Netgalley Reviews: Penguin Teen Game-Changers & Starswept & Picture Books

35612107

Penguin Teen Game-Changers

Pub: 9/12/17

29385546

Warcross

Pub: 9/12/17

The first five seconds into this one it was a hard no because of the main characters voice did not appeal to me.  I’m not engaged by this one.

+Older heroine who lives a different lifestyle

-pacing (which probably is because (I read a couple of pages of this and knew I did like it.)

Continue? Nope

32991569

Jane Unlimited

Pub: 9/19/17

+different view of teens (dropout)

-voice of the characters it felt like they were trying hard to be quirky at times, it did not engage me

Continue? No

15797848

Someone Inside Your House

Pub: 9/26/17

I wanted this to do well because I do want more horror non-supernatural young adult to do well.  It is readable. Emotionally I am just not into it.

+Main character is Hawaiian, it was readable (it did not feel heavy)

– It was not scary/suspenseful to me

Continue? No

33795874

Things I’m Seeing Without You

Pub: 10/3/17

+Short chapters, different lifestyle (high school boarding school dropout)

-voice of main character

Continue? No

33958230

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Pub: 10/10/17

I like the description of this the most so I thought I will actually like this one. I was right.

+I really liked the mythology, pace, that it  showed early on it can be dark/gory (saying to me yes I can and will go there). The chapters were short which ties into the pacing and the overall good job she does with giving the world and mythology info.

Continue? Yes

Overall

It was an okay sampler, did not like 4 of 5 of the books. There was variety in terms of the characters lifestyles, and genre.

Favorite Cover: There’s Someone Inside Your House

Favorite Book: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Other Netgalley Reviews

34377743

Starswept (DNF)

Pub: 8/29/17

4% (according to my kindle app)

Like: The setting being a music school in space

Why DNF? The info dump was heavy and I just was not engaged by it.

33215506

From Far Away

Pub: 8/8/17

Like: Art, smooth transition, imagery of dark skin woman on cover, showing difficulties that a kid who is not from America would deal with (skeleton)

34014651

Tiny Tale of little Pea

Pub: 9/5/17

Like: Ending surprised me (I thought this is what is going to happen, then this will happen, after that it will end like this), art, this is what a person who is the size of Thumbelina would go through (was surprised the cat did not try to pick with him)

Try Chapter Tag: Reading Groove (Mostly Black Women Authored)

I did do Diverseathon but because of reasons as you will see I stopped midway through the readathon.

Diverseathon

These are just the non-comics/picture book books I read.

17286700

Red Queen Dies

+it is very current in certain aspects about the political climate of future (it is set in 2019)

-the mystery is boring sounding, narration/voice is ugh

Overall the story does not make me want to continue it. This sentiment is very much prevalent in everything I read for diverseathon. No

8763096

Ardency

1st poem: this may be too lyrical for me

further on: I don’t know if I like poetry books and upon further reading most of it feels like an inside joke that I don’t get. I’m not super familiar with the Amistad which is what the poems are about. Again, I just am not invested. No

18079775

The Secret of Magic

+more back story into characters than Red Queen Dies (even though as a story Red Queen Dies is more interesting)

This is set during the civil right movement time period so it is kind of dark. The first chapter (spoiler!) ended pretty bad. I’m really at a place that I’m not into just doom and gloom.  I just did feel interested after first chapter. No

I really want to see a psychological thriller with a black woman as the main character from the publishing industry in the future.

I was not enjoying the books I picked up for Diverseathon so I hit a reading slump that I hope that I can get out of it in February.

Non-Diverseathon

I have read these in the last couple of months or so.

12363795

Living Violet

-main character is kinda judgemental (I know many teens are judgemental but I think it is deeper than her being judgemental it is me finding her voice as an issue), average mean love interest

+It is interesting (it has been a while so I do not know what exactly past me thought was interesting)

No

It is basically a black girl main character filling the space of the average girl who is introduced to fantasy world. The problem comes when I already have an issue with the genre of teen paranormal romance girls. I have a problem with the voice of most y.a. characters in general so yeah.

18813642

Bad Feminist

Jumps around in the first essay in a weird way. I think it is because of  the informalness with which she is writing. I want to like it more but it feels like a rehashing of things but not in a fun way.  No

30037870

Randomly decided to read Allegedly even though I was super afraid I would not like it. It kinda reminds me of Fosters which is a good show.

+the main characters voice is way more fun to be around than a lot of others in y.a.

-fatphobia is present in here

I probably will not finish this book knowing me (my relationship with y.a. and fiction in general) but right now Yes

Questions (don’t actually answer/spoil it)

Did she do it? And why?

Did her mom do it? I think her mom left her alone with the baby and she as a nine year old made a mistake she has blocked out. Or her mom is a psychopath who did it but blamed her daughter. I like the second theory because it is devious and can have a dramatic reveal towards the end.

What is the difference between baby jail and juvie?

Is she related to the child that died? How does she know the child who died? I think the child who died is actually not related to her because I sort of read the back which makes it seem like it is just a baby someone left for her mom and her to babysit.

The true winner of this Try A Chapter Tag is Allegedly since it is the only book I half-way liked. So I am going to read that and hopefully finish a non-fiction book sometime this year.

Review: Song of Blood & Stone

 

23783638Synopsis

Enter an alternate 1920’s world of magic and adventure in this gripping, new adult, fantasy romance…

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her magical abilities are feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive – an injured spy who steals her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines nearly cost him his life but he is saved by the healing power of a mysterious young woman. Together they embark on a perilous journey straight into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

New Adult. Recommended for readers 17+.

 

The Good

The world and magic system is fascinating. The backstory into how the world came to be what it is interesting too.

Cover

The Bad

I had it reminded to me when watching a Korean drama (Another Oh Hae Young) that I like the chase/ realizing they like each other/ building of the romance more than the actual part when they are in a romantic relationship. Once the couple gets together I lose a bit of interest in the relationship. This book does not build the main couples relationship so it can feel insta-lovey. Not being able to enjoy the part that I like the most in romance made me not enjoy it as much as I could have. There is so much time spent telling you they love each other but not enough spent showing you their love.

I wish there was more world building. Part of me wishing this was  for more fantasy than romance. I wish the characters were more nuanced/dimensional rather than being straight good. There are moments when the characters are stopped from making hard decisions that would make them grey.

The Meh

I can not tell how nuanced it is.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed the world building more than anything. I wish that there was more work built on the relationship and the fantasy elements. It feels like a bunch but nothing really at all at the end.

Try A Chapter Tag| Over Fantasy

I decided to pair books I got for cheap recently with books that are a bit harder to access.

Moth and Spark16248223

Moth and Spark 

Prologue+Chapter 1

Liked: dragons big presence in this world, dragon riders, possible people of color (dark skin background character which is actually probably not that amazing because he is in the back ground and feels like a once off who will disappear into the distance to never be seen again. Writing this post it now makes me think the main characters could have been people of color so yeah probably not all that.)

Disliked: I can feel this distance/disconnect from story. Yeah there is dragons, dragon riders, and such but I don’t feel really into the story.

Ghost Bride

Chapter 1

I feel connected to the main character immediately. Even though there are not fantasy elements in your face right away I still like it. I think the focus on family, culture, and getting to know main character sold the story to me.

Moth and Spark vs Ghost Bride

Standalones

Straight fantasy -Magical realism?

13477883 A Stranger in Olondria

Gameboard of the Gods

Chapter 1

Setting is closest to present day over all the other books I read. Just like Moth and Spark I felt distant from the story.

A Stranger In Olondria

Chapter 1

Ugh, patriarchy (fits story so its cool). It would interesting to see characters with disabilities be main or one of main characters instead of pushed to back (so far).  This story feels very cultural which I like a lot. It was interesting to hear mention of mythology that I don’t read regularly in fantasy.

Gameboard of the Gods vs A Stranger In Olondria

Science fiction-Historical fantasy

Books in series:

3?-2?

Comparing

It did not escape me that the two books I liked started off heavily getting into the characters culture, selves, and family. It made me think while reading these that I like character driven stories.  They did not even get into the fantasy elements which is something I have gone on so many rants about. As long as the other elements are interesting I won’t get bothered or as bothered by it not doing fantasy/sci-fi stuff. Interesting enough Gameboard of the Gods and Moth and Spark went straight sci-fi/fantasy, eh. I guess because they did not do anything different or interesting.

Prediction

I will finish A Stranger In Olondria and The Ghost Bride. Gameboard of the Gods and Moth and Spark I will not end up finishing just because I feel a lack of connection to them. A Stranger In Olondria was the best I think.

Top Ten Tuesday: Photographic Representation

I did a post a couple of weeks ago called Non-fiction I Wish Was Fiction and A lot More That I’m Happy Are Not this is a kind of response to that.

For My Ya Lovers

29775575

  1. Keep Me In Mind

Genres: interracial romance, contemporary

16140843

2. Most Likely To Succeed

Genres: interracial romance

9662597

3. My Own Worst Enemy

Genres: Mystery

22840182

4. Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Genre: interracial romance, contemporary

Can we have more books that include black girls (and poc) in the summer aesthetic please?

25541572

5. The Wrath & The Dawn

Genres: historical fantasy, romance

Romance Lovers

23768500

6. Song of Blood & Stone

Genres: fantasy, interracial romance

22328684

7. Chained

Genres: historical romance, interracial romance

18160022

8. Dark Genesis

Genres: historical fiction, interracial romance, fantasy

30635472

9. Sugar Pie Guy

Genre: historical fiction, interracial romance

Can we also have more poc in the 80’s, 90s, and etc too?

8574333

10. Please Look After Mom

Genres: literary fiction
I can’t tell if all the photographic representation outside of non-fiction is concentrated in romance or I just read a lot of romance.

(Another post I did which is kind of the cartoon/comic version of this)

[All images are from goodreads]

306: Ever After High: Next Top Villain

20707052

Synopsis

A brand-new series of school stories from the world of Ever After High!
Duchess Swan and Lizzie Hearts are roommates at Ever After High. While their personalities are very different, they bond over not quite fitting in with the other Royals. Lizzie, however, has one thing that Duchess doesn’t: a happily-ever-after at the end of her story.
While Lizzie and the other princesses train for the day when they will rule their kingdoms, Duchess is torn between her role as the perfect, dutiful princess and her rebellious ambition to be a queen. When both girls are selected to attend General Villainy class, Duchess sees an opportunity to be a rebel while following the rules. But can she play a prank on her roomie to ace the class? Find out if Duchess’ desire to change her destiny will make her Ever After High’s Next Top Villain!

The Good

I’ve heard a lot of stuff about Duchess Swann, mostly about how evil/mean she is. I am totally cool with that. I get annoyed with the overuse of girls who have ‘nice” personalities=good. I know that this series is for kids so there is an overemphasis on niceness. Cleo, Toralei, and Nefera are some of the most interesting characters in Monster High. Toralei and the Werecat Twins are really how I got into Monster High. Ever After High does not have that many mean characters. I don’t have something against nice girls but the box that being a nice girl can put girls into. A lot of characters who are nice girls lose their complexity.  Mean girls are allowed to have questionable motives and actions.

  1.  Duchess Swan she is allowed to be not a so nice girl character she is ambiguous. She is not a mean character to me like everyone was saying she was. For the longest time throughout my status updates on goodreads I was like “waiting on Duchess to be this mean chick they seem to think she is”.
  2. Question of good and bad not only with Duchess but all the other characters (especially the adults. I could go into an entire thing about Bad Wolf)
  3. I liked the portrayal and appearance of Daring.
  4. It just was plain fun to read.
  5. It’s fun seeing the different characters point of view about people

This made me want a purely evil character after reading it (which I got with Faybelle in Fairy’s Got Talent).

The Bad

There is a lot of time spent on set up to the General Villainy plans and only maybe 50 pages was spent on when the plans actually happened. I feel that the stories were not epic, it felt more like a couple of webisodes. I’m sadly going to compare this story to the Shannon Hale Ever After High series. I felt those felt more epic and there was more time spent on the action/adventure (well, at least the first book).

Conclusion

Reading this book made me remember the magic of this series that has been waning over the books. It hurts me to say it is completely missing with Truth of Hair. It makes me remember the everydayness that this series had over the Shannon Hale ones. Come back Ever After High to your magic please.

315: From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse #8) Spoilers

2233407

Synopsis

After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, everyone human and otherwise is stressed, including Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who is trying to cope with the fact that her boyfriend Quinn has gone missing.

It’s clear that things are changing whether the weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie, Friend to the Pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, leader of the local vampire community is caught up in the changes.

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered.

The Bad

  • The longer this series goes on the less I can bring myself to care about any of the characters.
  • I am annoyed with how dumb/clueless Charlaine Harris makes Sookie. Why can’t Sookie put a simple 2 plus 2 of the implications of all supernatural creatures being outed?
  • “Wars” keep happening. I can’t get myself to actually care first of all because I generally am apathetic to every character and I feel that these wars are becoming more frequent and less interesting.
  • I just feel like these recent books are filler.  It is a weird thing to say when wars and stuff like that are happening. It is especially weird since I am usually complaining about the lack of action in books. The issue here is that the action has to be actually interesting.
  • The humor is gone.What happened to everyone’s witty lines?

Sookie is getting on my nerves

 I. She is  Selfish  and Self absorbed

and not in a interesting way like Scarlet at the beginning of Gone with the Wind.

  • Alcide can’t even have a moment to mourn a girlfriend who died without it being a affront to Sookie.
  •  Sookie broke up with Quinn because he didn’t call her when he was being watched by vampires in the process of protecting his family from being killed. Sookie said she wanted to come first but Sookie you are not in moral danger so why would I put someone who is okay before my family who is in danger?
  • She got mad at Alecide for not protecting her during the wereshifters war. So Alecide cannot protect himself he is a top level werewolf so he needs to protect himself. Sookie could have totally sat herself down off to the side somewhere. Instead of Sookie going off somewhere to sit down while the wereshifters fought she felt the need to sit around and at a certain point join in the attack.
  • Sookie actually had someone put a spell on someone because she doesn’t like them. Not because she was in actual mortal danger or anything, mind you.

II. Everything is about her

and not in a way that this is her series so of course everything is about her. It is done in a way that I’m getting bothered by how Charlaine Harris is framing things in the story.

  • Why does every man seem to be in love with Sookie?
  • Now that we are on the subject, why does every man feel the need to bind over backwards for Sookie?
  • Why does every man/woman either in love with her or have something against her?
  • Why is Tara her friend but barely ever appears in the: either she is doing a service to Sookie or being victimized.

Things I wish would  happen but I know will not

I can see little gems of great ideas that could really make this series awesome such as

  • all the supernatural creatures being outed and the world dealing with it.
  • Sookie being more than a waitress, not trying to put down waitresses or anything. In the last book Sookie was helping to save people lives and that made me think she could be doing that. Sookie could be doing more as  a character towards her life.
  • Sookie to mature. I want everything to not be about Sookie.
  • New underrepresent supernatural creatures. I was so in love with the second book because it was interesting first of all and it had a supernatural creature I never heard of. My reaction: What is this, I have to actually look up a supernatural creature because I don’t know what it is.
  • I want all the characters to have more depth. Every one is a prop or something for the story/Sookie.

The Good

It’s easy to read so I could get through it without DNFing it.

Comment:I think about way  back when what the series used to be. I heard people talking about how the series goes down in the later books, I did not believe it. I see it now. I am sort of worried that I am going to pick one of these books one day and say no more then stop reading the series all together. It has gotten to that point of me thinking if this was any other series/author it would be a dnf. I think I am hitting the hate reading mode were you just read a book to rant about it.

I am going to have to pick wisely the next book I read because the next book I finish needs to wow me.