Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Linkedin button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button

Book Review: Finding Molly – An Adventure in Catsitting by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge

Finding Molly by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge
 

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge (Illustrator), Maytal Gilboa (Editor)

Summary:

(Goodreads)

Fresh out of art school and creatively unfulfilled, Molly is stuck in the suburbs with her parents and their cat, Pishi. When she is offered an opportunity to cat sit, she sees it as a way to get closer to her friends who live in the Los Angeles Arts District while fulfilling her dream of making a living as an artist.

 
Finding Molly by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge
Title: Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting
Author: Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge (Illustrator), Maytal Gilboa (Editor)
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: EMET Comics (January 15th 2017)
Genre: Graphic Novel, YA
Read: eBook
Stars: ★★★★★
*

 

My Review:

Note: I received this book from EMET Comics via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Cover: Eye-catchy

Illustration : beautiful & detailed

Readability, language: Easy read

I’ve read graphic novels before, but that was ages ago as a kid, in the time of Chacha Chaudhri and Tinkle. So, when Sarah of YA Bound Book Tours reached out with Finding Molly, I grabbed the chance to correct that lapse, plus it’s an Indie comic by an author of colour, has a mixed race female protagonist and has cats! That’s a lot of bonus points! 😀

I read Finding Molly in almost one sitting and I enjoyed it so much, I went back immediately to start re-reading and absorbing it in detail.
Molly is just out of art school and lost. Not wanting to sell her soul to a company, she works for free at a local bookstore while she struggles with her art and voice. She is envious of her friends who live in a studio and make art, but she has no money and lives with her parents who are supportive but want her to get married or find a job.

In the midst of all this, a random picture of her cat on Insta leads to her getting a job to draw a cat and that leads to high-paying cat-sitting jobs and a cat comic strip. The money she makes, helps her move out into the Art District of LA where her friends live but her struggles don’t end there…

Finding Molly by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge

With negligible experience in this genre I started reading with a clean state and I took away so much. Compared to a word novel, a graphic novel takes so much more ‘slowness’ while reading; there is so much detail in every picture and you need to slow down to absorb it. I blazed through Finding Molly the first time and found myself pleasantly surprised at the end. I went right back and second time I noticed so much more.

The story part in dialogue is nuanced and one that almost everyone can relate to, but along with it artist Jenn St-Onge, has built so much detail in her drawings. The time when Molly is having a flashback is differently shaded to distinguish the time difference, there is art everywhere, on walls, t-shirts, each panel is just so packed.

When I picked up the book I hoped it would check off a few boxes in my reading challenges this year. And that it did – protagonist of colour, graphic novel, indie comic, author of colour – but it did more. I’m so glad I picked up Finding Molly for I enjoyed the book, both reading and staring at each panel. And the cats were adorable. 😀

A special mention for the end section of the book that introduces the author, the artist and shares the behind the scenes story of creating Molly. I loved getting to know the people behind the book, it made it all more real for me.

Finding Molly by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge

This book was a lovely introduction into the world of graphic novels. The language and setting with use of technology and social media in the story helped me relate easily to Molly even though she is a Millennial and I am not. I loved the colour theme and the look and feel. It was easy to read and had enough to offer in the details. It was an all new experience in reading.

I recommend the book for those who read Graphic Novels and for those considering it. :)

*

About the Author & Artist:

 
Finding Molly by Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge
 
 

April 7, 2017   2 Comments

Book Review: How To Get Your Heart Broken by Rose Fall

How To Get Your Heart Broken by Rose Fall

 
How To Get Your Heart Broken by Rose Fall
Title: How To Get Your Heart Broken
Author: Rose Fall
Paperback: 398 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Platform (March 21st 2016)
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult
Read: eBook
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

A self-proclaimed cynic, Eli is unsurprised by her boyfriend’s betrayal. Yet, its impact goes beyond what she realizes; a cruel bet, an array of secrets, and a thousand lessons not yet learned teach her how to trust again as an unlikely boy shows her a kind of love she never knew existed.

After Eli finds her boyfriend cheating on her, she seeks an escape. She heads to the beach to spend the summer before college with her two best friends. When Eli is unable to move past the betrayal, the girls devise a distraction; a bet about their handsome neighbor. Yet their thoughtless competition goes too far and their friendships are tested as they began to wonder how much they really know about each other and themselves. In the chaos, they manage to learn the truth about love, self-acceptance, and the journey back from rock bottom.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks to Rose Fall and YA Bound Book Tours for offering me this book to read and review :)

Cover: Soothing…

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Easy on the mind.

Why did I choose this book: It was the cover that first attracted me, and the premise also seemed promising, so I thought, why not…

Eli who has just broken up with her boyfriend (who she caught cheating) is nursing a broken heart and wants to take revenge on all men out there. Rachel her best friend finds a way to do just that, only it’s one man – their good looking neighbour… Well, the books about that, but its also about 3 best friends, coming of age and finding oneself.

The title ‘How To Get Your Heart Broken’ makes sense but only in a round about manner. The cover is lovely, the mellow colours, the girl with her head on a boys chest, it all makes for a feel good cover, pleasing to the eye. The blurb is promising.

The plot was a new one for me, I never read something like this before. It’s clear quite early in the book that Eli is out to take revenge and break a heart like hers was broken. But, there are sub-plots, twists and surprises as the story goes along, some adding to the story and some adding pages to the story.

The story is set on a beach someplace (I just can’t remember if it was mentioned), the 3 girls are taking summer break before heading off to college and their separate ways. Rose Fall’s descriptions of the houses along the beach and the little beach town have stuck in my mind, the little blue house Eli, Rachel and Ash live in, with Ash’s grandfathers relics, felt so real.

Eli, Rachel and Ash are the main characters and each one’s life is explored as the story rolls along. Each one of them has a troubled past that they have to make peace with before they move on. This to me was the interesting part of the story, more relevant than the broken-heart-revenge bit and I felt Rose Fall did not do justice to the girls and their story.

Jessie the boy who is the target of the revenge, seems like an interesting character but here again Rose Fall falls short as the depth his character would have had is missing.

The story is structured well, I really liked how each chapter has a title that is linked in someway to the story of that chapter. Rose Fall also does not leave any loose ends and ties up the story she is telling well.

For me the story was slow paced (may not be for others), but I think that was because the story didn’t grip me at any point, I didn’t get sucked in and start to turn the pages waiting for what was going to happen next. It all didn’t build up to the climax, and when the climax did come, it felt disconnected. (There is a letter Eli writes at the end, that seems so unlike the girl I’d got to know through the book.)

‘How To Get Your Heart Broken’ is written from the POV of Eli, except for some parts where Ash’s perspective is shown through her diary. Rose Fall uses simple language and sentence structure that makes the book an easy read. I did find a lot of missing words though, mostly prepositions and some grammar errors. But these may not be there in the final book published as I think I read an ARC.

I liked reading the book but I do wish Rose Fall had given it more depth and explored more. I did like her writing style though and would like to see what she comes up with next.

Overall a good book but for the right age or person I think. I would recommend ‘How To Get Your Heart Broken’ to those younger than and in their early twenties.

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

Rose Fall
 
 
Rose Fall was born in New York City to Senegalese immigrant parents. She is currently studying Communication and Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill.
‘How to Get Your Heart Broken’ is her debut novel.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

 

Giveaway:

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 22, 2016   No Comments

Book Review: The Starriest Summer by Adelle Yeung

 


Title: The Starriest Summer
Author: Adelle Yeung
Paperback: 377 pages
Publisher: Indigo Platinum Press (December 1st 2015)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary
Read: eBook
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

Fifteen-year-old Michelle saves the world on a daily basis…with her trusty video game controller, of course! Naturally, she jumps at the chance to play an experimental virtual reality game.

The beautiful fantasy world of Starrs? Check. The power to mold matter? Check. No reset button? Wait, she didn’t sign up for this!

Turns out Starrs is really real, and to make matters worse, Michelle’s interference awakens the Cycle of the Six Moons, a series of devastating trials that will devour the universe.

Fighting the apocalypse was way easier when danger stayed on the other side of the screen, but Michelle finds a secret weapon in her new-found powers. She uses them to rescue the crown prince of a powerful magic kingdom from their sworn enemies, a technologically-advanced cult that strives to eradicate magical blood.

Michelle starts to fall for Prince Jayse, the only one who believes Michelle to be a savior rather than a curse. But not even video games could prepare her for what the cult has in store for them…

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Adelle Yeung and YA Bound Book Tours for offering me this book to read and review :)

Cover: Eye-catchy!

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Simple on the mind.

Why did I choose this book: I love watching Che play story based video games, so a book based on getting sucked into a game just had to be read!

Michelle gets pulled into a different world when she starts to play a virtual reality game. Only this isn’t a game but is real and Michelle’s arriving in this world has set of a chain of events that could end the world. She has to team up and save the world.

The title The Starriest Summer is appropriate considering the book is predominantly set in the Starrs world. The cover is attractive and caught my eye. I couldn’t make much sense of the characters on the cover initially but looking at the cover after completing the book makes it all clear. The blurb is enticing and got me interested.

I’ve never come across a plot like this before so it was a refreshing find. I really like the idea of falling into a video game and becoming an actual part of the game. The plot is clear, as in Michelle has to save the Starrs World but the whole thing about the Cycle of the Six Moons was complicated and I’m still confused about it.

The world of Starrs has been created well and I found it very believable. Yeung’s descriptions of the terrain made it easy to visualise the world as I read the book. It almost felt like watching someone play a story-based video game.

The main character is Michelle but she is supported by a bunch of primary, secondary and tertiary characters. The characters are well fleshed out and described rather in detail too but somehow some things just felt odd for me in my head. Some characteristics and even clothes just didn’t suit the characters I had drawn up in my head. That said, I must add that Michelle felt real with her fears and hang-ups. Getting pulled into the game doesn’t make her a superhero and I liked that.

The story follows a three act structure and is split into 3 parts, with the conflict clear in the first few pages. The flow of the story is good and so is the pace, I found myself wanting to read constantly to know what would happen next. But the pace is also constant and there is no build up to climax, it doesn’t feel like a climax, but that might be because it is to be a series?

The language used is simple and easy to read but I think the book could have done with one more proofread. I found quite a few grammatical errors and missing letters. At some points it just felt very childish too, the dialogues were just too cheesy, even if said by teenagers.

Overall I enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it if you are a Young Adult and into video games and that kind of fantasy.

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

Adelle Yeung is the author of The Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy, a young adult fantasy adventure. She is also a voice-over artist who can’t go a day without a cup of tea. When she’s not writing or recording, she enjoys sewing costumes, baking sweets, and escaping on video game adventures.
She lives in California with a cat that dreams of eating the pet bird.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 18, 2015   3 Comments

Book review: The Girl and The Clockwork Conspiracy by Nikki McCormack

 

 
Title: The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy
Author: Nikki McCormack
Paperback: 213 pages
Publisher: Elysium Books (September 14th 2015)
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Fantasy
Read: eBook
Stars: ****/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

Maeko hasn’t been long away from the gritty London streets and she’s already learning that her new “civilized” life comes with its own challenges. She has to dress proper, eat proper and be a proper lady. She can’t even talk to a boy without a chaperone. She’s got proper coming out of her ears. If not for her feline companion Macak, she might go mad.

Her one hope for some freedom and excitement comes when the moody detective, Em, asks her to be an apprentice. But that apprenticeship comes with a price. She must agree to spy on Macak’s owner, Lucian, the wealthy businessman and inventor whose life she saved.

Everything changes when Lucian’s brother dies in an explosion while visiting Lucian’s home in the heart of London. The Literati–a powerful group vying for political control of London–say it was murder and Maeko is on their suspect list. With Macak at her side, she must turn once more to her allies, Chaff and Ash. They will have to brave city streets torn by rebellion and conspiracy to find the truth.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Nikki McCormack and YA Bound Book Tours for offering me this book to read and review :)

Cover: Provokes Curiosity…

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Easy on the Mind.

Why did I choose this book: I’ve been coming across the term steam-punk a lot these days but had not read a book in that genre. I jumped at the chance when this book came up.

This is book 2 of the Clockwork Enterprises series and continues from where book 1 left-off. This isn’t a stand alone. The story continues as Maeko tries to extricate herself (but only manages to get involved deeper) from the events unfolding as various factions fight for power and balance in the city of London.

The title ‘The Girl and The Clockwork Conspiracy’ is appropriate and explains itself as the story unfolds. It is also a good follow-up to the first book’s title and connected well to the series title. The cover is well made and is what first got me curious about the book. The blurb also captured my interest.

I felt the plot was new and unique but then this is the first ever steampunk book I’ve read. The plot seems well laid out, with various levels explored in the book, politics, personal, societal,… the conflicts in each of these clear and distinct in the book. McCormack has built in many twists and sub-plots but each of them adds to the story.

The story is set in Victorian London in the 1800’s and as I read the book in my head I relived the urchins of Dickens and the prettily dressed ladies of Heyer as they walked down the streets of London along-side coaches and hansoms. McCormack has done a good job of describing the places, lifestyle and people of the era.

The main character of the book is Maeko, a street rat with oriental ancestry and a penchant for trouble. I found myself associating with Maeko so much that mid-book onwards I found myself rooting for her. She comes across as the endearing smart-ass. Then there is Chaff who I can’t help but have the hots for and the scenes between Maeko and Chaff, well let’s just say… Steamy! To add to this triangle is Ash, the cute boy next door. There are also a bunch of other characters who help the story along.

In book one somehow I didn’t connect much with the story or the characters, for that matter I had trouble finishing the book but in book two the characters grew on me and I started to enjoy the story. McCormack’s writing seems to get better as the books roll along and at the end of this book I found myself wishing I could read part 3 right away.

The story gets tighter in book 2, the characters more defined and the pace and build-up stronger. That said I did feel the climax came out of the blue, almost as if McCormack wanted to end the book and just jumped into the climax scene. I also felt the story didn’t close neatly, there was too much left out for book 3.

Over all I enjoyed The Girl and The Clockwork Conspiracy and would definitely recommend it if you are into Steampunk and Romance. The books 1 & 2 don’t have any explicit scenes but there is enough I think to classify it Upper YA and above. There is also promise of more steamy scenes in future books.

I for one, I’m definitely looking forward to book 3. 😉

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

 
 
Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12. She lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her husband and three cats suffering varying stages of neurosis. She feeds her imagination by sitting on the ocean in her kayak gazing out across the never-ending water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. Nikki finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.
 

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

November 17, 2015   No Comments

Book Review: It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

 

 
Title: It’s a Wonderful Death
Author: Sarah J. Schmitt
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony Press (October 6th 2015)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Read: eBook
Stars: ****/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Sarah J. Schmitt and YA Bound Book Tours for offering me this book to read and review :)

Cover: Eye-catchy

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Simple and easy.

Why did I choose this book: The title got me interested and once I’d read the blurb, I just had to read this book.

RJ dies accidentally, not by accident but rather due to the cunning gypsy who uses her to avoid dying. But it isn’t RJ’s turn so she raises hell up there. The powers that be give her 3 tests to prove she deserves to go back. Being the dudette RJ thinks the tests will be child’s play but each test changes her life completely, and she isn’t the dude any more.

The title had me intrigued and curious at the start and by the end of the book the title made perfect sense. The blurb piqued my interest and got me wanting to read the book. As for the cover, I really liked it, its simple and somber and yet resonates.

I haven’t read something like this ever before and found it fascinating. Yet at the core this isn’t an entirely new idea but rather an interesting approach to the old idea that every little change in the past makes a entire new future.

Set for the most part in the afterlife or rather in the lobby of the afterlife, Schmitt has done a good job of describing the place and the people. There is enough similarly to the conventional idea of heaven & hell to make it easy to recognise and yet it was different enough to pique my interest.

It’s a Wonderful Death has two fascinating sets of characters. One is a human set of characters who reminded me of school – it’s politics and group dynamics. The other I couldn’t help but laugh at as Schmitt describes Death Himself dressed in Hawaiian shorts, Saint Peter who likes to play odd games with Al the only one who can handle the three-headed dog who guards hells gate and so on.

RJ is the main character and at the start I sympathised with her, then as I got to know her I started to dislike her only to start liking her again as the story progressed. Schmitt does a good job of building the readers relationship with RJ so that at one point I found myself rooting for RJ and almost crying for her.

The story is well paced with a climax I just didn’t see coming and didn’t like, yet it seemed the most appropriate ending. There aren’t too many subplots and the story sticks together well with no loose ends left behind.

Narrated by RJ, It’s a Wonderful Death is written in simple language that did not require me to reach out for the dictionary for any of the words. Listening and seeing the tale unfold though RJ’s eyes helped in understanding her better and gasping her point of view as Schmitt explored the life of a teenage girl.

I enjoyed reading It’s a Wonderful Death and would recommend it for anyone over the age of 14-15. Even if you are in your 30’s like me, this book will be entertaining and will transport you back to school (well, some what). :)

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

 
Sarah J. Schmitt is a K-8 school librarian and Youth Service Professional for Teens at a public library who, in addition to planning a variety of events, enjoys opening up the world of books to reluctant readers. She has a Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from Indiana University Sarah lives outside of Indianapolis with her husband, two kidlets and a cat who might actually be a secret agent. IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH, is her debut novel.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

October 13, 2015   No Comments