In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang Published by FirstSecond /5
I loved the main character, her earnestness and honesty shone though, despite geIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang Published by FirstSecond ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I loved the main character, her earnestness and honesty shone though, despite getting somethings wrong. I really enjoyed the artwork art a lot, and I almost gave it 4.5 stars but the story's 'message' was both a little too much 'tell' instead of 'show, probably a necessity give the length, but it also meant it was not explored in enough depth to carry the power it could have. ...more
I really enjoyed the 2nd volume in Aurora West's duology. Part of the #BattlingBoy series.
It's a cracking adventure, with some serious notes, but alsI really enjoyed the 2nd volume in Aurora West's duology. Part of the #BattlingBoy series.
It's a cracking adventure, with some serious notes, but also some humour and lightness. Aurora is a fabulous character, and I look forward to meeting her again, when she joins up with Battling Boy in the second part of his story....more
I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get to this one, may people who I trust with these things have loved it, and I have to say I do too! KamalI have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get to this one, may people who I trust with these things have loved it, and I have to say I do too! Kamala is a fantastic character, and the story was a lot of fun. I suspect it won’t take me as long to get to the next few volumes!...more
I’m so far behind on my reviews and blogging at the moment that it is over a month since I finisMy review first appeared on my blog: Bart's Bookshelf.
I’m so far behind on my reviews and blogging at the moment that it is over a month since I finished Time Travelling with a Hamster! The thing is, I wasn’t sure how to review it back then, and I’m not really any more sure now…
I was a little thrown as I first started reading Time Travelling With A Hamster, as the cover and title both hint towards something a little more whimsical than the story about loss, grief, & family we actually get. That’s not to say there aren’t some fun moments, there are plenty. This is a time-travel adventure after all!
The bits that stick with me, however, some weeks later are the moments of family, both Al’s old family and his new one. If he is successful and brings his dad back, what does that mean for his new family? for example.
But mostly his relationship and chats with Al and his granddad.
I think, that while I liked Time Travelling With a Hamster while I was reading it (and I did!), I actually got more out of it, once I’d finished, and tried to coral my thoughts about it; back in February and again just now, while writing this review.
Thinking about it, I imagine this is a book that would work really well as a group read, and getting to talk about it with others. Ross Welford has written a really thoughtful read.
My copy of Time Travelling With A Hamster was provide by the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes....more
Not If I See You First is the most dialogue driven narrative I’ve come across in a long time iThis review first appeared on my blog: Bart's Bookshelf.
Not If I See You First is the most dialogue driven narrative I’ve come across in a long time it made for an interesting experience and you can certainly see the authors background in writing for video games.
Parker initially comes across as quite uncompromising, but I have to say, not unlikable. Her relationship with her friends and the way they interact with each other, make it clear there is another side to her character. She tries to offer good, or at least honest, advice to those that ask for it, and she really just wants people to treat her as the capable person she is.
It soon becomes clear (if it wasn’t already by the synopsis) that there is a reason behind her character and rules. Life has most definitely handed her a rough deal, and she hasn’t really dealt with the recent death of her father. I mean really, giving herself a gold star for every day she doesn’t cry, is just asking for trouble, her stubbornness makes it almost impossible for her to move on.
As Parker realises that some of the decisions she has made in the past, while justified, might have been overly harsh, the walls she has built slowly start to collapse, to move forward, she’s going to have to let them.
There were a couple of standout scenes for me, one where she has a very public breakdown, which is something we see coming a mile off, and marks the turning point for Parker, and then the scene at the running track, which was almost as exhilarating to read as it must have been for Parker to experience.
I really enjoyed following Parker on her journey in Not If I See You First, it’s hard and emotional at times, but definitely worth your while.
My copy of Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom was provided by the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes....more
So, I was already considering this one on Netgalley when I was approached to be part of the bloThis review first appeared on my blog: Bart's Bookshelf
So, I was already considering this one on Netgalley when I was approached to be part of the blog tour. Decision made!
What’s not to be tempted by? The possibilities offered by the premise and the questions it might ask, it seemed like it would make for a fantastic and fun read, and while it was a really fun read, which I really enjoyed, it didn’t succeed in exploring the questions quite as well as I was hoping for.
While the book asked some questions, they seemed to be sped over, particularly Ethan/Drew’s acceptance of his new gender/life and skills, and I’d have liked some deeper examination of them.
I was surprised for example, just how easily his favoured style of clothing would change, and that he would allow a switch of handed-ness (or in this case footed-ness) to stop him from skateboarding, or at least not without a fight, seeing as it was such a part of his previous 14 years… It just didn’t allow me to buy in to the premise as much as I wanted it to.
However, these same issues in other parts of the book, also do a great job of highlighting the expectations expected of a particular gender, the change in the way his parents treat him, especially from his dad. Ethan/Drew’s own alterations to his character. Some of these can I suppose be attributed to the Changer gene, but some are purely social expectations, and could have been ignored if Drew desired, but perhaps, thinking about it, that is partly the point? That we fall into social conventions a lot easier that we can create new ones…
I thought it did a really good job of looking at gender and attraction, Ethan’s history is fourteen years of being a boy, and as far as we know anyway liking girls… But Drew develops a crush on Chase, a girl changer who is now a boy in his current incarnation… and this started with just a smile from Chase, so some element of physical attraction. Then there is Audrey, a ‘normal’ girl Drew befriends and then starts to fall for. Is it Ethan or Drew that has the stronger attraction, for them both does it matter?
We also get to see a bit of Changer society, and there are definite and worrying hints of a cultish, controlling leadership, which I suspect this is going to play a larger part in the later books, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes and how Ethan/Drew’s next incarnations respond to them.
I suppose what I wanted most, was for Drew to shout back at his dad, “I might be Drew at the moment, but I’m still the Ethan I was for the last 14 years as well. STOP TREATING ME DIFFERENTLY!” I just don’t see it as an either/or thing, he is not Ethan or Drew, but is them both, the sum of his experiences, and perhaps, this will be explored further as he adds more experiences to who he is, and complicates this mix further.
For me the main strength of the book was Ethan/Drew who is really likeable and I look forward to seeing what happens when Drew switches to Oryon in book 2.
My copy of Changers: Drew by T Cooper & Alison Glock-Cooper was provided by the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes. ...more
Lobsters, Tom & Lucy’s previous book, was such fantastic, cringe-y fun, that I could not resisThis review originally on my blog, Bart's Bookshelf.
Lobsters, Tom & Lucy’s previous book, was such fantastic, cringe-y fun, that I could not resist Never Evers when I was offered a review copy! Featuring slightly younger protagonists and themes, I’m pleased to advise doesn’t mean the cringe moments are any fewer. The fact that you can see some of these moments coming long before Mouse and Jack do, makes them all the funnier!
Mouse and Jack are just as clueless and misstep just as often as Sam and Hannah were! I didn’t have the pleasure of a school trip away when I was a teenager, but I did go away with a youth group, both as a ‘youth’ and later as a leader, so it did still bring up some long-buried memories! :)
I loved the friendships Mouse and Jack had with their friends, they all felt really real, just the right level of support and mockery good friends should have....more