book review: holding up the universe by jennifer niven

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Publisher: Penguin Books (UK)
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

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book review: when the moon was ours by anna-marie mclemore

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Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Pages: 288
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

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book review: the star-touched queen

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Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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book review: highly illogical behavior

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Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

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book haul! (6?)

Book Haul

It’s been awhile since I did a book haul but here I am! I am perpetually on a book buying ban because saving money and all that good stuff. But I still end up spending on books here and there so I’ve thrown together another ‘haul’ post. If you haven’t already, you guys should totally check out these books and add them to your tbr! I’ve already read The Bone Season, When We Collided, and Highly Illogical Behavior. I gave these books 5 stars because they are pretty freaking amazing. I’m reading This Savage Song right now and I’m loving it so far. 

(note: I haven’t linked to the goodreads page!)

BOUGHT…

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BORROWED…

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So what books have you bought/borrowed/read recently? Do you have any 5 star reads you want to recommend? 

I’m back!

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Hello!

It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that “I’m back” considering how I recently published a book review of The Night Circus and I’m super active on Twitter but anyway, here I am! If you’re wondering why I took an (almost) 3 month inofficial blogging break, it was because I thought it would be easier to keep up up with school and pursue other projects if I took a little break. But in the end, I feel like I never really left. If I’ve learned anything so far, it’s that I will always come back to this blog.

But first, I had to make some changes. In fact, I finally changed the blog address to something a bit more versatile. And to be honest, I’m kind of relieved to have gotten rid of the name “Addicted to YA” which was supposed to be temporary. I needed a name for my blog and consider the fact that I might also end up discussing topics other than YA fiction. Now, I’m just glad that the theme/address/name accurately reflects my blog posts. 

Summer break started a few weeks ago which means I’ve been investing more time in various creative endeavors! Speaking of which, I have quite a lot of things to share with you guys!

I think I may have mentioned my newsletter, fleet-footed thoughts,” on this blog earlier but while I was gone, I sent out four emails and I think the results have been pretty good considering this is my first newsletter. And by the way, I emailed subscribers, weeks ago, about some of the things I’m talking about in this post so if you’re interested in receiving early and punctual updates, you should definitely sign up. 

I was also accepted into the Adroit Journal’s summer mentorship program which started last week. I think it’s a great opportunity to interact with like-minded writers and get feedback so I’m excited to see how my writing grows and improves. 

I was also published in various places! “Moth,” was published by The Mira Project which is “currently running a campaign against street harassment.”  And “Apology” was published in Some Safer Place which is an anthology of intersectional narratives around adolescence and early adulthood. “The Summer I Turned 13” appeared in the June 2016 edition of Teen Ink Magazine. Two poems were also published in Hypertrophic Literary’s Summer 2016 issue (you should order a copy!) and I was incredibly excited to see my work in print. Most recently, I have multiple poems forthcoming and published in Eunoia Review

I finally got around to making an main website of sorts which has links to my blog, newsletter, social media, chapbook, etc. I also got to claim deluged’s goodreads page which means I’m now a goodreads author! 

One last thing before I end this post – I’ve actually unpublished a lot of the projects I was posting chapters for on Wattpad. (I’m referring to things like Sleepless which I discussed on the blog a few times.) This is because I, either lost interest, or decided I needed to revamp the project or I needed a break from it. Nonetheless, I’m currently plodding my way through a novella with the temporary title, “Project Hot Chocolate,” right now. I’ve written 10K+ words so far and I hoping to finish it before school starts in August!

Alright, that was a pretty long post..but I want to know what you guys have been up to! How has life been?? TELL ME ALL!!

the night circus // slow-paced with gorgeous prose

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Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lvies of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

My Review

Warning: There are minor spoilers!

This is a really slow book and especially in the beginning, I felt like it wasn’t really going anywhere. At times, it’s even possible to forget what the central plot is because the author takes her time describing characters, the setting, the magick, and basically anything and everything that could possibly be described. I am a total snob when it comes to writing style but luckily enough, I absolutely loved the prose in The Night Circus. 

I must admit that the blurb is slightly misleading. The competition between Celia and Marco is really not that fierce and it was kind of frustrating how it took half the book for Celia to figure out who her opponent is..it’s constantly implied that she’s very talented and smart and the fact that she wasn’t sure who she was up against, really didn’t add to the tension. Generally speaking, the book isn’t as dramatic as the blurb leads you to believe but it is a work of art, nonetheless.

The characters were incredible! Even many of the secondary characters have a very complex back story so by the end of the story, I kind of felt like I was reading about people I knew. It’s also worth noting that there were many characters (but I personally didn’t find it hard to keep track of them as they all had unique personalities).

Like I said, this book is really slow-paced and things only really start happening about halfway through the book. The book also jumped around a lot (from past-to-present and vice versa) and each chapter would be from a different (third person) POV.  I think this kept things interesting (especially when a previous chapter ended on a minor cliffhanger).

I would definitely recommend this book but not to someone who is looking for something fast-paced. But if you’re looking for something unique and adore long meandering descriptions then this is the book for you.