Posts Tagged: Young Adult

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Dark & Rich: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

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Dark & Rich: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
Beasts Made of Night
Tochi Onyebuchi
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, YA
Publication date: October 31st, 2017
by Razorbill

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In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.
-A copy was provided by Razorbill for review-

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, this might be a bad thing because it might seem as a compromise on the world building but I definitely did not think that was true for the novel. The world of Beasts Made of Night is so incredibly rich and I felt myself being transported to it through detailed descriptions of foods, social settings, etc.

I think the only time the short length of the novel might have been a drawback is that it does mean we don’t get a leisurely introduction to the world that allows us to ease into a new setting that happens in so many fantasy novels but once I got used to being in the world of Kos, I found myself fascinated by the world Onyebuchi had crafted for his readers.

And perhaps my fascination with the world building shows because I’ve just spent two paragraphs talking about it but don’t you worry because Beasts Made of Night is also equipped with characters you want to root for. Taj is a complex character who is in flux like many teens (fantastical or not) and he is easy to relate to even if we may not always be stressing out about the same things. His internal struggles as he tries to understand the spectrum of good/bad is so real and I love how Tochi Onyebuchi writes his coming of age.

There are a number of secondary characters that aid Taj on his mission many who are worth mentioning but I won’t because I am lazy (but also because there are SO MANY of them.) I love that even though Taj has lone wolf vibes all over him, he still has friends? Who like him (most of the times)? And SUPPORT HIM? I know, so many surprises here.

There are so many reasons this book is worth reading and I honestly cannot even begin to formulate the words to really get these points across so I’d just like to kindly push y’all to read this book and join me in my little fangirl bubble while we wait to hear news about a Book 2.

Giveaway!

Three (3) winners receive:
One (1) hardcover copy of Beasts Made of Night

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 2, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 23, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 25, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

A Graphic Novel That You Most Definitely Need: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

A Graphic Novel That You Most Definitely Need: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Posted by on 11/03/2017 • 2 Comments

I’ve been waiting for Pashmina since I first heard it existed so when my friend got a copy, I dove into hers while I was visiting and also ended up coming home to a precious copy of my own (#SHOUTOUT.) I’ve already read it twice and there is a very huge possibility I’ll have read it a third time before the end of the year (and even the end of the month, tbh.) SO. I THINK it’s safe to say that I love Pashmina.

It’s already being marketed as such but I also just think Pashmina is perfect for fans of American Born Chinese. The books share so many wonderful qualities and parallels but Pashmina is still its own story and so so SO heartfelt at that. I mean, it even has Gene Luen Yang’s stamp…

Might Have Been Better In Verse: Wait for Me by An Na

Might Have Been Better In Verse: Wait for Me by An Na

Posted by on 11/02/2017 • 0 Comments

Wait for Me was a new-to-me title when it showed up on my (metaphorical) doorstep. I hadn’t heard much about it but upon some research found out it was being republished with a pretty new cover and all. I dove into the book not entirely sure what to expect but ready to meet new characters and enjoy a new story.

This review is a hard one to write because upon finishing, I am not entirely sure how I feel about Wait for Me. I am divided on it because there are parts of it I enjoyed and other parts that really made it hard for me to finish the book feeling like I had read something worthwhile.

I think the number one issue I had with the book was just the pacing…

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Posted by on 10/13/2017 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ blog tour stop for The Inevitable Victorian Thing! E.K. Johnston won my heart over last year with Exit, Pursued by a Bear and I’ve been a fan ever since! While I haven’t had the chance to read The Inevitable Victorian Thing yet, I am sure it will be amazing and I am sure I will be a FAN. Anyway! Today! We have the lovely E.K. Johnston over on the blog talking about her favorite victorian woman.

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Okay, so my serious answer to this question is Ada Lovelace for a bunch of reasons that you can look up on tumblr.

But my actual answer is a little different.

The year is 1886. At Oxford, four students and one woman (who is a student in…

A Fun Read If A Little Romance Heavy: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

A Fun Read If A Little Romance Heavy: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by on 10/11/2017 • 2 Comments

While I admittedly have some complex feelings about Anna and the French Kiss, I can wholeheartedly say that I enjoy Stephanie Perkins’ writing style and that when I heard about There’s Someone Inside Your House, I was extremely excited to see how her unique writing style would translate across genres.

It did take me a while to get into There’s Someone Inside Your House so it is slow-going but as soon as things started getting bloodier and gorier, I was HERE FOR IT and I just got sucked in.

While it does kind of suck it took me a while to get into There’s Someone Inside Your House, I think it also makes sense because it is drawing from the classic horror movie, Scream and classic horror movies take time…

Jane, Unlimited by Kristen Cashore: 10 Awesome Umbrellas

Jane, Unlimited by Kristen Cashore: 10 Awesome Umbrellas

Posted by on 10/03/2017 • 5 Comments

Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for Jane, Unlimited! In Jane, Unlimited, the MC is obsessed with making umbrellas and so I was inspired to do a post dedicated to some of the super cute umbrellas out there.

10 Awesome Umbrellas You Will Want to Own

1.

This cute one from Kate Spade. Those eyes are throwin all the shade at the rain for you.

2. 

I found this one for all your subtle rainbow needs. Also, can you imagine twirling that in the rain??? It seems like so much fun.

3. 

This one will let you embrace your inner Wednesday Addams and I think that’s fucking important.

4. 

I would highly suggest not looking at the prize tag on this one because there is a chance it’ll give you a heart attack. BUT….

A Raw and Poignant Exploration of Mental Health: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

A Raw and Poignant Exploration of Mental Health: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

Posted by on 09/27/2017 • 6 Comments

Everyone raved about Our Chemical Hearts when it came out last year but because my tbr is overflowing and I am always short on time, I never did get around to reading it. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares immediately caught my attention because it had such a cutesy title, cover & blurb but don’t let any of that fool you because this book will fucking break your heart.

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is such a raw, poignant exploration of mental health and I don’t even know where to begin unpacking my feels for those books. (But also, can we all agree that unpacking feels for books you love is so much harder than talking about books you hate?)

Esther Solar believes her family has been cursed…

7 Books Out 2017 That I Still Need To Read

7 Books Out 2017 That I Still Need To Read

Posted by on 09/20/2017 • 9 Comments

I am the self-proclaimed queen of lists (fight me) but since I started school, I haven’t had much time to be creative and come up with fun book-ish lists. I’ve also been staring at my TBR pile with guilt because so many amazing books have already come out in the year 2017 that I haven’t read it and I need to get ON TOP OF MY SHIT. SO. This list is an ode to those books. I’ll read them someday, y’all.

1. The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian

Honestly, this book has such a gorgeous cover and I am here for it. I NEED TO READ MY COPY, FFS *shakes fist at self*

2. The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

I didn’t know about The First Rule of Punk…