I'm always in awe of Brian Selznick and his book; the imagination and work that it takes to create these HUGE books is incredibly astonishing. The MarI'm always in awe of Brian Selznick and his book; the imagination and work that it takes to create these HUGE books is incredibly astonishing. The Marvels is so cleverly planned out with the drawings and prose intertwine in the most surprising and genius of ways. There is so much heart and magic in this book and readers will be happy to put this one next to Hugo and Wonderstruck. I truly think readers should come into this book knowing as little as possible and avoid reading the summary. The Marvels is truly a work of art and yet another masterpiece from Brian Selznick. ...more
Scarlett Underground is an awesome diverse book that takes on the classic sleuth mystery and adds in the intrigue of mystical cults and genies. I've yScarlett Underground is an awesome diverse book that takes on the classic sleuth mystery and adds in the intrigue of mystical cults and genies. I've yet to see a book with such an original heroine and it's not too often that you read a book with a Muslim American protagonist (the only other one I've read is the graphic novel Miss Marvel). This is a book that readers will be speeding through and that will leave them eager for another installment. I definitely would like to read another book featuring Scarlett because there just feels like there's so much Latham can tackle next.
Scarlett lives with her sister because her mother died from cancer and her father was mysteriously murdered. When she takes on a case that involves a suicide, things turn out to be much crazier than she expected and soon Scarlett is pursued by an enigmatic cult. This cult is trying to harness an ancient power that will allow them to use jinns to destroy the world.
Lately I've been trying to read more and more diverse books in an attempt to broaden my horizons and my myopic view of the world. What Jennifer Latham does best is show Islamic culture and how Scarlet's family tries to maintain their heritage in America. I learned a bit of Arabic, as well as several things about Islam that I never knew about before. It's interesting how Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and I didn't know much about it at all until I began reading this book. I felt inspired to do a bit of online research because of Latham and ended up reading up on random cultural and religious aspects of Islam.
Scarlett is truly an incredibly kick-ass character who's got guts and I admired her endless determination that kept her going even when the case became dangerous. She has an intense fiery passion within her and won't stop until she emerges victorious. I loved how independent she was and I couldn't help but grin when she ended something along the lines that she's used to saving guys at this point. It's refreshing to read about a heroine who doesn't get saved and ends up rescuing their male counterparts.
Though Scarlett is an extremely developed, complicated character, so many of the other characters felt a bit like husks. I wasn't exactly satisfied with feeling like a bunch of the secondary characters were strangers even when they played significant roles in the plot.
The mystery in Scarlett Undercover is wonderfully plotted with twists that readers won't see coming. I had to keep reading to find out how it would all go down and I was pretty pleased with the progression of the story. I did really want to see more paranormal aspects interspersed throughout the novel because it felt like a tease having the supernatural merely being mentioned. How can you have a novel about jinn without actual jinn?!
Scarlett Undercover wraps up nicely and could definitely work as a stand-alone, but my hopes is that Little Brown publishes a sequel. This can't be the end of our adventures with Scarlett and this book has so much potential as a series. I hope we get at least one more book so we can see Scarlett have a face off against the jinn!
Despite a few problems with character development, Scarlett Undercover is really a great debut with an awesome heroine. This book perfectly displays a Muslim American family in a positive light and will allow so many readers to see themselves in a book for the first time. This may not be the greatest mystery I've ever read, but it's certainly an important book.This review was originally posted on Bookish Antics...more
The Isle Of The Lost by Melissa de La Cruz is a prequel to the upcoming Disney Channel movie, The Descendants and it follows the children of MaleficenThe Isle Of The Lost by Melissa de La Cruz is a prequel to the upcoming Disney Channel movie, The Descendants and it follows the children of Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Jafar and The Evil Queen from Snow White. This novel really does an excellent job of setting up what transpired after happily ever after and capturing our favorite despicable villains on the page. Not only is this novel extremely engrossing, it has a plethora of snarky humor that will make readers laugh and smile on nearly every page. Any Disney fanatic, young or old, will easily find themselves falling in love with The Isle Of The Lost and will be clamoring for book two and the movie!
It's not easy being the child of one of the most evil villains in history! Mal has always felt pressure from everyone to be as evil as her crazy mama, Maleficient and everyone has overwhelming expectations for her. Carlos is never good enough for Cruella and is stuck being his mother's maid to give her the old lifestyle she had before the island. Jay needs to follow in his father's footsteps and that means finding a big score (an expensive item to steal). Evie is tired of hearing from the Evil Queen that she needs to focus on her beauty more. All of them need the Dragon's Eye for different reasons, but mostly importantly it could be the way off the island they're trapped on.
Melissa de La Cruz may be writing about the children of Disney villains, but their struggles that they're dealing with are extremely familiar. It's extremely easy to empathize with all of the 4 main characters and to root for them all to win their parent's approval. I especially loved Mal and Carlos who are just so incredible in their own ways and it broke my heart to see them rejected by their respective parents. De La Cruz brings life to these characters and will make readers root for them almost immediately after they're introduced.
This book is heaven for fans of good ole Disney and it's not just because it features some of our favorite villains. Isle Of The Lost is full of references to countless Disney films and characters and it was nostalgic to recall these beloved movies that I hadn't seen in years. Not only do we meet the villains I mentioned earlier, you also get to meet lesser-known but still incredibly evil antagonists. To make things even better, you also get to meet Belle, Beast and their son in this book; my inner child was shrieking in delight when these three were introduced. If you like Disney just a teensy bit (HOW can you not love it?), you'll find yourself filled with childlike glee.
The Isle Of The Lost ends on a cliffhanger and I NEED to find out what happens next. I have no doubt that The Descendants film is going to be incredible and I need book two in my life ASAP. I had so much fun reading this novel and it was everything I wished for. The Isle Of The Lost is absolutely wonderful and will appeal to fans of Once Upon A Time and Into The Woods alike.This review was originally posted on Bookish Antics...more
Thank you so much to Random House for allowing me the awesome opportunity to be on the blog tour for Jack! I absolutely loved this book, it was such
Thank you so much to Random House for allowing me the awesome opportunity to be on the blog tour for Jack! I absolutely loved this book, it was such a refreshing and engaging retelling that readers of all ages will love. YOU need this book in your life!
Jack by Liesl Shurtliff is one of the best fairy retellings I've ever read and it's an extremely engaging, adventurous take on the classic tale. Everything about this one screamed read me and I had to stop myself from flying through this book because I wanted to savor it. The voice is so strong in this book as is the humor that it's nearly impossible not to be charmed by Jack and Annabella. Once you climb up the beanstalk, there's no backing down.
Jack's father has always told him about his great, great, great great grandfather Jack who slayed a giant and is the hero of countless stories. The problem is that Jack has never had a chance to go an adventure like the ancestor he's named after. When Jack's father is carried off by a giant who lives in the sky, no one seems to believe young Jack despite all of the evidence. It's up to Jack and Annabella (his sister) to rescue their dad from the giants.
What Jack succeeds at is delivering all the thrills of the classic Grimm tale, while still managing to be surprising with refreshing twists. Readers, young and old, will be enchanted by Shurtliff's take on the story and it's even more magical than any rendition I've ever read before. This is the kind of book that will engage any reluctant reader and make them say: "One more chapter." This novel is incredibly adorable and is just so much fun to read.
I absolutely loved the relationship between Jack and Annabella because it was so realistically developed and true. No matter how much the two fought and teased each other, it was easy to see the love the two have for each other. I loved how Jack and Annabella would do anything for each other and to help their papa out. The family dynamics in this novel are so wonderfully crafted and I loved watching the relationships enfold.
Though Jack is a companion to Rump, it's not necessary to read it prior to Jack and this novel does work on its own. I haven't read Rump yet but almost immediately after finishing Jack, I had to add it to my TBR list. I can't wait to read Rump and I have a feeling it's going to be absolutely amazing. There's also a third companion called Red about everyone's favorite caped heroine and I'm extremely excited for that one also.
Jack is such a wonderful book and I wouldn't trade this book for all the beans and cows in the world. This is the book readers have been wishing for and this is an adventure they'll never ever forget. Jack is a perfect book for anyone who's ever wished for an adventure and longed to find some magic.This review was originally posted on Bookish Antics...more
I've been a fan of Kerstin Gier's books ever since I read Ruby Red, which was such a fun and entertaining take on time-travel. Dream A Little Dream isI've been a fan of Kerstin Gier's books ever since I read Ruby Red, which was such a fun and entertaining take on time-travel. Dream A Little Dream is an interesting book that is a mishmash of fantasy and romance elements that's just so much fun to read. There are a few problems here and there with the translation, tone and whatnot, but I easily could just ignore all of this one's issues. I loved opening Liv's dream door and seeing what Gier had in store for us!
Liv is trying to adjust to her new home in England, but it isn't easy living at her mom's boyfriend's home. Soon her dreams become odd and they involve four boys doing a strange ritual in a cemetery. All four boys go to her school and one of them is even the son of her mom's boyfriend! Even though they tell Liv to stay away, she can't resist trying to find out what's going on. How in the world do all 4 of them keep appearing in her dreams?
The great thing about Dream A Little Dream is that it depicts high school realistically without resorting to a plethora of cliches. There are no mean girl archetypes, no pushing people into lockers, nothing of that sort at all occurs in this one. All of the characters have pretty distinct, developed personalities and I loved getting to know each and everything single one of them. It was also nice to see that the relationships between the characters and the history they all shared was very clear.
I am so happy that Dream A Little didn't have the love triangle (or pentagon) that I was expecting to see. Instead readers are treated to a sweet dose of romance that is so shippable and engaging to read about. I really liked the romantic dynamic between our two love interests and seeing their relationship tested. I can't wait to see what Gier takes the romance next and I truly hope another love interest isn't added.
Dream A Little Dream is translated from German by Anthea Ball (most known for her incredible work on the Inkheart trilogy) and a bit seems to be lost in translation. There are a few moments here and there where the translation feels a bit wonky and I guess that's to be expected. Overall the translation is relatively smooth, but I truly hope the bumps in the translation will be fixed for the finished copies.
Dream A Little Dream is a humorous, fun take on paranormal romance that doesn't add anything new to the genre, but is still a great read. I'm extremely excited to read the following book and hope it's just as entertaining as DALD was. I'm a bit jealous of Germany and all of the other countries who already have book two!This review was originally posted on Bookish Antics...more
This is such a well-written, important novel about finding your true self. This diverse book definitely needs to be on your radar. In the right hands,This is such a well-written, important novel about finding your true self. This diverse book definitely needs to be on your radar. In the right hands, this book could be life changing....more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! 3.5 stars - NO trivial rating can justify my feelings for this book! Magonia is the mosCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! 3.5 stars - NO trivial rating can justify my feelings for this book! Magonia is the most peculiar book I’ve read all year; I probably should’ve expected this considering it contains birdpeople, flying sharks, feathers galore and sky ships. Weird doesn’t even cover this novel which is like somewhere between a Neil Gaiman novel and a Tim Burton movie, making the song I Am The Walrus seem normal. Maria Dahvana Headley is truly incredibly and is one of the most imaginative authors to ever grace the publishing world.
Aza has always been sick from the day she’s been born with a rare disease that is exclusively hers. Aza has trouble breathing which makes it hard for her to act like a regular teenager and hang out with her friend Jason. Jason has always had a crush on Aza ever since they were little, but before he can confess it Aza is whisked away into the magical land of Magonia. There she is brought on the journey of a lifetime and she can be someone else.
This book is wonderfully written and Neil Gaiman wasn’t exaggerating when he said “[Headley] writes like a dream.” I’m envious of how perfectly clear and surreal Headley’s descriptions are, making the world of Magonia easily visualized in my mind. Everything in this novel is simply lovely, but I especially enjoyed all of the avian and feather imagery as well as the figurative language Headley used. Mark my words, Headley is capable of great things and Magonia is just the tip of the iceberg.
This is one of those novels that is so wonderful and outlandish, heck it makes Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland look normal at times. It was interesting to see Aza become something more than just the victim she’s always been. I wasn’t exactly happy how almost immediately after Aza came to Magonia, she suddenly became gorgeous because it was extremely ridiculous and shallow. It felt unnecessary for Aza to undergo such a dramatic physical transformation and it seemed to discount her emotional journey.
Magonia for the most part is from the point of Aza, but there a few chapters from Jason’s perspective. I absolutely loved Aza’s point of view, but I really found Jason’s chapters lacking and distracting because they averted my attention from the wonders of Magonia. I did find Jason’s relationship and love for Aza incredibly sweet, but I don’t think he deserved his own chapters.
I’m not quite sure if Magonia is part of a series or if it’s a stand-alone, but I know for sure I’d like to read more fantasy from Headley. This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read and was something so odd, yet it was what I needed to read at the moment. I’m so glad I delved into the world of Magonia and I truly hope there’s more coming. I applaud Maria Dahvana Headley and I truly would love to pick her mind because you have to be an incredibly interesting person to write a book like Magonia....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! The Sin Eater’s Daughter is a deliciously dark fantasy that reads like a wonderful, yet extremely twisted fairy-tale. In fact mSeen at Bookish Antics! The Sin Eater’s Daughter is a deliciously dark fantasy that reads like a wonderful, yet extremely twisted fairy-tale. In fact much of this book has that feel that the original Grimm tales possess, but Melinda Salisbury truly makes this novel her own. This debut is an introduction to an extremely gifted writer, one that you should expect astronomically big things from. Though TSED has a slow-start, it quickly becomes an exciting novel filled with court intrigue, a captivating romance and wonderful world-building.
Twylla is the Daunen Embodied, someone who’s been chosen by the gods to hold morningsbane and to be the Court’s executor of justice. She kills anyone she touches, which is dangerous considering her new guard has a thing for her. To make matters worse, Twylla is also betrothed to the Prince and she doesn’t have any feelings for the guy. When she finds out that the Queen is cooking up a plan for her and the Prince, Twylla needs to take action for the first time in her life.
TSED has one of the spookiest beginnings to a novel and I immediately knew that this is a novel that I would love. Salisbury immediately set the tone of the story with an execution and cleverly introduced the beguiling, strange world that Twylla lives in. There’s just the perfect amount of explanations to tease readers to keep on reading, but not too much that it wasn’t overloading.
This book isn’t for everyone, its slow burning plot may not satisfy some readers but I found it so intriguing. I was easily drawn into her life, her duties and of course her romances. I usually hate love triangles, but there was just something so special about this one that set it apart from the countless others I’ve read in the past few years. The romance is captivating, but I truly think that both guys don’t deserve Twylla and frankly, she doesn’t need them at all.
Twylla is such a powerful, fierce heroine that readers will obsess over and they will be fascinated by her unusual situation. I truly love how even though Twylla has had a horrible life, she isn’t angry at fate or the gods for putting her in this situation. She always acts extremely devoted and passionate to her duties and to the life she has been given. I am in awe how in depth Salisbury wrote Twylla to be, there’s so many dimensions to her character and I can’t wait to learn more about her.
There is so much dark, disturbing imagery in this novel and I just couldn’t get enough of all of the odd, mystical phenomenon that Salisbury kept throwing at the reader. The sections in which sin-eating is described were one of my absolute favorites in TSED and I have yet to see anything like this before in any book. All of the customs related to sin-eating, Twylla’s duties and godly rituals were completely original and Salisbury is skilled at creating worlds beyond imagination.
I’m beyond ready for book two in The Sin Eater’s Daughter series and I have a feeling that it’s going to be even better than this one. This is one of the best debuts I’ve read in so long and I can’t wait for others to fall in love with Twylla’s world....more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! Every now and then, there’s a book that makes you feel like a kid again and fills you wCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! Every now and then, there’s a book that makes you feel like a kid again and fills you with pure, unadulterated wonder: The Imaginary is that book. Don’t think that this book is merely for the children, both readers young and old will be captivated by this magical novel and will long for their own Rudger. This is a special book, one that will have a long shelf life and won’t easily be forgotten by any one who is lucky enough to pick it up. I can say without a doubt that A.F. Harrold has a way with words and is a storyteller like no other.
Amanda Shuffleup has a friend named Rudger, he can’t be seen by her mother and is “imaginary”. Rudger and Amanda get into all sorts of shenanigans that eventually lead to them meeting the evil Mr. Bunting who eats imaginaries. When Amanda is hurt in an accident, Rudger starts to fade and discovers a world full of imaginaries.
The Imaginary will have readers minds soaring with the possibility of a world built on the imagination. It isn’t hard to believe in magic when reading Harrold’s lyrical prose that is absorbing and well-crafted. I find the comparisons to Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman extremely apt and fans of the two aforementioned authors will absolutely fall in love with this novel.
This is definitely a perfect novel for parents to read to their children and both will keep saying: “Just one more chapter” as they devour this clever book. Children will want to read this one with their parents again and again and I’m sure their parents will be happy to oblige. Though this is a children’s book, there are so many deep themes about growing up and imagination that will touch parents and older readers. Instead of taking the predictable route one would expect, this novel ends on such a beautiful, but bittersweet note and I just am in awe of The Imaginary.
The Imaginary is a modern classic in the making and it’s bound to stir the hearts of readers everywhere. You’ll definitely be seeing this novel around and I’m positive that A.F. Harrold’s next novel will fill me with childlike wonder also. I can’t wait to see what Harrold cooks up next and for the world to read The Imaginary!...more
Seen at Bookish Antics With over 6 millions reads, The Novice is a Wattpad sensation and so, I was eager to see what all the hype was all about. The woSeen at Bookish Antics With over 6 millions reads, The Novice is a Wattpad sensation and so, I was eager to see what all the hype was all about. The world definitely wasn’t wrong about this one and Matharu’s debut is easily one of the best high fantasy books I’ve read in ages. With a surplus of demons, elves, orcs and more, The Novice is a novel that is epic in scope and is just so compulsively readable. I had so much fun reading this novel and following Fletcher’s adventure to the point where I wished for my own personal demon several times over.
Fletcher is a poor peasant who gets himself into trouble one night at the graveyard, which subsequently leads him to becoming a fugitive. When Fletcher discovers that he is a Summoner, a person with the ability to summon demons, he is recruited to an academy. At the academy he discovers a world full of intrigue and political tensions between the different races (elves, humans, orcs, etc). In the war against the orcs, few will survive and Fletcher will need to take a side on the warfront.
In the past I’ve read about plenty of academies for “special kids,” but The Novice is still an extremely original novel that separates itself from other books in the fantasy genre. Matharu has developed a novel with such in-depth lore and back history about the academy, that the story extends beyond the page. There’s just so much first-class world-building and intricacies in this novel that it feels like a trilogy might not be enough to explore everything Matharu has to offer.
I found myself having so much reading The Novice with all of the humor, action and awesome uses of magic. Fletcher is such a great hero, one that is especially easy to root for and is extremely likeable to the point where readers will likely be obsessed with him. Taran Matharu is truly a gifted author and it’s no surprise why millions have enjoyed The Summoner series, it’s simply irresistible.
I’m so excited to see where Matharu takes readers in the following installments in this series and it’s going to be a painful wait until book two. Fantasy fans will find so much to love in The Novice and it’s supremely awesome. If I can’t have book two right now, the universe should totally give me my own Ignatius....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Every once in a while there is a book that you read and it’s all you can think about, All Bright Places is that book. JenniferSeen at Bookish Antics! Every once in a while there is a book that you read and it’s all you can think about, All Bright Places is that book. Jennifer Niven has written a powerful book that has changed my view of the world and I don’t think I’ll view mental illness the same way ever again. This is a rare novel that has the power to spark something within us and ABP needs to be read.
Theodore Finch is the weird kid, the one that everyone knows of but no one actually knows a single thing about. Violet used to be an outgoing girl with a popular online magazine called Germ, but then her whole world was turned upside down when her sister died. Now Violet is “damaged” and everyone acts like she’s a fragile vase that’s on the edge and is one tremor away from shattering. When these two find each other on the roof of their school, both ready to die, the two decide to save each other. The two are paired upon a school trip to document “the natural wonders of Indiana” and nothing will ever be the same.
Jennifer Niven hasn’t just written characters, she writes people. Finch and Violet are beyond realistic to the point where they are not just words on a page, they practically jump off the page. Finch and Violet aren’t normal, their lives are messed up and a psychologist would probably have a field day labeling them with stigmas and mental disorders. Their lives are beyond complicated, they’ve had more hardships in their lives than anyone (let alone a teenager) should have to deal and yet they find beauty in the simple things in life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just a pair of sneakers on a tree or a ball with paint on it, Theodore and Violet try to find the beauty in each and every moment of life.
Mental illness is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized health issues there is because most people don’t understand how severe mental illness is. Depression and other forms of mental illness aren’t just things you “get over” and I think All Bright Places conveys that properly. In one scene in the novel, a character remarks how it’s unfair that people with mental illness are treated much harsher than people with physical illnesses. There was just something so profound and moving about that scene that just stuck with me and it just seemed to capture the theme of this book so well.
The romance in All Bright Places is touching, beautiful and radiant, I love this couple oh so much. Readers will fall in love with Theodore and Finch a hundred times over, desperately hoping this couple will get a chance to be together. The relationship is natural, sweet and it gave me that exhilarating feel that only comes with first love. Separately each character is broken, but together they make each other feel more complete and less lonely.
All Bright Places will fill readers with hope, love, happiness and will ultimately make them cry. The ending for this one is such a tearjerker, making me bawl out my eyes and Niven really knew how to hit me with the feels. After finishing this book, I couldn’t properly function and I just sat and thought about everything that went on. The ending is heartbreaking and painful to read, but it was so well-executed and necessary that Niven definitely deserves props for it.
Novels like this only come along once in a lifetime and All Bright Places is truly the real deal. This is one of the best contemporary novels I’ve ever read, as well as one of the best novels I’ve ever read period. One should expect great things from Jennifer Niven because she’s extremely talented and this is an absolutely perfect YA debut. This is the book that everyone will be talking about and it’s sure to be a popular book club pick....more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! After reading Hex Hall, I knew I’d be a lifelong Rachel Hawkins fan and last year’s RebCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! After reading Hex Hall, I knew I’d be a lifelong Rachel Hawkins fan and last year’s Rebel Belle confirmed that fact with an even snarkier, more bad-ass novel. Miss Mayhem is a prime example of why readers have fallen in love with Hawkins’s novels, she really knows what readers want and delivers on all of their expectations. There is never a dull moment in any of her books and Miss Mayhem is no exception, giving readers another thrilling, humorous paranormal romp. I love this series so much and it’s a shame that we only have one book left in which we spend time with David and Harper.
Harper Price thought she was done with the Ephors, but they’ve decided to make an appearance in her life once again. Things take a turn for the odd when the Ephors decide that they need David to be trained and Harper to perform an ancient ritual / test. Not only that but Harper has to deal with her irritating, but charming ex Ryan and her bestfriend Bee. Magic isn’t as reliable as it once was and Harper will have to rely on her sharp senses.
Miss Mayhem is an absolute blast to read and readers will truly wish this book was longer so they could spend even more time with Harper. As always the dialogue and Harper’s observations are humorous and snarky, putting a smile on my face for the entire duration of the novel. A part of me wanted to try to race through this novel because I was enjoying it so much, yet I also wanted to savor because I didn’t want it to end.
I absolutely love Harper and David, I swear these two are absolutely adorable and I ship them so much. When they were fighting, I just wanted them to shut up and kiss because they’re the real deal and need to stop pressuring each other. I loved the banter between Harper and David, especially when Harper was teasing David about his lack of a fashion sense. Both of these two are just such great characters and I think everyone will want to be friends with these two by the end of the novel.
One of the most awesome things about Miss Mayhem is it’s so Southern, something that delighted my Yankee self. Hawkins has created such an atmospheric setting that is so immersive and I really wanted to take a trip down south and talk with my (terrible) Southern accent. The Southern setting isn’t just the setting, it’s so ingrained in all of the character’s mannerism, dialogue and actions that readers will never forget where they are even for a second.
Miss Mayhem is such a great book that gave me all the Buffy feels and I can’t recommend this book enough. Everything here is spot-on from the characters to the plot to the writing style, making Miss Mayhem a must read for sure. Miss Mayhem is such a sweet, addicting book that will leave readers saying ‘y’all’ and craving book three (especially after that cliffhanger of an ending)....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! I don’t usually read non-fiction books, but Positive still managed to be an extremely important, informative read for me. I leSeen at Bookish Antics! I don’t usually read non-fiction books, but Positive still managed to be an extremely important, informative read for me. I learned more about the HIV virus and AIDs, something that I had very little knowledge of prior to reading this book. There are so many misconceptions about AIDs and Positive is a moving, poignant memoir that will shed light on a very relevant and often misunderstood topic. Though Positive doesn’t flow well initially and goes on a few random tangents, Rawl retells her life story in such a personal and conversational way. This is a book that people of all ages need to read and Positive is truly a worthy, inspiring memoir that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. ...more
Seen at Bookish Antics! I love the idea of a novel about genies, especially one that has diverse main characters, but Exquisite Captive was poorly execSeen at Bookish Antics! I love the idea of a novel about genies, especially one that has diverse main characters, but Exquisite Captive was poorly executed. The novel is dreadfully slow-paced, romanticizes slavery and an abusive relationship and the book’s plot is seriously lacking. There are tons of random flashbacks that feel irrelevant and truly add nothing to the story. Not to mention the fact that I feel no reason to care for any of the characters nor did I feel a need to continue this book. I quit a little bit more than a 1/3 of the way in and I don’t plan on getting back to this one. ...more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Every Breath is easily one of the most buzzed about books in the book blogging community. It seemed that everyone was talking aSeen at Bookish Antics! Every Breath is easily one of the most buzzed about books in the book blogging community. It seemed that everyone was talking about Mycroft and Watts, so I just had to see what all the hype was about. Ellie Marney’s debut novel is extremely addicting and entertaining, it’s also a well-plotted mystery and romance. This may not be the most original retelling out there, but it is one that I’d highly recommend.
I’m glad I didn’t read the description for this one before starting this book because it reveals way too much. Do yourself a favor and skip it, you’ll thank me later. All you need to know is that this book takes place in Melbourne, Australia and that the duo is investigating the murder of a homeless man. It’s best for you to just discover everything else alongside the characters and it’ll make the big reveal that much better.
I was initially turned off by this book because of Mycroft who is a bit of an antihero. Mycroft is essentially a juvenile delinquent: he smokes, is constantly in trouble at school, resists authority at any given opportunity and doesn’t understand what rules are. After reading about so many bad boys in YA, I was tired of reading about this archetype, but I soon realized that Mycroft is more than a label. Marney manages to make his character complex and troubled without sacrificing emotion and realism for a split-second. Readers will want to understand this enigmatic character and get a peek into his back story to see why he’s like this.
It’s interesting how Watts was the character I liked more at the beginning of this novel, but by the end I was utterly obsessed with Mycroft. Watts is brave, loyal and compassionate; she lets herself be dragged into Mycroft’s investigation not because she has to do it, but because it’s the right thing to do. I have a feeling that readers will love Watts and she’s certainly an interesting take on the classic Sherlock character.
The mystery in this novel is expertly crafted and Marney really channels her inner Arthur Conan Doyle in the writing of this novel. All of the classic mystery elements that are present in Doyle’s novels (and the countless adaptations) are in Every Breath: the red-herrings, the suspense, the deductive reasoning, etc. I do wish that there was a bit more of a connection to the Sherlock Holmes novels aside from the characters’ names and a few references. Though this novel’s plot revolves around the mystery, it’s not really the focus of this novel and it’s overshadowed by the romance, which is both troubling and a plus in my mind.
This is a romance oriented novel and everything takes the backseat to Mycroft and Watt’s relationship. I loved both the friendship and romantic dynamic the two characters have together, but a part of me wanted the mystery to be more prominent. The romance is excellent and the tension between our couple is electrifying, but I love a good mystery and that’s what one expects from a Sherlock-based retelling.
Every Breath wasn’t quite what I expected from a Sherlock retelling, but it was what I needed to read at that given moment in time. EB is a bit on the lighter side, but that doesn’t lessen how much I enjoyed this novel and how ready I am to read the next two books in this series. Those who love BBC’s Sherlock should definitely check out Every Breath while they wait for the next season to arrive!...more