Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin WAS. SO. MUCH. FUN. Guys, I swear, Meredith Zeitlin took myself and every 14 year old girl I knew and put us in Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. Minus the growing up in NYC part because I was not cool enough for that.
Not that any 14 year old girls were really cool, HAH. Because that transition from terrible middle school to awkward first year of high school is kind of awful and Meredith Zeitlin captured that SO WELL in Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters.
Kelsey and all of her friends – Cass, Em, and JoJo – each had to deal with their own heap of badness and awkwardness and I swear, it was all so realistic. Dealing with friend drama and issues of sexuality and unrequited crushes and crazy families…it all goes down when you’re 14. Especially having the crush on the cute guy who is really a jerk. I loved all the characters, even when I was totally with Kelsey in wanting to shove a certain someone out of a moving bus.
And Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was HILARIOUS. I was giggling so loud that I got dirty looks from the boyfriend who was trying to watch a movie.
To sum it up – Meredith Zeitlin knows what she’s doing. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was the perfect light and fun, yet scarily realistic book that is certain to bring you back to freshman year. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is definitely a mood lifter and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good giggle and a great contemp....more
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves started out pretty rocky for me, I must say. I felt sort of dropped into Abbie’s world and there were new characters thrust at me left and right, and I was just so confused by what was going on in Ripper.
That said, I did like the various assortment of characters, especially the males. I was worried when Ripper first started because it was quickly obviously that some sort of love triangle/square would form, and even though that was accurate, I liked something about each of the male characters and they all had an interesting backstory.
As for Abbie, I pretty impressed with her character overall. She didn’t back down from a challenge and even though she was the typical swooning damsel-in-distress at som points in Ripper, for the most part she was able to handle things with a firm grasp, so to speak.
Even though I was confused at first with Ripper, the story definitely got a little intense and high-stakes eventually and I was more gripped by the story than I was at the beginning, so that I flew through the ending fairly quickly.
The beginning to Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves was pretty rocky and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the story, but once I was able to push through to the middle, Ripper definitely picked up for me, although it still wasn’t one of my favourites. If you are particularly interested in Jack the Ripper legend, I recommend checking Ripper out and seeing what you think about this take!...more
I kind of love books that are messed up and disturbing and gritty and downright strange at some points. Velveteen by Daniel Marks is no exception. Velveteen is full of strange, rude, messed up characters that you kind of can’t help but get attached to, not to mention an interesting storyline that is certainly unlike anything else I’ve ever read.
Velvet was an interesting protagonist, that’s for sure. She was so likeably unlikable, it’s hard for me to explain. And she felt very genuine, which was awesome. I’m always curious to see how male authors write female protagonists and vice versa, and I think Daniel Marks pulled it off very well in Velveteen.
And I seriously loved Nick. That is all I have to say about that.
Velveteen by Daniel Marks isn’t my typical read. I don’t usually do paranormal, and as much as I love disturbing and weird books, I don’t usually gravitate towards them. But I genuinely really enjoyed Velveteen by Daniel Marks. It was something different and weird and original and creepy....more
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang is one of those books with a concept that just blew my mind. I don’t know how people think of stories like this, but the premise of What’s Left of Me absolutely blew me away.
And it was really upsetting too! I was so torn throughout What’s Left of Me because it’s genuinely a really upsetting idea. I mean, the whole idea of having your sibling sharing your brain and fighting to live, essentially, is kind of heartbreaking.
So yes, What’s Left of Me packs a brilliantly done emotional punch. I loved the way the story was told from Eva’s point of view, rather than the dominant soul. That really helped me with my empathy and enhanced my reading of What’s Left of Me a lot. I don’t know what the story would have been like told from Addie’s point of view.
The story of What’s Left of Me was really intense. A lot of stuff went down throughout What’s Left of Me – I was constantly on my toes, unsure of what would happen next and what dangerous situation would befall Eva and Addie.
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang was an amazing book. I had so many thoughts and feelings after finishing What’s Left of Me and it took me a long time to process everything I read. What’s Left of Me is a story that will rock your world and leave you with all kinds of conflicted thoughts. It’s a beautifully written story that absolutely flew through and left me in tears....more
Okay, The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards is a seriously awesome middle grade novel about fantasy and adventure and it’s got pirates, boats, magicOkay, The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards is a seriously awesome middle grade novel about fantasy and adventure and it’s got pirates, boats, magic, a loyal best friend, and a seriously brave female main character.
The Book of Wonders is the type of book I would have absolutely devoured in middle school, and I’m glad that still holds true today! As an avid fan of Tamora Pierce, I am all about the awesome and strong female characters in fantasy settings, so Zardi was like a breath of fresh air compared to some of the wishy-washy protagonists we read about today.
What I also loved about The Book of Wonders (besides the awesome new world Richards introduced us to) is how jampacked it was with stuff. There was not a down moment for Zardi – something was always happening, she always had a goal to work towards, and that made it very interesting for me. There were never any moments where I wanted to skip ahead.
Seriously, The Book of Wonders is middle grade, but I think it will certainly appeal to any lover of fantasy. Zardi, even though she’s only thirteen years old, came off as much older and more mature. The Book of Wonders is an exciting story of a girl on a quest to save her family and I definitely recommend it....more
Defiance by C.J. Redwine is definitely an epic story worth getting your hands on.
From the get go I was thrust into Rachel and Logan’s world, quickly gobbling up bits and pieces of their society and the rules they live by. I loved that C.J. Redwine didn’t really ease us into the story, we started out at a very emotional point and it definitely helped me to build an attachment to Rachel early on.
There was a lot of swoon between Rachel and Logan that I loved, even though I didn’t particularly have any real feelings for Logan. Rachel was an easy protagonist to like – she just kept getting her ass handed to her and I was rooting for her all the way to kick some major butt, and to finally get together with Logan. But Logan, at least to me, always remained just the love interest, rather than a protagonist himself.
The story of Defiance was all kinds of awesome. I loved the way a lot of components mentioned earlier on in Defiance became important later on – C.J. Redwine did a fantastic job of tying all the different story elements together.
I wouldn’t say Defiance is fantasy-light, but it definitely had a very contemporary tone and I would highly recommend it to readers just starting out in fantasy, or even casual readers of the fantasy genre – but honestly, I think even hardcore fantasy lovers will enjoy Defiance by C.J. Redwine.
I’m super excited to see where the next book takes us. Defiance is a fantastic debut and I can’t wait to read more from C.J. Redwine....more
Above World by Jenn Reese is one of the most creative books I’ve read in a very long time. I mean, Jenn Reese doesn’t just take the concept of mermaids and tweak it in Above World – she creates this very elaborate futuristic world to set all these creatures with various mutations and features.
Don’t even get me started on all the different domes and species! I loved the lore of the Kampaii and the City of Shifting Tides, and all the different things Aluna and Hoku encounter on the way, things they never even dreamed of. And Zorro, of course, was adorable.
And Above World is ACTION PACKED. There is not a down moment for Aluna or Hoku – they’re constantly traveling to new places, fighting new creatures, meeting new people, which is kind of awesome, because I sped through the book wanting to know what happened next. And then what happened after that and so forth.
I really liked Aluna and Hoku – they were so different, but so clearly very loyal friends, and so brave! Always trying to sacrifice themselves for the good of others and what not. Aluna was probably my favourite character, though. She was determined to do what she thought was right and I really admired that about her personality.
Guys, if you like middle grades that make you go – how did anyone come up with this craziness of a world? – definitely check out Above World by Jenn Reese. It’s fast paced, entertaining, and captivating....more
The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash is filled with fantastical adventures and map talk galore! It’s entertaining and imaginative and sure to suck the reader in right away.
Goldenrod Moram is a wonderfully done protagonist – she’s full self-conscious feelings that come with the start of middle school, yet still maintains that fun innocence and imagination that is so appealing to the reader. Goldenrod, and all of the characters with their wacky nicknames and misfit activities, are a ton of fun and the reader will love getting lost in their world.
The Mapmaker and the Ghost is quick paced with an action-packed storyline. The story jumps from bullying to ghosts to kidnapping, all written with an entertaining and yet honorable touch.
The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash will definitely appeal to fans of middle grade adventure and exploration, and map lovers of all kinds! Be sure to check out if The Mapmaker and The Ghost if it sounds like something you’d enjoy it – this is not a debut to miss!...more