Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Release Date: September 7, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!
Goodreads ● Website

'They think I hurt someone. 
But I didn't. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.'

Joe hasn't seen his brother for ten years, and it's for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row.

But now Ed's execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think...

**This review was to be published in 2017**

I've been meaning to read Sarah Crossan's books for a while. I mean, all of her books are on my wishlist, so it's truly amazing how long it's actually taken me to get to her work. I jumped at the chance to review this one when the opportunity rose and I have no regrets. I didn't really know that Crossan writes (most of) her books in verse, so this was a delightful surprise. It's been absolute ages since I've read a book in verse––the last probably being an Ellen Hopkins novel––and this was also a first for me: I haven't read a book that primarily centers around the criminal justice system and capital punishment before.

Upon realising that this was a novel in verse, I knew that this book was going to be harrowing and emotional. Why don't we have any happy books in verse (cue recommendations for happy verse books please!!)?! Anyway, nothing hits me harder than a difficult topic written in a way that portrays characters emotions and the gravity of the situation in a few but still deeply impacting words. You would expect not be able to get a handle on the characters in this book, but you'd be surprised at how much you can relate to and understand our protagonist Joe. I enjoyed the flashbacks and present day scenes intertwined––it allowed me to truly appreciate the past and see his complicated (and sweet) relationship with Ed, as well as with the rest of the characters.

Quick, brutally raw, and filled with feeling, Moonrise moved me to my core. Sarah Crossan masterfully navigates a difficult topic through beautiful verse, and I'm desperate to read more from her.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rated: YA
Format: Hardcover
Source: ALA 2013
Buy: Amazon ● The Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Inner beauty wants out.

When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle’s mother dies, she’s summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world’s top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He’ll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he’s producing a hidden camera show called World’s Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she’s remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself – an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness.

Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue, the new Hollywood darling, and dating celebrities. Then Becky meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And Becky knows there’s not enough magic in the world.

I remember getting a signed copy of this one at ALA in 2013, and here we are now–after years of Gorgeous lying on my shelf, I finally caved and cracked it open. With praise by Meg Cabot and David Sedaris on the front and back cover topped with an interesting premise, I had high hopes despite not knowing what exactly was in store. Sadly, Paul Rudnick's YA debut wasn't a hit for me. There were funny moments, sure, and the ridiculously over-the-top situations that our protagonist finds herself in are oozing in originality, but it fell flat for me. I also wasn't sure whether it was supposed to be a major commentary on something, like it was playing the satirical YA novel that pokes fun at popular culture, because I was definitely getting that, but I wasn't sure if that was the point (other than the inner beauty always beats outer beauty message); even if so, there were a few problems for me here and there that overshadowed the more humorous moments.

The characters–were we supposed to not like them? Becky was alright, but even so I wasn't rooting for her character a lot of the time. Prince Gregory was...passable. Rocher thankfully provided a lot of the funny in this novel, but even then there were times when I abhorred her. However, she was one of the characters I could truly grasp because otherwise the novel just seemed to bounce from place to place without really landing anywhere or going too much in depth character-wise by going unnecessarily in depth with random other things.

And the plot...what was happening? I probably could just give you the bare bones of the story, and even now while I'm typing out this review I'm questioning what I just read. There's a major supernatural element to the story, but it felt out of place? I'm just a little more than confused with the three dresses, the conditions she gets to wear them under, the reason for concealing the major "plot-twist," which, by the way, was super easy to guess and left me wondering why that was left until the end. Speaking of which–the end? Um, what? I'm not talking about the epilogue, but all the stuff that happens before. I kind of wish that I had put down the book earlier in order to avoid disappointment (as I had been contemplating several times while I was reading Gorgeous).

A let down, Paul Rudnick's Gorgeous just wasn't quite there. A real shame, because I so desperately wanted to love the story at multiple points–the potential for humour was so close, but didn't make it in the end for me. With a supernatural plot that takes part in the fashion world that ends up becoming involved with the British Royal Family...there was both too much thrown in and too little with regards to the characters going on in this book. Sad that it didn't work out, but I'm hoping if I do read another one of Rudnick's YA books that I'll find them better than I did this one!

Guess Who’s Back (Back Again)!

School's over, it's the summer again...that means I'M BACK!

Hello, hello. 
It's been a while, friends.

Lotta life happened in the past close-to-a-year. I graduated! Yay! I'm heading to grad school in the fall! Yay! I'm not ready to fully adult! YAY!

Anyway, as I mentioned eons ago, I decided to only become a seasonal blogger because of time commitments and such, so since the sun's out (well, it's always out in Singapore but other than that) and the snow is gone (Boston winters are cold man), it's time to pick up books again and start up this blog's been way too long.

Rabiah x

#TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown: Week 1 – The Unboxing

Hi everyone!

Penguin Random House is having a John Green read-along to promote the release of his latest novel, Turtles All the Way Down! Every week will feature a John Green book, right up until the big release.


Thank you so much to Julia at Penguin Random House International for the mail!

I'm super excited to get back into John Green's books–I haven't read one in AGES, and I've read almost all of them...except for Will Grayson, Will Grayson, so now's the perfect time to do so!

Tell me: 
which John Green book is your favourite?