Posts Tagged: YA

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…

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…

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

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

Posted by on 12/24/2018 • 1 Comment

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…

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Posted by on 12/19/2018 • 1 Comment

 

Love & Luck Jenna Evans Welch

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Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds…

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 11/19/2018 • 5 Comments

Not to be extremely dramatic or anything but I’d kill to read the sequel to Little White Lies (and to The Long Game but that’s a whole other story.) This is probably an odd sentence to start a review with but honestly, that’s just how J Lynn Barnes’s books make me FEEL. Barnes has a knack for writing addicting novels that you cannot stop reading even if they are over 400 pages long. Little White Lies is not only addicting but it reads like a puzzle, clues dispersed everywhere that you need to connect to form the bigger picture.

Sawyer Taft’s life changes when her grandmother shows up on her doorstep and offers her a deal she is unable to resist. Soon she is drawn into the world of…

Adorable and Emotional: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Adorable and Emotional: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Posted by on 10/24/2018 • 2 Comments

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is my first Tahereh Mafi book and I definitely hope it won’t be last. Reviewing this one is particularly hard because it was one of those books I ADORED while reading but a couple hours of reflection definitely allowed me to pick up on several holes within the plot and various arcs of the story.

The book hits on a particularly complex social issue that’s about as relevant today as it was two decades ago – islamophobia. This book is an #ownvoices tale and particularly so in that it is very much inspired by Mafi’s own experiences growing up after 9/11. One of my favorite things about this book is that sometimes, even when the sentences aren’t perfect or I have issues with…

The Bollywood Rom-Com We Deserve: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

The Bollywood Rom-Com We Deserve: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Posted by on 10/22/2018 • 1 Comment

Two books out in a year with Indian MCs who aspire to be filmmakers? Is this a sign I should drop everything and become a filmmaker? Stay tuned to find out. Obviously this book isn’t about ~my~ so-called bollywood life but it is about Winnie Mehta’s so-called bollywood life.

My So-Called Bollywood Life basically reads like a bollywood film and I didn’t mind it ONE LITTLE BIT. There is a love triangle, lots of angst, kismet, a heroine with tons of dreams, and even a bollywood dance number.

Winnie has always thought Raj was her soulmate, after all, she’s been told her entirely life that their love is written in the stars, but when he suddenly breaks up with her and starts dating Jenny Dickens, Winnie is more…