Diverse Divers Book Club: January 2019 – Dumplin’

Hey everyone! Merry Christmas for those who’s celebrating! I hope you’re having a great one! I’m so excited that we’re getting closer to 2019. Aside from major planning that I have for my blog, I started a book club with the lovely Lili @ Lili’s Blissful Pages called Diverse Divers. Our main goal is to connect readers from all over the world who are willing to support diversity in stories. If you support this idea and want to read more diverse books in 2019, then you can join us on our Goodreads’ group or follow us on Twitter for more daily updates! We are planning to read one diverse book each month, along with discussion, reading sprints, post link-ups, prompts and possible moviethon if the book got adapted into a movie! And I’m so excited to announce that based on the polling that we did last week, our book of the month for January 2019 is Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy!

As I previously said, we’re going to have discussions, reading sprints, post link-ups, prompts and moviethon! Read more for further details of each events!

[su_label type=”black”]Discussions[/su_label]

There will be two types of discussion. Feel free to choose whichever suits you the best!

  • A throughout the month discussion
    If you wish to have a casual discussion that last throughout the month (24/7), feel free to join us here! There will be a spoiler-free and spoilery threads, so no worries!
  • A bi-monthly discussion (Jan 13 and Jan 27)
    If you wish to have a more intense discussion with the rest of the reader, feel free to join us here! We will discuss the first half of the book (Chapter 1-31) on Jan 13 and the rest of the book (Chapter 32-61) on Jan 27.

[su_label type=”black”]Reading Sprints[/su_label]

For those who wants reading buddies and having quick chat about the book, feel free to join us on our reading sprint every Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun at 8-9 p.m. (GMT +8) on Twitter. You can share how many pages you are in, how do you feel so far about the book, what do you think of characters, or just about anything, really! We don’t mind!

[su_label type=”black”]Post Link-ups[/su_label]

Lili and I will publish our blog post after we completed the bi-monthly discussions. For those who wants to write a post about the discussed book, you can join our link-ups to share your post with other readers! This is a great way to connect with fellow bloggers and increase your blog engagement. We will also share some of the post on our Twitter account! Here is a series of options that you can choose to write, you can write one of these topic or if you’re feeling enthusiastic, you can combine a few of these topics into one single post! The possibilities are endless!

  1. A review about the book
  2. What you like & don’t like about the book
  3. A creative post (aesthetic board, printable graphic, playlist, etc!)
  4. A book & movie comparison
  5. Bonus: Answering our prompts!

[su_label type=”black”]Prompts[/su_label]

For those who’s not sure about what to write in a post, you can answer a series of questions that we’re giving to you! You don’t have to answer all of these questions, of course, so no pressure at all!

  1. What did you like best and least about this book?
  2. Share a favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out?
  3. What did you think of the book’s length? If it’s too long, what would you cut? If too short, what would you add?
  4. If you got the chance to ask the author of this book one question, what would it be?
  5. Which character in the book would you most like to meet?
  6. Which places in the book would you most like to visit?
  7. What do you think of the book’s title? How does it relate to the book’s contents? What other title might you choose?
  8. What do you think the author’s purpose was in writing this book? What ideas was he or she trying to get across?
  9. How original and unique was this book?
  10. Did the characters seem believable to you? Did they remind you of anyone?

[su_label type=”black”]Moviethon[/su_label]

We’re planning on doing a moviethon since this book got adapted into a movie. However, we’re still trying to figure out the ideal date and how are we going to watch and discuss it. We’ll update once we can figure everything out, so stay tune!

[su_label type=”black”]Doesn’t have access for the book?[/su_label]

If you’re looking forward to join and read Dumplin’ along with us but doesn’t have access for the book, you can read the book for free by using an app called AnyBooks! This is where I’ll read mine too! Unfortunately, this app is only available on Android. So, please let me know if there’s any app that Apple users can use to read this book!

[su_label type=”black”]Banner + Button[/su_label]

This is our banner for January 2019 that you may use in your blog post!

And this is our book club button that you may use in your blog sidebar!

And that’s it! If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to hit us up on Twitter or on our Goodreads’ group! We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our book club and enhance experiences for every members possible! Until next time! I’ll see you in January once we started Dumplin’! 

 

 

Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella

Another book review is here! Phew! This book has been sitting on my TBR list for around a month or so, but that’s completely my fault! College got the best of me, especially around this time of the year. Anyway, Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella is the very first ARC copy that I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That alone, is already one of the reason that makes me excited to read this book! So, let’s get into the review, shall we?

This dysfunctional family road trip is on the spectrum and off the beaten path…Ride along on a bumpy cross-country road trip with a highly dysfunctional family. On this trip an emotionally detached child prodigy with a history of therapist visits encounters a cast of quirky characters who validate his wishes to live his life independently. But none of the characters found on the road end up being as path-altering for him as his own immediate family. There are many lessons along the way. The most important being that wherever there is motion, there is bound to be friction, and within this lies the secret to wisdom and the strength to break free.

I’m always excited when it comes to a debut, whether it’s books or movies. Friction in Motion is Sy Kadella’s first novel and I have to say, it was an enjoyable read! The story started with our boy, Jeremy, who get woken up out of sudden by his father to go for a road trip (along with Jeremy’s very old grandpa). It’s summer holiday, apparently. Later on, we got informed that Jeremy’s dad and mom are fighting (not divorce, just yet), but his mom decided to leave the house for a while, and she also bring Jeremy’s sister, Beth. The three of them (Jeremy, his dad, and his grandpa) picked up Beth before they went for the road trip and this is where the actual story began.

When I first read the summary, it immediately made me think, “C’mon. How dysfunctional a family can be that made our main character wants to break free?”. Boy, oh boy, I did not expect that! Even with its slow and steady pace, Sy Kadella successfully delivered a family drama that you won’t forget so quickly. I’ve never really think before about a family drama except of my own. The thought was there, obviously, but to think that your relatives and friends got their own problems with their family, is not something that comes to my mind very often. Of course we all got our own family drama, but we all tend to sugar-coated it in front of everyone else, right? So, to be able to witnessed every single details of Jeremy’s family drama from his perspective (at least), is truly an experience. Also, it felt like I was actually there, sitting in the back of the car, having a road trip with Jeremy and his family.

Friction is Motion is not the type of book that you want to read if you expected a roller coaster drama along with some physical fights or action packs. It’s not. It’s rather casual, coming of age journey of our main character, Jeremy. We got to explore around and see things from his point of view, and when I said explore around, I meant it literally (it’s a book about road trip, what did you expected?) This is a type of book that you want to pick up on a calm Sunday morning and just read it, forget your surrounding and enjoy the flow. What I truly liked about this book, is I can immediately imagine everything without trying hard. The writing style is easy to follow, yet very rich and informative at the same time. I found myself to be surprised at little fun science facts that scattered here and there throughout this book. What a fun way to educate yourself while also being entertained! Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: Friction in Motion | Author: Sy Kadella | Publisher: Razor’s Edge Publishing Inc. | Genre: Adult FictionContemporaryLiterary | Publication Date: September 15, 2018 | Format: eBook | Source: NetGalley | LINKS: GoodreadsAmazon[/su_heading]

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NeverHaven by Michael W. Garza

This is my first time to encounter a YA Occult and honestly, I couldn’t be more excited! I’m a big fan of this genre on screen (any American Horror Story fan around?), but I just never happened to read it in a book before, so it’s definitely a new experience for me! I enjoyed reading this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one. I got the e-ARC of this book from YA Bound Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review. Let’s started, shall we?

The bond between twins can bend but never break. Elizabeth is crazy, at least that’s what everyone believes. She sees things, terrible things no one wants to hear about. Her twin sister, Jessica, used to see things too, but she convinced herself long ago it was all in her head. The sixteen-year-old was left to drift through the chaos alone, abandoned by her other half. But now the darkness has come calling.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, this is my first time to read a book from YA Occult genre and I was super excited about it. NeverHaven started a bit too slow for my liking. I keep waiting and I think there are too many unnecessary details at the beginning. It’s not bad, but I guess I’m just too excited and I want to see the fun bits as soon as possible!

It gets so much better as it continues. You started to sense the characters and their role (or maybe not?) along the story. I was surprised the book took a twist of a point of view from its characters. We all know a ‘plot twist’, right? But, I’d like to call this one as a ‘POV twist’. When the story started, I really thought that Person A will be the superstar of this book, but turns out, not really! Even though I was kinda annoyed when I first noticed this, I eventually started to sit back and enjoy it. Quite a surprise, even for myself, actually!

What I truly like about this book is it made me keep suspecting everyone! I’m a sucker when a story allows us to position ourselves as Poirot and analyze every possibility (most likely wrong, but hey, I have fun!) that might happen after one incident to another. I also enjoyed the pace of this book, especially when it passed several chapters, things started to get really intense!

However, I feel the characters (not just the main ones) doesn’t really get an opportunity to become more complex. I get it, pardon me for this silly example, but Thor is always the good guy and Loki is always try to be the bad guy. But, a lot of us adore Loki, right?! Because he’s not just the bad guy. He got history and character development. So, I think this book will be so much better if they can show us a stronger motive, both for the protagonists and antagonists.

Rating: ★★★½

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: NeverHaven | Series: Vision of the Elder #1 | Author: Michael W. Garza | Publisher: NeverHaven Press | Genre: MysteryOccultSupernatural | Publication Date: July 27, 2017 | Format: eBook | Source: YA Bound Book Tours | LINKS: GoodreadsAmazon[/su_heading]

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[su_accordion][su_accordion] [su_spoiler title=”Read Excerpt” style=”fancy”]Jessica’s eyes sprang open. It took her a moment to realize she was awake. Her room was dark, and only a thin line of light shone through the slit under her bedroom door. A haze of sleep clung to her mind, and she couldn’t understand the panic in her chest. She was shaking, and her heart thumped wildly in her ears. She took a moment to gather her thoughts before sitting up in the bed. She couldn’t shake a strange sensation of pain in her hands and feet. For a moment she thought she might be having a heart attack. It took her another few seconds to recognize the connection she’d blocked out for so long. Something was wrong with Elizabeth. Jessica threw back the covers and hopped onto the floor. The cold boards sent a shock through her body, but it was a sound that froze her in place. She was midway between her bed and the bedroom door when the panic increased tenfold. The pain in her limbs intensified, and the fear for her sister was the only thing that convinced her to move. Jessica reached the door, grabbed hold of the handle, and then pressed her ear to the wood. A series of sounds echoed across the hall outside the room, ending with a muffled cry. Jessica clenched her teeth as she pressed down on the handle. The door slowly cracked, and she slid her eye to the opening. The entire floor was cloaked in darkness, but moonlight offered a view into Elizabeth’s room. Jessica pulled open the door enough to squeeze through. Her foot touched the floor out in the hall when a shadow crossed the light in Elizabeth’s room followed by a loud thump. Another muffled cry struck Jessica’s heart with terror. She rushed across the open space and pressed her back against the wall outside Elizabeth’s doorway. The sounds of a struggle intensified, and Jessica tried to gather her courage. She was through the doorway before she knew what she was doing. The moonlight revealed several figures standing throughout the bedroom. The main struggle came from Elizabeth’s bed, where at least two people stood over the girl. Jessica’s mind seized up as several figures lurched toward her. She managed to get out a scream before they grabbed hold of her. The initial impact flung Jessica onto the floor. The side of her head smacked the ground, and her vision blurred and then filled with sparkling lights. She tried to yell again, but something was forced into her mouth the moment she opened it. Confusion erupted within the room as all of the shadows moved at once. Jessica made one last attempt to roll over when a vicious strike caught her on the back of the head and everything went dark.[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

About the Author

Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookAuthor’s Amazon Page

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

I started reading this book on August 28, 2018, and you might be wondering why it took me more than two weeks to finish it. The truth is, I neglected this book several times (due to some IRL responsibilities, ugh). I read the first few pages (which is decent, but quite tense I’d say), but I didn’t feel intrigued enough to keep going. Things started to work out a bit once I passed several chapters. And I’m referring to the plot only here. Unfortunately, the characters brought a bit of confusion, as you can’t really tell at first whether they’re a protagonist or antagonist. Which, on the other side is a good thing. However, I managed to finish it yesterday and here’s my review!

You’re waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You’re making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That’s the last thing your remember. You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident, you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend is not so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe…

The only thing that I liked about this book is the last plot twist, since the other ones (yep, there’s more than one plot twist) are predictable. It’s annoying because isn’t this supposed to be a mystery novel? Although, the last few pages of this book is definitely interesting and unexpected. I sensed some Gone Girl 2.0 inspo here. The other thing that I appreciated about this book is the writing style. I saw other reviewers that considered this aspect as the weakness of this book since it’s quite straightforward and it can feel like you’re reading a fan-fiction on Wattpad. However, I kinda like it because it’s a huge convenient since I’m not an English native.

Does she really not remember that night? Or is she simply not telling him?

Now, this is the exciting part. Let’s start with the plot. Oh God, I cringed so hard at the mainstream storyline. Car accident, amnesia, affair and two women fighting over a man (not even a good one!). It feels like a soap opera! Not to mention the bad writing of characters. The male lead is so in love with the female lead, and two seconds later he’s become this naive, weak, cheat-ass liar. He’s doubting his marriage right after his wife got into an accident because he feels like he doesn’t know her anymore and he scared. What a coward! The two female leads are at least, has a bit more of personality. Definitely not a great one, however, they’re interesting enough to make you think about what they’re actually up to.

Rating: ★★

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Abuse, death, fertility, violence.[/su_spoiler]

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: A Stranger in the House | Author: Shari Lapena | Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books | Genre: MysterySuspenseThriller | Publication Date: July 27, 2017 | Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased | LINKS: GoodreadsBook Depository (Affiliate)[/su_heading]

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Have you read this book? If so, what do you think about it? Have you read any book written by Shari Lapena? If so, how was it compared to this book? Are you looking forward to read this book after reading my review? Let me know!