Review: The Raging Ones

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Title: The Raging Ones
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling authors Krista and Becca Ritchie, comes The Raging Ones, an edge of your seat sci-fi romance with twists and turns that you will never see coming!

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book!

I was on the edge of my seat through the whole book. The premise was crazy: everyone on the planet knows the day they will die. Everyone is ranked in society based on how long they will live. Those who live longer are given more opportunities because they will have more time to make use of their lives.

The three main characters survive past their death day, and they are emotionally linked. They can feel each other’s pain and happiness. Once Court and Mykal meet Franny, they include her in their journey to join a space mission, so they can escape the world that they don’t belong in. The question is, will they all make it onto the mission?

I had so many questions through the book. When I was getting close to the end, I was disappointed because I was still wondering about many things. However, all of my questions were answered in the last couple of pages! It was an amazing ending, and I wish I didn’t have to wait so long for the sequel! I have no idea what is going to happen next!

What to read next:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Have you read The Raging Ones? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Pashmina

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Title: Pashmina
Author: Nidhi Chanani
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions–the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.

Review:

Last year, I saw this book everywhere, so I was curious to read it myself. It was great!

I liked the way that Priyanka discovered her history throughout the book. She had a lot of questions about her life, including who her father was, but her mother didn’t give her any answers. She felt much more comfortable with herself and her relationship with her mother once she finally got all of her answers.

The pashmina was a magical item. It gave Pri a taste of what India would be like, which made her want to go there. However, the pashmina only shows one side of things. Not all of India looks the way it did in the fantasy. There is also a lot of poverty that Pri wasn’t expecting.

I really enjoyed this story. It showed how Pri learned to combine her two cultures, American and Indian.

What to read next:

  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

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  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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Have you read Pashmina? What did you think of it?

 

Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)

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Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Library
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . . .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Review:

I didn’t know much about Norse Mythology before reading this book, but I learned a lot.

This book was very fast paced. The chapters were short so they were easy to read. Magnus had to go on many small missions in this story, which were each like a mini plot by themselves.

I have read the first two books in the Percy Jackson series, and this book reminded me of the first Percy Jackson book. Magnus and Percy have a lot in common. They both have gods as fathers. Their mothers are also supposedly dead early in the story. They also both have protectors from the mythological world who were watching over them in the human world. I was disappointed when I saw these similarities at first, but once Magnus entered into the world of the Norse gods, his story took a different path from Percy’s story.

Another interesting thing about this book is that the main character dies at the beginning. It actually works in this story! You’ll just have to read it to find out how!

What to read next:

  • The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)

  • The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

Have you read The Sword of Summer? What did you think of it?

Review: The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)

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Title: The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Library
Release Date: September 30, 1999
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Review:

This is another great book in the series.

One of the things I like about this book is that they give away what’s going to happen at the end fairly early on in the story. Uncle Monty won’t survive the book. But even though the ending is revealed early, the book is still exciting. It’s difficult to give away the ending and still keep the reader intrigued, but Lemony Snicket can do it!

I read this book years ago, but I still love it. The snakes were an interesting part of the story. I loved how Uncle Monty discovered a snake and named it the Incredibly Deadly Viper for a special reason, but you’ll have to read it to find out why!

I can’t wait to continue rereading the series.

What to read next:

  • The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) by Lemony Snicket

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  • The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles #1) by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

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Have you read The Reptile Room? What did you think of it?

Review: The Last Magician

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Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Library
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Review:

I loved the plot in this story. It reminded me of the heist in Six of Crows, but less intense and complex.

I had a hard time getting into the story at the beginning, because there were so many characters! The narrative kept switching between different characters, and some had similar names, or were referred to as their first and last names alternately so I thought they were different people. It was especially confusing because there were a few different gang leaders who ran the city. At about a quarter of the way through the book I had everyone sorted out.

I loved the time travel aspects of the story. Though there wasn’t a lot of switching between different time periods, Esta’s actions in the past altered the future. She could see that from the way that the newspaper clipping that she brought from the future changed when different things happened.

The ending was fantastic. There were a bunch of surprises that I didn’t see coming. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

What to read next:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
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  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
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Have you read The Last Magician? What did you think of it?

Review: This One Summer

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Title: This One Summer
Author: Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

Review:

This is a great summer story. It deals with mature problems that aren’t always in teen/preteen novels.

The two characters are preteens. They are just going through puberty, since they are always talking about getting boobs. That part was funny. I really liked Windy. She was a comic character. She was always dancing and being silly, but sometimes others laughed at her, rather than with her.

There are different pregnancy issues in this book, which kids may not learn about in health class, but they can happen. Rose’s mom wanted to have another baby, but she couldn’t. She had miscarriages. Her insistence on having another baby made Rose feel like she wasn’t enough of a daughter for her. Rose and Windy like the cute boy who works at the convenience store. They overhear his conversations with his friends about another girl, who he got pregnant. The boy, called the Dud, refused to speak to her after he found out she was pregnant. He wasn’t nice, and the girls didn’t like him so much after that, but that is a real problem that some girls have to deal with.

The graphics were also amazing. There was a lot of movement in the pictures, along with sound effects. It really looked like they were moving sometimes. The short panels that moved like a flip book also created movement in the illustrations.

I really liked this graphic novel. It was emotional and serious, but there were some funny parts as well.

What to read next:

  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

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Have you read This One Summer? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

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Title: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Author: Lisa Jensen
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Review:

This is an original retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it didn’t work for me.

The story started off well. I liked the upstairs/downstairs aspects, where Lucie had to view the Chevalier from afar because she was a maid. But he wasn’t who she expected.

There was a sexual assault, which made me feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t the actual assault, but her reaction to it. She just wanted revenge in any possible way. Lucie was blinded by this idea of revenge, so she didn’t even notice other things that were happening around her.

There was a lot of description in this story. The mansion and the grounds were described in a lot of detail, mostly because the main character couldn’t speak for most of the story (you’d have to read it to understand why). This was great because I could imagine everything, but I would have liked to have more tension to move the story along. It would have been more powerful if there was less description and more action.

I won’t spoil the ending but the Beast wasn’t who she thought he was. The way the story ended was unique, but I couldn’t get into the rest of the story.

What to read next:

  • Hunted by Megan Spooner

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  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Have you read Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge? What did you think of it?