Hey there! I’m here again with a review of a book I read earlier this summer, but didn’t quite vibe with. Thank you to the publisher for sending a copy my way. This has no influence on the way I review and read the book.

Title: Final Draft

Final Draft
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Riley Redgate

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Release date: June 12, 2018

Source: Hardcover, US

My rating: 2/5 Goodreads stars

The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.


This book didn’t work out for me the way I hoped it would. I have heard many great things about Redgate’s books in the past, so I was curious to read this one.

I think what I struggled with in this book was the tone and style of the writing. I didn’t feel like Laila would speak and act like this. I’m not much older than 18, and I feel like it wasn’t quite a representation of life as a high school senior in general. Reading it, I felt like she should have been a younger character than she was (maybe earlier in high school).

There are many beautiful lines within the book. I feel that there were a lot of great moments and scenes, but they didn’t connect well. It was almost there, but not quite.

All of this being said, I don’t think my opinion is the end all be all. It’s exactly that — an opinion. I think you should still give a book a try if you think you’ll like it. This may just be the book you fall in love with!

Happy reading,

Sophie :)9

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Book review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Book Chat: Thoughts on Asian Representation & Why it Matters

Hi, guys! I hope you all have been having a lovely summer so far. As it winds to a close with the fall equinox rapidly approaching, August has brought to us a wealth of Asian stories. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han are two very different, very unique stories starring narratives of Asian main characters and both have been released as movies in the same weekend. There have been a series of Tweets recently about why Asian stories don’t matter, and that is plain hurtful. I can’t even begin to explain what I’m feeling because everything is so tightly wound together. So here’s my piece on WHY THEY DO MATTER. BECAUSE ALL REPRESENTATION MATTERS.

With the heady rush to see and support both of these masterful creations, it’s important to stop and think about why these movies (and books) mean so much to the Asian-American community.

While Crazy Rich Asians certainly isn’t exclusively a story about only Asian-Americans (the only Asian-Am character is Rachel Chu), it still stands as a great feat because it stars an all Asian-American cast, the first in 25 years. Why did it take so long for America to produce a movie like this again? The fight for representation reaches to all people of color, and that includes Asian people and culture. This should be done in a respectful manner, not done by white people who think they have an idea of what Asian people would like. And that is something that has happened for far too long. This story follows Asian families and tells an Asian story. It centers around the vast diversity within the Asian community and includes many nuances that are hard to grasp if you’re not born and raised in it.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was originally only a YA contemporary novel written by Jenny Han. It was the first time I clearly remember seeing an Asian girl on a book cover. It was published in 2015. At that point I was already 16 years old. For me to have lived as long as I did without seeing someone who looked like me on something as simple as a book cover is mind blowing. What about all of the people who lived longer without this kind of simple representation? Think of all of the covers with white people on it. There are gobs of them. I want to emphasize that this isn’t terrible, but it’s something to consider when our nation quite frankly is not all white. It has never been solely white people.

TATBILB is not a story about a girl and her Asian-ness. And not every story featuring a person of color has to be that kind of teaching moment. It shouldn’t have to be. People of color shouldn’t have to explain themselves and who they are to be accepted as people. We want to see people who look like us doing things that we do. We go to school, go to work, fall in love, fall out of love, get angry, get into arguments, make amends. We live as normally as anyone else. When this kind of story is missing, it is saying that they are less important than others. It takes away the unique struggles that we face as people of color because of our skin. Not every person of color faces the same challenges either. What matters is that these problems we face get acknowledged. We have been silenced and told our stories don’t matter for so long. We can no longer stand for this. People of color need to raise each other up. Everyone wants a piece of the equality pie, and fighting each other is counterproductive and hypocritical.


That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. Thanks for reading this piece!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Hi guys! As school draws near, I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing on here regularly. I had blogging regularly as one of my resolutions for the year, and it’s not too late to do it right?

ANYWAY! I’m here today with a review of A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan. Thank you to the publicist for getting in touch with me for a review of this book! I was provided a copy, but that does not influence the way I read and will review the book.

Title: A Touch of Gold

A Touch of Gold
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Annie Sullivan

Publisher: Blink

Release date: August 14, 2018

Source: Hardcover, US

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.

Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?

**********************

This book was a fun retelling. I was looking forward to it when I saw it pop up on my Instagram feed and I was immediately intrigued. Retelling? Check! A story we don’t hear often? Check! Great characters? Check!

Overall there were a lot of great things about this book. I loved the seafaring and courage of Kora. She was a great main character, and while it took me some time for the story to get going, I did enjoy hearing things from her perspective. That being said, I do wish she had had a stronger voice. I felt that it was a bit rough in the beginning, but toward the end she came out clearer. I’m not sure if it was done purposefully or not, but I couldn’t quite vibe with Kora for a good portion of the book.

The characters drive the plot of the story well. When we first meet the Duke, though, I wasn’t too sure of him. Kora trusted him too quickly in my opinion. He was the first man to show her true kindness outside of her family, and while his backstory provided a solid reason why, I couldn’t put my guard down. Kora’s cousin is so much fun. She was by far one of my favorite characters in the story.

The weaving of the story started out a bit strained, but in the end things came together. I think it’s hard especially for debut novels to really nail this on the head the first time. It was still done with considerably good writing! I enjoyed getting to know the setting, and I wish I had a map to see all of the places Kora went!

All in all, this was a good book. I’m curious to see what comes of the sequel! The ending left a lot to be wanted.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

 

Posted in Bloggers, Bookish News, Sophie

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

Hi guys! Yesterday the cover was revealed for When Summer Ends by the lovely Jessica Pennington. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet, buckle up and scroll down to see this gorgeous book! I had the chance to be part of Jessica’s street team for Love Songs & Other Lies and I had a blast. Be sure to check out that post (and book!) here.

WHEN SUMMER ENDS

Summary: 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 dumps her right before summer break, she starts 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.

Publisher: TorTeen

Release date: April 9, 2019

Genre: YA contemporary/romance

Pre-Order When Summer Ends: Amazon | Books-A-Million

Giveaway

Jessica is also giving away an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of When Summer Ends. Click this link to the Rafflecopter to enter!

 

Thank you to Jessica for asking us to help with her big reveal! I’m so excited for this book, guys! I loved Love Songs and this one sounds like another perfect beach read for next summer!