Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

The Red Queen series is one of my personal favorites. I really enjoyed it because it encompassed all of the genres that I enjoy into one series. I also really liked the diversity of the characters. 

 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first of a five-part new adult high fantasy series about Feyre Archeron. In this first installment, Feyre, a 19-year-old huntress is captured and taken to the faerie land of Prythian after killing a faerie wolf in the woods. Feyre quickly learns that her kidnapper, High-Fae Tamlin, is one of the seven High Lords of Prythian. As she lives with Tamlin in the Spring Court, she comes to learn that everything she knew about the faerie world is a lie.  

A Court of Thorns and Roses, not to be mistaken for young adult, is well suited to older fans who enjoy romantic subplots, magic, witty, well-developed characters, and found family. Fans of George R.R. Martin will find themselves especially entertained by the action-packed plot, and fans of Kristin Cashore will enjoy the complex world-building. Though the beginning of the book is a bit slow, everything you are told in the first half is flipped on its head midway through, and from that part on, the book is fast paced with plot twists that will leave you guessing. The characters are memorable, empowering women and condemning toxic masculinity every step of the way. They are nuanced and stray from inherent good or bad, once again reinforcing the maturity of the author's writing. Overall, Maas' first installment is a solid introduction into this new world that I'm sure will be just as wonderful as it continues to be fleshed out in the following books.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

Dallas and Florida have been at the Boxton Creek Home for years—their whole lives, in fact. The few families they’d been placed into had hauled them back within a few days. “‘Trouble twins,’ these exasperated adults would say. ‘Nothing but trouble.’” Under Mr. and Mrs. Trepid’s plethora of rules, quiet, imaginative Dallas and wild, fiery Florida have learned not to trust anyone, especially adults.

When sixty-year-old Tiller and his wife Sairy come looking for assistants on their respective journeys, the trouble twins are yanked from the cruel monotony they had always known into a much kinder, gentler world. As they struggle to adjust to life with Tiller and Sairy, they make mistakes and learn from them. But then trouble of another kind arises in Mr. Trepid himself. Can Dallas and Florida, along with their new family, thwart the orphanage’s cruel owner’s schemes once and for all? 

Ruby Holler is a wonderful, imaginative story carefully crafted in the hands of an expert author. Sharon Creech weaves vibrant characters that seem to leap off the page. She keeps readers turning page after page, immersed in the story. I, for one, found myself disappointed when the story ended, the message lingering with me long after I had turned the last page. It was an altogether captivating read. I would recommend Ruby Holler to anyone who enjoyed The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
 takes place in 1958 in Upper West Side, New York. The story is based on the perfect Midge Maisel, who is married to the man of her dreams with two kids. However, it all goes downhill when her husband Joel leaves her for another woman. A heartbroken Midge accidentally stumbles onto the stage at a comedy club and discovers her own comedic skills. In the process, she goes on her journey of self-discovery.  

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a stand up comedy sitcom that I've had the pleasure of sitting down for. The wit is impeccable and it's no surprise that Rachael Brosnahan, the actress for Midge, was nominated at the Golden Globe Awards 2018 for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. Besides Midge herself, each and every character is crafted so perfectly, none exempt from flaws. 

You will find yourself laughing from beginning to end and sympathizing with them, most importantly the lead, throughout each and every season. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a show I love, my mother loves, and my sister loves, bringing generations of people together with a wonderful, character-driven story.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Legend by Marie Lu

 

15-year-old June is an exceptionally gifted prodigy, who is being groomed to become a military star. But when her brother is senselessly murdered, she embarks upon a mission to find his killer and discovers that all signs point towards Day, a notorious criminal who is already wanted by the Republic. 

In Marie Lu's dystopian first installment of a trilogy, the author takes an unorthodox route for this genre—character-driven rather than plot—and executes it near flawlessly. The pace moves quickly, and Lu points readers toward her characters and their chemistry rather than the dramatic events unfolding around them. Her characterization is heartfelt and enjoyable, and readers will quickly fall in love with Day, June, and the harmony and dissonance between them. 

One drawback was the lack of explanation for a large portion of the politics (government vs people AKA the standard YA conflict, though the why behind the government's evilness was not touched upon); additionally, many times both Day and June are not as relatable as one might hope, accomplishing Olympic-level feats of athleticism and demonstrating Einstein-esque intelligence on a daily basis despite being mere, mostly ordinary teenagers. However, you won't find yourself craving more political explanation with the complex character dynamics and multi-faceted personalities. 

Overall, I would rate Marie Lu's Legend four out of five stars; with entertaining action sequences and plenty of banter to satisfy your YA needs, Legend is a quick, fun read.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

 

Alec Ramsay is coming home from a relative in another country on a boat.  At one of the stops, a wild, unbroken stallion is loaded onto the boat.  On the way to the U.S., a storm hits, and the boat wrecks.  Alec and the stallion are stranded on an island and must survive by themselves.  The Black Stallion is a great book in the beginning of a great classic series.

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

 

This is a novel that peers into the heart of a dystopian society filled with oppression and racial conflict that divides the two planets, Urras and Annarres, causing the reader to experience the many emotional shifts as the protagonist, Shevek, desperately tries to crack the code of quantum and therefore physics in order to form a bond between the two planets.