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 »

Saga Review (Volumes 1-3)

Saga Review (Volumes 1-3)

I’ve flipped through a couple of graphic novels in the past, very briefly. I’m usually at the library when I’ve done this and I’ve always put them back on the shelf, thinking, not for me.  Well, if graphic novels are like Saga, they’re for me. I kept seeing Saga pop up on the websites and social media feeds of my reviewer pals — Sierra, Joy, Megan.  Eventually, due to FOBLO (Fear Of Being Left Out) I decided to broaden my horizons. So glad I did!… Read more »

Vicious Review

Vicious Review

I am kicking myself for not having picked up Vicious sooner.  I knew it was well-received, but for some reason I thought the book would be boring.  I’m not sure why I got that impression, but I was wrong, wrong, WRONG! Vicious was a complete and total page-whipper! The book opens with a man, Victor, and a young girl, Sydney, digging up a grave.  Quickly, we learn that this grisly task is all part of a mad scheme for revenge, years in the making…. Read more »

Stolen Songbird Review

Stolen Songbird Review

I think this qualifies as a guilty pleasure.  I say this because, while reading, I had this little voice in the back of my head saying, That’s pretty lurid! That’s sort of cheesy. That’s just indulgent! — but I DIDN’T CARE! I ate it all up! And it was delicious. That’s pretty lurid! Our heroine, Cecile, is kidnapped and dragged off to become the bride of the Prince of the Trolls!  There might or might not be hair-dragging involved.  I mean, come… Read more »

This Shattered World Review

This Shattered World Review

Two words —  space romance. Convinced? Okay, I’ll work a little harder. This Shattered World is the second installment in Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s co-written trilogy, Starbound.  The first book, These Broken Stars, is known for three main things, I feel: the gorgeous dress on its cover, its compelling hook, and the oh-no-they-did-not-just-go-there climax. This Shattered World has fewer pretty cover-outfits, a less juicy hook (in my opinion), but wow, does it ever deliver on the oh-no-they-did-not-just-go-there. While I was reading, I had to put the book down… Read more »

Code Name Verity Review

Code Name Verity Review

Giving this book 3 stars makes me feel like I have no class.  Certainly, this book deserves a higher rating.  But although I appreciated the novel for its meticulous research, daring plot, and unusual narration, it just did not capture my heart. I’m heartless along with having no class! The story opens bleakly, with our narrator captured by the Gestapo. We are reading her written “confession” as it were.  She spins a tale of two young women — one is… Read more »

Review: The Dinner

Review: The Dinner

Mostly I’m a kindhearted person.  But the truth is, I have a nasty streak.  Let me be clear! In no way am I a threat to society!  In fact, I’m kind of a goody-two-shoes.  Still, I’m a flawed human being.  I smile and laugh. I cry and sneer. Being so flawed, I find myself drawn to black humor.  Humor of the, “That’s awful! Haha!” variety.  Along with that, I have a sympathy for crooked characters.  And I appreciate the exorcism… Read more »

The Walled City Review

The Walled City Review

m4s0n501 Desperation practically ekes out of Ryan Graudin’s The Walled City.  These are characters gambling with enormous stakes — much more dire than simply staying alive.  Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai are dangling above the precipice of human agony.  Jin Ling lives in Hak Nam Walled City of her own volition, surviving by stealing food and necessities, and running like hell. She is also searching for her sister, sold, by their father years before, to a drug lord. Mei Yee, forced into… Read more »

The Diviners Review

The Diviners Review

I’ve been thinking…  I’ve started recording and posting video reviews, but have come up against some problems.  First, I never get to say everything I want about a book in the video.  Under the harsh red recording eyeball I lose my train of thought more often than not.  I’m still figuring out how to prepare for speaking out loud to my computer in an empty room about books.  Second, I don’t want to post a bunch of videos to the… Read more »

2014 End of Year Book Survey

2014 End of Year Book Survey

  This 2014 End of Year Survey is hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner.   Number Of Books You Read: Roughly 70 (Embarrassingly low. In 2013 I read 192.) Number of Re-Reads: I didn’t keep track, but I’d guess in the low 20’s. Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult 1. Best Book You Read In 2014? What a terrible question to ask! I NEED to give more than one answer. I loved Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson…. Read more »