Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Review (more like a rant)

Hey and welcome back to another book review! Today’s review is of a book by one of my most beloved authors: Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This was a one star read for me. I didn’t like it, and it was sub-par compared to her other books.

Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book about someone with a superpower

Book: Nobody

Author: Jennifer Lynn Banres

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Summary: There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away. 

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

Quote: “I am everything. I am nothing. I am powerful. I am forgotten.”

The Good:

I didn’t like anything in this book?


Quote: “You can’t tell me I matter and then leave like I don’t.”

The Bad:

Repetitive. The first 30% was just a rehash constantly of Claire and Nix’s first meeting. Nothing was really happening and I was starting to get bored with the same thing happening over and over again. Did I say it was repetitive? Because the same thing was happening over and over….

Insta-love. As soon as Nix was introduced, I knew it was going to happen. And it did. Suddenly Claire must be totally in love with Nix because he is the only guy ever to realize she exists. I was expecting it but it still didn’t work for me.

Nothing really happens. Nothing really started happening until the 70% mark. I’m surprised I made it through, but then again, I kept starting and stopping and it took me more than two weeks to finish it.

Plot. I knew what was going to happen as soon as Nix couldn’t kill Claire. Nix was going to take down the Society whom he’d trusted his whole life and he wouldn’t want Claire to get hurt, but Claire is stubborn and she gets her way, and everything goes down and Nix and Claire are heroes…. Super predictable. I think this is the plot for every book with an Evil Organization that has being lying to the MC their whole lives.

Implausible? Nix supposedly has been living in “an eight by eight room with no windows and a door that’s padlocked for show.” That’s a direct quote by the way. He doesn’t know what a computer is and I’m seriously doubting he’s seen a TV. The Society (his employers? captors? I don’t know what to call them) only taught him to read so that he can read the files of the people he has been ordered to kill. Yet, he knows a lot of things for a guy who has no contact with the outside world. I would quote, but I suck at taking notes while I read, so I don’t remember where/what he said that made me think that.

Claire. She is constantly wallowing in self-pity because the world ignores her. “Oh God, I’m jealous of farts.” Yup, she said that. I got tired of reading her narrative because after she meets Nix, that’s all she thinks/talks about and it gets annoying.

Nix and his relationship with Claire. Honestly, the way he constantly degrades himself: I don’t deserve to be touched. I don’t deserve to be loved. I don’t deserve to have someone as beautiful as Claire…. is annoying. This review on Goodreads summed up Claire and Nix’s relationship very well:

______________________

(Read the original review by Shambhawi P. on Goodreads🙂

Claire: (touches Nix’s face)
Nix: (jumps away from her touch) I am a vile, vile monster, a killer, I don’t deserve to be touched by someone as pure and beautiful, and wonderful like Claire.
Claire: Oh, No. Nix does not want me to touch him. Nobody ever wants me. I am not beautiful and Nix is so hot. Did I mention Nix is hot? Why would he ever want me. (cries)
Nix: I am a vile, vile monster. Look, I made Claire cry. (touches Claire’s face to wipe her tears)
*more facetouching*
Rinse and Repeat.

______________________

Yup. That’s a very very accurate portrayal of their relationship.

Ending. The ending was the most cliche and Disney-ish thing I’ve ever read in my life. Nix gets hurt and Claire is crying, begging him not to leave her, how dreamy his eyes are, how she’ll never see them again, blah blah blah. And then, *drum-roll please*: he pretty much dies (you know those precious seconds where he has pretty much left the world but hasn’t entirely died? that’s what I mean) and two other characters mix their blood together and drip it on him and he suddenly comes back to life with his body healed and all the pain gone. And they live happily ever after. (Have I said that this is the most Disney-ish thing ever? Frozen ends like that, I’m pretty sure Belle and the Beast ends like that, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ends like that… every Disney princess movie probably ends like that.)

Did I mention it was ridiculously repetitive? Because it is. Did I mention it was super cliche (and Disney-like)? Because it seriously is.

Quote: “How can somebody want me dead when no one knows I’m alive?”

The Wrap:

I’m really disappointed because I love the rest of Jennifer’s books. This was the epitome of cliche and I sooo did not like it.

One sentence summary: A cliche filled book with one-dimensional characters and a very predictable plot.

Overall, one very disappointed star.

Have you read Nobody? Did you enjoy it? Have you read any other book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes? What did you think of those? Let’s chat in the comments!

Popsugar Reading Challenge TBR (Part One)

Welcome everybody to my Popsugar Reading Challenge TBR (Part One). This is my very first reading challenge, and I’m super excited to mark off as many criteria as I possibly can before the year ends. Today I’m going to list the books that I (think) I’ll read for this years challenge questions.

I’m going to split this into two posts because it takes a lot of time to link, add pictures, etc…

Let’s get started.

A book becoming a movie in 2019:

Not sure. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

Update: This was recommended to me by Molly @ Silver Button Books: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.


A book that makes you nostalgic:

My favorite books from when I was a kid:

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

______________________________

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix


A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction):

The Shining by Stephen King

Apparently, Stephen King is a musician! So, maybe it’s about time I got over my fear of horror and tried to read some of his books.


A book you think should be turned into a movie:

Don’t I have to read the book first to decide??? But guessing from the cover/summary, I’d say maybe Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci.


A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads:

I’m gonna re-read for this one:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

______________________________

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


A book with a plant in the title or on the cover:

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins


A reread of a favorite book:

My all-time favorite: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

&

My all-time historical spy favorite: The Agency by Y. S. Lee


A book about a hobby:

I do not know what I’m going to read for this one. I welcome all your suggestions.


A book with “pop”, “sugar”, or “challenge” in the title:

I need some suggestions for this as well.


A book you meant to read in 2018:

Watching You by Lisa Jewell


A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover (Completed):

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah


A book inspired by mythology, legend, folklore:

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal


A book published posthumously:

uhh….IDK for this one


A book set in space:

The Martian by Andy Weir


A book by two female authors (Completed):

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair

&

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows


A book with “salty”, “sweet”, “bitter”, or “spicy” in the title:

Don’t have a book for this one yet.


A book set in Scandinavia:

Don’t have a book for this one either.


A book that takes place in a single day:

Ninth and Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver


A debut novel:

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal


A book that’s published in 2019:

Uh, ahem. *coughs for a prolonged amount of time* Ya’ll know that it’d take me all day to put up everything that is published in 2019 that I want to read, right?


The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton | The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | The Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing | The Moroccan Girl by Charles Cumming | Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young | They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall | One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt


That’s it for this first half of my Popsugar Reading TBR. Any suggestions for the ones that I left blank? Are you taking part in this challenge? What are you all reading? Let’s chat in the comments!

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke – Review

Hey everybody! Hope you are having a great start to your week. Today’s review is of All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark, the ‘Queen of Suspense’ & Alafair Burke. I gave this one star, because I didn’t like it, I thought the mystery was flat, and I didn’t feel any suspense.

Challenge Criteria (Popsugar): Two Female Authors
Book: All Dressed in White
Author: Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Summary: Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared.

In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion. She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes. With a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda’s former fiancé now married to a bridesmaid, and rumors about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air.

One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part…”

What I Liked:

*Nothing? Honestly, I didn’t care for the characters, the mystery was blah, and the writing style was not good in my opinion.

*Ok, the very end. The very end had me full of a little tension during the big showdown. I was a little surprised at who the bad guy was, but besides that, I didn’t like it.

What I Didn’t Like:

*Plot & Characters. The characters were nothing memorable. I’ve already forgotten most of their names. I didn’t really feel for Sandra (the mother of the disappeared bride) that much. Her daughter, one moment while I go find her name, Amanda went missing a day before her wedding, and five years later, the case is cold but Sandra still wants to find her. So she goes to a reality TV show called Under Suspicion to help her find out what happened to Amanda. Her ex, Walter, her other daughter Charlotte, the rest of the bridal and groom parties all agree and at 45% into the book, they are JUST about to fly down to the resort in Florida where the wedding was to take place. 45% into the book???? I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t DNF at that point.

*Writing Style.

She thought about the photographs Jeremy had given her. Did she finally know who killed Amanda?

Maybe.

That is literally the end of a chapter. It seriously grated on my nerves. Imagine your grandmother reading to you:

Grandma:She thought about the photographs Jeremy had given her. Did she finally know who killed Amanda? What do you think sweetheart?

(You tell her what you think)

She says: Maybe. Let’s read on to find out.

That’s how I felt. I didn’t like it. It didn’t work for me. And why would you end a chapter with “maybe”?!! I don’t feel suspense. I don’t feel thrilled. I feel frustrated!

*Queen of Suspense. Mary Higgins Clark is known as the Queen of Suspense. That means that she writes amazing books that have you turning pages into the wee hours of the morning. This book though, did not match my expectations. I wasn’t thrilled, there wasn’t any ‘suspense’, and it kind of felt like a Nancy Drew Files/Nancy Drew Girl Detective book without threats, high speed chases, and constant worry and fear. They flew down to the scene of the crime 45% into the book! They should have been there from like the second or third chapter, investigating, interrogating, and trying to pick out what happened. There are 74 chapters in this book with a pro and epilogue and they finally went to Florida in Chapter 32! I didn’t feel any suspense, and since she is the Queen of Suspense, I expected a lot more than what I got.

That’s the end of my little rant. I’m quite sorry to say that this was a one star. I did not like it. I will not recommend it. And I’m staying far away from any MHC books for a while.

Have you read All Dressed in White? What did you think? And have you read any other book by Ms. Clark? Did you enjoy it? Do you think I should try some of her other books? Let’s chat in the comments!

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah – Review

Welcome everybody! Today’s book review is of Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Um I think they already got that in the title JR). This book gets a solid three stars. It is a YA Contemporary read and is also considered a diverse book because the main character is Muslim. I liked this book but there were some issues that made me give it three stars.

Book Review- Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Challenge Criteria (Popsugar): A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover & A book with a question in the title
Challenge Criteria (Mommy Mannegren): A teen as the main character
Book: Does My Head Look Big in This? 
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

What I Liked:

*Let’s gush about the beautiful cover, shall we? I love the polka dots and her raised eyebrow as she looks at the title…….

*Amal is a funny and relate-able teenager. She’s going through teenage hormones, her first crush, and life as a Muslim teenager who wears the hijab. She can be whiny, she can be very judgmental, she can be naive, and she can be annoying. But all characters have their flaws And she’s a teenager. All teenagers are like that, right?

*The story line is great. I liked the plot of the story because it deals with issues that are very sensitive in today’s age. Muslims are minorities who are constantly fighting for their rights and are being attacked on all sides. Amal makes a very serious decision in this book to become a hijabi, a Muslim woman who wears the hijab, which is a headscarf. The story shows how she is like any other teenage girl, just one with a different religious affiliation.


I guess when I’m not wearing the hijab I feel like I’m missing out. 

*The characters are diverse. Amal is an Australian Palestinian Muslim. Her neighbor is Greek. There are Jewish characters as well and different ‘types’ of Muslims.


What I Didn’t Like:

*The story also deals with fat-shaming and body image. One of Amal’s best friends is Simone, a girl who is insecure with her body. Throughout the book, she is constantly on one diet or another, and even begins smoking because she heard it helps people lose weight.


‘So I’ve… started smoking.’

What?

‘Apparently it’s a good appetite suppressant. How do you think Tia keeps her figure? I overheard her telling Claire and Rita that she doesn’t eat much, just smokes because it stops her cravings.’


Amal and her other best friend, Eileen, are constantly trying to get Simone to be positive about her body to love herself for who she is. It’s nice to see them being so supportive. However, Simone does not learn to accept herself by the end of the book. This was one reason why I gave it three stars.

*Amal is very judgmental. Her other set of best friends, Yasmeen and Leila are Muslims. They’re families are polar opposites. Yasmeen’s family is more of a modern Muslim family. She doesn’t wear the hijab. Leila’s family is more traditional, with Leila’s mom constantly pressing her to get married and stop studying. Amal and Yasmeen are both angry with Leila’s mom for being ‘backwards’. Amal constantly points out that this has nothing to with Islam and is just traditional customs that she brought with her when she moved to Australia. I think it’s kind of hypocritical of Amal considering how she wants people to understand her, not judge her. She didn’t make any effort to understand why Leila’s mom was acting the way she was. Another star minus.

*The characters sound like 10 year olds. Honestly, the dialogue was horrendous. Every time it’s mentioned that Amal is sixteen, I go “Oh, really?” She constantly sounds like a whining child and it’s easy to forget that she’s supposed to be a teenager. The parts in which she tells her story are fine but actual dialogue between characters is awful.



This was a great story but like all great stories, it has its flaws. I would recommend it as a light YA coming-of-age book that deals with diversity.


★★★☆☆

Have you read Does My Head Look Big in This? What did you think about the story? Let’s chat in the comments!

2019 Reading Challenges

Hi guys! How are you all doing today? I wanted to post about reading challenges that I’m taking part in this year. Last year, I joined the book blogging community quite late (December) so I didn’t have a chance to take part in any challenges. However this year, I’m jumping in headfirst and I hope I complete all the prompts by the end of the year.

The three challenges I’m taking part in are:

Popsugar’s 2019 Reading Challenge

Goodreads’ 2019 Reading Challenge

& Mommy Mannegren’s 2019 Reading Challenge

We need more creative names for these challenges.

Continue reading “2019 Reading Challenges”