Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

In a village without sound… For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent a...

Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Monday, October 16, 2017


In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

  • I didn't read this book, I listened to it, and the audio book reader was on point. I've always had an issue keeping up with names, particularly when books are set it other countries so I thought the book would be easier to follow if it was read to me, and I was right. 
  •  The book had a slow build, and while I get the feeling reading it might have been an issue for me, listening to that slow build was great.
  • I must say, I was unprepared for the... fantastical ending. It was nice. 
  • With out any spoilers, I enjoyed reading about what was discovered "in the towns". That's all I can say. 


  • Although I liked the "fantastical" ending, I thought the discovery was a bit rushed. Even though the book was a good size, I would have been fine with an additional two or three chapters for a better and less forced explanation. 

This is the type of book I would suggest to someone who is just beginning to discover Fantasy novels. What might feel boring and slightly unfulfilling to some, moves at just the right pace for others. As someone who is a bigger fan of Urban Fantasy than "Hardcore Fantasy", I was a fan of Soundless. 
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Review: Beast by Brie Spangler

Monday, October 2, 2017


Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

I'm a sucker for the concept of "it's what's on the inside that matters, not what's on the outside". This book is a modern day Beauty and the Beast. Dylan is huge and hairy AKA he's the big, hair, scary beast. Jamie is our Belle and she is trans. How freaking great is that!!

  • I love that Jamie was transgender. As a non-transgender person I can't speak as to how accurate Jamie was as a character the same way I might be able to with an African American character, but I loved her. She was tough, honest, straight forward, and she wasn't taking any crap from JP or Dylan. 
  • I liked the dynamic between JP and Dylan. It would have been easy for Brie Spangler to make Dylan the evil villain of his high school with his large muscle, but that wasn't quite what happened. JP was "that kid". He had money, he was popular, beloved by adults, people fought with each other to enter his orbit. He was also a bully, but instead of harassing kids himself, like any self respecting bully would, he sent Dylan to do it. The crazy thing was, Dylan hated being the enforcer of their duo. Like I said, and interesting dynamic. 
  • I like that this book didn't have a neat and tidy ending. As with real life, sometimes you don't know what the next day will bring. You don't know if you'll be able to forgive and forget, you don't know that your friendships will last, but you go to sleep, wake up the next day, and hope for the best.
  • Small spoiler..................................There is a moment when Dylan and Jamie end up naked and in bed. Sex can be hard enough as it is, even when you're an adult, but when you're a trans girl and you still have male genitalia I imagine it can be even more difficult. I really appreciate the way Bri Spangler didn't eliminate this slightly uncomfortable moment for Dylan from the book. That's all I say about it. Read it yourself.   
  • My only issue with the book was with the mom. I didn't like her. She was a worrier as many parents are, but something about her felt fake and over done.
Read this book. That's honestly all there is to say. 
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Review: Little and Lion

Monday, September 25, 2017

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

I've been waiting for this book since the day it was announced on Twitter. I LOVE Brandy Colbert, I LOVED her first book Pointe and this book is just as amazing. Fun fact, when I worked at the West Haven Library in Connecticut years ago, Brandy Colbert did a Skype chat with my book club kids!! She was awesome.

  • The blended family. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. I love that Little and Lion called themselves brother and sister even though they didn't refer to each others parents as mom and dad. It gave their sibling bond some extra weight. 
  • I (personally) love to read books about black characters, where the fact that they're black doesn't outweigh the rest of the book. Suzette is black, she has dreads, she has a nose piercing, and she has a red headed brother. Race is obviously an important part of who she is, and there are racial issues in this book that are spoken about very candidly (the pool scene, you tell 'em Brandy), but Suzette being a black girl didn't dominate her personality, she liked museums, she was exploring her sexuality, caring for her brother, and accepting the fact that her parents sent her away at a time where she felt she needed to be home the most.
  • I think what I loved the most was that Suzette was a pretty emotional girl. When I say that I don't mean there were temper tantrums or buckets of tears, but she was allowed to be emotional and sometimes black girls and women aren't allowed that. There is a stereotype about the strong, black women, and while that it true, black women have had to be strong, capable people, they are also allowed the tear up when they see their home for the first time in five months, they're allowed to feel betrayed then some makes a "black joke" and none of their friends stick up for them, and they're allowed to feel confused by their own body and feelings. The world can send black women subliminal messages that we're not allowed those tears, or those tears aren't expect of us, but we're allowed to be strong, capable, and emotional, just like Suzette.
  • Emil. Enough said. 

  • Yall, I'm going to be dead serious, I can't think of one darn thing about this book that I didn't like. 
  • I think I wish the cover was a picture of Little and Lion. I think there's something powerful about having black faces on the cover of books. I also have no idea how to do that and keep it from looking dumb soooo.... there's that.

Just read the darn book, just freaking do it please. Thanks.

P.S. Brandy I really think you're amazing and if you ever read this and if you're ever in Connecticut I would love to have you speak to the kids here.

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Let Kids Read What They Want For Goodness Sake

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Okay, I'm so fed up I need to rant to the world. If you've read my super awkward About Me post, you'll know that I'm a librarian, I was a weird, sad little kid and now I'm trying to make the world a better place for other weird, sad little kids and misunderstood teenagers.

Every single day, I watch parents try to force "real books" on their kids. It's driving me CRAZY. What in the heck does that even mean. Dear grown ups (because it's not always the parents) let your kids read whatever the heck they want. The other day, there was a little girl, maybe 12, in the library with her grandma. Her grandma was trying to force this girl to read a bunch of books the girl didn't want to read. Grandma's getting snappy, the little girl is beginning to retreat on herself, and somehow I wind up smack dab in the middle of this. Then, the little girl surprises me and begins to pick up books that look interesting to her. They're pink, with the title is sparkly script, and there's typically some precocious blonde on the cover, but who cares, the girl was holding up books she was willing to read. What does grandma do? Can you guess? She stars yelling at the girl, telling her she needs to read "real" books. The crazy thing is, she didn't even mean non-fiction. Did she want the 12 year old to read The Odyssey???? I DON'T KNOW. It drove me so crazy, I sent the girl off to go look in another isle, and took the grandma over to non-fiction, hoping it would make her happy.

THEN, this lady has the nerve ask me if I like reading, and how she can get her granddaughter to read more. I lost my mind. I was the most unprofessional I had ever been. I watched this little girl hold up four age appropriate chapter books that she wanted to read, and her grandma verbally crushed her. I said something along the lines of, "You're not making any sense. That girl picked up four perfectly age appropriate books that she wanted to read and you wouldn't let her. There's no such thing as real books and fake books. Every book in the world has the potential to tech you something, even if it's just how to be a good person. If you continue to dictate what she reads, she'll hate reading forever. Leave her alone, and let her read what she wants." Then I actually walked away.

I have never been so angry in my life. Here's how it typically works world. If a kid only wants to read Magic Tree House, let them. There will come a day when they pick up an I Survived book. They're read all of those a million times. There will come a day when that kid wants to branch out and find something new that's full of adventure and the librarian will give them The False Prince, that kid will become interested in Historical Fiction, and then they'll become interested in History, and then they'll become a teacher and live happily ever after. And it all began with a kid reading The Magic Tree House 9,000 times.

Let kids read what they want for goodness sake. They have so little control over their lives, let them have this one thing.

*End rant*
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Blog Hop: Bloggiesta

Friday, September 1, 2017

This blog hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer.

Do you participate in the Bloggiesta?

I have no idea what that is, but I'm going to look into it ASAP because it sounds lovely!
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Can't Wait Wednesday- Meet Cute

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read!

I want this so bad! I'm almost afraid to read it. I'm going to get this book, read these meet cutes, and I'll be mad that I don't have the rest of their stories. Ugh.

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of "how they first met" from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour's beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard's glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon's imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno's story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick's charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Release date: January 2, 2018
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Review: Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's city-girl Maddy's first summer in the bayou, and she just falls in love with her new surroundings - the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only she can see. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be the only sibling to carry on her family's magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero? Jewell Parker Rhodes weaves a rich tale celebrating the magic within.

 My online Youth Adult at Heart book club read this book for the month of August and hats off to my friend Crystal for choosing it. This book has family, friends, bravery, magic, imagination, and growth. (All the same things Harry Potter had, how about that).

  • There were mermaids. Need I say more. (If you didn't guess that big fin was a mermaid you're ridiculous).
  • Maddy and Bear are squad goals. Enough said.
  •  The imagery in this book was on point. The author managed to describe Maddy and Bear's adventures, and the Bayou, and what Maddy was feeling BEAUTIFULLY but without talking to much (I'm look at you Stephen King).
  • Watching Maddy and the other members of the Bayou bond and become a second type of "family" almost brought tears to my eyes. IT WAS ALL SO LOVELY.
  • I don't know much about the Bayou (actually who am I kidding, aside from the fact that they eat a ton of crawdads I don't know a thing about the Bayou) I liked the French words that were peppered throughout the dialogue.
  • This book was about belief and imagination, something that slowly begins to dissolve as we're beat up by life. This is a story every adult and child should read.  
  • Although Maddy's older siblings kind of sucked, I would have been interested to see more of them. They're so different from Maddy (and her mom?) that it would have been an interesting dynamic to watch then interact more.
  • So I know what we were suppose to think happen at the end of the book with the... disaster (I'm trying to stay away from spoilers), but it was a tad abrupt for my taste. That being said, I still thought it was great because, MERMAIDS.
Did the mom know about the magic? I don't know! Were the mermaids and magic read? I don't know! I don't know, and I don't care, because this book is so sweet and I will suggest it to anyone and everyone I meet. My kingdom for a Novella.

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