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Search tags: rachel-hawkins
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review 2017-08-18 21:21
Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

So, this book had been sitting at the bottom of my TBR for just about forever. I'm rather ashamed to say that I actually received a galley of this way, WAY back when I started blogging and then it just never made it to the top of the list. I even own a paperback copy of this now, and I still ignored it. It wasn't until Hex Hall popped up on my audio book recommendations at the library that I really paid attention. Which is silly! Because I loved the Rebel Belle series by Hawkins. Still, I'm a little glad I waited. The audio was great, and this was just what I needed to listen to at the time. I had a ton of fun!

First off, I can't exactly say that Sophie Mercer's story is light. There are definitely sinister things happening at her school, and terrible fates do definitely befall some of her fellow classmates. However, I think what kept this buoyant was the fact that Sophie is just so easy to fall in love with. She's sweet, sassy, and pretty much the type of teen girl that I'd love to be friends with. Despite her situation, and the funk that it threatens to push her into, she keeps looking for the good. In other words, Sophie was real. Not overly sad, not overly excitable, just a Prodigium who really wanted to fit in and have a good school experience.

Even the "mean girls" in this book weren't over the top, which was nice. I know we all love to hate a good mean girl character, and Sophie's bullies aren't any exception to that rule. However it was nice to see that they also had some substance to them as well. I can safely say, without risk of spoilers, that I finally came to care about these girls in the end. It says a lot that I not only powered through this audio in a matter of days, but that I'm also eagerly waiting for the next book to hit my library app. I need to find out what happens next.

For keeping me smiling, and guessing, this book gets a big four stars from me. I needed something in the YA genre that wasn't full of swoon-worthy, brooding boys and this was just perfect. Highly recommended.

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review 2017-04-11 00:00
Rebel Belle
Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins It's so weird to be giving a book 2 stars and yet knowing that you might one day, mayberead the next one.

This book tried way too hard to be some sort of tribute to BTVS and I don't know what else (X-men?), and didn't quite manage to pull it off.

There was no depth to the characters, they were so unremarkable that I sometimes had trouble knowing who was saying what if it wasn't explicitly pointed out to me because everyone's voices were so similar. Not even to the overachiever Main Character, Harper, who was supposed to entertain me with her funny commentary, wits, and badassery managed to stand out.

The humor wasn't great. I might have laughed a couple of times and not because of the many 'trying-way-too-hard' jokes inserted in the dialogue. (That bit about the lipstick at the beginning of the book? I almost dnf'd right there)

The "romance" was tropey to the max, which on its own is not bad, but the author abused the rivals-to-lovers trope (Not a spoiler because this is right there in the book's blurb) and it felt forced when MC Harper already had a perfectly nice boyfriend who couldn't be more sweet.

The bad guys who wanted to kill/turn/help the other MC (David) were ??? (This actually made no sense. They first wanted to kill David because of "X" and then all of a sudden, with little to no explanation they want to help David because of the same reason they wanted to kill him in the first place? What's up with that?

I don't know, this book was sort of a very predictable, over-simplistic and not that funny read with a plot that could give so much more than what it was.

BUT it was sort of entertaining and a super fast read and, again, I miiiiiiight read the second book...one day.


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review 2016-12-31 20:52
Atlas of Animal Adventures
Atlas of Animal Adventures: A collection of nature's most unmissable events, epic migrations and extraordinary behaviours - Rachel Williams,Emily Hawkins,Lucy Letherland

 

I’m not sure exactly how I feel about myself after reading this children’s book but I do know that I loved this book and highly recommend it. While reading it, I was overwhelmed with all the information that the authors packed inside its pages. I felt smarter by the time I finished reading it and I know that there is no way I will be able to remember everything that I have read but I also felt a bit dumb because I thought to myself, wow…. here I am a grown adult and I didn’t know half the information that I read. The information was educational, stimulating and compelling. I can’t tell you how many aahh moments I had while reading this book but I can tell you that I did become annoying to my husband as I kept interrupting him with tidbits of information as he tried to read his books. I am excited about this book, really excited to share this book with others because the material and facts that they presented was fascinating and interesting. I learned that:

 

• Puffins lay their eggs on sheer cliffs. To prevent their eggs from rolling off, their eggs are a cone-like shape.

• “If two queen bees hatch at the same time, they might fight to the death.”

• Orangutans are the only creature who have ever responded to being tickled.

• The male bird of paradise will sometimes make a display to attract a female that can last for hours.

• A platypus has venomous spurs on their hind legs, to defend themselves.

• Red kangaroos (Australia) lick their wrists to cool their blood vessels.

• The Bowerbirds fascinated me with their bowers of twigs. These birds are cousins to the birds of paradise. The male birds build a bower to impress the females (this is not a nest). They decorate this with anything that they can find in the wild (feathers, buttons, stones, anything colorful). The females then come by each of the bowers, as the males make noise and fluff themselves up to attract a female. The female picks whichever one she wants.

 

There is such great and interesting information on each species that the book chose to include in this book. Don’t get me started on hummingbirds and ants because I thought I had known a lot about these creatures but after reading this book, I still have plenty to learn!

 

This oversized book would make a perfect addition to anyone who enjoys learning about critters. I enjoyed the heavy cardstock paper that the book is written on and I loved how the book is laid out. Sectioned off into continents, then broken-down into individual species in that continent, this book is a gem! I loved all the small facts/information that were sprinkled out throughout the illustration as well as the main facts that accompanied each page. The illustrations were colorful and wonderfully done. The only drawback that I could see was that sometimes a few of the smaller texts/facts that were sprinkled throughout the book blended into the background and they were hard to read. Since this was such an excellent book, I’m not docking any stars for this small issue as I was willing and determined to overlook this issue. It’s a book that should not be overlooked! I loved it!

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review 2016-08-13 04:16
Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Lady Renegades: a Rebel Belle Novel - Rachel Hawkins

Whoa. What happened here?


We went from light, fun, fluffy, and humor in Rebel Belle to convenience, unexplained world building, multiple missed opportunities and relationship problems in Miss Mayhem to Lady Renegades.

Lady Renegades which is filled with more “separated lovers” angst, to a mindless and useless road trip, to even more useless world building to a completely convenient ending.

Harper just questions herself too much in these books, and while I understand the need for character development, I just didn’t see the point to what Harper was doing and why she was having multiple doubts about herself.

The side characters weren’t that interesting in this installment, so yay! Well, I mean, I like the whole girl power aspect in here. That Blythe, Harper, and Bee all were the ones meant to do something.

If it wasn’t the boredom that made me realize I didn’t even care or enjoy this installment it was this: I felt nothing for the ending. Not when the huge climax and aftermath happened. I didn’t care. Felt nothing.

I would recommend reading Rebel Belle and just stopping there. The first book doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger or anything so it’s not that bad.

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review 2016-08-13 04:12
Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins
Miss Mayhem - Rachel Hawkins

Whereas Rebel Belle was a light, fun adventure, Miss Mayhem was just a chore to read. I’d thought that after the events of the previous book, this book would be a little more focused on the action and how Harper and her group of friends would navigate learning things and adjusting to their new lifestyle.

Nope. Nada.

Instead we have relationship problems. Cause those are so important. Definitely more important than the fact that David’s life might be in danger! I swear to God, if I see the words “ex-boyfriend” and “ex-girlfriend” again I’ll explode. There’s a reason humans have names! Use them!


In terms of the actual world building and plot: it was all too convenient. Eventually, it was noted that this book focused so much on relationships that, Oh Maw Gerd, they forgot the plot! So: convenience! Duh! The ending of this book made me cringe. I’m trying not to give this book a 2 star rating based on the consideration that even though this book was a huge disappointment from Rebel Belle, I didn’t dislike the book a lot.

Just. Too much boyfriend/girlfriend problems that I don’t care about, not even a single point to this book got through my head, and and the convenience of things was just irritating. You thought this was this? No! It’s actually that! How? Magic! Where did the magic come? Who cares, Harper has to kick butt at the beauty pageant!

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