Publisher: Penguin


Friday, March 24, 2017

Arthurian Myth Meets World War II: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

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Arthurian Myth Meets World War II: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman
The Metropolitans
Carol Goodman
Genre: Middle-Grade, Mythology, World War II
Publication date: March 14th, 2017
by Viking Books for Young Readers

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets The Apothecary in this time-bending mystery from bestselling author Carol Goodman!

The day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, four thirteen-year-olds converge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where an eccentric curator is seeking four uncommonly brave souls to track down the hidden pages of the Kelmsbury Manuscript, an ancient book of Arthurian legends that lies scattered within the museum's collection, and that holds the key to preventing a second attack on American soil.

When Madge, Joe, Kiku, and Walt agree to help, they have no idea that the Kelmsbury is already working its magic on them. But they begin to develop extraordinary powers and experience the feelings of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and Lancelot: courage, friendship, love...and betrayal. Are they playing out a legend that's already been lived, over and over, across the ages? Or can the Metropolitans forge their own story?"
-A copy was provided by Viking Books for Young Readers for review-

If you’ve been following along with discussions surrounding World War II books in the community, you will already know this but there aren’t many World War II books out there with Jewish main characters. Not only does The Metropolitans have a (German-American) Jewish main character, it also has Japanese-American, first nations & Irish-American main characters. The page space is split up b/w the four characters and while I cannot accurately speak for any of the rep since I am not from any of those groups, I did feel that it was done pretty well. (If you are from any of those groups and feel differently, I’d be eternally grateful if you choose to let me know so I may edit this review to reflect that!)

One of my favorite childhood books focused on the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and I love that The Metropolitans actually discusses this mistreatment, making it clear that the American government also hurt people during the World War.

It is so ridiculously important that this book has a Jewish main character because even though there is so much literature out there about World War II, very rarely do we actually get to see and hear from Jewish characters. Walt’s voice was fleshed out and his feelings very real. I love that we got to spend so much page time with him. I love that he spoke up about how painful this was for him given that his parents were in France (where Jewish people were also being forced into camps). He spoke up about his experience in Germany during the uprise of Hitler and seeing his neighbors be taken away, about having to leave his parents behind as he travelled to America for shelter.

Through Joe the author also addresses the way America was treating (and continues to treat) Native Americans as they attempted to strip them of their cultures and languages.

The diversity in this book, in my opinion at least, does not exist for brownie points and the author really fleshes the characters out so they jump of the pages. Their stories are real because people experienced these horrible things IRL (no matter what some dumbasses say.)

The Arthurian myth element is beautifully incorporated into the book and actually made sense. It doesn’t attempt to fictionalize horrific realities, it instead works with them to create a powerful story. I loved how things came together and I love how roles weren’t genderized but rather contingent on the character’s personality traits.

I JUST REALLY LOVE THIS book and I wish I had been able to read it as a little middle schooler because it would have hands down been a favorite and revolutionized my life. Hopefully though, little middle schoolers today will be able to read and love it.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

READ THIS BOOK!!!: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

READ THIS BOOK!!!: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Posted by on 02/28/2017 • 5 Comments

I don’t know how to start this review, guysssssss. Empress of a Thousand Skies WAS AMAZING. LIKE I ACTUALLY CANNOT even formulate words even though its been almost a week since I read it. ITS GOT EVERYTHING. People on the run, royalty, secrets, betrayal and hints of romances. YES, MULTIPLE ROMANCES I THINK. I could be wrong.

Did you really like Illuminae? Read this fucking book and love it even more. Seriously. ITS THAT GOOD.

Reasons to Read Empress of a Thousand Skies

1. The world building. I love the complexity of the world. I love that the racial struggles IRL are addressed through racial struggles within the novel and I love the commentary that is made through these struggles. Empress of a Thousand Skies is and tries to reflect on our society…

Destined to Become a Classic: The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron

Destined to Become a Classic: The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron

Posted by on 02/24/2017 • 1 Comment

The Castle in the Mist is destined to become a classic. No question about it. It draws a lot of classic children’s literature tropes but somehow managed to create an entirely different narrative about families and the magic of nature. My literary analysis senses are tingling and I must stop myself from word-vomiting a bunch of off-topic stuff but seriously, THIS IS A BOOK I COULD write a 10 page paper about and have a lot of fun doing.

My biggest problem with the book doesn’t lie in the actual writing but in the fact that so many books like The Castle in the Mist exist yet all of them seem to feature only white children? Do not white children not deserve to be featured in gothic-y stories that are magical, mystical…

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Posted by on 02/15/2017 • 2 Comments

I have no idea how to start this review because I just want to throw We Are Okay in everyone’s faces and get them to read it. What drew me to the book was Nina LaCour and the pretty cover. While I haven’t read anything solely written by her, I had read You Know Me Well by her last year which she co-authored with David Levithan and fell in love with her writing.

LaCour’s writing just makes me wish I was buried under a ton of blankets with a book and a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa. We Are Okay is everything I didn’t even know I wanted from a holiday-themed book. It is complex, cozy and gut wrenching. It uses the tropes from common holiday novels but…

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…

ARC Review: Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

ARC Review: Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

Posted by on 11/25/2016 • 0 Comments

I’ve been waiting to read Trouble Makes a Comeback for a while now and it completely exceeded my expectations. It was also a comfort read I picked up post-election because I needed something that would make me feel good even for a short period of time. Trouble Makes a Comeback did just that.

Digby is back (after disappearing for 6 months and not keeping in touch) and so is trouble. Honestly, I was so worried we’d be waiting for a part of this book for Digby to be back. I couldn’t handle that wait but HE WAS BACK starting first chapter and I have so much love for him. He is a precious cinnamon roll too good, too pure for this world. One of the complains I had in Trouble is…

Legend: The Graphic Novel Series adapted by Leigh Dragoon, illustrated by Kaari

Legend: The Graphic Novel Series adapted by Leigh Dragoon, illustrated by Kaari

Posted by on 05/08/2016 • 1 Comment

Having loved the first two books in the Legend series (I still haven’t read Champion!), I was so excited to dive into these graphic novel adaptations and see how the story would translate over into a new medium.

Day and June are fantastic characters whether they are in a novel or graphic novel. I love them as individuals and I love them as a couple. Although, admittedly, I am kind of upset my favorite bathroom scene did not find its way into the graphic novel (SO MUCH SWOON IN THAT SCENE.)

The action scenes also translate very well into the graphic novel format and I love the ways in which the world building comes to life through the beautiful illustrations. It allowed me to experience the dystopic world Marie Lu…

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Posted by on 12/23/2015 • 14 Comments

I am a bookworm (hopefully there are no doubts about that) so a book that featured an evil library definitely got my attention. Ink and Bone also had a lot of hype surrounding it and some of my most-trusted peeps loved it. When I finally dove in, I was expecting my mind to be blown and it wasn’t necessarily blown but there is just something about this book. It’s really really slow but it is also really fucking amazing.

If you love fascinating villains, this book is for you. The Library is the villain here. The library essentially controls the world so there is definite dystopic quality to this book but don’t be turned off by that if dystopias aren’t your thing. The library isn’t some mindlessly evil villain….