Book Review

Graphic Novel Book Review: Wires and Nerves (Wires and Nerves #1) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy graphic novel
Length: 238 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer [Illustrators: Douglas Holgate & Stephen Gilpin]
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

LOVED THIS CONTINUATION.

Yay for my library having this book because I have been looking for a chance to continue this series! What beautiful artwork and well put together graphics. Definitely easy enough to read in one sitting and feel wrapped back up in The Lunar Chronicles.

I loved the way everyone was portrayed and that this story focused on Iko. I think she totally deserves her own book and doing it as an illustrated book was such a great idea. I love her personality and love for her friends. Iko is funny, witty, and incredibly loyal. She’s an easy heroine to love and cheer on.

Getting to see the cast of TLC again was also fantastic. I love that series and getting to have them also in this book was perfect. Those couples are just precious and I could always use more of them. Seeing Cinder as Queen and working towards a better future of Lunar was impressive. This book worked on multiple levels, tackling the story from many different pieces.

This is a cute and fun read. Highly recommend if you enjoyed the original novels to check out this book!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Graphic Novel
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: werewolf/hybrid solider attacks, guns, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult sci-fi + dystopian
Length: 627 pages
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

I THINK I LIKED THIS?

This was an…interesting finale. And I had REALLY hyped it up (especially after the ending of Thunderhead). I was expecting a lot from this book, and something a lot different which is why my feelings are a bit mixed up over it.

Who did I miss most? ROWAN AND CITRA. I felt like they were barely in this. And I thought they were supposed to be the whole crux of the story, it really turned out to be the Thunderhead. That was different in its own right.

Y’all. I had seen multiple reviews about people not knowing what was happening. And I was thinking how odd that was…then I read it. No lie, til about 500 pages in I didn’t quite know where everything was going. It was a tad ridiculous. Everything was hidden so much that I felt it dragging because the level of action in the previous book wasn’t present here.

I’m finding it difficult to write out this review because everything was not as I imagined. It was honestly kind of heart breaking watching the demise of the planet because of Goddard. I liked having so many different POVs though because that gave me perspectives from truly every angle. I saw what the protagonists and antagonists were thinking, and even what some random side characters were witnessing. It helped round out the narrative.

The evolution of the Thunderhead was intense. This all powerful AI somehow had some actual humanity in him and helped lead the charge for change. I would go into more detail on this, but it would be best if you went into this blind! I promise it’s at least interesting and will make you think.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi + dystopian
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: a lot (which should be no surprise), page 107 – suicide by drowning, multiple killings in hundreds of different ways

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Book Review

Book Review: Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 436 pages
Author: Lynette Noni
Publisher: Pantera Press
Release Date: February 1st, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings’s world changes—literally.

Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities. Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her… but he’s missing.

While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora’s boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can’t ignore her fear that something unexpected… something sinister… is looming.

An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex’s shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race’s survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?

Will Alex risk her entire world—and maybe even her life—to save Medora?

DIFFERENT THAN I THOUGHT.

I went into this book mostly blind because it had been a few months since I added it to my TBR because of someone’s review I had seen. I kind of like when this happens because it makes everything more of a mystery.

The biggest reason this was different than I thought was that it leaned more towards the younger YA side than the older. The main character, Alex, is 16 (turning 17 during the book), but her group of friends and interactions in general throughout the whole book just led me to think that this was for a younger audience.

I’ve decided that I did enjoy this overall. We all know that I don’t love HP, so I’m usually hesitant of fantasy/magic school based books. I didn’t mind this one. I thought the classes were interesting and I liked the teachers too. I really loved Alex’s friends Jordan and Bear. I liked that she had a friend group that were just her friends. It added an amazing version of a found family trope that I was so here for.

For the plot, I found this to give me enough information without over loading it. There was a nice build up of the villain and his background, the larger world surrounding Medora and about how the magic system worked. I liked the way the way the plot moved through classes, friend moments, action, and more. I actually got to see Alex’s entire school year which was fun too.

I’m curious how this series will continue to expand and hope to read the next book soon.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: swords, magic, physical; not overly bloody/gory

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Book Review

Book Review: Imagine Me (Shatter Me #6) by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Sci-fi / Dystopian
Length: 464 pages
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 31st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The explosive finale to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shatter Me series.

Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

SET LOW EXPECTATIONS.

This is what I’ve told people who’ve asked me about this series. The first three books (the original series) was stellar. One of the few dystopian series I really enjoyed. Then came the next three books which felt like extended novella/Warnette series (I do love them, so that part’s fine), but they never felt necessary. And this is where I stand on the last book – wondering yet again, why it’s here.

It was essentially another rescue mission book. Rescuing Juliette/Ella from the Reestablishment. The whole book. I was surprised at how fast I read it, and how much didn’t actually happen. A lot of neat bows were tied to get some closure on characters (truthfully, much appreciated or I would have had too many questions), yet again though…this was all solved with finishing the original three books.

WE DIDN’T EVEN GET THAT MUCH AARON/ELLA TIME. WHY.

Clearly, my biggest gripe. I read this book for them. I needed the happy ending (and you do get that much) they just weren’t together much of the book and lets face it, they carry the series.

Well them, and Kenji. Gosh dang, I love Kenji. He ranks up there with some of my favorite main (but more side) characters; i.e. Sevro from Red Rising. Kenji is funny, honest, a lover, and a genuinely good guy. Watching him and Warner through around a bromance was one of the highlights of this book. I like that it’s clear they both care of each other’s well-being, even if they have a hard time showing it.

Side-step back to my loves Warner and Juliette (I have the inability to decide which names to call them in this review so I apologize). I am smitten with Warner and his unending love for Juliette. He gives me all the butterflies and swoon worthy moments and that’s why there needed to be more. I loved the closing scene with him finding Juliette and the epilogue was perfectly fluffy as well.

Yes, yes. Buildings explode, some people die, and at last things seem to fall into a new world order. Lets leave it here.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi/dystopia
  • Language: some strong (mostly in Kenji POV’s)
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs with removal of some clothes
  • Violence: guns, machetes, powers (Juliette can literally rip people apart); pretty gory at times

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Book Review

Book Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 394 pages
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

DIDN’T JIVE WITH THE WRITING.

That would be my biggest issue. Nothing clicked quite the way I think it was supposed to. I kept reading because I was [mostly] enjoying the story, but things never changed. I thought things would randomly get political or twists would be thrown in that I didn’t think were necessary or helpful to the plot as a whole.

I did enjoy the interactions between Penny and Sam. I thought they were sweet and I love the modern era love story of getting to know each other through texts/phone calls. It was clever that she became his emergency contact. The college age setting was nice too. I wish there were more YA/New adult books set in college. This isn’t a slow-burn romance in anyway though. Mostly infatuation that turns into love all of a sudden.

This book seemed overly dramatic at times. Like it was trying to see how awful things could get before a resolution kind of came about. I don’t mind this usually in books because I understand the flow of the story. This came out a bit jarring and I was upset with how broken these characters were written out. Maybe I thought this was going to have a bit more sunshine.

I also felt like NOTHING HAPPENED. There was some focus on Sam’s documentary and on Penny’s writing class, but I never got to see the end of them? It was annoying to have a bunch of loose threads. I know it wasn’t the main part of the story, but it was definitely discussed more than enough to have needed things tied up.

Having someone as a friend, in whatever capacity that may be, was a great concept for this book though. We all need someone to lean on and I loved seeing Penny and Sam turn towards each other in their times of need.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary (college age)
  • Language: some throughout
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger warnings: alcoholism, page 290 – a moderately detailed rape scene (main character telling her story)

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Book Review

Book Review: The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3) by Elizabeth May

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy / Sci-fi / Historical fiction
Length: 389 pages
Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: June 13th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She’s on borrowed time…and she has only one chance to set things right.

Find life.

Deep in a forest, Aileana Kameron claws her way out of the earth. Back from the dead with no memory of who she is or what has happened to her, the Falconer now possesses even greater otherworldly powers and a ruthless instinct to kill—and the one piece of knowledge that can change everything.

Find Kiaran.

Two fae monarchs, Aithinne and Kadamach, stand on the brink of war, and according to an ancient curse, one must die at the hand of the other or all the worlds will perish. Once, Kadamach was known as Kiaran, and he was mentor, protector, and lover to Aileana. Now, under the grip of the curse, his better nature seems lost forever.

Find the book.

Aileana’s only hope lies in the legendary Book of Remembrance, a book of spells so powerful that it can break the fae curse and even turn back time. But the book has been lost for centuries, and many are looking for it, including its creator, the Morrigan—a faery of terrifying malevolence and cruelty.

Sacrifice everything.

To obtain the book and defeat the Morrigan, Aileana must form an unthinkable alliance, one that challenges every vow she has made to herself—even as the powers that brought her to life are slowly but surely killing her.

LET ME DOWN.

I decided to give this last book a chance to see if the finale would make me satisfied with the series as a whole. I did start off enjoying it and I’m glad there was a happy ending, but the way we got there made me roll my eyes.

Why? THE ORB OF RESURRECTION. My favorite phrase of use when somehow nobody dies because everyone is constantly being brought back to life. That was the entire concept?! Everything put back to the way it was, and I just. UGH. It’s okay to leave things as is. I feel like I wasted time reading these three books to have this type of ending.

Everything started out strong and I was into it. I liked the action and inner dialogue of Aielana coping with the hand she’s been dealt. It was time to finish things and finish them she did.

I did looove the romance between Aielana and Kiaran though. I found it sweet and endearing. There were actual feelings and communication. I liked the bond between them and the hope and courage they gave each other through the tougher moments.

This series took me on a lot of ups and downs and I still wish the ending had come about a bit differently. I loved the fae aspects and the historical fiction vibes. They’re quick reads with good intrigue.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses, a few fade to black scenes
  • Violence: battles, swords, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 484 pages
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: March 29th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Some kisses come at a price.

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

STILL AMAZING.

This book doesn’t get old.

Nope. After my second read through I will read this series again, I just know it. I love it so.

This is one of those books where I find myself shouting at characters: KISS ALREADY. When it has been held off for 2+ books at this point and you know the love is there and all you need is that last sealing kiss. I get so giddy whenever this happens. AT LAST KESTREL AND ARIN. AT LAST.

The action is full speed ahead in this one y’all. The entire book is basically at the front of a battle and it will keep you busy. My heart would freak out every time I was concerned if someone was actually about to die. Luckily, what needs to happen does and the necessary actions are taken. I love the way the war scenes are written because Rutkoski expertly moves between Arin and Kestrel’s POV as they both show us the sides of battle. I feel like I get the entire scene and their emotions in a perfect combination.

The Winner’s Kiss also has one of the best ways for a villain to go down in any books I’ve read. Kestrel’s mastermind self takes down the Emperor is such a satisfying way. It really brings the entire series together because of the way it has woven throughout all three books. There’s a connection, a point, an actual ending to what’s happening.

Kestrel and Arin are one of my favorite OTP’s and this series needs way more recognition and love (even if it’s older). Definitely one of my favorite YA Fantasy series ever.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses, very little detail fade to black scene
  • Violence: war, poison, swords, guns; a bit violent with a lot of battle scenes (full scale warfare)
  • Trigger warnings: drug withdrawal causing memory loss

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