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Review: The Hate U Give

Review: The Hate U GiveTitle: The Hate U Give
Author(s): Angie Thomas
Genre(s): Contemporary, YA
Pages: 447 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

My Thoughts

I read The Hate U Give for book club. I have been a supporter of the BLM movement from the get go. However, reading The Hate U Give was a very eye-opening experience. I learned a lot. I learned that I’ve lived a very sheltered and, subsequently, safe life. I learned that being a BLM supporter isn’t enough. And, I learned that supporting BLM for the wrong reasons is just as wrong as not supporting it at all.

I thought Starr was a great character. I never realized how tough it was to live in two different worlds or even that there was a need. My naïveté shined through as I read her and Khalil’s story. I’m now wondering how many insensitive comments I’ve made without realizing it.

Never has “white privilege” meant more to me than it does now. Thanks to The Hate U Give, I want to do better. I want to be better.

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Review: Finnikin of the Rock

Review: Finnikin of the RockTitle: Finnikin of the Rock
Author(s): Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Pages: 417 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

My Thoughts

I read Finnikin of the Rock for May’s book club. I was looking forward to it the entire year. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed.

I started Finnikin of the Rock at the beginning of my reading slump. I was worried I wouldn’t get into the story and finish it. I needn’t have worried. I was engrossed in the story right from the beginning. I ended up reading the book in less than a week.

I really liked the concept of the story. And, I loved following Finnikin and Evanjalin on their adventure to uncurse their kingdom. It was fun to meet all the different characters and experience all the different countries in the land. I really liked Finnikin and Evanjalin and I loved their connection.

I like that the story ends in a way that I don’t have to read the sequels if I don’t want to. I probably will, though, because I enjoyed the world Marchetta created.

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Review: Ready Player One

Review: Ready Player OneTitle: Ready Player One
Author(s): Ernest Cline
Series: Ready Player One #1
Genre(s): Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 374 (Kindle)
Source: Own
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win--and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

My Thoughts

My book club read Ready Player One for January. I was really excited to read it because I knew it was all things nerdy. And, boy was it nerdy!

The concept of Ready Player One was so fascinating. I loved the dystopian society that Cline built and the need for the OASIS. At times, I wished the OASIS were real, but to be honest, I’m glad it’s not. I kept thinking about my self-proclaimed from JK Rowling, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” In the society that Wade lived in, the OASIS was needed. In my society, it’s not and I hope we never need something so immersive.

The contest was fun. I adored reading about all the 80s nostalgia. I felt like I was reliving my childhood. I’d agree with the characters when they talked about “our” favorites and then I’d get mad at them when they dissed one of my favorites. I’m looking at you, Aech. Ladyhawke is awesome!

My biggest pet peeve with Ready Player One was the info dumps. Whenever Wade got hold of a new technology, I felt like Cline couldn’t help himself. He just went on and on about the technology he created and it was a little much. I understand that he needed to describe what was happening, but that whole chapter in Wade’s apartment was just painful to read.

Besides the info dumps, I really enjoyed the story. I was immersed and glued to my seat, so to speak. I’m excited to see how this book translates into a movie.

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Review: Artemis

Review: ArtemisTitle: Artemis
Author(s): Andy Weir
Genre(s): Mystery, Science Fiction
Pages: 322 (Kindle)
Source: Own
For: Book Club, Play Book Tag
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

My Thoughts

I read Artemis because my work just formed an impromptu book club and chose Artemis as its first book and the topic for this month for my Goodreads PBT group is science.

I really liked Artemis for the most part. In fact I thought it was interesting and it makes me want to read The Martian, which I was on the fence about before. Weir includes the science part in a way that makes it fun and interesting, not boring or like I’m listening to a lecture in school.

The reason I’m only giving Artemis 3 stars is because of the main character Jazz Bashara. I liked her, but she read more like a teenage boy than a 23-year-old woman. During the first part of the book, I couldn’t figure out what it was that seemed off, but then I read someone else’s review that mentioned the teenage boy thing and I immediately thought, “Yes, that’s exactly it!” Does that mean she’s all bad because she reads like a teenage boy? No. In fact, I liked her sassiness and don’t-take-crap-from-anyone attitude. She just said some things that no woman I know would say.

I still think the book is worth a read. It kept my interest and I really wanted to know what was going on, who was behind everything, and what would happen in the end. I even made some guesses as to who the bad guy was. I was way off. 😉

 

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Review: The Sugar Queen

Review: The Sugar QueenTitle: The Sugar Queen
Author(s): Sarah Addison Allen
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Romance
Pages: 278 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.... Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis--and two parts fairy godmother...

My Thoughts

My book club read The Sugar Queen for December. I didn’t know what it was about, but when I saw that all the chapters were named after sugary treats, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. To be perfectly frank, I was worried one of the characters was always going to be eating delectable goodies, making me crave them, and I don’t need that in my life. Fortunately, the story didn’t make me crave sugary goodies.

I actually ended up really liking the story. I loved the magical realism and how it was part of the characters’ everyday lives. It made me wish books would just appear out of thin air (as long as they’re books I want to read, lol).

I liked that the story followed two main characters instead of just one. There were a few side characters as well. To be honest, I didn’t really care about the side characters. Okay, mainly just Josey’s mother. But, I was thoroughly invested in both Josey’s and Chloe’s happiness.

This is the first novel I’ve read written by Sarah Addison Allen. Because I enjoyed it as much as I did, I’ll definitely give another one of hers a try. If you’ve read any others, which one(s) would you recommend?