A big bunch of mini-reviews

Posted January 13, 2020 by Laurie in Reviews / 0 Comments

It has been a while since I actually wrote a review and I have many many books to catch up on. So, it’s time for a bunch of the smallest of mini-reviews, because I have nothing to say about these books except for a star rating. Let’s see how this goes!

All American boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

A big bunch of mini-reviewsAll American Boys by Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 316
Narrator: Khristine Hvam, Kyla Garcia
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Atheneum on September 29, 2015
ISBN: 9781481463331
Also in this series: Dromendochter, Sterrenlicht, De IJzeren Engel, Clockwork Prince

Rashad is absent again today.

That’s the sidewalk graffiti that started it all…

Well, no, actually, a lady tripping over Rashad at the store, making him drop a bag of chips, was what started it all. Because it didn’t matter what Rashad said next—that it was an accident, that he wasn’t stealing—the cop just kept pounding him. Over and over, pummeling him into the pavement. So then Rashad, an ROTC kid with mad art skills, was absent again…and again…stuck in a hospital room. Why? Because it looked like he was stealing. And he was a black kid in baggy clothes. So he must have been stealing.

And that’s how it started.

And that’s what Quinn, a white kid, saw. He saw his best friend’s older brother beating the daylights out of a classmate. At first Quinn doesn’t tell a soul…He’s not even sure he understands it. And does it matter? The whole thing was caught on camera, anyway. But when the school—and nation—start to divide on what happens, blame spreads like wildfire fed by ugly words like “racism” and “police brutality.” Quinn realizes he’s got to understand it, because, bystander or not, he’s a part of history. He just has to figure out what side of history that will be.

Rashad and Quinn—one black, one white, both American—face the unspeakable truth that racism and prejudice didn’t die after the civil rights movement. There’s a future at stake, a future where no one else will have to be absent because of police brutality. They just have to risk everything to change the world.

Cuz that’s how it can end.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I Am still alive by Kate Alice Marshall

A big bunch of mini-reviewsI Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 314
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Viking Books on July 24, 2018
ISBN: 9780425290989

Cheryl Strayed's Wild meets The Revenant in this heart-pounding story of survival and revenge in the unforgiving wilderness.

Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn't act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive--for now.

Jess hadn't seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.

With only her father's dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she's stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father...and she wants revenge.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

A big bunch of mini-reviewsClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
Format: Paperback
Pages: 567
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Walker Books Ltd on September 5, 2013
ISBN: 9781406321340
Also by this author: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, De IJzeren Engel, Clockwork Prince
Also in this series: De IJzeren Engel, Clockwork Prince

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.


A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Birthday by Mereditth Russo

A big bunch of mini-reviewsBirthday by Meredith Russo
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Flatiron Books on May 21, 2019
ISBN: 9781250129833

Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this unconventional love story by award-winning author Meredith Russo!

Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break up—and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

A big bunch of mini-reviewsDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Length: 18 hours, 8 minutes
Genres: Fantasy
on April 8, 2014
ISBN: 9780316134071
Also by this author: Strange the Dreamer, Dromendochter, Zonderling, Sterrenlicht, Muse of Nightmares
Also in this series: Dromendochter, Sterrenlicht

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera's rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited - not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as - from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond - humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

I really liked the first two books in this series, but this third one was so dragging and boring. Nothing happened and I found this book quite unnecessary. So it was a DNF.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

A big bunch of mini-reviewsNocturna by Maya Motayne
Series: A Forgery of Magic #1
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kyla Garcia
Length: 14 hours, 48 minutes
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 7, 2019
ISBN: 9780062842732

The first in a sweeping and epic own voices debut fantasy trilogy—set in a stunning Latinx-inspired world—about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, and V. E. Schwab.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

I’m SO NOT here for an A darker shade of magic copy and definitely not for one that is as boring as Nocturna.

We hunt the flame by Hafsah Faizal

A big bunch of mini-reviewsWe hunt the flame by Hafsah Faizal
Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 472
Genres: Young Adult
on May 14, 2019
ISBN: 9780374311544

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

I had really high hopes for this Arabian inspired fantasy, but oh man it is SO boring! And I missed a glossary so I was super confused. I think that should have been included somewhere in the book, like at the end? I don’t know what kind of year 2019 was for books (especially Young Adult fantasy), but most books released that year were so disappointing and it sucks 🙁 .

Have you read any of these books and what were your thoughts?


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