The Navigator’s Touch – The Captain Hook companion to the Little Mermaid

The Navigator's Touch

Series: The Seafarer’s Kiss #2

Publication date : September 13th, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Interlude Press

Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 256

Synopsis : After invaders destroyed her village, murdered her family, and took her prisoner, shield-maiden Ragna is hungry for revenge. A trained warrior, she is ready to fight for her home, but with only a mermaid and a crew of disloyal mercenaries to aid her, Ragna knows she needs new allies. Guided by the magical maps on her skin, battling storms and mutiny, Ragna sets sail across the Northern Sea. Continue reading

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Author/Reviewer Interaction Etiquette part II

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Hello friends!

If you remember, a few months ago (back in March), I did a post on Author/Reviewer interaction etiquette and for that post to be as short as possible, I kept it exclusively addressed to authors, I listed some basic do’s and don’ts they should keep in mind and follow when reaching out/responding to bloggers and reviewers across all platforms. Back then, I promised a part two addressed to reviewers was coming and I’m finally coming out of my summer-long blogging rut and feeling inspired to write it. Continue reading

Leah on the Offbeat – Is really Offbeat

 

Leah on the offbeat

Series: Creakwood #2

Publication date : April 24th, 2018goodreads

Publisher : Balzer + Bray | Harpercollins

Genre : Young Adult |Contemporary

Page Count: 343

Synopsis : Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. (From Goodreads)

Rating:2 stars

Leah on the Offbeat

TW: racist comment (challenged), biphobia, fatphobia

(No Spoilers)

Listen. Listen. No one is more surprised than me by how much I disliked this book. I’m sad. And disappointed. And sad some more. Because this book let me down from an 80 stories building and i’m just. Sigh. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been championing this book from the moment it was announced til it hit the NYT Bestseller’s list, I was so sure I would love it but then issues started surfacing and my excitement went down a few notches but I still thought I would enjoy it. What surprised me the most though is I didn’t even have an issue with most things people complained about, some of them bugged me for sure, but not enough to dislike the book. It was just a bunch of things adding up which I’m gonna break down in this review.

The writing is pretty good, kind of similar to the one in Simon vs. the Homosapiens’ Agenda where it’s obvious it’s written by the same person but still different in the way that Leah’s personality still shines through it which is Always a sign of skilled writing. One thing I really liked about this is the humour, Leah is sharp and snarky and VERY sarcastic which is my kind of character and it translates well into the narration.

Now, Leah. I know a lot of people had a problem with her character, about how temperamental she is, how sometimes she speaks before she thinks and says hurtful things, she’s hotheaded and abrasive but the thing is, that’s how some teens are, that’s actually how I was as a teen, so I really appreciated her character, not only for that but also for how she was portrayed for having a softer inside that she didn’t know how act on at all, how her anxieties overwhelm her and make her think the worst of everything and everyone, how honest and funny she is and she never hesitates to stand up for the people she cares about (she called out and kind of cut off a friend of hers who implied Abby got into a college because she’s black). What I had an issue with though is that she’s NEVER held accountable for her fuck-ups.

Like I said, being the way she is is perfectly normal but the thing is, she hurts quite a few people and treats her friends and family like crap but that just… flies? Which would NEVER happen in real life. She literally never apologized for anything. NOT ONCE. Not when she lashes out on her mom, not when she lashes out on any of her friends, things just magically go back to normal as if nothing ever happened. What was the most striking is what you’ve probably heard of: Leah’s love interest comes out to her as “lowkey bi” in what is clearly a very vulnerable moment, which gets Leah, who is also bisexual, to tell her that it’s not really a thing to be “lowkey” be, you either are or aren’t and basically policing her label.

I understand the reaction, I really do. With the kind of backlash bi people face, Leah getting defensive and protective of her sexuality like that BUT that did hurt the girl, she was questioning and easing into the new label and Leah basically rejected her and erased her identity. Again, an understandable reaction but one that usually has consequences. You just can’t say something like that, hurt someone like that, and be with them later on without apologizing. So in my opinion, the fact that the scene was written isn’t really a problem, what’s a problem though is that it was never brought up again.

The next thing I had an issue with is that the book was labelled “a cute f/f romance” which…I didn’t see. I honestly didn’t see it. The feelings were established before the book even started, but the thing is for half the book, Leah and her love interest never interact beyond a few words and for the second half it’s the LI trying to get close and Leah just biting her head off over and over again. I love my angst, but this was just non stop angst. All of that together made for little to no on page development for the romance which really saddens me, as the couple is one I was rooting for. There were two cute moments in the whole book, both of which took place in the last two chapters. Otherwise all the cuteness came from Simon and Blue, I LIVED for their interactions as well as little gestures towards each other. And that made me sadder in a way, because I wish Leah’s romance had the same treatment. I wish I could say it was adorable but it wasn’t.

The ending felt very messy to me. The chapter before last was absolutely perfect, it takes place at prom and it full of heart to hearts and cuteness but has a few unresolved things like how <Spoiler> Nick reacts to Leah and Abby being together, as well as Garrett who is Leah’s DATE WHO SHE HAS BEEN LEADING ON FOR THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE BOOK <End of Spoiler> then between that and the last, a lot has changed, those things are perfectly wrapped up and even Leah seems like a whole different person but we never see any of those things happen which was quite frustrating to me. During the whole book, Leah goes through very little character development but then suddenly at the end she’s changed and when did that happen? how? I’m annoyed. That chapter was really cute like I said but it was just SO out of place I couldn’t fully enjoy it. 

I really wish certain characters were treated better. I really wish the romance was given the space to develop organically. I really wish the ship was given the kind of chemistry they deserve and that I was hoping for. Y’all don’t even understand how much I shipped them and for things to go well for them. So it’s safe to say I felt cheated. And my disappointement is the size of the galaxy.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Leah on the Offbeat? If so, what did you think?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Where are all the British Pakistani authors in YA?

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There are a variety of reasons for the lack of the representation of British Pakistani young adults in literature as well as the lack of British Pakistani authors, but the prime reason is perhaps the fact of how the publishing industry is perceived. That’s not to say that there aren’t many other marginalised groups such as British Bangladeshi, British Indian and British Chinese…to name just a few, there’s a whole long list, but because of my own experiences I’ve decided to focus on British Pakistani. Continue reading

Darius the Great is Not Okay – And neither am I.

 

Darius the Great is Not Okay

Publication date : August 28th, 2018goodreads

Publisher : Dial Books | Penguin Random House

Genre : Young Adult |Contemporary

Page Count: 320

Synopsis : Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. Continue reading

TAG #42: The 20 Questions Book Tag

 

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Hello friends!

It’s been a long while since I did one of these good ol’ question tags, and I’m pretty sure I did one very similar to this one when I first started but it’s probably over two years old now, I changed AND have gained quite the amount of followers since then, so even if some of these questions I’ve answered before it’s gonna feel like new.

The 20 Questions tag was created by buydebook on Goodreads and I was tagged by the lovely Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat  quite the while back (in March oops) but since I don’t get around to doing tags that much anymore, I’m only doing it now! Continue reading

BLOG TOUR: Seafire – All-Girls crew taking over the sea one ship at a time.

Seafire

Series: Seafire #1

Publication date : August 28th, 2018goodreads

ISBN: 9780451478801

Publisher : Razorbill | Penguin Random House

Genre : Young Adult |Fantasy

Page Count: 374

Synopsis : After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for? (From Goodreads) Continue reading

Let’s be Candid – Where I’ve Been

 

Life update

Hello friends !

You may have noticed, you probably haven’t, but this summer my blogging wasn’t the best. In fact, it was absolutely shit (for what I’m used to doing, I mean, not in a general sense, all blogging is good blogging, but yeah…moving on). I wasn’t consistent at all, barely wrote any posts, didn’t blog-hop or reply to comments AT ALL. And I’m gonna let you on on a secret, this is the first non-review post I write since mid-june, I didn’t even post July nor August wrap-up.

And since I’ve always been pretty transparent on this blog, I thought I should keep that up and tell you a little bit about what has been going on. This won’t be a very cheery post, and if you’re only here for the book content, I don’t blame you, you can skip it and come back for the three book related posts going up later this week! I’ve been debating whether of not to write this post for over a week now but I feel like it’s important, mental illnesses are so stigmatized and we’re made to feel ashamed of them when they just are what they are and we don’t need to hide them. I also wanted all of you to know that I’m not always perky and happy and that if you’re not either, then you’re not alone.

TW: depression and anxiety.

In June, I sank into a very bad depressive episode. Not life threatening, but bad. My anxiety was also the worst isn’t ever been with intrusive thoughts, daily panic attacks and being on the verge of them 24/7. 2018 has been a pretty mentally taxing year for me, I won’t go into too much detail about it because it’s very personal and no matter how open I am on here, some things I still keep to myself. But the gist of it is that I saw the breakdown coming from miles away, it was only a matter of when and what would trigger it, the last straw if you will. Which is what explains my lack of blogging. I struggled to find motivation to do anything, even the things I love and that bring my joy didn’t sound appealing anymore. I didn’t blog, didn’t draw, barely read, and struggled to get out of bed most days. I couldn’t even find the energy to take care of myself, let alone do anything that requires additional energy.

And then when I thought I had started getting better, something happened while I was in Italy that got me right back to square one. Not gonna lie, putting myself back together was one of the hardest things to do, I’m the type of person who is functional as long as I have structure to my days, no matter how bad my mental health gets, that keeps me going. So being on summer break and having nothing to do made doing anything ten times harder than it would normally be. And writing this I realise I sound like an ungrateful spoiled brat, because I spent an amazing ten days in Italy, but I did that while having a foggy brain. I enjoyed it. I loved it. Because I had a program to my days, and thus a structure I could follow. But some of my memories (luckily not all) from the trip are very hazy because of a combination of brain fog and suppressing trauma.

I’m okay now. Well, on most days I am. I’m not the okayest I’ve ever been, but I’m getting there again. Some days are still hard but I realized that my main problem is that I absolutely suck at prioritizing myself so that’s what I’m learning to do now, I’m learning to take care of me and not feel guilty about it, about not being able to be there for everyone all the time, not being able to put up reviews on time, to keep up with anything. I’m learning to be okay with not being okay and to get myself back to a place where I am okay.

I didn’t wanna make this a fully non-bookish post and eventhough I was in a weird slumping mood, I still managed to read 8 books in July and August (the ones I read in June are in the wrap-up). I only read 3 in July, one of which was a novella and 5 in August, 4 of which were in the second half of the month as I finally got out of that slump. so YAY!!! Here are said books in the order in which I read them:

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I’m also currently rereading my favourite book of all time The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (here’s my review, and GO READ IT PLEASE!!!) I’m going back to school and hospital rotations on the 10th, so life should be going back to normal and I’ll be going back to my normal three posts a week schedule starting this week! I’m also gonna be slowly replying to comments over the next few days as well as catching up on other blogs.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading ❤ !


That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Mirage – The book of my Moroccan heart

 

Mirage

Series: Mirage #1

Publication date : August 28th, 2018goodreads

Publisher : Flatiron Books | Macmillan

Genre : Young Adult |Fantasy, Science Fiction

Page Count: 320

Synopsis : In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. Continue reading

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Arabs & Muslims in YA Literature

 

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As a child, I read a lot. A lot a lot.

I guess it had something to do with the fact that I’m the eldest of my siblings, and I wasn’t very good at making friends.

Back then, I didn’t have much of a preference. I just read whatever I could get my hands on in the school library—books about fairies, a girl’s misadventures in high school, mythological fantasy, even (mild) horror. They were all very different and I liked them very much.

Except that they all had one thing in common: white. White. White. Continue reading