NetGalley Reads: Under the Dusty Moon

NetGalley Reads: Under the Dusty Moon

 

Hello and happy Friday. Today I tripled my moving goal according to my Apple Watch, and it shows because I am very close to falling asleep as I type. And yes, I’ve already taken a nap on the bus because being a teacher is tough, especially on a Friday. It was also very tough to read Under the Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland, which was provided to me in exchange for a review, so I’d like to thank NetGalley, the author, and the publisher. Let’s get started, shall we?

I read this book between August 3rd and August 8th, 2019 and gave it one star. It’s one of those books that misled me at first and made me think it was a middle grade when it totally wasn’t. Maybe it was the cutesy cover or the title, which to me suggested like a camping adventure among friends or something, or maybe it was the completely juvenile tone the main character had. Anyway, don’t get confused, this is a YA novel and there are mentions of sex and drug consumption. I’m not against the former, but the latter was unnecessary.

Pretty early into the novel, we are introduced to the main character’s mom, who used to be in a famous Canadian band years ago and is now a solo artist. You’d think, like I did, that the novel will revolve around the main character’s relationship with her mom (if I keep saying “the main character” is because I can’t remember her name), but it’s just one of those slice-of-life type of novels in which we just follow a character around for a while. In this novel, we suffer through her issues with her mom, the lamest romantic relationship in the history of trashy YA, and her adventures as an amateur videogame developer. I’m making it sound way cooler than it is.

I think the author had many chances to salvage this story, and she just ignored them. We’ve all read this story before because it’s full of tropes, and on top of that, it’s poorly written. There was no originality whatsoever, no wow factor, and that made the novel pretty boring. The main character, for example, was written to be relatable because, of course, all teenage girls have issues with their moms, but to me, she was pretty much the opposite. She was overly whiny and, honestly, most of the times she hated on her mom for absolutely no reason. We need more healthy relationships portrayed in YA, not the opposite.

The reason why I gave this one star and not two was a “joke” about child abuse made after the mom pokes her daughter or something. No, just don’t. Additionally, there is a comment about how one of the characters’ house is in a nicer neighborhood because the main character lives in a place where there are immigrants. The child abuse “joke” was plain stupid, but the comment about a neighborhood not being “one of the good ones” because immigrants lived there is simply unacceptable.

Do you know of any novels, YA or middle grade, that portray healthy relationships between parents and children? Tell me about them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Advertisements
NetGalley Reads: Fall in One Day

NetGalley Reads: Fall in One Day

 

Hello and happy Friday. If you read last week’s post, then you know that I have a pretty long TBR list to tackle, which means that there are many ARCs I have to read. Now, usually I can read a book in a week or less, but there are some that are such a pain that it takes me way more than that. An example of this is Fall in One Day by Craig Terlson. A digital copy was provided to me for reading and reviewing purposes, so I’d like to thank both NetGalley and the author for it.

I read this novel between May 12th and June 11th, 2019 and gave it two stars. There are several reasons that explain both the rating and the time it took me to read it. On one hand, I had a hard time figuring out the generalities of the story. I didn’t understand whether it would be all told in the past or if we were getting flashbacks and flash-forwards. The perspective thing was also tough; I didn’t know who the narrator was and what their role in the story was until I was already advanced in my reading.

Basically, this is the story of a teenager who gets kidnapped by his father, who hallucinates, whether it is because of drugs or schizophrenia, it is unclear. We get the perspective of his best friend, a teenager who is set to understand the mystery of the disappearance and find the missing kid. It was not an easy read, and it wasn’t a fast read either. I know these stories must have an appreciative audience, but I wasn’t it.

One of the reasons why I was so confused at the beginning of the story was the title. It might be that English is not my first language, but when I read “Fall in One Day,” I thought we were getting insta-love. There is nothing romance-related in this novel, so keep that in mind if you plan to read this book. Since the narrator, who is also the main character, is a teenager, he talks like one, but I don’t know if the grammar mistakes he makes are intentional or if the author really writes that way. All I know is that it was annoying. There are scenes about suicide attempts and suicide, so be mindful of that. There is also domestic violence, so if you are sensitive to those, I would not recommend this book.

Do you know of any mystery/ detective young adult novels that I might enjoy? Tell me about them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

My NetGalley TBR List

My NetGalley TBR List

NETFLIX TALK_.png

Hello and happy Friday. I have probably already mentioned that my NetGalley ARC reviews will go on Fridays. Now, this isn’t going to happen every single Friday, but I wanted those reviews to have a day of their own.

We all know that I’m not a great blogger or reviewer, but in my defense, I’ve never claimed to be one. After I had started blogging, I discovered NetGalley and went crazy requesting books, which has led to a ridiculous TBR list I am in the process of tackling. This is probably going to take me years because I want to read other books and not just ARCs of books that have been published for years now. This list here is just a guide for you to know what’s to come and what you can expect from me in terms of ARC reviews. I’m not adding links because that would take me hours, but I assure you, all the titles are on Goodreads. Let’s get started, shall we?

Update: I will be crossing out the titles as I read them, to make things more fun. Okay, bye.

  • The Sweetest Thing by Lilian Darcy
  • Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie
  • Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
  • Andrea and the 5-Day Challenge by Cindy K. Green
  • School Monitor by Alex Dunn
  • Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
  • Chalk Houses by Tracy Clark
  • Long Way Home by Katie McGarry
  • Did I Mention I Miss You? by Estelle Maskame
  • When Dreams Come True by Rebecca Emin
  • The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead
  • The Secrets We Kept by Lili Velez
  • Puck by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe
  • Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes
  • Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
  • Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling
  • Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn
  • The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs
  • The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff
  • The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges
  • All Things New by Lauren Miller
  • RJ by Tim Soeder
  • Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais
  • The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather T. Smith
  • The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb
  • 180 Seconds by Jessica Park
  • My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson
  • One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton
  • Last Summer at Eden by Christina Hedgenrader
  • Once, In Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz
  • Amish Guys Don’t Call by Debby Dodds
  • Windy City Magic by Crystal Cestari
  • Four of a Kind by Kellie Sheridan
  • The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke
  • Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
  • Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lövestam
  • Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin
  • Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman
  • Stealing Candy by Stewart Lewis
  • Paper Hearts by Ali Novak
  • Unspoken Rules by Lora Inak
  • The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World’s Worst Pirate by Tim Collins
  • Maddie & Sayara by Sanjyot P. Dunung
  • The Dog Walker’s Diary by Kathryn Donahue
  • Protected by Claire Zorn
  • The Crowns of Croswald by D.E Night
  • 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicky Grant
  • The Notations of Cooper Cameron by Jane O’Reilly
  •  The Way it Hurts by Patty Blount
  • The Long Ride Home by Tawni Waters
  • Of Jenny and the Aliens by Ryan Gebhart
  • Welcome to the Slipstream by  Natalka Burian
  • The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne
  • The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King
  • Seven Days With You by Hugo Driscoll
  • Goth Girl by Melanie Mosher
  • Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell
  •  Project You by Aubre Andrus
  • Textrovert by Lindsey Summers
  • Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
  • Hit the Ground Running by Alison Hughes
  • Follow Your Heart by Tasha Nathan
  • We Can’t Be Friends by Cyndy Etler
  • Dreams Beyond the Shore by Tamika Gibson
  • Spin the Golden Lightbulb by Jackie Yeager
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Superfail by Max Brunner
  • The Rules of Persuasion by Amity Hope
  • Hickville Redemption by Marie Karlik
  • Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith
  • As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti
  • Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief by Rosie Somers
  • Misadventures of a City Girl by Meredith Wild and Chelle Bliss
  • The Border by Steve Schafer
  • Little Gold by Allie Rogers
  • Sunshine is Forever by Kyle T. Cowan
  • Blood and Stars by Jaime Lee Mann
  • Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz by Anna Humphrey
  • All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso
  • The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNonieqa Ramos
  • Begin Again by Mona Kasten
  • Mick & Michelle by Nina Rossing
  • The Year They Burned the Books by Nancy Garden
  • Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
  • Frankie by Shivaun Plozza
  • Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats by Carla Rehse
  • Flying With a Broken Wing by Laura Best
  • Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien
  • If My Moon Was Your Sun by Andreas Steinhöfel
  • 7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner
  • Just Friends by Dyan Sheldon
  • Mischief by Stefania Shaffer
  • The Curious Chronicles of Jack Bokimble and His Peculiar Penumbra by James DeMonaco
  • Secrets of the A-List by Joss Wood
  • The Shakespeare Stories
  • The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
  • Honey Moon Dog Daze by Sofi Benitez
  • Plank’s Law by Lesley Choyce
  • The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis
  • The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
  • 806 by Cynthia Weil
  • How You Ruined My Life by Jeff Strand
  • Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid
  • Kasey & Ivy by Alison Hughes
  • Go Bravely by Emily Wilson Hussem
  • Queen of Corona by Esterhazy
  • Boys Keep Swinging by Jake Shears
  • Freefall Summer by Tracy Barrett
  • So Near the Horizon by Jessica Koch
  • Infraction by Rachel Van Dyken
  • Leatherback Blues by Karen-Hood Caddy
  • The Year Santa Stubbed His Toe by William M Hayes
  • The Monster at Recess by Shira Potter
  • Talk of Shame by Alex Everwood
  • True Identity by John C. Majors
  • The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane
  • Baking for Dave by Melissa Palmer
  • Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton
  • My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher, and Phoebe McEwen
  • In Paris With You by Clémentine Beauvais
  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  • And We Call it Love by Amanda Vink
  • You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman
  • Lovestruck by Kate Watson
  • In Harmony by Emma Scott
  • Pink Hair and Other Terrible Ideas by Andrea Pyros
  • Mastering Adulthood by Lara E. Fielding
  • The Boys Who Danced With the Moon by Mark Paul Oleksiw
  • The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet
  • Rule by Ellen Goodlett
  • Garrison Girl by Rachel Aaron
  • Doing It by Hannah Witton
  • The Long-Lost Diary of the World’s Worst Dinosaur Hunter by Tim Collins
  • Things I’d Rather Do Than Die by Christine Hurley Deriso
  • The Ultimate Survival Guide to Being a Girl by Christina De Witte
  • The Bible Promise Book for Teens by Steve Russo
  • Rebel With a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring
  • The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale
  • Beyond the Green by Sharlee Glenn

Those are all the books I have requested through NetGalley that I’ve yet to read. Which of these titles would you like to read? 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

ARC Review: The Invisibles

ARC Review: The Invisibles

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today I want to share my thoughts on The Invisibles by Francis Gideon. I got this book via NetGalley for reviewing purposes and I’m always excited to read new content and learn about authors that were unknown for me. Let’s get started, shall we?

My very first thought when I started reading this was, “man, this is a very short book,” then I did some research and found out that there’s this thing called flash fiction and it’s just very short stories where there is still character and plot development. I’m not sure whether this particular story belongs to the “flash fiction” category, but if you know anything about it, let me know in the comments below.

Precisely because of the brevity of the story, the style is super simple. I mean, this writing style is something I would recommend to someone who wants to get into reading but doesn’t enjoy longer, more complex books. Keep in mind that I got an ARC, so there were some grammar mistakes I hope were corrected when the final edition was published.

Now, of course, you know I’m going to talk about stuff I didn’t like about this book, and something that really annoyed me was the way one of the characters, who was black, was physically described. I mean, “a tall guy with dark features”? Really? Couldn’t the author just say “a tall black guy”?

From what I read in my little research, Francis Gideon mostly writes LGBTQ* fiction, and The Invisibles is no exception. It is obvious that Mike, the main character, has feelings for Johnny, his new friend, and as I kept reading I realized this was a “guy-discovers-he’s-gay” kind of story.

I don’t know how I felt about the fact that the author sort of “used” the events of 9/11 as an excuse to make the story more interesting. You see, in the first scene our characters are in the classroom when the principal tells them what just happened to the Twin Towers. The events of September 11th become a topic of conversation for our main character and his love interest, but to me, adding that as a “background” event was totally unnecessary and kind of insensitive.

It had been a while since I read and reviewed a NetGalley ARC, but I promise there are more where this came from. If you have any LGBTQ* suggestions, send them my way because I feel that I’ve been lacking some good queer reads in my life.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

That Title is a Mouthful

That Title is a Mouthful

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today I want to share with you my thoughts on Will You Won’t You Want Me? by Nora Zelevansky. I was provided an ARC of this book via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, so before I begin I’d like to thank both NetGalley and the author.

When I started reading this book, I immediately got this Young Adult vibe. I mean the movie Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron.

The beginning of the book, and by that I mean the first three chapters, at least, was super cliché, which made the story predictable and sort of boring.

There was another bit at the beginning that reminded me of Walk of Shame, starring Elizabeth Banks. Seriously, you probably should start making a list of this movies and do a marathon when you’re done reading this post. That bit was funny and it took the novel on another direction, one that I liked better.

Our main character, Marjorie Plum, has to change her life completely in the course of two days after she gets fired from a job she hates, and then gets told by her roommate and best friend that she’s moving out to live with her boyfriend. This gets Marjorie into a series of situations the reader will find out about as the story progresses.

Marjorie, for example, ends up subbing for her new roommate as a private tutor for an eleven-year-old girl. That’s kind of cute, no? It’ also original. I was enraged, though, by the fact that Marjorie starts giving “boy advice” to her pupil. No, that’s just wrong.

This story is your typical “girl does a 18 on her life and discovers true happiness” kinda deal, but it grew on me. I liked the fact that, despite what the title might indicate, this novel doesn’t revolve around romance. Yes, there is romance, but the main focus of the story is the main character’s life and the decisions she makes as her situation changes.

In general, all the characters were likeable, except for Marjorie’s former boss, whose name I can’t remember, and the Vera and Brian, Marjorie’s former best friend and roommate, and her boyfriend.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I was annoyed by the editing (or lack thereof), but then again, I was given an advanced copy, so I assume it wasn’t the final edition.

Have you read a book similar to this one? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila