Saturday, 24 March 2018

Review - Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Title: Love, Hate & Other Filters
Author: Samira Ahmed
Pages: 288
Publisher: 16th January 2018
Release Date: Hot Key Books

Blurb from Goodreads: 

First love, first heartbreak, first brush with prejudice . . . 
A romantic, searing and relevant debut about Islamophobia and how it affects the normal life of a teenage girl.

"I don't want something . . . expected. I want to go to film school and be the first Indian American to win an Oscar, and then I can meet the One and fall in big, heart-bursting love, and we'll travel the world, my camera ready to capture our adventures." My cheeks flush; I know I'm blushing, but I can't bring myself to shut up. "Oh, my God. I want my future life to be a cheesy romantic comedy."
He shakes his head. "No," he says. "You want it to be an epic."

Maya Aziz dreams of being a film maker in New York. Her family have other ideas. They want her to be a dutiful daughter who wears gold jewellery and high heels and trains to be a doctor. But jewellery and heels are so uncomfortable...

She's also caught between the guy she SHOULD like and the guy she DOES like. But she doesn't want to let Kareem down and things with Phil would never work out anyway. Would they?

Then a suicide bomber who shares her last name strikes in a city hundreds of miles away and everything changes . . .

 My Review:

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and NetGalley*

Maya Aziz loves making films and dreams of studying film in New York.
She struggles to be the daughter her parents want her to be - they want her to be a lawyer or a doctor, and to marry a nice Muslim boy.
Maya has a crush on Phil, a guy at her school, but nothing can happen between them. Can it?
Then a suicide bomber with the same surname as Maya attacks a city, and Maya finds herself and her family in danger.
Can Maya have the future she wants?

I had heard lots of good things about Love, Hate & Other Filters, so I was excited to read it. However, apart from having a Muslim protagonist, this felt just like every other book to me.

What I liked -
The cultural representation, and the fact that there was a Muslim main character and that Islamophobia is shown.

What I didn't like -
Maya was very rude to her parents at times. While I could understand her frustrations, she didn't have to act the way she did.
Her mum was the stereotypical Indian mum who wants her daughter to marry a Muslim boy, and for her to be a lawyer or a doctor. It would have been refreshing if Maya's mum hadn't been like that.
I didn't like the romance. I just couldn't feel the connection between Maya and Phil.
While there was cultural representation, Maya didn't really discuss her faith that much.
The plot was okay but I lost interest a couple of times.
The writing style could have flowed better in places.
I was expecting more from this after all the hype.

Overall this was a disappointing read.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Wildest Dreams Unboxing - Family Ties

The Wildest Dreams book subscripton box is a UK-based suscription created by the lovely Zoe Collins.

The theme of the March box was Family Ties

Here's what was inside . . .

I love how Zoe wraps everything in lovely coloured tissue paper.

 The bath product in the box is an orange scented shower gel/bubble bath that is exclusive to Wildest Dreams and Weasley themed!

The tea is English breakfast tea and is based on the Carter family from The Hate U Give.

 The books are always wrapped in brown paper which I think is a lovely touch.

This month's book was Far from the Tree by Robin Benway.
I was so happy when I saw it was this book, because I wanted to read it as soon as I heard about it.
It follows Grace, who after giving up her own baby for adoption, searches for her biological family.
There was a letter from the author as well, which I always like to see/read. 

Included in the box was also a pack of tissues which I have a feeling I will definitely be needing when I read the book. 

As always, there was a letter detailing the contents of the box.

And here's a photo showing everything that was inside.

This was my second Wildest Dreams box and I can't wait for the next one which has the theme 'Hocus Pocus'.
 The boxes are £18 with free UK delivery, which I think is very good value.

Do you like the look of this box? 
Are you a Wildest Dreams subscriber?


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and the Bookish which is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week the topic is . . .

Books On My Spring TBR

My picks are a mix of review ebooks and physical books:

1. From a Certain Point of View

This is a collection of short stories told from the perspectives of different Star Wars characters.
I'm a huge Star Wars fan so I can't wait to read this.

2. Everless (Everless, #1) by Sara Holland

Everless follows Jules who lives in a land where the rich control time.
This sounds very intriguing and I love the cover. 
I actually have an e-ARC of this as well as a hardcover from a FairyLoot box.

3. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Evelyn Hardcastle has been murdered at her parents' gala, and it keeps happening. One of the guests, Aiden, must find out who the murderer is.
This sounds really good and I've heard lots of praise for it.


4. Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Nova wants vengeance, but Adrian believes in Justice . . .
A superhero/villain book from Marissa Meyer? Yes, please!

5. The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

Lynn lives in isolation in a remote area with her family. When she bumps into the injured Jax, her life is turned upside down. 

6. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Three girls - Grace, Rosina, and Erin - are brought together by the rape of a girl none of them know, when they decide to get revenge.
I got my copy of this in the December Wildest Dreams book box. It sounds really good and I'm excited to read it. 

 7. Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3) by Alwyn Hamilton

*breathes into paper bag*
I'm so scared to read this! I loved Traitor to the Throne even more than Rebel of the Sands, and I'm worried that some of my favourite characters will die in Hero at the Fall.
Amani will definitely have a fight on her hands in this one!

8. The Fandom by Anna Day

 When Violet and her friends are thrown into their favourite fictional world, they must find a way to escape.
I got an ARC of this last year at YALC, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

9. Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Elle Wittimer is a huge Starfield fan. She enters a cos-play competition to win the chance to meet an actor from the show.
I've heard lots of good things about Geekerella and I've been meaning to read it for agggessss.

10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr's life is put in danger when she witnesses the shooting of her unarmed best friend by a police officer.
I seriously don't know why I haven't read this already. I HAVE to read it soon.

What books are on your spring TBR?


Friday, 16 March 2018

Review - Zenith (The Androma Saga, #1) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Title: Zenith (The Androma Saga, #1)
Authors: Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Pages: 368
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Release Date: 11th January 2018

Blurb from Goodreads: 

There is darkness sweeping across the stars. 

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness: a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her fearsome glass starship the Marauder, she’s just Andi, their captain and protector.

When a routine mission goes awry, the all-girl crew’s resilience is tested as they find themselves in a most unfamiliar place: at the mercy of a powerful bounty hunter connected to Andi’s past and a harrowing betrayal.

My Review:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HQ and NetGalley*

DNF @38%

Androma Racella - Andi to her friends, and the Bloody Baroness to her enemies - is the captain of the Marauder, a glass spaceship with an all-female crew.
When Andi and her crew find themselves at the hands of a bounty hunter who is linked to Andi's past, they are given a job offer.
Can the crew of the Marauder complete the job?

First off I want to say how excited I was for Zenith. I queued for ages at YALC but missed out on a copy. So I was very happy when my NetGalley request was accepted.
From the very beginning, I had trouble connecting with the writing style and the story. The plot was okay, but I lost interest several times and, in the end, I couldn't bring myself to read any more of the book.
The characters were average. I'm not left with any particularly strong feelings about any of them.
Every time I saw 'Bloody Baroness', I thought of the Bloody Baron in the Harry Potter books. The name of Andi's ship (the Marauder) also made me think of the HP books (the Marauder's Map).
For quite a long time I actually read 'Androma' as 'Andromeda'. Oops.
I liked that the Marauder had an all-female crew.
I might try to read this again in the future.

Overall this was a disappointing read.