Book Review | SIMON VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Hello, bibliophiles!

I have a book review here today of, as the title suggest, Simon VS. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, one of my favorite contemporary romances this year.


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Title: Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli
Pages: 303
Publication: April 7th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

Genre: YA, Contemporary romance, LGBTQ+


“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier was being blackmailed when he forgot to log out out of his email on his school library’s computer. Simon is not so afraid about everyone knowing he’s gay but what worries him most is what that would cause to his connection with the mysteriously cute boy he’s been emailing with: Blue.
“He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to.”
I loved this book. I loved Simon. First of all, I immediately connected with Simon and clicked with the writing style. Becky writes like how I think and talk, really. It made it so easy for me to relate to Simon. Moreover, Simon’s personality was just so similar to my best friend and that made Simon very real to me, it was like my best friend was telling me his story. The writing style was funny and witty, I loved the casual writing style of Becky that made the book so easy to read and I flew through it in a day! A plus for the writing style.
The characters were all so cute. We had Simon and his group of friends, their silliness and their drama. We went through the roller coaster, ups and downs of their friendship, I felt like I was also in their squad. Honestly, it was like this book was written about me or someone close to me, as Simon and I are the same age, I could relate to a lot of the things that he went through. Also, Simon’s family was so cute and quirky at times. There are of course times that are prolematic. But, overall, they were very supportive and just awesome!
“It feels like we’re the last survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Wonder Woman and a gay dementor. It doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species.”
And then, of course, Blue, who Simon had been emailing secretly with for a while. Blue and Simon go to the same school but they don’t know each other’s real identity yet. Again, relatable. Said best friend at the top and I are pen pal for a long while before we got to meet too!
“The closest thing I’ve ever had to a journal is probably you.”
However, the only problem I have with the book was that I wasn’t exactly convinced of Simon and Blue’s deep connection via emailing. It actually came as a surprise when the emails got more and more flirtatious but it was still good as it caused all the jittery butterflies exploded inside me.
On top of all that, there was the quest of guessing who Blue was. I didn’t guess he was who he was at all! Though I am glad it was him, they were perfect together. I mean the revealing part got me rolling all over my bed for minutes to calm myself down. I just can’tttttttt. They are so cute together omg.
Overall, I gave this book a 4.5/5 star.
It was honestly the cutest LGBTQ book I’ve ever read yet. I can’t find a reason why anyone wouldn’t love Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Would I recommend it? Heck yes!
“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of this book? Did you love it? I would love to know your feelings and thoughts!

Happy Reading (Signing off),
Kimsiang @ Stories + Brushes

[Book Tag] Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2016)

Hello, readers!

This will sound absolutely crazy, but we’re more than half-way through 2016. I feel like I’m wasting my life and I’m literally running out of time. (Dramatic moments lol). I really have a lot I want to acheive and seeing others doing great in their lives just makes me super jealous. As for the bookish side of things, I have only finished 20 books (out of my 80 books reading goal) this year so far, I’m still excited to do this tag and see my answers 😀

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Best book you’ve read so far in 2016

I had a pretty hard time answering this first question already lol, not because I have too many favourites but it’s the opposite. I haven’t read a book that just blew me away into pieces completely. But The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is definitely high on the list.

My review here.

img_1353Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016

I have only read sequels to one series this year and that is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I’m currently on book four, City of Fallen Angels. So far, my favourite installment in this epic series is book three, City of Glass. I lurrrrvvvvv that book. Simon is my bae. ❤

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

ACOMAF, The Unexpected Everything, The Crown, Lady Midnight, I really can go on forever 🙂29559052

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I know you expected this, Empire of Storms by Sarah.J.Mass.

I recently uploaded a post dedicated to this topic, give it a check out here.

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Biggest disappointment

The Next Together by Lauren James. I was so excited for this book because everything in the synopsis sounded right up my alley, but sadly, I didn’t really enjoy it.

Full review here.

Biggest surprise

The Rest of Us just Live here by Patrick Ness. I’ve heard a lot of disappointed reviews about this book, and as someone who has never read anything by Patrick Ness, I was pretty nervous getting into it. Who knew, this book actually got me out of my reading slump at the time! I really couldn’t get into this book in the first chapter but it gets better chapters by chapters. I love the simplicity of Patrick Ness’s writings and the characters are amazing.

Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

This author is probably only new to me hah, my new favorite author is Cassandra Clare, the author of The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Lady Midnight,…

Newest fictional crush

Simon Lewis from TMI. Simon is bae. He just is.

Newest favorite character

Isabelle Lightwood from TMI as well. Isabelle is so badass and sweet and I just love her 🙂

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Book that made you cry

None. I mean I’m not a crying reader. But right after I read Me before You by JoJo Moyes, I was feeling pretty bad already so I went and watched the movie trailer and I almost cried, like I could feel it rush up a bit lol.

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Book that made you happy

November 9 by Colleen Hoover. You’d know how much I loved this book if you read my review here lol.

Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

I have only seen Me Before You, which I didn’t really like. Honestly, I felt nothing watching the movie, when the book is like one of my top contemporary reads.

Favorite review you’ve written this year. 

The shame is now here. I’ve been absent from my blog 70% of the time and obviously I haven’t written that many reviews. But let me see…

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I really want to finish The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and Lady Midnight, basically the whole saga 😀


And that’s the tag! If you want to do this tag too, please don’t hesitate to consider yourself tagged by me!

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you have a nice day!

Happy Reading,Kimsiang @ Stories + Brushes

[Book Review] MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover

“Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.”

Guys, I finished Maybe Someday on my phone.

Yes, I just finished an ebook. Like, this is only the 5th ebook I actually finished in Kimsiang’s history of ebooks. Reading through the electronic screen has just been very hard for me. The main reason is that my eyesight is not that healthy and I’m severely short-sighted, therefore my eyes get tired easily and just can’t focus on the texts for hours on end, anyways, that’s not the point. Let’s get to what I think about this book!

Maybe Someday was the few exceptions that I just couldn’t help but kept scrolling because it was a very entertaining read.

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Title: Maybe Someday

Author: Colleen Hoover

Pages: 385 

Publication: March 18th 2014 by Atria Books

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

|GoodReads|


Maybe Someday was about Sydney whom her boyfriend was cheating on with her best friend, resulting her with swollen hands because she punched them both and nowhere to stay for the night. Her deaf guitarist neighbor, Ridge, was kind enough to let her be his roommate as long as she helps him with his writer’s block.

“We try so hard to hide everything we’re really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most.”

 

First off, the characters are amazing. They are so realistic and down-to-earth yet very witty with their sarcasm, sass and the right on point humor. Plus, I love that Colleen Hoover writes about characters with disabilities, it’s very eye opening.

However, the characters are way too emotional, in my opinion, especially Sydney, she basically cries whenever her heart races a little more quickly than usual. One more thing, I didn’t like Ridge towards the end of the book, it was almost like he changed into another person ,and I don’t think I liked that ‘growth’. Also, I don’t feel like I know the characters all that much, yes, we were given background stories but it wasn’t enough, though that didn’t lessen how entertaining this book was.

Don’t even talk about the chemistry between the characters and the romance, I couldn’t take my eyes of the words. [Spoilers or maybe not, but read at your own risk]- [I still don’t quiet get how you can love someone and then fall hopelessly in love with another and are still sure you love the first person. Maybe because I haven’t experienced that sort of romance, but I don’t know, to me, I can’t even think of myself with anyone else other than the person I’m with.]

“There isn’t a doubt in my mind that we could be perfect for each others life, Sydney. It’s our lives that aren’t perfect for us.”

As for the writing style, it didn’t click with me at first, I don’t know why. It grew on me later and I flew through this book in a day nonetheless. I like her recent release, November 9 much more, writing style-wise.

The ending was amazing, just swoooooon.

Anddddd, the fact that this book focuses a lot on making music and stuffs, and that they actually recorded soundtracks for it is just nandhaiuwheija life and everything.

Maybe Someday – Griffin Peterson

“I failed miserably at trying not to fall in love with you.

I failed first.”

Overall, I gave this book a 4/5 stars. It was a quick romantic read and I definitely recommend it!

Signing off,

Kimsiang @ Stories + Brushes

“A life of mediocrity is a waste of a life.”

My pockets aren’t ready…

Good morning or whatever time of the day you’re in, readers!

As broke as I am right now, I can’t verbally describe how excited I am, or how much I want to have all these glorious gems in my hands right now. Therefore, I decided to share them all with you instead, hoping it’d calm me down a little bit. 🙂

Lads & Gents, I present you my most anticipated book releases of July, August, and September 2016.

1. Empire of Storms by Sarah J.Maas (Throne of Glass #5)

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Goodreads | September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury Childrens

I know you expected this, hah. But seriously, give me this book already, I need it like two years ago. I have some requests tho, I want more Dorian, and more Dorian, and more Dorian. Thank you.

2. A Torch against the Nights by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

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Goodreads | August 30th 2016 by Razorbill

I mean, who’s not excited for this? Even though, An Ember in the Ashes is not my most favourite book of last year or something, I still enjoyed it immensely and I just know TORCH is going to be amazing.

3. It ends with us by Colleen Hoover

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GoodreadsAugust 2nd 2016 by Atria Books

***

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant.

With this bold and deeply personal novel Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all too human characters, “It Ends with Us” is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

***

I loved November 9 by Colleen Hoover, I mean like love love love a lot, and I want more of that, so can someone just give this book to me right now? okay, Please?

4. Furthermore by Tehereh Mafi

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GoodReadsAugust 30th 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

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There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

On her quest to find Father Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

***

I wasn’t the hugest fan of the Shatter Me trilogy but I still really liked it and I can’t deny that Tehereh’s writing is just beautiful and I love the poetic style. Even though, Furthermore is a middle grade novel, I’m still super excited to read it.

5. The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) by Katharine McGee

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GoodReads | August 30th 2016 by HarperCollins

***

New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….

***

I mean, don’t this book just sound awesome and unique? Plus, the cover is so gorgeous *swoons* And it looks like there is going to be an amazing set of characters too! New friends, yay!

6. Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) by Jay Kristoff

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GoodReadsAugust 9th 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books

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The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

***

I’ve never read anything by Jay Kristoff except Illuminae, but this book sounds awesome and dark 😀

7. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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GoodReadsSeptember 6th 2016 by Delacorte Press

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Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

***

I’m so excited for this, it sounds right up my alley. I really wish this tackles depression well and I hope to love it! 😀


And the list ends here, I’m trying to limit myself, okay? :’))

So wut bout u? Comment down what books you’re pumped for this summer :))

Happy Reading,

Kimsiang @ Stories&Brushes

Arc Review | THE TRUTH by Jeffry W Johnston

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR, GUYS! I wish you all the best, books, money, happiness, and prosperity!

It’s the first day of Chinese New Year, and I’m presenting you with a book review of The Truth by Jeffry W Johnston.

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Title: The Truth

Author: Jeffry W.Johnston

Pages: 240 pages

Publication: 2nd Feb 2016

Genre: Mystery, Crime, YA

Source: Arc from Netgalley

*I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t affect my opinion in any way.*

The Truth was a short read and I really enjoyed it. It was about Chris, a 16-year-old, who was kidnapped after he killed a teenager who intruded his house. The brother of the intruder, Derek, kidnapped/came up to Chris because he wanted to know ‘the truth’ about his brother’s death, and the story took place from there.

The story was told from Chris’s point of view and was divided into two parts: then and now. “Then” showed us everything that happened when Chris shot Derek’s brother, everything that Chris had to faced after he killed a thirteen-year-old teenager, how that changed his life and till the moment Derek kidnapped Chris. “Now” is during the kidnapping, how Derek forced Chris to tell “the truth” and when “the truth” was finally revealed.

I really enjoyed the book, I was a bit unsatisfied with the way it ended tho I like the twist at the end. But the story as a whole was really captivating and kept you on your seat and since it was quiet short, the 200sth pages was definitely worth it. There were some dull moments when Chris was talking about the past which made me down the rating by one star.

I rated it 3.5/ 5 stars.
Overall, I would recommend this book to those who fancies a short mystery/crime read!

The Truth was released on the 2nd of February 2016, so you can grab your copy now!


That’s all I have for this review, I hope you enjoyed it. I would love to know if you picked it up 😀

Happy Lunar New Year,

Kimsiang @ THESPINESBREAKER

Book Review | CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

Hello there!

I’m back today with a review of the book, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Let’s jump right in!

Title: Carry On

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 522 pages

Publication date: October 6th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA


 

Carry On, like other Rainbow Rowell’s books, is a fluffy, cute, warm read. I was very entertained throughout the book though I had a few minor issues 🙂

If you have read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you must have known about Simon Snow and Baz.

Carry On had about 6 POVs (Baz’s was my favorite) and it was about Simon Snow who was the chosen one, as in the greatest hero who would save the magic world from the villain, the Hundrum. Simon was sent off to the magic school to learn spells and stuffs; and there he had a roommate, Baz, who seemed to despise him and tried to kill him all the time. Also, Baz was a vampire. And the story kinda progressed from there.

It was heavily influenced by the Harry Potter series, which is one of the main issue I had. The reference was so obvious and that makes the story lacks a bit of originality.

Another issue I had was the ending, I just feel like the reasons and explanations didn’t make much sense and it wasn’t that epic. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to and the direction that it went, it wasn’t not good but I guess it was not satisfying enough.

Except those two points I mentioned, I really like this book. I especially love the relationships between the characters and the characters. I ship Simon and Baz soooooo hard. Like they are the hottest couple ever 😀 Rainbow writes in a way that her characters seem so real, the way they talk, feel, and react is how we interact in our everyday lives. That makes the character so flawed and lovable. (Agatha and The Mare was not my favourite lol)

Overall, I really like this story, it was very enjoyable. The humor was on point, relationship more than anything XD I really like Rainbow’s writing as I mentioned.

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.


That’s all I have for this review! I definitely recommend this book. 

What about you? 😀

Happy Reading and Until Next time,

Kimsiang @ TheSpinesBreaker

 

 

Bookish List | Books I am not interested in Reading

The current book population in my GoodReads’s tbr list is 294 and when I browsed through them, I realized that there are a few that I have lost interest in completely and even as a book hoarder I don’t think I’ll ever pick them up (or buy them myself XD). This post is about those books. 😀


1. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

After two months when I placed an order on this book, it just arrived a week ago. I am not as intrigued as I was before but since I have the physical copy, I’ll give this book a try. The Rest of Us Just Live Here


2. Alienated by Melissa Landers

When I first got into YA, this book was everywhere and I was very interested but now, I don’t think alien is my thing :////

Alienated (Alienated, #1)


3. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I read the first book last year and was a bit disappointed. You can read my book review here.  I don’t think I’ll continue on with this series.


4. Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

I also read Legend last year. I only liked it and after I’ve been spoiled and everything, I don’t think I’ll ever read the other two.


5. Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han

The first book, Burn for Burn, was very disappointing and I don’t really want to know what happens next so.. :///

6. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Trilogy by Ransom Riggs

I am 2/3 into the first book and I really like it but I am not exactly into the series, therefore I think I’ll finish the first book and ask my friend to tell what happens next.


7. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

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Everything about this book sounds like my cup of tea but a few bad reviews and a few months of delaying the order made my interests lower and lower.


8. A Song of Ice and Fire series by Goerge R.R. Martin

I don’t think I have that kind of commitment :////


9. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

I read the first few pages on ebook and I didn’t understand a thing so….and I’ve also heard that this series is a bit underwhelming.


10. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

They are just sooo hugeeee. So many words, I don’t think I can finish it :///


And the list ends here! Those are ten books that I don’t intend to read. What about you? I would love to know your list! 😀

Thanks for reading and Until next time,

Kimsiang @ TheSpinesBreaker