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review 2018-02-20 16:46
Truthers Book Review
Truthers (Fiction - Young Adult) - Geoff... Truthers (Fiction - Young Adult) - Geoffrey Girard

Two stars is being kind. Truthers has a good premise and I like the idea of the plot, a girl born after 9/11 is thrown into conspiracy theories and trying to figure out what happened. But I honestly can't see any high schooler or young adult actually enjoying this. The plot is weak, its a lot of facts about 9/11 thrown at you. I barely finished and got really bored.


I honestly skimmed a lot of it but feel like I didn't miss much. I'm not really into the whole conspiracy thing with 9/11 but even so this could have been done a lot better than it was. 

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review 2018-01-21 18:50
Tess of the Road
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

Tess of the Road


Rachel Hartman, 2018


In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.


Disclaimer 1: This book is a spin-off of Hartman's Seraphina series... which I have not read. I think that reading Seraphina and Shadow Scale would probably be beneficial to do before reading this book, but mostly for world-building purposes. It is, however, not completely necessary - there is nothing in this book that failed to make sense and the world was easy enough to pick up after a few chapters.


Disclaimer 2: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. The expected publication date for Tess of the Road is February 27, 2018.


Disclaimer 3: I have seen some reviewers who were disappointed because they went into this book expecting to read about dragons. If you are looking for a book about dragons, this is not that book. Dragons are peripheral to the plot, but feature very little. I understand that the Seraphina books involve dragons much more heavily, however.


Okay, with those disclaimers out of the way, on to my review. 


I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book. It sounded interesting to me, so I requested a copy and started to read. Once I was a few pages in, however, I realized that I had missed the fact that this was a spin-off book. Oops. But I kept reading, and I'm glad I did. While there were details glossed over in the first few chapters that I wish I knew more about - Why was Tess seen as such a screw-up? There are half-dragons? And are all half-dragons Saints? What the heck is a quigutl? - I found that as I read most of those details didn't matter to the story (and the ones that did were explained as it went on). 


This is a hard book to qualify for me. It's a fantasy, but aside from the quigutl (which, by the way, is a sort of large chameleon-looking sentient animal with its own language that is really good at working with tools), we didn't encounter a whole lot of fantastical elements. (Well, there was one other, but it's a spoiler). It's honestly much more of a coming-of-age novel, where the main character starts out on a journey and encounters different people along the way and finds herself. Which is not a bad thing. But if you're expecting a high-action fantasy novel, you'll probably be disappointed. 


Really, I hope that this book is marketed well, but I fear that it won't be. My fear is that it will be marketed as an epic fantasy instead of a coming-of-age novel, and that does this novel a disservice. Because it's a really good young adult novel, and I think that a lot of different readers - not just fantasy readers - will like it. It had a great female protagonist with a lot of flaws who I think teenage girls could really like. I love that the author decided, after writing the Seraphina books, that she wanted to explore Tess a little more. I think she did a great job of fleshing out a character that you don't see a lot in this type of story.


Overall, I thought this was a well-written, interesting story. There's not a lot of action and a surprisingly little amount of fantasy elements for a fantasy novel, but it's a well-told story and I found Tess to be likable despite her flaws (and sometimes because of them). There is a little adult content in this book, so I can't recommend it to the younger crowd, but I definitely recommend it to young women who like a good story and who won't be put off by a slower pace and a slightly confusing fantasy world. 


[I also plan to read the Seraphina books at some point, so I'll be curious to see how this world is first introduced there.]

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review 2017-09-13 03:18
Book Review: The Smallest Thing
The Smallest Thing - Lisa Manterfield

Don't forget to keep the tissues nearby, this story will leave you with a lot of emotions. This is such a heartfelt story about how tragedy can bring people together and tear them apart in the most dire circumstances. Emmott is every 17 year old growing up in a small town just waiting for the day they can start their "real" life, and then real life shows up in a very unexpected way.


There are so many roller-coasters in this telling tale about a small village impacted in a most severe way. I really enjoyed going through it with Emmott and watching her blossom with understanding as her preconceived notions of life are challenged in every way. 


I would highly recommend this to readers who don't mind facing the realities of life and death and enjoy a well crafted coming of age story. 


I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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review 2017-09-07 13:58
Review: Ann, not Annie
Ann, Not Annie - Sage Steadman

I have to say that the blurb is slightly misleading here, there are some heavy themes going on in this story that I think are most appropriate for an older young adult audience. That being said, I really enjoyed Annie's character. Friendship, family and grief are all strong themes and they blend together beautifully in this well crafted story. 


Ann isn't quite sure where she fits in at her high school and we are taken on a journey with her through navigating the complexities of high school friendships and family drama. I really enjoyed Ann's quick wit and sarcasm and her character felt very real. Dealing with a tragedy that shakes up your whole world view is daunting and we learn a lot about Ann and her strength throughout, but of course no good coming of age story would be complete without some major bad decisions along the way. 


There is much to be said about grief and the many forms it takes. The raw emotions that Ann and her brother Tommy share made me tear up. So many emotions running high and relying on each other was the best thing to do and it really showed a realistic view of siblings. The family drama that is ongoing in the background of story is heavy, but necessary. It was an important part of Ann's story and it was nice reading something that felt very personal. 


All in all this was a well written story with a characters, don't let the romance tag fool you, this story is about a lot more than dating. I recommend this to readers older than 16 because of some of the content, but I definitely would pick up a copy today. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.
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review 2017-08-30 03:21
Book Review: Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats - Carla Rehse

This book is just what I needed to get me out of my reading slump. I joined bout of books last week in an attempt to motivate myself to get some reading done and I'm glad I picked this lovely gem to focus my efforts on.


First off, Gracie is awesome. She's a no nonsense and all nonsense girl all rolled in one. Sometimes the name dropping of all the different designers was a bit distracting from the story, but I understand it was necessary to build up Gracie's over the top, only child, rich kid connections. Despite her background, I think Gracie's character was well rounded and a lot of fun. 


Asher and Willow round out the trio of misfits and their interactions with Gracie made me laugh out loud. They have seen their share of tragedy and frustration at such a young age, but are empowered and stubborn enough to try to change the way things are. I would love to read a book from Willow's perspective because I think it would be full of sarcasm and wit. 


For keeping me entertained and turning pages, this book gets a glowing 5 stars from me. It was well written, fun and just the right amount of seriousness to bring it to a conclusion. I would highly recommend it. 

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