Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the-hate-u-giveThe Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
February 28th 2017
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Hardcover
453 pages
Young Adult / Contemporary / Realistic Fiction

Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Rating: A- – Obsessed

By the time I post this review, I’m pretty sure everyone has read or at least read a review of this novel. It took me quite some time to wrap my mind around this one and seriously, I pretty much have nothing more to add on to others’ praises for this book. So, I’ll just leave this right here. The Hate U Give is such an important read and everyone – and I really mean EVERYONE – should read it.

What I Liked

Thought-provoking. There has been a lot of controversy regarding extrajudicial killings, human rights and the war on drugs here in my country. I had my own opinion about it but to be honest, this book challenged and made me question my own views concerning this matter. That’s really a good thing because this put me into another perspective.

Relevant. A story of everyday racism as timely as ever. It’s the saddest reality. But it’s not just racism and the problems of society that this book dwelled on – poverty as well. And that is something I could really relate to.

Mostly everything. The voice, the plot, the storytelling – you name it. Basically, this book is incredibly written. It’s probably way too early to say, but I think – The Hate U Give may go down as the best book of 2017.

What I Didn’t Like

The teen romance.  There are already too many things going on in this book, so why threw in an undeveloped interracial romance too?

A little too long. There’s really nothing major that I didn’t like in this book aside from it’s a bit longer than it should be. I could’ve preferred a shorter read for a contemporary novel.

This is a rare occurrence but guys, I’m telling you – believe the hype.

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Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything everythingEverything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon (Author), David Yoon (Illustrations)
September 1st 2015
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover
310 pages
Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance

Synopsis
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Rating: D – Disliked

This is another unpopular opinion, folks.

What I Liked

POC lead. Putting a POC as the main character is always a huge yes for me. Always.

What I Didn’t Like

The romance. Oh for the love of the young teenage romance. Maddy and Olly are a little bit too cheesy for my liking.

The illustrations. I have nothing against illustrations on books. In fact, I love them cute little doodles. Maybe, I just don’t like the artist’s particular style on this one.

The driving plot. The overall plot is absurd and sloppy. There were details that were disregarded making things somewhat inaccurate. You’ll know that if you actually know something about SCID or basic immunology. Sometimes, it’s just so easy to spot how much little knowledge about the whole topic the author has and yes Nicola Yoon, I’m talking about you specifically. On that note, I just hope that authors would stop trivializing a disease by just using it as a plot device.

The plot twist. Plot holes turned plot twists *shaking my head*.

The happily ever after. I don’t want to spoil at all but I just hated that things ended so perfectly. It just made the ending a little underwhelming and predictable at the same time.

Final thoughts: I should have skipped the book and waited for the movie instead.

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

finding audreyFinding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella
June 9th 2015
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover
286 pages
Contemporary / Young Adult / Chick Lit

Synopsis
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

Rating: C – Okayed

Finding Audrey is 2015’s most awaited novel from Sophie Kinsella. So like anyone else who’s a complete fan of her, I had to have this book.

What I Liked

The family dynamics. This deserves the spotlight in this novel. They downright add hilarity in the whole novel which makes me adore them a bit too much. I actually have a personal bias with Frank, Audrey’s older brother. I just can relate to him in his teenage angst aspects. I got to admit that at first I was annoyed at their mom but I was glad that I got the chance to really understand where she’s coming from. We all, know that we all had that time when we go against our parents’ (especially our moms) wishes. It’s a good thing that at the end of the novel, things got better, not only for Audrey’s mental health but also for the family.

What I Didn’t Like

Kind of a clickbait. In my opinion, the summary was misleading. I thought the plot would really dwell on the technicalities that come with the social anxiety and depression but to tell the truth, it didn’t. The novel lacks details on that. I’m not entirely sure if that’s really a good thing or it just adds loopholes in the plot but this is supposed to be a fun read so I guess I just tolerated it. Actually, I don’t even know why I was expecting more given that the author was always known for her light, sweet, fun chicklit novels.

A little slow. It took me almost half of the book to really get into the story.

The ship. Of course, they were cute and I was quite delighted with their relationship. I can’t deny that Linus is the love interest that Audrey really needs but I’m just not sure I’m their biggest fan. They had their sweet moments and I oh-so-like them all but that’s just it. I’m just not shipping them.

As much as I adore Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? my heart is not set out for this book. I know in my mind that this is a comic novel but in my opinion, Finding Audrey completely transverses the line of putting too much lightness and comedy in a very serious mental health issue.