Book Reviews

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.52.52 AM

This book was the March pick for the Dragons & Tea Book Club hosted by Mel from

Mel to the Any & Amy from A Court of Crowns and Quills

 Synopsis:

A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

My thoughts:

This book had so much potential. Magic & Cocktails. What more could a 24 year old want in a book? However, I was let down on so many levels.

The main character Bailey was just SO annoying. She was a big cry baby and I could have cared less for her.

The plot jumped around a TON. One moment we were talking in an alley, the next we are in court. It just did not flow for me and I was confused at some points.

I did love that this book had cocktail recipes and we got to learn what powers each cocktail gave you. It was really fun and I thought the magic and concept was original. I just expected more and overall this was the reason I was let down. 

I did enjoy this book, but it wasn’t a favorite.

Rating: ★★★

Instagram • Goodreads • Twitter

Book Reviews

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic #2) By Amanda Lovelace

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.33.00 AM

“ready for a

harsh truth?

Women

don’t need

your validation.

We

already have

our own.

my self-worth shouldn’t feel like an act of bravery.”

Synopsis:

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

Winner of the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards

My thoughts:

Wow. This collection of poetry was powerful. I feel as though it is very timely to what we are facing in our political environment. I will say, some poems fell like they were very men hating and at times this kind of made me uncomfortable which is why I didn’t rate it as high. Amanda Lovelace has 2 other poetry books part of this “series” of women empowerment verse. I plan on reading her other works because I really did enjoy this one.

Rating:★★★★

Instagram • Goodreads • Twitter

Book Reviews

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

“…, you will have to speak louder with bravery and dignity, to be heard. You will have to be willing to inform and to educate. And you will have to know when it is time to remove yourself from situations and disconnect from those who either do not understand or are unwilling to. You have to do what is right for you.”

Synopsis

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

(Provided from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This book was a gem and I am so sad I took so long to read it. First off, I LOVED the representation of asexuality. I can’t say if the representation was accurate but I personally learned a lot about asexuality and I appreciate the fact that there is a book like this out there.

This book is very character driven which I don’t mind. The story summed up is a lot of finding yourself and also accepting who you are. Feenie, Alice’s bff is insufferable. I did not like her whatsoever. She was the only character in this book I disliked. She was so selfish and mean to Alice.

I enjoyed learning about Alice’s family and how that has shaped her to be who she is.

Rating: ★★★★

This book was fantastic and I am so glad I finally read it.

Instagram • Goodreads • Twitter

Book Reviews

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Synopsis:

1 hour, 43 minutes

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds. 

My thoughts:

Captivating. A story that will stand through time. I have read a couple of books told in verse and this one has to be my favorite. Jason Reynolds did an amazing job of showing the reader the impact of choices through time. If you are ever in a reading slump, this book will definitely get you out of it.

Rating: 

Book Reviews

The Weight of the Stars by Kayla Ancrum

A beautiful tale of friendship, love, and taking chances on the unknown.

First off, I would like to thank Kayla Ancrum for providing me with an ARC of her book. I am so happy I got a chance to read this before it hits the shelves.

Synopsis:

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .

In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page.

An Imprint Book

My thoughts:

I was instantly captured by this story. Ryann our main character, was one I loved and found myself relating to. Focused on her brother James, and his son Charlie, we learn about her family, and the hardships they have faced. Ryann does what is necessary to provide for them due to terrible circumstances. Alexandria, the new girl in town, becomes of interest to Ryann. Cold and angry, my first thought of Alexandria was one of dislike, however she quickly grew on me. Learning about her background, I would be as cold and angry as she is.

Together, Ryann and Alexandria learn about themselves, the truth of the past, and the importance of friendship and family.

Overall, I LOVED this book. I felt as though the reader got to understand the backstory of the main characters in a way that made you appreciate their differences. I also think that K. Ancrum did a great job of representing grief. I found myself rooting for the characters and appreciating their impact on one another. If you enjoy space, f/f romance, and friendship, this the book for you!

Rating: 

5/5 Stars

If you haven’t pre-ordered this book I recommend you do so.

The Weight of the Stars comes out March 19th, 2019.

 

Book Reviews

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

screen shot 2019-01-27 at 5.42.39 pm

Who knew I would love such an weirdly titled graphic novel.

Synopsis: The job of the skin is to keep things in.

On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained and, moreover, beardless.

Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable… monster*!

Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it? And what, most importantly, are they going to do with Dave?

The first book from a new leading light of UK comics, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is an off-beat fable worthy of Roald Dahl. It is about life, death and the meaning of beards.

(*We mean a gigantic beard, basically.)

Thoughts: One word: Amazing. This story has a dystopian theme. Everything is simple Here. Everything is scary There. It was kind of scary to think about a world that could exist like the world in Here. The ending really warmed my heart. The illustrations were amazing. This is a book I think anyone will enjoy.

Rating: 5/5

Book Reviews

On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Renninson

screen shot 2019-01-27 at 5.36.50 pm

The second book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.

Synopsis: You don’t have to be a teenager to appreciate the humorous and often self-absorbed ravings found in 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson’s diary, but it certainly helps. Now fans of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging — Georgia’s first set of hilarious musings on life — can get another peek into the mind of this wryly inquisitive English lass in the appealing sequel: On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God.
As the title implies, Georgia has snagged herself a sex god in the form of Robbie, the boy of her dreams. Now that they’ve indulged in a bit of “full-frontal snogging,” Georgia turns her attention to advancing the relationship. But things quickly go wrong when she learns that her father’s new job may necessitate a move to New Zealand. Crestfallen, Georgia feels her life might as well be over. Then, miraculously, the dreaded move is cancelled, and things seem to be getting better — at least until 17-year-old Robbie decides to break up with Georgia because he’s bothered by the difference in their ages.
Borrowing freely from her mum’s closet and advice books, even as she’s steadfastly discounting everything her mum says, a crushed but determined Georgia comes up with a scheme to win Robbie back. As usual, nothing goes as planned, and life is further complicated by Georgia’s temperamental cat, Angus (who’s having a few amorous leanings of his own), and her baby sister, Libby, whose fascination with (and lack of control over) her bodily functions leads to several intriguing mishaps. Of course, there are other disasters, too: a quick-tan lotion that turns Georgia’s legs orange, a run-in with the aptly named Bummer sisters, and friends who insist on focusing on their own problems from time to time.
Who knew the angst of adolescence could be so much fun? This Georgia’s-eye view of teenage life is wonderfully egocentric and side-splittingly funny. And despite the occasional language barrier (a glossary of terms is provided in the back of the book), Georgia’s thoughts and experiences will prove universally recognizable to anyone who is, or has ever been, a teenager.

 

Thoughts: I had a difficult time getting through this one. I think part of it was I wasn’t really in the mood for it. There are parts of this book that made me laugh but a lot of comments about lesbians that someone could find offensive. I used to love this series when I was younger and is why I am rereading it. I think if I didn’t have the memories behind this series I would have probably rated it lower. I think I will continue with the reread.

Rating: 3/5