Reviews

Book Review: Star Daughter

If the night sky holds many secrets, it holds Sheetal Mistry’s secret the closest. A secret that explains why her hair is the silver of starlight, or why some nights the stars call Sheetal by name. Stars like her mother, who returned to her place in the constellation Pushya years ago. Since that day, Sheetal has been forced to hide.

But as her seventeenth birthday draws near, the pull from the sky is growing stronger. So strong that Sheetal loses control, and a flare of starfire burns her human father—an injury only a full star’s blood can heal.

Sheetal has no choice but to answer the starsong and ascend to the sky. But her celestial family has summoned her for a reason: to act as their human champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of heavens.

Desperate to save her father, Sheetal agrees. But nothing could have prepared Sheetal to face the stars’ dark history—or the forces that are working to shut the gate between the realms for good.

Title: Star Daughter
Author: Shveta Thakrar

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: ⭐ 3.5/5

“The silver-tressed, brown-skinned girl before her stared back, powerful. Soft and sturdy as spider silk. Mistress of herself. A hint of starry fire smoldered in her eyes like a signal.” – Shvveta Thakrar, Star Daughter

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Reviews

ARC Review: My Last Summer with Cass

My Last Summer with Cass book review header

Megan and Cass grew up joined at the brush. Every year, their families vacationed together in Michigan, where the girls relaxed by the lake and created art – from scribbles as toddlers to sophisticated portraits in their teenage years. Megan was always cautious, and Cass was always rebellious. But together, each summer, they grew as artists and friends. The summer after her junior year of high school, Megan arranges to stay with Cass and her mother at their apartment in New York City. Suddenly Megan’s world explodes into color. The girls begin collaborating on a piece that pushes both of their artistic boundaries, one that will be showcased in a local gallery show. But when a secret comes to light and one of them crosses a line, will their friendship be able to survive?

Title: My Last Summer with Cass
Author: Mark Crilley
Publisher: Little, Brown for Young Readers
Expected Publication: March 2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rating: ⭐ 3/5

My Last Summer with Cass is a story about friendship and growing up.

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NetGalley Review: Admission

It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She’s headed off to the college of her dreams. She’s going to prom with the boy she’s had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer–at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood.

As she loses everything she’s long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?

Title: Admission
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Random House Children’s (Delacorte Press)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: ⭐ 4/5

Privilege, entitlement, wealth, and pressure – Admission looks at the high competitiveness of college application season and how far some are willing to go.

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NetGalley Review: Shine

What would you give for a chance to live your dreams?
For seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim, the answer is almost everything. Six years ago, she was recruited by DB Entertainment—one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels, known for churning out some of the world’s most popular stars. The rules are simple: Train 24/7. Be perfect. Don’t date. Easy right?
Not so much. As the dark scandals of an industry bent on controlling and commodifying beautiful girls begin to bubble up, Rachel wonders if she’s strong enough to be a winner, or if she’ll end up crushed… Especially when she begins to develop feelings for K-pop star and DB golden boy Jason Lee. It’s not just that he’s charming, sexy, and ridiculously talented. He’s also the first person who really understands how badly she wants her star to rise.

Title: Shine
Author: Jessica Jung
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: ⭐ 4/5

K-pop is not as glamorous as people think, and Rachel Kim learns this the hard way. As a K-pop (and Girls’ Generation) fan, I was so excited when I heard about Jessica Jung’s book. And it delivered!

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NetGalley Review: White Fox

After their world-famous actor mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thaïs left their remote Mediterranean island home—sent away by their pharma-tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother’s unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can’t put to rest the possibility that she is still alive.

Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thaïs discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into the island’s surreal society, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.

Title: White Fox
Author: Sara Faring
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s (Imprint)

Rating: ⭐ 5/5

“These woods can be treacherous. You never know which trees will curl their roots around your ankles, which foxes will prance right down a foxhole with you in tow.” – Sara Faring, White Fox

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NetGalley Review: The Princess Will Save You

A PRINCESS
A STABLE BOY
A QUEST

When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: Marry the leader of one of the four neighboring kingdoms, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. And to force her hand, her beloved, the stable boy Luca, is kidnapped.

But Amarande was raised to be a warrior, not a sacrifice.

And nothing will stop her from saving her true love and rescuing her kingdom.

Title: The Princess Will Save You
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: TorTeen
Expected Publication: July 7, 2020 (available now!)

Date Read (finished): July 13, 2020
Rating: ⭐ 4/5

This book is a story about love, identity, and epic girl-power!

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Reviews

NetGalley Review: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget.

Title: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Expected Publication: July 21, 2020

Date Read (finished): June 15, 2020
Rating: ⭐ 5/5

Pinky and Samir are definitely one of my favorite enemies-to-lovers couples. Or is it more accurate to say frenemies-to-lovers?

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Reviews

Book Review: 10 Blind Dates

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?

Title: 10 Blind Dates
Author: Ashley Elston
Date Read (finished): December 5, 2019
Rating: ⭐ 4.5/5

This was the perfect read to kick off December!

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Reviews

ARC Review: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Danyal Jilani has no lack of confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal’s longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged-marriage prospect.

Then Danyal gets selected for the Renaissance Man, a school-wide academic championship and the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her…the more he learns from her…the more he cooks for her…the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.

Title: More Than Just a Pretty Face
Author: Syed M. Masood
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Expected Publication: August 4, 2020

Date Read (finished): December 1, 2019
Rating: ⭐ 4.5/5

“Nothing says happily ever after like a meal crafted with love.” -Syed M. Masood, More Than Just a Pretty Face

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Reviews

Book Review: Supernova

All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.

Read (finished): November 16, 2019
Rating: ⭐ 5/5

“We were all heroes in the end.” –Supernova

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