Author: Adalyn Grace Publication date: February 4, 2020 Genre: young adult, fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
Magical and imaginative, All the Stars and Teeth is an excellent debut novel and gives a promising start to both a new series and Adalyn Grace’s career. Filled to the brim with curses, powers, mythical creatures, and lovable characters, this book will immerse you in a fantastical world where magic is commonplace and nothing is as it seems.
Author: Mary Cecilia Jackson Publication date: March 17, 2020 Genre: young adult contemporary My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Huge thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for selecting me to participate in this blog tour! At the end of this review, you’ll find the link to a giveaway for this truly impactful book.
Poignant, painful, but ultimately hopeful, Sparrow provides a harrowing look at one girl’s journey from victim to survivor. This is the sort of book that will stick with you for a while–and, yes, you’ll probably shed some tears.
Yes, yes, I’ve been gone for a while. I got stressed and stopped blogging for a few weeks, just letting the stack of reviews I still needed to write grow steadily. But I’m back now, and I’m bringing you not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR audiobook mini-reviews here! It’s been long enough since I listened to Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino that I don’t feel like I could write any sort of substantial review for it, but with the exception of that title, these books represent all the audiobooks I have listened to so far in 2020. On deck for this post we have a classic, an adult fantasy, a YA small-town fantasy, and a memoir of a journalist who worked in Silicon Valley (in a non-tech role at a tech company).
Author: Sophie Gonzales Publication date: March 3, 2020 Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+ My rating: 5/5 stars
Cute, queer, and oh-so-diverse, this might be my favorite book I’ve read this year thus far. Only Mostly Devastated is essentially a gay retelling of Grease, only with more humor (and emotions), broader social awareness, healthier relationships, and none of the “change the most fundamental aspects of your personality just to please a boy” nonsense that fills the end of the original musical. In other words, it is everything the world of light, contemporary YA thrives on, and I am so here for it.
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?
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.”
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.