Review: My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn

Review: My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel CohnTitle: My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
Author: Rachel Cohn
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: December 18, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

"I'm here to take you to live with your father. In Tokyo, Japan! Happy birthday!"

In the Land of the Rising Sun, where high culture meets high kitsch, and fashion and technology are at the forefront of the First World's future, the foreign-born teen elite attend ICS-the International Collegiate School of Tokyo. Their accents are fluid. Their homes are ridiculously posh. Their sports games often involve a (private) plane trip to another country. They miss school because of jet lag and visa issues. When they get in trouble, they seek diplomatic immunity.

Enter foster-kid-out-of-water Elle Zoellner, who, on her sixteenth birthday discovers that her long-lost father, Kenji Takahari, is actually a Japanese hotel mogul and wants her to come live with him. Um, yes, please! Elle jets off first class from Washington D.C. to Tokyo, which seems like a dream come true. Until she meets her enigmatic father, her way-too-fab aunt, and her hyper-critical grandmother, who seems to wish Elle didn't exist. In an effort to please her new family, Elle falls in with the Ex-Brats, a troupe of uber-cool international kids who spend money like it's air. But when she starts to crush on a boy named Ryuu, who's frozen out by the Brats and despised by her new family, her already tenuous living situation just might implode.

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is about learning what it is to be a family, and finding the inner strength to be yourself, even in the most extreme circumstances.

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Any book about Japan or private school is a win for me, so My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn was an instant must-read. The book is both entertaining and emotional, and the main character is likeable. I especially loved reading the descriptions of Tokyo. This is a fun read that is also informative. Continue reading

Review: Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Review: Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate StrohmTitle: Love à la Mode
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 27, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. . . .

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.

Perfect for lovers of Chopped Teen Tournament and Kids Baking Championship, as well as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

As a fan of any book with cooking, boarding schools, and Paris, Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm seemed like the perfect book for me. The story is about a French cooking school and contains characters from all over the world. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of food. Fans of books like Anna and the French Kiss and Taste Test will love this one. Continue reading

Book to Movie Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Grey image with movie icons and Don't Judge a Book by its Movie title.
Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.  

 

Book to Movie Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenTitle: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: June 26, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

But when the truth about Ruby's abilities-the truth she's hidden from everyone, even the camp authorities-comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run, she joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp: Zu, a young girl haunted by her past; Chubs, a standoffish brainiac; and Liam, their fearless leader, who is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

While they journey to find the one safe haven left for kids like them-East River-they must evade their determined pursuers, including an organization that will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. But as they get closer to grasping the things they've dreamed of, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Amazon | Book Depository

The Darkest Minds is the kind of book that I knew would make an incredible movie from page one, and I am happy to report that the film version lived up to my expectations. Both the book and the movie have their share of snappy dialogue and action-packed fight scenes, although the plot twists aren’t quite as shocking in the film. The adaptation is very close to the original, and I would definitely seeing it in theatres. Continue reading

Review: Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

Review: Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland StoneTitle: Little Do We Know
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: June 5, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all reexamine the things they hold true.

In alternating chapters, a skeptic and a believer piece together the story of their complex relationship and the boy caught somewhere in the middle. New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone deftly crafts a moving portrait of faith, love, and friendship.

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone is a novel that will definitely leave you thinking long after reading it. The concept of faith is explored in an interesting way that will have readers question their own beliefs. Friendship and what it takes to maintain a relationship with your friends is a theme that also runs deep through the book. Continue reading

Review: Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Review: Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy GilbertTitle: Picture Us in the Light
Author: Kelly Loy Gilbert
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: April 10, 2018

five-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father's closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there's much more to his family's past than he ever imagined.

Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family's blessing to pursue the career he's always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny's lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can't stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan.

When Danny digs deeper into his parents' past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert  is a beautiful book that tackles many tough issues. There are multiple themes throughout the story that will open your eyes and rip your heart out at the same time. The writing is compelling and beautiful making this one of my favourite reads so far this year. Continue reading