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review 2020-01-23 06:40
Safe
Extra Innings - Lynn Stevens

Victoria AKA "Vic" is gonna play baseball.  Who cares if it is a male dominated sport.  She signed up, showed up, and played hard.  She is gonna prove herself if it kills her.

 

Daniel knows she has a boyfriend, but he also knows the guy is a tool.  He cannot help but be interested in a girl who knows her own mind.  She can play baseball, and is a great addition to the team.

 

This book felt like is was fast paced.  I love the characters and eagerly devoured each page.  I felt like this book was a great read.  The story was rich, the characters fun to read, and the heat was just gentle.  I cannot wait to read the next installment!  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-22 22:39
Wilder Girls-Review
Wilder Girls - Rory Power

I am overly conflicted about this book. There are many aspects I liked about it : the body horror, the government cover up, and the queer aspects just to name a few, but there are many aspects about it that just fell flat for me. In fact I was quite nervous to finish it because quite certain that however it may it that it was going to ruin the entire book for me. I put off the ending,aka the last two chapters, to the point that I finished an entire Pet Sematary audiobook before I finally went back to finish it.

 

As much as I love darker themed young adult novels, I was really wanting it to be darker than it ended up being . I realize this is a personal issue and had I wanted to read a darker body horror novel there are plenty of adult novels that would have been better suited to my needs. Even so I was still expecting just a bit more from this one.A lot of my issues, though, with this book in particular plot points that to me do not make sense. For instance more than half way through the book an incident with the fence safe-guarding the school from the twisted animals that now roam the woods allows a bear to get inside said fence, and inside the school itself. Under the circumstances, it would still be case for alarm if a normal bear had gotten in. Given that it is twisted by whatever is infecting the island, which turns out at the end to be some parasitic worm thing, it is meant to be a even more terrifying experience was frustrating since Hetty and most of the other girls are able to outrun the bear from room to room and barricade themselves inside said rooms. The latter is at least more believable than the former. During the whole encounter only one girl ,that I recall, actually dies from the whole episode with the bear.

 

I am not saying the author should have killed off more characters, she is not at all shy to kill characters or least some of them, but the fact remains that some how they are able to outrun the bear when people have hard time running away from "normal" bears in the wild. It just all feel too overly convenient. What should have been a high stacks nerve wrecking scene just to me held no tension whatsoever. Mentioning killing characters, though, the author does rack up quite the body count and yet it doesn't hold the impact, least to me, that the author intended. I will like to state character deaths other than a few instances(aka my favorite character in a given work or a death that comes completely by surprise) rarely do much for me. Here, though, the deaths that do occur suffer from particular aspect of novels that really bug me : killing of faceless,nameless, "unimportant, side character(s). Now I am not saying the death of side characters always come off as "safe bets" or meaningless deaths but here it does. Of the characters that do die, the reader only really gets to know the slightest bit of them based on what Hetty has said about them or the few scenes they are present in, which is not enough in to develop them or they were not develop as well as they should have been. Instead in this book , it feels like the reader should be shocked by the number of death instead of who actual has dies. I felt the same way about the two adults that died and then the boy that dies from Byatt kissing him.Given how little time we get to know them their deaths hold little or no impact. If you don't really give the proper time to really know characters than their deaths just don't mean much .

 

The only death that would and could of held any meaning the author took back , which is a trend in books and other media that I hate. Will be the first to admit I am not a doctor, but I was pretty sure with how invasive Byatt is removing the worm thing in her arm, how much blood she loses in the process, a fact that Hetty remarks on when Byatt is finally found, and the fact that Byatt is left alone who knows how long with no medical assistance she would not still be alive .Least it doesn't seem like she should still be alive. I think it would have much more impactful to have her die, have Hetty deal with that grief and pain of not being able to get there in time, which it seems for a moment she is than to be oh no Byatt is actual alive, very very weak by somehow still alive.

 

Another aspect of the novel that sort of threw me was the romantic subplot. I love that there is a queer relationship in this and other than the body horror was an element that made me pick it up in the first place,but I am still confused by the two that get together. From the start, was pretty sure Byatt and Hetty were meant to be the romantic pair given how close they seemed in every scene they shared together and given the book was from their two points of view. I have nothing against power close friendships and given what has happen the students may cling tighter to each other more than ever before,but it just felt like more than friendship between the two of them , least from Hetty's chapters. No, though, seems Reese and Hetty are the ones that get together, which just really confused me. Hetty spends way less time with her, at one point Reese tries to choke here and for awhile seems like they are not even friends anymore and are not not even talking. I can buy that Byatt and Hetty are just really close best friends . Books need more powerful platonic best friendships they really do. The fact still remains that relationship makes no sense between the two that are paired up in this book. Maybe I was missing subtle clues but to me seems they went from sort of again not even being friends because of Hetty getting boat shift, something Reese really wants to try to find her dad, to kissing and suddenly are sort of together. If this was the plan where were there no chapter from Reese to get to know her more and develop her more?

 

Overall I enjoyed it enough to finish even if I put off finishing it but I wanted more from it. I really enjoyed the body horror aspects of it and when they were the focus the book was really exciting . I just really wanted more of those aspects I am not faulting it for not being as dark and gritty as I first thought. I get it is young adult and the darker elements have to be toned down in some way for that target audience. Even so what it did do in that respect was great and just again wanted more of it. I was not a fan of the lack of any explanation for the Tox. I was not expecting a full exposition dump since that would have been over the top and annoying , but was expecting something more than was in the book. I get diseases are confusing in real life but was expecting some sort of explanation to parts of it at least in this. Finally as much as I love open endings , when they make sense, the ending felt rushed and abrupt.Was overall just disappointed in a lot of the aspects of this novel. The cover is gorgeous,though

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review 2020-01-22 17:01
Book Review: Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers
Rogue Princess - B.R. Myers

Buckle up friends, this story is a wild ride. The twists, turns, and upside-down feeling you get while enjoying a rollercoaster is similar to how I felt after finishing this book. Myers does a superb job with her world building and character development.

 

Princess Delia is an interesting character, like most royals who are forced into alliance based marriages she is dreading the decision. There is so much at stake for her planet that has run out of energy the marriage feels like the only logical thing to do. Princess Delia’s assessments of the suitors made me laugh more than once. There’s a lot to be said for her sister’s ranking system as well. As a love obsessed younger sibling, Shania provides a lighthearted view of this serious decision for Delia.

 

Despite being thrown into a spiral of new information about her people and planet, Princess Delia never misses a beat. She is determined to do better while still holding true to the ancestors of her people. Her fierce stubbornness and willingness to make changes for the good of the planet are noteworthy. Despite living a privileged life, Delia wants everyone to find happiness and that starts with her.

 

Aidan’s story is much darker. As a servant in the palace his only goal is to get off this planet and find a better life. His step family treats him like a servant and Aidan just wants his freedom. So much so that he “borrows” a prince’s dagger and is stealing a ship when the Princess jumps aboard in an attempt to escape the palace life. Together they find their way to an empty field on the outskirts of the city only to be met with pirates. Pirates that were outlawed 10 years ago. Suddenly Princess Delia is very aware that she has no idea what is really going on in her kingdom and she vows to change that.

Despite having lied about who he is, Aidan becomes an asset to Delia. As he is feeding her information they both realize there is a big rebel plan about to unfold. Aidan and Delia navigate secret meetings, late night rendezvous’ and are continually drawn to each other. The sparks begin to fly, you might say.

 

What happens as the rebel plot unfolds is nothing less than spectacular. You won’t want to put it down for fear of missing a single moment. No spoilers, but trust me when I say you will want to read this book. If you enjoy strong princesses, pirate shenanigans, epic battles, and surprise twists than this story is definitely for you.

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review 2020-01-22 11:14
"Interview With The Robot" by Lee Bacon
Interview With The Robot - Lee Bacon

Clever, charming, intriguing, YA story of a near-future AI in a human-looking body trying to make a life for herself

 

 

 

"Interview With The Robot" (that title just has to be a play on Anne Rice's "Interview With The Vampire") is a clever story, told in a way that's a perfect fit for an audiobook, basically a three hour and forty minutes long full-cast radio play, told mostly as an interview between what appears at first to be a twelve-year-old girl, Eve and Petra, a woman from Child Protective Services in NYC, with flashbacks for the most important scenes.

 

This is Science Fiction for Young Adults but told in a way that I think most adults will find engaging. I enjoyed learning how Eve moved from untrained AI in a cube to an AI in a better-than-human body (albeit one of a twelve-year-old). The technology is plausible. The interactions are initially a little on the cute side but well thought through.

 

 

I enjoyed the point where Eve, realising that to pass as human she will need to master joke-telling, invents a joke. It's an awful joke and says a lot about how AIs work. Her research says the most common jokes in the world are Knock Knock jokes and Chicken Crossing The Road jokes, so she thinks the best joke in the world would combine the two. She comes up with:

Knock knock

Who's there?

A chicken

A chicken who?

A chicken who crossed the road.

The story has a few surprises in it that I didn't see coming but which worked well, especially concerning the motivation of the billionaire who owns the company building Eve and the contents of the inevitable, and of course irresistible, locked room.

 

The story of how and why Eve is in the windowless interview room with the woman from Child Protective Services is fascinating, with just enough tension to keep things lively.

 

The ending, especially the final entry, was a little too Hallmark for my tastes but I can live with that.

 

I was pleased to see Audible Originals trying something as original and entertaining as this. I hope they do more like it.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-22 02:28
Reading progress update: I've read 191 out of 418 pages.
Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

Chaol and Celena 

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