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

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Penguin Teen Game-Changers

Pub: 9/12/17

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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)

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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)

288: Best of Possible Worlds

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Synopsis

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.

The Good

Whenever I come into a sci-fi/fantasy novel I go through an overwhelming sense of disappointment because they are almost always never action-y. The Best of All Possible Worlds first chapter started the book off seeming like this was going to be an action book. I’m so glad that I did not give this book a DNF when I realized it was not going to be what I though it would be. I would have missed out on the quiet subtle quality of this book.

Whenever I read this for a while I got this good feeling. It is actually pretty rare now that I get a good feeling or any feeling from a novel so it is amazing (and kind sad actually) to even look back on this. It all felt like a journey.

One of the main things I liked is the world building – learning about the new worlds and civilizations. The feeling of going on an adventure is one of the parts of fiction I miss.

Black female main character and her families dynamic was interesting.

Romance is built! You do not know how rare this is. A lot of romances in books are insta-lovey or sex=love. The romance even managed to not derail the plot.

The Bad

Could not remember who half the people on the ship or what they did for the ship. This is probably completely my fault for not paying attention but I feel like the other characters were introduced sporadically or something.

Who all the crew mates were was not the only thing that confused me. I was kind of lost a lot of times to what happened. Some people on goodreads brought up that this story is episodic, picking up stories then dropping them. I think the episodicness of the story made it possibly easy to get confused. I agree that this was a slightly annoying aspect of the novel but these mini adventures felt like a journey so I enjoyed them mostly.

Towards the ending the romance went into some tropey gender roles stuff when it could have have been more progressive. I bring this up because it was progressive in other aspects of the story.

The Meh

Best of All Possible Worlds is going to set me up for so many mediocre/terrible sci-fi books I will not end up liking.

[Image and synopsis of Best of All Possible Worlds is from goodreads]

289: The Different Girl

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Synopsis

A timeless and evocative debut for contemporary and sci-fi fans

Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.

The Good
The Different Girl was different from a lot of the young adult books I have read in the past. One major interesting aspect to the story, at first, was the setting. It is set on an island which gave the story for a while mystery.

I think one of the characters was a dark/brown complexioned person of color.

The Bad

Different is only good when you can bring something interesting to the table. When I first started this I thought this is slow but its okay because I felt it was going somewhere. It had the novelty of the setting which grew stale after nothing new came of it.

I came in with a false expectation that this would be philosophical/say something. Usually with books that are slow like this for example  A Tale For Time Being,  there isn’t fast paced story but there is so much said about society and more. I can accept something that is not fast paced but there has to be an exchange of something.

What was the point of this book? Nothing honestly really happened. What is the point if it did not say something? What is the point if everything is obvious and in your face?

It just could have been way better.

TTT: Book Related Problems I Have

I  have decided to take a break from reading because of all these problems so this came at a perfect time for me rant.

1. Lack of diversity!

It is bothersome (irritating, annoying, and exhausting could be used too) to have to look for diversity whenever I want to read in a genre. Then there are some genres that I don’t have that book I specifically want. I want to see characters who are dimensional and diverse. I want their stories to not be stuck in a certain time period when they were really oppressed. I just want them to have fun moments and do awesome things.

2. Lukewarm/Ok/ I’m just not that into you books

Ugh, save me from books that start off good then turn sour 50% into a book. Save me from books that have goodness in them but I just am not that into them. I don’t want to feel the grips of disappointment or want a book to hurry up so bad because I’m just not into it. Please  let me find books that while not perfect keeps my interest and excites.

3. So many books in my books left to read and so much lack of want to read them

Well, at least I don’t hate them this year like last year. I do not believe I ever published any of  drafts about how much I just hated my books left to read books from last year but I seriously did. It came around the time I was supposed to sit and read the books I own instead of going to the library.

4. So many of my favorite authors have disappointed me last year

The most books on my shelf are by a person who disappointed me twice recently with their books, Stephen King. All the authors on my shelf who are were/are my favorites have disappointed me so I’m stuck. I can’t move forward with their books because I can’t handle the disappointment of another one of their books. If I pick up another eh/ok/not exciting books I feel I will DNF every books by them.

5.  Sci-fi/Fantasy why you never have any action?

Seriously, I should not pick up a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy books that have no amount of action in them. I used to not get why people read certain middle grade/ya books before adult books. This is a case that even though I have a hard to time doing it I can understand why other people can do it in a heartbeat. At the very least most of them have action and adventure. Save me from any book that is so literary that it can’t have an interesting story. Especially, save me from the sci-fi/fantasy book that is so literary that isn’t an interesting story and on top of that no action/adventure.

6. I kind of miss my public library.

My school library is not bad but it is different from my public library. I will do a post later on this because it seems like it will be fun to compare the two.

7. Romance I want to get back into you but you have problems.

You suffer from the problems that so many other genres that I read have: lack of diversity (can I just have a good teen/adult interracial romance please) and characters who are not stock characters to name a few. I missed last weeks top ten Tuesday it would have been right up my alley. I might post later a top ten Tuesday about the problems I have with the romance genre. I just want romance/chick lit to do better. Mini-rant: Why does my school library not have romance books? It has sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, etc but nope to romance. Oh, it has ya romance and an entire young adult section though.

8. Where is the creativity?

I really felt it last year the lack of interesting characters and stories. Everyone seems to be writing the same story the same way. Everyone is interested in new books and authors I just can’t muster the excitement because I just know it is going to be about the same characters doing the same things. Everyone wants to be a writer now but wants to create the same stories.

9. Too many books not enough space

My books are overflowing into boxes so that they are not sitting in the middle of my floor. I only have two bookshelves: one is for my books I finished and want to keep the other is for books left to read. If I could a library room that would so awesome. But sadly with the way I’m feeling about books I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.

10. My Expectations/Lost Faith In Books

People have told me that my expectations are high looking at the vast amount of books I DNF last year. It is a sad reality to have to feel that wanting to simply like a book is too much.  I want to have that excitement of being so into a book that I can’t wait to read it. I keep seeing people on my tumblr posting memes of how they love a good book that keeps them up at night. I’m just like what book have I read lately that has me so into it that I would stay up at night to finish it? All the books that had me at that point lost my interest by 50%.  I know part of it is I’m waking up to so many issues in society and publishing. Definitely, a couple of those would be the lack of diversity and how women are portrayed in books. I’m not into acting like my lack of interest is a personal problem anymore. How many time can I say that my interest is lacking in the book? It is hard to pick up books when I know that I have a 90% chance of not liking it.

Basically, I’m at the point of not even getting that mad anymore I may get into random rant mode a bit but my heart is starting to not be in it. I’m at the point of stop reading and doing other things. That is why you haven’t seen any posts by me in 13 days. I’ve been reading but eh. It is kind a sucks to create a blog about my challenge to read the books on my books left to read list and have trouble reading them. I hope that when I comeback things will be better. On a positive note that means I can give time to my other hobbies like I made a resolution to do.