Review: Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the President of the United States of America, has a rivalry with Henry, Prince of England. One unfortunate incident leads to a fake friendship, which leads to a real friendship, and on to something more.
This book was fantastic! The chemistry between Alex and Henry sparks off the page and their relationship so believable and wonderful. I am a huge fan of hate-to-love relationships, feeling that hate is often just a cover for deep emotions someone is trying desperately to hide.
I really like that this book hits hard with how realistic it is, and how much it highlights how the United States might have been had the last Presidential election had a different outcome.
Review: A year after Rem witnessed a horrendous crime by Franklin Kettle, he comes in contact with him again. This time, through an experimental procedure at Rem's mother's company. This procedure is meant to reverse Franklin's sociopath/murderous impulses. New killings are occurring and Rem finds himself smack in the middle of the mystery, sure that Franklin has changed, but fearful of the truth.
This story was very interesting, a new take on technology and the roll it plays in society and on youth. How easily people with power can misuse their trust and funds to try to gain more. It is also about loss and how people deal with death and grief. Some people cope by surrounding themselves with friends, some seclude themselves, and some throw themselves into work to try to find ways their work can heal their sadness.
Review: This graphic novel acts as a prequel to The Wicked & The Divine series, with exception to the Christmas Special (which features missing scenes from around the time of the first graphic novel in the series). The first four stories in this graphic novel shed light on past Pantheons, specifically ones that involved a reincarnated Lucifer (as the one God who seems to drive change and doubt about the Pantheon). Each episode is illustrated by a different artist, with each chosen illustrator perfectly reflecting the tone of that specific time period.
It begins with the downfall of Rome, followed by the plague, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein weekend and an Agatha Christie-esque And Then There Were None plot. All are well written and revealed quite a lot about the history and how Ananke went about her tasks. I enjoyed that Lucifer plays a key role in each iteration, similar to the role Lucifer plays in the bible. Lucifer questions Ananke, the Pantheon, and the God's own mortality.
Review: Freddy Riley is a normal teenager, going through high school with her close group of friends. Her only issue seems to be her girlfriend, Laura Dean, who keeps breaking up with her around major holidays. Freddy's friends are sick of Laura and how she treats Freddy, but they are more frustrated that Freddy finds herself continuously falling into this toxic relationship the moment Laura makes a move.
This book is poignantly beautiful. It touches on the topics of toxic love and friendship. Specifically, how a toxic relationship affects an individual, but also all those within that individuals life. Friendship plays a key role, as we see Freddy slowly fall away from the strength of support of her close group of friends, and becomes isolated and an object in Laura's world.
Review: This novel takes place in the span of one day, a day when destinies change. Adam Thorn is gay, only he is the son of Big Brian Thorn, a preacher for The House Upon the Rock (an evangelical church). His families stance on the LGBTQ community is very clear, therefore Adam hides who he is, his love, his personality. Luckily, he has his best friend, Angela, and his boyfriend, Linus, to keep him from breaking down under the weight of what Adam calls 'The Yoke'. 'The Yoke' is the stipulations, rules, laws his parent's place on him, in order for him to deserve their love. This day is meant to end with a goodbye party for Adam's ex, Enzo. He is unsure whether he still loves Enzo, so his seeing Enzo at the end of this very life changing day holds a lot of possibility and meaning.
This novel had a very compelling premise, with lots of twists and emotions. Sometimes the reader was as gutted as Adam, and sometimes as angry.
Review: Ari works at his parent's bakery, but is an aspiring musician. He hopes to move to the city with his friends/bandmates in pursuit of fame. So, he decides to hire a replacement, who he will train over the summer. Hector's Nana just passed away, he is in town preparing her home for sale. He loves cooking, in fact he is a culinary student, but to distract himself from his loss he takes a job at Kyrkos (Ari's family bakery).
I loved this cute romance story, from the breaks throughout that highlight food and the connection it forges between people, to the subtle, soft tale of love between Ari and Hector. Both are at a loss, searching for something. Ari is searching for who he wants to be, what dreams he wants to pursue, and Hector is searching for his roots after the loss of his Nana and a bad breakup.
Review: This anthology is full of short stories based on classic novels/stories that impacted the authors. Authors, such as Neil Gaiman, boiled their favourite tales down to their basic components and then rebuilt them anew. The book is worth having just for Gaiman's 'The Sleeper and the Spindle', my favourite of the whole bunch. In fact, I had recently listened to the audiobook, as this story has been turned into a graphic novel. I was immediately immersed in the magic of this Sleeping Beauty retelling. Gaiman masterfully refashioned the fairytale into a work of female empowerment, ambition, tradition, and breaking the mould of the princess/queen/witch/hag stereotype.
A few of the stories were ho-hum and left me rather disappointed. However, the majority captured the essence of their borrowed work and refreshed the story to keep the reader intrigued.
Review: Where we left off in Vol. 6, Imperial Phase 2, Persephone and the Norns have been locked up by Woden (or more accurately Woden's father, who is using the head of his son to make himself powerful). The story gets more convoluted as the reader continues, but in a good way. The twists and turns continue to keep you guessing and shock value is high. While some scenes are grotesque and deeply disturbing, there is still a tasteful amount of gore (not too brutal). It is never over the top, the story always folds back into itself, very slowly revealing details of the past.
Ananke is dead, or is she? Who is Minerva really, innocent child or something else entirely? I loved the new story interwoven throughout, of how this strange God occurrence began and continued for centuries. Also, how the rules work, the Gods, the deaths, the ritual. Terrifying secrets are revealed, ones that propel the reader to re-examine prior beliefs. Who is trustworthy? What role does Persephone (Laura) play in this twisted game? Will she break the cycle?
Review: Camilla Flores is an overweight, Latinx witch, whose best friend just died under mysterious circumstances. Mila is determined to find out the truth, since suicide does not fit right. One mysterious grimoire, rogue spell and magical catastrophe later, Mila is dealing with her dead friend plus two means girls, who also apparently committed suicide.
This book was masterfully written. Funny, dripping with wit and sarcasm, and dark. The perfect recipe for a five star read for me. Add to that a fantastic, sympathetic and relatable lead, and I am SOLD! Mila is amazing and it was her unique, cutting voice that hooked me from the very start of the novel and compelled me through to the end. She was me in middle school; an outcast, few friends, overweight. Her words continuously tugged me through memory lane. What wouldn't we do to get out best and only friend back, especially if we had the power?
Review: The paper girls are back, this time they have traversed into the future and are on the hunt for a way home to 1988. Mac is on a mission to prevent her own death, Tiffany and future Tiffany are trying to piece their lives together, KJ is finding out who she really is, and Erin is coming into her own as a leader.
Mac and KJ split away from the group, in hopes of finding a cure for leukemia. Erin and the Tiffany's look for an old acquaintance, who may know the way back from the future.
This installment is just as gripping as the last four, with the girls in danger from every side. As they try desperately to get home, who can they trust? Is Grand Father really evil? Why are these teenagers so intent on destroying him? What do the paper girls have to do with the war?