Friday, February 12, 2016

Yet Another Book Review Round-Up

Hello Lovelies!!

Once again, the semester has eaten my blog. I have read 17 books this year and haven't blogged about a single one. Sigh. So here's a quick review of what I've been reading lately.

While this was an entertaining short story, it wasn't particularly thrilling or in depth. I finished it in about half an hour, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had a little more room to develop. I might be interested in reading Ridley's full length novels in the future.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Although this was mostly just marketed as an Oregon Trail historical fiction novel, there was so much more to this book. It has two non-white main characters: Chinese Samantha and Black Annamae. Both girls go undercover as boys while on the run for murder (and in Annamae's case as an escaped slave). The two of them join a group of cowboys heading the same direction. They have to learn how to survive the wilderness as well as the mess of their lives.

Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas

Micah is off-grid. Vee helps power the grid with her band and her voice. Cyrene is a city where people in their prime can live life as big as they want to. Micah tries his best to keep the darker side of the city moving, he's hunting for the darkest parts. But when he's at the club where Vee sings, he just wants to see her again. Vee sees Micah across the crowded club, and all she wants is to see him again. When she can't she tries a new drug, Applejack, but that's a mistake. I really enjoyed this book. Lisa Mantchev continues to surprise me in new and different ways. Mantchev's writing is thrilling and beautiful to read.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have nothing in common except their hatred of each other. And the fact that they're both traveling performance families. The Palomas are mermaids, or at least with the assistance of flashy, handsewn tales they are. And the Corbeaus are birds, with the help of huge and gorgeous handcrafted wings. But when Lace and Cluck meet, they don't know that they're member of rival families. This is the story of how two people can hate each other so much even as they're learning to love. This is the first book of 2016, I really loved. It's beautifully written and such a fantastic work of magical realism. I highly recommend it. 

(I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley. This IN NO WAY affected my review.)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter is the fantastic conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles. Winter is keeping track of Scarlet. Especially after Jacin explains who Scarlet is. The rest of the team is coming for Scarlet. They just have to make a plan. And as with all plans, nothing goes according to the way they imagine it. This was an incredible series ender. Everything I wanted from such a magnificent series.

The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton

This is the story of two misfits. Both deemed unworthy because of the color of their skin and their socio-economic status. It's the story of Junior Brown and Buddy Clark. And Mr. Pool who built a solar system in a hidden janitorial closet. Hamilton tackles mental health, homelessness, loneliness, and family drama. 

The Contender by Robert Lipsyte

This story started out really strong for me. Alfred Brooks decides he wants to learn to fight after his friends are involved in a robbery gone awry. Brooks trains with a local trainer at a local gym. However, eventually drugs and alcohol become a part of the story. That's where my interest dropped off. It seemed an unnecessary addition to an already interesting story. 

Issues 14-26 are collected in this set about Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman.  The issues which have a narrative thread are pretty decent, but the single issues seem lackluster at best. And the art for this series does not thrill me. It's a "traditional" comic style which basically just means super twisted poses for women. I mean look at Catwoman on the cover! 

A Separate Peace by John Knowles 

Gene's roommate Phineas is a suave athlete. Gene just wants to excel at school. However, Gene's paranoia about what Phineas wants leads to a disaster. This is the story of friendship and not-quite-enemies. I rather enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. It's got some interesting points about the human condition but it doesn't overwhelm me. 

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows is the fourth in the Throne of Glass series. This is a series which continues to blow me away with each subsequent book. The plot gets more intricate. The stakes get higher. My ships are more or less sunken, but I just want to read more. I want to know what happens next! I fall more in love with the characters each book. If you haven't yet started this series, I cannot recommend it enough. 

Alright there's 10 reviews. Here's to the other 8 tomorrow! Hope you lovelies have had a great month and some days into 2016! Let me know what you've been reading in the comments!!