Backlash – Sarah Darer Littman

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Synopsis – 

He says: You’re an awful person.
He says: What makes you think I would ever ask you out?
He says: The world would be a better place without you in it.

Lara just got told off on Facebook.

She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school’s homecoming dance. They’ve been talking online for weeks, so what’s with the sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse – are they true?

It’s been a long time since Lara’s felt this bad, this depressed, this ugly. She’s worked really hard to become pretty and happy – and make new friends after what happened in middle school.

Bree used to be best friends with overweight, depressed Lara, but constantly listening to Lara’s issues got to be too much. Secretly, Bree’s glad Christian called Lara out. Lara’s not nearly as amazing as people think. But no one realized just how far Christian’s harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree.

As online life collides with real life, things spiral out of control, and not just for Lara. Because when the truth starts to come together, the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have ever imagined.

Goodreads Rating – 4,15/5 Stars 

My Review – 

Backlash talks about bullying (both online and off). It is a common topic that everyone knows is serious but we usually only see one side of the story. We feel sorry for the person that is being bullied and despise the person that is the bully even though nowadays, the majority of us are aware of the fact that bullies are what they are do too personal issues. They are usually frustrated and angry because they don’t know how to help themselves so they decide to ruin someone else’s life to make themselves feel better. To make them feel like they aren’t alone with their issues and that someone has it worse than them. 

What I really like about this book, is that the characters are “humanised”.  They’re not a perfect family, in fact, their thoughts and actions shows exactly how messed up humans are. The author has highlighted humans at their worst, yet we aren’t shocked by it because we know that it is the bitter truth. There is no dramatisation or over exaggeration. 

Obviously, you’ll sympathise with Lara, the girl that has been bullied for the majority of her life but you’ll sympathise with Sydney (Lara’s sister), who’s been living in Lara’s shadow and rarely gets loving attention from her parents. This also shows that mistakes that parents make when raising their children. It’s not just about bullying but also about mental illness, the trials of parenting and how it can affect a family. 

You also end up feeling sorry for the bully because at the end you will see that all kids make mistakes. The truth of it is that the bully had their own issues and didn’t know how to deal with someone else’s success when their life was going downhill. 

Everyone should read this book, regardless of age and gender!

My rating – 4,5/5 

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

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Keeper (The Morphid Chronicles #1) – Ingrid Seymour

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Synopsis – 

For fans of The Mortal Instruments series.

Samantha thinks of herself as human, ordinary, and a little too full around the hips—a super cute look for a future chef, if you ask her. And she’s sort of right, except about being ordinary…oh…and human. She also won’t be full around the hips for very long, not with the inevitable metamorphosis coming her way.

In her oblivious existence, all she can think about is going to culinary school, away from her uncaring, bordering-on-hateful parents.

But all that is about to change when Greg—an otherworldly, amazing-looking guy—saves her from an unexpected magical attempt on her life and informs her that he is her Keeper, compelled to protect her even at the cost of his own life. Oh, and by the way, that she isn’t human, after all.

The attempts on her life become commonplace and secrets and threats from a dark, forgotten past reveal themselves and send her life into turmoil.

As Samantha tries to come to terms with this new reality, she must rediscover herself and face the possibility of being the key to the survival of a dying race.

Goodreads Rating – 4,22/5 stars 

My Review – 

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I thought that this book was great! It had great character development, romance, an interesting plot line and a great sense of humour. It is an exciting young adult, urban fantasy for ages 12+. It is written in multiple points of views featuring the voices of Greg, Sam, and Ashby in a POV per chapter regime.

I fell in love with our three main characters – Sam, Greg and Ashby. The characters were portrayed really well. I was able to relate and sympathise with each and every one of them. Sam is a badass protagonist and is portrayed really well. She is a strong female character that deals with her family issues in a realistic manner without the usual over dramatisation that we see way too often in YA novels.

The relationships between the characters made me laugh, cry and giggle. Ashby and Greg were constantly bickering but it was amusing. They both become serious and caring when Sam is in danger and are able to put there differences aside. There is obviously a love triangle, which I thought would be really annoying but the author has made it fit the plot line rather than simply creating a female character that doesn’t know what she wants.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in this genre and wants to read an awesome book!

My rating – 4/5 stars

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

Goodreads Synopsis –  

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Goodreads Rating – 4,32/5 stars

My review – 

Ari and Dante are both of a Mexican decent yet they represent two very different sides of the Mexican community. As I read the first couple of chapters I was surprised at how extremely different the two protagonists were. As I read the book though I began to understand that the author created two very different characters with a purpose… they balanced each other out. Opposites attract. 

There are many amazing things about this book, but the thing that really makes it great is the fact that it feels so real and relatable. The characters aren’t perfect. They have normal issues, such as a loss of identity, problematic homes, problematic social skills, etc; Perhaps the readers themselves won’t have experienced what the characters have but I’m sure that everyone has a friend or family member that has experienced an issue or two in their lives. There were so many ties throughout the book where I just wanted to tell Ari and Dante that everything would ok and that in the end it would all work out. 

The main theme of the novel is the search for owns own identity among the secrets of the universe. It’s the idea of how one single person can become lost among so many people in our vast universe. We see two teenage boys and their dynamic parents figure out who they are and what makes them stand out from everyone else in the society, country, content, planet and universe.

Of course this book is also about secrets. Secrets we keep from our friends, children, parents and most importantly, ourselves. I would recommend this to everyone, both children and adults. 

My Rating – 4,5/ stars

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma 


Review –

Forbidden” focuses on the lives of  Lochan (17 – later 18) and Maya (16). Unlike their classmates and peers they have been forced to live a life of poverty and hardship due to parental neglect. Lochan and Maya take on the role of ‘parents’ to their 3 younger siblings. This prompts a romantic relationship between them and they are led to believe that they shouldn’t be biologically related. 


Lochan is portrayed really well and I was able to feel every emotion that he felt and really relate and empathise with his character. I felt his shame and awkwardness with the social anxiety that he experienced, which is probably why I became so understanding of his relationship with Maya. She is his rock and helps him survive through all of his hardships, be it at home or at school. He’s a troubled guy which is apparent from the very first page, but he has many sides and non of them are bad. 

As mentioned before Maya is really supportive when it comes to Lochan and helps him to take care of their siblings. Even though she is only a year younger than Locha she is portrayed as being extremely childish and naive, which annoyed me a little at the start. In my mind she is supposed to a typical 16 year old girl with friends and crushes that has a tough life but isn’t mentally or socially distraught like Lochan, however she seems to jump between being normal and extremely timid. Lochan’s character that has been built up around his timidity, but Maya is supposed to be outgoing and ‘normal’ to balance him out. 

Kit was the balance that those two characters needed because he forced both of them to realise that even though they do take care of him and his sibling, they aren’t his parents. I loved the fact that he was younger but wiser. We were able to see a frustrated 13 year old boy that wanted to rebel and gain attention from his neglective mother as well as showing Lochan that he wasn’t going to let him be the boss, yet towards the end we see that he isn’t naive and understands the importance of keeping his family away from social services.  The other two siblings were just used as props to reinforce the fact that Maya and Lochan were not just siblings, they were parental figures to 3 young children. 

Everyone needs to read this book at some point in this life because it really explains another side of life that many of us have never encountered or thought about. Everyone should learn of the consequences that follow child neglect. This book made me laugh and cry, I hate and I love it. I would recommend this to everyone aged 16+. 

Goodreads rating – 4,07/5 stars

My rating – 4,5/5 stars

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

 

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

Synopsis – 

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Goodreads rating – 4,12/5 

Review – 

Plot – City of Bones is a strong start to the series. It is certainly not the best book in the series, but it does give us a clear intro to the shadowhunter world and its badass characters. The plot was interesting and fast paced which is good because it is a fairly large book but I flew through it. It has a good balance of character development, world building and action. 

Characters-  Jace reminds me of myself at times with his witty humour and stellar sarcasm. Even when he is being an idiot I love him as a character and I think that even though he is but a character, he is portrayed in a very realistic manner. Even though he does fit the stereotype of the ‘Golden boy’ he also makes mistakes and isn’t perfect. 

Clary annoyed me at times because she just came across as whiny and useless, but towards the end it was clear that she was growing out of her childish antics and becoming a true shadowhunter. Her friendship with Simon was really cute and I loved how Simon was portrayed as the awkward nerdy type. 

 

Izzy is perfection. She is badass and doesn’t coddle Clary unlike many of the other characters. She helps Clary step out of her bubble and enter the real world. Plus she owns a whip and is absolutely stunning… I mean how much more convincing do you need of the fact that she is amazing? Lastly, Alec… every book has to have a brooding character that hovers in the background and cause conflict even though the protagonists have world threatening issues to deal with. I don’t like his character because he doesn’t come across as a very nice person but I know that his attitude will change throughout the series. 

Overall this is an awesome series that everyone should read! Cassandra Clare is amazing! x

My rating – 3,5/5 stars 

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner