Monday, July 15, 2019

Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers

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Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers
Blastaway
Melissa Landers
Genre: Adventure, Middle Grade, Sci-Fi
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
by Disney Hyperion

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Kyler Centaurus isn't your typical runaway. All he wanted was a quick trip to the legendary Fasti Sun Festival. Who wouldn't want to see new stars being born? Um, try Kyler's entire family. They couldn't care less about mind-blowing wonders of science.

When an accidental launch sequence ends with Kyler hurtling through space on the family cruiser, the thrill of freedom is cut short by two space pirates determined to steal his ship. Not happening!

Luckily, Kyler bumps into Fig, a savvy young Wanderer who makes a living by blowing up asteroids. She could really use a ride to Earth and Kyler could really use a hand with the pirates.

But when Kyler learns the truth about Fig's mission, the two must put aside their differences long enough to stop the threat of astronomical proportions racing towards Earth?
-A copy was provided by Disney-Hyperion for review-

While I never got the chance to read Alienated, I have read Lander’s romance novels so when I heard about Blastaway, I was immediately onboard. I expected something akin to Alienated (even though I hadn’t read it) and in my excitement, missed that Blastaway wasn’t YA. It is middle grade. I read middle grade so that didn’t really turn me off but this book wouldn’t really hit the mark for adult middle grade readers the way it would for middle grade middle grade readers – aka the intended demographic of the book.

Blastaway is incredibly cute and I love that it uses its sci-fic setting to draw attention to very real world issues in an accessible manner to younger readers. My biggest issue – keeping in mind that I was not the intended audience – was that a lot of the science was lax? There were many things that weren’t really thought out evolution-wise when it came to wanderers. This wouldn’t even have been a particularly difficult problem to fix, the book could have been set way way way into the future rather than just 500 years.

It also heavily relied on pop culture references from this century even though the book is set 500 years in the future. This is definitely me being nit-picky because I realize that having those references makes this futuristic world more accessible to younger readers but for me, it took away from the sci-fic experience. I wish that instead of trying to tone down this world, Landers explored it a bit more and tried to ground readers in it in other ways. 

The plot is also riddled with lucky coincidences that propels it forward without having to work around the struggles of being two runaway children on a ship on their own, trying to stop an evil plan to take over the universe and potentially harm both humans and wanderers. 

So, Blastaway is not a particularly dense book but I do love that it also explores familial relationships as well as friendships. Kyler struggles a lot with finding a place within his family. He constantly feels like an outcast and pre-teen hormones probably don’t make navigating those relationships easy. It’s definitely clear to the reader that his family loves him just the way he is but I loved watching him come to terms with that. I also loved his and Fig’s blooming friendship. They are both very stubborn people and I loved that even though they were quick to become friends, they also had their ups and downs. 

Overall, I feel like this book would be more appropriate for elementary school readers rather than middle school ones because this book feels younger than the ages of its characters. The kids who love adventures sans adults, love the running away from home stories (as I did at those ages) will gobble this book up.

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

Fresh Batch (July 14th – 20th)

Fresh Batch (July 14th – 20th)

Posted by on 07/13/2019 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Just My Luck Jennifer Honeybourn Publication date: July 16th 2019by Swoon Reads

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Marty has terrible luck and she knows exactly why. While working as a housekeeper at the ritzy Grand Palms hotel in Maui, Marty made it a habit to steal small items from the guests. What better way to stick it to the rich snobs they have to clean up after? Marty knows how to turn her luck around — she just has to return all of the items she stole.

When Marty meets Will, a new guest who is staying for the summer, she does the one thing she…

Heartbreaking, Swoony & Funny: Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

Heartbreaking, Swoony & Funny: Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

Posted by on 07/10/2019 • 0 Comments

Remember how back in 2012 the only book anyone ever talked about was The Fault in Our Stars? I wish Symptoms of a Heartbreak was around back then because it is infinitely better and hits a lot of the same emotional notes that TFIOS hit for many people. While this book is pitched as a medical romcom, I’d actually describe it as less of a romcom and more of a family comedy with a smidgen of romance and a lot of growth and development. 

Saira is Girl Genius and the youngest doctor ever. But all that genius cannot prepare for her first year as an intern at the place where it all started – when she diagnosed her best friend with cancer at the age of 6. It also cannot…

Review: The Arrival of Someday by Jen Malone

Review: The Arrival of Someday by Jen Malone

Posted by on 07/09/2019 • 0 Comments

The Arrival of Someday is a very emotional, very realistic novel that has all of the feels – yet has so much charm and wit that you won’t help but find yourself falling in love with all of its characters, no matter the gloom that follows the story. 

Amelia was born with a liver disease that hasn’t ever been an issue until now. Until its become so very real, so very scary, very fast. From the very first page I loved Amelia’s voice. Her personality and wit makes it impossible to dislike her. She’s got a lot of crap to deal with, and you can feel her anger, her despair, and also her passion for life. She wants to live, she has so many plans, so many wants and hopes….

Fresh Batch (July 7th – 13th)

Fresh Batch (July 7th – 13th)

Posted by on 07/06/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Spin the Dawn Elizabeth Lim Series: The Blood of Stars #1 Publication date: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readersby July 9th 2019

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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor…

A Soft, Low-Stress Book: Some Like it Scandalous by Maya Rodale

A Soft, Low-Stress Book: Some Like it Scandalous by Maya Rodale

Posted by on 07/05/2019 • 0 Comments

I will fully admit to not reading book 1 in this series but I have read Maya Rodale before and when I saw that Some Like it Scandalous was hate to love, I was sold. I did go in expecting good romantic tension but I was a little surprised by how much I was taken in by this book. Rodale must have done a lot of research to help immerse us within the gilded age. 

I wouldn’t categorize it as a true love to hate because their dislike is based on misunderstandings and apologies are made quite early on but… their relationship is still amazing. It is founded on their mutual agreement that they do not want to get married, then they become business partners and finally something more. They…

Fresh Batch (June 30th – July 6th)

Fresh Batch (June 30th – July 6th)

Posted by on 07/03/2019 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Symptoms of a Heartbreak Sona Charaipotra Publication date: July 2nd 2019by Imprint

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The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in the contemporary romantic comedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak.

Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any…

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Posted by on 07/02/2019 • 8 Comments

I’ve been going through a reading slump lately and starting a book takes a lot more effort than I would like. When, I picked up Ayesha a couple days ago, I was really sad I couldn’t get into it so I put it down and continued binging Brooklyn Nine Nine. Because I had it for review though, I decided to pick it up again  and push through. I ended up going to bed at 5:30 AM because I legitimately did not want to put Ayesha at Last down.

I first read P&P in 10th grade and watched the BBC adaptation alongside reading it. I thought the Colin Firth adaptation was the peak of P&P adaptations. Reading Ayesha at Last has made me completely reevaluate that opinion. This thoughtful, creative retelling…