May Wrap-Up

Hiya! Today I bring you my May wrap-up. I must say, this month was very busy for me, and I’m sure June will be the same. Nevertheless, I still tried to read as much as I could. Enjoy!

Novels I Read

Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was really sweet, but also quite sad. You can read my review here!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Vicious is well, interesting, but it was a bit too emo for me. Review to come!

Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson: This was somewhat infuriating, but it was also kind of wholesome?? Maybe I’ll give it three stars. Review to come!

The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Sky Blues was really cheesy, but also unlike a lot of contemporaries. Review to come!

Graphic Novels and Manga read

Seven Secrets Volume 1 by Tom Taylor: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I did not expect to love this the way that I did. The story is incredibly unique, and features a variety of diverse characters. It’s a must read for all action fans!

The Princess Who Saved Herself by Greg Pak: (3.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was super cute and uplifting!! I absolutely adored the whimsical and messy setting too.

Just Pretend by Tori Sharp: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This memoir was adorable, and had such a beautiful message. Author interview to come!

Blue Flag Volume 4 and 5 by Kaito: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Blue Flag is so incredibly emotional and gripping. It’s definitely a must read for all contemporary fans!

The Color Collector by Nick Solis: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a super cute! The story is quite unique too.

A School Frozen in Time Volume 1 by Mizuki Tsujimura and Naoshi Arakawa: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ It’s quite an eerie and whimsical read perfect for fans of Your Lie in April.

Ao Haru Ride Volume 13 by Io Sakisaka: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ It’s sad that I have now finished the series. Ao Haru Ride does shojou very well. I definitely recommend it to any manga lovers.

Early One Morning by Lawrence Schimel: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the PERFECT morning story for kids. Bedtime stories are so common in children’s literature, so I am delighted to see that this is a book is set in the morning. 

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and Hatem Aly: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was so cute! If you’re looking for a hijab-positive book to read to your kids, I highly recommend The Proudest Blue. It’s both an empowering and educational read that oozes out with sisterly love.

Total Number Of Books Read: 10

Total Number Of Posts Published:

Average Rating: 7.5/10 or 3.75 out of 5 stars

First, let’s recap! Last month I said I’d read five novels, read all my netgalley ARCs, and drink more water. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet any of those goals.

Some of my goals for June include…

  • Finish three netgalley ARCs, and review them
  • Read 4 novels
  • Drink lots of water

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading about my May in books, I’d love to read about yours too! If you’d like, you can read last month’s wrap up here. Have a lovely day!

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The Other Side of Perfect | An ARC Review

Hey everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk. Feel free to read my interview with the author here! I hope you enjoy!

(Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk

Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg — and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it.
After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and binging ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected — namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive castmate she just might be falling for. But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she experienced in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet — something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else? Touching, romantic, and peppered with humor, this debut novel explores the tenuousness of perfectionism, the possibilities of change, and the importance of raising your voice. 

The original premise of The Other Side of Perfect is very unique and intriguing. Luckily, the execution was done quite well. I loved the talk about racism in the ballet industry. It’s something you never hear about, so I’m beyond happy the issue was addressed.

Our main character Alina Keeler is going through a rough patch. Due to an injury in her leg, she can’t dance Ballet anymore. At first, I thought she was unnecessarily rude and judgmental. Eventually, as time passes, Alina learns to grow from her experiences. Towards the end, I started to admire her character much more than I did when I first started reading the book.

The side characters were all quite diverse and three dimensional. Unfortunately though, Alina’s best friend Margot was very infuriating. Throughout the whole book, she’s mean and crude to others for no reason. Thankfully, our main character’s other friends are all very sweet. Each of the characters go through development, and change throughout the novel. My favorite character is Jude. I love how the he defies gender stereotypes. The topic was discussed quite a bit, and I’m so glad the author discussed it. That’s actually one of the reasons why I’m rating The Other Side of Perfect higher. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the dynamic between Alina and her younger sister Josie. It felt incredibly realistic and raw. Also, can we talk about the fact that the bullies in the novel are named Jake and Paul. Okay social commentary, I see you. 👀

Moreover, I couldn’t connect much with the dialogue. There was too much profanity for my liking, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It just isn’t something I particularly enjoy.

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In addition, the writing was just okay. It wasn’t very engaging, and thus bored me a bit. The author rambled a lot as well, which caused the writing to be repetitive. However, Mariko Turk successfully created a character that actually felt like a teenager. The story is told through Alina’s perspective, and is done very well. She’s a morally grey character that’s a teensy bit selfish. But you can’t help but like her! The author captures Alina’s emotions and sentiments perfectly.

The overall enjoyment level of The Other Side of Perfect is well, fine. The first 70% was boring and uneventful. Luckily, the last 30% was very enjoyable! If you’re looking for a coming of age novel on dance, racism, and grief, than this is definitely the book for you!

Age Rating: 14 and up

TW: Profanity

Final Rating: 7.5/10 or 3.75 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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