Reviews

The Hate U Give – Review

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Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

From: Amazon UK / Book Depository

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Rating: 5*

Books exist to allow readers into a world they might never experience in day-to-day life. Some educate, amaze, immerse or leave you with a lasting impression you take with you for a long time.

This is one of those books.

The hype on this book is definitely deserved, and the fact “handbook gate” managed to knock it off is rightfully laughable, I’m incredibly glad that was resolved because this is a master of contemporary literature – and I don’t even gravitate towards contemporary all that much.

Starr is an amazing leading lady, without being the typical leading lady at all. Everything on the page is rooted in her grief and sense of anger, the fact she has to have two different personalities for fear of isolation from the ‘posh kids’ (don’t get me started on that Hailey cow, I’ve known too many of her). You understand everything she’s going through, the torment of losing a friend in such a horrific way. And how refreshing it was to have such a supportive and loving family dynamic in this. Perfect family? No. Real family? Yes. In fact they’re one of my favourite families ever, now.

Is it a perfect book? Damn well near. While I didn’t like Chris, the boyfriend, because he felt bland and underdeveloped on the page it didn’t really matter. It wasn’t Chris’ story, it was Starr’s, and I was fully enveloped in her world. I felt her anger, I felt her sense of injustice, I was absolutely ashamed at a system which is flawed – because the same issues present here in the UK, too. Chris, at least to me, wasn’t important at all. Starr was. So the fact I didn’t feel him much doesn’t really make a difference to the overall lasting impression THUG leaves.

THUG gave me a lot of feelings. I am definitely better off for having read it, and it has given me more of a sense of the dangers the black community face in America. I understand more of their issues with the police, and while I know it’s a work of fiction it’s nevertheless rooted in reality. That’s why it packs an extra punch, and I believe it’s going to be considered a classic in many years to come.

Reviews · Uncategorized

The Defenders – A Review!

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4 / 5

My favourite characters go thus – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Claire, the entire cast of all the Marvel series, and ends with “Ir-on Fissst”.

I’m gonna lay out the bad stuff first.

The issue with the Defenders is that it puts its weakest character front and center, and everyone revolves around it. Iron Fist, who despite supposedly being the most trusted warrior of K’un Lun comes across as an entitled little rich boy who can’t see anyone else’s opinion but his own.

And rational? He’s anything but. When I think of a warrior I imagine someone so chill they could have swallowed the Little Book Of Calm. That they are a wise and trusted being with the gift passed down generations. Not someone who hasn’t matured past infancy and hisses his dialogue like someone just shat on his favourite lego.

And so while the Defenders is fun, it would have been better if they’d been united against a common enemy, not to ‘defend’ the weakest (both personality wise and story wise) character of them all. Even Daredevil, who with his self-righteous dialogue and his friends who want to ‘save’ him I don’t even know what from, might have been a better choice for the One In Peril.

OK NOW THE PARTS I LIKED.

Jessica Jones, man. She’s easily the best of the Defenders and this series proved to me just how much I missed her. She’s the only one who delivers proper belly-laughs with her dry wit and “what the fuck is this” attitude giving a refreshing turn against the “For The City!” moaning heroes we’ve known.

It was exciting when the supporting cast of our heroes came around and they all got together. When Karen Page and Trish Walker had a conversation I admit I squeed a little – with Trish wanting to go more investigative and Karen being investigative, could we see another team up there? (anything to get more Trish, ngl).

Sigourney – queen. The concept of her character was brilliant and she’s a smoooooth actress who just oozes power and flair with every scene she’s in. However by the end of the muddled narrative we weren’t sure which line she was drawing in the sand, or whether there was a line at all. It promised to do so much with her character, then it was sort of… not delivered?

Madame Gao is still an absolute favourite of mine. Manipulative, sneaky, charming, POWERFUL who knew?! I think – think – we’ll see more of her? Here’s hoping, anyway. And Misty! Are we going to segway into the Amazing Arm story? Are ALL the sidekicks finally going to get their superhero alter egos going on or….?

Overall it was enjoyable but I do think it could have done with some bigger laughs, tightening of the narrative and a little less Iron Fisssst.

 

 

NetGalley · Reviews

REVIEW – Bad Girl Gone by Tempest Mathews

Thank you NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the eARC! 

REVIEW: ***1/2

Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.

There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.

She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.

She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.

She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.­­­­

I admit. I felt very love/hate with this one. For the first three chapters or so I really didn’t understand why this girl was in the worst house imaginable (forgive me, I downloaded this about 3 months before reading and forgot the blurb) and went into this thoroughly annoyed. Keeping the character in the dark without her being able to learn anything, just to keep us in the dark irked me. I spent those 3 chapters going why the kids were made to work and punished in the horrible place, and what she’d done to earn that fate.

THEN when we get to main plot it picks up. Temple’s writing is great, I really do enjoy it. She brings out character and feeling, which was why I felt claustrophobic for Echo but it was also so vivid I had to skip a few pages because I am very claustrophobic in real life. That sort of atmosphere transferred.

I still don’t get why the kids were thrown into a house of punishment at the start. No matter their behaviour in life, what sort of punishment is that? But the rest of the story picked up enough for me to keep interested, if not skimming a few.

Book Things · Reviews

OUR DARK DUET by Victoria Schwab

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REVIEW: *****

This was one of my most anticipated books of this year and it didn’t disappoint.

Without going into spoilers – though you should have read this by now damn! – August is now working for the FTF and Kate is still in the nearby city beginning with P but the name escapes me, hunting monsters there.

AND THE CHAOS EATER DESCENDS.

I met Victoria Schwab the day after I finished this book, crying at 2am. I wanted to bleat about my feels. But did I like it? No. I loved it. It was creepy, and weird, and completely compelling. I always read Schwab’s books about 100+ pages a night, they’re so easy to read and engross me from the start.

AUGUST FLYNN though. He’s the star. As he tried to deal with an unwell father, his dead brother’s voice in his head and new responsibility of thinning out sinners, he’s developed a thicker skin. No wonder Kate doesn’t like it when she returns, and oh how lovely are they when they return?

This is a ship I will forever hold dear. Mostly for August, because August is my love ❤ and total hottie, as far as I can tell.

This is rambly. BUY IT. The end.

 

Reviews

27 HOURS by Tristina Wright – Review!

 

28526192RATING: * * * * *

WHERE TO BUY: You can pre-order from all good bookshops probably. Or if you can’t find it, raise hell.

Thank you to my gorgeous CP Kelly for sending me this ARC from BookCon! 

SPOILER-FREE, GO FORTH AND BE SURPRISED.

You know there are books with so much hype, and so many “OMG I love it” reviews that you wonder if it can ever truly be that good. Whether, in some cases, people are saying they love it because it’s not trendy to say you don’t like it.

It’s rare, but it happens.

I’m happy to say that the hype is very well deserved! As a sci fi fan I appreciated the nuances of the world and the HUB systems. While at times I was confused by the narrative and some of the names etc, places, by half way I understood where we were and what was meant to be happening.

The personal and chapter-led goals, on the other hand, were sometimes a little bit fuzzy for me. I didn’t speed-read this – I don’t think I can, actually –  and I know it’s an ARC so things will change by the time of publication, but sometimes I didn’t quite grasp character motives.

Did I care? No. Cause the characters were unique for me to devour this until 2am in the morning. (that’s late for me, I have work!)

I didn’t connect with Dhalia as much as I wanted to, and she seemed such an integral, almost glue-like friend (you know the ones that keep the group together?) I wanted to see more of her role within the group other than ex and love interest.

HOWEVER – Jude. Rumor. Braeden. Nyx. My word, my loves. I was very pleased to see such a diverse cast, and their voices felt very true to them. The action never swallowed them and it seems – at least to me – that these main four had so much attention to detail in characterisation maybe slightly more than the plot, but I appreciate that. If I don’t give a shit about the characters, I won’t care if they die. And I cared, if they were to live or die. And I shed tears.

The finale was a little bit confusing, staging wise, but – to be honest, this is nitpicky shit. Ignore me. I loved this book. I had high expectations and they were met. Support this book, because of its diverse cast, because of its rich textures and world, because of its romance and authentic voices and bah.

I WILL be buying this in physical copy when it comes out. Who wouldn’t want this shiny cover on their bookshelf?!

GO BUY. I’ll wait. ^_^

Mind Body Spirit · NetGalley · Reviews

Mind Body Spirit Books – Reviews!

Thank you to NetGalley, Llwellyn, John Hunt Publishing & Watkins Publishing for these ARCS!

 

TORI HARTMAN

Being in the tarot community, I know of Tori Hartman quite well but I’m not sure this volume really ‘spoke’ to me as her stuff usually does. Solid stuff, still, but sometimes I got lost with the information.

Probably would do well to actually HAVE the cards mentioned but in general it was ok. 3/5

 

DEVIN HUNTER

This was an incredibly insightful book and it fascinated me on the subject. Sometimes a little bit too personal or text-heavy, it nevertheless really did explain his POV in a fascinating way and I enjoyed reading it for future reference.

4/5

JOHN OPSOPAUS

Really great reference book on this particular method of divination, it nevertheless left me a little bit confused. Not a particularly easy read but it was fascinating.

3/5

JUDY HALL

I looooooove love love anything about crystals and this was no exception. Took it up to another level with the karmic healing and releasing with some handy tips for me, I’d never heard before! So really great.

5/5

CASSANDRA EASON

Really interesting to read, and very handy. As a practicing witch and tarot reader, it’s imperative for me to know multiple ways of defending myself psychically and this book helped me figure out new ways of being able to do that. Cassandra Eason is a fantastic writer, very easy to read!

4/5

Reviews · Uncategorized

ACOWAR – Review!

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RATING: 4.5*

Where to buy? Let’s be honest, you can buy this pretty much everywhere. I borrowed it from a dear friend instead.

So. ACOWAR.

The series finisheth.

Or so I thought, because there’s something like 17 more coming out.

I admire Sarah J Maas’ work ethic if she’s cranking out so many books in the next few years, though I do hope her editor doesn’t seem to be as bored as they were doing this one. There were SO MANY throat bobbings, loosened breaths and ellipses and repeated information that were totally unnecessarily and it was SO LONG. The bobbing throats really pissed me off at times, too.

I found this to be about 700 pages of episodes. Because it felt extremely episodic. And it’s billed as Feyre infiltrating the Spring Court and finding shit out but SPOILER ALERT – she’s out within the first 20% of the book and then it’s all Velaris and talking about war. Which is not what I expected. I wanted spying and manipulating, not “oh by the way, I did this”.

BUT – I did enjoy seeing the other courts, and the tension in whether others would help or not. The introduction of monsters, and Nesta and Elain were great additions to bring to the fore in this novel. Cassian and Nesta were lovely. I just wish we’d known more about it in the round-up in the

And I did cry. I hated that I cried, but I did, because of women camaraderie ❤

While I still adore the Illyrian, Rhys and Feyre sex scenes seemed pretty basic, simply because the tension wasn’t there any more. I could have done without it. And Rhys – while still lovely – didn’t have the same spark as he’d had in ACOMAF. Everyone loves a smirking little shit, and we lost that in this one.

This seemed to be aimed for the die hard SJM fans, the readers who live to absorb her world. I really did enjoy the world building and characters, despite the book’s problems, and found it entertaining. But substance? Maybe not. There seemed just too many elements in this volume for her to wrap up and give justice too. In ACOMAF and ACOTAR it was pretty small and neatly wrapped, in this one, it was like Pandora’s box – so many different things spinning out like webs couldn’t be contained to give the proper attention.

This could have done with being split IMO.

The only reason this gets 4.5* and not lower is because I did care about Nesta, Amren, Elain, Azriel, Cassian and Rhys – even the monsters, which were not used for much effect which I found unfortunate.

The reason it doesn’t get the full 5* is because of the fucking bobbing. And so many sodding courts and names I lost count.

I would have liked it to round out a bit better, but I suppose she has to find a way to lure casual readers to buying more books somehow. I might pick up future books, but probably only to borrow.