The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

the wrong side of rightThe Wrong Side of Right
Author: Jenn Marie Thorne
Publication: March 17th, 2015 by Dial
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

First of all, can we just take a moment to appreciate that cover? I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Very simple and artistic <33 Anyway, I really had no expectations when I started this book and I’m glad I did because The Wrong Side of Right turned out to be a pleasant surprise!

Even though politics is a very dark world and not all politicians are good, I’m quite fascinated by it, especially since last year was an election year for Indonesia. I’m somewhat familiar with the campaign — the debates, the interviews and commercials on TV and the analysis on newspaper. But what I do not know is the inside. The Wrong Side of Right provides an insight on how a campaign is run, including the dirty details. Everything is arranged, starting from your outfit to how you should answer questions. Campaign team members have to be swift to counter scandals and negative responses thrown by the mass or opposing candidate, spinning stories from available sources, steering away from the negative aspects and highlighting the positive qualities. It’s eerily similar to the entertainment business, if not more orderly and orchestrated.

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Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open-Road-SummerOpen Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publication: April 15th, 2014 by Walker Childrens
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

I’m actually very conflicted about the rating. On one hand, Open Road Summer was an extremely relatable read that sometimes I drew parallels between me and the main character. It deserves more than 3.5 stars. But on the other hand, my gut also tells me that it isn’t quite right to rate it 4 stars.

“I’ve taken so many side roads and built so many walls that I created my own labyrinth, trapping myself inside.”

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Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

vesselVessel
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publication: September 11th, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA Fantasy, Mythology
Goodreads

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe’s deity, who will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious–and sure that it is Liyana’s fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice–she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate–or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Continue reading Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

[Review] The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Mythology

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.
Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.
Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Review

I wasn’t really familiar with Egyptian mythology but I thought it would be a great idea to try new things out. And please can we take a moment just to admire that gorgeous starry cover?? *_* Okay, okay! I admit that the cover also attracted me a bit. OKAY, FINE! A LOT ><

“I will fill myself with the desert and the sky. I will be stone and stars, unchanging and strong and safe. The desert is complete; it is spare and alone, but perfect in its solitude. I will be the desert.”

Told in Isadora’s perspective, in the beginning her voice seems utterly bitter it’s like NOTHING can please her. Every page is filled with her complaints and anger toward her godly parents who – according to our MC over here – never care about their mortal children. I know that some of you might even hate Isadora due to her sour attitude but I personally think her sarcasms are hilarious sometimes. I also liked how light and teenage-ish the writing is – I couldn’t help but to keep turning the pages!

In contrast with Isadora, the side characters are very bubbly and basically like rays of sunshine lol. Tyler and Scott – they are this weirdly awkward couple but so adorable at the same time. Add Ry, the love interest who – unlike Isadora – believes in love. Although determined not to fall in love with him, of course our main character eventually cannot resist his charm. There are lots of moments in which Ry just wants to show his romantic attraction to Isadora but she flat-out rejects him with her “I don’t want to fall in love with him. Love hurts” blablabla to the point that I was like guuurl just accept him it’s crystal clear that you have a crush on him!

However, in the end Isadora’s character has changed for the better. I barely realized that the complaining had decreased throughout the story – I was probably drowning in the fluffiness LOL. Although there’s romance, the main theme of The Chaos of Stars is still about family and I was glad when the protagonist eventually comes to a realization that she is wrong all along.

Additionally, there’s a snippet in the beginning of each chapter about the history of Egyptian gods and how it is ultimately connected with the story line. They’re also really helpful for people who aren’t familiar with Egyptian mythology like me. The god’s names might be confusing at first but I gradually managed to get used to them.

If you’re looking for heaps of Egyptian mythology goodness, then chances are you will be really disappointed with The Chaos of Stars. In my opinion, it’s actually 75% contemporary and 25% mythology. I was disappointed because I was hoping I could read about Egyptian mythology awesomeness. . .The story is mostly about Isadora’s transformation from this bitchy and bitter teenage girl into a more hopeful and optimistic person. Because it’s more of a character-driven book, the pacing can be really slow at times. However, I enjoyed it anyway thanks to the writing.

Overall, The Chaos of Stars was unlike what I had expected. . .The plot is sort of predictable, but I guess I don’t mind light and fluffy romance. It was something I needed anyway. One more thing, do not be fooled by the synopsis cause there’s barely mythology in this except for the gods and goddesses appearing for a few times. But if you read this as a contemporary with a slight twist of mythology, perhaps you’ll find yourself enjoying it more – just like what I did.

[ARC Review] Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite
(Parasitology #1)
Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 29th, 2013
Pages: 608 (ebook)
Genre: Adult – Science Fiction

From New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, a high-concept near-future thriller.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.

Review

Okay so this is the first time I have ever read an adult book, (a zombie one at that) and I must say that overall, it was a positive experience.

To be honest, the beginning was rough to get into and I felt confused reading this. There were like TONS of medical terms I don’t understand (mind you, I’m only 14) such as proglottids, anaphylactic, and parasites Latin names. ESPECIALLY THE MIDDLE PART, this book actually sounded just like my biology text book! I was like what what WHAT there were SO MANY words I even never heard before!

Our protagonist, Sally Mitchell had a severe accident when she was 20. The doctors had claimed that she was clinically brain dead, but Sally miraculously survived after a tapeworm was implanted in her body. Unfortunately, Sally lost ALL of her memories before the accident and she had to relearn everything again, including English. Now six years after that, Sally is still getting therapy and medical check-ups at SymboGen, her health is constantly monitored by the company and her parents. Everything is fine…until one day, some people start transforming into empty creatures (*cough* zombies *cough*) and lose their humanity.

At first I thought Sally was going to be the cliche protagonist when she starts comparing her appearance with her younger sister. But I was so glad cause there’s no physical appearance talk after that! One thing that I found weird was how she can speak so eloquently even though she has only been learning it for six years. I mean, recalcitrant? Altruistic? Indubitably? O_O Possibly because her boyfriend is a doctor or because this is an adult novel but anyways, this could be just my issue cause I’m not a native and therefore my vocab is limited.

The first half was all mystery, the plot moves slowly that I felt bored and I was getting more questions than answers. However, when you hit the second half, things start to make more sense (there are even more biological terms in this part, I tell you again) and the book actually gets creepier and creepier and OMG THERE’S A TWIST I NEVER SAW COMING!! Really, I couldn’t close my mouth for the next few pages!!

Leaving the scientific terms aside, I did enjoy Parasite, especially the second half – I was sooo engaged I couldn’t stop reading! Plus, it’s such a breath of fresh air to see a love interest that actually has brain. I assume medical students would understand this book better but really, anyone would die because of those crazy plot twists. Parasite was a darkly terrifying, eerie and incredible read, once you get sucked into the book, there’s literally no way out until you have reached the last page.

One more advice, DO NOT GOOGLE ANYTHING!!! I was so curious that I googled tapeworms and oh my god they were soooooooo disgusting I might have been traumatized!! Well, I have learned my lesson. (Silly me, WHAT DID I EXPECT THEM TO LOOK LIKE?)

Thank you, Orbit and Netgalley for the review copy, this doesn’t affect my opinions or review at all. 🙂