Sneak Peek Sunday: Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

Hi! SURPRISE! IT’S MEEEE! Back with another review of a fantastic novel. I read Amber Smith’s debut novel The Way I Used to Be, and that one was amazing. Today I want to talk about Smith’s third book, Something Like Gravity, which comes out this coming Tuesday! It’s such a wonderful book, I hope you take the time to read it†

Title: Something Like Gravity

Author: Amber Smith

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Expected Release: 18 June 19

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.

Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

Here were my first thoughts after finishing the book:

Absolutely loved this one!!! Once I started, I couldn’t put this down. I’m so in love with Amber Smith’s writing. I can’t wait to share this book with everyone!!

My Goodreads Review

I need to reiterate what I said above, because this book was amazing. It was so great to read such a deeply touching novel, and it was so well told. Chris and Maia are two characters I won’t forget about in a while.

The plot of the novel was well paced. It was intriguing right from the start, and I was intrigued to find out what would happen in the future. I knew that Maia’s secret would be a catalyst, but I didn’t see it playing out the way it did. I was pleasantly surprised, and I think it lends more of a realistic feel to the novel overall.

Chris and Maia are complex characters, and I enjoy how well they were developed. Their relationship to each other didn’t feel forced, but real and something that I was cheering for. Through their other relationships, we get a better picture of the people they are, the people they used to be, and the people they could be. I loved how we could see so much about them in these pages.

Is it superficial to talk about the cover? Maybe, but you don’t have to pretend you don’t judge books by their covers in front of me. I won’t tell 😉 I love this cover design. It fits well with the book, and I love the space feel.

I definitely recommend this to people who are looking for a LGBTQIA+ read (specifically trans), books about dealing with loss and grief, and ultimately coming of age. Chris and Maia’s stories are the one for you!!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

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Posted in Blog Tours, Bloggers, Q & A, Sophie

Blog Tour: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

Hi guys! I’m so excited to be here to help promote When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington. I had the chance to be part of the street team for this book, and it was so much fun!

Title: When Summer Ends

Author: Jessica Pennington

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Published by:
Tor Teen/Macmillan

Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.

Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.

Buy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Spotify

Hi, Jessica! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and for being here today. I can’t wait to discuss your next book as I loved the first one so much!

How about starting off by describing your book in emojis?

😘💕💘🚣‍♀️⛱⛱

We get to see a more in-depth appearance of Riverton this time! I love how you based it off your own West Michigan town. What was your favorite part about fleshing out this world? Did you include anything from your own town in Riverton?

Yes, I was so excited to explore Riverton further, after it made its appearance in Love Songs & Other Lies. Riverton is a mash-up of three Michigan beach towns—the one I grew up in, the own I currently live in (very close by) and one further North, where I vacationed for a week every summer with my family. All three towns are somewhat similar, but I mixed and matched pieces of them to create my ultimate Michigan beach town. Almost every location in When Summer Ends—from the beach scenes and River Depot, where they work, to the dunes they climb—is inspired by a real-life place.  

This book is an ode to summer jobs and ruined plans. How did your own experiences influence your writing of Olivia and Aiden?

The real-life place that inspired River Depot, where Aiden and Olivia work, is one of my favorite places, and I always thought it would have been a really cool summer job. Much cooler than the one I had.

Did you have a summer job? If so, what did you like about it?

Not much? Okay, a little! I worked at a garden center during the summer, and mostly I was covered in dirt, and out in the hot sun (it had that in common with River Depot) and it was pretty miserable. But like Olivia, I lived in a small town and my options were limited. I would have given anything to have somewhere great like River Depot to work! But we did sell bulk candy in the gift shop, and I got to work with some of my best friends, so that was by far the best part!

When Summer Ends also includes disability rep. Why was it important for you to include this? How were you able to accurately capture this experience?

The visual impairment rep in When Summer Ends is 100% based on my own experiences in high school being diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease. This isn’t a book ABOUT visual impairment, but it was important to me to write a character that shared that experience with me, because it had a huge impact on my high school experience, and into adulthood. As far as his vision goes, everything that happens to Aiden was pulled from my own experience. Minus being a star pitcher. I was a very mediocre pitcher LOL.

April 1st

The Heart of a Book Blogger — Interview

Mel and Her Books — Review

April 2nd

The Candid Cover — Review

Mahkjchi’s Not So Secret Books — Aesthetic

April 3rd

Book Crushin’ — Creative Post

Buried in a Bookshelf — Video Interview

April 4th

Laura’s Bookish Corner — Dream Cast

Blunt Book Blog — Review

April 5th

Confessions of a YA Reader — Interview

Lala’s Book Reviews — Excerpt

April 6th

Ashleigh’s Bookshelf — Review

April 7th

The YA Book Traveler — Aesthetic

April 8th

The Clever Reader — Favorite Quotes

TBR and Beyond — Interview

April 9th

Smada’s Book Smack — Playlist

Belle’s Archive — Review

April 10th

Andi’s ABCs — Guest Post

Travel, Books, and More…Oh My! — Dream Cast

April 11th

Book Loaner — Review

April 12th

The Mind of a Book Dragon — Interview

Bookishly Slytherclaw — Review

Prize: Win one (1) of two finished copies of When Summer Ends plus swag!

Ends: April 18, 2019

Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a04d353115/

________________________________

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee

Hi guys! I hope you’re having a great Monday. I’m here to discuss one of the books I just finished.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review thanks to the publisher. This does not reflect the way I read and review this book.

Title: The Fever King

Author: Victoria Lee

Publisher: Skyscape

Release date: March 1, 2019

Source: Hardcover, US

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

This book starts right off in the action. I loved how much I was sucked into this world. It takes a lot of the real-world issues we’re dealing with and discussing and offers a perspective we don’t hear often enough. I think this is one of the best things it does. The book discusses serious issues like immigration and offers a complex argument that shows both sides. It addresses how there are multiple sides of the issue that need to be addressed, but also doesn’t say there is a right or wrong way to handle the issue.

I’m not even just talking about the cool magic in this world. As you read on, you uncover more pieces of the world and what you think you know, through Noam, unravels until you’re not sure who to believe anymore.

One of my favorite things about this book was how it complex the characters were. Even now that I’ve finished it, I don’t know how to feel about Lehrer. He was a chaotic something, and I don’t think his full intentions were shared with the reader.

I do wish some of the other people on Level IV were developed more, but I understand in the scope of the book only Dara and Ames were pertinent to the story. I hope to see more of them in the future! I want to know how they deal with the fallout of book 1.

The writing was excellent. It was a debut novel, but you could tell that Lee and her editor(s) spent a lot of time combing through this novel. I also really liked the style of writing. It’s in third person but focuses on Noam’s voice especially. Because he was the main driver of the novel this made perfect sense.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! It was fun, fast-paced, and the magic and world were awesome.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, General Updates, Sophie

My Bookish Life, vol. 4 pt. 2

Hello, March! We have blown into March like a lion in these parts of Michigan. It has been quite blustery and cold out, and while I don’t mind the cold, I like it much better from the confines of my own home!

February brought the middle of the semester and a lot of other new things for me. I’ve become more active and present in the Asian American community here on campus, and I’m really enjoying meeting all of the new people. I feel that I’ve made a lot of new friends, and I really look forward to what March has in store for me! If you saw my blog post earlier this week, I was able to complete 10 books in February! You can read the full monthly wrap-up here.

I’ve already failed my resolution of blogging three times a week, but there’s always this month to improve on it! I’m trying really hard to get some good content on here, so keep an eye out for some blog tours in the future!!

Currently Listening: Would you believe me if I said I was still obsessed with K-pop? Okay well, you should because I am. Monsta X had a comeback in February along with Pentagon! I highly recommend you listen to “Dear Friend” because it is warm and a hug in song form. I also made a playlist of instrumental K-pop because I like to listen to it when I’m anxious and can’t fall asleep

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/qp9m0wl09uijw6n9t0h7w633x/playlist/6wZ0u7OY0gqJmRLdQ28qnJ

Currently Watching: My friends and I decided to re-watch Avatar the Last Airbender because we needed to revisit this part of our childhood. We’re currently on the final season, and honestly I love Appa so much. My friend Abby and I haven’t seen the whole series beginning to end, so we’re all using our Amazon accounts to watch it. I can’t wait to see what happens! I can pretty much recite the intro from memory now too.

Currently Reading: Right now I’m listening to Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I also am digging into The Fever King by Victoria Lee, which debuted March 1st! Be sure to keep an eye out for that review soon. I’m hoping to keep up this awesome reading streak I have going, so we’ll see!

I hope you’re having a great start to the month!!

Happy reading,
Sophie 🙂

Book Chat: February Wrap-up

Happy hump day, book lovers! How have you been this February? It’s been so busy around here, and I barely have time to get everything done, let alone read. Thankfully, I can listen to a lot of audiobooks in between things!

How are you doing on your reading goal this year? I think I’m ahead actually. I’ve read 20 books already, and I’m surprised I’ve made so many.

Here’s what I read in February:

  • The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger of LA) by Amy Spalding
  • The Reader by Traci Chee
  • The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
  • Internment by Samira Ahmed
  • The Speaker by Traci Chee
  • The Storyteller by Traci Chee
  • The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
  • A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGuiness
  • My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn
  • Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

I loved the last book in The Young Elites series so much!! It was heart crushing, but I loved the writing and characters so much. I also couldn’t get enough of The Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy. The world was soooo beautiful, and I was captured right at the beginning.

I liked most of the books I read this month, but I didn’t quite like My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life. It was okay, but there were a few things that I didn’t really vibe with. Hopefully I’ll have time to get to a full review of that book this year! Speaking of reviews, you can read my review of Internment here! I really hope you have a chance to dive into that amazing book this year.

That’s all I’ve got for today, folks! Have a wonderful March!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi guys! I hope you’re doing well this fine Sunday afternoon. I’m back again with a review of this fantastic book — Internment by Samira Ahmed. This is Samira’s second book, and it’s absolutely riveting. I couldn’t put it down! I want to do a special thanks to The Novl for sending me a copy for review!

Title: Internment

Author: Samira Ahmed

Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR

Expected release: March 19, 2019

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads Stars

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

I was riveted from page one in this book! It was absolutely fantastic. I feel that I don’t even have enough words for this book. Yes, there were some parts where I felt some of the dialogue was kinda cheesy, but genuinely, it didn’t matter.

This world created was scary familiar. I like how real Ahmed made this world. It operates in the same world as today, and the parallels are very realistic. The way things unravel and how people are interned in the book are extremely realistic, and I believe Ahmed did some research into this. I really appreciate how she reminded people that America has done this before with Japanese Americans and Japanese people. This part of American history isn’t talked about enough, and we need to remember that there is precedence for what is happening now in this nation.

I love all of the characters in the book. They made the book something incredible. As much as I hated the director, he was very compelling. I feel like he was the vitriol of hate in one person.

Layla was awesome as a character. There were a few times that I felt that she had some corny lines, but they didn’t take away from the book as a whole. Her flaws made her real, and that was what I loved the most about her.

I highly recommend this book! It puts a lot of things into context and makes you reflect a lot on yourself.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Sneak Peek Sunday: Internment by Samira Ahmed

Book Chat: Dumplin’ & Other Book-to-Screen Adaptations

Hello there, and happy Wednesday! I’m here today chatting about book-to-movie adaptions. With Netflix and Hulu especially, we can look forward to more (hopefully!) amazing adaptations in the coming years.

Book-to-movie adaptations are hard because usually there’s already an established fanbase of the book. They have certain things that are imperative to following from the books, and some details, unfortunately, have to get left out. Some adaptations are so bad that the author doesn’t even endorse the movie (can anyone say Percy Jackson?).

Today I want to talk about some of the best book-to-movie adaptations that I’ve seen and loved.

  1. Dumplin’ Originally a YA novel by Julie Murphy, this movie hit the small screen on December 7, 2018. Thanks to Netflix, people everywhere (in America at least, I’m unclear about the rights within other countries) were able to see this fantastic movie. This movie follows Willowdean Dickson, the fat daughter of a beauty queen. Grappling with the loss of her aunt, Willowdean goes searching to become the woman her aunt always saw in Willowdean. Willowdean decides to rebel by entering the pageant her mother won all those years ago. Let me tell you, guys, I had so much fun watching this movie! I felt that it was a great one with proper representation. This one is definitely one you want to consider watching over and over again. Be sure to check out the book first! You can add it on Goodreads and read my review of it here.

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I was super excited for this book to become a movie. I absolutely adore Jenny Han, and this series means a lot to me. I was not disappointed! Released in late summer, this movie was perfect to wrap up the season and get people back in the mood for that sweet high school romance. This movie is an ode to sisters and makes itself right at home among the classic 80s movies starring Lana Candor and Noah Centineo. This movie also does a great job with representation thanks to Han fighting for the Song Sisters not to be white-washed. Don’t miss out on this movie! (Unfortunately, it’s only available on Netflix as well.) I highly encourage you reading the book first! Add it on Goodreads.

3. The Hate U Give

For some reason, it took me a little bit of time to really read this book, but once I did, it was awesome. This movie was phenomenal. I saw it twice in theaters, and both times I cried. The story follows Starr Carter, a girl who feels caught between her worlds of living in her poor neighborhood and going to a wealthier private school across town. When she witnesses her childhood best friend get shot by a white cop, Starr becomes the key witness on the case. Tensions rise and sides are taken. Make it a double-feature and add the book on Goodreads.

4. Love, Simon

Originally titled Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this movie is the perfect one to watch on your night in. I absolutely loved the book and when I found out it was becoming a movie I think I squealed out loud. Love, Simon follows Simon Spier, a not-so-out gay teen in Georgia, when he begins exchanging emails with the elusive Blue, another gay student at his high school. As Blue and Simon get to know each other more, their secrecy is threatened when someone blackmails Simon with the emails. Navigating an increasingly tense friend group and his suddenly uncertain relationship, Simon finds he needs to step out of his comfort zone. I highly recommend you read this book first! It was so good, and I love all of Becky’s novels. Add it on Goodreads and read my review.

What are some of the YA adaptations that you have seen lately? Have you seen any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Sneak Peek Sunday: The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

Hi and happy Sunday! I’m here again with another installment of Sneak Peek Sunday, and today I’ll be discussing The Antidote by Shelley Sackier. I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher!

Title: The Antidote

Author: Shelley Sackier

Publisher: HarperTeen

Expected release: February 5, 2019

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret.

Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom.

Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.

If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.

Review

I have to be real with you guys, I didn’t really like this book. It wasn’t really my cup of tea. I found the world to be a bit confusing, and I couldn’t really parse out who I was supposed to ship together and who I wasn’t supposed to like other than Princess Quinn.


Part of what was confusing to me was the world itself. I didn’t really understand the rules. It seems like part of it was a fake country, but they also had the same rules as an old European country, but also they had magic? I felt this wasn’t explained very well and I felt confused the whole time reading it.

I think another part that made me iffy on this book was the dialogue. I felt that it was very stilted and didn’t work in some parts. It didn’t always move the scene forward, and I felt that I got minimal information from it.

In the end, I didn’t quite like this book. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I think you should give it a try!! My opinion isn’t the end all, so you should read it for yourself.

Happy reading,
Sophie 🙂