An Ember In the Ashes Review

An Ember In the Ashes is a great example of a book that was harmed by its hype. The publicity for this book was such that anyone who remotely followed the ins and outs of YA fiction would have Tahir’s debut on their radar. For an obsessive YA reader like me, An Ember In the Ashes was practically jumping up and down on the horizon. I couldn’t wait to get my mits on this book. From all of the advance… Read more »

I’ll Meet You There Review

I’ll Meet You There Review

My anticipation for this book was really high, despite my dislike for Demetrios’ recent novels, Exquisite Captive and Something Real.  I think the concept of a contemporary romance, filthied by such extreme issues as poverty and amputation caught my interest, frankly.  I’m past the point of my life where I find Dessen-caliber contemporaries compelling — I need a little more grit to muster up my enjoyment, as off-kilter as that sounds. Additionally, the early favorable reviews of I’ll Meet You There had me really… Read more »

My Heart and Other Black Holes Review

My Heart and Other Black Holes Review

Right now, novels about teen suicide are everywhere.  Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen four high-profile ones — All the Bright Places, I Was Here, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and My Heart and Other Black Holes.  I wasn’t sure if I was up to reading another suicide book so soon after All the Bright Places, the ending of which really frustrated me, but Jasmine Warga’s debut came in at my library, I sat down to browse the opening pages, and then… Read more »

Girl In the Arena Review

Girl In the Arena Review

This book is so problematic — I can’t stop coming up with examples of how it falls short and messes up. Yet, despite this, I found it oddly compelling. The premise is that, starting in the 1960’s, a combat sport rose in popularity in the U.S. and the across the globe, in the tradition of Roman gladiatorial fighting. Although the sport didn’t start out advocating fatalities, gradually grievous injury and death became part of the business. Over time, the sport… Read more »

Tampa Review

Tampa Review

This novel is not enjoyable to read.  I went through it as quickly as I could, treating it as a grim, grim task.  I’m left very torn over whether it’s a book of any worth.  I’m uncertain over the author’s motives for writing it.  What am I sure of? It is a book about a female sexual predator.  The most convincing arguments I’ve read that support Tampa praise the book for its examination of predatory female sexuality.  They argue that Nutting’s writing is feminist,… Read more »

The Darkest Part of the Forest Review

The Darkest Part of the Forest Review

I have not read all of Holly Black’s written works, but I’ve covered a good deal, and it’s safe to say that I’m a fan. I *loved* Black’s Curseworkers series. I really liked The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Doll Bones was delightful.  The Iron Trial, Black’s collaboration with Cassandra Clare… I prefer to think that never happened. I was expecting great things from Black’s newest offering, The Darkest Part of the Forest.  Perhaps because of my high expectations I wound up being more than a little disappointed. It’s hard… Read more »

Half a King Review

Half a King Review

Truth is, I had to battle with myself to get through Half a King.  Some of my most respected reviewers gave this book high praise, but there were long stretches during my reading where I was not feeling it.  However, I’d been seeing absolute raves over the second book in the Shattered Sea series — Half a World.  I resolved to work through Half a King, because forgoing its sequel seemed foolhardy.  As it turns out, Half a World was, indeed, so worth it.  I gobbled the book up… Read more »

Book Review: When

Book Review: When

It’s really rare that I buy a book without having read it first, but I made an exception for When, since I was on vacation.  I wish I’d saved the ten bucks. When has an interesting premise, albeit one that is very similar to Rachel Ward’s Numbers.  Maddie Flynn knows the deathdate of every person she sees.  She has a reasonably lucrative business running with her momager, reading deathdates for a price.  But, when she correctly predicts the date that a young boy is murdered,… Read more »

Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

It’s been some time since I’ve posted!  The reason is slightly embarrassing.  I’ve been sulking.  A number of weeks ago I was about to get a job I was hugely excited over.  I was essentially told that I’d be employed in early January.  Then, my would-be employers changed their minds and hired somebody else.  I was… demoralized and deflated, to say the least. This, compounded by other matters, caused a little breaking point, I think. So, I went traveling. First… Read more »

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Deciding on a rating for this book is difficult.  On one hand, I want to give the author props for her good writing.  She managed to be lyrical and stylistic, but not overdo it.  On the other hand, most everything about The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender made me want to argue.  I can’t, in all honesty, say that I liked the book. The novel is a family saga told with plentiful dollops of magical realism.  It’s style and content reminded me… Read more »