Posts Categorized: Review

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller

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Review: Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller
Destroy All Monsters
Sam J. Miller
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: July 2nd 2019
by HarperTeen

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A crucial, genre-bending tale, equal parts Ned Vizzini and Patrick Ness, about the life-saving power of friendship.

Solomon and Ash both experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve.

Ash lost all memory of that event when she fell from Solomon’s treehouse. Since then, Solomon has retreated further and further into a world he seems to have created in his own mind. One that insulates him from reality, but crawls with foes and monsters . . . in both animal and human form.

As Solomon slips further into the place he calls Darkside, Ash realizes her only chance to free her best friend from his pain is to recall exactly what happened that day in his backyard and face the truth—together.

Fearless and profound, Sam J. Miller’s follow up to his award-winning debut novel, The Art of Starving, spins an intimate and impactful tale that will linger with readers.
-A copy was provided by HarperTeen for review-

I chose to read this book because of the mention of a Patrick Ness-like style, and this is definitely true. It starts out confusing as heck, but in a good way. The kind of confusing that captivates you, and pulls you in fully with the promise of a very odd, gritty, mysterious book.

Told in dual POV, we go through this story with two very different angles. One is Ash who is your typical teenage girl who doesn’t completely fit in, but who’s also not a complete loner. Then there’s Solomon who takes us on a wild ride filled with dinosaurs, monsters, and magic. Which is real, though? Is Solomon just making this all up, or is it Ash who is unable to see the monsters? I found this aspect really enjoyable and fun to try and figure out. I did find that my interest in the bizarre world fizzled out after a while, though. As the story advances and the the mystery unravels, I found myself wanting to skip over Solomon’s POV to get to the big reveal. 

It didn’t help that the POV switched so often that it was hard to keep track of the going ons of the Darkside and its characters. I felt like I never had time to really immerse myself into that fantasy land before we were snatched away into the real-world of Ash’s POV again. This made the story feel very jittery, and I found myself mostly paying attention to Ash’s storyline, and getting bored when we were thrown into what had started as an intriguing, dark otherworld. 

There were also parts of the story that made me uncomfortable. Ash has a “friend with benefits” that, while I know does happen at 16, felt out of place for me. No parent batted an eye at a 16yo spending so much time alone in a boy’s room for most of the night/evening. I’m not a prude, but it just felt really awkward and unnecessary for the story.

With all that said, the overall message in this novel is an important one. I appreciated that it had real substance, while keeping its air of mystery and magic throughout. It’s an overall dark, gritty story that can never be told enough.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 06/19/2019 • 0 Comments

I truly feel blessed anytime I finish a book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Over the past year, she has quickly shot up to one of my favorite authors. Her talent for writing some of the best relationships to grace YA draws me in and I cannot help but finish any book I read by her with my mouth hanging open and desperate for a sequel. If flawed characters, found family, trauma handled well, the best of dogs and a bit of a mystery are your thing, The Lovely and the Lost is the book for you.

Kira does not trust many people except for her family. It took years after Cady rescued her for Kira to learn how to trust again and now she is following in Cady’s footsteps…

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Posted by on 06/12/2019 • 0 Comments

I am still recovering from this book as I write this review so excuse the rambling but oh my god??? Why did this book want to HURT ME LIKE THAT??? I am genuinely feeling a little nauseous lol.

The nausea has nothing to do with how the book was, just about certain events I won’t dive into. Rest assured, if you do read this book and have some serious feelings afterwards, please talk to me so we can all cry together. A HAPPY CRYING CIRCLE.

If you are not a fan of any kind of angst, you should probably skip this book because there is a lot of it. Sometimes it felt unavoidable, other times it was frustrating but honestly it wasn’t actually an issue for me. I…

Don’t Read on An Empty Stomach: Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

Don’t Read on An Empty Stomach: Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

Posted by on 06/07/2019 • 0 Comments

If you, like me, are a great lover of both food and books, this anthology will immediately appeal to you. There are a ton of anthologies published each year and sometimes it’s hard to keep track all of them but what makes this one worthy of being on your TBR is that it isn’t just a collection of stories. It’s a collection of stories that is intertwined. Main characters from individual stories make appearances in stories outside of their own, secondary character from individual stories will make appearances in stories outside of their own. It’s quite marvelous and I cannot imagine the amount of work the authors must have put in to make something as cohesive as this.

Hungry Hearts is set in the mystical Hungry Hearts Row. A…

Mini Reviews: Adult Contemporary Romance Edition

Mini Reviews: Adult Contemporary Romance Edition

Posted by on 05/19/2019 • 2 Comments

Why so many mini reviews, you ask? I’ve had a lot on my plate this month as well as way more review copies than anticipated so I thought this was a good way for me to stay on track.

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) Helen Hoang

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Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in…

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporary Romance edition

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporary Romance edition

Posted by on 05/10/2019 • 0 Comments

 

With the Fire on High Elizabeth Acevedo

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth…

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Posted by on 04/30/2019 • 1 Comment

Idk how its possible but each book in this series has been as good as or better than the previous one and I am just truly in awe of Cole’s talent. I’ve been reading romance for a while now and I truly feel that Cole is changing the landscape of romance literature. Not only is A Prince on Paper unbelievably swoony and adorable, it also takes on really big and relevant things. It isn’t afraid to dissect racism and call out colonialism, we see fake news and propaganda make an appearance and we also see our MC deal with emotional and mental abuse from a parent.

When Nya’s father is arrested and sent to prison for attempting to poison Naledi, she can finally start living her life. She runs…

Soft but Important: Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Soft but Important: Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Posted by on 04/19/2019 • 3 Comments

I am almost 22 and can safely say I am not the intended audience for YA novels these days but, reading Love From A To Z made me feel like a teen again and soothed my soul in a way a contemporary novel hasn’t in a while. I was transported back to 2010 when I read Does My Head Look Big in This and felt seen by the MC who was struggling with her identity in a world that hated her.

Zayneb is not a nice girl. She is angry. She is angry at the injustice in the world and she is angry at the injustice she experiences every day in her classroom. She is tired of always feeling like she needs to be ashamed of who she is….