Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 Wrap Up and July 2017 TBR!

June Wrap Up

Since it's the last day of June, I have decided to post my June Wrap Up and July TBR! This month, I have read 6 books and a total of 2256 pages. Here are the rating distributions of the books I read (including rounding error):

5 Stars - 0 books
4 Stars - 4 books
3 Stars - 2 books
2 Stars - 0 books
1 Star - 0 books

After including partial reading, my ratings averaged to be 3.46 stars, which means that it honestly hasn't been the best reading month. 

List of Books:
  1. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - 3.5 Stars
  2. $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin and  H. Luke Shaefer - 4.25 Stars
  3. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter - 3.75 Stars
  4. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - 3 Stars
  5. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han - 2.75 Stars
  6. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - 3.5 Stars

July TBR!

  1. The Complete Novels and Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  3. Hamilton the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
  4. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  5. Arabian Nights
  6. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  7. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  8. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  9. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Let me know if you have other suggestions or which one you think I should read first!

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really excited to read this book, especially after watching the movie when it came out in theaters. Even though I loved the inspiration and the premise of the stories, there were just way too many stories to follow for me. On occasion, the story lines also become very repetitive and dry, which further disengages me from the characters. For a nonfiction detailing the space race, I wish Shetterly could have provided a better narrative that showed these women's lives rather than focusing on the details of their accomplishments. Over the span of the entire book, I honestly didn't even know the difference between the two Dorothy's. Without watching the movie, I think I would have been even more lost in who each of these women were because their names are so common. Ugh.

I really wish I could have enjoyed this story more because I think this story is important for American history, but I had to really struggle to make it to the end.

Overall rating: 3.5 stars

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to wait a full day before writing this review. So first of all, I loved the first half of this book. Feyre was finally discovering herself and learning to control her powers. Sarah J. Maas also did a splendid job on expanding the Prythian universe and its magic system.

And then I just had tons of issues with the rest of the book:

<Beginning of spoiler>
1. Honestly, how many times did Maas write that Rhys was the MOST POWERFUL HIGH LORD and his "family" contained the MOST POWERFUL WARRIORS? This was always something that really annoyed me. Like the main love interest is all-mighty and super duper powerful. None of them even bother having flaws...oh wait, their flaws are their love interests. It's so cliche in YA and it's disgusting. 

2. Tamlin experienced a brief Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment between the first and second book so that Feyre could actually find her true love. I think people need to understand that it's okay to fall in and out of love. It's a normal phenomenon. It's not normal when your boyfriend suddenly becomes emotionally and physically abusive. Like, where what all of that coming from? He didn't retain any of his redeeming qualities from the first book! Yes, the "Under the Mountains" experience was probably traumatic, but Tamlin completely fell away from his original character so Maas can force Rhys on us next. And did I mention that Feyre had no transitioning from Tamlin to Rhys in just six months? She claims that Tamlin no longer fought for her love, but she never bothered to fight for him either. 

3. The sex scenes. Okay, no. Just no. It was so cringe-worthy. I mean, "the mountains shook as he came"...really? Please don't tell me all teenagers think that this is what sex is like. 

4. I was not a fan of the Feyre and Rhysand ship. I like them individually as characters throughout the novel, but I hated them together. Their relationship is not healthy; it's a power play. There was a lack of communication between these two lovers and it was always expected for Rhysand to apologizes to her every time they bicker about nonsense that it just became really annoying. It's honestly really sickening watching their relationship develop.
<End of spoiler>

Overall rating: 3 stars

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Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a quick and short read. I finished it within a couple of hours in one sitting. Even though I liked the message that the author was conveying about growing up and taking the next step in your life after high school, there were some major plot holes that I had an issue with, the main one being how old Lara Jean's sister is. I mean, I thought she was like 14 or something in the first book, and now she's turning 11 and giving Lara Jean suggestions on how to cure a hangover? WTF. Seriously, this just isn't realistic at all. Aside from that, Kitty was probably actually my favorite character in this book.

You know who I absolutely hated? Margot. I think Jenny Han meant to make her a strong and independent sister that Lara Jean could look up to, but this girl honestly has no respect for her parents or anyone else for that matter. She's turning 20 in this book and acting like she owns the world. If she has a problem, she doesn't talk to her dad about it, but instead passively takes it out on poor Trina, who I really liked. I understand her frustrations with her family seemingly taking a step away from her, but that's life. Grow up. It was honestly so annoying throughout this book.

Lara Jean and Peter. Ugh. This relationship was killing me this entire series. This is what is fundamentally wrong with many of the teenage relationships out there today. I hate the lack of communication between them. Yes, transitioning from high school to college is a difficult time, but that's why it makes it more important to talk to each other about it. I want to read more young adult contemporary novels where people in healthy relationships go through life problems together. This just really fell flat for me in this department.

Overall rating: 2.75 stars (rounding it up to 3 stars)

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