The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a novel about a 16-year-old girl named Amanda whose grandparents send her through a magic portal to the Emaji Kingdom for the summer. She is told by a boy named Solomon that she is the fated Sparrow, the hero that will save them from their evil king Zorn. Solomon also claims that he is her soulmate as well, and she meets many people along her journey.
I wanted to enjoy this book, but the storyline was so
confusing that I couldn’t keep track of or differentiate between the characters.
No one was unique enough for me to remember why they were important to the story.
The only thing I enjoyed about this book were the addictive action scenes, the
rest I could do without.
I won’t recommend this book but I won’t totally write off
this author. I think that she could probably write well for different types of
books, or maybe books with a smaller host of characters to keep track of. This
was simply not the book for me.
Henri is a cooking apprentice and he wants to be a proper French baker. Then, the Italians start to invade France’s cooking scene and change their cooking traditions entirely. When Henri’s witty tongue gets him in trouble, he has to find the ingredients of gelato in a short period of time or he loses his apprenticeship and has to work for his uncle. In order to find the gelato recipe, he has to woo one of the Italians. At first everything is purely business, but then Henri starts to fall for the gelato creator.
I have to say; this book would have been far better if Henri
had been more likeable. Alix, a young apprentice, embarrasses himself because
he had diarrhea when he was presenting his hot chocolate to the master chefs
and a noble. Alix had a crush on Henri and saved him by providing him with
powdered sugar for his botched cookies just hours before. But does Henri stay
quiet and allow his friend a moment of humiliation in peace? No! He makes a
joke about how Alix the Chocolatier makes pudding from both ends, causing Alix
to run out of the room weeping, and no one even laughed at Henri’s “joke”
because he did this in front of the head chefs. Henri was never truly
apologetic for ruining Alix’ chance at being a French chef, and he only feels
sorry for himself because he has to find the gelato recipe now. I think I
disliked him from this point in the book, and he didn’t get any more likeable for
The overall story was pretty confusing and seemed to jump
around a lot. One minute Henri is being lectured by his uncle, the next he is
fooling around with a priest in a barrel. I could never predict where Henri
would be from chapter to chapter.
The only thing that I can say that I enjoyed in this book
was the romance. Henri didn’t believe in romance or love until he met the
gelato creator, he just believed in using sex for gain. Then, the gelato
creator changed everything. This love story truly saved the entire book for me,
even though it kept getting interrupted by the more annoying parts of the story.
I would neither recommend nor bash this story. It is a nice LGBT
historical romance novel that is just ruined by an unlikeable character. If you
are interested in reading and can get past this character, I would recommend it
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust by Pixie Britton continues the adventures of Alyx, Will, Winter, Tommy, and Colt. Tommy has been suffering as he becomes less and less in control of when the infection takes over. Winter has been dragged along on this adventure but is becoming a valuable member of the team. And Alyx, Will, and Colt are stuck in a love triangle.
Why didn’t I mention any actual story aspects about those
three characters? Well, because I don’t think they have any story aspects
besides the love triangle. Literally all Alyx is thinking about is how much she
loves Colt and how much she doesn’t want to admit that she knows that Will
likes her. Will is just pining after her and trying to ignore Colt. And Colt,
the greatest disappointment of all, is just pining after Alyx. He literally
just met her less than a month or two ago and all he did was save her and kiss
her and now he acts like a lovesick dog. Even Will wasn’t that bad, and he has been
waiting for years to get his chance to be with Alyx. The whole book was ruined
for me with this love triangle. Every time that the action would start up and I
would be excited to figure out what would happen next, one of the characters
would do something dumb for the sake of love and start acting like a lovesick
The two characters I liked the most were Tommy and Winter. Both have their own setbacks
as Winter is deaf and Tommy has to deal with the infection. But, they don’t
really have to deal with romance as much, and they both grow a lot in this
novel. I won’t spoil anything, but I definitely liked them best.
Overall, I won’t be finishing this series. I also wouldn’t
recommend it. But I do think that it could have been a really great series if
it wasn’t for the annoying love triangle.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
I was looking forward to finishing the Wanderer series so much, but then I was hit with so much disappointment. I couldn’t believe how childish Jason and Helle acted in this novel, and it totally took me out of the story. I felt like I was watching two teenagers in an “on again off again” relationship, and they were supposed to be literal soulmates.
Jason is visiting his aunt Juliet who was hurt by Sam in a
car accident and burnt all over her body. He is distraught by seeing his aunt
in so much agony for months, and moves with Helle closer to her hospital so
that he can spend all day sitting with her. Helle is ok with this at first, but
then she starts to get jealous as he spends more time with her and won’t even give
her a second glance when he comes home. Helle knows Juliet is in love with
Jason, but Jason thinks that Helle is being selfish. He couldn’t think of being
intimate with Helle after seeing Juliet’s mangled body in the hospital day
after day, but he can’t figure out the words to explain this to Helle.
Honestly, they were both in the wrong a lot for some parts
of this book, but Helle was definitely pretty annoying. She barely even tried
to understand what Jason was going through after having to see how bad Juliet really
was hurt, and simply acted as if he was cheating on her. So, she decides to go
hang out with some other guy to get Jason back. Even if Jason’s aunt is weirdly
infatuated with him, hanging out with your dying aunt all day is not the same as
hanging out with some random guy all day. She wanted to act as if she was so
lonely, so bored in this new town, but she never made the effort to go and see
Juliet. She didn’t even join any sort of women’s groups to fill the time in her
day, she just sits at the house sulking all day and then sulks more when Jason
doesn’t come home ready to jump in bed with her. Now, Jason isn’t completely
off the hook. At some points in the book Helle really was insecure about their
relationship and needed Jason’s reassurance, but he didn’t even try to give it
to her. He was just pushing her away all the time, never explaining his
feelings, just “knowing” that she would always stay around for him no matter
what. Then when she isn’t there waiting for him anymore, he is shocked.
I wouldn’t have been as mad if the drama had ended there,
but it seemed like another 50-100 pages of back and forth. Literally most of
the book was just filled with the “perfect lovers” arguing over things that
could have been eased if not solved by simple communication. Of course, Sam
made an appearance every now and then, but they were too busy arguing to really
deal with him. I feel like Sam could have easily had someone sweep up Helle
while Jason was at the hospital, but nope, everything was drawn out.
The thing that really saved this book for me was I think the
end of the novel. I’m not sure which event was the most exciting for me, but I
just remember being on the edge of my seat once the random relationship drama
was over. The “final battle” was definitely exciting to read, nothing to
complain about there!
Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend or warn against this
book. I suppose if you LOVE the first book in this series and have to figure
out what happens to the characters in the end that you might enjoy this one.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
Alyx lives in a town of survivors with her brother Tommy, her guardian Joe, and her best friend Will. The Infected come from time to time, but they know how to protect themselves. When Tommy is infected, they know that they will have to leave. Without the protection of their walls, they are in danger when any traveler or Infected comes near to them. They have to protect Tommy, find new shelter, and avoid the Infected while they are at it.
I started off this novel truly invested in the story. I liked the characters, loved the setting, and I was looking forward to seeing how they would grow as the novel went on. By the time I reached the end of this book, my dreams were dashed. I still enjoyed the action scenes and I enjoyed most of the plot, but the romance ruined it for me.
I knew that Will and Alyx were going to be a couple from the start of the novel. I had hoped it would just be the two of them, but of course, no YA novel can go without a gold old-fashioned love triangle. I truly hated when Colt came into the picture, there was really no need for him to be there. Alyx fell for him because he “protected” her, but Will had literally been protecting her for years before that. They grew up together. Her lame excuse for wanting Colt over Will just didn’t add up, but she continued to ignore everyone that told her Will had a crush on her. This love triangle was painful to read as both boys started pining after Alyx, and the rest of the storyline seemed to die along with it.
Everything picked up again at the end of the story when the more important characters were added back in, like the deaf girl Winter that they found on their journey and a few other people they picked up. It is these characters who are making me really want to read book 2. Now that everyone is back into the story, I think the love triangle will be put to the side for more exciting story and action.
I wouldn’t recommend or discredit this book, as I think things might change in the next novel, so read it if you enjoy dystopian novels but don’t mind extremely annoying teenaged love triangles.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
My Best Friend Runs Venus by Katrina S. Forest is a story
about a pair of friends named Kade and Tamika who are members of a group of
children who live in robot bodies on planets across the solar system. Kade is
tech-savvy and uses that to his advantage against the adults who only come to
the planets for hours at a time to teach the kids. Tamika’s only friend is Kade
as many people think that she is just like her mother, a criminal.
This book had an interesting premise, but I believe that it
got lost along the way. At first, I thought the story was going to mostly be
about Tamika finding out the truth about her mother, but it was mostly about
just Kade and Tamika running around different planets and meeting different people.
This wouldn’t have been a bad thing if the story was more coherent. The story
was too short for me to really understand who was who. I couldn’t remember the
important things about each character, which meant that big “reveals” had me
more confused than anything.
If you read the synopsis of this book you read that Tamika
is a princess. Now, even though she is a princess, I did not get the feeling
that she “ran Venus” at all in the story. At best she was a princess in hiding,
and that wasn’t even the main focus of the novel. The only person even protecting
her was her best friend, some random kid named Kade. It was more interesting learning
about the other kids who seemed to be somewhat rich and have somewhat positions
of power, even if they weren’t using them for good, than to learn about Kade
and Tamika in this story.
The one thing that I did like in this story was the premise
of a world with minimal interference from adults. Since the adults couldn’t physically
stand to be in their bodies for too long, the children basically ran around on
the planets by themselves. It seemed a bit unrealistic that adults could only
do it for a few hours at a time but Kade and Tamika could literally spend
months outside of their physical bodies, but it made for an interesting story
arc. I wish that the whole “adult-free world” idea had been expanded upon more.
Like what sort of crazy things would these children build on these planets without
adult supervision for hours at a time. Their imaginations could literally go
wild, but they seemed to be bound by technology in this book.
Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend this book. It had an
interesting premise, but the overall story seemed as if too many things were
going on at once for me to keep track of everything.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a novel about a young girl named Binti who is the first of her people to go to Oomza University. She has to escape in the middle of the night just to avoid her parents to be able to go to the University. Her people believe that you should stay in your homeland forever, but Binti has been dreaming of going to this university since she was a young girl. While traveling to the university, Binti realizes that she may have made a mistake. Everyone stares at her because of the otjize or an orange-red substance that her people rub into their skin and hair to become a part of their homeland. They call her terrible names and treat her as if she is worthless. Then, on her way to the university, her ship is attacked. Binti must make difficult decisions and use the power within herself to be able to survive until she gets to the university.
I was so excited for this book, I really was. Now that I am
at the end of it, I am simply disappointed. I felt like I was on some sort of
wild ride where I never really got to connect with any of the characters and
simply raced to the end. Binti went from being on a ship with classmates who
may or may not have liked her to being on a ship full of killer aliens. I was
looking forward to seeing Binti make friends and connect with the other
students who were feeling isolated, but instead they were just murdered in cold
blood and then never really spoken about again. The novel doesn’t even discuss
how being on a ship full of her classmate’s dead bodies affected Binti. It just
leaps from scene to scene without focusing on anything for a long enough time.
Then, the book tries to convince me that the people who literally
murdered Binti’s classmates in cold blood aren’t really killers. There was
literally nothing redeemable about them, and Binti doesn’t automatically stop
fearing them, but that was a terrible take in my opinion. I think the story
could have been salvageable if the motto hadn’t been “mass murderers aren’t
Overall, I was generally disappointed by this book. I really
wanted to like it, but I couldn’t. I will be reading the rest of the series
however, as I have already purchased the books and don’t want them to go to waste!
Maybe things will turn around for Binti.
This book opens with an old man being chased and leaving his servant/monster/Dobby to find Leven and take care of him. Old man dies.
Two babies are born, one a girl and one a boy. The boy’s mother dies so he has to be taken in by his horrible Aunt. Clover, the servant/monster/Dobby, sneaks into the swaddling of Leven, and is also taken home with him. One girl was born to an awful mother, but then a strange nurse switches her with another baby on purpose, and when the nurses wonder aloud about the baby having such a mean mother the new baby says that she will be fine.
Fast forward 14 years. Leven sleeps outside due to his caregivers not wanting him to bother them. Weird shadows try to come through the outside netting, but when he knocks on the door to be let inside they go away so his aunt forces him to stay outside. Clover reveals himself, he has apparently been with Leven since he was born, and says that it is time for Leven to save Foo. He also reminds Leven of the strange girl he keeps dreaming about, and says that she might be important to their journey. The next day, Leven is attacked in a field by two of the town bullies, and he shows that he has powers of electricity. Then he saves Clover from being eaten by having a vision of a hawk before it showed up, revealing that he is an offing (can see the future.
Winter belongs to a horrible mother. She is given six peas and a crust of bread for dinner every day, and on the day that is her 13th birthday she has had enough. She accidentally reveals her freezing powers, soaking some of her mom’s dinner and effectively scaring her. She then goes over to her friendly neighbor’s house for cake and leaves to go find the strange boy that she sees in her dreams the next day.
When the three meet up, Clover tells them that they need to find Geth in order to close the Gate before the evil person that has been sending the shadows, Sabine, escapes Foo.
The premise of the story was interesting. A world that people can enter accidentally, but cannot escape because it is needed for the balance of the human and dream world. However, the story seemed to have a lot of good ideas in the beginning that were given up in the end. Winter seemed to be the only one who really had useful powers by the end. That whole “offing” thing was rarely useful in the right ways. It was used to manipulate the future so that they could get money from random people. But it was not useful when it took them half the dang book to find Geth when he should have been able to simply locate him using his powers. I got bored by the middle of the book, and it was a struggle to finish the entire thing. To me, it seemed like they were trying to do the typical “orphans get powers and get told that they are really a part of a magical world and that’s why their life has sucked up to that point” but it just seemed weird and uninteresting. Not to mention the villain seemed evil, but we don’t really know why he’s evil, and by being stuck in Foo besides the gate he doesn’t seem that dangerous. Foo is being put as a really nice place to live, so why would he want to control it and be evil anyway? I might finish this series to see if it improves any, however this was quite an underwhelming first book.
This book was a regular romance read, but mostly enjoyable. Chasing Red begins with a college frat boy named Caleb spotting a girl in a red dress in the club. She pretends to be his girlfriend so that an annoying girl will leave him alone but then rejects his advances. He spots her outside later, helps her to fend off an attacker, and takes her to his apartment when she drunkenly admits to having nowhere else. As in many romance stories, instead of going home she ends up living with him and helping him by making meals and things while she starts to get on her feet. From there, their romance blossoms as they begin to truly know each other.
I do not like Red/Veronica, the girl in the story. She has a sad backstory, but she lets it define her instead of overcoming it. She convinces herself that she cannot trust Caleb simply because he is a frat boy, even when he tries to prove his love to her time and time again. By doing this, she almost ruins her relationship with him.
Caleb’s backstory hasn’t been expanded upon enough in this story. There were snippets that showed that it wasn’t that great, like his parents being divorced and a flashback revealing that his dad couldn’t even remember his one allergy, peanuts. However, it wasn’t harped upon like Veronica’s even though it could have been just as interesting.
This book has some mature scenes, but the author does have warnings by chapter if there will be anything inappropriate in it. Overall, the story was average to me. Some parts of the drama were simply unnecessary to me, but this book did scratch my itch for a simple romance novel. If you want to read something simple on your phone on a day when you are bored, this could easily entertain you for a few hours.