Coming off the heels of the stupendous Dread Nation, I was pumped for this YA novel. The setup: children travel through magical portals to alternate worlds, only to become distraught upon their return to their tedious old lives. (Postmodern Wonderland or Narnia!) Though this book won all the awards—Hugo, Alex, Locus Nebula—it utterly failed to enchant me. I suppose my heart is a closed door. Or maybe an inky void. Nancy (the sixth most interesting character, maybe) lands at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children as a last resort. Her parents believe a kidnapping broke their daughter, changing her from […]
Yes, we might be living in the darkest timeline—or the dumbest, hard to tell. But be glad that you’re not our girl Jane, who contends with cruel racism and incompetence while also decapitating hungry “shamblers,” the reanimated corpses of the Gettysburg fallen and any poor soul bitten thereafter. Some years ago, the paddy wagon plucked Jane McKeene from her home at Rose Hill plantation so that she might learn the finer points of combat and decorum at Miss Preston’s, Baltimore’s finest school for Negro girls. She and her classmates train hard for the chance to become an Attendant—bodyguard and chastity […]
Justina Ireland’s 2018 YA novel Dread Nation was one of New York Public Library’s Winter 2018 Picks for Young Adults. When I read the brief description about alternative history and zombies and then saw the totally badass cover over on Amazon, I had to read it. Although it clocks in at over 400 pages, I zipped through it in no time, and all I can say is that there had better be a sequel soon! Set in the 1870s, Ireland shows her readers an America that is horrifying and familiar. She has also created some cool and courageous characters, most […]
I really rather wish this book had been written back when I was in my late teens, so the girl-I-was could have been reassured that she wasn’t alone.
I had so much fun with this book. I’ve not really seen Brandon Sanderson go full sci-fi before. He did that novella, Snapshot, but that’s pretty much it. Everything else has been in the realms of epic fantasy, superheroes, and the more speculative end of fantastical fiction that doesn’t really have a scientific basis (i.e. Legion). But I wasn’t really worried because a lot of the same tools he uses for his fantasy books are also applicable to sci-fi. He’s a fantastic worldbuilding, an excellent plotter, and is great at structuring a narrative. He’s not always the strongest on his characters, […]
My elementary school daughters have recently discovered the manga section at the library and due to their interest in cooking shows they brought home Kitchen Princess: Volume 1. It is a classic shoujo manga. Shoujo stories are aimed primarily at young females and are heavily focused on personal and romantic relationships this is no exception. The heart of the story is Najika Kazami an orphan (because of course she is) with the ability to remember everything she has ever tasted and can recreate a dish perfectly from just tasting it. She loves food and cooking, preparing dishes for the joy of […]
Usually when I review a book that’s already been covered on CBR multiple times, I try not to read anybody else’s reviews until mine is written. This time, however, I read everything the search function could find for me. I remembered from headlines that some people loved this Hugo/Nebula-winning book, and some people did not. I listened to the audio version on my way to Thanksgiving, and enjoyed it, so was curious what others thought. I think the audio version may have helped, having Binti talk to me while I was on the road. I liked her very much, and […]
Elaine Lui of Lainey Gossip has been figuratively yelling at me since 2013 to read Eleanor & Park. She brings it up regularly when talking about other YA books. It was a book I kept meaning to get around to reading but just never put in the effort of getting my hands on a copy. When I realized it was an option for the So Popular! bingo square, it seemed fated that I would finally read Eleanor & Par,k and complete my second bingo in the process. I could not put this book down. Rainbow Rowell instantly sucks you into the world of teenage drama […]