Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Review: Once a King

Title: Once A King
Author: Erin Summerill
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages:464
Synopsis:(from GoodReads)
Aodren: A lonely, young king, searching for a way to dismantle his father’s dark legacy.
Lirra: A girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams.
For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in
Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and
unite his kingdom.

5/5

Being able to see a younger King Aodren in a different light is pretty intriguing. I really
liked seeing A odren struggling to move past the darkness caused in Malam by his father.
I loved Lirra, wanting to be more than just her father’s assistant in life  and not trusting
Aodren straight away because of the Purge many years ago. Seeing Leif again in the story
made me smile. I also wish I had secret tunnels to get to places!! The fake Sanguine caught
me off guard though and how our villianst character was basically in plain sight. I look
forward to seeing and reading whatever else may come in regards to King Aodren and
the Kingdom of Malam. Erin Summerill once again wrote a book I didn’t want to put down.

Michaela

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Review: Pride

Title: Pride
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Publisher: Balzer + Bray September 18, 2018
Pages: 304
Synopsis: (from Good Reads)
Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her
Afro-Latino roots.
But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood
from becoming unrecognizable.
When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants
nothing to do
with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the
charming Ainsley.

Zuri Benitez is such a strong character in this book. Zuri has a lot on her plate,
she wants to make her parents proud, take care of her younger sisters while her older
sister Janae is away at college; and keep them out from under their mothers feet, and
she has college application deadlines fast approaching. On top of all that going on,
things become even more complicated in Bushwick. Just as Janae gets home for
summer from school; new wealthy neighbors move in across the street, with two
sons. Against Zuri’s wishes, Janae falls for Ainsley, the older of the two and Zuri
despises them both. While trying to keep Bushwick her Bushwick, Zuri has to
juggle her sisters, boys, where she fits into the rapidly changing Bushwick and
her college plans.
Zuri goes through a lot in this books; and she does have to be the girl inside the
girl from Bushwick a few times but that just puts her reality in perspective.  

I can relate to Zuri on the not liking change, and juggling things in life and
I really enjoyed this read. It’s the story of a girl who takes pride in who she is
and where she comes from, no matter what others might think. We need strong
female characters for girls growing up to read and want to be like and Zuri is
one of those, even if she falls a few times along the way. The comeback is always
stronger than the setback.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Rule

Title: Rule
Author: Ellen Goodlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 11, 2018
Pages: 376
Synopsis:(from GoodReads)
Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.
The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.
Or rather, three unexpected options.

Rating: 4/ 5
When I first picked up this book I was worried it was going to be extremely
similar to Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns series. I was pleasantly surprised
to find it to be very different. Three girls who live in complete opposite parts of
Kolonya and completely different backgrounds. Each of them with a secret that
could get each of them in serious trouble.
The heir to the throne is dead. The king is dying; but there is one last option
before chaos occurs. Zodiac, Akeylah, and Ren are the kings illegitimate daughters,
but still his daughters and heirs to the throne. Each of the girls have a target on their
backs. Someone knows their secrets and they must find who it is before they all are
exposed.

I enjoyed Rule because each of the girls had assets as to what they could do to
uncover who was behind the blackmailing. The learn that they have to work together
and that they may not be so different from each other as they originally thought.
Excited to see where this story goes in the future.

~Mackenzie

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review: Light Years

Title: Light Years
Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Little  Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Synopsis:(from GoodReads)
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is
finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.
Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain--but when
she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt,
it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet
Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the
Academy--even if he has to steal someone's identity to do it. Arran was always considered
an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in
the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong.
4/ 5 stars


I really liked this story! I’m starting to get more into Si-Fi type books and they’ve
been wonderful. I loved the different planets and lifestyles portrayed in Light Years.

I also loved the four character point of view too. Vesper and Cormak/ “Rex”  were my
favorite characters because of their banter. I liked Orelia’s change of heart too. Arran
was adorable, a little brainiac :) I also liked the backstories on our main characters
and they fit great together. Kass Morgan’s writing style was great to read, kept you
entertained and wanting to read more. I loved that the four main characters were
from different planets and that their differences actually made them a better team in
the end.


I hope there is a second book at least to continue this story.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Review: The Spy with the Red Balloon

*SPOILERS*
Title:The Spy with the Red Balloon
Author: Katherine Locke
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Pages: 368
Date(s) Read: 6/2-6/15/18
Synopsis: (from GoodReads)
Siblings Ilse and Wolf hide a deep secret in their blood: with it, they can work magic.
The government just found out.Blackmailed into service during World War II, Ilse lends her
magic to America’s newest weapon, the atom bomb, while Wolf goes behind enemy lines to
sabotage
Germany’s nuclear program. It’s a dangerous mission, but if Hitler were to create the bomb
first, the results would be catastrophic.

Rating: 4 /5
Loved this addition to The Balloonmakers Series that takes place before GIRL.
SPY starts in the United States, in New York, New York with brother and sister Isle
and Wolf during WWII. SPY then follows Isle to Tennessee and Wolf to England and
then Germany.
Isle and Wolf Klein have magic abilities like those we see from Kai’s sister Sabina
in GIRL. They do their best to keep it a secret, only them and their parents; but one day
in Central Park they notice someone watching them. That evening they meet a man at
their house; Colonel Mann is who he introduces himself as and their parents leave the
room. Colonel Mann requires their abilities for help with the war. A war Wolf has
tried so hard to avoid unlike his best friend Max. After their meeting with the Colonel,
Isle and Wolf prepare to leave their home, as they have no choice. Isle ends up in
Oak Ridge, Tennessee with three other girls, Stella, Lola and Polly, and a young man
named George Steele. Isle, with the help of her new company, are to use their abilities
to secretly transport and drop an atomic bomb once it is built.
Wolf, however is in England, learning how to jump out of a plane flown by none
other than his best friend Max. On his first day in England he meets Lily, the leader
of their task force, along with Topher MacKenzie who is really good at blowing stuff up.
Their first task is to find and locate and bomb German work sites to slow down their
progress on the bomb. However that doesn’t go as planned; Max gets hurt when their
plane gets shot down and Wolf refuses to leave him behind. After the plane goes down
Topher is nowhere to be found. They find a house to use as a safe house temporarily
and leave Max there once they find their first location with the help of equations Isle
sent to Wolf by balloon. When they return to the safe house they find Nazi’s out front
with Max at gunpoint. Wolf rushes in to help Max, while Lily rushes in to help Wolf.
The three of them are captured by Nazi’s and put into prison. While in prison Wolf meets
a familiar face; who us readers met in GIRL. Ashasher makes an appearance in Wolf’s
cell and tries to convince Wolf to come with him and use his magic for different reasons.
Wolf refuses to leave Max and Lily.
While Wolf is doing his job overseas, Isle is dealing with missing papers and a spy.
Isle and the other girls set a trap for th spy and it works. Their trap leads them to a cabin in
the woods full of magic equations, their missing papers and a notebook full of notes
regarding it all. The spy however is not there, Isle follows the spy via balloon to Germany,
with her brother and a man he calls Topher; whole she knows as George Steele.
After finding out that George was the traitor, he helps Isle write balloons because
she refuses to stand idly by as Nazi’s march a group of Jewish prisoners dub the road.
From the cover of some bushes, Isle and George write six balloons to send some of the
prisoners somewhere safe.
Throughout SPY, Wolf and Isle experience forbidden love, independence,
helplessness, loss, and learning what their blood is capable of, and what they themselves
are capable of. The brother and sister relationship Isle and Wolf have is truly special
and Katherine captures it in words wonderfully. SPY also contains very accurate
descriptions of some historical events; just with a touch of magic. I am hopeful that
there will be more in the Balloonmakers world soon. And remember;

Don’t Panic. Focus.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Review: The Boneless Mercies

The Boneless Mercies
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Published On: 10/02/18
Page Count: 384pgs
Rating: 4.5/5
Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill 
quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having 
been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life. 

This is the first book I've read of April`s. I adored this one, It is fierce and raw,
the type of book that keeps the reader flipping pages.

Each character had depth the journey itself was impressive not just the battle
itself. There is room for more stories but as of now I am content with this one.

As a note this is supposed be a gender Beowulf story. Beowulf was a required
reading novel in school that I did actually enjoy reading. This novel however was 10x
better that it. I would love to see The Boneless Mercies and Beowulf taught side by
side. Show the potential of what classic novels could look like in the future.

TTFN,

Ashley

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: The Dark Decent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

The Dark Decent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Published On: 9/25/18
Page Count: 304
Rating: 3.5/5
Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are 
covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown 
into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, 
solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Happy 200th Anniversary Frankenstein

This is told from Elizabeth Lavenza`s point of view. A recount of Victor
Frankenstein` descent into madness.

First off Frankenstein and Dracula are my two favorite classics. White has
a way with the creepy books. I knew going I'd enjoy it just based on her writing style.

This did miss the mark for a bit. I had this feeling that I had read parts of it
before but cannot figure out from where. There were just some events that occured
that I was like “Oh behind that door this happens..” I think that is way I opted for a half
star rating that a full 4 stars.

I enjoyed Justine, Mary and Henry`s parts they played in Elizabeth`s story. She is
fierce and plotting when it comes to tracking down Victor. We all know the tale of
Frankenstein and the creation of his monster but what we don't get to know is the
younger Victor. Elizabeth is brought to be friends with Victor since he has a harder
time relating to others his age.  He is fierce and passionate in a creepy way and
Elizabeth is able to control Victor by using a calming voice and slow movements.

TTFN,

Ashley