Odd and Bookish
Review
4 Stars
Cemetery Tours - Jacqueline E. Smith

 

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Paranormal is not a genre I typically read but with that being said, I did enjoy this.

When I first started reading this I was reminded of the hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion because the ghosts follow Michael home. So already this book was off to a good start.

 

I loved the mystery surrounding Gavin and Kate and their circumstances. I kept wondering, Who is this ghost haunting them? There was definitely a lot of intrigue there.

 

Luke Rainer was such an interesting character. At first I didn’t like him because he seemed so conceited but then he grew on me as the story went on.

 

I didn’t find anything particularly special about the romance, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For the most part it felt very average, but this is just the first book in the series so it has time to develop further.

 

I didn’t know if I liked the ending, until the very end when I read the last page. The last page sealed the deal for me. The author ended the book at a very good place. It definitely makes me curious about what will happen next.

 

As I said before, I don’t typically read paranormal books, but I really liked this one because it wasn’t super paranormal. I have a limit when it comes to the amount of paranormal activity I can tolerate in a book and this had the perfect amount.

 

Overall, this was a solid paranormal novel with equal amounts of romance and mystery. The twists and turns will keep you reading until the very end.

Review
5 Stars
Boy Band - Jacqueline E. Smith


I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it was really good.

 

So first off, I just loved that the band was from the Bay Area because that’s where I’m from.

 

From the moment I started reading this, I was hooked on the writing style. There was just something about it that was so easy. It felt like Melissa was talking to me. It was very conversational.

 

I also loved the inclusion of the song lyrics that the author wrote for this book. It gave you a good sense of what the boy band sang about. I have to applaud the author for writing some pretty good lyrics because I could never do that in a million years.

 

Character wise, I loved Melissa. I related a lot to her, especially when it came to young adult fiction. Like her, I love to read YA books and have read my fair share of Meg Cabot books. At one point Melissa states, “The others like to make fun of my young adult literature addiction, but hey, at least I read” (49). We also both pick Ringo as our favorite Beatle because of his personality.

 

The rest of the characters were great as well, especially Joni and Oliver. I loved Joni because she was so fierce and protective of the boys. Oliver was so lovable because he’s British (enough said). The other bandmates were cool as well, and as a whole, they reminded me of One Direction (which is totally a good thing because 1D is one of my favorite boy bands).

 

The ending was quite the cliffhanger and definitely makes you want to read the next book.

 

Overall, if you are looking for fun and fast YA read that will tide you over until One Direction inevitably gets back together, then consider picking up this book.

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Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 196 pages.
Boy Band - Jacqueline E. Smith
Review
5 Stars
Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today - Candlewick Press


I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.

 

Although this book is aimed at kids, this was an incredibly powerful read. The book features first hand accounts of the war and some of them are absolutely heartbreaking. It was so interesting to note that for many of the people interviewed, they didn’t start talking about the war until recently. They had kept it a secret for so long. I really loved how this book preserved their memories so that future generations can hear their stories.

 

I also learned quite a bit from this book. This book features a European perspective on the war, and as an American, there were some things I never heard of. For example, I had no idea there was an organization called Land Girls. Speaking of women, I liked how this book explored what women did during the war. Women made a huge contribution to the war effort, and I’m glad it was not forgotten.

 

Overall, this is an amazing and comprehensive book about World War II. if you are interested in learning hearing real stories from WWII, I highly recommend you pick this book up.

Reading progress update: I've read 127 out of 320 pages.
Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today - Candlewick Press
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Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 320 pages.
Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today - Candlewick Press
Review
5 Stars
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time because Lana Del Rey, my favorite singer, loves to reference this book in her songs.

 

This book did not disappoint. I loved the juxtaposition between the beautiful prose and the disturbing subject matter. It’s hard to describe what I think of this book so I’ll just list some adjectives: fascinating, unsettling, crazy, tragic.

 

Overall, I was utterly captivated by this strange, yet alluring novel.

Reading progress update: I've read 239 out of 336 pages.
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 336 pages.
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 336 pages.
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Review
5 Stars
200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World - Marianne Lassandro, Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday, Kieran Scott, Sharon Gelman

I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.

 

First off, I just have to say that this book is massive. It’s no wonder that it retails for $50. It is so heavy.

 

Content-wise, this book is great. It showcases a very diverse group of women and their lives and thoughts. Some of them are famous and some of them are just regular, everyday women. But each and every one of them is inspiring.

 

The photographs that accompany the interviews are stunning. Each woman is beautifully highlighted on her own page.

 

Overall, this is a great feminist coffee table book.

Reading progress update: I've read 245 out of 395 pages.
200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World - Marianne Lassandro, Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday, Kieran Scott, Sharon Gelman
Review
5 Stars
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Wow. This book was phenomenal. it completely lived up to the hype.

 

I have a lot of thoughts on this so here they are (keep in mind this is coming from an Asian American from the Bay Area):

 

I loved how educational it was. It really made you understand the Black Lives Matter movement and the reality of it. It hit every single point and put you right in the middle of it.

I also liked how Angie Thomas made brought up big points in really subtle ways. For example, “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black” (11). That is so true. People only like black culture when it’s cool , but the minute something bad happens to the black community, they distance themselves from it. But the quote that really hit hard was, “Funny. Slave masters thought they were making a difference in black people’s lives too. Saving them from their ‘wild African ways.’ Same Shit, different century. I wish people them would stop thinking that people like me need saving” (246). I read that quote and was like, damn, preach it girl!

 

The minority alliance between Starr and Maya made me so happy. It was so good to see a black girl and her Asian best friend team up. Angie Thomas could have done a bit more with it, but it was still nice to see it included. Personally, I think we need more minority alliances because there is more that unites us than divides us and together we can make a big impact. #Asians4BlackLives

 

I also liked that this tackled interracial dating. It added an extra layer to the complexity of this novel.

 

The pop culture references were a really nice and unexpected touch. I was definitely not expecting High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers to be mentioned in this book.

 

Overall, this book was everything. It should be taught in schools because despite being fiction, it was so informative, thought provoking, and leaves the door open for a lot of discussion.