3.5 Stars

A Blast From the Past / A Review of Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier

The thing that kills me the most about this post is that i wrote this three years ago and… never posted it? I still think it’s a pretty solid review minus any grammatical errors that I’m just not gonna fix. In the spirit of nostalgia (because I’m about to be a high school graduate yippee), I figured posting this relic of a review would be fun. Have fun with 15-year-old Kelly!


Born Confused

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Series: Born Confused #1
Publication: July 1st, 2003 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Number of Pages: 512
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★1/2

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Tanuja Desai Hidier’s fantastically acclaimed cross-cultural debut comes to PUSH!
Dimple Lala doesn’t know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she’s spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a “suitable boy.” Of course it doesn’t go well — until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web . Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue. This is a funny, thoughtful story about finding your heart, finding your culture, and finding your place in America.

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[Review] The Boy Who Granted Dreams by Luca Di Fulvio

The Boy Who Granted Dreams

The Boy Who Granted Dreams by Luca Di Fulvio
Series: None
Publication: March 23rd, 2015 by Bastei Entertainment
Number of Pages: 780
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★1/2

Goodreads | Amazon


Summary

1909. Ellis Island. Arriving off one of the many transatlantic freighters are Cetta Luminita and her illegitimate baby boy Natale, fleeing the poverty and violence of their Southern Italian hometown. Having sacrificed everything, and endured every possible shame, Cetta has but one wish: that her baby should be an American, and grow up with the freedom to decide his own destiny. As they alight, US Immigration officials give Natale a new name: Christmas.
Growing up in the Lower East Side of New York with his mother, who works as a prostitute, Christmas is determined to be a success, whether a decent person or a gangster. The city is ruled by gangs from each community, Italian, Jewish and Irish, and survival is dependent on ruthlessness and strength. But Christmas has a vivid imagination, and an ability to tell stories that people want to believe…and thus is born his imaginary gang, the Diamond Dogs, which earns him respect within the ghetto. All this changes the day he saves the life of a rich Jewish girl Ruth, and despite their different backgrounds, he falls hopelessly in love with her. When circumstance tears them apart, Christmas vows that he will find her, by any means possible.
A sweeping saga of love and hate set in the Roaring Twenties, The Boy Who Granted Dreams is the story of Christmas and Ruth; the story of the dawn of radio, Broadway and Hollywood; and above all, a story about believing in the power of dreams.

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[Review] World After by Susan Ee

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)World After by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & The End of Days #2
Publication: November 19th 2013 by Skyscape
Number of Pages: 320
Genre:
Young Adult, Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, Romance
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★1/2

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.
When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.
Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.
Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

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[ARC Review] A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

A Million Miles Away

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
Series: None
Publication: July 7th, 2015 by Poppy
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Source: NOVL Newsletter (Thanks~!)
Rating: ★★★1/2

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.
When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.
As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.

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[Review] The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: None

Publication Date: October 18th, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Number of Pages: 409

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance

Source: Public Library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. (more…)

[ARC Review] At the Water’s Edge – Sara Gruen

At the Water's Edge

Author: Sara Gruen

Series: None

Publication Date: March 31st, 2015

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Number of Pages: 368

Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

In her stunning new novel, Gruen returns to the kind of storytelling she excelled at in Water for Elephants: a historical timeframe in an unusual setting with a moving love story. Think Scottish Downton Abbey.

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love. (more…)

[ARC Review] Throw Like a Woman – Susan Petrone

Throw Like a Woman

Author: Susan Petrone

Series: None

Publication Date: March 24th, 2015

Publisher: The Story Plant

Number of Pages: 336

Genres: Women’s Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Sports, Adult

Source: Received from publisher

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Forty years old, divorced, with two sons on the verge of adolescence and an ex-husband who considers visitation to be optional, Brenda Haversham isn’t having a whole lot of fun. She’s also no longer qualified for the work she loves, so she’s working in a cubicle instead while trying to make ends meet.

Brenda is short on money, short on connection with her kids, and short on any kind of social life. The only thing Brenda has in abundance is her anger. And that turns out to be her greatest asset.

When she was a kid, Brenda’s father taught her how to throw a good fastball. That wasn’t of much use to a girl, but it is enough to astound onlookers at a “test your speed” pitching cage before a Cleveland Indians game. The more Brenda pictures her ex-husband’s face on the other end, the harder she throws. And when someone tapes her performance and puts it up online, Brenda becomes an Internet sensation – and then more than that.

Soon, the Indians come calling and Brenda finds her life taking a turn in a new direction. She finds herself standing on the mound as the first woman player in Major League history – and dealing with everything that comes with it. The money is great and the endorsement deals are even better. The fury of “traditionalists,” not so much. And the conflicting emotions of her teammates are even harder to manage.

Meanwhile, Brenda’s home life is evolving faster than she can keep up, redefining her role as a mother, a friend, and even a lover.

As the season winds down Brenda will find out if she has what it takes to be a winner – at both baseball and life.

A funny, poignant, and endearing debut from a writer of rare warmth and humanity, FASTBALL is a 95-mile-an-hour heater of a novel. (more…)

[ARC Review] The Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1

Publication Date: February 10th, 2015

Publisher: Orion

Number of Pages: 320

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy

Source: Gifted

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

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[Review] Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Author: Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1

Publication Date: September 27th, 2011

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Number of Pages: 418

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance

Source: Public library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret le

arning the truth about herself? (more…)

[Review] Between Shades of Gray – Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Series: None

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2012

Publisher: Speak

Number of Pages: 338

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA

Source: Public Library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

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