Vol. 1 Review: Julie has just met the other werewolf of her dreams, Selena. So, why not go on a date to a mysterious magic show, and drag along Julie's best friend, Chet. Only, the magic show seems off and Chet ends up losing their magic. Julie and her gang must team up to master the magician.
This is an adorable drawn graphic novel, with bright colours and a very accepting society of "monsters" and humans. I loved the softness of the colouring, the different body shapes, the perfect balance of explanation/not needing to explain.
The main issue I think this book faced was a lack of narrative. It was very jumpy and inferred things, but did not give enough detail to really make the conflict believable. If there was more back story on Julie's dislike of being a werewolf, or instances of hate towards werewolves, then the ending would have been much more powerful.
The book within the book concept did not flow that well, often times detracting from the main plot. As well, the know-it-all commentary was not that funny.
Rating (3 out of 5 cute coffees)
Overall, a very cute look at the beginnings of a relationship and opening up to another person ("monster").
Review: This is a book of poetry; or, more specifically, one poem by Jason Reynolds. It is a letter from himself to other dreamers about dreams, achievements, goals, and the journey to becoming yourself. A beautifully worded, heartfelt, passionate poem about Jason's ideas about life and the pursuit of happiness.
This book may only have been one poem, but it was such a powerful poem. It is a poem about how we can fail to achieve our dreams over and over, but our passion can never be squelched. We will continue to seek out ways to fulfill our goals, that we may stray from our path from time to time, but we will always find our way back. This is also a poem about the burdens of our dreams, the weight and pressure they place on our shoulders, and learning to hold them up and hold them sacred.
Review: This book was a series of essays by Mindy Kaling about her life, observations, and opinions. There were sections on her life before fame, during The Office, her friends, stardom, relationships, and adulthood. All of them have her unapologetic humour and panache. Honestly, the book (and audiobook) felt like I was having a sit-down conversation with Mindy. Every essay was authentic, unflinchingly funny, and eye opening. I especially loved the behind the scenes stories about the set of The Office, and what it was like to be one of the only female writers.
Mindy Kaling's humour is so relatable and on point. Her comments on being "chubby" and just accepting it, after years of shame, were compelling. I have heard the comment "You would be so pretty if you just lost some weight" (like, what?), and her confusion and saying "thank you", as though it were a compliment (but in the moment not knowing what else to say) was spot on how I felt.
***Spoiler for the Shadow of the Fox Trilogy*** **********************************************
Review: Yumeko, Tatsumi, Okame, Reika, and Daisuke are on a mission to stop the evil Genno from using the Great Kami Dragon's wish to take over the world. Sure, Tatsumi and the Oni, Hakaimono, are sharing one body and their souls have become entwined, sure they are going to have to take on both the demons of Jigoku as well as the shadow clan. At this point, this ragtag bunch has faced so much and triumphed, what could stop them?
This is one of the best found family narratives I have read. The characters are expressive, diverse, and they clearly care deeply for one another. This novel will break your heart a few times, but it will also make you laugh, smile, and appreciate the amazing world building that went into creating this stunningly epic final installment.
Review: Simon and Baz are at the end of their story, or at the beginning of their "happily-ever-after." But, what does that really mean for a young man who has lost his magic and is now half dragon, or a mage/vampire hybrid? How do you transition from enemies to boyfriends, when you have never been good at expressing emotions? Easy, you go on an American road trip, on a holiday to visit an old friend.
This book started out a little slow for me and there were parts I felt just did not click. However, I loved being back in this world. I love the magic system, 'normals' providing magick for mages by creating well known phrases/song lyrics. The added element of having to reshape their magical learning to include American colloquialisms was genius, since their British phrases and lyrics are not as popular in the States. Baz had a hard time switching over, while Penelope adjusted quickly.
*****Spoilers for The Gentleman's Guide to***** ****************Vice & Virtue*******************
Review: Monty and Percy are still in Santorini, a month after their declarations of love. Monty has agreed to take things slow with the virginal Percy, but is starting to become impatient. Felicity decides to help him by making their place empty of pirates and setting some ambiance for the special occasion.
This was an adorably neurotic little novella. Monty is still his posh, insecure, and a little bit selfish self. He is working on his sobriety and his trusting Percy, while also working on becoming someone worthy of Percy. It is such an endearing and believable look at first love and the start of a relationship, after a long term friendship. Each step is new for both Monty and Percy, and both are worried they are going to screw things up.
Review: I am fully on board the Murderbot bandwagon. This novella was fantastic and I am excited for more.
A SecUnit (Security Unit robot with both organic and inorganic parts) has hacked its governor module (the thing that gives it orders to obey) and is now rogue. However, to be able to watch all the shows it loves (Sanctuary Moon) it pretends to be functioning properly with its new team, so as not to be cut up for parts. The team bought "Murderbot" (its name for itself) on contract from The Corporation to explore a new planet. However, something is not quite right about this mission, and in order to protect itself and these humans it has sort of grown fond of, Murderbot must trust those it is working with.
Review: In a world like ours, but infused with magic, Sam, Delia and James belong to their school's magic club. This is their last year of high school, their last chance to place top of the ranks at the state magic convention. Only, Sam and James had an awkward moment over the summer, with Sam unsure whether to finally confront James about how Sam feels about him. Delia is becoming more distant, making their club her last priority; which, as the club's President and a Pinnacle hopeful (magical University), is weird.
I waffled (pun intended) between 3.5 and 4. I really enjoyed the world building in the book. The magic system was so interesting, how anyone could wield it with practice, that there are schools, and that magic uses many different forms. As well, the novel was infused with religion, bigotry, discrimination, outcasts and occultists.
Review: Sadie is a novel told from two perspectives. The first perspective is a podcast (written in transcription). The podcast is created by West McCray, a journalist for WNRK New York. His podcast is called The Girls and focuses on the search for Sadie Hunter, who went missing months after the murder of her little sister, Mattie. The second perspective is a narrative unfolding from the point of view of Sadie, when she decides to leave her home of Cold Creek in search of her sister's killer and vengeance.
This book gutted me. The formatting made the story come to life, it was so visceral and real. I broke up the book by reading Sadie's chapters (which felt like reading the diary of a lost girl) and listening to the podcast chapters via audio book. This really brought the full effect and impact of Courtney Summers writing to life. The podcast is steps behind Sadie's personal narrative, making the reader feel they are also chasing after this desperate girl.
Review: This is an essay adapted from a TEDx talk given by Adichie at TEDxEuston. It is a concise look at what feminism is, misconceptions about feminism, why feminism is still so vital to society today, and how we can use feminism to better our world.
The beauty of this book is that it is short and to the point. Anyone can read this book and take away an understanding of feminism and work towards correcting societies shortcomings. This book helps push the fact that we need a reworking of the system of oppression which has been placed on women, which is outdated and unfortunately still very much in practice.
Adichie embraces feminism, but she rewords her feminism against the stereotypes given to feminists (she is a happy feminist, etc.). This highlights the inaccurate depictions about what feminism is about; no, it is not about women taking over the world.