Penguin Teen Game Changers—First Impressions // Would I purchase these books based on the first chapter???

Do you ever judge a book by its cover??? YES? Well, today we’ll be judging books by their first chapters!

You might have heard of the Penguin Teen Game Changers set which contains 5 books that have been releases by Penguin back to back for 5 consecutive weeks!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably cried of jealousy when you saw all the big Booktubers receiving this box set and getting to read all these books early on.

All of the books in the set are out now and you’ve most likely read some of them! I HAVEN’T which is why I requested to read samples of these books to see what I think of them based on their first chapters!

Will I like what I read and then go on to purchase the book? Will I hate it so much that I will want to yell at people NOT to purchase it???



*Thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for providing me with the samplers of these books! This did not affect my opinion in any way!*

// Warcross by Marie Lu, September 12th 2017 //

The first book in the sampler set was Warcross which is one of my most anticipated releases of the year! You might know that I LOVE MARIE LU. She’s my second favourite author and I absolutely adore her Legend trilogy (in fact I need to reread it ASAP).

The synopsis of this book sounds SO intriguing and all the reviews I’ve seen so far have been fantastic—apparently this book will leave you SHOOK which is exactly what I’m looking for.

However, I decided not to read the sampler because I got sent the physical book for review and I plan to read it soon anyway sooo moving on!

Verdict: TO BE READ


// Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore, September 19th 2017 //

Apparently, Cashore is a well-known author around the book community but I’ve never read Graceling so idk her??? *shrugs*

I had no clue what Jane Unlimited was about going into the sampler so saying I was confused is an UNDERSTATEMENT.

It starts off with the characters being on a boat and I thought hey, cool! this might have to do with pirates! Except that it doesn’t.

The main character goes to this mansion because her dead aunt once told her that if you were ever invited to this mansion, YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT. So then I just assumed that this book is a contemporary but apparently it’s FANTASY and MYSTERY????????? You lost me there, pal.

Anyway, I thought the sampler was boring, none of the characters were interesting enough, the plot didn’t intrigue me, and after having read the synopsis just now… I honestly don’t care to find out more.

Verdict: GOODBYE


// There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins, September 26th 2017 //

Well, I am kind of conflicted about this one.

I was going in with a negative attitude already because I don’t get the hype around Stephanie Perkins and her books—especially Anna and the French Kiss.

If I’m honest, I skimmed lines until the end of chapter 1 when the first victim was killed. It got exciting for two seconds, but then new high school characters were introduced and I didn’t find it in me to care about them—so I skimmed the rest of the sampler.

I seem to have an issue with Perkins’ writing??? I hated how she wrote dialogue in Anna and I didn’t like it very much in this sampler either. The ending of the sampler was intriguing again because I wanted to know more about the conflict between the main character and the boy she used to date—but other than that, I didn’t care.

Maybe it’s simply Stephanie Perkins’ writing style that I don’t connect with, and the fact that this is a thriller. I don’t think this book is for me and I’m not sure if I will ever pick up any of her future books!

Verdict: GOODBYE


// Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni, October 3rd 2017 //

Again, I didn’t know anything about this book going into it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sampler!

I loved the book from the very first lines and I immediately connected with the writing! I feel like this could be a very emotional contemporary that is definitely going to make me cry (I’m very sensitive and cry at EVERYTHING).

I’ve also heard that it deals with depression and anxiety and I am hoping for some good rep and a relatable main character!

Overall, I’m very intrigued (and I’ll ignore the 3.5 rating on Goodreads for now I DON’T WANNA SEE ANY REVIEWS AND BE INFLUENCED).



// Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao, October 10th 2017 //

This is a book that’s already been on my TBR! I know I will want to buy it because I love the cover and I’ve heard great things about it! And the author is awesome!

This book is set in East Asia and obviously revolves around an Asian MC. I haven’t read too many books about Asian culture but I find it so fascinating and intriguing.

I’ve realised I should probably read the synopsis of books I want to read because I always get so confused when I first start a book??? On the other hand, I want to go into it blindly and not know anything about it??? DECISIONS, DECISIONS.

All I gathered from this sampler is that this book has magic, a witchy grandma, some sort of snake that takes over the MC’s spirit AND IT JUST SOUNDS BRILLIANT.

Verdict: TO BE READ

dividerSooooo, that’s that.

I don’t know if you should really judge a book by the first chapter(s) and decide whether you want to read it or not? On the other hand, why waste your time on a book that doesn’t immediately grab your attention and interests your from the start????

I hope you enjoyed this post, and please let me know your opinions on any of these books.

*credit for the photo used in the feautred image goes to Penguin Teen*

Do you judge a book by its cover? Have you ever read samplers of books to decide whether you want to pick it up? Have you read any of these books? Which ones did you love/hate? Do you agree with my choices or did I keep/get rid of a book that I shouldn’t have? Let me know alllll your thoughts about these books in the comments!


32 thoughts on “Penguin Teen Game Changers—First Impressions // Would I purchase these books based on the first chapter???

  1. Admittedly, I will probably pick up the Cashore book just because I loved her Bitterblue. It doesn’t sound in any way similar but I liked the way she set up characters and gave them life. I think her writing just hits a chord with me.

    Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is on my TBR as well. There has been a ton of buzz about it which makes me a little apprehensive but hopefully the positive buzz turns out to be correct.

    The other books aren’t even a blip on my radar. Honestly, the cover of Warcross is enough to make me not want to read it. Terrible, I know, to cover judge but…*shrug*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Magic! Witchy grandmoms!!! Snakes!!! Definitely adding this to my TBR! And I totally agree with you about the other books… Jane and the Perkins book have just been confusing to me but I don’t really care to find out what they’re about ?? Is that horrible?? Probably! Hehe

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read those chapters too and I felt the same as “Jane, Unlimited.” I hadn’t been confused by a book in forever. I originally liked “There’s Someone Inside Your House” but after hearing about all the gore and not so scary vibes, I won’t read it. Glad you got to read them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you’re way more forgiving than I am-if I don’t like a book by the first page or two I’m out, never mind a whole first chapter! I haven’t read any of these books you listed, but I found it really interesting how most of their covers seemed to be really covered in text and only Forest of a Thousand Lanterns had any sort of real image on it. That one definitely intrigues me the most, so let us now how you liked it once you’ve read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohh this is a lovely post 🙂 I’m so glad you’re going to read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about it – it was such a good book, a bit dark at times, but soooooo captivating. I hope you’ll love it! I’m also really curious to hear your thoughts about Things I’m Seeing Without You – I haven’t heard much about that one yet, but it sounds interesting 🙂
    I don’t really read samplers of books before getting them – usually, I read synopsis and trusted bloggers’ opinions ahah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was recently approved for an ARC of Forest and now I’m suuuuuper excited to finally read it! I’m glad to hear that you liked it 😌

      And I don’t usually read samplers either! This was a first for me and I actually think it’s a great thing! For me, the first chapter of a book either makes it or breaks it for me and these samplers helped me decide which books I ACTUALLY wanted to read! Some of these I’ve been indecisive about but now, I know for sure that I definitely want or DON’T want to read them! Not sure if I’ll do something like this again tho lol I usually just listen to my blogger friends as well 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What an interesting test. I normally read the blurb and decide whether to read it or not and so even if the first chapter would not be good, I would finish reading it. I don’t think there is a book I haven’t finished reading (I think I have a problem).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I actually never read samples of books but I kind of like the idea! I’ve heard SO MUCH about allll these books, oh my gosh! WARCROSS AHHHH how did I not read that yet? Marie Luuuuu is such a great author. ❤ Things I'm Seeing Without You has such a lovely cover!! I WANT. (hahaha not superficial at all, nope) Also it sounds so good! I'm so glad you liked it from the sampler you read. Forest of a Thousand Lanternsssss ahhhh I NEED THAT BOOK *grabby hands* So many booooooks, not enough time. :((( Loved reading your first impressions on these books, Jackie! (Also your blog looks so prettyyyy! I LOVE IT <3)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also never read samplers but I actually really liked it because it helps you find out whether you REALLY want to read a book or not! Idk if I’ll do this again in the future tho XD


      And sameeeee I wish I could read ALL THE BOOKS but I can’t and it’s sad 😦 I need a 5-year-long vacation just to be able to catch up on all the books I wanna read 😂

      And thank youuuu so much! I’m glad you like it 💓💞


  8. I never read samples even if they’re from my most anticipating books because they’ll do nothing but make me more desperate for them. Sometimes, I do judge a book by its cover but not always because I loved so many books that has ugly covers. I also want to read Warcross, and Forest of a thousand Lanterns. I’ve been hearing great things about these two and I’m very excited to read them. Great Post, btw! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha you’re like me then 😂 I purposely didn’t read the Warcross sampler because I wouldn’t know when I’d be able to read the book 😂 I usually judge books by their covers too! If they have pretty covers, I’m more likely to look at the blurb and see if I want to read it! Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. lol i never read samples of books??? but i should!! altho i’ll probably end up forgetting what happens anyways hahah. anyways, great post! i didn’t know about the depression and anxiety part of things i’m seeing without you so now i want to read it even more 😍 also YAS WARCROSS ik you’ve already read it and GOD WASN’T IT AMAZING IDK HOW I’LL WRITE A REVIEW FOR IT ALDLAHFJSKFKKS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i never read samplers either lol but it’s actually great if you wanna decide whether you REALLY wanna read a book! and if you’re like me and you prefer purchasing books yourself, it can help you save money 😂 but thanks!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. IM SO GLAD YOU LOVED. and yeah the beginning of Jane is confusing – it’s kind of a weird book – I just thought it ended up amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great concept! I never read samples of books, but it sounds like an amazing idea! I think the first chapter might or might not be a huge indication on whether you’ll enjoy the book. I’m a mood reader, so I prefer reading books that are gripping my attention from the beginning, but there are some books out there that start very slow and get better with time. Also, most of these are on my tbr too! ❤

    Liked by 1 person


    Warcross- I already read and SDFGHJKLKJHGFDSDFGHYUIO

    I actually got an ARC of Jane, Unlimited at BookCon and then tried to start.. and I didn’t finish WHOOPS. Apparently it’s like choose-your-own-adventure?? I was so excited for it tbh and then when I actually tried to read it I was like NOPE.

    I want to read TSIYH, but… apparently Stephanie Perkins and thriller/slasher books don’t mix. I WAS ALSO SO EXCITED FOR THAT ONE.

    I almost neeever read samplers. Because I’m weird. IDK.

    Liked by 1 person


      Warcross was a masterpiece, Jane Unlimited is SO CONFUSING (and i’m glad you agree) and the Perkins book…….. let’s just not talk about it :’) #notmycupoftea

      I never read samplers either! I honestly don’t know what drove me to request this sampler pack 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not interested in Cashorn or Perkins… I HATE the covers and just not a fan of their premises! Honestly I never read samplers… what if I’m interested in the moment and HATE it when I pick it up later?! Maybe I’m a moody reader rather than a mood reader?! ♥️ I think you hit these spot on Jackie… but that maybe because I agree across the board! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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