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Review

Review: The Art of French Kissing

Title: The Art of French Kissing
Author
: Brianna R. Shrum
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Pages: 256
Genre(s): Young Adult, contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: The Book Depository

Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.

After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.

Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This was a cute and quick read with the added bonus of a cooking competition, even if the protagonist bothered me.Continue reading

Review

Review: We Begin Our Ascent

Title: We Begin Our Ascent
Author
: Joe Mungo Reed
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 19th 2018
Pages: 256
Genre(s): Fiction
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: The Book Depository

Sol and Liz are a couple on the cusp. He’s a professional cyclist in the Tour de France, a workhorse but not yet a star. She’s a geneticist on the brink of a major discovery, either that or a loss of funding. They’ve just welcomed their first child into the world, and their bright future lies just before them—if only they can reach out and grab it.

But as Liz’s research slows, as Sol starts doping, their dreams grow murkier and the risks graver. Over the whirlwind course of the Tour, they enter the orbit of an extraordinary cast of conmen and aspirants, who draw the young family ineluctably into the depths of an illegal drug smuggling operation. As Liz and Sol flounder to discern right from wrong, up from down, they are forced to decide: What is it we’re striving for? And what is it worth?

Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. As the daughter of an avid lover of cycling, I’ve grown up with bicycles and live broadcasts of professional cycling competitions like the Tour de France. In recent years I have really grown to love the sport on a deeper level. This is the main reason why I decided to pick up We Begin Our Ascent, the other being that I was really curious how the author would tackle the controversial topic of doping.  I can safely say that the book has exceeded my expectations as it provides a beautifully written, nuanced account of the world of professional cycling and everything that surrounds it.Continue reading

Review

Review: All the Crooked Saints

Title: All The Crooked Saints
Author
: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 10th 2017
Pages: 311
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Purchase: The Book Depository

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect

The Raven Cycle was by far my favorite book series of 2017, so I felt really eager to read another book by Maggie Stiefvater. However, All the Crooked Saints didn’t quite live up to the expectations.Continue reading

Review

Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One

Title: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One (Women are some kind of magic #2)
Author
: Amanda Lovelace
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release Date: March 6th 2018
Pages: 208
Genre(s): Poetry
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: The Book Depository

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I read Lovelace’s first poetry collection just a few months ago and its rawness and honesty really resonated with me. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One definitely has these qualities too. It’s a brutally honest collection of feminist poetry that conveys all the messages that the world needs (but often doesn’t want) to hear. Continue reading

Review

Review: The Rule of Four

Title: The Rule of Four
Author
: Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date: June 8th 2005
Pages: 450
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery
Purchase: The Book Depository

It’s Easter at Princeton. Seniors are scrambling to finish their theses. And two students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, are a hair’s breadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili–a renowned text attributed to an Italian nobleman, a work that has baffled scholars since its publication in 1499. For Tom, their research has been a link to his family’s past — and an obstacle to the woman he loves. For Paul, it has become an obsession, the very reason for living. But as their deadline looms, research has stalled — until a long-lost diary surfaces with a vital clue. And when a fellow researcher is murdered just hours later, Tom and Paul realize that they are not the first to glimpse the Hypnerotomachia ‘s secrets.

Suddenly the stakes are raised, and as the two friends sift through the codes and riddles at the heart of the text, they are beginning to see the manuscript in a new light–not simply as a story of faith, eroticism and pedantry, but as a bizarre, coded mathematical maze. And as they come closer and closer to deciphering the final puzzle of a book that has shattered careers, friendships and families, they know that their own lives are in mortal danger. Because at least one person has been killed for knowing too much. And they know even more.

Based on the synopsis, I had really high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, the story and mystery did not blow my mind like I expected and the writing was often tedious and long winded.Continue reading