[ARC Review] Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Akemi Dawn Bowman’s debut Starfish is a colourfully painted, masterfully crafted YA contemporary about growing up biracial, fitting in, and what it means to have a place in this world.

I absolutely loved this novel. But before we dive into the review, take a look at the cover and blurb (from Goodreads):  Continue reading

BookTube-A-Thon TBR [2016]

Is it that time of year again? One of my (Sasha’s) favourite readathons? That’s right, it’s BookTube-A-Thon 2016 time! There are tons of new *shiny* challenges, and what’s better to get that Goodreads challenge finished than a fun, week-long readathon?

The BookTube-A-Thon was created by Ariel Bisset on YouTube. This year, the readathon is taking place from July 18 – July 24. A whole week of fun bookish shenanigans ensue!

Here’s my TBR, based on the challenges for this year’s readathon. There’s 1 challenge I haven’t technically fulfilled, but otherwise, I’ve covered the bases.

For the “read a book older than you” challenge, I’m reading BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley. I’ve started this one twice and strangely haven’t finished it, even though it’s very enjoyable and has a unique concept (cloning). It was published in the 30’s, so suffice to say, it is most definitely older than me!

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For the challenge “read a book only after sunset,” I chose a short novel–one of R.L. Stine’s GOOSEBUMPS: MOST WANTED novels. It’s titled “TRICK OR TRAP” and I can definitely read this in one sitting. 🙂 I can also cover the challenge “read a book-to-movie adaptation” by reading and watching Goosebumps!

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I also have another one on my list–tentatively–for the book-to-movie adaptation challenge. ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. This is one that I’ve been very iffy on for a while–I’m not quite sure if I’ll read it, but I might? So, if I do end up picking it out of the pile (I think it’ll be a quick read?) I might check out the movie as well to cover the challenge. And in case you’re wondering, YES, I do know the ending of this book.

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I decided to throw in a few short novels to make my reading go easier, so I want to read the first 3 books in the SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Lemony Snicket. Surprisingly, I’ve never read these! I have watched the movie, though. The Netflix show is premiering later this year I believe, so now’s the best time to get into them. 78411

For the challenge read a book by one of your favourite authors, I decided to pick up my latest book purchase, SHINY BROKEN PIECES. I can’t wait to dive back into the cutthroat ballerina world.

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And just to throw something in the mix, I decided to check out HOLLOW CITY by Ransom Riggs. The movie for book 1 is coming out in September, so I figured now would be the perfect time to dive back into this series! I’m *kind of* covering the challenge “read a book you discovered through booktube,” because a) I technically didn’t discover this book through booktube, but b) I hear a lot about it on certain people’s channels. So why not get into it, right?

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That brings me to total of 8 books, covering the challenge to “read 7 books.” Will I complete all the challenges and read all the books on my TBR? Who knows! All I know is that it’s time to get some hardcore reading done this coming week!

Are you participating in the BookTube-A-Thon? Let us know in the comments below! Until next time,

-S&S

Binge-Worthy YA Series You Need on Your TBR

There are binge-worthy TV shows and movie series–but what about books? Today we’re discussing what awesome YA series are binge-worthy, and totally worth it.

  • The PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series by Sara Shepard. Now, you might know about this super-long, #1 NYT Bestselling series-turned-TV show, and you might think devoting your time to a 16-book series is preposterous; but trust me, you guys, you want to read this series. It’s jam-packed with mystery, drama, secrets, and lies. Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian’s BURN FOR BURN or Sona Charaipotra/Dhonielle Clayton’s TINY PRETTY THINGS. There’s also diversity of the LGBTQIA+ variety, which is always a plus. Each of the books in the series are one-sitting reads, so you can read the entire series within the span of 1/2 month – 1 month, flat. 162085
  • Going off of PLL, the TINY PRETTY THINGS duology is also a must-read. Again, this series focuses on secrets, lies, and backstabbing (just a few of our favourite things–to read about of course), and has a diverse focus (yay!). Book 2, SHINY BROKEN PIECES, comes out this Tuesday, July 12, and we’ve seen book 1 in paperback in the wild already! As soon as book 2 is available, be sure to binge-read this one. 18710209
  • THE MURDER COMPLEX duology by Lindsay Cummings. Another two-book series that’ll only take you two days to read (or less, if you’re a speed reader!) TMC is told in split POV, and the writing is easy to follow without being overly simple. We appreciate the poetic style book 2 took on, and we think if you’re looking for a good YA dystopia out there, this one’s your best bet! 13576132
  • Another series you DEFINITELY want to binge-read is the FALLING KINGDOMS series by Morgan Rhodes. We’ve talked about our love for this series quite a few times on this blog, but in case you didn’t know, FALLING KINGDOMS is basically a YA Game of Thrones. Lots of blood, romance, and death. Oh, and morally grey characters (aren’t those the best?).12954620
  • THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series by Cassandra Clare. Basically, any series by Cassie Clare is pretty much binge-worthy, but this one is her longest. While I won’t say I’m the biggest fan of some of the books in this series, these are ultimately really quick reads, and there are lots of lovable characters and snark. (Who doesn’t love some sass in their characters?) There’s also a lot of character development to be appreciated, as well! And there’s Simon. Who’s pretty much the best.256683And that’s our list! A few binge-worthy YA series to steal you away from your weekly Netflix binge. (Don’t worry, you’ll come back to episode 22 soon enough.) What are some of your favourite binge-worthy series? Until next time, readers!

-S&S

On Diversity in Kid Lit

Diversity is a huge topic, and if we’re honest, it’s not discussed enough or represented enough in literature. Especially kid’s lit. So today we wanted to talk about WHY diversity is necessary, and also mention a few books that we think do an AWESOME job of representing minorities well!

First, think back to the last time you read a book from a POC’s perspective. Can you think of one? Keep thinking, keep thinking…

Now, count the total number of books you’ve ever read with a POC who is the narrator. Chances are, there aren’t a lot.

Why is this a bad thing? Because the world is DIVERSE. The world is composed of so many different types of people, faiths, backgrounds, cultures–why should we only read about ONE? The world isn’t just white people. The world isn’t just straight people. It’s ALL people.

We didn’t really start thinking about diversity–or lack of it, rather–in kid lit until early last year, when we learned about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement, and began writing our own book from a POC’s perspective. We realized: Wow, there really aren’t a lot of YA books from an Indian girl’s perspective. Why don’t we write one? And that’s what we did. (We’re in the process of revising this one, in case you were wondering.) 🙂 Continue reading