Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/6/20)–All These Monsters

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Yeah, everybody has a different definition of happiness, but can we really deny the universal giddy joy of finding out that your preorder has reached the shipping department? SKYHUNTER WILL BE IN MY HANDS VERY, VERY SOON…[incoherent screaming]

Anyway, I put this on my TBR at the beginning of this year, but remembered it from Amie Kaufman’s recommendation of it in an episode of Amie Kaufman on Writing. Since it was available on the Kindle library, I decided to check it out, and I am SO glad I did! I didn’t think that anything would ever fill up the B.P.R.D.shaped hole in my heart, but All These Monsters very nearly did it.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: All These Monsters (9780358012405): Tintera, Amy: Books

All These Monsters–Amy Tintera

For nearly a decade, the Earth that Clara knows has been decimated by the Scrabs, burrowing monsters that have popped up in cities all over the world and prey on any humans that stumble into their paths.

Clara feels confined in her home, considering dropping out of high school and trapped by her abusive father and absent mother. But when an opportunity to join an international scrab-fighting task force arises, she sees it as exactly the kind of escape she needs. Leaving her home behind, she joins the fight, but soon realizes that fighting monsters is more deadly–and lifechanging–than she ever imagined.

hellboy gifs | WiffleGif

After B.P.R.D. came to a close last year, I thought that there wouldn’t be anything that could ever measure up to it. I didn’t even go into All These Monsters thinking that the two were all that similar, but somehow, this novel partially filled up the B.P.R.D.-shaped hole in my heart–and seeing how close those comics are to my heart, that’s seriously high praise coming from me.

First off, All These Monsters has some great representation–our protagonist Clara is half white, half Latinx [INTENSE HAPPY NOISES], and we have Black, Asian American, and Indian-American side characters. I loved Clara, and the team dynamic Tintera creates with her, Patrick, Edan, and all the rest is lovely! Those of you who have been following my reviews for a bit know that I’ll take found family any time of day, and All These Monsters portrayed it wonderfully.

And monsters. MONSTERS! I loved the scrabs–they gave me major Hell on Earth vibes, and I had so much fun going along for the ride with Clara and the rest of the gang. Not only does Tintera give us baseline physical descriptions of the scrabs, she goes in-depth to explore the international/political implications of them laying waste to the world. It’s certainly a lived-in kind of setting, so…come for the monsters, stay for the worldbuilding.

Beyond that, All These Monsters isn’t just about misfits fighting monsters–it’s a very raw exploration of abuse and toxic relationships. I’ll be clear–it’s not an easy read, but Tintera handles all of these tough topics with grace and aplomb, making you sympathize with some of the characters and hate some of the others with an appropriately fiery passion.

All in all, a dystopian sci-fi that delivers in both diversity and good old fashioned monster fighting. 4 stars!

The Mandalorian' 1x04: "Sanctuary" Roundtable | Fangirlish

All These Monsters is the first in the Monsters duology, concluding with the forthcoming All These Warriors, which is scheduled to come out in July 2021. (I got an eARC of it and read it over the weekend, so expect that review soon!). Tintera is also the author of the Ruined trilogy (Ruined, Avenged, and Allied) and the Reboot series (Reboot and Rebel).

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

My Life in Books Tag

Hi again, bibliophiles! I have a little bit of extra time, and I haven’t done a book tag in what feels like ages, so I’ve decided to do this one!

I found this tag over at Bookshelf Life, and I haven’t been able to find the creator of the tag, so if you know, please let me know 🙂

Let’s begin, shall we?

FIND A BOOK FOR EACH LETTER OF YOUR NAME

M: Monstrous–MarcyKate Connolly

A: Aurora Rising–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (you all knew this was coming, didn’t you?)

D: Dune–Frank Herbert

E: Even the Darkest Stars–Heather Fawcett

L: The Life Below (The Final Six, #2)–Alexandra Monir

I: I Wish You All the Best–Mason Deaver

N: Night Music–Jenn Marie Thorne

E: Everything Grows–Aimee Herman

PICK A BOOK SET IN YOUR CITY/COUNTRY

All the Impossible Things: Lackey, Lindsay: 9781250202864: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life, and that’s where All the Impossible Things is set. There’s even a scene at the Denver Aquarium, one of my favorite places to go in Denver.

PICK A BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO

The Case of the Missing Marquess (An Enola Holmes Mystery): Springer,  Nancy: 9780142409336: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve always wanted to travel to England, and Enola Holmes, along with Harry Potter (among other things) may or may not have spurred that on. (Oh, and David Bowie and the Beatles…)

PICK A BOOK WITH YOUR FAVORITE COLOR ON THE COVER

Amazon.com: Under Shifting Stars eBook: Latos, Alexandra: Kindle Store

I love teal and turquoise, and Under Shifting Stars has that in no short supply.

WHICH BOOK DO YOU HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORY OF?

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

I read Heart of Iron for the first time just over two years ago. I was on a plane ride to Chicago, and I spent most of the ride eagerly reading through this one. It was my favorite book for a while, and I highly recommend it!

WHICH BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULTY READING?

Amazon.com: The Odyssey (9780140268867): Homer, Robert Fagles, Bernard  Knox: Books

We had to read The Odyssey for English in my freshman year. I liked it, but I had to read it in…[ahem] small chunks because I just kept getting tired…

WHICH BOOK ON YOUR TBR WILL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU FINISH IT?

Amazon.com: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars eBook: Paolini, Christopher: Kindle  Store

I started reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars last night. It’s about the same length of my edition of Dune, which took me a solid week to read, so it’ll be a relief to finish all 880 pages. (I’m about 200 pages in now, and…it went from “draws heavily from Aliens” to “wait, is this an Aliens fanfic?” very quickly, but we’ll see how it goes…)

I TAG:

& anyone else who wants to participate!

30 Animated Book Reading Gifs - Best Animations

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (10/5/20)–The Resurrection Fireplace

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

Since it’s spooky season, I’m going to try and do some more horror/paranormal reads for Goodreads Monday! I’d forgotten all about this one, and it sounds fascinating.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (10/5/20)–THE RESURRECTION FIREPLACE by Hiroko Minagawa

The Resurrection Fireplace: Minagawa, Hiroko, Treyvaud, Matt:  9781939326423: Amazon.com: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

London, 1770. Brilliant physician Daniel Barton and his students are pioneering the modern science of anatomy with cadavers supplied by the “resurrection men” who prowl cemeteries for fresh graves. But their position becomes precarious with the appearance of two unexpected corpses: a boy with amputated limbs and a man without a face. When magistrate Sir John Fielding and his Bow Street Runners become involved, Barton’s students must clear their teacher’s name by uncovering the origin of the corpses—and their connection to Nathan Cullen, an aspiring poet recently arrived in London’s coffee houses whose work attracts the wrong kind of attention from publishers. Unfolding across a lovingly recreated panorama of early modern London, this tale by legendary Japanese novelist Hiroko Minagawa was awarded the 2012 Honkaku Mystery Grand Prize in Japan.

So why do I want to read this?

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First of all, I just LOVE this title for some reason. Who wouldn’t be drawn in by such a quaint little combination of words? Resurrection Fireplace…that just sticks with you, doesn’t it?

Besides that, this is giving me major Frankenstein vibes, and I’m 100% here for it. I love the creepy implications of the London setting and the shady dealings with these resurrection men.

The Resurrection Fireplace encapsulates several genres that I don’t readily pick up–mystery, historical fiction, and horror–but I’m so excited to see how Minagawa weaves it all together!

Frederick Frankenstein GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: September 28-October 4, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and HAPPY SPOOKY SEASON!

This week was definitely…something. I had (and still have) a slew of exams and a project to do all week, so school-wise, very overwhelming. Not ideal. But October always makes me feel better, and spending the weekend in Vail among the changing leaves of the aspens definitely alleviated some of the stress from earlier in the week.

Somehow I managed to read…a bunch this week? I’m not sure why, but I managed to blow through most of my library haul AND an eARC in a week flat, and that’s definitely a…record of sorts for me. I mean, one of them was a short graphic novel, but still. I haven’t been able to outline as much this week, but it’s starting to have *some* semblance of structure.

Coraline GIFs | Tenor

And the first few episodes of season 4 of Fargo came out recently, and they were both SO GOOD! I also re-watched Coraline after not seeing it for…almost a decade? The first episode of Penny Dreadful too–SPOOKY SEASON!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Struck–Jennifer Bosworth (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

Sea Sirens–Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Comic books in 'Trot and Cap'n Bill Adventure'

Star Daughter–Shveta Thakrar (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®

The Assignment–Liza M. Wiemer (⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Assignment (9780593123164): Wiemer, Liza: Books

All These Warriors (Monsters, #2)–Amy Tintera (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: All These Warriors (All These Monsters) eBook: Tintera, Amy:  Kindle Store

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Showers, Flowers, and Fangs–Aidan Wayne

Showers, Flowers, and Fangs by Aidan Wayne

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars–Christopher Paolini

Amazon.com: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars eBook: Paolini, Christopher: Kindle  Store

Today’s song:

File this under: Apples in Stereo songs from my childhood that have inexplicably gotten stuck in my head this week

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (10/3/20)–Intimidating Books 😳

Hi again, bibliophiles! This is my first experimentation with scheduled posts, so this is technically Top 5 Thursday, but…shh, nobody else has to know…

And IT’S FINALLY SPOOKY SEASON!

Anyway, it’s time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is intimidating books. 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: 

9/12/20—Science Fiction Books

9/19/20—Award-Winning Books

9/26/20—Guilty Pleasure Books

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, Christopher Paolini

Amazon.com: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (9781250762849): Paolini,  Christopher: Books

The fact that it’s nearly 900 pages long is the only truly intimidating factor about this one for me, but if I handled Dune, I could get through this. I ordered it for my brother’s birthday, and it’s currently sitting in my room, so I could probably sneak in a read before I wrap it up…🤫

Beloved, Toni Morrison

Beloved (novel) - Wikipedia

After reading The Bluest Eye, I’m certain that this one will be amazing, but incredibly rough. I have several of Morrison’s novels on my TBR, and I think we’ll be reading Song of Solomon either this year or next year for school.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Amazon.com: The Perks of Being a Wallflower eBook: Chbosky, Stephen: Kindle  Store

This one’s become a classic in the past two decades, and I’ve heard no shortage of high praise for it, but again–I’m going into it knowing that it may or may not destroy me.

Internment, Samira Ahmed

Internment: Amazon.co.uk: Ahmed, Samira: Books

Again–everyone that I know of who’s read this has loved it, but given the current political climate here in the U.S., I’m…okay, definitely not in the right headspace at the moment. I’d still love to read this, though.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

Books: The Handmaids Tale

Another book that I really want to read, but really shouldn’t at the moment, given…well, 2020…

This one’s been in hibernation on my Kindle; my mom sent it to me, but told me to wait until the pandemic’s over to read it. I think I’ll stick to her advice.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: All Our Hidden Gifts

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I don’t usually read seasonally (unless it’s Spooky Season, of course), and that wasn’t the reason that I requested this eARC, but I’m happy to say that All Our Hidden Gifts was a delightful read that’s perfect for this time of year! Though it wasn’t without its flaws, it was a sweet mix of paranormal fantasy, horror, and contemporary fiction.

Enjoy this eARC review!

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

All Our Hidden Gifts–Caroline O’Donoghue

Maeve’s sentenced to cleaning out the closet for her in-school suspension, but she soon learns that the job might not be as boring as she thought it was.

When mysterious tarot deck turns up the closet, Maeve pockets it, learning everything she can about it so that she can put her cards to good use. Her readings soon become the talk of her Catholic school, and soon, she has customers lining up outside of the closet. But after Lily, her former best friend, draws an unknown card, she disappears days later, causing a commotion in their tight-knit community. With the help of Lily’s sibling Roe, Maeve must find the secret of this mysterious Housekeeper card before its repercussions spread beyond Lily’s disappearance.

Art Magic GIF by littlekingdoms - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Walker Book US/Candlewick Press for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

All Our Hidden Gifts had the feel of an 2000’s horror movie for a teen audience, but in the best way possible. There’s paranormal and high school drama in equal amounts, but O’Donoghue balances out both genres for a paranormal tale that teens are sure to love.

Let’s start off with my biggest complaint. I found the pacing to be rather inconsistent, especially when compared to the synopsis on Goodreads and elsewhere. The storyline with the tarot cards turned out to have less of the spotlight than I thought, and it seemed to go far too quickly–most of it was over by the time that I’d gotten a third of the way through the novel. However, the other story elements were enough to keep the novel afloat for the remainder, so it didn’t bog down the story as much as I thought it would.

Other than that, I don’t have too many complaints. O’Donoghue’s writing was fresh and cinematic, with all manner of fascinating twists and tense scenes. Even if you’re not familiar with the tarot, the story is gripping and the perfect kind of spooky, paranormal fun that you’d want to channel right around Halloween.

I didn’t get attached to most of the characters, but they were absolutely authentic; weirdly enough, I connected a lot with Lily, even though she wasn’t present for most of the novel. There’s also a lot of LGBTQ+/POC-friendly elements to the novel, most notably in Roe, who is genderfluid. So kudos for O’Donoghue for that! There’s also a prominent Filipina character as well.

All in all, All Our Hidden Gifts lacked a bit in pacing and lovable characters, but made up for some of it with a timeless blend of paranormal fun. 3.5 stars!

pendulum gif | Tumblr

Expected release date: March 30, 2021

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (9/29/20)–The Black Kids

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Just a heads up before I begin, and probably one that’ll apply for the next few months. Now that I’ve been in school for a month, my schedule and workload are both getting more demanding, and so I won’t be able to post quite as much. This week in particular, I probably won’t be able to post much after this review–partly due to the slew of exams and quizzes I have later this week, but I’m also going to be gone for a few days. I’ll probably still be able to visit everyone else’s posts, but my posting schedule will be a bit more lethargic–Goodreads Mondays, Book Review Tuesdays, my Weekly Updates, and sometimes Top 5 Saturdays can probably be expected, but other than that, I won’t post as much per week. So just a heads up.

Now, back to our scheduled program…

I don’t read much historical fiction, but The Black Kids was such a stunning novel! All at once relevant to our past and our present, this book is brimming heart and the universal (I hope) desire for justice and equality in marginalized communities.

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Black Kids | Book by Christina Hammonds Reed | Official Publisher Page  | Simon & Schuster

The Black Kids–Christina Hammonds Reed

1992. Ashley Bennett’s life has been a sheltered one, nearly finished with high school and hanging out with her friends in Los Angeles. Her older sister took up the cause of advocating for racial justice years ago, but Ashley always preferred to stay on the sidelines.

But as riots begin to spread across the country after the brutal beating of Rodney King, she tries to continue to live her life as she always has, staying on the sidelines, not caring what goes on around her. Her friends have begun to isolate themselves from her, and she accidentally spreads a rumor about a classmate that could make or break his future. Ashley soon realizes that the world is bigger than the bubble she’s confined herself to–and that unity is the key to righting her personal wrongs.

I Cant Breathe Black Lives Matter GIF by Digital Pratik - Find & Share on  GIPHY

Historical fiction isn’t a genre that I readily pick up, most of the time. But instances like these remind me of the sheer possibility of the genre, to not just tell a story about our past, but to inspire change and to encourage readers to better examine themselves and the world around them. I’m glad to say that The Black Kids was one of these great novels–brimming with heart and with a message that will resonate for decades to come.

At the time I’m writing this review, it’s been about a month and a half since The Black Kids‘ release (August 4), and I must say, what better time than this to publish a novel like this one? Even though it’s set almost 30 years in our past, the themes of racial justice and police brutality resonate as though this book was set a year ago. (Which…okay, it’s absolutely disgusting that police brutality, racism, and everything related to that is still rampant today, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s timely and brilliantly timed.) Whether or not readers experienced the Rodney King riots or felt its repercussions, its sure to inspire a wide range of the audience.

The Black Kids boasts a dynamic cast of characters, and even better, no shortage of great character development, mostly on Ashley’s part. Her transformation from someone so sheltered to someone who genuinely cares about the world around her was beautiful to see, and Reed’s heartfelt writing fleshed it out even more so. There’s some relatable themes of letting go of toxic friendships and finding those who you truly connected with, which is something that I connected with the most.

On the subject of her writing, Reed’s prosed managed to be simultaneously authentic and poetic, a mix of brutal realities and immersive language that made me feel as though I was living in the novel. I’m not a 90’s kid, but I loved all the little music and pop culture references that were slipped in there as well.

All in all, The Black Kids boasts nearly all the hallmarks of a good historical fiction–facing the harsh realities from a fresh perspective, but making you feel immersed and invested in the setting and characters as though they were from the present day. 4 stars!

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The Black Kids appears to be a standalone, and it’s Christina Hammonds Reed’s debut novel. (I can’t wait to see what else she writes in the future!)

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (9/28/20)–Song of the Dryad

Happy Monday, bibliophiles! Hard to believe that September’s almost over, but at least SPOOKY SEASON starts on Thursday! 🎃🦇☠️🍁😈

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I put this novel on my TBR at the very beginning of this year. I haven’t heard much about it–it’s from an indie publisher, so I haven’t seen many reviews, if any, floating around the blogosphere–but it looks like an intriguing fantasy!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (9/28/20)–SONG OF THE DRYAD by Natalia Leigh

Amazon.com: Song of the Dryad eBook: Leigh, Natalia: Kindle Store

Blurb from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte Barclay is still haunted by an encounter she had eight years ago – a run-in with a fairy beast that had eyes like witchlight and a taste for flesh. Charlotte has avoided the Greenwood ever since, pretending fairies don’t exist and choosing instead to focus her energies on graduating from high school and perfecting her audition piece for the Bellini Institute. However, everything changes when her mom goes missing, kidnapped by the fairies that haunt the forest behind Charlotte’s home. 

When Charlotte’s search for her mom leads her into the fairy realm, she discovers that she hails from a line of Shrine Keepers – humans tasked with maintaining ancient fairy shrines. Charlotte’s family has failed their duties to the fae, and now she has no choice but to strike a deal with the dryad, an ancient and powerful tree nymph responsible for her mom’s disappearance. But the dryad only gives her a month to complete her task: retrieve five stolen fairy stones and return them to the ancient fairy shrine. If she doesn’t return the stones in time, the dryad has threatened to imprison another of Charlotte’s loved ones.

Charlotte dives into a world as magical as it is deadly, coming face-to-face with fairy creatures that never get mentioned in the story books – including the creature that haunts her dreams. She must embrace her task and conquer her fears, or else she’ll never see her mom again.

So why do I want to read this?

Imgur | Forest art, Fantasy, Fantasy landscape

Accidentally wandering into the realm of Fae and discovering that you have a connection with it is a fairly common trope I see in a lot of YA fantasy, but Song of the Dryad looks like it’s put an inventive twist on it! I also hardly ever see dryads as the star of the show as far as mythical creatures go in fantasy novels, so I’m excited to see how Leigh handles them. They hold so many possibilities for twists and plotlines, not to mention atmospheric imagery.

All in all, Song of the Dryad admittedly has the possibility of falling into several unfortunate tropes, but having the plot center around a dryad is giving me enough faith to keep reading.

young maleficent | Tumblr

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: September 21-27, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

I’ve only been in school for about a month, but I can already tell that the “Crash Course” theme music will haunt my dreams by the time May rolls around…

It’s definitely been an…okay week for me? I got back on my normal reading schedule, but I’ve had an amount of schoolwork and studying to to that’s definitely not ideal, but hey, first world problems. I’m gearing up for a similar week next week, so I might not be able to post quite as much.

I’ve been outlining for a story idea that I’ll probably whip out come NaNoWriMo season, so that’s been going slowly but surely. I also watched Netflix’s adaptation of Enola Holmes Friday night, and…well? Millie Bobby Brown was amazing, as always, but there was something missing. There were a few changes from the book that really seemed unnecessary, but I understand that most adaptations do need to change up the source material a tad bit. I still think that Sherlock should have been portrayed as more of the mansplaining jerk that he was in the books, and Henry Cavill would have been great at that, but alas, nope.

I’m glad that I haven’t read a bad book this week! Aside from re-reading Aurora Rising yet again (shh, I swear it’s just for book club purposes), I got some great content through my last eARC and my new library books. I’ve got a bunch more ready, so I think that this week could hold another week like it!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

All Our Hidden Gifts–Caroline O’Donoghue (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle, #1)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

All These Monsters (Monsters, #1)–Amy Tintera (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

All These Monsters (Monsters, #1) by Amy Tintera

Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)–Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Unearthed – Amie Kaufman

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Struck–Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

Star Daughter–Shveta Thakrar

Amazon.com: Star Daughter (9780062894625): Thakrar, Shveta: Books

The Assignment–Liza M. Weimer

Amazon.com: The Assignment eBook: Wiemer, Liza: Kindle Store

Sea Sirens–Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee

Sea Sirens GN (2019 Viking) A Trot and Cap'n Bill Adventure comic books

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Things That Grow

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

Whew, I’m so glad the school week’s over! I might not be able to do Top 5 Saturday tomorrow because I’ve got some studying to do…plus, I haven’t been able to come up with anything for this week’s prompt…🤣

Either way, I recently got this eARC, and right after finishing something as long and dense as Dune, this novel was just what I needed. Darkly humorous and full of heart, Things That Grow is a lovely piece of contemporary fiction.

Enjoy this review!

Amazon.com: Things That Grow eBook: Goldstein, Meredith: Kindle Store

Things That Grow–Meredith Goldstein

Grandma Sheryl was seventeen-year-old Lori’s whole world, her anchor when her absent mother wasn’t there to care for her. So when she passes away, Lori’s world is thrown off-center–not only is her beloved grandmother gone, but in her absence, she’ll have to move back in with her mother and start her senior year in Maryland, without her old friends and the peaceful life she led.

But Grandma Sheryl left Lori and her family one final mission–a list of four gardens to travel to and spread her ashes. Along with her uncle Seth and her best friend Chris, Lori sets off on a chaotic journey that will change her life–and the way that she sees her grandmother.

The Big Lebowski (1998) - Scattering Donny's Ashes GIF | Gfycat
This is exactly the kind of darkly hysterical vibe that the book gave off

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HMH Books for Young Readers for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I really haven’t read much contemporary fiction lately; it’s one that I try to read frequently, but I always end up gravitating more towards sci-fi or fantasy. But Things That Grow reminded me of what happens when the genre is executed right–it tugged at all the right heartstrings and made me crack up at the same time.

This novel certainly tackles some heavy topics, grief being the most prominent of them. I expected it to be a more somber novel, but Goldstein imbues a grimly humorous aspect that had me cracking up every few pages. It struck the perfect balance between honestly addressing grief and its consequences and having moments of being comedic and lighthearted. This is my first exposure to Goldstein’s work, but I can already see her clever writing shining through.

The other aspect that I enjoyed the most was the characters. Lori, Seth, Chris and all the rest were such distinct and lovable characters, and they all had lovely chemistry–part of what made a lot of the jokes I mentioned earlier land. They were all so authentic and well-developed, and I loved delving into their individual stories. I loved Chris and Lori’s friendship–the romance seemed a bit half-baked at its worst times, but I loved their whole backstory with his art and her stories.

That being said, Things That Grow wasn’t without its flaws, certainly. The conflict between Lori and Seth was interesting in concept, but felt very rushed and poorly executed; we only get introduced to the plot line maybe…3/4 of the way through? After that, they touch on it once or twice before it’s too-neatly resolved. That certainly left something to be desired, but it didn’t take as much away from the novel for me.

All in all, Things That Grow was a memorable contemporary novel that hit just the right balance between serious and hilarious. 4 stars!

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Release date: March 9, 2021

Today’s song:

I haven’t listened to this in years…I haven’t even seen this movie, but this cover brings back so many memories… ;_;

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!