Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (2/4/20)–Zenn Scarlett

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to scour the older reaches of my TBR. Zenn Scarlett has been on my TBR for ages, and I’d forgotten about it for a year or two before deciding to pick it up, in hopes of an inventive new twist on a sci-fi book. In theory, it had loads of potential, and while it delivered in some aspects, a select few flaws unfortunately dragged the rest of the book down with them. Quite entertaining, at the end of the day.

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Zenn Scarlett

For as long as she can remember, 17-year-old Zenn Scarlett has made her home on the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars, a veterinary clinic that specializes in alien life forms. In her rigorous training to become a professional exovet, Zenn must wrangle all manner of bizarre creatures. But strangest of all may be the unusual occurrences that have been popping up all over the clinic–several animals, many of them potentially dangerous to Mars’ human population, have been found outside of their enclosures under mysterious circumstances. And with growing unrest from Mars’ towners about the off-world wildlife, Zenn, with the help of her uncle, Hamish, the clinic’s insectoid sexton, and Liam, a towner boy who can’t hide his feelings for her, must convince the populace that these animals are worth saving.

 

Despite the lowish rating on Goodreads (currently at a 3.44), I was immediately hooked on the premise.

Let’s start out with the positive aspects of the book. It’s pretty clear that Schoon is a biology nerd, and it shows in the best way possible. He’s taken so much care into creating a plethora of fascinating alien life forms, even going so far to dish off some Latin names for them. Kind of unnecessary, but it did make the circumstances seem a little more real. And while I loved all of the critters, I had one major problem with them: almost all of them were described as mammalian or mammal-like.

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Okay, don’t get me wrong, mammals are cool, but to have almost all of the alien species be mammalian sounds preeeeetty preposterous. At least there were a few creatures that were reptilian, or outside of the animal kingdom altogether, but that took away from my excitement.

Beyond that, Zenn Scarlett as a whole felt unrefined. The writing was rather choppy, and often times clunky and unpleasant to read. The plot twists were predictable from the start, and while I liked the possible connotations of commentary on xenophobia, it felt far too easy to figure out. It might have been a bit more tolerable if this was geared towards a younger audience, but Zenn Scarlett is branded as young adult, as opposed to middle grade.

Going off of that, I really did feel like this could have passed for middle grade–and I don’t say that in a degrading way, but the characters and plot seemed easy enough for that age range to swallow. Zenn herself could have been anywhere from 12-15, from the way she acted and spoke, but I had a bit of trouble believing that she was 17. But if I can stretch my imagination for aliens, I can try to suspend my belief for that. Either way, I didn’t feel attached to her, or any of the other characters. I suppose they were a bit cliched, but it almost seemed intentional. Even Hamish, who was the only one of the bunch that I liked (I guess I have a soft spot for bumbling alien sidekicks), was a little tropey, at worst.

Finally, I felt that this novel could have been cut by about 30 pages. The storyline came to a satisfying conclusion, but abruptly transitioned into another plotline that could have been saved for book 2. A cliffhanger would have actually been a good thing, in this situation.

All in all, a premise that lost some of its potential along the way, but entertaining all the same. Three stars for me. 

 

Zenn Scarlett is a part of a duology, followed by Under Nameless Stars. I’m unsure if it was meant to be longer or not, but that’s where the series has stopped as of now. I don’t think I’ll read book 2, but it’s got a higher rating than book 1, so I suppose that might count for something.

Today’s song:

(You ever just have the urge to…go into a parking garage and have a dance-off with a bunch of your clones?)

(LADIES NIGHT!!!)

That just about wraps up this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Geeky Stuff

High School Stereotypes Book Tag

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Happy Wednesday, everyone!

This tag was created by  Another Book in the Wall, (oh my God, what an incredible blog name…🤣), and I got this tag from The Corner of Laura. It looked super cute, so I figured that I’d give it a go!

 

The Mean Girl | A Book You Can’t Help But Rant About

I’ve got a fair amount of books that I’d put in this category, but I’ll go with Samantha Young’s Smokeless Fire.  Lord…this book is practically screaming in agony for an editor’s pen…

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The Bro | Your Favorite Sidekick

Without question, Doop from Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Statix.  He’s just…floating about wherever the team goes, filming everything, knowing everything, and just being straight-up relatable, sometimes, with that tired face of his. I mean, he plays a hilariously big role later on, but I guess you could call him a sidekick.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with X-Statix, here’s Doop himself…

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LEGEND.

 

The Dumb Jock | A Book Whose Cover Is Better Than Its Story

I’ll have to go with Laura Weymouth’s The Light Between WorldsThe cover is stunning and so well designed, but the story was just so…unbearably…boring…

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The Loner | A Standalone You Love

Jessica Khoury’s sci-fi retelling of the tale of Anastasia, Last of Her Nameblew me out of the water with its lush writing and worldbuilding. Maybe I should read it again sometime.

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The Overachiever | A Series That Should’ve Ended After Book 1

As much as I love Rainbow Rowell’s Carry OnI don’t know if Wayward Son was really necessary, as much as I hate to admit it. It just lacked that emotional punch that defined book 1, and now a third book is confirmed…dunno how to feel about that…

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The Class Clown | A Book That Makes You Laugh

Without a doubt, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good OmensThat book made me laugh like no other book I’d read before.

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The Outcast | A Unique Fictional World You’d Want To Visit

As mediocre as much of the book was, I must say, I’d definitely like to visit the Martian Exovet Cloister in Christian Schoon’s Zenn ScarlettCertainly wouldn’t have any dull days while caring for weird alien critters.

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The Nerd | An Author With the Best Writing

Neal Shusterman, without question. Not only is he incredibly clever in every little detail he creates, the writing is all at once heartrending and witty, beautiful and terrifying.

 

The Prom Queen | An Over-Hyped Book

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again…Red Queen.  [whips out megaphone] IT’S JUST A SLOPPY LITTLE BALL OF OVERUSED TROPES, PEOPLE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE…

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I promise that I didn’t choose this one because both it and the prompt have the word “queen” in them…no pun intended, I swear…[breaks into a nervous sweat]

The Drama Kids | A Protagonist Who Is Melodramatic

It’s been a while since I’ve read Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Landsbut one of my distinct memories of why I DNF’d it was because of how whiny and entitled I found Elliot to be.

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The Teacher’s Pet | Favorite Animal Sidekick

Again, I’m turning to the world of Marvel–specifically the world of mutants–because Lockheed is an absolute show-stealer who I must shower with love and appreciation.

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Here’s Our Boy™, shown with Kitty Pryde.

 

The Hipsters | A Book You Love That Isn’t In Your Comfort Zone

I’m not an avid fan of neither novels in verse, nor historical fiction. Kip Wilson’s White Rose happens to be both, and I adored its poignant and tragic story.

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Aaaand that just about wraps it up! I had so much fun doing this tag!

Today’s song:

I forgot about this song for years, and I just remembered its existence a few days ago. And what can I say except…[loud sobbing]

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Music, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 13-19, 2020

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I’ve had a slowish reading week, and an even slower school week, but I’m recovering now, thanks to a three-day weekend, with a dash of patriarchy smashing thanks to the Womxn’s March. But even though I didn’t read *as* much, most of what I read, I really enjoyed. (Mostly due to Stranger in a Strange Land, which was a lovely and extremely well thought out novel, but incredibly dense.)

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Stranger in a Strange Land–Robert A. Heinlein (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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Sing Down the Stars–L.J. Hatton (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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Zenn Scarlett–Christian Schoon (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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POSTS AND SUCH:

 

SONGS:

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Eliza and Her Monsters–Francesca Zappia

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Blue Monday, vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright–Chynna Clugston Flores

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The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)–Melissa Albert

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Today’s song:

This is the only song that I’ve really loved off of UR FUN so far (haven’t listened to the whole album yet). of Montreal’s definitely going in a very different direction…not sure if I like it, but this is a cute song. 🙂

 

That just about wraps up this week in blogging! Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Music, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 6–January 12, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

Yeesh…what a week. I’ve successfully gotten through my first week back to school, but of course, the universe decided that it would be the perfect week to hammer me with random illnesses. [loudly destroys tissues] I’m on the mend now, but…ew, sheesh…

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That’s why I’ve been a bit sluggish this week, so I’ll try to be a tad less lethargic in the coming weeks, Honors Bio schedule permitting. But hey, you know what this week also brought? The decade’s first book and comic haul!

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

B.P.R.D., Vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories (re-read)–Mike Mignola  (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Half Bad–Sally Green (⭐️⭐️)

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Rebel (Legend, #4)–Marie Lu (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams–Mike & Laura Allred, Steve Horton 

(⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft–Stephen King (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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POSTS AND SUCH:

 

SONGS:

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

(based on my library haul)

Stranger in a Strange Land-Robert A. Heinlein

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Zenn Scarlett-Christian Schoon

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Eliza and Her Monsters-Francesca Zappia

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Sing Down the Stars-L.J. Hatton

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Blue Monday, Vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright-Chynna Clugston Flores

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Today’s song:

 

 

That just about wraps up this week in blogging! Have a great day, and take care of yourselves!

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