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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: By Your Side

Review: By Your SideTitle: By Your Side
Author(s): Kasie West
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 346 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

My Thoughts

I decided to read By Your Side because I needed a fluffy romance, but I got more than I bargained for.

I found I had so much in common with Autumn. Not so much my high-school self, but my current self because of her anxiety disorder. I suffer from depression and anxiety and it’s amazing how much your body plots against you. West did such a great job of showing that in Autumn. I almost wonder if she or someone she knows has an anxiety disorder.

I also loved watching Autumn and Dax together. I loved watching their friendship blossom and it turn into more.

This has happened with both contemporary novels I’ve read by Kasie West. The novels start out so-so. I like them, but I think I’ll only give them three stars. But by the end of the novel, I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the story that I can’t help give the book five stars. I now wonder if this will happen with all her books. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

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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: Reaper

Review: ReaperTitle: Reaper
Author(s): Kyra Leigh
Genre(s): Paranormal, YA
Pages: 256 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Listopia Challenge
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Rosie Wolf is sure when you die, you go straight to Paradise, until she wakes to discover she has died in an accident and that Paradise isn’t what she thought it would be.

My Thoughts

This year, I’m participating in a Listopia Challenge on Goodreads. I chose a Listopia list at the beginning of the year to read at least six books from. I chose Books by Utah Authors and Reaper is my first read from the list I chose.

Reaper wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought there would be more paranormal-ness to the story, but it was a very straight forward story about death and dying. To be quite honest, it was really depressing. I’m glad it was such a fast read and I got done with it in two sittings so I didn’t have to stay in the story for very long.

Having lost someone close to me and still not being completely over their death, Reaper was really hard to read. I felt like parts of it were very real looks at death and grief. I’m not sure if that was the author’s purpose, but that’s kind of what I got out of it.

Even though I had a hard time reading it, I’m glad I read Reaper. I liked Kyra Leigh’s writing style. I only gave Reaper three stars because of its depressing nature. It’s not one I’ll read over and over. I do look forward to reading more of Leigh’s work in the future, though.

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Review: City of Heavenly Fire

Review: City of Heavenly FireTitle: City of Heavenly Fire
Author(s): Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Genre(s): Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Pages: 733 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian--but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

My Thoughts

I have wanted to read City of Heavenly Fire since I knew it was going to be a book! Why did it take me so long to get to it?! I should’ve dropped everything else I was reading for it. I wish I had read it sooner, but now I’m sad I’m done with Jace and Clary as the focus main characters. Oh, I know they’ll show up in the other companion trilogies, but “their” story is over. It’s now other Shadowhunters’ stories to tell.

City of Heavenly Fire was so good. I absolutely adored it. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved reading from all the different perspectives, some I hadn’t had a chance to read from yet. I also loved exploring new places and new magic. I always wonder how Cassie is going to top herself, but she always finds a way.

City of Heavenly Fire is such a fantastic ending to The Mortal Instruments series, which it needed to be with it being the sixth book in an epic urban fantasy. I loved seeing that Cassie wasn’t afraid to do what was necessary. I’m just glad that one unnamed thing isn’t going unreversed. (Ha! How was that for unspoilery?! 😂)

I can’t wait to start The Dark Artifices trilogy now. A new adventure awaits. I have a feeling that it’s going to be tough to get through since I know the characters a little bit, I know what Cassie has hinted toward, and I know the Law. Oh, my heart. I hope I’ll survive.