ARC Review: Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: June 13th, 2017

Genre: YA Contemp/Diverse

Pages: 352 pages

Format: eGalley

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

*Trigger warning: attempted rape

*HUGE thanks to Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, Netgalley & S.K. Ali for the eGalley copy of Saints and Misfits

Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tight knit Muslim community think of her then?

Before I get into my review of this wonderful gemstone of a book, I’d like to include two #Ownvoices reviews I found on Goodreads. Both Leenahreads (Muslim & Arab) & Hadeer (Muslim & Egyptian) give a perspective that is much needed in the community & appreciated by this bookworm. Also, today is the release day for Saints and Misfits & on behalf of LairOfBooks, I’d like to wish S.K. Ali a very happy book birthday!!!

In Saints and Misfits we follow our main protagonist Janna Yusuf who is a Arab Indian-American hijabi teen navigating life within her Muslim community & High School. Janna finds herself having a major crush on Jeremy, a Irish student in her school that is non-Muslim. With these feelings come a slew of questions we get to see Janna find answers to along the way. We are introduced to Janna’s family & friends as well as the community she is very involved with. The daughter of divorced/co-parenting parents, living with her mom & slightly older brother…Janna & her family are already viewed as different within their own community. Having a crush on a non-Muslim boy complicates things for her & to add to her plate, she’s harboring a hurtful secret. Janna doesn’t know whether she will be believed if she speaks up since the secret is about a respected individual in the community. This is a story about self reflection, family, community, identity, friendship, strength, faith & courage to face your fears.

Ever come across a fictional character who has qualities you yourself wish you possessed? such is the case with my admiration of Janna Yusuf. She is by no means perfect but strong willed and firm in her beliefs. Like any teenager she deals with High School crushes and social pressures both on & offline. Seeing her navigate through certain situations gives you a feeling that you’re reading one confident character. For the most part Janna is confident which was refreshing, I loved seeing her take pride in wearing Hijab. Janna’s sarcasm proved to be one of my fave qualities since witty characters always win me over. Perhaps my most favorite trait of Jannas is her interactions with those around her & how empathetic she is even when she doesn’t want to be lol. I also loved the relationship between Janna and her slightly older brother Muhammad. Throughout the book Janna’s older brother is courting another Muslim girl his age & he has asked Janna to supervise their dates. Janna does so even though she’s not a fan of his romantic interest & in doing so we get to see them spend more time around one another. It was nice seeing Muhammad be so attentive to Janna that he was able to pick up on there being something wrong. His genuine concern for his little sister made me wish he was my big brother *sobs*

Janna also has a non-Muslim bestie  who I’m just going to go ahead and say it….Tats = Ride or Die Bestie for life! Tats is such an amazing friend to Janna & respectful of her beliefs even when social pressure got in the mix. Of course they had moments where Tats didn’t understand fully but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Ultimately Tats respected Janna & had her back, love seeing positive f/f relationships. Lastly, one of my fave characters was Mr. Ram who lived in Janna’s complex and who Janna would take to/from a community center for the elderly. Mr. Ram has a passion for poetry & for encouraging Janna to pursue what makes her happy whether it’s sketching or photography. He imparted so much wisdom to Janna & just loved life so much his good spirits were contagious right through the page. There were many other characters in this book but I fear that going into them all would take away from the fun it was getting to know them. Overall, an amazing cast of characters!

I have so much love for this book I don’t even know where to start honestly! as a diverse blogger, I know the importance of seeing these books on our shelves. Most recently I read a Latinx YA book that left me smiling from ear to ear because I saw myself on the pages. In reading reviews such as the ones I linked in the intro to my review, I get a sense that this will be the case for many Muslim, Hijab, Arab, Indian-American readers. I can honestly say this book gave me so much more than a few hours of enjoyment, the lessons I took away are of much higher value. S.K. Ali organically wove bits & pieces of culture, religion, and faith throughout Saints and Misfits making for a rich reading experience. Our main protagonist is holding onto a hurtful secret & Ali gives us a realistic view of the situation. What it really would be like to expose a religious leader & the ugly truth of it all. A strong message is delivered ,many will stand against you but also, many will stand WITH you. The strong theme of community at the core plays an integral role in Janna’s life & I believe Ali captured that well with Saints and Misfits. I 100% reccomend this book to any & all, I just can’t wait to read more from S.K. Ali! 🙂

Will you be picking up Saints and Misfits today? If you’ve already read & reviewed, please drop a link & I’ll most def swing by your corner of the interwebz 😉

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April Owlcrate & Book of the Month Unboxing

April’s subscription boxes arrived with their vibrant colors & I am more than happy with the selections. earlier in April I read & reviewed The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli & fell hard for the characters & Becky’s writing style. This book brought me so much happiness that I flew right through it. My smile lingered for many days after & I still think about Molly Peskin-Suso & crew. This means that I am all the more curious about Simon who had a small cameo in Upside. I own the e-book so I suppose it’s all a matter of timing now 😉

Click on pic to follow my gram @Lair_Of_Books for more snaps 😉

April’s theme was Head Over Heels, in the box were the following items: 

1 Hardcover copy of The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (5 star read)

1 signed bookplate sticker

1 Decal sticker (not pictured above, found this waaay after photo was taken lol)

1 Storiarts Pride & Prejudice book headband (I’ll prob wear indoors since I feel I don’t have the head for this lol)

1 Simon Vs. the Homosapiens Agenda keychain from the Bookworm Boutique (maybe once I read Simon, I’ll feel less fraudulent about carrying this item on my key chain ha!)

1 Anna and the French kiss Chocolate Cherry Bomb Tea from The Tea SPot (will be trying this one out this wknd but it smells delish!)

1 Novelly Yours Candle inspired by one of Rainbow Rowell’s books (1 of 3 scents were sent), I received Baz & Simon in Raspberry & (GAHHHHH! smells SOOooooO Good! fave item besides book of course lol)

1 Evie Bookish print inspired by A Court of Thorns & Roses (least fave item simply because i’m not big on these small art prints)

1 Umberland (Everland, Book 2) by Wendy Spinale PREVIEW (Amazon buy link for finished book here) (Never read the 1st book soooo yea…lol)

1 Owlcrate exclusive themed pin (goes right on my book tote)

My Box Rating: ★★★★ (3.75 STARS)

April’s BOTM pick was a bit tricky, but there was one name in the blurb that sealed the deal for this one: for readers/fans of Mindy Khaling…moment of silence for my Queen…K, I’ll pretty much read any non-fiction with a bit of humor so I was so happy to come across Scaachi Kohl’s short story collection. Goodreads has since edited the blurb to exclude any comparisons to Mindy K. but I read some reviews & they maintain that it is in fact along those lines. Besides this though & most importantly is that this is a short story collection by a woman of color, daughter to Indian immigrants based on relevant issues affecting many woman of color. I may get the audiobook to read along since I prefer to listen to memoirs narrated by the authors themselves 😉

 

Click on pic to follow my gram @Lair_Of_Books for more snaps 😉

Goodreads Blurb

A collection of essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, “a land of ice and casual racism,” by the cultural observer, Scaachi Koul.

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality–all as she tries to find her feet in the world.

Every time I consider canceling my BOTM subscription just so that I can catch up with the ones I have so far…They hit me with the ALL STAR LINE-UP of books I can’t resist smh. I’ll tell you right now, May was no different since I’ve already selected my books & they sweetened the deal lol. Another perk to this box is that at least one of the books in the box (as of late) is a pre-release which I think is AWESOME! So, since they’ve already charged me the renewal fee, you can expect to see at least 3 more of these un-boxings LOL!

What are your thoughts on the April Owlcrate box? Have any of my bookish peeps read The Upside of Unrequited? For my fellow BOTM subscribers, what were your selections for April? also, if you subscribe to any other boxes & have done a unboxing, drop your link down below <3’s!

Waiting On Wednesday

ramona-blueRamona Blue

Published by: Balzer + Bray

Date of Publication: May 9th 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 

Pages: 491

 

 

 

Goodreads Synopsis (2).jpg

For fans of Rainbow Rowell and Morgan Matson comes this sharp and thought-provoking novel about modern love, family, and the labels that we just can’t seem to escape—from Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’ and Side Effects May Vary.

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. One of only two out lesbians in her small town and standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the responsible adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, her responsibilities weigh more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool.

As Ramona falls more in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift as well, and she must decide if knowing who she is is more important than figuring out who she might become.

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I am currently reading & loving Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ (Dumplin’ #1)  on a whim really after leaving the book I was currently reading at home. I have a 1.5 hour commute to & from work, and not having a book on hand was just unacceptable lol. I started Dumplin’ & immediately got sucked into this small town girls story, personality, and inner monologue. I got curious and opened up my Goodreads to see if Julie Murphy has any other books & found 2 things: Dumplin’ is a series (almost positive it was originally a standalone) + a new book set for 2017 titled Ramona Blue. That cover immediately caught my interest & then I read the synopsis (cuz let’s face it, it’s usually in that order LOL). This story has LGBTQ characters but what stands out for me is that the protog is introduced as one of only two lesbians in her small town who then falls for her childhood friend who happens to be male. I’m curious to see how bi-sexuality is handled by Murphy…the original blurb I believe, had mentioned something along the lines of not being put in a box by labels. The blurb has since changed & I see that there seems to be a bit of controversy on Goodreads as well as rating the book 1 star before it’s been published or made its rounds for anyone to see. I also see the book getting 5 stars by readers who are trying to negate the low ratings because they find this to be unjust to the authors yet unpublished work. I don’t agree with either of these methods. Considering that Murphy is handling body image in Dumplin’ so well, I think i’ll give this one a shot & formulate/provide my own informed opinion/review/rating 😉

Waiting On Wednesday 


Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Book: Hardcover, 304 pages

Expected Publication: August 29th, 2017

Publisher: Random House Books For Young Readers

 

 

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at @ Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

REASONS

Let’s preface this with I AM COMPLETELY UNABLE TO NOT READ ANYTHING BARDUGO PUTS OUT! haha! I am so happy that DC has tasked her with the unbelievably tough challenge that will be Wonder Woman. As a female myself, I want to see Diana Prince/Wonder Woman done right & who better than The Queen Of Dark herself? am I right? I’ve always been a big fan of the Amazons & wondered why they are covered so scarcely. We recently saw Gal Gadot tackle the role of Wonder Woman in Batman Vs. Superman. I’ll admit, I had my doubts she would pull it off. She silenced my doubts though & for that I am thankful because now we get to see more of her on the big screen. Now more than ever, I want to see the same success in this book. For some reason Wonder Woman has been a character that many have feared taking on. The general feeling was (maybe still is) that whoever took on that project, would have the responsibility of doing it justice. Why? because women of all ages & generations will be watching. The boys have their pick of the litter when it comes to superheroes but us gals have very few & Diana is a classic 😉

P.S. last but NOT least…Helen Of Troy’s descendant is in this book?!?!?! YES PLEASSSSSSE! 

Are any of you looking forward to the 1st book in the DC Icons Series? What are your thoughts on Leigh Bardugo writing Wonder Woman? 

Review: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

ik-bone

Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger 

Published by: Touchstone

Date of Publication: June 7th 2016

Genres: Mystery Thriller/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Pages: 352

Format: eGalley (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★★ (4.75 stars)

 

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

An instant page-turner (Lisa Gardner) that straddles the line between thriller and horror…sure to appeal to a wide range of readers, including Stephen King fans. (Booklist, starred) A young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl’s disappearance. 

Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams, she has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle – and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices – she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.

Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out.

As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

 

I’d like to thank Touchstone for providing me with a eGalley of Ink & Bone by Lisa Unger via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I guess I should start off by saying that horror is NOT my thing! this gal right here has avoided the Freddy intro ever since first hearing it at the age of 10. I was the girl who avoided spook every Halloween & somehow always managed to get “accidentally” egged LOL. The mere mention of a spirit or ghost in my home was enough to keep me up several nights & my dear old g’ma used this as a way to get my sister & I settled down when being too rowdy at night. Fast Forward to 2016 & Spookathon Read-alongs are EVERYWHERE! can’t escape them. I decided to start Ink & Bone since it was described as a mystery thriller with an ominous cover but no mention of spook just a couple of psychics….I can do psychics right?…

Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger sunk its teeth into me from the 1st page & never let me go. It starts off with a prologue which I surprisingly enjoyed. It gives us a piece of the puzzle & lingers in your mind as the story unfolds. We get introduced to a couple who have been married for 16 years (unhappily so) with 2 kids. They are both night & day, Wolf is a writer and Merri is an editor. Wolf is also quite the charmer & the player, being unfaithful from day 1. Merri is aware of his philandering but has come to accept it as the norm, knowing that he hasn’t been faithful for longer than a year at a time. Merri also knows that Wolf loves her, they have amazing sexual chemistry, and when its good its great. Its the every day cycle of their lives as parents filled with repetition and very little adventure that bores Wolf. While carrying on a relationship with another woman (complete opposite of Merri), Wolf decides that the family needs a little getaway, packs them up, and heads to The Hollows. A town filled with mystery, death, and sadness but of course at the time Wolf had no idea. Wrapped up in his own needs & wants, Wolf hasn’t found a way to cut ties with his lover and instead is stringing her along. At the end of the day he knows that he loves Merri & that he wants to be faithful, that Merri is the only woman that can truly have a hold on his heart. It’s during a outing with the kids on a hiking trail in The Hollows that everything changes for the worse. Even though we are shown what happens in the prologue, I won’t do so beause I want you ALL to read it for yourselves & enjoy it just as much I did of course HAHA! the events however, only further put a strain on their marriage. Throw in resentment, regret, guilt and what you have is a recipe for divorce…or not? won’t give that away 😉

We also get introduced to Finley Montgomery who i’ve already added to my collection of fave female protagonists. Finley is described as having neon pink & black hair, tattoo sleeves (most of her back is covered), and a motor bike she rides all over town. Finley lives with her grandmother Eloise in The Hollows, they both are survivors of a tragic accident that left them with the powers to connect to the dead. Finley is able to see the dead who linger in this town with unresolved business. Kudos to Unger, the descriptions of these dead ones was haunting & bone chilling which led me to have to read Ink and Bone with the lights on. The Hollows is a place with abnormally high levels of abductions, murder, and abortions. It calls to others who like Finley, are able to see or feel those that have crossed over to the other side. It isn’t long before Finley’s path crosses with Merri & her family. Eleven months after the disappearance of Abbey (Merri & Wolf’s daughter), Meri still feels that there is hope and decides to resume her search by hiring an independent detective known for his work with psychics. Detective Jones Cooper has solved many cases alongside Eloise (Finley’s g’ma) but this time he will find himself working with Finley who is trying to learn how to control & set boundaries for her powers.

Thoughts

This book had me at the edge of my seat in certain parts & in others it had me searching for the light switch. The writing is haunting and a bit disturbing, I found myself wanting to know more about The Hollows but NEVER wanting to visit. The Hollows is described by Eloise to be some sort of vortex or place of power (maybe even a vacuum) that acts like a magnet for negativity which would explain all of the death. We even get to see dead spirits of three young girls who were accused & burned as witches. Unger brought The Hollows to life for me, it was a very atmospheric read that left me googling to see if it exists…haven’t found it yet (thankfully lol). I also felt that although there was resolution, we also get a sense that she’s leaving the door open for more. I can only hope that this gets turned into a series since there seems to be plenty of material & Finley is only just now getting acquainted with her powers. I did find The Whispering Hollows which is a collection of 3 short stories introducing us to The Hollows (before Ink and Bone was published) & I will be reading this in November since it’s only 159 pgs. & my curiosity for The Hollows is unusually great. If you’re looking for your next Booktober or fall read, Ink and Bone is the way to go 😉

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Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

wreckedWrecked by Maria Padian

Published by: Algonquin Young Readers

Date of Publication: October 4th 2016

Genres: Contemporary

Pages: 368

Format: eGalley (Netgalley)

Trigger Warning: Rape

Rating: ★★★★

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

 

I’d like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for approving me to receive an eGalley of Wrecked by Maria Padian via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this book from Netgalley after reading the synopsis & thinking…this sounds like an episode of Law & Order:SVU which I used to love watching! I figured that this book would have to be told from multiple points of views which is also a favorite format of mine. The book didn’t disappoint, the author handled the topic well & in doing so, she sheds some much needed light on the rape culture in colleges/universities. Another topic/theme playing in the background is sports related head injuries leading to concussions. We first get introduced to Haley who has suffered her 3rd sports related concussion on the field & is facing the very real possibility of not being able to continue playing soccer in college. Haley is sharing a college dorm room with Jenny who enters the room acting very strangely but not really saying much other than to grab some of her things. Haley & Jenny are polar opposites & don’t really know each other this being their freshmen year of college. Where Haley is more outgoing, athletic, and quick witted…Jenny is quiet, small framed, referred to as “mousy”, and always in the schools lab. Their schedules are set-up such that they barely cross paths. Jenny had accepted an invitation to attend a party with the request that she bring other freshmen females along with her. The events that took place at the party are basically given to us the readers as the story unfolds. Bits & pieces fall into place with every account that is given and just like in a game of old school Telephone, different versions start to convolute the truth.

 

We meet Richard & Carrie who have just broken up, Richard is a math tutor where Haley goes to work on her math sets & Carrie happens to be the person who works at the hotline set up for victims of sexual assault. Carrie is the person who takes Jenny’s call & quickly befriends Jenny. We also meet Jordan, the accused rapist who also happens to live in the same house as Richard. Haley & Richard find it easy to be in each others company and start seeing each other outside of math tutoring. None is the wiser to just how connected everyone in their lives are to the events that took place the night of the party. The chapters bounce back & forth between Haley & Richard as they tell their sides of the story. In between chapters there are pages that offer a different piece to the puzzle of what really happened that night. So in some pages you may read the thoughts Jenny was having as she is making her way around the party house while extremely intoxicated. These parts capture vividly what it feels like to be intoxicated at a level where you lose yourself in your surroundings. Some pages are the thoughts of other key players who witnessed Jenny stumbling around but who also never come forward. When the university begins it’s investigation, it is days after the rape took place & Jenny has forgone the option of reporting it to the police. In doing so, the university now carries a formal investigation away from the public and the possible outcomes are: expulsion for the accused OR if no evidence or witnesses can be found, a “no sanction” can be ruled & the accused would be permitted to remain in the school.

 

The way this book was written hooked me in & kept me turning the pages. I really wanted to get to those in between pages that offered a little bit of insight as to what happened the night of the rape but it was never enough. I realized that this was purposefully done by the author to give an accurate portrayal of what happens when a college student loses consciousness due to intoxication & is taken advantage of. The victim would NOT be able to recount details with absolute certainty during the time they lost conciousness (scary thought). I often found myself trying to decipher what was fact from fiction. I could NOT stop myself from thinking about the real life Broch Turner case & how that played out. I felt a range of emotions, confusion, frustration, and helplessness for Jenny. Just like Jenny, I was left feeling a whole lot of anger for many different reasons. Some ranging from where were the “friends” she came with to the party? why weren’t they trying their hardest to look for her? why is everyone keeping quiet? why is everyone more worried about the fact that they were drinking? I mean the questions in my head just kept me turning the pages faster hoping for closure. Maria Padian handled this sensitive topic really well & I honestly believe that this story should be read. Wrecked is a book that sheds light on a prevalent issue in our current day & the underwhelming attention placed on the rape culture within our colleges & universities. I would absolutely recommend this book if you’re looking for a very real take on this sensitive topic.

 

Book Traveling Thursdays

Happy Friday’s Eve All! It’s time for Book Traveling Thursday! This is my first Book Traveling Thursday, a weekly meme created by Catia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog. The goal is to share the covers of a book related to that week’s theme, which you will find at the Goodreads group, indicating the original cover, the one of your country, your favorite, and least favorite.
July 7th theme: Book with an Eye Candy Cover. Choose a book that you read/bought because of the cover
Moloka’i

Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of Publication: October 4th 2014

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 405

Format: Paperback (I own)


Above is the U.S. Paperback which is both from my country & my favorite. My least favorite is the French edition. This was a cover buy ALL the way but it didn’t hurt that the setting is in Hawaii which is on my list of places to one day experience. My sister saw this book on my shelf & bee lined for it which is why I haven’t read it yet lol. I just got it back  & Sis says READ IT STRAIGHT THROUGH! She gave it 5 stars & is still attached to the characters. My sister is not big on Fiction, she’s more into self-help/motivational reads SO this made me raise a brow or two lol. I’m looking forward to reading Moloka’i.

Goodreads Synopsis:

This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai’i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place—and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.
Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i. Here her life is supposed to end—but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.

 Hardcover U.S. Edition


Turkish edition


French edition


Review: Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker (Burying Water #2)

Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker 
Series: Burying Water #2 
Published by: Atria Books 
Date of Publication: March 3rd, 2015
Genres: New Adult; Contemporary 
Pages: 370
Format: e-book
Rating:★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:
Luke Boone doesn’t know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he’s finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set—one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it’s not exactly legal, Luke’s never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game—at only twenty-six years old, she’s one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she’s just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast’s most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she’ll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle’s footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she’ll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she’ll even wan to.

Becoming Rain is the story of Luke Boone the nephew of a big timer involved with running a car theft operating ring. Luke is also the person the FBI has decided to (unbeknownst to him) use as their pawn to take down the heavy hitters. We are first introduced to Luke as one of the characters from book 1 in this companion series. Considering that I had some background story from book 1 with Luke, I knew that he was overall a nice guy with just a little hint of greed. So, Luke was basically raised by his uncle Rust after his dad walked out on him, his sister, and mother. Rust took him in as his son & groomed him to one day take over his businesses/ventures both legal & illegal. Throughout the story, Rust pretty much keeps Luke in the shadows, not really telling him much but just enough to make him earn his plate. Luke puts in time at Rust’s garage as a mechanic with hopes that his uncle will soon move him up to manager. When Rust decides to let Luke in on his illegal dealings bit by bit I was genuinely scared for Luke who was in clearly over his head.
Enter Clara Bettelli aka Rain Martinez—>a cop trying but failing to get into the FBI who by chance, happens to fit the description of the female they want to go undercover & gain Luke’s trust. Rain can’t help but be attracted to her target & in the process of trying to extract information & gain Luke’s confidence, she begins to fall for him. This was made only easier by the fact that it was clear throughout the book that Luke did Not have full knowledge on the extent of all the illegal dealings taking place. Especially none where innocents were being hurt/killed…

I enjoyed these two characters immensely! Everything from the chemistry, sexual tension, and walks/jogs in the park with their un-athletic canine counterparts was enjoyable. The entire book was done undercover with a wire tap & all. The moments where Rain switched off her wire to get into some trouble were nerve racking but oh so GOOD! I kept thinking her team would barge in any minute & take them both in for questioning. This book had me at the edge of seat on more than one occasion OR peering up from my book to make sure no one was reading THOSE scenes above my shoulder on a crowded NYC train 😂 a steamy & very well done fast paced read.

I’ve been really enjoying K.A Tucker’s writing style and her ability to interweave multiple story lines into a single plot. Also, her characters are all so complex and richly layered that it makes getting to know them an interesting ride. In the end I’m always left with the feeling that I need to know what happens to these characters after the last line in each book. You get to know these characters intimately & love them flaws and all. This was even better than Burying Water & that in and of itself tells me that I’ll be finishing all 4 books in the series soon 😉