Review

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Title: Stalking Jack The Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Published by: Jimmy Patterson

Publishing date: September 20th 2016

Genre:  Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Pages: 326

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

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A little story about me and this book

I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review a long time ago, I was supposted to be part of the blog tour that took place like 9 months  ago. A lot of things happened in my personal life at that time and they made it impossible to read and review this book. I actually read the first two pages and I didn’t enjoy them, but I didn’t know if it was me because I had so much going on or if it was the book.

This January I finally decided to give this another try and I ended up really enjoying this book. It actually has one of my new favorite ships, which is one of the main reason that I enjoyed this book so much. I didn’t post my review back in January because I was gonna wait until the release date of the second book was closer, but since the arc copies of book 2 are starting to make it to readers, I feel like this is a good time to help increase the excitement for this series.

Without further ado, here’s the review!

The review

Stalking Jack the Ripper is set in 1888 and it’s based on the murders commited by Jack the Ripper, who terrorized London with his brutality during this time. The author takes full advantage of this premise and she makes this a very atmospheric book, with fog, a mystery vibe and a eerie feel to it. At the same time, there’s a lot of grusome scenes and imaginery, there’s blood and organs and this is very descriptive when it comes to how the victims were murdered.

In the midst of this background, there’s Audrey Rose, the main character, an extremely intelligent girl that spends the book struggleling and defying the gender restrictions of her time. She is definitely not, what in her time would have been considered, a proper lady,  she spends her days opening dead bodies and she is fascinated by anatomical dissection.  It’s amazing to have a main female character in a YA book that it’s into science or a science related field, because it doesn’t happen that often. Going back to Audrey, for someone so intelligent, she is incredibly reckeless and impulsive, and in her desire to not conforme to society’s gender ideas she puts herself at risk repeatedly throughout this book.

On the other hand, there’s Thomas, the other main character in this book, he’s also incredibly intelligent and has really good deduction skills. Another very important thing about Thomas is that he’s a complete flirt and his responses are always witty and sarcastic.  Also,  he is really arrogant and he doesn’t try to hide it. Both  Thomas and Audrey are very strong-willed, and that makes the dynamic between them incredible, they work well together but there’s also a lot of chemestry that goes beyond crime-solving partners. There’s banter and bickering but also smart conversations. Honestly, this is a swoon worthy romance.

The problem with this book is that the mystey aspect is a bit a predictable, really early on is easy to tell who Jack the Ripper is.  Nonetheless, the book keeps you wondering when the main characters are gonna realise who the culprit is and that manages to keep the suspense alive.  Another minor issue with the book, is that  Audrey and Thomas do a lot of ‘stalking’’ throughout the story and that ends up helping little to solve the crimes. The ‘stalking’ is a bit pointless and it reveals to be more reckless than courageous.

Rating: 4,2 stars

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?

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Book Review: If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

if-the-dress-fits

Title: If the Dress Fits

Author: Carla de Guzman

Published by: Midnight Books

Publishing date:  October 15th 2016

Genre: Romance, new adult

Martha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe. 

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what? 

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side. 

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

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I received this book through a giveaway hosted by the amazing Marianne @Boricuan Bookworms . Thank you so much for giving me the chance to read this book! 

If the Dress Fits is a funny and cute romance story. This is a #ownvoices book both for being overweight and being Filipinx. The main character, Martha, is plus sized woman of color and she has a positive relationship with her weight, which makes this story really valuable. The love interest is Max, a biracial veterinarian, who loves to read, is really romantic and quotes books in random moments. They are both interesting characters and it’s entertaining to read about them.

The romance in this book is on point, the relationship between Martha and Max is adorable. It’s easy to tell from the beginning that they care for each other and that they are really supportive of one another. Max sees through Martha and calls her out when she isn’t honest with herself. This book is a perfect example of fake dating and the best friends to lovers trope done right, they allow some emotional moments and makes this book really swoony.

One of the best parts of the book is that it’s set in the Philippines and it’s amazing to see the vibrant cultural represented, this book is fasicnating and insightful. There is also an incredible family dinamic in this book that is really amusing, all the family members –  the titas, the grandma, the dad, the sister and Regina- are interesting and captivating, even when they don’t show up so often. They can be annoying and make thoughtless comments at times, but there’s still a lot of love and support between them.

The only minor problem with this book is the Enzo storyline, he is a guy Martha went to university with and there’s history there and now he is marrying her cousin; all that storyline feels a bit unnecessary . It would have been amazing to read more about Max instead of all the parts about Enzo.

Rating: 4 stars

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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?

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*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

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