Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari

In this third installment of the series, Riley Mae travels to Africa to hide from Eric, a jealous corporate member who tried to kill her and her crew. She moves in with a family of three growing girls and learns the true meaning of hardship: getting up at 5 am to collect water, walking to school under severe heat, eating ugali (white corn) every day -- not the typical life conditions she was used to. Riley wants to go home more than anything. How long will they have to hide from Eric? Is he even searching for them?

The theme behind this book is determination. Faith (one of the three village girls) stays up late studying to become a doctor, all while waking up early the next morning to fetch water. Through her Riley learns that nobody has it easy, but will power and kindness is what makes us special.

Sweet and uplifting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: The Karma Club

"That's just how Karma works. You kinda have to wait."

After Maddy proclaims her love for Mason to the whole country, he cheats on her with the most popular girl in school. First comes denial, then sadness. The only thing that doesn't seem to be leaving Maddy anytime soon is the anger. How could he do this to her and get away with it? Who says Karma doesn't need a helping hand?

The Karma Club reminded me a lot of Mean Girls. Maddy starts writing a "karma book" and tries to give a girl a horrible skin disorder. But the similarities stop there. Instead of let's all be friends, this novel reminds us that Karma and revenge don't go together. Karma is about sending positive vibes into the world so that they may come back to us. 

A fun read!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: They call me Cupid

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: How did you come up with your blog title?

Although, it's no secret that I'm mixed (half Colombian/half Greek) and that Cupid comes from Greek mythology, that's not the reason I picked the name. Truth is, I really enjoy matchmaking people with good books.

When I first started the blog (this actually still happens) most people assumed that BookCupid was an adult romance/erotica review site. I kept having to explain that I only reviewed YA, MG, or NA. Some authors took it well, and some ... not so well. But that's their problem. I love my blog name, with the little hearts and arrows reviews, and wouldn't change it for the world.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: The Shackles of Constantine

Jade isn't your typical teenage girl -- she can summon fire. 

Enrolling at Constantine Academy should have made her more at ease, but no one else seems to share Jade's gift. When one of the students is burned by Jade in self-defense class, Jade is coerced to learn an illegal charm to make amends or face expulsion. But with the founder of Constantine Academy on the loose, will Jade be used as a weapon against evil or for evil?

I admit I felt uncomfortable around Jade's character at first. It wasn't an illogical feeling, as Jade herself felt unwelcome in her own skin. Even when she transfers from schools, every student who approaches her, like fellow classmate Justine, Jade doubts their motifs, unable to see the potential of a true friendship. But as the story flows, Jade starts growing more confident in herself and her abilities, forming an even better crew with Matt and Aaron. 

Looking forward to the sequel.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Flavor



1. Cassandra Clare 

Clare made me love Steampunk with her Infernal Devices series. I know she's mostly renowned for the Mortal Instruments, and to me, an author who is able to juggle two successful series at the same time is quite remarkable.  

2. Sarah Dessen

Another author with a book to movie adaptation, is Dessen. Her work is always character driven, leaving the reader with a complete profile of the MC in and out. 

3. J.K.Rowling 

I'm happy to mention Rowling in this countdown. It means that no matter how many books I read, her work remain with me. She is such a magical being. 

4. Richelle Mead 

Awww, these book covers should have been kept. Of course, no matter what the covers look like, the words inside remain the same -- enchanting. 

5. Ally Carter 

Love her mysteries, particularly, the Heist Society series, which was supposed to be turned into a movie but sadly, never did. 

6. John Green 

I might not have been Paper Towns biggest fan, but that doesn't mean I would exclude Green from this list. I still feel he wrote a masterpiece with The Fault in our Stars

7. India Desjardins

The way Desjardins represents the single women of today struggling with Instagram, Tinder, and grandmas who refuse to give family recipes because ''they are written for a family of four''  is funny/bitter/funny again. I can't wait for these to be translated in English. 

8. E. Lockhart

I loved her even before this book, does that count? 

9. Carolyn Meyer

History was never a favorite topic of mine until I encountered a Meyer book. I've been collecting them and sharing them ever since. 

10. Mo Willems

He's a genius to me. His writing is funny/clever. And there is always opportunity to do voices. Hope to one day be able to write a children's book with half his wit. 

Who is your favorite author?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Echo

Harmonicas used to be given to patients that needed to rehabilitate their lungs. I wish one had been provided for me while reading this book -- because that is how heavy the novel felt on my soul. 

Echo combines several sad stories into one -- all connected to a magical harmonica and the power of sibling love. We meet Friedrich, whose disability alienates him from fulfilling Nazi requirements, Mike who must protect his little brother at all costs and poor Ivy who is subjected to racism. All of these kids lives are at stake, turning this novel into a race against time.

Regardless of scene after scene filled with teary moments, Munoz Ryan made her novel extra gripping, by placing careful attention to her main and secondary characters. All of them had the world working against them, and yet their spirit was always positive. At almost 600 pages, I found the novel too long and frankly a little too sad for middle-graders, but can undoubtedly see a YA crowd devouring this. I only wish the first few pages about witches would have been omitted altogether. 

Worth the read!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review and Giveaway: The Truth about Us

He's not good enough for her, and she'll only makes his life worse.

Almost everyone is convinced that Jess and Flynn aren't meant to be. Sent to volunteer at a missionary shelter by her dad, after being caught drinking topless, Jess needs to mature and learn that with money comes responsibility. Meeting Flynn might just be what she needed to get out of her lonely state of mind. He's a good listener, understands her, and is going through tough family problems as well. But when their shared chemistry turns into something more, it becomes everyone's goal to tear them apart.

Gurtler did a fine job providing all her characters with realistic flaws and ways of dealing with their problems. There was a lot of tension amongst Jess's family, since her mom was brutally attacked outside her home and nearly beaten to death. This should've brought the family closer, but caused the opposite. It was great to see how communication in all relationships is key to keeping things together. I would have loved to see more background story on Nance. Hopefully, there's a spin-off.

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RITA Award finalist Janet Gurtler’s young adult books have been chosen for the Junior Library Guild Selection and as Best Books For Teens from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. She has had her writing compared to Judy Blume and Jodi Picoult and that makes her happy. She has volunteered at a few soup kitchens and hopes to do more. Giving back is so important. Janet lives in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, with her husband, son, and a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Red Eye Flight



The more I read the more quotes I collect (can we mark this as my quote?!?) Here are my latest finds:

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

"To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation."

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment." 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world -- a beautiful little fool."

Animal Farm by George Orwell

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

"There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between."

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

"I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves."

What's your favorite book quote?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Tricks

Five teens share the traumatic events that lead them to prostituting their bodies. 

Meet Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger and Cody -- all average teenagers from moderate income homes. In the course of the story, most of them will lose their virginity in traumatic ways, get disowned by their parents or simply fall into the vicious circle of drugs. But once you spiral down into the world of prostitution, can you just as easily get out?

I'd never do that is something you stop saying as you grow up. It's impossible to predict how you'd handle mockery. being cast aside by a parent, rape, poverty -- anything that threatens to permanently remove a smile off your face. Hopkins writing style (verses) is a lot more effective than Crank, perhaps due to the shared spotlight between the five teens. Scenes were cut short, all containing raw details of tricks the characters were forced to perform just so they could survive in the streets.

Not for the fainthearted.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter

Twylla escaped her mother's faith of becoming a sin eater (someone who eats cadavers to allow their souls to move on). Instead, she is taken to a tower where she will serve the Queen as a Goddess Embodied. Every day she is given poison, which she then inflicts onto traitors through a touch of their skin. But when a new guard is appointed to her and begins to make her doubt her powers, Twylla will be forced to face her magical beliefs once and for all. 

To be honest, I found Twylla too trusting at first, blindly accepting whatever the Queen asked of her. The first 150 pages were slow, as she explained lots of details about her working life at the castle and bits and pieces of her mom's work. None of this really mattered because we rarely got to see Twylla at work. Nor do we get to meet her mom. So eventually I begun to wonder what exactly I was reading. But then the whole book took a different course and turned into a romance tale about betrayal and forbidding love and cons. Lots of cons. 

A great new series!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: Nightmare on Cupid Road

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Have you ever had a recurring dream? What was it?

I am being chased by two men with a mallet, like the one's belonging to a judge. Will I commit a crime, or do I simply feel persecuted?? Oh, I wish my unconscious could be more at peace. Perhaps, I should join a Yoga club.

Do you have strange dreams?