book review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland | 3 stars!

need to know.png

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor need to know karen clevelandNeed to Know

by Karen Cleveland

read in June 2018

format: audiobook

rating: ★★★

This is a spoiler-free review!

synopsis

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

my_review_001

I decided to read Need to Know because this thriller is pretty popular in the bookstore I’m currently working at. The synopsis sounded very promising and all the five star reviews convinced me this would be an amazing read.

Sadly, this novel didn’t live up to the hype for me. While it was entertaining and I never thought “I don’t want to finish it”, the many twists and turns were rather bland.

Towards the end of the book, I found myself only half listening to the audiobook. While the narration was good, the events became too convenient and ‘soap opera’-level dramatic. The epilogue feels like a cop-out. It seems lazy when the most shocking twist in the book is the final sentence. If the author decides to write a sequel, I won’t be reading it.

Additionally, the book lacked depth. The characters weren’t very fleshed-out, so I didn’t care about what would happen to them.

content and trigger warnings for cancer and death (off the page), murder (on the page), suicide (on the page), miscarriage (on the page), gun violence (on the page), blackmailing (on the page), rape threats (on the page)


Overall Need to Know was an okay read. It was entertaining, but it certainly didn’t blow my mind. 3 stars!

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: books I DNF but still want to read

books I DNF but still want to read.png

Hello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. You can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

June 5: Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly (are you questioning your DNF choices on any books? If you have a policy to not DNF, put a spin on the topic to make it fit you.)

Of the books I have DNF’d, there are a couple I want to pick up again in the future. The main reason why I didn’t continue these books was because I wasn’t in the mood for them at the time, but I still want to read them someday.

These are in no particular order. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

children of blood and boneI picked up Children of Blood and Bone on a beautiful day in April because I needed a physical copy so I could sit outside and read instead of listening to an audiobook or reading an e-ARC. As usual in Belgium, the nice weather didn’t last for long so I read audiobooks and e-books in the meantime. By the time I could sit outside and read Children of Blood and Bone again, I had forgotten so much already! On top of that, I’ve been struggling reading fantasies for over a year now. Because of the hype I definitely want to start this book again, perhaps closer to the release date of the sequel.

shadow and boneI started reading Shadow and Bone back in 2015, and ever since I’ve told myself I would pick it up again. I haven’t done that yet, but this trilogy is on my 2018 TBR. I know this series isn’t as good as the Six of Crows duology and I’ve already seen so many spoilers, but I hope it will be worth the read nonetheless.

ashAsh is the victim of one of my many reading slumps. I wasn’t in the mood to read at all when I started this book, so I never continued it. Considering this features queer ladies though, I definitely want to pick it up again!


So here are some books I DNF but want to give another chance! Feel free to leave a link to your ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post in the comments ❤

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

Anticipated book releases | June 2018

june 2018.png

Hello my fellow book lovers! Today I’m going to talk about some June 2018 book releases I’m looking forward to! I’m sorry this is a day late, I’ve been incredibly busy lately.

Goodreads isn’t helpful and doesn’t show me some of the books I marked as ‘want to read’, so I’m sorry if any books I’m interested in are missing. I don’t including sequels of series I haven’t started yet.

My most anticipated release of this month is actually non-bookish! I’m very keen to play The Sims 4 Seasons, which will be released on June 22th.

These are in order of publication date. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.

little do we know.pngLittle Do We Know is a young adult contemporary featuring a ‘devastating secret’, so that sounds right up my alley! I haven’t read any of the author’s previous works yet, but I’m nonetheless keen to pick this up.

publication date: June 5th, 2018

Other book releases on June 5th I am looking forward to: Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos

final draft.pngI read an ARC of Noteworthy by Riley Redgate last year and I really enjoyed it, so I am certainly looking forward to the release of her third book.

publication date: June 12th, 2018

number one chinese restaurant.pngI love multigenerational diverse stories by diverse authors, so I ought to love Number One Chinese Restaurant!

publication date: June 19th, 2018

Other book releases on June 19th I am looking forward to: Not The Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

a thousand beginnings and endings.pngA Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an anthology inspired by East and South Asian mythology. It stars well-loved authors such as Aisha Saeed, Renee Ahdieh and Roshani Chokshi, so I can’t wait to get my hands on these short stories!

publication date: June 26th, 2018

trail of lightningTrail of Lightning is best described as an Indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road, so that sounds incredibly awesome!

publication date: June 26th, 2018


These are some of the June 2018 book releases I am looking forward to! What are some of your most anticipated releases of this month?

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

wrap-up | May 2018

may 2018.png

Hello, my fellow book lovers! Just like every other month in 2018 so far, I’ve read exactly ten books in May! Since I am close to completing my Goodreads reading challenge, I won’t pressure myself to read as much anymore from now on.

books_I_read_this_month

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

If you like my art, please buy me a coffee! If you’d like to see more of my creations, check out my blogpost about the books I read during the first quarter of 2018!

I will start with the books I enjoyed the least and end with the ones I liked the most. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page.

tiffany sly lives here nowI was looking forward to reading this book because of the diversity and the synopsis, but it made me feel like shit. The anxiety representation was good and is #OwnVoices, but so much ableist language is used! While I understand why authors include problematic behaviour, I hope they understand that those descriptions are incredibly difficult for some readers. You can read my full review here.

girl out of waterGirl Out of Water isn’t a bad book; none of the books on this list are! Sadly, however, it’s not the kind of YA contemporary I tend to adore. I expected to rate this five stars, but it didn’t turn out that way. Though I enjoyed reading most of this book, I didn’t love it. You can read my full review here.

brown girl dreaming.pngAs much as I love listening to audiobooks that are narrated by the authors themselves, I should read physical copies of books written in verse from now on. For some reason, I feel like I can’t absorb the information that well. This memoir was an insightful look into the life of a black girl in the South, Ohio and New York, but the poems weren’t cohesive. You can read my full review here.

what happenedI’ve been meaning to read What Happened ever since it was released! I loved that Clinton admits she made some mistakes, but that she’s critical of the FBI’s role, the media and Trump’s campaign as well. This audiobook could’ve been a lot shorter without the mention of so many names and statistics, but it was nice listening to her voice again nonetheless. You can read my short review here.

forever interrupted.pngThis is the third novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid I have read so far and I have to admit Forever, Interrupted is my least favourite. It’s no secret I’m not a romance reader, so the flashbacks didn’t really work for me – which is 100% my fault, not the book’s. As the story went on, the characters grew on me. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes flawed yet likeable characters phenomenally, which is why  I cannot help but read her books even though they might not always seem like my cup of tea. You can read my short review here.

leah on the offbeatI’m having a very hard time talking about Leah on the Offbeat. I absolutely love Becky Albertalli’s work, so I feel like I’m not as critical of this as I am of other books. I read this in one sitting, so I clearly enjoyed it. I have so much in common with Leah! That said, it was underwhelming and I haven’t thought much about it since. There’s one scene that’s biphobic and it’s so disappointing, especially since the character who says it is bisexual! That said, I will definitely re-read this in the future, so I might like the book more then. You can read my full review here.

amina's voiceIf you are looking for a fast-paced diverse read, I’d absolutely recommend Amina’s Voice! This is a middle grade novel about a Pakistani-American girl named Amina (#OwnVoices representation) and her life in middle school and Sunday School at her local mosque.

I read this book in a handful of hours, so it’s a very short read. On the one hand that made me even more excited to pick it up, but on the other it prevented the book from being more fleshed-out. That’s probably to be expected from a book for younger audiences though.

undead girl gangI listened to the audiobook of Undead Girl Gang and it was a lot of fun! It deals with many important topics such as murder, feminism and fatphobia, but it does so in a casual way. This is the best YA mystery I have ever read, the fantasy elements were great and the characters were three-dimensional. I would absolutely recommend this to everyone who is looking for an entertaining read! You can read my short review here.anger is a giftAnger is a Gift is a very powerful book about social justice. There’s an abundance of disabled, queer and racial diversity, so that was very refreshing! This novel is hopeful and realistic and if you like books such as Dear Martin and The Hate U Give, I suggest you pick this one up! You can read my full review here.

amal unboundI listened to the audiobook of Amal Unbound and I certainly want to buy a physical copy because I think I’ll love that one even more! Just like Written in the Stars, Aisha Saeed managed to write a book that is sad yet respectful, hopeful and important. I am so thankful I gave this middle grade novel a chance because that genre usually doesn’t work 100% for me, but it was more than worth it and I will continue to read everything this author writes. You can read my short review here.


books_I_DNFd_this_month

children of blood and boneI started reading Children of Blood and Bone back in April and it’s been too long for me to continue it. I’ve been struggling reading fantasies for AGES and the world-building in this book is complex, so I’m going to start over in a few months! So don’t worry, I definitely plan on still reading it, but not anytime soon.

the girl and the groveI feel really bad for not wanting to continue The Girl and the Grove because I follow this author on Twitter and I received an e-ARC. I just can’t push myself to read it! This is definitely not a bad book, but I’d probably end up rating it only three stars anyway.

My main problem was the writing style. I usually prefer 3rd person POV, but it just didn’t work for me in this novel!

You can read my full review here.


blogposts

I post other content besides reviews 🙂 Check out these blogposts if you haven’t yet:

  • Top 5 Wednesday Rewind | series I (probably) won’t finish (x)
  • Top 5 Wednesday Rewind | recent additions to my TBR (x)
  • Top 5 Wednesday Rewind | authors I’d like to meet (x)
  • May TBR (x)
  • May anticipated releases (x)

Which books did you read this month?

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

book review: Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis | an uncomfortable read…

tiffany sly lives here now.png

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor tiffany sly lives here nowTiffany Sly Lives Here Now

by Dana L. Davis

read in May 2018

format: audiobook

rating: ★★ ½

This is a spoiler-free review!

synopsis

For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

my_review_001

Based on the synopsis, I was looking forward to reading Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now. I haven’t read a book similar to it before, so the plot seemed very promising. Sadly though, a huge amount of ableist language is used and it ruined my enjoyment of the book.

The anxiety representation is #OwnVoices. Tiffany has been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder – which I also have! – OCD and she has alopecia. I liked the positive portrayal of medication, as it was clear Tiffany’s anxiety instantly increased when her father took away her pills.

That said, the language that is often used to describe people and situations is high-key ableist and it made me very uncomfortable. “She has Tourette” is for instance used as an insult, an autistic character is referred to as ‘crazy’ on numerous occasions and I could go on. As a reader with mental illnesses, this made me feel like shit. I don’t understand how you can write a book featuring anxiety and OCD yet use dehumanizing and stigmatising language like that.

I am not autistic, so I can’t comment on the representation. I suggest you read this review instead. The autism is only a part of the story to highlight how horrible the father is, not the actually offer any representation. Additionally, I felt like Anthony’s abusive behaviour wasn’t challenged as much as it should’ve been. He mentally and physically abuses his kids, yet Tiffany was nonetheless hoping he would be her father? I don’t understand that at all.

The main reason why Anthony is so controlling is because of his religion. His family are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I personally thought religion was presented in a very negative way. I realise that many people who are religious are queerphobic, ableist, pro-life, etc., but the approach could’ve been more nuanced, in my opinion.

I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by the author herself. If you are still interested in reading this book, I’d recommend the audiobook.

content and trigger warnings for anxiety, ableist language (unchallenged), queerphobia, mentions of oral sex, sexual coercion, car accident, cancer, death, grief, racism, autistic abuse, transphobia (“If God was a man, he’d have a gigantic penis”; unchallenged), biracial erasure (e.g. calling a biracial character who has a black mother ‘white’; unchallenged), mentions of parent-teacher romantic relationship


Though I enjoyed reading about Tiffany’s journey, the book ultimately left a bad taste in my mouth. The abuse could’ve been challenged further. While I understand why problematic behaviour is featured in books – it’s realistic after all – I wish authors understood how difficult it is for some readers to read that.

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

4 mini-reviews: Undead Girl Gang, Amal Unbound, Forever Interrupted and What Happened (spoiler-free)

4 mini reviews May.png

Hello my fellow book lovers! I usually post separate reviews for every book I read, but whenever I listen to a book on audiobook, I notice I don’t take as many notes. That’s why I’m briefly going to share my thoughts on the following four books I read in May!

When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

undead girl gangThough Undead Girl Gang deals with a lot of heavy topics such as grief and death, I would primarily describe this book as ‘fun!’. As opposed to many Young Adult mysteries, the fantasy elements prevented this book from taking itself too seriously, which resulted in a very entertaining read.

The author is Afro-Latinx and I loved the diversity in this novel! The protagonist Mila is fat and Mexican which has shaped her experiences and assure that her feminism is intersectional.

The female friendships were phenomenal. I have to disagree with other reviewers who say June and Dayton are one-dimensional. They might seem that way at first, but they grow as the story progresses.

If you are looking for an entertaining read that nonetheless explores numerous important themes, Undead Girl Gang is the book you’re looking for! I listened to the audiobook and the narration was really good.

content and trigger warnings for death, grief, graphic descriptions of suicide and corpses, drowning, anti-fat remarks (challenged), racism (challenged) amal unboundAmal Unbound is the best middle grade novel I have ever read. Though this is aimed at a younger audience, I thoroughly enjoyed this as an adult. Just like Saeed’s young adult novel Written in the Stars, the author managed to write a sad story that was nonetheless hopeful, heartwarming and important. The author’s note is beautiful and stresses why Saeed chose to write a book about indentured servitude. The Pakistani representation is #OwnVoices.

I listened to the audiobook and I adored the narration. I admire Amal and her feminism; she was a phenomal protagonist and I loved following her story. I will definitely buy a phyiscal copy of Amal Unbound because the cover is gorgeous and I see myself re-reading it in the future.

content and trigger warnings for postpartum depression, murder (off-page), indentured servitudeforever interruptedForever, Interrupted starts out with a bang: nine days after Ben and Elsie got married, Ben dies in a traffic accident. I was immediately pulled into the story and was invested to read how Elsie and her mother-in-law grieved. Sadly though, I didn’t care as much about the flashbacks. We learn how Elsie and Ben fell in love and it’s no secret I don’t like romance-centred books, so those chapters didn’t work as well for me.

content and trigger warnings: deathly traffic accident, ableist language (unchallenged), anti-fat remarks (unchallenged), mentions of sex (M/F), anti-asexual and anti-aromantic language (unchallenged), mentions of menstruation

what happenedI don’t live in the United States, but if I did, I certainly would’ve voted for Hillary Clinton. She isn’t perfect, but no one is. On November 9th 2016 when the results were announced, I cried. My heart goes out to every marginalised person in the United States who is facing even more injustices because of the new president.

So when I started listening to the audiobook of What Happened, I became emotional. I hope reading this book will be somewhat healing for other readers. I appreciate how Clinton takes some of the blame, but she’s also critical of the media’s and the FBI’s role. It makes her account seem very honest an nuanced.

I absolutely do not regret reading this and I love that it was narrated by the author herself. That said, it took me a long time to read this. Clinton mentions a lot of people, statistics and her policies, but in hindsight, that sadly doesn’t really matter.

content and trigger warnings for cissexist language (unchallenged), ableist language (unchallenged), mentions of sexism (challenged)


I rated Undead Girl Gang and Amal Unbound both five stars, so I highly recommend those! Forever, Interrupted and What Happened were solid reads and I definitely don’t regret reading those.

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

T5W: series I (probably) won’t continue | rewind

series I won't continue.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Five Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Thoughts on Tomes! Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining! May is Top 5 Wednesday rewind month; we get to do some of the topics we’ve missed before! So today, I’m going to talk about some series I started and enjoyed, but not enough to finish.

These are in no particular order. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

labyrinth lostLabyrinth Lost is in my opinion perfect for readers who are new to Young Adult fantasies. Apart from the diversity, however, this novel was just okay for me. Though the sequel Bruja Born will follow a character I liked more than the protagonist in the first instalment, I’m not convinced I’m going to pick it up.

daughter of smoke and boneLaini Taylor’s work has received a lot of praise, so it pains me to say that I most likely won’t continue the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I actually really liked the fantasy elements, but the romance ultimately ruined the first book for me. Because I don’t own copies of the rest of the series, I especially don’t feel pressured to find out what happens next.

three dark crownsThough I find the premise of Three Dark Crowns premising, the execution bored me. I didn’t enjoy reading this first instalment, so the chances of me continuing this series were slim to begin with. Nonetheless, I was intrigued to find out which of the queens would win. It’s been over a year since I’ve read this book, however, and I no longer care.

and i darkenWhen I read And I Darken back in 2016, I loved it. It was slow at times and there weren’t as many action-packed scenes as I would’ve liked, but I adored the characters. Yet a lot of time has passed since and I don’t think I will continue this series anymore.

geminaI absolutely loved Illuminea, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish Gemina. It’s more of the same and at the end of the day, science-fiction isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t think I’m the only one though. Everyone was raving about the first instalment, but I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about the finale, Obsidio.


Those are five series I started, but most likely won’t finish. Do you think I’m making a mistake, or do you agree with my decisions?

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

ARC review: Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro | a powerful and diverse book about social justice!

anger is a gift.png

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor anger is a gift mark oshiroAnger is a Gift

by Mark Oshiro

read in May 2018

format: e-ARC

This is a spoiler-free review!

synopsis

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

my_review_001

I received an e-ARC from Tor Teen through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

“Anger is a gift. Remember that. You gotta grasp on to it, hold it tight and use it as ammunition. You use that anger to get things done instead of just stewing in it.”

If you enjoy books like The Hate U Give and Dear Martin, you have to give Anger is A Gift a chance! When the new school year begins, new rules are implemented to keep Moss’ school safe, but it lead to multiple occasions of abuse of power by the school’s police officers.  As a result, students want to peacefully protest these changes.

I liked the depiction of their school. There are thirty-four students in one classroom, there aren’t enough books for every pupil… It’s a disgrace and not a coincidence that mainly students of colour have to face these circumstances. Additionally, the school becomes more and more of a prison. On the one hand that’s probably true for many schools in the United States because of the high number of school shootings, but in this case, rules are primarily implemented to dominate brown and black students.

When you are reading Anger is a Gift, you might think “well, this is very dramatic/unrealistic”. As a white person and someone who doesn’t live in the United States, I can’t comment on that. That said, just because situations that are depicted in this novel don’t make the news, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. This book proves the media’s role in depicting these stories, how people of colour are vilified and scrutinised when they’re completely innocent or when the punishment clearly doesn’t fit the crime.

Just like the novels I mentioned at the beginning of this novel, Anger is a Gift isn’t easy to read. In his author’s note, Oshiro mentions that a perfect conclusion would not seem honest, and I couldn’t agree more. Police brutality and racism and still very real issues many people face today, so it wouldn’t be realistic if everything worked out perfectly for our characters of colour. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of hopeful moments in this book.

There is so much diversity! Moss is gay, black and has anxiety. The anxiety representation was very relatable; he mentioned his therapist and there’s a minor character who takes medication for her depression! Moss’ best friend Esperanza is Puerto Rican, adopted by white parents and a lesbian. Among the side characters there is asexual representation, disability representation (a character who uses a wheelchair and sometimes crutches), a character who uses they/them pronouns, trans female characters*, a characters who has two mothers, a muslim girl who wears a hijab, etc.

As much as I loved the author’s efforts to include so much diversity, it was a bit difficult to keep track of the large cast of characters. I did really love the dynamics with the adult characters though, it’s refreshing to see that in a YA novel.

content and trigger warnings for (might contain spoilers!!!): death of black parent, death of gay Latinx character, death as a result of police brutality, graphic descriptions of police brutality, panic attacks, racism (challenged), riots, poverty, ableism (challenged), negative body image (challenged), transphobia and misgendering *(it’s not explititly stated that these characters are trans, but they’re misgendered by antagonists and there are mentions of a name change)


I found Anger is a Gift an incredibly powerful novel and I cannot wait to read #OwnVoices reviews! This book will be released tomorrow, so grab a copy if you can handle the heavy topics.

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

T5W: recent additions to my TBR | rewind

recent additions to my TBR.png

Hello, my fellow book lovers! Top Five Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Thoughts on Tomes! Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining! May is Top 5 Wednesday rewind month; we get to do some of the topics we’ve missed before! So today, I’m going to talk about some already published books I recently added to my ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads!

When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

home fire.pngHome Fire has received a lot of praise and when Russell @ Ink and Paper Blog mentioned it in his April wrap-up, I was instantly intrigued! I love fiction that deals with complex topics, so my hopes for this novel are high!

the book of the unnamed midwife.pngI have to admit I don’t read science-fiction often, but when Emily @ Possibly Literate praised The Book of the Unnamed Midwife in her April wrap-up, I decided to add it to my TBR nonetheless.

the poppy war.pngThis adult fantasy has been receiving a ton of hype lately, so I’m interested in picking it up! Be careful though because the subject matter can be triggering; I found trigger warnings for graphic descriptions of violence, self-harm, rape and much more!

a princess in theory.pngI usually don’t read romance books, but I’ve heard many great things about Alyssa Cole’s work and A Princess in Theory in particular.

the reader.pngI don’t know much about The Reader, except that so many of my friends absolutely love this Young Adult fantasy series!


Here are five books I recently added to my TBR on Goodreads! Have you read any of these books yet?

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!

book review: Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman | #buzzwordreadathon

girl out of water.png

29640839._UY630_SR1200,630_[1]Girl out of Water

by Laura Silverman

read in May 2018 (Buzzword Readathon)

format: paperback

rating: ★★★ ½

This is a spoiler-free review!

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?

my_review_001

I am so sad I didn’t love this as much as my friends did. I love reading Young Adult contemporaries, but not every single one is my cup of tea. Girl out of Water is one of those books that just didn’t do it for me.

It’s definitely a case of “it’s me, not you” though. I couldn’t connect with Anise: she love sports (surfing in particular), has a large friend group and loves to do adventurous things. That’s completely fine, but I personally can’t relate to that, AT ALL.

I actually don’t need to relate to a character to love a book, but because some situations were so unfamiliar, I became a bit uncomfortable. Call me a prude, but I for instance don’t like it when teenage characters drink and do drugs. I also couldn’t relate to how fast Lincoln and Anise became close. I guess some of their interactions were supposed to be cute, but I even found it creepy at times (e.g. when he told her she couldn’t run of without telling him because he was worried).

That said, Girl out of Water is certainly not a bad book and I will pick up Laura’s next book. I liked the family dynamics and Lincoln (who is a disabled POC) was an endearing love interest.

content and trigger warnings for underage drinking, recreational drug use, kissing (M/F), language that excludes Native Americans (‘natives’ is used when referring to ‘residents’)


I would recommend Girl out of Water to readers who are looking for the perfect YA contemporary to read on a warm summer’s day. Though I didn’t fall in love with this novel, I will read You Asked for Perfect, which is set to be released in 2019.

name2

Twitter Chalky Blue  Pinterest Chalky Blue  Instagram Chalky Blue  Gplus Chalky Blue  Email Chalky Blue  Bloglovin Chalky Blue

Please buy me a coffee if you like my content. I am a Book Depository and Wordery affiliate. If you are interested in buying any books, please purchase from these links. you get free shipping and I get a small commission!