Review: Faith: Taking Flight (Faith Herbert Origin Story #1)

Title: Faith: Taking Flight (Faith Herbert Origin Story #1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’, comes the first in a two-book origin story of Faith, a groundbreaking, plus-sized superhero from the Valiant Entertainment comics.

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she’s not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she’s volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.

So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there’s also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly….

When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith’s reality as the show relocates to her town, she can’t believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.

But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren’t enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots to a new designer drug infiltrating her high school.

But when her investigation puts the people she loves in danger, she will have to confront her hidden past and use her newfound gifts—risking everything to save her friends and beloved town.

Review:

Faith Herbert is an orphaned teenager who lives with her grandmother and works at an animal shelter. She also has a superpower: she can fly. One day, the cast of Faith’s favourite TV show, The Grove, moves to her hometown in Minnesota to film their series. Faith meets her dream crush and star of the show, Dakota Ash, and they instantly connect. At the animal shelter, dogs start going missing and coming in with mysterious illnesses. Then, people start to disappear too. At the same time, there is a new drug that is being distributed among students at schools. Faith is the only one who sees the connections between all of these events in her town, so it’s up to her to save everyone.

Faith is a wonderful, honest superhero. She doesn’t have the stereotypical look of a superhero, which is usually slim and muscular. Faith proudly displays her fat body. She is also discovering her romantic preferences. Faith doesn’t know if she likes boys or girls, but her friends are eager to support her no matter what.

The prologue for this book was very exciting and engaging. In the prologue, Faith was sent to a special camp where she could figure out if she had superpowers. However, after the prologue, the story didn’t mention her superpowers or what happened at the camp for a few chapters. I wanted to know more about what happened there. There seemed to be a lot of mystery surrounding it, since she went right back to her normal life after. I wish the superhero action had continued from the prologue into the beginning of the story.

This was a fun, modern superhero story!

What to read next:

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

In the Role of Brie Hutchens by Nicole Melleby

Have you read Faith: Taking Flight? What did you think of it?

Top 5 Saturday – Guilty Pleasure Reads

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Guilty Pleasure Reads. Here’s my list:

1. Harley Quinn graphic novels

2. She-Hulk graphic novels

3. Doctor Who graphic novels

4. The Mediator novels

5. Riverdale novels

(All book covers from Goodreads)

If you’d like to do this list too, consider yourself tagged!

Did you make a Top 5 Saturday list?

Review: Don’t Look for Me

Title: Don’t Look for Me
Author: Wendy Walker
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

Review:

Molly Clarke was driving home from her son’s football game when she’s caught in a storm. She’s upset because her son ignored her despite driving four hours to see him play. Her husband no longer speaks to her and her daughter says she hates her. That’s all stemming from when Molly hit and killed their nine-year-old daughter five years ago. When a truck stops on the side of the road to rescue Molly from her broken down car, she jumps in. She wasn’t heard from again, until a note was found saying that she was leaving her family. Two weeks later, her daughter receives a tip about her mother’s disappearance that sends her back to the small town where her mother was last seen.

This was such a fast paced thriller. There were constant twists and cliffhangers at the ends of the chapters that made it difficult to put the book down. The chapters became shorter as the pacing of the story sped up at the end of the story, which made it easier to fly through it.

I was quite surprised at the ending. I thought I had it all figured out, but I was wrong. The clues were clever in the way that they could refer to different characters, so I didn’t guess correctly. Even when I realized the truth right before it was revealed, it was still such a shock.

This was a great, fast paced thriller.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Have you read Don’t Look for Me? What did you think of it?

The Friday 56 – Saint Anything

This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

The Rules are:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it. And share your link.
  • It’s that simple.

I chose Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen.

Here is my line from page 56 in my copy:

“‘Second one in three months.’ She shook her head. ‘Boys this age, they can be brutal. But they’re not all bad. At least that’s what I keep telling her.'”

Did you make a post for the Friday 56?

Review: Barry Squires, Full Tilt

Title: Barry Squires, Full Tilt
Author: Heather Smith
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Barry Squires, Full Tilt takes readers on a romp through the streets of St. John’s and into the Squires household, a place where tragedy strikes but love prevails. Derry Girls meets Billy Elliot with an East coast twist.

It’s 1995. When the Full Tilt Dancers give an inspiring performance at the opening of the new bingo hall, twelve-year-old Finbar (Barry) Squires wants desperately to join the troupe. Led by Father O’Flaherty, the Full Tilt Irish Step Dancers are the most sought-after act in St. John’s, Newfoundland (closely followed by popular bagpiper, Alfie Bragg and his Agony Bag). Having watched Riverdance twice, Barry figures he’ll nail the audition. And good thing too — it’d be nice to be known for something other than the port wine stain on his cheek. With questionable talent and an unpredictable temper, Barry’s journey to stardom is jeopardized by his parents’ refusal to take his dreams seriously. Thankfully, Barry has the support of a lively cast of characters: his ever-present grandmother, Nanny Squires; his adorable baby brother, Gord; an old British rocker named Uneven Steven; a group of geriatrics from the One Step Closer to God nursing home; and Saibal, a friend with whom Barry gets up to no good. 

Told with humor and a healthy dose of irreverence, Barry Squires, Full Tilt takes readers on a rowdy romp through the streets of St. John’s and into the Squires household, a place where tragedy strikes, but love prevails.

Review:

Barry Squires wants to find something to define his life, other than the birthmark on his face. He decides he wants to join the Full Tilt Dancers, a river dance team in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Barry gains the support of his friends and family on his quest to become a Full Tilt dancer, until tragedy strikes his family, changing their dynamic.

I loved the Newfoundland experience in this book. I went to Newfoundland for the first time last year, and this story reminded me so much of that trip. There were hilarious sayings throughout the story, such as what Barry says to his homeless friend about his principal one day: “‘She had a face on her like a smacked arse,’ I said. ‘That woman is as crooked as sin.’” The older characters often referred to younger ones as “my love” or “my duck” as terms of endearment. This Newfoundland dialogue was authentic.

The characters also had a friendly, familiar quality. Barry’s family was full of quirky people, such as his dad who was a clockmaker, yet didn’t want any clocks in the house because he had to listen to them tick all day at work. Barry would get words mixed up all the time. One day he said “‘It’s a proven fact that people who run late are optometrists – and being full of optometry is a great personality trait.’” His teacher figured out he actually meant “optimist” not “optometrist.” These quirks and funny stories made the characters so realistic.

This story took a tragic turn about three quarters of the way through that I was not expecting. I had grown to love these characters, and I felt like I knew them, so it made the tragedy much more upsetting. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t give away what happened to the family. However, Barry’s close knit family was able to stick together, despite their tragedy.

This is a great Newfoundland story!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith

Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

Have you read Barry Squires, Full Tilt? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – September 24

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 The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

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

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Review:

Feyre hunts for animals to feed her father and two sisters. When she comes across a wolf one day, she pauses as she wonders if he could be a faerie in disguise. She decides to kill him so that he doesn’t attack her prey. However, a faerie shows up to their home soon after she killed the wolf and tells them that he was a fae in disguise. The faerie, named Tamlin, brings Feyre to his kingdom as her punishment for killing one of his kind. The faerie world is dangerous for a human, but at the same time, Feyre holds the key to saving Tamlin and his kingdom.

This book was definitely worth the hype. I tried to read it during a buddy read a few years ago, but I found it difficult to get into at the beginning. I think the beginning was slow because the characters all seemed very angry and weren’t getting what they wanted. Feyre had to hunt to feed her ungrateful family, and she made the mistake of killing a faerie. Tamlin wasn’t happy to lose his fellow fae and have to punish Feyre for it. Neither of them were happy for a long time, which was discouraging to read. However, the story picked up about a quarter of the way through and was exciting until the end.

One thing that surprised me about this book was how graphic some scenes were. There were some quite violent scenes. There were also descriptive sex scenes. The characters were in their late teens and early twenties so that’s probably why there were more mature themes. The story is classified as young adult but I would suggest it for an older young adult audience.

I’m so glad I finally read this book. I’m excited to read the next one.

What to read next:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

Other books in the series:

  • A Court of Mist and Fury
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight

Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – September 23

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 Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella. The expected publication date is October 27, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Owe You One, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer’s retreat in Italy–only to find that real love comes with its own filters 

“As close to perfect as romantic comedies get.”–Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner

Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers’ retreat in coastal Italy. She’s determined to finish writing the novel she’s been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.

At the retreat, she’s not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by “Aria,” meets “Dutch,” a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.

But then their real identities–Ava and Matt–must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there’s the prickly situation with Matt’s ex-girlfriend, who isn’t too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can’t love each other’s lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together?

What books are you waiting on this week?

Blog Tour Review: Last Pick and Born to Run

Title: Last Pick (Last Pick #1)
Author: Jason Walz
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Three years ago, aliens invaded Earth and abducted everyone they deemed useful. The only ones spared were those too young, too old, or too “disabled” to be of value. Living on Earth under the aliens’ harsh authoritarian rule, humanity’s rejects do their best to survive. Their captors never considered them a threat—until now.

Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels and start a revolution. It’s time for the kids last picked to step into the game.

In this first volume of Jason Walz’s dystopian graphic novel trilogy, the kids last picked are humanity’s last hope.

Review:

Three years ago, aliens came to Earth and abducted every able bodied person between the ages of 16 and 65. Twins Sam and Wyatt were left on their own. Now they’ve just turned 16, and they are searching for answers on why the aliens took the people and where they went. However, right after their sixteenth birthday, the aliens return. Sam and Wyatt are in even more danger since they’re now 16 and part of the age group that the aliens will abduct.

This story shows that you shouldn’t underestimate people’s abilities. The aliens think that people under 16 and over 65 are too weak to work for them. They also left people who have disabilities. The people who were left on Earth work hard to survive, and prove that they are just as strong and smart as everyone else.

I found this post-apocalyptic story really relatable during the pandemic. Of course aliens didn’t arrive on Earth in 2020, but the idea of having your life completely turned upside down and having to learn new ways of doing things, like the characters did in this book, is relatable to the pandemic.

Thank you First Second and YA Bound Book Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Born to Run (Last Pick #2)
Author: Jason Walz
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Four years ago, aliens kidnapped most of mankind, leaving behind those they deemed unworthy—the “last picked.”

The future for Sam is bleak and unthinkable. A galaxy away from her twin brother, she is a pawn in the aliens’ bloody civil war. But with her new friend Mia, Sam has found a way to resist her captors and hold onto her humanity.

Back on Earth, Sam’s twin, Wyatt, is leading a resistance of his own. With a ragtag army of the old, the young, and the disabled, he has a plan to bring the fight to his alien captors. But to defeat the aliens, Wyatt may need to befriend one.

Review:

Wyatt and Sam were separated when she was abducted at the end of Last Pick. Sam is living on another planet where they are instructed by the aliens to kill all of the inhabitants of that planet. Meanwhile on Earth, Wyatt is leading a revolution. Wyatt must find his confidence to lead the resistance team, and Sam has to learn that fighting back against the enemy doesn’t necessarily mean killing them.

Born to Run shows more disabled characters. One girl is deaf and communicates with sign language. Another character uses a wheelchair, and struggles when he loses it. Wyatt is on the autism spectrum, so he processes information and feelings differently. Even though these characters had disabilities, they were able to use them to their advantage to figure out how to defeat the aliens.

This is a great series! I’m excited to see how it all ends.

Thank you First Second and YA Bound Book Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Rise Up (Last Pick #3) by Jason Walz

About the Author:

Jason Walz is comic and graphic novel creator living in Minneapolis. He is the author of several comics and graphic novels, including the LAST PICK trilogy and the Eisner nominated graphic novel HOMESICK.

Website: http://jasonwwalz.com/

Have you read Last Pick or Born to Run? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on My Fall 2020 TBR

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 on My Fall 2020 TBR. Here’s my list:

1. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

2. Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

3. The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter

4. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

5. Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford

6. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

7. Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

8. Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

9. Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

10. The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

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