Short Books to Read If You’re Behind in Your Goodreads Challenge | Blogmas Day 10

Hi everyone! While I already completed my Goodreads challenge this year, I know what it’s like to be missing just a few books to reach your goal and that’s why I decided to look through my shelfs and find some short books (under 250 pages) that I would recommend and that may help you complete your Goodreads challenge.

I decided not to include romance novellas since I have so many of those to recommend that I’m writing a separate post about it.

to make monsters out of girls by Amanda Lovelace (168 pages): a poetry collections that explores the experience of being in an abusive relationship and the process of healing after that experience. It’s beautifully written, honest and evocative.

For Every One by Jason Reynolds (102 pages): This is a poem for the dreamers of the world that’s powerful and inspiring.

Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros (112 pages): This is beautiful and heartbreaking story told in verse about losing someone you love and the grief that comes with that. Sandra Cisneros manages to convey so many feelings in such a short and simple story.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (182 pages): This eerie, spooky book about a haunted house will make you feel unsettled and doubt what’s real and what isn’t. It has great writing, an unreliable narrator and intriguing characters.

Animal Farm by George Orwell (141 pages): This book has a clever concept, it uses animal to take a fascinating look at fascism. Also, its fantastically written.

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (220 pages): Agatha Christie books are always so entertaining that you feel like you finish them in a blink of an eye.

The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire (all the books are under 202 pages): I know this series is very popular, but if you are a fantasy lover and you’re looking for something short, they are the perfect choice. These books have great writing, interesting concepts, complex characters and so much heart.

God Smites and Other Muslim Girls Problems by Ishara Deen (236 pages): An entertaining and diverse YA mystery, perfect for fans of Nancy Drew. This book is about a Muslim teenage girl solving a muder.

We are Okay by Nina LaCour (236 pages): This is a quiet book about grief that’s bittersweet and raw. It’s one of my favorite YA contemporaries of all time, so I highly recommend it.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (236 pages): A cute and fluffy YA contemporary about a love born when two teenagers get stuck in an aiport. This is entertaining and a very fast read.

What short books would you recommend? How are you doing with your Goodreads challenge this year?

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Underrated YA Books (less than 1000 ratings on Goodreads)

Underrated YA Books

The other day I saw a blog post about the number of ratings books have on Goodreads and I was inmediately curious about the number of ratings that the books I have read have on Goodreads and I was suprised because some books I really enjoyed have less than a 1000 ratings. After realizing this, I felt like it was a good idea to promote these amazing books that a lot of people may have not read.

I didn’t choose books released in 2018, because I feel like they haven’t been out for very long and that may have to do with why they don’t have that many ratings. So, this is a list of backlist books with less than a 1000 ratings on Goodreads that I think deserve more attention and love from the reading community:

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh (2016)  – 863 ratings on Goodreads

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Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Goodreads| Amazon

If you like very atmospheric books, that are eerie and spooky,  that include fascinating mythology and that manage to mantain a mysterious tone until the end, this book is for you!  Those are defenitely the main strengths of this and they make it feel unique and interesting. If you want to know more , here’s my full review.

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez (2015) – 832 ratings on Goodreads

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A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

Goodreads | Amazon

The contrast this book portraits between the ways the two main characters live depression is what makes this book unique, as well as incredibly important. If you are looking for a very nuance representation of depresion, this book may be for you! Additionally, this book has #ownvoices latinx rep and its done so well! If you want to know more , here’s my full review. 

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen (2017) – 45 ratings on Goodreads

god-smites

LIKE NANCY DREW, BUT NOT…

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.

Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right?

Goodreads | Amazon 

The main character in this book has a unique voice that shines throughout the book and it helps keep it funny and charming. This book has amazing #ownvoices muslim rep and the way it talks about muslim problems is insightful and it can be uncomfortable in its truths. If you are looking for a good mystery full of humour and diverse characters, you’ll probably like this! If you want to know more , here’s my full review.

Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne (2017) – 278 ratings on Goodreads

future leaders of nowhere

“Finn’s solid. Not in body, but in being. She’s gravity and kindness and all those good things that anchor.”

“Willa’s confusing. Sometimes she’s this sweet, sensitive soul. Other times she’s like a flaming arrow you hope isn’t coming for you.”

Finn and Willa have been picked as team leaders in the future leader camp game. The usually confident Finn doesn’t know what’s throwing her more, the fact she’s leading a team of highly unenthusiastic overachievers or coming up against fierce, competitive Willa. And Willa doesn’t know which is harder, leaving her responsibilities behind to pursue her goals or opening up to someone.

Soon they both realise that the hardest thing of all is balancing their clashing ideals with their unexpected connection. And finding a way to win, of course.

Goodreads | Amazon

If you are looking for a book with an interesting setting and premise, with lots of diversity and great characters, this is for you! This book has two main characters, a bisexual girl and an Indian-Australian lesbian girl, that participate in a competition that its a mix between a summer camp and a Model UN. It’s an interesting book that adresses important subject thorughout.

Do you want to read any of these books? Have you read any of these books? Did you like them?
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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #6

diverse-spotlight1

Diversity Spotlight Thrusday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are suppost to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that has not yet been released. 

If you didn’t know, I also decided to pick  books that have  less than a thousand ratings on Goodreads, because I want to promote less known diverse books and authors, and I will try to choose only #ownvoices books, because I want the authors that I promote to be members of minorities and marginalized groups.

read

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deengod-smites

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.

Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right? 

Goodreads | Amazon 

I have talked about this one a few times on my blog, but in case you missed it please know that I loved this book so much and I can’t wait to read the sequel and here more from Asiya. God Smites is a funny, charming and interesting book. The main character, Asiya,has a unique voice that shines throughout the whole story. Also, the humour is absolutely brilliant and that comes from being honest and outspoken about things that are not often talked about in YA. Here’s my review.

tbr

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis

the melody of you and meAfter dropping out of university and breaking up with her girlfriend of three years, Chris Morrison’s life is now a mind-numbing mess. She doubts that working at the small neighborhood bookstore is going to change that. The rest of her time is spent mostly playing guitar and ignoring the many messages her mother keeps sending her about going back to college.

But one day, an adorable and charming new bookseller waltzes her way into Chris’s life. Josie Navarro is sweet, flirty, and she always has a new book in her hands. The two girls start a fast friendship that, for Chris, holds the promise of something more. But is she reading too much into this or is it possible that Josie feels the same way? 

Goodreads | Amazon

I have heard a lot of things about this book from people on my Twitter timeline. These are some of the things I know about this book: it’s super short, it’s set in a bookstore and it has a pansexual main character and the love interest is a lesbian filipino girl. Also, I have heard is sex positive. I don’t really need to know more than that.

coming-soon

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim 

That Thing We Call a HeartShabnam Qureshi is a funny, imaginative Pakistani-American teen attending a tony private school in suburban New Jersey. When her feisty best friend, Farah, starts wearing the headscarf without even consulting her, it begins to unravel their friendship. After hooking up with the most racist boy in school and telling a huge lie about a tragedy that happened to her family during the Partition of India in 1947, Shabnam is ready for high school to end. She faces a summer of boredom and regret, but she has a plan: Get through the summer. Get to college. Don’t look back. Begin anew.

Everything changes when she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack, and meets her there every afternoon. Shabnam begins to see Jamie and herself like the rose and the nightingale of classic Urdu poetry, which, according to her father, is the ultimate language of desire. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating—her curls, her culture, her awkwardness. Shabnam finds herself falling in love, but Farah finds Jamie worrying.

With Farah’s help, Shabnam uncovers the truth about Jamie, about herself, and what really happened during Partition. As she rebuilds her friendship with Farah and grows closer to her parents, Shabnam learns powerful lessons about the importance of love, in all of its forms.

Goodreads | Amazon

This is another book that has been all over my twitter timeline (great book recs, that’s how I know I follow the right people!). I’m looking forward to reading this book because a)The synopsis sound interesting and intriguing and b) I haven’t read enough books with Muslim characters and I don’t think I have ever read a book with a Pakistani main character. The release date for this one is May 9th 2017.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Can you recommend me some diverse books you love? 

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Book Review: God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen

god-smites

Title: God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems

Author: Ishara Deen

Published by: Deeya Publishing Inc.

Publishing Date: January 15th 2017

Pages: 236

LIKE NANCY DREW, BUT NOT…

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.

Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right?

Goodreads |Amazon

*I recieved a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. * 

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems is a funny, charming and interesting book that talks about the problems Muslims have to deal with in everyday life, particulary, Muslim teenage girls. The heart of this book is the main character Asiya, she is funny and smart, she has a unique voice that shines throughout the book, she cares deeply about other people, while being a bit naive at times.

Furthermore, the humour in this book is absolutely brilliant and that comes from being honest and outspoken about things that are not often talked about in YA and turning the awkwardness that can surround topics like sex and religion in something funny. Some of the funniest moments in the book are when Asiya has conversations with God, she thinks about the most innapropiate things while she prays or simply talks to God in her head. Those moments were relatable and hilarious, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments where that those same subject are addressed seriously and with thoughtfulness, but there’s a good balance between the funny and the serious.

Also, the way this book talks about muslim problems is insightful and it can be uncomfortable in its truths. As this books addresses Muslim problems, it also shows perfecly that not all Muslims share the same ideas or have the same interpretation of what the Quran says. They are a community, they are part of the same religion, but that doesn’t mean they are all the same, that they all have the sames opinions or attitudes. They are all individuals and have their own personalities and their own ways of seeing and understanding the world.

The relationship between Asiya and her parents is really important to the story and religion plays a big role in that relationship. Sometimes it’s really frustrating to see how her parents refuse to listen and are really overprotective, but at the same time, it’s easy to see that they love her and want the best for her. Not to mention, that the relationship developes throughout the book, and by the end, the door starts to open for a more open and honest relationship between Asiya and her parents.

Moreover, the relationship between Asiya and Michael plays a big part in the story and the scenes between them are extremely cute; the whole ‘I don’t really know you yet, but you are nice and I like you’ thing was written so well, because it didn’t feel like insta-love. Asiya likes Michael but she reminds herself throughout the book that she doesn’t knwo him that well and that she doesn’t know if she can trust him, which was refreshing. On the other hand, Michael is a mystery and he is not enterely trustworthy; only time will tell if he is good enough for Asiya. Additionally, Asiya’s best friend, Abby, is amazing. Even if she isn’t in the book that much, her character shines and it seems she is going to be a lot more present in the next book. Asiya and Abby’s relationship is definitely a great representation of a healthy female friendship.

Finally, this books manages to be funny and insightful at the same time; the writting is incredibly strong, the pace is even throughout the book and the mystery is not predictable. Likewise, the main character has a unique voice and the other characters feel real and flesh out.

Rating: 4,2 stars

Are you excited to read this book? Have you read it already? Did you like it? 

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