Author: Amelie Wen Zhao Publication date: November 19, 2019 Genre: young adult fantasy My rating: 3.5/5 stars
For a novel that has inspired such intense feelings from fellow readers–both positive and negative–Blood Heir was a surprisingly lukewarm read for me. Though it does have its moments, especially with its handling of some real-world problems in a fantasy context, its overall impression on me was still that of a fairly common, predictable YA fantasy.
Scattered throughout this review are some quotes I particularly enjoyed. Some take place in logical order; others I just kind of dropped in there. Sorry in advance for the casual tone of this review–it just felt fitting.
I suppose we are all heroes in our own eyes, and monsters in the eyes of those who are different.
Author: Andrew Shaffer Series: Obama Biden Mysteries (#1) Publication date:July 10, 2018 Genre: mystery, humor My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Hilarious, campy, and some welcome relief from the stressful state of American politics today, Hope Never Dies is one of those quick and wacky reads that you’re not always certain you’re in love with, but also just can’t put down. Plus, an Obama-Biden bromance, from good ol’ Uncle Joe’s point of view? How can that not be freaking amazing?
Did that sound sarcastic? It wasn’t meant to. I can’t believe I’ve made 100 posts on this site so far. So many hours of reading and writing for this fragile little flower of a blog, and it’s really starting to blossom.
Boy howdy, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these! Between my heart surgery and the holidays and just generally not being overly fond of some prompts, it’s been about a month with no Top Ten Tuesday, but finally, here’s one I can actually do. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s theme is “The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf.” If we’re being honest, this is still kind of tricky for me–I don’t buy a ton of books, and it’s not like I regularly receive ARCs or gifts of books either–but between the various places I get books from, I have cobbled together this list, sorted by source. Enjoy!
Yes, last week I only posted twice. I swear, this was for good reason: I had heart surgery! And, though I knew about the procedure well in advance, the doctors called at the end of the week before to move it up by two days. I didn’t really have the time (or the content, if I’m being honest) to scrape together some pre-scheduled posts, and so, here we are instead.
Author: Megan Angelo Publication date: January 14, 2020 Genre: science fiction, dystopian My rating: 4.5/5 stars
A curious blend of incisive perception, dark humor, and horrifying prediction, Followers is a worthy addition to the rapidly expanding canon of Black Mirror-esque dystopian fiction, shining a critical lens on our fascination (obsession?) with technology, social media, and how far we will go to get what we think we deserve.
“I’ve done the actual math. There are eight million people here, and all of them want something as bad as I want what I want, as bad as you want what you want. We’re not all going to get it. It’s just not possible, that all these people could have their dreams come true in the same time, same place. It’s not enough to be talented, it’s not enough to work hard. You need to be disciplined, and you need to he ruthless. You have to do anything, everything, and you need to forget about doing the right thing…Leave that shit to people in the Midwest.”
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel Publication date: February 1, 2020 Genre: young adult, contemporary My rating: 4/5 stars
What Kind of Girl is one of those books that, regardless of your opinions on its execution, you have to acknowledge is vitally important for its willingness to openly address difficult social phenomena that society likes to sweep under the rug. It is a heavy read, but in a necessary way, not the maudlin sort of sob-story that is an inherent risk of writing about so many serious issues that teens face today.
“Doing something when you’re scared is braver than doing something when you’re not.”
A week or two ago, I promised a post with pictures from my Christmas book haul, and now the time is here! Now, admittedly, only one person got me books this year–my dad–and he had to ask someone at the bookstore to help him pick them out, so they’re four titles that I literally hadn’t even heard of before. To that end, I caved and included the Goodreads blurbs for each of them in this post, because…well, might as well know what they’re about, right?
These books are, in order: a historical mystery, a historical rom-com (think Pride and Prejudice type story, from what I’ve heard), a YA contemporary/historical, and a fantasy. Yeah, apparently this lady thought I was super into historical books? I don’t really get why–she literally looked at my Goodreads account and I know historical fiction is one of my least-read genres–but whatever works, I guess. At the very least, my horizons will be broadened quite a lot! And hopefully, dear reader, by perusing this post, yours will too.
Author: Suzanne Walker (author), Wendy Xu (artist) Publication date: October 22, 2019 Genre: graphic novel, young adult, fantasy My rating: 4 / 5 stars
Queer and quirky and oh-so-cute, Mooncakes was the quick, enchanting graphic novel I didn’t know I needed in my life. I finished almost all of it in a single night, and boy, was it a fun and heartwarming ride, complete with utterly charming magical creatures, adorable cats, and a super-sweet romance.
Author: George Saunders Publication date: February 14, 2017 Genre: historical fiction, literary fiction My rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Witty, wise, weird, and wrenching, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary tour-de-force that brims with brilliance and takes a little-known historical event as a lens to examine truths about the human condition. It is quite unlike anything I have read in a long time, and it makes the writer’s intelligence and skill apparent almost immediately. And, somehow, it manages to do this while still being an accessible read that passes far faster than you would expect–though you wish it could last just a tiny bit longer.