February 22, 2017

Book Review: The Reader

Summary: Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story. Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book. Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

Review: Unfortunately, my thoughts on this book are kind of fuzzy because I finished this book around two weeks ago. However, I will do my best to remember what I thought of this book.

For the plot, I'm going to give it half of a star. A lot of the events that happened occurred at a snail pace and this sort of made the story drag for me. For example, in the beginning  there is a lot of backstory about what happened to her parents and her searching for Nin. I almost put the book down because of that. Plus the events that did occur weren't nearly as exciting as they should have been, especially the ending. I was kind of disappointed with the ending. I think the reason that I didn't like it, though, is because of the fact that this book is written where there are a lot of different perspectives and you really don't know how they connect. Trying to figure out how everything connected could have been really interesting but sadly, the main events in this story's plot wasn't what made me want to keep reading this book.

I think this book deserves three quarters of a star for the characters in this book. This book would have gotten a full star for this part if it wasn't for the main character. Sefia is one of those main characters that was really average when compared to other characters from other books. I didn't think that she was horrible, if anything, she was a person that I just watched go through her life, not someone I I was rooting for. However, the reason that I think characters should receive three quarters of a star is because of Captain Reed and Archer. I loved them a lot and honestly, their stories and looking into their lives is what made me continue this story. Captain Reed is a guy that has adventures and cares for his crew. Archer doesn't speak for most of the book but his actions with Sefia were very sweet (I also imagined Archer as Arabian for some reason but I like him like this). These characters seemed more fleshed out to me than Sefia and that's why I loved them.

This book definitely receives a full star for diversity in this one. A lot of the characters are described as having bronze skin which honestly could be a lot of different people and that's great! The main character is  Japanese, or at least I assume she is because of the cover. However, while I did give this a full star, I can say that I didn't see any LGBTQ+ characters in this book. Seeing as though, I'm not from the LBGBTQ+ community and I don't know everyone on that spectrum, I could have missed some very obvious signs planted in the book. There was a character with a disability, though. He didn't come up until the middle of the book and even then, he was kind of a minor character that may have bigger role in the future books.

I think I'm starting to realize that I really like pirates. First it was Heidi Heilig's, The Girl From Everywhere and now this book. My favorite parts of this book was on board the ship and I think that's why I liked this book. Other people have commented on the reading aspect of this book and how it didn't make any sense. However, I was able to look past it because of the pirate aspect of this book. So I will give the setting of this book half of a star since   majority of the book didn't take place on the ship.

On the basis of my enjoyment, I give this .75 of a star. This book kept me reading even though I have been in a reading slump. Of course it was because of Archer, Captain Reed,  the other pirates in this book and some of the events in the plot. There was also the fact that this book had cool artwork throughout the book to make it seem like it was the actual book everyone was trying to find. There was also words on the bottom of some of the pages to create a full message that I won't spoil for you. But I actually enjoyed reading this book, despite some of its flaws.

After all of that, my rating comes down to 3.5 stars. I recommend this to fans of The Girl From Everywhere because of the pirate aspects and there is a sense of adventure in both of those books. Thanks for reading!

February 15, 2017

Sorry!

Hey everyone! This is just a quick apology for me being absent lately. I've been trying to apply to a lot of scholarships and softball is getting reading to start. I'm still hoping to post soon and I'm still reading books but as of right now, I can't post every Tuesday like I originally wanted. However, my goal is to do at least two posts a month. One should be coming soon for a book I read 1.5 weeks ago so be on the lookout for that. Anyway, sorry again and see you later.

January 31, 2017

Review Policy

As of today, this is how I rate and review books. I feel as though there are three things that every book needs in order to be good and that's plot, setting and characters. Each of these categories, they have the potential to receive a full star. If the category doesn't deliver like I feel like it should have, they can receive, one quarter of a star or half of a star. However, that's only three potential stars. One of the other two stars comes from my overall enjoyment of the entire book. The other star is for diversity. Yes, this means that if a book is not diverse, it won't be able to receive a five star rating from me.

But how do I define diversity? To me, a book is diverse as long as the main character is from a marginalized group and/or three of the side main characters are from marginalized groups.

If you would like me to review a book for you, please email me at wilsonkiara1998@gmail.com. Please note that I will only review young adult fiction. My favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, thrillers and sometimes contemporary.

January 30, 2017

Writing Update: January 2017

Hello! Today's post will tell you guys about how I'm doing on my writing goals for the quarter. I think that at the end of each month I will do this so that way I can reflect back on what I accomplished and what I didn't accomplish. So here we go.

I started off okay in January. I wrote 1500 words, which isn't a lot compared to a lot of authors but I'll take it! However, the project I was working on is kind of boring me and I think it's because I've been working on it for four years. So I have decided to move on to my next project.

I really want to tell you guys what I planned so far in my story but I don't want to give anything away. Just know that I'm really excited to write this one and maybe later, I'll give some information about the characters and all of that other stuff.

While we're talking about planning, though, let me tell you that it's so hard to plan a novel. I'm going to be honest, I never plotted before and I wrote three novellas and a novel. The novel was the last project I was working on and I was working on an outline for it after I wrote it. I felt like it was helping me organize the story better as I went through it a second time. However, with this story, I feel like I need to plan it out. I'm planning on writing two novellas that occur before the first book starts so that I can get an idea of how I want one of the side characters to be. However, I don't think pantsing will work for this novel. It's very complicated in my head so I feel like it's going to be complicated in the story and while that's not a bad thing, I think that this would be a confusing kind of complicated. If anyone has any suggestions on how they organize their thoughts, I'd definitely be glad to hear them.

Other than that, I didn't really do anything in the month of January in terms of writing. However, I hope that changes in February! I'm making it my goal to write 10,000 words in this new project so that I can be on track towards one of my quarterly goals.

Comment below how you're writing is going. Maybe we can give each other encouragement or something. Anyway, thanks for reading today's post and talk to y'all later!

January 28, 2017

Book Review: Everything, Everything

Hello everyone! Today's post is another book review and this one was actually hard for me to rate. In the end, though, I rated it 3/5 stars and my review will tell you why.

Summary: 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.

Review: I finished this book a couple of weeks ago but I was having trouble trying to figure out how I felt about this book which is why this review is so late. I have decided that I did like this book but I didn't love it like everyone else did.

The characters in this book were amazing. The main character, Maddy, sometimes got on my nerves but it was only because of her inexperience to the world aggravated me. However, her inexperience was very authentic to how she lived her life so I couldn't be mad at that. Olly was also a good character. He had quirks that seemed real to me and I loved how he was so confident that sometimes it made him sound full of himself. Those parts when they were messaging on the computers made me smile because of his responses. Because I liked the characters and their interactions, this category gets a full star.

The diversity in the characters was amazing. Maddy is Japanese and Black, her mom is Japanese and I think her nurse, Carla, is Hispanic. Olly and I think everyone else is white but there is one guy that says he's gay but he only appears for a page. There is also representation of mental illness but there is a problem with that. I can't say anymore than that without spoiling stuff but just know that it's not good representation. Because of the bad representation of this, I only gave half a star for the diversity instead of the full star.

The plot in this story was more character driven and it really surprised me when I still enjoyed the story. The gist of the plot is a boy moves next door and this girl falls in love with him. But the characters make this such a cute read that it's not as cliche as it sounds. I basically got all of the feels I had for Jenny Han's To All the Boy's I've Loved Before because you just can't help but to read what the main characters are going to do next. I think that the plot of this story deserves a full star.

Majority of this book takes place in her house so there's not much to say when it comes to the setting of this book. In the beginning you are told that everything is white in her room and then she describes the other places in her house but that's about it. But even without Maddy going anywhere, the author does make the world around Maddy authentic. For example, the air vents to circulate the air for her breathing and the vacuum thing (I forgot what it's called) that people have to go through to come in contact with her. Both of those add a nice touch to making the setting in this book feel realistic. Because the setting in this book is authentic, I decided to give this book a full star for it.

In the very beginning, I didn't like the romance because of the insta-love. She literally looked at him through the window and next thing you know, she's in love with him. I understand that she wants to experience things and all of that other crap but no one experiences love at first sight unless they are in love with what they see and not the person. Another thing I didn't like is the love interest and it's only because of my own bias. Olly is great and I do love him. However, he's another white boy who loves a woman of color. I know I'm not the only person tired of the white boy always being the love interest or vice versa. Just once, I want to see a book with any person of color who doesn't fall for a white love interest. Why can't a Latin person love a Black person? Why can't Black people love each other? I don't know why this bothers me but it does. A lot. Mostly because of the insta-love in this story, I'm docking half a star.

So after all of that, my rating comes down to 3/5 stars. It's still a good book for people to read and if anyone hasn't read it yet, they definitely should because the writing is good. The story just wasn't one for my faves. However, I'm still going to go to the movies to watch this film that comes out in May! Mostly because I love Amandla Stenberg but also because I like going to the movies. If you have read this book, comment below what you thought of it! Thanks for reading!

January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #6: Books that Should Be Rewritten

Hello! Today is a free choice for Top Ten Tuesday and I decided to do the top ten books that I feel should to be rewritten when the author grows into their writing. This was created by Broke and the Bookish.That is not to say that I didn't enjoy some of these books because I did, I just felt like these books should have been better than the hype suggested or there was one aspect of it that I didn't like. This list isn't going to include my obvious choices but these are some honorable mentions that I don't mention enough when talking about books.

*Note: I hate that I have to say this but do not come into my comments being rude because these are my opinions. You can like what you want and I can like what I want. These books just happened to be books that disappointed me for one reason or another.

10.) Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
I really loved the first two books in this trilogy. Like I loved the main character and his weird metaphors. I loved the side characters, (except Megan, she's..ugh!), I loved the idea of superheroes being the villains and I loved the action of this series. And then I read the ending of the trilogy and to see say that I was disappointed is an understatement. It wasn't at all like I was expecting which is the only reason that this book is on this list.

9.) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
This book is on this list also because of the ending. I was okay with the story up until that ending. That ending pissed me off to no end and my friend was laughing at my reaction when I told her how much of crappy ending that was. Like, seriously. I read that entire book and then that ending happened. I almost burned the book right then and there.

8.) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
See, it's not even that I don't like this book. It's that it's so unoriginal. First, the summary sounds like Red Rising. Then every scene in the book reminds me of something else I've read. I feel like this story could  have been amazing so if she rewrote it, maybe I'd enjoy it more.

7.) Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid
This book was such a disappointment to me. First thing that bothered me was the insta-love. I understand there's an initial attraction there first but I honestly don't feel as if they should have been together. I don't know why it didn't seem right until the end. But the main problem was how slow this book was. There wasn't enough action in this book for it to be interesting but I think with a few adjustments, this book would be great.

6.) Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
So I wrote a review about this book explaining my thoughts on this book but I'll repeat myself. The main character acted out of character to propel the plot forward. The plot was way too slow for me and it felt more like a prequel than a first book in a series. Then there was the insta-love and the love triangle that was just put there. Basically, this book had a lot of things that I don't like all piled into one book.

5.) Divergent by Veronica Roth
I don't even want to write the name but this author seriously never deserved the hype. I'll admit that I liked this book because of all the craziness that happened but I never knew why there was so much hype. Then I tried to read the second book three times. Let's just say, never picking up this author ever again. Especially because she's so problematic now.

4.) The Selection by Kiera Cass
I'm going to be honest. I don't even really remember this book. However, I do know that it wasn't that good of a book to deserve all the hype. I don't even think I finished this first book because it was literally filled with tropes that I hated like the love triangle and then by the time I got around to the first book, the third book was coming out and the title alone spoiled the first book (why name the book The One when it's obvious that your not-so-average heroine will be the one).

3.) The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
This was one of the first science fiction and fantasy books that I saw with a Black girl on the cover so I was excited. Made it through twenty pages. As other reviewers put it, this book was way too chaotic.

2.)  Halo by Alexandra Adornetto 
Let me just start of by saying that this author was a teenager when she published this book. I don't blame her for the bad world building, bad characters, or even the horrible book at all. She probably didn't know better But whoever freaking published this crap knew better. That's all I'm going to say on that matter.




*Note: The following will have profanity in it. Read at your own discretion. 

1.) Stalk Me (Keatyn Chronicles #1) by Jillian Dodd
What the fuck was this? This shit is by far the worst book I've ever read! This main character is the dumbest if not the most confusing character I've ever read about. She's always talking about how she didn't want to be like her friends but this bitch turn around and acts just like them. She's such a flat character that the author never gave potential to get better because how she's portrayed is like a mix of three different characters. Let's not forget to mention that the bitch has about eight guys in just this book alone that want to get with her and that there's not a plot until like the last two percent of this book. I don't even think this book should be rewritten. It should be burned.

That's my Top Ten Tuesday for today. Comment below the books that you think should be rewritten. Thanks for reading and see you next time!

January 18, 2017

Beat the Backlist Challenge


Hello fellow readers! Today's post is about another challenge that I want to do next year in 2017. It's called Beat the Backlist and it was created by NovelKnight. I'll leave a link below to her blog. With this challenge, you have to read books that were released prior to 2017 because you want to catch up on reading. You set a goal of books that you want to get caught up on and then you start reading. You have the entire year to complete this challenge.

For me, I want to read thirty-five books that aren't going to be published in 2017. Below I'm going to have around fifty books listed so I can leave my options open. Here we go!

1.) Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
2.) Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer
3.) The Rose Society and The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
4.) On the Edge of Gone and Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
5.) Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
6.) Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
7.) The Sun is Also the Star by Nicola Yoon
8.) In the AfterLight by Alexandra Bracken
9.) Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
10.) I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff
11.) And I Darken by Kiersten White
12.) Ash by Malinda Lo
13.) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
14.) Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
15.) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
16.) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
17.) Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
18.) Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
19.) Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
20.) If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
21.) TruthWitch by Susan Dennard
22.) Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
23.) Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
24.) Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
25.) Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
26.) Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
27.) Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
28.) Pointe by Brandy Colbert
29.) The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
30. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
31.) Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson
32.) Scythe by Neil Schusterman
33.) Graceling by Kristin Cashore
34.) Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
35.) City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
36.) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
37.) The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
38.) Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
39.) The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
40.) Simon vs The HomoSapiens by Becky Albertalli
41.) Fake ID by Lamar Giles
42.) Harry Potter (all of them OMG don't hate me!) by J.K. Rowling
43.) Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
44.) All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
45.) Iron Cast by Destiny Soria 
46.) The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
47.) Starflight by Melissa Landers
48.) The Keeper's Vow by Francina Simone
49.) Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
50.) Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
51.) Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
52.) Uprooted by Naomi Novik
53.) The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
54.) A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
55.) The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
56.) The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore 
57.) Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche


http://novelknight.com/