Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Abbreviations #64 | Worth a Thousand Words, Mirage + The Good Luck Charm

Ever since a childhood car accident left her with a painful leg injury, Tillie Green has retreated behind her camera. Through its lens, she can observe her family and classmates and catch details that help her recover lost items or tell a bigger story. When her classmate Jake enlists her to help find his dad, Tillie finds herself stepping out from behind the lens. But when her photographs start to reveal startling secrets, Tillie’s got to make some really important decisions about who and what is most important to her. Worth a Thousand Words was charming, and it exceeded any expectations I had going into it, especially as I came to care for Tillie. But my favorite thing about it is how it touched on shifting perspectives when it comes to view yourself and others, because no matter what age you happen to be, that’s a really important thing to learn! It’s a solid middle grade story, and worth checking out. 

Worth a Thousand Words by Brigit Young | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | Publication Date: August 14, 2018 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thank you!)


On the night of her coming of age celebration, Amani is kidnapped and taken to the royal palace in secret. It is there where she learns that her appearance is identical to the half-Vathek Princess Matham, unconfirmed heir to the throne who is hated by the people and requires a body double to pose as her and keep her safe. Forced into the role to protect herself and her loved ones, Amani finds herself learning more about the princess, her betrothed and palace life and slowly coming to understand how the power could shift when the princess takes the throne. But will the violence and lies that are part and parcel of royal life and revolution derail the future that Amani dreams is possible? I liked Mirage on the whole. The cultural details infused into this science fiction story were a welcome touch, and something I really enjoyed. I also liked the settings, and found the characters were promising (if a little underdeveloped for my taste). But what prevented me from really falling in love with this one was the way the tropes were tackled, as they were written in a way that didn’t personally appeal to me. That being said, despite my reservations, I’m still mildly curious about where Daud will take the story in the next novel. If you’re looking for a solidly written sci-fi YA read that’s easy to devour, Mirage would definitely be a good choice.

Mirage by Somaiya Daud | Series: Mirage #1 | Publisher: Flatiron Books | Publication Date: August 28, 2018 | Source: ARC received at BookExpo 2018 (Thank you!)


Eight years after he broke up with her in order to focus on his hockey career, Lilah and Ethan cross paths yet again. While Ethan wants to pick up where they left off all those years ago, Lilah isn't the same girl she used to be. Will they be able to sort through the things that tore them apart once before and finally be able to figure out a way to stay together? Well, you'll have to read The Good Luck Charm to find out how everything plays out! There were certainly elements, as well as specific moments, that I found enjoyable when I was reading this novel. But unfortunately, it was a pretty average contemporary romance read for me overall. I think that's partly because the writing style and I just didn't particularly gel (even though it read a little bit like fan fiction, and you all know I love me some fan fiction). But the bigger reason that this book just didn't work for me was because I had a low level of investment in the main couple and their happiness. I read romances wanting to really fall in love with and root for the main characters, and that didn't happen for me with this story. I'm sort of in the minority, however, since a lot of people seem to have really enjoyed this one, so take that as you will.

The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting | Publisher: Forever Romance | Publication Date: August 7, 2018 | Source: ARC sent by the publisher (Thank you!)

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