The hate u give by Angie Thomas: A Book review

The hate u give by Angie Thomas: A Book review

I am sure no one would be unaware of the police brutality against black and the massive movement about #BlackLivesMatter in 2017. The Hate U Give could be easily one of those books that everyone, irrespective of the age group, should be reading if at all you want to be a part of the change or at least to know how these things happen and affect people.

About The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give review

Book Name: The Hate U Give 

Author: Angie Thomas

Genre: Fiction – YA

Characters: Starr Carter, Big Mav, Lisa, Seven, Khalil

Setting: The USA

Plot Summary of The Hate U Give

Starr, a 16-year-old African American kid, is stuck between two worlds. She lives at Garden Heights, a ghetto with gangsters and drug pushers. Her father Big Mav is a former gangster who took a blame and chose to go to prison so that he could get out of the system and lead a normal gang-free life. He wants their ghetto to be better and a safe haven for his kids.

She is one of the two black kids in her rich and predominantly white, prep school. She falls for a white boy, whom she has to hide from her father because he is ‘white’ and has two white best friends. Her mother is a nurse who wants to save her children from the ghetto life by taking them away.

Stuck between the two worlds and parents who have different views about their lives, Starr feels an outsider in both places. Starr understands her lives are universes apart and has never had to choose between them – until the fateful night, her unarmed friend Khalil gets shot by a cop in front of her eyes.

Should she remain silent, as her mother and uncle want her to be, and save herself from the wrath of the public and her own peers at school? Or should she put her life in danger, give a voice to the cause that may lead nowhere?

What do you do when your best friend is being a bully and a racist, intentionally or not? Do you confront her, putting your entire friendship jeopardy or pretend it was unintentional and you are just overreacting? How long can one hide a white boyfriend from your father?

Book review of The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give is essentially a coming of age story in the present American scenario, dealing with racism, bullying and violence. It is inspired by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, obviously but is much more than that. It is an honest account of a strong black family that has nothing to do with the gangs or drugs but is put to trial because of their skin colour. I do not want to spoil your reading experience by giving out any spoilers.

It is not just the strong storyline that made The Hate U Give the NY! bestseller but the well-written characters and a sprinkle of humour that made the story all the more fun to read. The writing is just perfect for YA, not becoming too political, yet talking about all the main themes like a true social commentary.

Yes, there are few characters that were flat and the ending with the perfect boyfriend was just too good to be true. But hey, those did not seem to be a big issue to me, all things considered. It is, after all, a young adult book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

As a person who is not living in the USA, I may not have faced such an incident in my real life, but violence and prejudice against colour, cast and creed are no different in any other country. That is one of the things that makes The Hate U Give close to my heart. As someone who doesn’t want to be an unintentional racist or offend anyone without meaning to, this book is an eye-opener. It made me think about my stand and actions on certain topics which is exactly what was expected of this book.

Bottom-line

The Hate U Give is surely one of the best books I have read this year. Books like this and Feel me fall makes me gain more faith in the YA genre. I have not stopped raving about this book to anyone I know even though I read this book about a month back. I can not recommend this book enough. READ THIS BOOK.

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The hate u give by Angie Thomas: A Book review

Things bloggers want to tell authors: Requesting reviews

One of the perks of being a book blogger is the number of books that we receive for review. For a book lover, there could be nothing better. With the increasing number of books we receive for review between the e-galleys and the ones sent by the publishers and PR agents themselves, it is a miracle that we even have a social life, if at all we did.

So why would I respond to an unsolicited email from a never-heard-of self-published author requesting reviews for his books, leave alone review them?

Okay, that might have been harsh. But that is kinda the truth.

The only thing that we book bloggers love other than reading books is talking about them to other book-worms, a.k.a their blog readers. We are absolutely thankful for the review copies and the giveaways the authors and their publishers offer because let’s face it: otherwise, we would be broke AF.

Requesting reviews

Some of us are alive mostly for the books delivered in their inboxes (e-books) or on their doorsteps. Okay, that may have been a tad too grim, but let us not make it about me. But, you get it, we LOVE the freebies.

But again you have not seen our inbox and the number of emails we receive soliciting reviews in a week. I can only imagine the state of the popular bloggers out there. And to add to the issue, there are several blogs that do not accept indie books for reviews.

So if you are an indie or self-published author, who does not have an army of agents working on social media profile, promotions like book tours and seeking out reviews all over the world and the internet, it, sure, is all the more difficult to handle it all. Of course, this post is not to dampen your spirits but to help in some way or the other.

So how can you, as a newbie/self-published author, make your attempt to reach bloggers more successful? Read on what book bloggers want to tell you, authors, about book reviewing.

1) Get to know us

It is always better to over prepare than none at all. Please spend a few minutes on our blogs and try to get to know us. It always helps if you address us by our names or the handle (if you found us on social media) than a generic “dear blogger”. I am not asking you to read every post in the blog (even though I would totally love it if you do) but at least know if I am interested in the genre that you write about.

Requesting reviews

That brings up the second point.

2) Read the review policy

Most bloggers have a separate page detailing their policy and preferences; a few just mention them on the sidebars. It would hardly take a minute or two to read them. This might sound like a no-brainer but it would be surprising to know the number of people who skip this. It is not only silly that they won’t read it but I feel it is downright rude.

3) Do not pester

The policy page usually has the instructions on what to do further. Not all bloggers review all genres and they do not accept all the books they receive. Most of them will let you know if they accept to review your book. Do not send us your books before say YES. The policy page usually tells you about the expected turnaround for their reviews, if they accept. So wait for a while say, two weeks or so, before you follow-up. Follow up, not pester or antagonize them already.

4) Do not ask for more

Many book bloggers talk about the books out of love and passion. They do not owe you much. If they agree to a review, do not expect or demand more out of them. Even if you are paying for their services, make sure what they offer and agree to. Ask them where they would post and promote their review, and thus your book. Demanding them to post the review in too many places, asking them to tag you everywhere, etc can be too exasperating for them too.

Requesting reviews

5) Respect their views

Not everyone is going to like your work. Not everyone can fall in love with your characters. You are approaching strangers from the internet for an unbiased review. They might give a negative opinion; be prepared to accept it. Do not ask them to remove them, or demand them to not post them. Do not argue about their rating system or their scores. Most bloggers do not even expect to hear a ‘thank you’ from you after the review, much alone an argument with you. Respect their views, especially the one you sought for.

6) Avoid badmouthing

Of late, there have been quite a few instances where authors and bloggers got into a verbal feud. Of course, keyboard warfare is not new, but having badmouthing a particular blogger for their opinion is not okay at all. If you have a problem, be adults and discuss them privately, not on social media. I am sure the news travels and would hit you out of nowhere.

7) Help us help you

Lastly, provide us with all the required details to make a decision about reviewing your book. Once they agree to accept to review your book, you can provide them with Amazon and Goodreads links, and your social links to help to tag you once the review is up.

Requesting reviews

With the Amazon’s new restrictions, many bloggers are wary of being ‘friends’ with authors in the social media, lest making their reviews may be brought under scrutiny and may even be removed. So if they are not accepting your ‘friend’ requests, do not take it personally.

In short, be as polite as you would be when you meet a stranger. Do not let the anonymity presented by the internet spoil you. Do your research.

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The hate u give by Angie Thomas: A Book review

Book Review: Feel Me Fall

Who can survive the mighty Amazon jungle – The strongest or the smartest?
What determines your survival – teamwork or the survival of the fittest?
How far would you go to survive and where would you stop and let go?

About the book

feel me fall

Book Name: Feel Me Fall

Author:  James Morris

Genre: Fiction – YA, Thriller

Characters: Emily Durant, Vivian, Derek, Molly, Nico, Ryan

Setting: The USA, South America

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Author for the Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The plot

Six American teenagers are pushed to answer these questions when their flight crashes over the Amazon forest. The lone survivor Emily has PTSD, and her therapist asks her to write about her fateful journey. How the trip, her survival and her truth affects her life forms the rest of the story.

Emily Duran forges her mother’s signature to take the trip of her lifetime to South America with her high schoolmates. The school trip didn’t go as well as it was supposed to and their plane crashes over the Amazon. Now you see why I was hooked? – there are deaths, lots of it.

Emily and five of her classmates are the only survivors of the crash. Fortunately (or was it?) Emily had her best friend Vivian and her boyfriend Nico to fall back on. The teenagers decide to walk away from the wreckage in search of some village. (Why? Who does that?)

Where there are high schoolers, there drama usually ensues, doesn’t it? That is true. The status quo of the survivors changes all of a sudden, thanks to the new environment. The popular ones do not have much to rely on anymore, do they? Lies, deceits and secrets catch up and pit them against each other.

How does the average, crowd-pleasing Emily become the only one who stays alive? Read Feel Me Fall to know more.

My initial thoughts

The story travels between the pages of Emily’s diary and the thrilling past from the tropical forest, making it a fast-paced compulsive read that will impress readers of all ages. I have had the opportunity to beta-read some of the other works of the author, and it took all of me (and failed) not to have a ‘fangirl flail moment‘ when I got the request to review his books. And he did not fail to impress me, despite my expectation being high.

I loved how every character was different from the other and how the author handled the dynamics between them very well. Be it the failing mom-daughter relationship or the more scandalous student-teacher relationship, they made sense and fit into the grand scheme of things (you know, not thrust in, just for the heck of it) and had depth in them.

Things that worked for me

  • The author’s writing style is crisp and to the point, without having too many descriptions, yet I could visualize everything that happens in the story.
  • The story has its share of unexpected twists, and an unreliable narrator makes it all the better.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • The book’s premise might remind you of other survival books but I can assure Feel Me Fall is better, even if you vehemently hate high school drama.
  • Spoiler: The story contains a teacher-student relationship, and it is vital to the story and dealt in detail, so if you are not comfortable with this or they turn you off from the book, you might have to skip Feel Me Fall

Bottom-line

If you are on the lookout for a thriller with twists and unexpected turns which would never let you put the book down. Feel Me Fall is the book for you. Be prepared to be shocked and surprised pleasantly with this tight knitted YA.

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The hate u give by Angie Thomas: A Book review

Book review: Waterboarding

What happens if you lose a few of your memories, that you wanted to forget anyway? Is it worth knowing a few that have left you, all over again? Would it be worth it this time? Bragadeesh Prasanna tries to help us answer these questions through his new novel Waterboarding.

Waterboarding is personally close to me as does its author. I have read the book about three times even before it hit the editor’s desk, as a beta reader. This review is not gonna be biased in any sense, so here we go.

The hate u give by Angie Thomas: A Book review

Book Review: Tribal Affairs

I don’t read that many  fantasy books that are not horror based. That is not because I don’t like them but the premises are usually harder for me to get into. When I was approached for the review of YA fantasy fiction ‘Tribal Affairs’, I loved the relaxed narrative style, and I hoped I would like it. Read more to know.

Book Name: Tribal Affairs Author:  Matt Dallmann
Genre: Fiction – Paranormal Fantasy
Characters: Liana, Dahlia, Taffi, Jamison, Stefan, Amon
Disclaimer: Thanks to the Author and iRead Book Tours for the Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Liana is a teenager whose magician father is losing his charm, and she decides to wear her late mother’s anklet. Little does she knows that she is about to set forth a great chaos in the realms of humans as well as genies alike. Dahlia the genie that is trapped in the anklet tries to connect to Liana through her dreams.

Liana suffers from depression and is being treated by Dr Rattner, just as her mother did. She believes she is losing her mind, as she sees and feels things that are not real. How much of what she sees is real and which is not?

As if things were not already complicated, Liana gets herself cursed to disappear, and she is pursued by a strong and powerful, evil genie. Does Liana solve the mystery about Dahlia and the evil genie? What is wrong with her mentally? Read Tribal Affairs to know more.

The story alternates between the tale of Dahlia and Liana, a genie and a teenager in the present. The shift in the story was kinda abrupt and hard to grasp initially, but later on, it becomes better. The conversations and the writing style is easy to follow, given that it is primarily aimed at the YA crowd. But Tribal Affairs might suit to all age group alike.


There are a few moments in the story that you might feel outta place if you had jumped in thinking only of Aladdin’s Genie.The Djinn/genie world seems much more complicated than that. They have even feuds between their tribes (thus the name Tribal Affairs, get it?) and lots of restrictions on their power. So much for the shape-shifting goofy genies! sob sob.  But kudos to the strong world building that even a genie noob like me could understand.

If you are a fan of YA fantasy, then you should pick this book Tribal Affairs right away. Even if you are not, try the book you might end up liking it thanks to its interesting narration.

Read more about the book and enter a giveaway here