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Love Hurts By Malorie Blackman

Love Hurts By Malorie Blackman
Published 29 Jan 2015 by Corgi Childrens

Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o the publisher via Netgalley.

Goodreads

SummaryMalorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds.

Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

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I’m disappointed with Love Hurts.

I was under the impression that Love Hurts would be a collection of new short stories — and in a way it was, but it was mainly a collection of excerpts from different published books. There were 7 original pieces, while the remaining 17 were excerpts. Of the original pieces, I particularly enjoyed Susie Day’s Tumbling (about two Sherlock fangirls meeting for the first time and having feelings for one another) and David Levithan’s Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat (also revolved around LGBT).

I haven’t read many of the books featured in Love Hurts; in fact, I’ve only read 2: If I Stay by Gayle Forman and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, both of which are books I really enjoyed. I was interested in a few of the books featured after reading the excerpts, but it does get frustrating because you want more, or if you haven’t read it before it becomes kind of spoiler-y and I know some readers can be very particular about that. I haven’t read many of the books, so I can’t tell to what extent the spoilers are but Love Hurts does focus on the relationship aspect of the characters, so future interactions or relationships may have been revealed ahead of time while reading this.

I definitely see myself picking up The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle and Trouble by Non Pratt sometime soon. I was particularly fond of the writing and storyline that it revolved around.

I can’t say if I will recommend this book or not, because it is a compilation of different stories and some new original pieces. If you are planning to purchase this, Tumbling and Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat is worth paying for and I wish it becomes a full length book at some time. Love Hurts might not be appealing to readers who don’t like spoilers of any kind or less appealing to those who have already read all of the books featured in Love Hurts. Considering that only 7 of the pieces are original works, I don’t really think I need the book on my bookshelf, but it is something that I could pick up and read.

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Diamonds In The Rough By Michelle Madow

Diamonds In The Rough By Michelle Madow
The Secret Diamond Sisters #2
Published 28 Oct 2014 By Harlequin Teen

Goodreads

SummaryAll-access doesn’t mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah’s YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don’t keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters’ archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow’s riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

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Michelle Madow has done it again.

Diamonds In The Rough is the perfect sequel to the much loved Secret Diamond Sisters series. Diamonds In The Rough is more dramatic; there’s more secrets, suspense, drama and an extremely powerful ending.

Diamonds In The Rough is even better than the first book. Diamonds In The Rough had better and more dynamic story arcs, in comparison to its first book. You learn more about the big secret that Adrian has been hiding, the truth behind Courtney’s birth and sheds light into Madison’s life.

Similarly to Secret Diamond Sisters, Diamonds In The Rough is also told in multiple POVs. It thought it was intelligent the way Madison’s voice has always been included in the POVs (and Diamonds In The Rough explains why!). It makes something so unimportant become important and adds a different dynamic to the story.

The ending blew me away. It makes me anticipate for the third book even more because the ending is such a cliffhanger. I really love the way the series is being done: the first book was more “introductory” and character-driven while Diamonds In The Rough was more plot-driven.

Diamonds In The Rough is fun and engaging and would definitely cater for fans of Gossip Girl. If you love teen drama set in Las Vegas, this one is for you.

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Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast
Published 6 May 2014 By Bloomsbury USA

Goodreads

Summary#1 New York Times Bestseller

2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.

When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the “crazy closet”—with predictable results—the tools that had served Roz well through her parents’ seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.

While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies—an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades—the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.

An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast’s talent as cartoonist and storyteller.

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Heartbreaking, raw and hilarious all in one, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is one of the best graphic memoirs I have read so far.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is a story of the author and her parents. They’re a little bit quirky but absolutely adorable. I kept turning the pages and finished it in one sitting.

Can’t We Talk About takes for a more heart-wrenching turn when her parents fall ill and she struggled with medical bills, taking care of them and having to juggle her parents and her family. It was increasingly difficult for her to cope, as evidently, it was difficult for her parents to cope being apart from each other.

Can’t We Talk About made me weep. I kept thinking of my own parents and now that they’re ageing I wonder what the future will be like. It is impossible to not look at your own life and your parents’ lives when reading this book — it makes you think so much about what is going to happen (or has happened). I absolutely loved her parents. Their love for each other is eternal, and its evident even to the end. It is heartwarming to read about it and I feel like the memoir has given me an opportunity to witness true love.

I’ve been reading a lot of memoir graphic novels as of late, and this is one that will stay with me for a very long time. Its such a simple and accessible story, yet so powerful and packed with emotions. It is raw and beautiful, especially the sketches of her mother at the end. I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it.

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Friends With Boys By Faith Erin Hicks

Friends With Boys By Faith Erin Hicks
Published 28 Feb 2012 by First Second

Goodreads

Summary: After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It’s pretty terrifying.

Maggie’s big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn’t been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie’s never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don’t have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers…distant brothers…high school…new friends… It’s a lot to deal with. But there’s just one more thing.

MAGGIE IS HAUNTED.

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I seem to be in the minority when I say I didn’t quite enjoy this book.

The title of this book is a little misleading. I was under the impression that it would focus more on the home schooling to high school transition, adolescence and boys but it turned out to be something quite different.

I didn’t understand one of the main arcs of the story, in which the main character is haunted by a ghost. It was never truly explained why she was haunted and it didn’t seem like the haunting played that much of an importance to the story. I didn’t understand the ending at all. I’m so confused and I don’t exactly know where this story is supposed to be heading.

There were some funny parts and I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this story. I wish it was explained in more detail what happened to their mother, but still, her brothers were extremely entertaining.

Friends With Boys is an okay book. It had its shining moments but it didn’t have a lasting impression.

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January Bingo Update

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I can’t believe January is already over. It feels like we’ve just begun 2015 and now we’re well into the second week of February. Time is flying by quickly these days!

I’ve made a little dent in my reading bingo challenge, but I’m nowhere near completing a set of bingo. I’ve come to terms with reading at my own pace and reading what I want to read, so I’ve not forced myself to complete a bingo line, but rather cross off whatever I feel like. I think that was my main goal with this challenge; I wanted to read more of what I liked, and expand my reading whilst making it fun. I’m sure it’ll be thrilling when I complete my first bingo line!

For the month of January, I kind of read a lot of books that overlapped or books that pretty much fell into the same category, hence only 3 ‘X’s. (I made the rule that I could only use one book to tick off one box, but since I read more books in each topic, I’ll just add them to its multiple boxes — just in case you’re interested in reading the book but wasn’t sure what its about!)

Read a Graphic Novel

Drama By Raina Telgemeier • Through The Woods By Emily Carroll • Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast

Read a Non Fiction Book

Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast • Well Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines By Samantha Hahn • Kate Spade New York: Things We Love: Twenty Years of Inspiration, Intriguing Bits and Other Curiousities

Read a book about bullying

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir By Liz Prince

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Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir By Liz Prince

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir By Liz Prince
Published 26 Aug 2014 By Zest Books

Goodreads

Summary: Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys, either. She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, “the middle” wasn’t exactly an easy place to be.

Tomboy follows award-winning author and artist Liz Prince through her early years and explores–with humor, honesty, and poignancy–what it means to “be a girl.”

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I’m so happy I picked up Tomboy. Tomboy is another memoir written in graphic novel form and I’ve come to love this form of memoir. The illustrations bring the story to life and makes the story accessible. Tomboy, as the title suggests is about Liz Price’s childhood as a tomboy. She doesn’t fall into any of the categories — Liz simply likes boy clothes, boy toys and liked being friends with boys. But when you’re a kid and you don’t like wearing dresses as a girl, you get bullied for being different. And that’s exactly what happened to Liz.

Liz struggles with bullying and finding her identity. She doesn’t fit in with the boys (because she’s a girl) and she doesn’t fit in with the girls (because she doesn’t like dresses) — so what exactly is she?

I enjoyed how the story progressed. Liz eventually found people who accepted her and loved her for who she is. She eventually became comfortable in her own skin and showed much character development. I loved how one of her friends asked her if she hated girls or if she hated the expectations put on girls by society. Tomboy doesn’t only have a great moral but it also makes you think about our society, their expectations and trying to live up to its status quo.

The key take-away from this memoir is that you can get bullied for anything, but one should stand their ground and be themselves. Tomboy has a great message and can help so many kids growing up who feel pressured to stick to the status quo. Perhaps the only qualm is that it does contain swearing and may come off as inappropriate for kids — so exercise caution — but keep in mind that it is only a minor issue. But if you don’t mind it so much, I would highly recommend this for kids and adults alike.

The story as a whole has much to offer and delivers the story of bullying with a punch. It is a raw and honest memoir of a tomboy and it discusses issues that are still prevalent in our current society.

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