Review: Literary nostalgia with complicated drama in Mandy Berman’s “Perennials”

Perennials

Page Count: 288 pages
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Random House Trade
Audience: Adult
Source: Purchased
cw: sexual assault

Have you ever read a book that was so harrowing, not because of the content, but because of how eerily similar it was to your own life?

Literally, this entire book was déjà vu. I spent pretty much the whole time in perpetual tears.

Perennials takes place at a co-ed summer camp in Connecticut (😭). The first few chapters take place in the year 2000, and then it jumps to 2006 for the last 75% of the book or so. Each chapter is told from a different point of view, whether it’s a counselor or a camper, but the majority of the story follows two young women, Rachel and Fiona, as they come back to camp as counselors for the first time since they were younger. Continue reading “Review: Literary nostalgia with complicated drama in Mandy Berman’s “Perennials””

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Review: Feel-Good M/M Romance in They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

 

They Both Die at the End

Page Count: 368 pages
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
rep: bi and questioning main characters, Puerto Rican main character, Cuban main character, main character with anxiety
cw: death, grief, attempted suicide

I purposefully picked up this book looking for a nice depressing read with some teary reading sessions but… I did not cry. At all. Y’all have mislead me.

They Both Die at the End is about two teens boys, Mateo and Rufus, who get a phone call from a company called Death-Cast telling them that they will both die before midnight. Seeking solace, they join an app for people who also received the Death-Cast phone call, as they start talking, of course they fall in love.

This is a very stereotypical YA romance and yet not once was I bored. The story was very propelling and it read it very quickly, which I think was due to the incredibly short chapters and alternating points of view.  Continue reading “Review: Feel-Good M/M Romance in They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera”

Series Review: An Informative Jarring History in March, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell

March: Book One (March, #1)

Page Count: 128 pages
Publication Date: Aug 13, 2013
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
content warning: police brutality

 

March: Book Two (March, #2)

 

Page Count: 192 pages
Publication Date: Jan 20, 2015
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
content warning: police brutality

 

March: Book Three (March, #3)

 

Page Count: 246 pages
Publication Date: Aug 2, 2016
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
content warning: police brutality

I’ve always felt like I had a pretty solid foundational knowledge of US History but WOW reading March was an incredibly humbling experience and basically I’m convinced that I basically don’t know anything!!

Some contextual evidence: I went to a public school in a pretty middle class/upper middle class, predominantly white, liberal suburb. In addition to taking AP US History in high school, I felt like my US History classes in middle school did pretty well with providing me with a good grasp on major events of US history. This was even further proved to me in college; there were multiple times where I had some background knowledge of events, eras, laws, etc that my friends or classmates didn’t.

However, there were so many people in March that I didn’t even know existed, and honestly I feel robbed.  Continue reading “Series Review: An Informative Jarring History in March, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell”

Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Page Count: 400 pages
Publication Date: Oct 24, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

 

I forced myself to read a Charles Dickens book before reading this (vom dot com). Was it worth it? Eh…

I really only like reading cheeseball romantic comedies in the summer when I’m lounging at the beach (which is like maybe once a year, sadly) or in the two week period right before Christmas.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is honestly the perfect book to read right before the winter holidays. It’s very festive and heartwarming and just a really fun book.

Cynthia Hand wrote a retelling of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol which is a paranormal story disguised as a contemporary. It follows Holly Chase as she works for a company called Project Scrooge which employs staff to reenact A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve every year, trying to guarantee a change of heart for a different “Scrooge” every year. Holly has a lot of a experience with this because she was a failed Scrooge; instead of seeing the errors of her selfishness she ends up dying, just as she is warned. Continue reading “Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand”

Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
Page Count: 370 pages
Publication Date: Jan 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: The Cruel Prince
cw: murder, physical and sexual abuse, suicide

 

I really forced myself to just to power through this one but dang am I glad I did.

When I was younger, my family would spend our entire summer at the town pool. My brothers would always rush right in, but I’d camp out in my mother’s favorite spot by the picnic tables in the shade. I’d put on my sunscreen, maybe read a little bit of my book (one summer I outlined my entire 40 chapter fanfiction in one afternoon at the pool) and then was I was ready I would get in line at the diving board and dive in literally head first.

That’s literally how I start reading hyped books.

I’m slow you guys. I don’t jump on the bandwagon right away. But eventually, when I get there, I’m obsessed. Continue reading “Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black”

Review: A Deserving Diverse Formulaic Fantasy in Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)
Page Count: 525 pages
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Children of Blood and Bone review

me: i don’t read trilogies!!!!!!!
me: i don’t read fantasy!!!!!!!!

me: *takes two long months to read Children of Blood and Bone*

Here’s a brief overview of my history reading trilogies:

  • Book 1: read within the first year of it’s release, and/or immediately after the sequel is released
  • Book 2: read within the first weeks of it’s release
  • Book 3: ………………………………. 😐

I cannot even tell you how many trilogies I haven’t finished. I usually read the second book and then get distracted/bored/uninterested/etc by the time the third book comes out! The only way to I finish a series is if all the books are already published and I acquire them all in one giant sweep. (Guys I honestly think the last series I finished in real-time publication might have been Twilight.)

Anyway, the entire time reading Children of Blood and Bone, in the root of my gut I just feel that this series won’t be any different. Continue reading “Review: A Deserving Diverse Formulaic Fantasy in Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi”

Review: A Subtle Feminist Friendship Story in The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo

The Deepest Roots

Page Count: 320 pages
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: The Deepest Roots
content warning: sexual assault, kidnapping
representation: poor MC, black side, lesbian side

 

 


I read this book in literally 24 hours. I just could 👏 not 👏 stop 👏 reading.

The Deepest Roots reminded me on some grunge-y, cult-classic 80s teen movie, except it takes place in modern day. It explores themes of female empowerment, women supporting women, and supportive friendships. Granted, these themes may have been heavy handed, but I am here for supportive girls so I personally didn’t mind.

The Deepest Roots follows Rome and her two best friends, Lux. Like all the girls born in Cottonwood Hollow Kansas, the three girls each have  a unique gift (or curse as the three of them consider it). Lux is a Siren who can charm men with a smile, but she often can’t control it. Mercy is an Enough, which means she is able to provide Just Enough. Rome is a Fixer, and she uses her ability at the car garage where she works.  Continue reading “Review: A Subtle Feminist Friendship Story in The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo”

Review: A Raw and Intimate Coming-of-Age Story in The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

general information

 

The Poet X
Page Count: 357 pages
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Audiobook
Goodreads: The Poet X review
CW: parental abuse, homophobia, body-shaming

 

review

Elizabeth Acevedo is one of the most talented creatives I’ve ever come across.

Her performance as the narrator of this audiobook is stunning. The Poet X is written in verse, much of them read as a slam poem. The amount of raw emotion that is delivered just with the language is incredible, so when you add that to a trembling and variable tone of voice it creates such a delicate atmosphere of finding yourself that so many teens can relate (even I related to it and I’m well out of high school). The audiobook had such a visceral experience with me that for the second half of the story I did not stop crying. Continue reading “Review: A Raw and Intimate Coming-of-Age Story in The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo”

Review: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: An Intricately Intentional Novel about Relationships and the Lasting Effects of Genocide

general information

 

The Bastard of Istanbul

Page Count: 368 pages
Publication Date: January 18, 2007 (Viking)
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Bastard of Istanbul
TW: rape, genocide

 

 

review

This entire novel belongs in a museum.

I realized as I’m typing this that it’s going to be physically painful for me to format this like I would for a typical review. This book is too gorgeous and is unworthy for any type of garbage that I’m going to just spurt out of my brain. I also am struggling to stay focused on what are actually important in reviews, like do I really need to summarize this???? Nothing I write will compare!!

The Bastard of Istanbul is a story about women. The numerous types of women is this book is absolutely incredible and I loved how women are depicted as strong, varied, independent, interesting, intelligent, etc. Honestly, this would’ve been the perfect book to write a college paper on; there is just so much rich material. Continue reading “Review: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: An Intricately Intentional Novel about Relationships and the Lasting Effects of Genocide”

Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

 

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)
Page Count: 285 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Age Range: Middle Grade
Source: Library
Goodreads: City of Ghosts

 

 

Edinburgh is the perfect backdrop to for a twelve-year-old who can see ghosts. Utterly atmospheric and a little creepy, Schwab created the perfect little spooky coming-of-age story, one that just happens to be about a girl who can see ghosts.

Cass grew up with ghost-hunting parents but she’s the one who can actually see ghosts, a secret she kept since she was almost drowned. When her parents drag her to Edinburgh to film their new tv, her ghost best friend Jacob tags along. Surrounded by some of the most popular ghost stories, Cass can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble. Continue reading “Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab”