Thursday, January 31, 2019

Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White

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Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White
Slayer
Kiersten White
Series: Slayer #1
Genre: Action, Paranormal, YA
Publication date: January 8th, 2019
by Simon Pulse

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Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
-A copy was provided by Simon Pulse for review-

While I’d heard a couple of things about Slayer, they were mostly about Buffy and how the book was set in the same world as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen less than half an episode of the show so I immediately checked out and assumed it would not appeal to me as someone who does not care about the show. Then I read the synopsis. I got old-school YA feels from the blurb and I’ve been craving old school YA for ages so I was immediately drawn in.

I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Slayer is that the first half was a solid 3 stars and the second half was a solid 4 stars. The first half is sort of slow and takes a while to get into. Slow isn’t necessarily bad because it allows for world building to happen, characters to be developed and relationships to blossom, but also, it was v. slow and it took me a long time to get through it. The second half on the other hand is when action happens and shit hits the fans. IT WAS GREAT.

Nina has always been seen as the ‘lesser’ twin so when it turns out she is a slayer, her life is basically completely turned around. She is now stronger and faster than she has ever been, but also she is now a slayer, the very thing she has come to strongly dislike. It honestly took me a while to warm up to Nina because she is so vanilla but, White clearly has a talent for good characters and Nina won me over in the end.

I think it helps that Nina and her sister, Artemis, so often act as foils to each other but in many ways are often the same. Both don’t like the roles they have been placed in and also don’t enjoy the switching that happens with Nina turns out to be a slayer. Their sisterly bond is incredibly complex and in many ways, defines both of them. They suck at communicating but they also love each other dearly and would fight bitterly for each other if it came to it. Nina and Artemis are both flawed, and occasionally annoying, but in the end, they are both relatable as they figure out their place in an ever changing world.

There is a lot more going on in this book besides just sisterly bonds. LIKE PROPHECIES and SCARY DEMONS and old crushes coming back that the MC was publicly humiliated in front of. ALL THE GOOD STUFF. Slayer isn’t as heavy on the action but I think where it lacks in action it makes up for in the quality of the characters and their arcs. Also the humour. It’s so subtle and yet so funny, I just cannot.

So, are you looking into getting into a new YA PNR series? That makes your heart race and makes your shippy feels tingle? If so, read Slayer. My only regret is that I now have to wait an entire year before getting to read book 2.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Mediocre: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Mediocre: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Posted by on 01/30/2019 • 0 Comments

I love a good heist book and 2019 truly seems to be the year of heist books but unfortunately, Immoral Code was not everything I wanted it to be. It’s the kind of book that has good bones but ultimately, neither the writing style nor the pacing worked for me.

The entire time I was reading the book, the characters voices felt sort of inauthentic? But upon reflection I don’t think the fact that they were all self-aware makes them inauthentic, I am an extremely self-aware human being, but I think self-awareness doesn’t always translate as well in writing. This book is written in a very free, stream-of-consciousness style and yes, human beings constantly think that way but also, I don’t want to hear every single thought an MC…

A Gender-Swapped Mean Girls: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

A Gender-Swapped Mean Girls: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Posted by on 01/24/2019 • 0 Comments

I don’t think this book has actually been pitched this way but when I finished the book, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls. The Field Guide to a North American Teenager, while not a perfect fit, read to me, like a gender-swapped Mean Girls.

Norris Kaplan is the new kid in town. Although he feels incredibly out of place, he does somehow immediately capture the attention of several people who are taken in by his snark. He writes in his journal, trying to categorize and group every individual and HS trope-y student he comes across in an attempt to other them and to distance himself. Somehow though, he finds himself mingling with the very cheerleaders and the jocks he loves to snark about. Combined with a new, cute love interest…

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted by on 01/18/2019 • 1 Comment

Trigger Warning for eating disorders, drug abuse in the past

I had not read a single book by Jenny Holiday in the past (including the two other books that precede Three Little Words) but when I saw Nick shouting about it, I AM INTRIGUED. Chef heroes own my soul. Nick, who has known me long enough to know I am super picky with contemporary romances, said I would at the very least like Three Little Words SO of course I had to read it because CHEF HEROES.  So, I went in expecting to like it since Nick said I would but I ended up completely engrossed in the lives of these characters and finding a new author to binge. Three Little Words takes you on quite the journey – quite literally because…

Why Marie Kondo Doesn’t Actually Want You To Throw Out All Your Books

Why Marie Kondo Doesn’t Actually Want You To Throw Out All Your Books

Posted by on 01/16/2019 • 2 Comments

Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her ‘revolutionary’ tidying up ideas with her bestselling books. On January 1st, Netflix decided to drop “The Art of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” bringing even more people on board the KonMari train but also causing many people to lose their minds when Marie Kondo ‘made’ people get rid of their books in an effort to clean up and take back their living spaces. 

Except she didn’t???

I haven’t finished watching the series nor have I had the privilege of reading any of her books but based on what I have seen and what I know about her books, nowhere does she explicitly state you should get rid of your books and everything else you love.

I am a lover of reality…

The Heist Novel We Need: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

The Heist Novel We Need: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

Posted by on 01/14/2019 • 1 Comment

In 2019 and we’re finally getting all the heist/thief books we deserve. Death Prefers Blondes is one such heist book and IT IS AMAZING. Maybe you’ve read Caleb Roehrig before or maybe you’re drawn by the fantastic premise and gorgeous gover. Regardless, this book is both quintessentially Roehrig and also different from what he has written before. His previous books are more on the fun end of the spectrum (WHICH IS NOT A BAD THING. I love fun books!) and while Death Prefers Blondes is incredibly fun, it also has a tendency to punch you in the guts. TO SAY EVEN MORE because I clearly cannot shut up, Death Prefers Blondes is not a short book but it FLIES by. It was so well written and visuals/imagery were done so…

Fresh Batch (January 13th – 19th)

Fresh Batch (January 13th – 19th)

Posted by on 01/12/2019 • 0 Comments

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

Flavor of the week:

The Gilded Wolves Roshani Chokshi Series: The Gilded Wolves #1 Publication date: January 15th 2019by Wednesday Books

Goodreads Purchase

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that…

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Posted by on 01/11/2019 • 0 Comments

I slept on Emma Mills for AGES but with a little peer pressure, I finally binge read all of her published books last year. I can honestly say that it was life changing. Not necessarily because her books in of themselves changed my life but they were so good and I was so happy to finally have them in my life. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY is that if you still have not read a single Emma Mills novel in your life, you need to fix that. If you have, then I am guessing you’re gonna pick this book up regardless of anything I have to say so hope you have a nice life. Here, have some cookies on your way out! I made them myself!

Lately, I feel…