Review: Red School (Part 1)

Title: Red School (Part 1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard, Soman Chainai, Joel Gennari (illustrator)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Publisher: N/A
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fantasy titans Victoria Aveyard and Soman Chainani team up in a two-part graphic novel event! Featuring your favourite characters from ‘Red Queen’ and ‘The School for Good and Evil’ series.

Review:

The royalty from Norta, including Mare, Cal, and Maven, go to The School for Good and Evil for a special ball. While they are celebrating, the school is taken over by a red fog that infects people from both sides and posses them. The characters from Red Queen (Mare, Cal, and Maven) and the characters from The School for Good and Evil (Agatha, Sophie, and Tedros) have to work together to find the source of the fog.

This is such a fun graphic novel that combines the worlds of two of my favourite series. This story doesn’t give any spoilers to the series (all the characters are alive, even if they died at some point during either series) so this graphic novel could be read at any point during the series. However, it would be useful to have some knowledge of the characters and read at least one book from both series before reading this graphic novel because the characters aren’t really introduced.

I loved seeing these characters illustrated. There are images of the characters from The School for Good and Evil on those book covers, but I had never seen authentic illustrations of the characters from the Red Queen series. It was so much fun to see all of these characters work together.

This was such a fun graphic novel! I can’t wait to read the next one!

What to read next:

Red School (Part 2) by Victoria Aveyard, Soman Chainani, Joel Gennari (illustrator)

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Other books in the series:

  • Red School (Part 2)

Have you read Red School (Part 1)? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – January 21

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898.png

Goodreads Synopsis:

Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

FEYRE WILL BRING VENGEANCE.

She has left the Night Court – and her High Lord – and is playing a deadly game of deceit. In the Spring Court, Tamlin is making deals with the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees, and Feyre is determined to uncover his plans. But to do so she must weave a web of lies, and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As mighty armies grapple for power, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

BUT WHILE WAR RAGES, IT IS HER HEART THAT WILL FACE THE GREATEST BATTLE.

THE THRILLING THIRD BOOK IN #1 NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLING FANTASY SERIES FROM SARAH J. MAAS.

Review:

Feyre has left the Night Court, Rhysand, and her newly fae sisters, and returned to Tamlin and the Spring Court. She’s pretending that the mating bond between her and Rhys has been broken so she can learn the war plans of Tamlin and Hybern. Feyre has to figure out how to defeat Hybern with his magical cauldron, while also uniting the High Lords in war.

This was an epic conclusion to Feyre’s story. The story continues in a novella and another novel, which will focus on another couple. However, this book ended Feyre’s main story arc, which had an exciting finale.

There were some heart-pounding moments at the end of the book. I really didn’t know how it was going to end and who was going to survive. Even though this story ended most of the main story, there were still some loose ends that can continue in the upcoming books.

I loved this thrilling third book!

What to read next:

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Other books in the series:

Have you read A Court of Wings and Ruins? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – January 20

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett. The expected publication date is February 9, 2021.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898.png

Goodreads Synopsis:

What is a Victorian lady’s formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry—it’s elemental.

Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet’s laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test—and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Lemonade Code

Title: Lemonade Code
Author: Jarod Pratt, Jey Odin
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 19, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

This is a fully illustrated graphic novel about a middle school super genius who starts a lemonade stand to fund his ultimate top-secret project, only to find unexpected competition right across the street when the new kid starts a rival stand.

Robbie Reynolds isn’t just a genius. He’s a super SUPER genius! But he doesn’t have the cash to fund his ultimate (and top secret) project. That’s why he’s opening a lemonade stand. Not just any lemonade stand: this one is state of the art, and his automatista can make you any flavor of lemonade your heart desires! Bacon, salsa, potato salad, dirty diaper—anything you want.

Unfortunately, Robbie isn’t the only one in the Lemonade Hustle. Daphne Du-Ri, his new across-the-street neighbor, has her own setup going, and something about her lemonade is resonating with people in ways Robbie’s can’t. Before the week is over, Robbie and Daphne are in a full-on Lemonade War.

Review:

Robbie is a genius and a mad scientist. He created a robot that could make lemonade with any flavor imaginable. As soon as he opens his lemonade stand, another stand opens across the street by a new girl, Daphne. Once one of his customers tries her lemonade, everyone leaves Robbie’s stand to support Daphne. However, after Robbie’s mother tries Daphne’s lemonade, he realizes there is something in her drink that makes people become obsessed with it. Robbie has to use his coding and mad scientist skills to figure out what is happening with Daphne’s lemonade.

This story started out really strong. It’s set in the future, where people use hoverboards and robots. It was still relatable since the kids created a lemonade stand, which is such a common activity for children. The story got complicated when Robbie had to use code to figure out the secret behind the lemonade. I don’t know much about coding, but I’m sure kids who are interested in it will like this story.

This graphic novel was a little text heavy. I liked that there was a lot of text and description because sometimes graphic novels don’t have enough words. However, this may have worked better as a novel. I found some of the technical coding parts confusing and wordy. If there was simpler language or if it was explained more, I would have gotten more out of this story.

This is a great graphic novel for middle grade readers who are interested in coding.

Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

Last Pick by Jason Walz

Have you read Lemonade Code? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books I Meant to Read in 2020. Here’s my list:

1. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

2. The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter

3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

4. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

5. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

6. One by One by Ruth Ware

7. Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney

8. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

9. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

10. The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – January 19

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

The Crown in Crisis by Alexander Larman

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

Your Corner Dark by Desmond Hall

Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Wench by Maxine Kaplan

Get a Clue by Tiffany Schmidt

Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift

If I Tell You the Truth by Jasmin Kaur

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Playing with Fire by April Henry

What books are you most excited for this week?

Blog Tour Review: One of the Good Ones

Title: One of the Good Ones
Author: Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this honest and powerful exploration of prejudice in the stunning novel from sister-writer duo Maika and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.

ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

Review:

Kezi Smith, a teenage vlogger and activist, was killed during a social justice rally. Her younger sister, Happi, and her older sister, Genny, are left to their grief. Kezi is called “one of the good ones,” and is recognized as an idol by the media because she wasn’t a troublemaker. Kezi had planned on doing a road trip after she finished high school along Route 66, following the guide book The Negro Motorist Green Book. Genny and Happi decide to do this trip with two of Kezi’s best friends to commemorate her life, but what they find is something only Kezi could give them.

This was a fantastic story! I already know it’s going to be one of my favourites of the year and perhaps of all time. It brings up some important questions that are timely but also have historical significance. Why are some deaths condemned because the victim was “one of the good ones”? Just because someone has made some mistakes, does that mean they deserve to be brutally murdered? Since Kezi was popular and fighting for social justice, she was called “one of the good ones,” who didn’t deserve to die as a result of the rally. That implies that the “bad ones” deserve those deaths. It also brings into question, what determines if someone is good or bad, and who makes this decision.

This book blended many different genres. There were some historical chapters, which looked back on Kezi’s ancestors and the way they were treated because they were Black. Most of the story had a contemporary setting. The final part of the story was extremely suspenseful. There were some thriller aspects which I wasn’t expecting, but they just made this story even more tense and exciting.

I could not put this book down. It had something for everyone and I believe everyone should read this book!

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

About the authors:

MAIKA MOULITE is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s sharpening her skills as a PhD student at Howard University’s Communication, Culture and Media Studies program. Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves young adult novels, fierce female leads, and laughing.

MARITZA MOULITE graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. Maritza is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy in under-resourced communities after being inspired to study education from her time as a literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Have you read One of the Good Ones? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – January 18

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading You Have a Match by Emma Lord.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – January 17

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?