting to D by Kate Scott came to me, but I read it and now I’m ready to share my review with you. Let’s get started, shall we?

Like the title indicates, yes, there are going to be two posts about this book because it was so bad I decided only one wouldn’t do it justice. Today I’m going to talk about my first impressions, and then for the next post, I’m going to share a little surprise with you.

I began reading this book on March 18th and finished it on March 201th. I think this is the only good thing I have to say about this. It is a quick read, which is totally ironic given the fact that the main character has dyslexia and is illiterate (her words, not mine.)

Now that I’m using my Magical Monthly Reading Planner to write down these reviews, I am including my rating for each novel, and I’d originally given this two stars. My final rating, though, is one star because not only this novel was horrible, it was also full of ableist jokes. Basically, people were made fun of for having learning disabilities. No. Just, no. I always give authors that one extra star for effort, but Kate, you don’t deserve yours.

My general thought about the writing style is that it was clearly written by an amateur. I mean, the first page alone was all over the place, and this didn’t improve as the novel progressed. You know how I hate the “girl moving cities” thing, like seriously, that’s old news. From that first page in which the main character announces she’s moving, I could already know what was going to happen, and I’m sure you can guess it, too. This is probably why it took me just two days to read this book: it was boring and predictable. And while we’re at it, guessed what the main character did? Yes, she released a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. How could she not?

Another thing that really bothered me about this novel is that it was supposed to be a young adult novel, but the author had no idea how 15-year-olds speak nowadays. The dialogs were forced, and some expressions I’d never heard were included. It just added to the things that didn’t let me connect with this story. The main character was totally off for me, and I think if she’d been twelve instead of fifteen and this would have been marketed as a middle grade, maybe I wouldn’t have despised this so much.

Let’s start a blacklist. A list of books we don’t want anybody to read. This is obviously my candidate. Share yours in the comments below.

Happy Wednesday!

Love, Miss Camila

I’m Too Cynical for This Sh*t

I’m Too Cynical for This Sh*t

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

100th.png

Hello and happy Wednesday. Are you excited that there’s actually going to be a review today? Me too, although I’m also a bit nervous because I’m sure today’s post is going to be full of unpopular opinions. A few weeks ago, I read Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, and let’s just say, a lot has changed since I was the girl who raved about her fluffy, super romantic novels. Let’s get started, shall we?

I started this book while I was on vacation, and I was on a reading slump, so I actually hoped that this fluffy, cute, and let’s be honest, quick and easy read would get me out of it. I think in a way I underestimated this story, and I sort of forgot that Jen E. Smiths’s novels often have some depth in them, and they deal with family issues, not just romance. To me, that’s why I was so surprised at how original the beginning was because I’d never read a story that started with someone buying a lottery ticket. Another thing I appreciated was the fact that the chapters were short, especially because this book is borderline big in my opinion, with a little over four hundred pages.

Something else I liked about this book, and then again, it’s something I’d underestimated in Jennifer E. Smith’s books, is the fact that she doesn’t leave loose ends or is unnecessarily mysterious. She just tells things as they are without adding drama. I’m talking about when she introduced Alice’s cousin. There weren’t any awkward scenes that had the readers wondering who he was or anything like that, which happens more often than not in YA novels. I’ve read my fair share of Jen E. Smith’s books, but I think this is the first in which the main character is in love with her best friend.

Now that we’ve said all the good, let’s start with the bad and the ugly. Let’s start with the love triangle, okay? That’s something I have no passionate feelings about. I think sometimes love triangles are great and they add drama and they make me change my mind a thousand times, and sometimes I feel like they didn’t even need to exist in the first place. This is probably going to be a spoiler, so if you don’t want to read it, just leave for now and come back when you’ve finished the book. I won’t get mad, I promise. So anyway, this book has a love triangle, right? And it’s your typical love triangle including this guy who’s a complete dickhead and who only realizes he’s going to lose the girl he loves to this amazing, genuine guy who actually makes the girl happy. Guess who the girl picks. Ugh.

After that, it all went to shit for me because I was already upset that I knew how this book was going to end up and there was nothing I could do but keep reading and rant in here. I was so mad, that I caught a gem, the “breath I didn’t know I was holding” gem. Yes, even queens like Jen E. Smith, fall for that one. And while we’re at it, what’s with the editing issues, Jen? Besides that being super annoying for me, I found it uncommon for a book written by this author.

Before we finished this very weird review I must admit that, yes, I cried a few times here and there. That’s probably the “ugly” part of this review because I’m pretty sure I resemble Kim Kardashian when I cry. Now, time for the important question. There are three Jennifer E. Smith novels that I haven’t read. I don’t know what they’re about, and if I’m completely honest, I don’t think I even have them in my wishlist. However, it’s up to you. Should I read these three novels? Or one or two of them? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

November 2018 Owlcrate

November 2018 Owlcrate

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. Are we liking the hauls? Are we hating it? Did I become my worst nightmare only doing Owlcrate unboxings? Hopefully, that’s going to change soon. You know I’ve been going through a reading slump and that obviously means I’m not reading as many books as before, so my review supply is kind of low. I’m working on it, though. And while the slump passes, let’s just take a look at the goodies I got in the month of November.

Planter by Team Owlcrate 

Because this is an exclusive item, I can’t really link a specific shop where you can get this or something similar. It’s a skull planter, which some people might find cool, but I just don’t know. I gave it to my mom and I don’t know what she’s going to do with it. I thought about maybe painting it like a catrina (sugar skull) to make it more festive, but I’ll probably forget and leave the skull forgotten somewhere. It’s not the item itself, it’s just that this might’ve been a good Halloween product but I don’t feel it makes any sense in November.

Wax Seal Kit by Team Owlcrate and Michelle Gray 

Here I do have an issue with the item itself because it sort of feels like a joke. I mean, I would’ve understood if you’d included it in an Owlcrate Jr, but in an Owlcrate? Again, I don’t know what to think about this item. I knew I wasn’t going to use it so I gave it to my best friend who has a ten-year-old nephew. I think that if anything I gave them a fun activity to do together someday.

Pillowcase by Evie Bookish 

I don’t have square cushions in my room, but my sister does, so I use that pillowcase in one of her cushions. A few days later, I found the pillowcase in the floor of her room (she’s messy like that) and I asked her why she’d removed it. She said, I don’t know, the quote was from Game of Thrones or something, right? The quote wasn’t from GoT but it’s from a book neither of us have read and we’re not really interested in, and that’s what she meant. The pillowcase is now folded and in the closet where we store all the bedding stuff, for a rainy day, you know?

Craft Kit from the Ann Williams Group 

Now this is something that I will for sure be enjoying. I’m actually saving it for the New Years. It’s a kit for making a wish bracelet, and I think it’s just the cutest.

Sticker by Susanne Draws 

This sticker has Dumbledore and Fawkes in it and I absolutely adore it. It is now in my sticker notebook until I find a permanent home. This is the kind of thing I enjoy getting, and not just because my teacher brain is obsessed with stickers, but because I think many people can get a good use of them.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan 

Is it just me, or have the Owlcrate books become more violent with time? I know that maybe it’s just me, and I don’t feel the joy of Owlcrate that I used to. That’s why I cancelled my subscription actually. I don’t know whether I’ll be getting the December box, but after that, you won’t see any more of these unboxings, at least not for a while.

Is there any bookish subscription box that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!
Love, Miss Camila