The Hunger Games #1 Review

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

I read the Hunger Games Trilogy once many years ago, but I don’t really remember any of it. In fact, I don’t remember what happened in Mockingjay at all, just bits and pieces of what I read online, even though I know for a fact that I finished the novel. So, I decided to start from the beginning and reread the entire trilogy, and I noticed quite a few things that I didn’t notice before.

For starters, wow, I don’t like Katniss’ mom. I didn’t think she was that bad from the little I remember of her in the movie, but she made me want to scream in this one. Katniss barely ever spoke back to her mother, even though her mother went into a depressive episode and left an eleven-year-old to take care of an adult and a seven-year-old for almost an entire winter. It wasn’t her mom’s fault, but Katniss suffered for those months trying to feed her family until her mother would come back mentally. Katniss finally breaks down and yells at her when she is about to leave for the Hunger Games, begging her not to leave mentally again. Instead of apologizing for not being there all those years ago, she makes an excuse like “well I have my medicine now and if I had had my medicine back then I wouldn’t have left.” Your daughter was hurting because she had to become a mother at only 11, and your only comeback to her asking you not to do that again is “well if I had my pills.” This may be realistic, parents who have depressive episodes never really apologizing or understanding how much strain they put on their children, but boy it was so frustrating to read. The mother clearly prefers Prim, even though that daughter hasn’t been doing much (besides her goat milk business) to support the family, and just treats Katniss like she is the breadwinner for the family because she can hunt. Nevertheless, I felt that this truly gave Katniss more character than she would have had otherwise. It was interesting to see that she didn’t come from a perfect family with a perfect life. Therefore, it actually improved the story for me, in a way.

I really liked how the Capitol’s greediness was compared with the poverty of some of the districts. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Katniss got upset FOR the kids who Effie shamed in the previous year for eating like “animals.” Katniss remembers that these children had come from some of the poorest families in the District, so of course they would have eaten as if they were never going to see food again with such a rich meal being placed in front of them. District 12 is one of the poorest if not the poorest districts in the nation, so Katniss and Peeta have never seen such opulence before they got to the games. The scenes with the stylists were also very well written, and I was happy that they weren’t disrespected like other tributes.

I have to say that I hate love triangles, so I just didn’t appreciate the romance in this book. I understand that they did it because of a plan, but it just didn’t sit well with me. This book would have been perfect without the romance for me, but I am going to take a star off for that. Like what if they had teamed up to be partners, killed everyone, then decide to kill each other so that no one would win the games? I think that could have made for a more powerful book than this one was.

Overall, this book was better than I remember it being, but I still didn’t like the romance. For someone who is interesting in the worldbuilding and the fighting action of the game, this is the perfect book! If you are here for the romance…I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it completely. Onto the rest of the trilogy!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust Blog Tour!

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Welcome to the Bloodlust tour, book #2 in Pixie Britton’s YA Science Fiction series, Kill or Cure. I have loads of fun stuff for you today! An exclusive excerpt, book trailer, a FREE book, and a chance to win a signed copy of Bloodlust! Wait, rewind…did I say FREE BOOK? I sure did! Read on!

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Bloodlust (Kill or Cure #2)

Publication Date: February 21st, 2019

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Dystopian/ Zombies

Publisher: Matador

He could save the world, or destroy it…

The virus that has swept the Earth hasn’t consumed Tommy, yet, but as his hunger for human flesh takes hold, his humanity vanishes behind the bloodlust of an infected. It’s up to seventeen year old Alyx and her friends to find answers. But saving her little brother isn’t their only problem. Lurking in the shadows of Alhena is the formidable General Sinter, hell-bent on capturing the boy with unrivalled superhuman strength for his own personal gains. With limited options, Alyx has no choice but to risk everything to protect him. A choice that she could live to regret

Kill or Cure: Bloodlust is the second book in the Kill or Cure series. Brimming with suspense, romance and heart pumping action!

Goodreads

Excerpt

Winter

“A look of intrigue flickers across Tyron’s face as he tries to take measure of this wild girl standing in the centre of his cage. To the untrained eye, Winter looks like an odd wild girl from the forest, and you wouldn’t necessarily know how deadly she is from first impressions. She’s slight in stature yet athletic and nimble, and it’s not until you’ve spent significant time with her that you can fully appreciate how skilful she is. Every single movement is deliberate and focussed, like she could switch into warrior-mode at the flick of a switch.

I can’t help but grin internally when I realise that this monster-man has just met his match and he has absolutely no idea.”

Excerpt From: Pixie Britton. “Kill or Cure: Bloodlust.” iBooks.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Kill or Cure is a YA romance-infused sci-fi novel.
It focuses on human relationships in an undead, apocalyptic world.
A girl who will stop at nothing to protect her brother.

In a dystopian world ravaged by infection, society as we know it has fallen to the mouths of the dead. The remaining fragments of civilisation survive in walled compounds, scattered in the depths of the countryside. When her little brother becomes sick with a suspected flu virus, Alyx Silverthorne will do anything to keep Tommy alive.

With limited medical supplies and only herbal alternatives, his prospects of surviving this mystery illness are bleak. But saving Tommy is just the beginning. The infected are not the only monsters that exist in this new world, and human nature can be more destructive than the dead.

In a race against time, Alyx and her best friend Will stop at nothing to protect him, even from the same people that swore to protect them all.

Kill or Cure is a dynamic, multifaceted story of teenage love and gut wrenching loss in a dystopian world.

Goodreads

Free Book Alert!!!

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Download your FREE copy of the Last Sacrifice: A Kill or Cure story today…

A world infected. A man’s quest to save his family. One impossible choice.

The mission was supposed to be simple; to find survivors and kill the infected. But when Lieutenant, Joe Hudson, discovers that the home of his family has been destroyed by the infected, he’s left with an impossible decision. A choice that could change his life forever.

With limited ammunition and morale hitting an all-time low, the survival of the squad rests on a knife edge. Joe has no choice but to turn to his girlfriend, Suzie, a fellow soldier and secret lover for support. Together they have to cross a line to save his family, but even in this new world where the dead roam the earth, there are some lines that should never be crossed. Joe’s loyalty to his squad will be tested and the ultimate sacrifice will be made.

Set in the same world as the thrilling YA series Kill or Cure, follow Victory Squad in this fast paced prequel. Filled with love, heartbreaking loss and zombie guts.

Download Here!

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As if a free book from the series isn’t enough, the author is also giving away a SIGNED copy of the book! All you have to do is enter below!

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About the Author

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Pixie Britton is a British indie author and Wattpad extraordinaire. Her debut YA novel Kill or Cure, gained international success online with over 100k reads within five months of initial publication.

Shes lives in Essex, England with her husband and adorable furbaby. One day she dreams of leaving her job as a Treasury Analyst in the city, to become a full time author and creative entrepreneur.

Check out her website https://pixiebritton.com/ and sign up to her mailing list to receive the latest book release information.

Pixie Britton | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

July 8th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels@gmail.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Excerpt) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

I Smell Sheep (Excerpt) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

July 9th

The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Interview) https://thehufflepuffnerdette.wordpress.com

Bri’s Book Nook (Excerpt) https://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

July 10th

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Interview) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Excerpt) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

July 11th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) http://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com

July 12th

I’m Into Books (Excerpt) https://imintobooks.com

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Queen of the Sea Blog Tour Plus Review

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Walker Books US (June 25, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1536204986
ISBN-13: 978-1536204988



Praise for QUEEN OF THE SEA

The art, reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s style, creates levity during perilous situations. The book is dense with dialogue, often feeling more like a work of prose than a graphic novel. As a result, this complex work will be more accessible to those familiar with graphic novels…Certain to charm sophisticated graphic novel devotees. —School Library Journal (starred review)

Meconis offers an atmospheric alternate history inspired by the childhood and succession of Queen Elizabeth I in this quietly ambitious graphic novel…Art in soft, earthy colors brings this singular story to life in styles ranging from simple line drawings to elaborately styled text illuminations. The island world is richly developed, both in its physical particulars and its close-knit community (fascinating digressions into topics such as convent time, hand gestures used at table, and chess and embroidery flesh out daily life), and Margaret proves herself an endearing heroine with a strong voice full of humor and wonder. Her perspective transforms a storm-wracked rock into a vibrant world of hidden treasures. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Meconis’ humor and storytelling gifts here wed seamlessly with her evocative pen-and-ink and gouache illustrations, which are rendered in warm earth and sea tones and brim with movement, expressively capturing even Margaret’s interior monologues. With its compelling, complex characters and intrigue-laden plot, this will have readers hoping it’s only the first of many adventures for Meconis’ savvy heroine. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Weaving faith, love, statecraft, and self-discovery into a tale of palace intrigue relocated to the halls of a convent on a remote island at sea, Dylan Meconis uses the trappings of the history we know to create a high-stakes adventure in an alternate past that feels so detailed and so familiar, you’ll find yourself wondering why you never read about it in school. This beautiful book swept me away from the first page.” —Kate Milford, author of the Greenglass House series

“Dylan Meconis is at the absolute top of her game. A gorgeously rendered, lovingly realized alternate history, full of personal revelations in the midst of political intrigue. A tale of growing up, and of understanding that the world is larger and stranger than it once seemed. (Plus it has a Terrible Recipe for Terrible Gruel.)” —Ben Hatke, author-illustrator of the Zita the Spacegirl series

“This is the book I was always trying to get my hands on in high school that never seemed to materialize. An adventure to lose yourself in, with an attention to historical detail to please the nerdiest among us. I fell easily and completely into this world and its characters, knowing I was safe in Dylan Meconis’s hands, and I’m really excited for more people to find out what I’ve known for a long time—that she is one of a kind.” —Kate Beaton, author-illustrator of Hark! A Vagrant

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.

You can purchaseQueen of the Sea at the following Retailers:
       
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Margaret has lived on an island with nuns and servants her entire life. The nuns are of the Elysian order, and their job is to pray for the sailors that sail on the waters near their island. They also take in those that need shelter who come to the island, and help those who are washed ashore from a shipwreck. Margaret knows that she couldn’t have been born on the island, but none of the nuns are willing to tell her where she came from. She was also the only kid on the island, at least until William came. This book tells the story of her adventures on this island as she learns about her family, true family, and friendship.

I love graphic novels, but I have never read a historical fiction graphic novel. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this book completely blew me away. Margaret was such a lively character, she reminded me of the girls that I grew up reading in the classic novels at the library like Pippi Longstocking and A Little Princess. She was full of life and lit up the rooms she was in, even on an island full of nuns and servants. She was imaginative, but she wanted to grow up to be a nun so she could help people. She never even thought of life off the island until more people from the mainland started coming to the island, but then she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even when she thought about mainland life, she didn’t start to rebel against the people who had raised her. Which I took as a breath of fresh air. Not all preteen/teenaged girls are crazy and rebellious, some really enjoy their lives like Margaret did. You can be imaginative without trying to run away every 2 seconds.

This had to be one of the most fun yet even still historically accurate graphic novels I’ve read yet. I learned small things about living on an island full of nuns in the 16th century as I read about Margaret’s life there as an outsider. There were traditions that these nuns upheld, stories that these nuns told, that I had never even heard about as a non-Catholic Christian. Even so, the book wasn’t so forcibly religious that a non-Christian person would feel uncomfortable reading it. The historic religious events were woven in with brilliant storytelling and beautiful pictures.

I read this entire book in about 2-3 hours, while on buses and trains commuting to and from NYC. This book was so addictive that it took me out of that uncomfortable and annoying commute and made me think about a completely new world while I was reading it. I can say that I definitely have not had that experience while reading a graphic novel before.

I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new historical fiction book or a new graphic novel to enjoy. I cannot wait to read more by this author!

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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Photo Content from Dylan Meconis

I’ve been writing and illustrating my own stories since the first grade, and I’ve been making comic books since middle school (no, really! Seventh grade was a tough year for me socially, so I had a lot of time to draw). I started my first book-length comic (graphic novel) in high school.

Unlike a lot of people who become professional artists and authors, I didn’t go to art school or a creative writing program in college. Instead, I mostly studied history, literature, philosophy, and French in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. This means I have a brain full of weird facts, old books, strange art, and the extremely useful ability to read The Tales of Canterbury in the original Middle English. Except for the Middle English bit, it’s all come in very handy for writing and drawing historical fiction and fantasy.

I first started to get paid for making comics when I was still in college, when my first graphic novel was published online. After college, I worked as a graphic designer and visual communications consultant (which means “person who helps teach adults complicated stuff in cool new ways using pictures”). I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies, global charities, technology companies, libraries, and a lot of other interesting organizations. I’ve made illustrations, animations, information graphics and cool presentations, explaining everything from how microchips work to the ways that clean drinking water can help communities in the third world.

For the last ten years, though, I mostly work as a writer, comic book creator and illustrator! Sometimes I make books totally by myself, and sometimes I get to team up with other writers or artists. It can be lots of fun, but it can also be very hard work. Luckily, I never get tired of making new stories.

 
       
WEEK ONE
JUNE 24th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
JUNE 25th TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream TENS LIST

JUNE 26th WEDNESDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW & INTERVIEW 

JUNE 26th WEDNESDAY Triquetra Reviews EXCERPT

JUNE 28th THURSDAY Cover2CoverBlog REVIEW

JUNE 27th THURSDAY Wishful Endings FILL IN THE BLANKS

 

 

JUNE 28th THURSDAY TTC Books and More TENS LIST
JUNE 29th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT 
 
WEEK TWO

JULY 1st MONDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW

JULY 2nd TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW 

JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW

 
JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
JULY 4th THURSDAY Wonder Struck REVIEW

 

JULY 4th THURSDAY Such a Novel Idea REVIEW & PLAYLIST
JULY 5th FRIDAY Bri’s Book Nook REVIEW
JULY 5th FRIDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Kill or Cure #1 Review

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Kill or Cure

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.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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Shadow Eyes #3: Sacrificial Souls Review

Sacrificial Souls (Shadow Eyes Series, #3) #bookblogger #bookreview @dustycrabtree
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Iris has been given a leadership role by Gregory, and Gregory is starting to leave everything up to her guidance and her team in missions. Iris doesn’t think that she can do everything on her own, and begins to resent Gregory for putting them in danger. Donovan keeps showing up, and now she has to try to fight him by herself. Him, on top of all the other shadows that Iris and her friends have to fight. She is glad to have a team behind her, but it would still be nice to have some guidance from her mentor.

I have loved the Shadow Eyes series from start to finish, and I am sad to see it end. This wasn’t the absolute best ending in my personal opinion, but it was the only one that made sense given the circumstances. I didn’t understand why Gregory was pushing Iris so hard, but by the end of the book I guess I kind of understood. I just felt like this was very out of character for him, which made it hard for me to connect with his character under these circumstances.

What I did enjoy was that all the ends seemed to be tied up with this story. I understood the shadows, I understood what Iris’ job was as a light warrior, and I think that Iris did too. It seemed like a very final conclusion to what had been a very long adventure with Iris and her friends. I was happy to see that the drama had mostly disappeared with Iris’ relationship with Patrick and they were able to just enjoy being together. One of my favorite parts of the book was watching Iris help her mother and her mother’s boyfriend plan for their wedding. The simple domestic things that allowed me to see how these characters were transitioning into a new stage of their lives made me enjoy this book even more.

The story flowed well, there were no dead moments that bothered me as I was reading it. The author perfectly balances the action with the main narrative, and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t see any plot holes that distracted me from enjoying the book. There were no grammar errors or formatting errors as I read the ebook version of this novel. Everything except for the out of character Gregory made this a perfect ending to the series for me!

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for new YA fantasy novels to enjoy.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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My Best Friend Runs Venus Review

My Best Friend Runs Venus
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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 review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Vampires of Shadow Hills #1: Flesh and Blood Review

Flesh and Blood (The Vampires of Shadow Hills #1)
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Flesh and Blood by Willow Rose is the start of a YA vampire series. Robyn’s parents always favor her older brother, and the favoritism has been getting worse as her brother is about to go away to college. She just wants to be able to spend time with her best friend Jayden, but her mom is threatening to take her out of her school if they are caught hanging out together again. Soon, her older brother Adrian starts to display some strange behaviors, and people start to get hurt around the town. Robyn’s parents don’t see anything wrong with what Adrian is doing, but Robyn knows something is wrong, and she is determined to get to the bottom of it with Jayden’s help.

I was really looking forward to a good YA vampire novel, like the ones from the early 2000s, but this one was just disappointing. For starters, these characters acted far below their ages. I had to constantly remind myself that Robyn was supposed to be 16 years old, most of the time she read like she was 13 or even maybe younger than that. She wasn’t even smart about half of the stuff she does! At one point, even though her mother had told her not to have Jayden around, she had him sneak into her room? That’s like….literally the easiest way to get caught. There were so many things they could have done to avoid getting caught together, but it’s like they didn’t even know how to do basic things. If you can’t text the person, use a messaging app on your computer or something. If your mom only sends you to school and home, you could just meet up secretly at school. So many opportunities wasted, and I was just shocked that they couldn’t think of a single good idea of how to meet up. And their little “arguments” made me so mad, like they bickered like 8-year-olds in the middle of an important investigation that involved both of their brothers. It was honestly just so funny that I couldn’t take the story seriously.

Getting back to the brothers, I couldn’t understand the parents at all. They want to keep their daughter locked up, but they literally don’t care about the other kid getting hurt, caught, or possibly doing something to hurt someone else. I will get more in-depth with this in my review of book 2, but I couldn’t skip over how ridiculous the situation was. If their parents really had a secret to hide, why wouldn’t they hide one kid and then not even take precautions for the other. That’s putting a lot of trust in the other kid, which doesn’t make sense given how off the kid had been acting most of the time in the book.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book. I am halfway through book 2 as I am writing this review, so I am going to finish the trilogy, and my opinion hasn’t improved any. Definitely skip this trilogy!

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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Binti #2: Home

Home (Binti, #2)
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Home is the continuation of the Binti series. Binti has been at Oomza for over a year, and she has managed to make somewhat acquaintances with the Meduse Okwu. Now, Binti must travel to her home town and go on a pilgrimage with her people. She brings Okwu to her home planet to meet her people, and she struggles to find her place as a foreigner in a place that she once called home.

Okorafor does include some thoughts of Binti having panic attacks and having to go to a counselor because of the attack on the ship a year ago, but I felt like Binti and the world still don’t care about what happened on that ship! Okwu is allowed at the school as some sort of exchange student, and no one ever really questions him. He was on the ship when the attack occurred, but no one is even put in jail for killing all of those innocent students. Sure, they wanted the chief’s stinger, but surely there could have been a more peaceful way of getting it back rather than killing a ship full of students and then keeping one hostage as an ambassador. I don’t understand how they just forgave the Meduse for this and just moved to allow them into the school so easily. How are they explaining this to the parents of the children who were killed? Nothing makes sense.

On top of that, did you know Binti has turned half Meduse? Because I sure didn’t! It came as a complete shock to me when all of a sudden, her hair was some sort of tentacles. And the book doesn’t even discuss her hating herself for becoming (at least partially) one of the killers that had taken so many lives. It would have been interesting banter, but it isn’t even discussed. Clearly, she doesn’t view the Meduse as her equal though, as she repeatedly calls Okwu an “it” throughout the book. It would make sense if Okwu was called “them” for being gender non-binary, but it? IT? Okwu is clearly a sentient being worth more than just the pronoun it. So, I call Okwu he in this review and in my head as that is how other characters refer to him in the book.

It is so disappointing when Binti meets her family. I wasn’t expecting her to be welcomed home with open arms, but they are outright cruel to her at times. It’s like everyone has forgotten that she totally could have died in the previous book with the rest of the kids on that ship. Speaking of the ship, the ship is alive. Again, would have been interesting to see how a living creature would feel about having hundreds of students killed inside her own body, but that isn’t discussed either.

Overall, I would not recommend this trilogy. I am going to read the last book, but then I am not going to read it again most likely. I wanted so badly to enjoy it, but I simply cannot, unfortunately.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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The Chosen (Contender #1) Blog Tour Plus Review

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The Chosen (Contender #1)

by Taran Matharu
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: June 4th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Introducing an epic new trilogy from Taran Matharu, author of the New York Times–bestselling Summoner series. 

Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

Cade was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He has been spending the last six months of his life at a boarding school for troubled boys, but he doesn’t fit in there. He never committed a crime, he actually enjoys learning and History class, and he isn’t “troubled.” As he counts down the days until he will be able to get out of the school, he sees his dreams slipping away. He will no longer be able to go back to the advanced school he was in, he will probably be unable to go to a good college, and his parents’ lives have been ruined as they have to pay for this school and for his court case. Just when Cade thinks things couldn’t get worse, he wakes up on some foreign planet. Something called a Codex follows him around and tells him that they have some sort of battle coming up. Cade doesn’t want to play these games, but the more he explores the planet, the more deadly things become. Cade has an important choice to make, one that could lead to either life or death.

I love Taran Matharu’s books! I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the Summoner series, and I have the last two sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. When I found out that he had a new book coming out, I knew that I wanted to be one of the first to read and enjoy it. Matharu definitely didn’t disappoint!

I truly sympathized with Cade from beginning to end. He never wanted to be a hero, and he never was a criminal. All he was a kid that happened to be in the wrong room at the wrong time, and who was racially profiled on top of that. This one case had ruined his and his parents’ lives all at once, and it wasn’t his fault in any way. It was sad because it seemed so realistic, like some boy in a rich boarding school could actually have this happen to him. I completely forgot about the “traveling to another world” storyline as I read this part of the book. I honestly could have read an entire book about Cade in his boarding school, and even though it wouldn’t have been happy, it would have been interesting.

Once Cade was in the new world, things really got exciting. I won’t spoil anything as this is the majority of the book. All I will say is that I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book once he landed on the foreign planet.

The only thing that I disliked about this story was the middle. The transition from the real world to the new planet was not as smooth as I thought it could have been, and I felt like I was confused as it kept dragging on. After I got over this part of the novel, everything else went smoothly and I enjoyed myself.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy/dystopian novel!

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31557553-the-chosen

Amazon https://amzn.to/2GIudjG

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-chosen/id1439079557?mt=11

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chosen-taran-matharu/1129098221?ean=9781250249753#/

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Contender-Chosen-Taran-Matharu/9781444938975?ref=grid-view&qid=1556265959093&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/es/en/ebook/contender-the-chosen

Google Books: https://books.google.es/books/about/The_Chosen.html?id=bWxVuQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Taran Matharu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, which has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over a million copies. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for writing during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013. 

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’ and sharing his work on Wattpad.com. The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months. Taran went on to launch his professional writing career, and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://authortaranmatharu.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979840.Taran_Matharu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaranMatharu1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortaranmatharu

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taranmatharuauthor/

TOUR SCHEDULE

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/05/tour-schedule-chosen-contender-1-by.html

Moodboard!

Shadow Eyes #2: Luminous Spirits Review

Luminous Spirits (Shadow Eyes, #2)
Affiliate Link

Luminous Spirits is the second book in the Shadow Eyes trilogy by Dusty Crabtree. Iris is finally coming into her powers and has started to go on more difficult missions with Gregory, Patrick, and Kyra to save people from the shadows that prey on them. But her best friend Lexi is being completely left out of the picture. She isn’t a light warrior and can’t go on the missions for safety reasons, but Iris is now spending all of her free time training. Soon, the shadows start to come for Lexi, and Iris has to figure out how to save her best friend. Her relationship with Patrick is also hurting because of a new girl named Lila that won’t leave him alone, and her ex Josh has come back into the picture and reminds Iris of how things could have been.

I am loving this trilogy so far! Iris has truly blossomed since the last installment of this series and has finally started to become a full-fledge light warrior, but she is still learning some important things. For example, she has to learn how to tell shadows apart in order to figure out how much strength will be needed to remove it, or if it can be removed at all. Some shadows are so strong that they have already started to kill their human hosts, but most can be removed before they get to that point. The shadow description in this trilogy has been done so well, as the shadows aren’t simply random “villain” encounters. The shadows have voices, the shadows can speak to their hosts, and Iris has to intercept them. I felt as though the shadows were real as I read this, and felt as if I wanted to be a light warrior to save people from the shadows that plague them.

The only thing that I didn’t like in this novel was how quickly Iris seemed to jump to conclusions. She seemed pretty indecisive about her relationship, but the minute her boyfriend does something totally out of character for him, she is willing to believe the worst. This could just be my bias against love triangles coming out, but I don’t see a love triangle in the near future for this series. This book focuses mostly on Patrick though, which made me glad.

My two absolute favorite parts about this book were learning about Patrick’s past and the side story with Iris’ best friend Lexi. Patrick wasn’t always a light warrior, and he starts to tell Iris more about his past self in this book. I am a little confused as to the timeline with all of this, but I understood what was happening when he was telling his stories. A lot of new characters were introduced this way, and I enjoyed learning about the new people in this world. It also really touched me to have Lexi not be forgotten, and for Iris to realize how she was hurting her friend. In most books where a kid gets powers and leaves their friends behind, the friends either turn out to be evil, secretly have powers too, or just “don’t understand” so it is reasonable that they are forgotten. Lexi tried to be a good friend, but she kept getting pushed to the side, making her an easier target for the shadows that latch onto sad emotions.

This was an amazing installment in this trilogy! I would recommend the Shadow Eyes Trilogy to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy or urban fantasy series.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 books.

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