Posts By: Rashika

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

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I received this book for free from Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last Harvest by Kim LiggettThe Last Harvest by Kim Liggett
Published by Tor Teen on January 10th, 2017
Genres: Horror, YA
Source: Tor Teen
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
two-half-stars

“I plead the blood.”

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad's throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town's looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won't leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity...or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

I have no idea how I am supposed to feel about this book. I love how the author builds tension throughout the book and I love the general creepiness of it but I struggled with a lot of other aspects of the book. The characters, the romance, and even some of the horror elements of the book.

I think my biggest qualm in terms of the actual horror parts of the book is how much they are based on Christian myth. This is obviously a very personal qualm and not all readers will have that same experience but as someone who exists outside of that narrative, it can be a little unsettling to have all this info forced down ones throat. It isn’t even just the satanic elements but rather the very beliefs this small midwestern town is founded on. It isn’t by any means unrealistic (given my own experience living in a small midwestern town) but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t slightly uncomfortable to read.

Liggett crafts the mystery and the intrigue within the novel really well though and I REALLY enjoyed the building tension and the unraveling of what the fuck was actually going on (although I don’t know if we really know by the end of the novel.)

The Last Harvest relies heavily on ‘what the fuckery.’ You think you know what is going on? Spoiler alert. YOU DON’T KNOW NOTHING and you are probably going to find yourself being constantly surprised by the book since it really does pull all the punches.

The characters however were just really hard for me to get behind which made this book harder to appreciate. There was a completely unnecessary romance thrown into the book that was ick and made no sense whatsoever. The fascination the MC had with this girl (whose name I cannot remember even though I ~just~ finished reading the book) was bizarre and it seemed that he prioritized this person he wasn’t even technically with over his own family.

This clearly made me feel not as sympathetic towards young Clay (the MC.) He was a character written to be sympathetic (at least I think he was) but one I had zero sympathy for. I couldn’t relate to him and he just, he wasn’t really that great? He was super moody, had no real friends and wasn’t good to the one friend he had, and was just REALLY full of himself. We are supposed to want to see him succeed and I couldn’t find it within me to give a fuck.

So while I liked a lot of things the author was doing in the novel, I also just couldn’t connect to the characters and was upset that the one relationship we saw was unimpressive. Overall, I think that this book might do better in the hands of a reader who is able to appreciate the characters in a way I wasn’t able to or just engage more with the horror aspects of the novel.

two-half-stars

2.5 Hot Espressos

Just Another Teen Novel (IN A GOOD WAY!!): The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Just Another Teen Novel (IN A GOOD WAY!!): The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Posted by on 02/09/2017 • 2 Comments

2k17, the year where my eyes tear up because of everything. Currently tearing up because I wish I was a teen and I wish I could have had all these wonderful #ownvoices books in my life as a teen. I am not Latinx but goddamnit, it is so so SO good to read so many #ownvoices novels with non-white main characters. It is so good to see a POC main character and its so incredibly good to see a POC character in familiar tropes. Don’t ever let anyone tell you tropes are bad. TROPES ARE AMAZING (if done right) and people who think books need to not be trope-y are just reading books where tropes aren’t done well.

The Education of Margot Sanchez has been described as being ‘Pretty In…

10 Books About Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences

10 Books About Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences

Posted by on 02/08/2017 • 8 Comments

TBH, I don’t even know how to start this post off. I wish the world was a better place and I wish everyone could just agree that we all deserve to be treated as humans and equals instead of shitting on the existence of entire groups of people. I am trying to use this space to promote books that we should all be reading right now and to get people to support more diverse (& #ownvoices) content. So here is a list of 10 Books about Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences.

1. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

MC is a first gen Pakistani-American and the book is #ownvoices. Also deals with arranged marriage and has a jaw-dropping gorgeous cover.

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

I think people who…

Playlist for The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman + Giveaway

Posted by on 02/02/2017 • 6 Comments

Hello and welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman AKA the book I created my goodreads OTP OF PAIN shelf for. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dark Days Club last year but fell head over heels for The Dark Days Pact. In this book, Goodman really upped the stakes and basically put me through hell :’) It was great. Basically, you need this series on your TBR and to help you do that, I put together a playlist that ~I~ think describes the book/series.

THE PLAYLIST

Feat angsty music + some songs that might not be the best fit BUT SINCE I AM MAKING THE PLAYLIST, you’re stuck with them 😉 Also making playlists is H.A.R.D. If you click on the little thing on…

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Posted by on 02/01/2017 • 11 Comments

Holy shit. THIS BOOK GUYS. Allegedly was one of my most anticipated books, but my co-worker who read it before I had a lot of FEELS (not good or bad, just FEELS), so I was a little nervous when I dove in. I had no idea the book would grip me and NOT LET ME GO. I read the 373 page book in a little over 2.5 hours. I GOBBLED IT, all while growing more and more anxious as I could feel something B.I.G. coming.

This book treads all the fine lines ever. There is no easy black and white in this book and it goes to lengths to make sure YOU KNOW THAT TOO. Justice, family, life cannot be put into little boxes and Jackson really explores what is right…

Intro to The Infinite Variants of YA + List of Diverse Fic Books that Came Out in Jan 2017

Intro to The Infinite Variants of YA + List of Diverse Fic Books that Came Out in Jan 2017

Posted by on 01/30/2017 • 5 Comments

These past couple of months have been stressful and heartbreaking. My friend Nick (Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist) have been working on a project for a while as a way of combatting the awfulness of the world through books. I know it won’t make a major difference but what we want to do through this project is boost diverse books and diverse voices. We want to promote not just upcoming diverse books, but also backlist diverse books (because they shouldn’t be forgotten about once they are out.) Our goal is that over the course of the year, we get you guys excited about the many diverse books coming out, the ones that are already out and help support the wonderful authors writing these books. We plan on spotlighting diverse authors once a…

A Well Written, Character Driven Novel: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

A Well Written, Character Driven Novel: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

Posted by on 01/27/2017 • 3 Comments

Fire Color One is usually not the kind of novel I would find myself enjoying but I was thoroughly swept away by it. I love character development but I don’t really tend to enjoy books that are solely character driven. Fire Color One is primarily character driven. There is definitely a plot but it revolves around character revelations. Not around actual happenings. Yet it somehow managed to sweep me away till I had somehow run out of pages to read (*shakes fist at book for not being longer*)

This is a novel about grief, about relationships and a little bit about some revenge (and I am totes petty so I am all about the revenge life.) I think part of the magic of this book comes from how well the relationships…

5 Books + Documentaries ‘About’ Climate Change

5 Books + Documentaries ‘About’ Climate Change

Posted by on 01/26/2017 • 4 Comments

BOOKS TO READ 1. The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd

I read this series back when I was a little bb8 but it was SO good and interesting. It imagines a futuristic (or maybe not so futuristic) world where carbon needs to be rationed because of the extreme effects of climate change. Written in a diary format and has a diverse cast (if I remember correctly.)

2. Firestorm by David Klass

Another futuristic world where a chosen one has to travel through time to save the world from the dire consequences of climate change. I read it ages ago but remember devouring this trilogy and loving it.

3. Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Set in a world where water is incredibly limited. The MCs family fights…