Such Powerful Writing // REVIEW: This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang

Title: This Is Where The World Ends
Author: Amy Zhang
Publication Date: March 22nd 2016 (India: July 2017)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books // Harper Collins
Part of a Series?: No, It's a Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.
Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel. 
Short & Sweet: A GORGEOUSLY written fast paced novel on rape, friendship and dreams. Amy Zhang’s writing is powerful and will stay with you for a while.

I read Amy Zhang’s debut novel the year it released and the minute I saw that This Is Where the World Ends was going to be released in India, I knew I would definitely be reading it. Falling into Place dealt with suicide and while I don’t remember the plot very much, I DO remember being thoroughly impressed with it.

So, what are my opinions on This Is Where the World Ends? Let’s break it down:

Image result for this is where the world endsWRITING:

Amy Zhang’s writing is what brings this book alive. Told in both Janie and Micah’s point of view, her writing adapts to bring out the voices of her characters and does it well. Micah has selective retrograde amnesia (he can’t make new memories) and Janie is a chaotic soul filled with dreams and beginnings and I felt like I got to know these characters because of Zhang’s writing.


I love the idea for the story. If there’s one thing you can say about This Is Where The World Ends and also about Janie and Micah it’s that they don’t fall into normal YA tropes. This story is about dreams and reality and friendship and love and tragedy and rape and IT WAS SO GORGEOUS.


It was the writing that really brought this book alive, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t plotted well. This book switches from Janie (before) to Micah (after) and it also shows you Janie’s diary/ senior thesis (with some GORGEOUS illustrations) and it was all really well planned out. Everything about this plot worked just right and I LOVED IT.

Related imageCHARACTERS:

I liked Micah and Janie. Their story was a good one, brought alive by the exceptional writing which I can’t talk about enough. At the same time, WITHOUT the writing, I can’t help but feel like the pair would have been the most CLICHÉ characters in the world.

Both Micah and Janie were pretty much the main characters of John Green’s Paper Towns with a twist here are there. Also, Janie’s attitude towards Micah annoyed me. She kept saying hurtful things like “I know he’s in love with me and I’ll get there too. Someday” and “It was easier to not stay friends in school because of her image,” and it all made me kinds of MAD? She wasn’t a real friend to him, not where it counted.

Related image
I also HAVE to talk about that ONE last scene. The book was BEAUTIFUL. The ending was even better and there was this last scene with Dewey and Micah that fell so completely FLAT, it made me cringe. I’ve only experienced bad endings, not bad last scenes but this one was so MEH after such a good book.


This is Where The Worlds Ends is constructed with exquisite writing and gives you a story you won’t forget for a long time. 
 Amy Zhang used to have lots of imaginary friends. When people told her to grow up, she turned her imaginary friends into characters and started telling their stories. When she isn't writing, she can be found playing piano, hitting balls on the tennis court, or struggling through her weekly existential crisis. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

Follow Her on Twitter or on her Website
Have you read Amy Zhang's debut novel, Falling Into Place or even This Is Where The World Ends? What did you think of them?
What are some of the most powerful books on rape and suicide that you've read?  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

BLOG TOUR: Lucky In Love by Kasie West - Review & Giveaway

Title: Lucky in Love
Author: by Kasie West
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: July 25th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy Links: Goodreads || Amazon || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Kobo || iBooks
Synopsis: In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture. 
Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --
She wins!
In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars 

You have a bigger chance of being hit by lightning TWICE that winning the lottery – and yet, within the past month, I’ve read two different but equally fun books on teenagers who’ve won the lottery.

I liked a lot of things about Lucky In Love – the easy flow of the story which meant I could put the book down and pick it up without forgetting anything. I liked Seth and Maddie together and the way they balanced each other out as well as their easy banter. There was a lot to like but nothing that I really fell in love with.

Let’s go more into detail:

1.       Maddie and her family have money problems. Her parents are constantly fighting, her brother has taken a semester off college as he’s covered in student loan debt and then there’s Maddie, working her way towards a scholarship because that’s the only way she’ll go to college at all.

2.       And so, after she wins the lotters, her whole life changes. She gifts each of her family members a million dollars and then well, spends the rest of the book buying extravagant cars and throwing parties on a yacht, investing in a phony real estate deal and talking about how untrustworthy everyone has become.

3.       It was a good book, a GOOD book, but I didn’t connect with Maddie at all. Or Seth for that matter. All of them had this one singular personality and never deviated from it or even grew as characters through the course of this book.
 "Magic cannot be explained. It can only be experiences." 
4.       Maddie’s friends kind of sucked. They never felt like real PEOPLE but more like filler characters and that annoyed me.

5.       Like I said in the beginning, Maddie and Seth had this fun, easy banter going on through the course of the book which kept this book alive and I really liked it. The only strange thing was that in the ending, without officially dating for even a DAY, they decide to keep dating long distance as well. That whole scene came out as forced and awkward it I honestly thought it was not needed.

All in all, if you’re already a Kasie West fan, I do recommend reading this book. If you are choosing between this book and Windfall though, I definitely prefer that.

A fun, easy to read book about the consequences of money with a super cute romance. 3.5 stars. 
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

Links: Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Facebook

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What Did I Just Read? // REVIEW: The Deviants by C.J. Skuse

Title: The Deviants
Author: C.J.Skuse
Publication Date: Saptember 22nd 2016
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon UK || The Book Depository || Wordery || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Google Books
Blurb Description: When you set out for revenge, dig two graves
Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.
Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.
When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves? 
 It’s been a few hours since I’ve closed The Deviants and one of the only thoughts running through my head is WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I JUST READ? I am so confused at this very minute and the only way to make SENSE of this book is to write it all out, so goes:
Oh, but, before I begin I want to mention that I buddy read this book with the lovely Pari (For the Official Love of Words) and while neither of us got what we expected from this book, I really loved getting to meet a new bookish soul.


1.       I went in expecting a murder mystery. The blurb begins with the line “A Dark and Suspenseful story from the author of…” and also, it alluded to the Famous Five, Enid Blyton’s famous series WHO SOLVED MYSTERIES. MYSTERIES.

2.       Since I was expecting a grown up version of my five favourite childhood detectives (along with Nancy Drew) the first seventy pages of this book were like a snooze fest for me. There was pretty much nothing going on and I WAS JUST SO BORED.

3.       This book should have been marketed as a DARK YA CONTEMPORARY NOVEL. Because that’s what it was. A CONTEMPORARY novel. There was NO Famous Five mystery surrounding the book and the “Famous Five” (Fearless in this book) were just a bunch of ordinary teenagers trying to be adults SO BADLY. Apparently, life was just something that kept throwing bad stuff at you at EIGHTEEN. I’m EIGHTEEN. WHAT LIVES ARE YOU LIVING?

4.       While the book didn’t give me what I expected, the story was still good. I wasn’t in a state of suspense, nor was there a mystery BUT THE ACTUAL PLOT OF THE BOOK WAS QUITE GOOD – the description was just misleading. Almost all of the characters had a lot of secrets and there were A LOT of twists but again, they weren’t of the kind I was expecting.

5.       I didn’t get the characters. I didn’t understand the character’s whose viewpoint it was told from (Ella) I didn’t get Corey or Max or Corey or Fallon. They were all teenagers trying SO DESPERATELY to be more mature than they were. Also, THERE WAS NO PARENTAL SUPERVISION IN THIS BOOK. Oh, Fallon wants to have a baby when she’s a high school dropout? WHY NOT? Corey wants to be a substitute father and drop out or work and not go to uni? DON’T THINK TWICE ABOUT IT.  It felt really unlikely that things like this would happen in the real world. 

1.       It always takes me a while to get used to British slang but I liked the way is gave a little bit of authenticity to this book.

Honestly, not the best book I read because what I expected and what I got were TOTALLY different things. If someone had told me this was a dark YA CONTEMPORARY, I probably would’ve liked it a WHOLE lot better. 3 stars.
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House), MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on adult novel SWEETPEA for HQ/HarperCollins (out April 2017).

C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend's Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn't get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

You can find C.J. Skuse on Facebook or on Twitter
Who were your favourite detectives? The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys?
Have you read The Deviants? What did you think of it? 
I can't wait to hear from you!

Romance, Sass and Swoony Men // REVIEW: Man Of Her Match by Sakshama Puri Dhariwal

Title: Man of Her Match
Author: Sakshama Puri Dhariwal
Publication Date: July 7th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: PRH India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || The Book Depository || || Flipkart || Infibeam || Google Books
Blurb Description: Kicked off the team for a series of misdemeanours, Indian cricket’s bad boy Vikram Walia finally has a chance at redemption. The only problem: it involves collaborating with his childhood best friend turned sworn enemy, Nidhi Marwah.
Once a tomboy, now a gorgeous, self-assured marketing professional, Nidhi must put aside her personal dislike of Vikram and leverage his unparalleled fame and poster-boy good looks for her latest campaign.
But the ensuing battle of sardonic jibes and veiled slurs only heightens their blazing chemistry. Soon memories of their past fill their present, pulling them back to that fateful day when a heartless act destroyed their friendship.
Can Vikram and Nidhi put their stormy history behind them? Will their partnership have a second innings?
Short and Sweet: Man of her Match is the COMPLETE package filled with romance, sass, great friends and chemistry filled moments that will have you smiling, swooning and waiting for your own Vikramaditya Singh Walia.

Let’s be honest – even though I’m Indian, I haven’t read books from many Indian Authors. I have some authors on my Auto-Buy list (Anuja Chauhan, Nikita Deshpande and Sukanya Venkataraghavan) but you’ll rarely catch me a book other from these three authors in my hands.

I’d heard about Sakshama’s debut novel, The Wedding Photographer, when it released but for some reason, I never got around to reading it. It sounded swoony and perfect but now, I’m SO GLAD that I got the chance to read her sophomore novel, Man of her Match.

Let’s break it down:


I got sucked into this book because of the tropes it was based on. Childhood Sweethearts who broke each other’s hearts, meet twelve years later after one of them has turned into the bad boy of India and is also on the Indian cricket team? Plus, this relationship had all kinds of SASS? SIGN ME UP.


The plot followed your typical romance novel. Boy and girl haven’t met in a while, are shocked when fate throws them together, initially only manage to get on each other’s wrong side until realising that they’re perfect for one another (with some variables and added drama) BUT I LOVED IT ALL ANYWAY. This is probably because from the minute they met, I could feel the PALPABLE CHEMISTRY that surrounded Vikram and Nidhi as well as amazing best friends and I LOVED IT.


I really liked Sakshama’s writing. She managed to capture the essence of two headstrong twenty-something Indians SO WELL and also throw in just the right amount of sass and love in it. I’ll definitely be adding The Wedding Photographer to my TBR and her to my Auto Buy Author list!


One word for our main man: SWOON. (And then swoon some more.) I adored his character from the very beginning – he was just perfect and reckless and your perfect good-bad boy, if you know what I mean. He knew what he wanted, and he wasn’t afraid to go after it. AND he was also such a loyal person.

I really liked Nidhi as well – she was headstrong and played sports and well, Vikram and Nidhi really did make a perfect pair.

If you’re looking for Romance, Sass and Swoony Men (and really, who isn’t?), Man Of Her Match should be your next read! 
 Sakshama Puri Dhariwal was born and raised in New Delhi. Before becoming an author, Sakshama
worked as a brand manager for e-commerce, media and telecom companies.

Her favourite authors include Judith McNaught, Julie James, Sarah MacLean, Lauren Layne, Kate Meader (in chronological order of when she discovered them), and of course, Anuja Chauhan.

Sakshama currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her first novel was the critically acclaimed romantic comedy 'The Wedding Photographer'. Her new book is a cricket romance titled 'Man of Her Match

 What are some of your favourite romantic/ comedy books? 
Do you play sports? If you could spend a day with one sports star, who would it be? 
I can't wait to hear from you.

A Gorgeous World // REVIEW: A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Title: A Conspiracy of Kings
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (Harper Collins)
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 4/5 of The Queen's Thief Series
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery ||  Flipkart || Snapdeal || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Discover the world of the Queen’s Thief
New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deceptionThe New York Times bestseller A Conspiracy of Kings won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.
After an attempted assassination and kidnapping, Sophos, heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears. Those who care for him—including the thief Eugenides and the Queen of Eddis—are left to wonder if he is alive and if they will ever see him again. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Discover and rediscover the stand-alone companions, The Queen of AttoliaThe King of AttoliaA Conspiracy of Kings, and Thick as Thieves, all epic novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief.
This edition of A Conspiracy of Kings includes a conversation between bestselling author Leigh Bardugo and Megan Whalen Turner, an introduction to the characters from the world of the Queen’s Thief, a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and an exclusive teaser to Thick as Thieves.
I've picked this book up twice before I actually finished it and dropped it both times before. If you've read my review of the three previous books in this series, The Thief and The Queen of Attolia you'll know that it was quite a journey for me to begin to understand Eugenides and get used to him, and then in the King of Attolia, the person who was telling the story changed. At least in book three, the story was still about Eugenides (Gen) but with A Conspiracy of Kings, we're told the story of a boy we met all the way back in The Thief, and I honestly wasn't ready for it. 

This was obviously, my very long way of saying that this series managed to throw me, yet again, with a change in the basic "WHO IS TELLING THE STORY" Even within the book, the first part is told from Sophos' 1st POV and the latter half in 3rd person. Talk about confusing. 

Even if I treated this book like a standalone, I didn't like the character of Sophos. He seemed like such a naive person even in the first book and it felt like his character was so vanilla throughout the course of the book. He sort of... bored me? Though is character made progress on what kind of a ruler he wanted to be, and what kind of a person he should be from the book in Book One, I struggled to connect with him on what was supposed to be a re-defining journey.

Even though I didn't like Sophos, the one thing I've NEVER been able to fault this series with is it's BRILLIANT world building. Whether we've been in Eddis, Attolia or absolutely anywhere else, I could feel the places being described and the people in it come to life as if they were sitting right next to me. There is no doubt in my mind that the world, the customs, the tradition and the religion that are in these books are some of the best that have ever been created in YA Fantasy books - and I've read a LOT of them!
Another things I really loved about this book was the Romance! I didn't think too much of it at first, as this series hasn't given the most importance to that particular aspect of books and life but there was just this minute when the ship in this book hit me and, well, I loved it. 

I'm not entirely sure if I will be picking up Thick as Thieves, but it has been a wonderful experience reading this series. 
Megan Whalen Turner
Megan Whalen Turner is the author of short stories and novels for children, teenagers and adults. She has won the LA Times Book Award for Young Adult LIterature, a Boston Globe/ Horn Book Honor and a Newbery Honor. She won the Mythopoeic Award and was shortlisted twice for the Andre Norton Award.
Have you had the chance to dive into Megan Whalen Turner's The Queen's Thief series?
Who are some of your favourite fictional thieves? 
If you had to form a Heist Crew, which fictional characters would you choose?

One In A Million // REVIEW: Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

Title: Windfall
Author: Jennifer E Smith
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan UK
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Pan Macmillan India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 
At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 
As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.
This book’s summary in a nutshell:

     a)      Best Friend Romance (AKA – MY ACHILLES HEEL OF ALL CONTEMPORARY  PLOTS)


c)       Lives  have been changed forever

The minute I read Windfall’s summary, I knew I WANTED IT. Which is why, after having binge read this book in 1.5 days, I’m sitting on my bed, typing out this review, slightly in love I’m unable to open another one because IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD.

My Thoughts:

1.        Like I said, I love the idea behind this book. Who doesn’t win the lottery with the hope that they will WIN ALL THAT MONEY and live the life they’ve always dreamed of? Almost NOBODY. Add a best friend romance in the mix and I’m SOLD.

2.       One of the first things that struck me about this book after I actually began reading was how grounded a character Alice was. I always like these kinds of fictional girls better and I instantly connected with her. Also, TELL ME ABOUT UNREQUIETED FEELINGS!

3.       Another things I LOVED SO SO MUCH about this book was the presence of strong, sturdy parents. Alice’s aunt and uncle and such amazing people that only want the best for their son and orphan niece who they’ve taken in as their own. They were the PERFECT PARENTS AND I LOVED THAT YA is finally getting some.

4.       I should mention that they Harry Potter reference almost had me in tears. SERIOUSLY. It warmed my heart and YOU NEED TO READ THIS.

5.       I also loved my boys, Leo and Sawyer. I love big brothers in any kind of setting and Leo was only slightly awesome. I wish we got to see more of Max, of that Leo and Max will have a book of their own because SWOON. Sawyer was also a fun, stand-up kind of guy and I loved his humour.

6.       Surprisingly, the one thing I thought I’d LOVE was the one thing I didn’t like about the book – and that was Teddy and Alice together. For starters, Teddy wasn’t my favourite person. I didn’t have a specific problem with him BUT with all the other great characters, he probably ranked last for me in this book (which is even more surprising because he’s exactly like my best friend IRL.) More than anything, I didn’t feel a spark between the two of them or anything but a forced romance.

Harry Potter references guaranteed to make your eyes shed a few tear drops, the lottery, family and brilliant characters – Windfall is one amazing book you should get your hands on!
Jennifer E. Smith
 Jennifer E. Smith is the author of eight books for young adults, including WINDFALL and THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her writing has been translated into 33 languages.
You can visit her on her website or follow her on Twitter

 If you won a MILLION dollars in the lottery, what would be the first thing you did? 
Have you read Windfall or any of Jennifer Smith's Books? Which one is your favourite? 
I can't wait to hear from you lovely humans.