Mini Reviews: Something like Gravity by Amber Smith, Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Mini Reviews: Something like Gravity by Amber Smith, Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Hi everyone! Today, I thought to do a Mini-Review post of two diverse books which are completely different to each other in so many ways. I’ve participated in two readathons back-to-back and because of that, my TBR is 15/16 books lighter and my review pile that much heavier. With that said, let’s begin my mini-review of Something like Gravity by Amber Smith and Patrons Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. Both are gifted by the author and the publisher(UK) respectively.

Something like Gravity by Amber Smith

For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.
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Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

My Thoughts

Something like Gravity can be described as a beautifully written YA contemporary. It’s about a transgender boy Chris who’s spending his summer months at his aunt’s place where he meets a girl named Maia. Both of them are haunted by their pasts and these summer months will change them forever. Chris’ backstory is one I found to be too traumatic and there’s no real closure to be soon which I really wanted to see. Maia’s character, however, had major development from living in her dead sister’s shadow with her divorced parents ignoring her to gaining closure and perhaps a semblance of her own identity. The author has such a way with words that I never felt bored throughout the book. The characters go from friends to lovers but their ending is left open-ended. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a light read but as I mentioned before, Chris’ backstory is triggering and I would advise that you proceed with caution.

Publication date: June 18, 2019
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Wordery

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

My Thoughts

Patron of Saints is an own voices novel that I was very excited about and it delivered on its promise. Jay, a Filipino American high school senior, on hearing the news of his cousin’s death travels to Philippines alone. The author masterfully displays the contrast between a High School senior’s life in America and Philippines; for example, in one page we see Jay’s friend smoking weed without any fear but on the other hand, Jay finds that the situation is reversed in the Phillippines..he sees that if he’s seen smoking weed, he could be killed on site. After arriving in the Phillippines, he finds that almost no one in his family is willing to talk about his cousin, it’s as if he never existed. At every moment, he views himself as an outsider despite being born in the Phillippines; at every turn, as he uncovers more secret, Jay realizes how naive and sheltered he has been all these years.

This is not a “happy” book, but rather an important one which I’ll highly recommend. Most of the news about this drug war is written by journalists who probably are not native and thus, we do not get a “clear” view of the situation. Randy Ribay, the author, through Jay’s perspective gives us a view of the situation as a foreigner and through him, we also learn of others’ thoughts who have been affected directly or indirectly.

In his author’s note, Ribay mentions a rough estimate of people who have killed because of the President declaring war on drugs. Imagine 20,000 people (could be more) who were someone’s son, or father or brother, who could have been rehabilitated, were not given a chance to exercise their choice between life and death. Although Jay got more than what he bargained for, he grew as a character and closer to his family which was beautiful to watch.

Publication date: June 27, 2019

Have you read either of these two books? If not, then will you be adding any of them to your TBR? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

Mini Review: The DNA of You & Me & The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Hi everyone! I’ve been lax with writing up reviews and this is me trying to make up for it. This is my mini- review post featuring The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins and The DNA Of You and Me by Andrea Rothman. They are both debuts but belong to completely different genres.

1. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins(3.5/5 stars)

         BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Publication Date: 4th April , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 384 Pages

Review: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins is a wonderful debut and I have officially put Sara Collins on my debut authors to watch list. The premise is intriguing: Frannie, a mulatto is brought by her master to England and ‘given’ to another master; later she falls in love with her new master’s wife. The Confessions is told entirely from Frannie’s point-of-view which she wrote while she’s in Newgate Prison awaiting trial in Old Bailey for the murder of her new master’s and mistress.

The Confessions is described as a black woman’s love story inspired by the popular gothic romance Jane Eyre. The author loved reading Austen but never saw a woman of color as a protagonist in those stories instead she read stories a woman of color was the victim. With Frannie Langton, author Sara Collins wanted to write a black woman’s love story and not of her suffering. However, through Frannie’s words we come face-to-face with her love and her suffering as well.

The writing is flawless but the plot is unforgivingly slow. The ending kind of smacks you in the face but in a good way because my boredom turned to interest: interest in finding out if Frannie is guilty of double murder or not? Overall, I would recommend it if you love reading historical fiction set during the Victorian era and if this mini review intrigues you so.


2. The DNA of You & Me by Andrea Rothman (3/5 stars)

            BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publication Date: 12 March , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 242 Pages

Review:  I loved the unique story of The DNA of You and Me but it’s not for everyone’s taste. Emily was raised by her father and due to a childhood allergy, she was accustomed to spending most of her childhood indoors. This would’ve put a damper on her socializing with other kids but as she grew up, Emily realized that she preferred the company of herself rather than others. Her personal experience eventually left her to research new genes responsible for guiding olfactory neurons to their targets. (Olfactory: the sense of smell) During this research, she meets another academic Aeden and after a series of long arguments, their relationship goes to another level. However, there’ll come a time when Emily has to make a choice: Her career or a life with Aiden?

I loved it but as I said before that this book isn’t for everyone. Most of the book is filled with genomic sciences jargon that took the story a little to much to the non-fictional side. There’s romance if you skim the scientific stuff but it’s an easy read. The sex is almost clinical in the beginning and that may be because it’s told from the POV of the narrator. However, there’s a scene when Emily says ‘no’ but Aeden still goes ahead and that left a bitter note in the entire story. I’m ashamed to say that I even forgot about this scene until I read another Goodreads review. The ending left me emotional but happy and hopeful for Emily. It did give me Eleanor Oliphant vibes but this one has way too many scientific jargon for a reader to enjoy.

However, considering this is a debut and the fact that I liked the writing, I’d definitely look forward to reading her upcoming books.

Thanks to the publishers for providing me ARCs in exchange for an honest review.

Do you think you’ll read The DNA of You and Me or The Confessions of Frannie Langton? Do you prefer reading mini-reviews or full reviews? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

My three 3-star(-ish) reads | Mini Review edition

My three 3-star(-ish) reads | Mini Review edition

Hi everyone! After my last post on my weekly reading update, I kinda ignored my blog for four days. I thought about writing a full review for the three books individually but Sea Monsters and The Cold is in her Bones are short reads so I’m posting a Mini Review for all three of them. Scroll down to read my mini-reviews of Sea Monsters, The Cold is in her Bones, and The Glass Woman:

Buy it on Wordery | Book Depository|| Add it on Goodreads

Sea Monsters by Chloe Ardidjis(3.5/5 stars): Set in a picturesque town/city of New Mexico,Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis offers us a look into some of teenage Louisa’s days. While reading the book, it was as if I was walking along with Luisa and even though there was no plot, I enjoyed the utter languidness it offered me. If you asked me to sum up the story for you, I’ll say that it was a coming of age story of a teenager called Luisa who is bored with her everyday life; so she decides to go on an adventure to find some missing circus dwarfs. Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis is not a must-read for everyone but I’d recommend it to someone who likes character-driven stories where the writer will immerse you into the character’s life with dreamy prose.

Buy it on Wordery | Book Depository|| Add it on Goodreads

The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea(3/5 stars) : The Glass Woman pulled me in with the promise of a haunting tale set in Iceland. The cover and the title goes perfectly with that imagery however, I was a tad bit disappointed after reading it. The story is set in the year 1686 and tells of a young woman called Rósa who had to leave her home to marry a wealthy stranger so that she could provide for her family. Life for a woman was hell in this place and this era. Misogyny reined and I felt so damn uncomfortable (to say the least) reading the way women especially Rósa were treated. The story had the vibe of Rebecca and The Miniaturist but it didn’t thrill me as much as I had expected it to. Rósa’s character was wonderfully written and I felt as if I was experiencing the story vicariously through her. I liked the writing; it perfectly resonated with the eerie atmosphere of the book. 

Buy it on Wordery | Book Depository|| Add it on Goodreads

The Cold Is in Her Bones (3 stars):The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale is a fantasy novel inspired by the myth of Medusa. The prologue glued me in but the story lost its rhythm somewhere along. This was set during a time where women were always supposed to be subservient and if anyone was not, then they were feared to be possessed by a demon. In here, we’re told of Milla’s story where she was always ignored by her parents and told to be obedient. She lived a quiet, unhappy life but all that changed when a girl called Iris arrives and soon after, a demon. I loved the atmosphere and the theme of female friendships. However, I lost interest in the story and the characters right around a pivotal moment. Overall, if you want to try a dark fantasy inspired by the story of Medusa,then you should add this to your TBR .

Thanks to the publishers for providing me with review copies in exchange for my honest opinions.
Thank you for reading my blog post

How did you like my mini review? Did any of the books catch your interest ? If you’ve read Sea Monsters or The Glass Woman or The Cold is in her Bones, then let me know yout thoughts in the comments below!

Mini-reviews:​ ARC edition

Emma and the City cover

Hello everyone! In this article, I will do bite-sized reviews of four e-ARCs I received from NetGalley. One of these titles have already published, and the rest have yet to be released.

Continue reading “Mini-reviews:​ ARC edition”