Netgalley Reviews & BookishFirst: Mostly Late

(I received these books unless stated otherwise from netgalley in exchange for my review)

Gracie La Roo

3/1/18

Why DNF? I could not get into it but I think it is just not for me.

Liked: How bright and colorful the art is

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Shai & Emmie Star In Break An Egg!

10/3/17

Why DNF? It is not for me but I think other people will really be into it.

Like: That it is ownvoices, interesting that it is set in a performance arts school

 

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Jade City

11/7/17

Why DNF? I just could not get into it

Liked: Setting, Gems giving characters abilities, it seemed already very complex from the few chapters I read (it would be one of those stories that goes against a readers expectations)

 

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Nick Newton Is Not A Genius

10/21/16

19%

Why DNF? Not enough is happening, it feels like the same thing happens each chapter

Liked: The art, idea of kid who is not genius among genius family

 

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I Love My Purse

9/12/17

+Art, the idea of pushing for acceptance of people particularly boys who go against our societies standards of them

-very simplistic (probably the adult in me) in how it talks about toxic masculinity and being different.

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Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover

5/16/17

Art: very detailed (texture fur, bugs as something they eat)

Story: Realistic in terms of what the animals eat (I don’t know if this can be attributed to artist or writer) and it just was a fun adventure in these characters lives.

BookishFirst

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The Belles

2/20/18

Samples two chapters courtesy of BookishFirst for a possible free print copy of the book

World~

Pro The world is interesting, the implications exist for this story to really say something about beauty, the representation of different body sizes and skin tones

Con My biggest worry is how the beauty aspect will be handled.

Finishing these chapters I was left with a few questions…

Questions: Have there been more than six beauties at a time? Where do the old beauties go? How does beauty save in this world? What is beautiful to this society?

 

(Cover images are from goodreads)

 

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Being A Y.A. Returner: Being Y.A. Returned

A while back I talked a bit about Being An Adult In Y.A./Being A Y.A. Returner so today I want to talk further into some observations about my y.a. reading.

Here are a couple of things that I have noticed about my young adult reading.

  • Own Voices/diverse books are the majority

A. Young adult is more diverse (or at least there is a community to push up the diversity happening)

B. Young adult that talks about so many different things that past y.a. did not

This could be a post in itself but I just enjoy so much about reading diverse books.

  • #1 Genre Read = Realistic Contemporary

Diverse books are mostly in the realistic contemporary genre (what I would give for a good fluffy contemporary). It will be interesting in 2018 with more genre expansion and particularly sff for diverse books how that will affect my reading.

  • Unknowns are my favorites

Most of the books I liked/loved I did not plan to read. On the opposite end some of the books I got really excited about I did not like or finish.

  • Mainstream ≠ me

A. Diverse books do not necessarily become mainstream (which actually sucks now that I am thinking on it).

B. It is a weird thing where I am into y.a. but not extremely into it. In the past I have described it as being a guest, coming into y.a. to read certain books then leaving out.

  • Nothing later than 2010’s or Future/Present YA is my realm

Anything not between 2015-17 seems to not be for me. Sometimes this can be awesome because everything I am reading is pretty new. On the other hand it can be annoying waiting on the newest book to come out.

Overall, I am just excited about being back. I did not expect after everything that I would be back but I am enjoying it.

Since it has been troublesome deciding what post to do next in this series I need your help.

Analyzing Book Covers

Quick catch-up: after a mostly great months reading novels I’m in a not slump but everything that I’m reading is okay.  They are in that ugh middle ground of being neither bad or amazing. Bummer.

So a couple of days ago I randomly analyzed a book cover which was really fun so now I want to do more. All of these are from my goodreads to read shelf so I know at least a little bit about them making this not a just based on cover alone thing.

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Monday’s Not Coming

First thoughts: The cover is atmospheric the red color makes me think of an alarm blaring. Look at her facial expression and body language. She doesn’t have her hands around her knees but it still looks hectic with the color.

Second Viewing: A couple of things I did not notice or know how to pinpoint- I did not notice that the red is not just a background that the character is sitting on top of it is lighting her skin, shoes, and clothes (I know there is a word to describe what the red is doing to her but I can’t think of this exact word/wording).The red lighting makes the white  words stand out even more. I did not notice that the words are basically white chalk.

Further into her facial expression which I couldn’t pinpoint. Looking at it now it seems like she is distracted, her mind is somewhere else. This probably ties into her being distracted thinking about her missing friend.

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Princeless Short Stories Vol. 1

Black girl riding a light pink/purple dragon in the air. She looks like she is ready to go into battle seeing as she has her knife out in the air. She and the dragon are not going angry or sadly into battle but happy. The warrior princess is very in line with the Princeless series.

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Babysitter IV

Tagline: Her life is still on the line…

She is obviously in the kitchen on the phone. This is the fourth Babysitter but she has the window opened…drapes opened…(Or the blinds are those type of drapes that cannot be closed).  Also, she has her back turned to the window with all the aforementioned things… Definitely can tell it is the 80s-90s because she is on a cordless phone (side comment: some people say the cellphone killed a lot of horror trappings). It is midday about to turn to the darkness of nighttime so she is doing all of this when it is about to be dark out.
Her face is scared and she is holding the cord on the phone tightly. It makes me think of Scream since I sampled (but did not finish) the script and saw the movie trailer. I feel like a scary movie character wore the exact outfit the main character wears on the cover but I have not seen enough scary movies to really tell.

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Tooth And Talon

Don’t remember what this is about so this is going to be interesting?

The main character has a high tech suit in a forest. What does that mean? Is the forest she is going into dangerous? There are red leaves that look like feathers so is the “Talon” referring to a bird she is trying to get to? Look at how huge the leaves are they are almost taller or are taller than her. What is the blue-ish bulbs on the leaves?

The woman pictured has a look of searching that blank what is going on look.

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The Legend of Shadow High

Tagline: Ever After High meets Monster High!

Mirror: The broken window in the middle I’m assuming signifies the portal between the worlds. In the mirror is the forest which is usually something you see in Ever After High than Monster High.

Sides: From monster high there is Frankie Stein and Draculaura, from ever after high Raven Queen and Apple White (these are  usually the spokesman from both worlds which ugh since I don’t like Draculaura and Frankie Stein but that is another conversation)

Anyway, the emblems around the mirror incorporates monster high skull (bottom) and ever after high girl with hood (top). On the top above the ever after high emblem is the two skull crests leaning on each other. All of the emblems and lining around mirror are in gold and black.

Background: There is a grey symbol that starts off big then gets smaller. The symbol is distinguishable at the top until it all bunches all in together at the bottom.

The overall style is something that Ever After High first series by Shannon Hale does which makes sense seeing how the story is set in Ever After High and written by Hale.

It would be interesting next time analyzing covers of books I know absolutely nothing about or have already read.

Netgalley Reviews: Fairy Tale Retellings

I did not plan for this random fairy tale theme actually.

(I received these for my honest review from netgalley)

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass

9/5/17

12%

Why DNF? The way the writing was set up (the two main characters stories paralleling each other) was confusing. So I would keep mixing up Lynet and Mina. Where are the fantasy elements? The story was slow going and barely had any fantasy which as a personal preference I do not like in fantasy unless the characters are really compelling.

Like:  idea of the fantasy elements (glass heart), idea of exploration of snow white and evil queen relationship

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Little Red Wolf

10/3/17

Art: artistic (play around with color and style), reminiscent of fairy tales, font fits what would be in a fairy tale book

Story: I liked the twist on red riding hood and how the story captures fairy tales essence well. It captures the brutality, whimsicalness, and the beats without it being an average fairy tale story.

Netgalley Reviews: Good Batch

(I got these for review from netgalley)

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Children of Blood and Bone Excerpt/Preview (Chapters 1-6)

3/6/17

Cover: is actually representative of what is in the novel. The colors are so eye-catching and vibrant.

Pros

  1. Fantasy world- it’s not clunky/info-dumpy, it is interesting to have a world that is majority if not completely filled with black people
  2. How it deals with the problems of the world- the greatest thing about having a world with majority/completely filled with black people is that the story can be intraracial issues such as colorism. It also does a good representation of systematic oppression ( there is even some commentary about misogynoir )
  3. Brutal- the stakes are high and real

I really did not have anything I did not like about it so I’m ready  for it to come out. I’m actually a bit annoyed at myself for sampling something coming out next year in March.

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My Nana and Me

8/1/17

Art:  Black girl with black doll, good drawing black people, dream like different images that blend into one

Story: love between grandmother  and her granddaughter

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Sweet Dreams, Super Girl

2/1/18

Art: mix comic and picture book-transition for young superhero lovers, poc children

Story: takes everyday lessons and adds superheroes to it

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Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament

9/5/17

Art: colors bright, black people in background (different between black and white features)

Story: actually kinda funny, was history lession without me realizing its a history lesson (didn’t feel messagy)

280: The Duff

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Synopsis

Soon to be a major motion picture! Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. But things aren’t so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.  

Cover: This movie tie-in version is the best.

The Good

  • fun comparing it to movie (after a while I stopped comparing it to the movie because it is pretty different beyond the premise of the story)
  • main character voice-she is opinionated. People don’t like these type of girl teen voices (I feel she sounds like me as a teen)
  • the main character (Bianca) had a multifaceted voice
  • feminist (in ways)- sexually progressive  (allowing the main character to not feels shame for sleeping with someone casually)

The Bad

  • Last 70 or so pages felt like the last 5 episodes of a k-drama (or most Asian dramas)- filler city and prolonged problems between characters
  • lack of diversity (noticeable more since in the movie one of the friends, Casey, is Latina)
  • falls back on sexual progressive conversation (or shows internalized misogyny)
  • Her friends were a bit interchangeable

The Meh

All these young adult books are catching up with me. This one made me think about high school young adult reader me. It is interesting coming back to ya and reading something I feel I would not have enjoyed as an actual young adult.

I want to read essays about The Duffs feminism now but cannot find any.

Being An Adult In Y.A./Being A Y.A. Returner

  • Being conscious of that adultness.

There are a lot of discussions about how adults are taking over the young adult category. I am not going to get deep into my thoughts because it is a loaded conversation that needs its own entire post that I may write one day. Overall, it is a valid and needed conversation.

  • Adult listening to adults

A. I do not want to invade teens reading spaces.

I believe that I mostly follow adult y.a. readers which is probably because as a y.a. returner I have different expectations for the genre. Also, I feel kind of uncomfortable coming into a teens space.

B. Criticalness/Critique/Discussion

Part of the reason I am able to be a part of  the category is because of the discussions. I’m connected to people who discuss all the issues I have had with category since I left back in the day. Not to say that teens are not  part of these discussions but I think adults are mostly part of these discussions.

  • Past y.a. reader me

A. grew up with y.a.

Archie comics and Fear Street were the first books I really read.

B. having a blog/goodreads footprint of me with y.a.

I can look when I first read certain books and let go of y.a.

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  • Changes in y.a. then and now

A. Mass market paperback to mostly hardcover or trade paperback

B. Y.A. novels are bigger

C. More diversity

D. More voices hitting mainstream publishing  than before

Questions

If you are someone who has been around y.a. for a long time what are some things you have noticed change about the genre? How do you feel about the whole adults in y.a. discussion? What are some things you have noticed since more adults have come into the category?