Posts Tagged: Adventure

Monday, December 24, 2018

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

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Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England
The Disasters
M.K. England
Genre: Adventure, Space, YA
Publication date: December 18th, 2018
by HarperCollins

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Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-

I dove into The Disasters with almost no expectations. I had grabbed it on a whim and only vaguely remembered it had something to do with space. I’d say I regretted doing this but honestly, it was truly the best way to read this book because I ended up being taken completely by surprise by its awesomeness and just, IT WAS SO GOOD and it’s so GREAT to have a book completely surprise you.

There are many space books out there and it’s likely you’ve read and loved some of them. I am here to tell you The Disasters is better (or at least I think it is.) It’s the space book I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED. Are you tired of all those space books that are super serious and all save-the-day, gloom and death? Me too. The Disasters has a bunch of those elements but it is also extremely fun. It’s the kind of book that can get you riled up when the stakes are high but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s the kind of book you’d want to unwind with after a long, hard, day at work.

The Disasters follows an extremely rag-tag group that finds themselves cooperating after they are all rejected from the Academy and somehow get blamed for a horrific terrorist attack that takes place at the Academy. While escaping, they pick up another member to add to their rag-tagness. Christina from A Reader of Fictions said that this book is “a bit like Breakfast Club in space” and there is absolutely no better way to describe this book. Even though the book is told from the Nax’s POV, all the characters have such a distinct personality that comes across so clearly. The cast is also an incredibly diverse one! While the author is white, and I cannot speak for all the rep, there is a degree of respectfulness in which everyone is portrayed and it definitely seems like sensitivity readers were involved (I am speaking particularly about muslim rep in this book which is very detailed and nuanced.)

I think the romance deserves a small mention just because there is a love triangle, but I, a hater of triangles, was a great fan of this one. Partially because its so bi and so delightful, but also, it wasn’t particularly an angsty triangle? There is not much going on in terms of active romance anyway, it’s mostly in Nax’s head, and him getting excited if he gets to touch one of the people he has a crush on. WHICH IS ADORKABLE.

My one qualm with this book is with this convo that the characters have on colonialism and humans colonizing other planets, and everyone was so blasé about it which was kind of upsetting to me??? They all seemed entitled to these foreign lands and yes, I get it, its space but there are very real conversations to be had about such things and I have strong feelings.

There is way more I want to say but honestly, I kind of want to keep it short so that you can have the same WOWZA experience I had with this book (aside from that one convo that made me angry.) In short, if you love a good space book, plots to destroy humanity, goofballs working together to save life as they know it, and a good adventure, this book is for you. You need it. READ IT.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 03/30/2018 • 1 Comment

I’ve been reading Jenn Bennett for half a decade now and she’s been one of those authors I basically just read anything by. I don’t need a summary or acclaim, I JUST NEED BOOKS BY JENN BENNETT. This book had the added advantage of having an enemies-to-lovers/friends-to-lovers romance trope and an survival-esque story so like… yeah.

Unsurprisingly, I loved this book but I also got to buddy-read it with a close friend which made my experience reading it all the more better. But as anyone knows, loving a book doesn’t make writing a review any easier. It probably makes it a lot harder.

Zorie and Lennon used to be the best of friends and were on their way to becoming something more when something goes wrong. Now they go out…

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Posted by on 03/14/2018 • 7 Comments

I never read Rick Riordan’s books. The short story is that there was no real reason to why I didn’t pick the books up. The longer (and a little pointless) story is that when The Lightning Thief first came out, it had a completely different cover then what it has now. I was in the middle school and our librarian told us all about it. I grew older but it stayed in the corner of my mind, I was in eternal search of the book with the white cover and never realized until a year ago (seriously!!!) that that book was the same one written by Rick Riordan that was so beloved now. Anyway, long pointless story short, I am weird and specific about what I read.

So I missed Rick…

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Posted by on 03/05/2018 • 0 Comments

I am garbage for a good middle grade adventure so when The Mad Wolf’s Daughter was pitched to me, I was on board and wanted to gobble this book up. Good thing it wasn’t disappointing, amirite?

Here is the thing, among the sea of commercial fiction that dominates Middle Grade books, The Mad Wolf’s Daughter doesn’t necessarily stand out but thats not really a good or bad thing? Familiar tropes and adventures are good things and just because The Mad Wolf’s Daughter isn’t necessarily //different// doesn’t mean that it is a bad book or a mediocre book?

The thing about tropes (at least in my opinion) is that it all comes down to how the author uses them to enhance their story. You’re never going to read a book that is free of tropes…

To Be Savored, Not Devoured: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

To Be Savored, Not Devoured: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Posted by on 02/20/2018 • 2 Comments

Tess of the Road is not an easy book to read. At 544 pages it is long and those pages don’t fly by. In the traditional sense at least. Here is the thing about Tess though, it is a long book, it is winded and yet, I wouldn’t really have it any other way. The slowness can at times be exhausting but the book isn’t really about a big adventure that Tess takes. It’s about Tess’s character arc and her trauma. This book would NOT work if it was a speedy read you could flip through. It is a painful read but there is so //much// that Tess has internalized that it makes no sense if we could uncover her and her experience in a mere handful pages.

Tess is not…

Vaguely Narnia Vibes + Unicorns: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Vaguely Narnia Vibes + Unicorns: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Posted by on 02/07/2018 • 0 Comments

I love middle grade novels and I love discovering new ones. As far as I can see, The Unicorn Quest is shaping up to be a major middle grade release this year and it synopsis sounded up right up my alley. The vaguely Narnia vibes along with unicorns sounded like it would be an enthralling read.

Here is what I can tell you. The Unicorn Quest is an adventure of the best kind. We get sucked into a new world from the get-go and like the MC, we kind of have to assimilate to the new world we find ourselves in. This is great because we experience the world alongside the MC which allows us to form a special bond with her but it also means that it takes…

Dark & Rich: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Dark & Rich: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Posted by on 11/08/2017 • 11 Comments

I think there is this general conception that for a fantasy novel to be truly good, it needs to have about a 1,000,000 pages and at 304 pages, Beasts Made of Night is not a particularly long book. Do not and I repeat do NOT let that fool you. Tochi Onyebuchi packs a fucking punch in those 304 pages. World building? You got it. Adventure? You got it. A mother-fucking rebellion? YOU GOT IT. Beasts Made of Night isn’t just a great novel for fantasy readers but also for people too vary of the genre because of its reputation for long-winded novels that take lifetimes to get through.

Onyebuchi has a background in screenwriting and honestly, the high stakes and the quick pace of the novel really reflect this. For some people,…

The Princess Bride Meets The Emperor’s New Groove: The Emperor’s Ostrich by Julie Berry

The Princess Bride Meets The Emperor’s New Groove: The Emperor’s Ostrich by Julie Berry

Posted by on 07/27/2017 • 0 Comments

I feel like aesthetics for middle grade novels are fairly uncommon but The Emperor’s Ostrich is so laugh-out loud hilarious and really just lends itself to aesthetics. It’s got adventure, an unexpected romance (b/w a cow and an ostrich) & magic.

As the title of this post suggests, I believe that this book can best be described as The Princess Bride meets The Emperor’s New Groove. What happens when a spoilt man-child is on the verge of getting control of an entire empire? Why of course, he must be taught a lesson! Magic, mayhem and adventure ensue and a young dairy maid might be the answer to all. Basically, this book will make you LOL and draw you in for a ride. READ IT or give it to people who read middle grade. Seriously.