Mini Review #6: The Hate U Give

32075671The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (444 pages) was good. It took a long time for me to finish it because I just didn’t have the mental energy to read about something that happens constantly (to be exact the latest publicized case concerns Aries Carter).

Anyway, The Hate U Give reads like a dummy’s guide to police brutality, but I understand I’m not really the intended audience. I’m sure it opened the eyes of others.

I absolutely LOVED learning about Starr’s family. Seven was my favorite, I liked Kenya, and even DeVante was cool. I didn’t care too much for Starr’s school life and school friends. And I found Chris to be too cringe-worthy at times. The book could be a little cringy at times itself. Still, I enjoyed most of the characters, and the book remained very realistic even throughout the trauma Starr and others faced. It’s long but worth a read.

Monday: What I’m Reading Now 6/26/17

Hey guys, I thought I would give a little update because I’m always reading even if I don’t review.

What I’m Reading Now:

31177599The Adventures of John Blake by Phillip Pullman (illustrated by Fred Fordham).

I have read 23 pages so far. I somewhat have an idea of what’s going on.

 

What I Read Last Week:

33956433City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Pretty good! A little slow and dragged at times but good. I was so mad at first when I thought Tina was in love with her half-brother. I was like all these cute Kenyan boys and she got to like her brother!? With that being said (no, he wasn’t her half bro after all), I didn’t care for the romance at all and didn’t see why Michael was so pretty. Throw stones if you wanna, but the book could’ve done without Michael and not missed a beat.

I absolutely loved Bug Eye and detested Ketchup pretty much like everyone else did.

There were some heavy themes of rape, survivorship, and family bonds. I liked Tina, but I didn’t exactly care or not care for her. I know some people didn’t like it, but I was genuinely surprised at who the big boss was.

Overall, it was good (but too long) and I wouldn’t read it again.

28686840Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

People on Goodreads were so maddddT (yes, I meant the T) that a fat girl wanted a relationship and with a good-looking guy at that. What? Can’t round girls desire to be loved and be with attractive people? And yes, it’s dumb and unrealistic for her to think she would marry and have a kid with her (first?) boyfriend, but she was also a teenage girl. Let her have her dreams.

With all that being said, I didn’t enjoy this book. It was hard to read through Jack being so jerky (when he could’ve just told his family!). I liked Libby’s narrative better but she was whiny too.

I also really liked the sprinkle of diversity since Jack and his brothers were multi-ethnic and the few diverse school friends. I was surprised when Carolina the super-model pretty, popular mean girl was dark-skinned because generally that character trope is written as a blonde or brunette white girl. Anywho, Carolina was too flat of a character too.

I had never known about prosopagnosia, so this book definitely brought awareness to me.

Overall, I don’t recommend the book because it ended too cliche and high school love is oh-so-special and long-lasting. And I just couldn’t STAND Jack’s cheating dad. He just burned me up.

30419642Kid Savage by Joe Kelly and Ilya

Hated it. I didn’t like the art, story, or characters. Would not read again.

 

 

 

34057436Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special by Rugg and Maruca

It was okay, pretty cute. I found Jesse’s school friends to be adorable.

 

 

 

 

imwayr-2015-logo
Kidlit version hosted by Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen of Teach Mentor Texts; original version hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

 

Book Review #23: Recess Warriors: Hero is a Four-letter Word

29772862This book was so dumb in the best way possible. It had a Codename: Kids Next Door meets Teamo Supremo meets Recess feel. The story’s so surreal! The line between what’s real and imaginative is seriously blurred and that makes things so entertaining!

STORY:

“I love the beginning of things…I just hate endings” (pg 123).

In Recess Warriors: Hero is a Four-letter Word by Marcus Emerson (144 pages), recess is serious business because it’s when Bryce a.k.a James Scrap (minus the James) does his vigilante business. He’s accompanied by his much more qualified best friend— sidekick— Yoshi (Caitlyn Yoshimura), and the two have to navigate through a cooties epidemic that’s affecting both boys and girls and a shady pirate gang.

This book evoked a sense of nostalgia in me, and I felt like I was a kid again in my bedroom, eating goldfish crackers and downing a Capri Sun. Everyone probably won’t have that same sentimental feeling, but I did find the storyline silly and interesting.

CHARACTERS:

Bryce/Scrap is indubitably dumb and funny.

I liked Yoshi a lot! Even though she was a great leader and a skilled fighter (she can do some serious biz with her jump rope), she didn’t come off as a know-it-all or a brat. Sometimes, she’s just as confused as we (read: readers) with the junk that goes on during recess.

Clinton was my favorite. Anti-heroes are always cool in any form.

Juliet should have been a grating character, really, but with how she was presented I was able to take her lovesick personality.

ART:

I like the wonky, blocky, and angular style. It has that Saturday morning cartoon feel. Sometimes, the faces look a bit sunken in during close-ups though. The backgrounds and color direction are vivid and fun.

OVERALL:

Some kid (or adult or teen or elder or alien or….) is really going to have fun reading this. I am excited for the next book in the series.

Book Review #22: Learning to Swear in America

23018259I saw this on display at my local library, so I decided to read it.

STORY:

“So he had two problems. He had to save the world, and he had to save himself” (pg 50).

In Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy (346 pages), Yuri Strelnikov’s been brought from Russia to stop an asteroid from utterly destroying California. Along his two weeks, he has to deal with condescending NASA workers, freeing his emotions, and a Russian professor back home trying to steal Yuri’s life research on antimatter. Not to mention he finds a cute girl with brown and yellow hair, a tongue stud, and hippie parents, and NASA bureaucratically kidnapping him.

I really liked the artistic/creative way Dovie (and her family) tried to teach Yuri to deal with his emotions.

The first half of the story was great, interesting and a bunch of anticipation. However, I didn’t like the other half, and it was a struggle to finish. I started skimming through pages that I should have wanted to devour. I like a little romance in my books a lot, but I just did not care for the romantic subplot that began to take over the main plot. Like, why would someone goof off at a high school with their GF when the fate of the world is in their hands? SN: Dovie caught feelings for Yuri way too fast.

There were a few “suicidal” jokes that albeit weren’t particularly bad, didn’t need to be made.

CHARACTERS:

Continue reading “Book Review #22: Learning to Swear in America”

Mini Review #5: American Street

30256109STORY:

“Chantal is Brains.

Donna is Beauty.

Pri is Brawn.

I am Brave. No one has to tell me this. I know it for myself” (pg 317).

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (336 pages), was…Whoa. I thought it was brilliant. A real thriller with some gut punches.

I disliked Fabiola’s cousins except for Chantal. I just…Even though they were joking, they just came off as awful a lot of the time.

I loved Kasim as much as Fabiola.

It had a bit too much cursing, but I enjoyed the storyline immensely. And Fabiola was such an adorable, sweet girl.

SN: Donna and Dray were mad dysfunctional.

OVERALL:

This book definitely has to be added to your tbr (to-be-read).  Even with that ending, I liked this story.

Book Review #21: The Sweetest Sound

29280882STORY:

“You know, church is like that. Sometimes the pastor is talking and all you can think about is eating pancakes when he is done. But sometimes he says something and, just like that, it feels like he’s talking absolutely, positively to you!” (pg 17)

In The Sweetest Sound by Sherrie Winston (272 pages), Cadence Jolly is tired of adults giving her “motherless child” pity. She’s also trying to break out of her perpetual shyness enough to own her beautiful voice. In a fit of frustration and later regret, Cadence films herself disguised singing on Youtube. Of course, now her church choir is trying to find the little girl with the big voice, and Cadence doesn’t know if she will be able to own up to it.

CHARACTERS:

The cast is very diverse with Cadence and her family being African-American, Faith, a Dominicana, Zara, bi-racial (black mom/white dad), and Mei-Mei and Sophie, Chinese.

Some of the best singers (and def your faves) started singing in church, and Cadence is no different. Cadence was very shy but prideful, and I actually like that combination. She was also an avid reader, always mentioning classic books, and wanted to be a writer.

I couldn’t stand Faith. At all. Little girl be happy for your friend.

 annoyed will smith whatever fresh prince rbf GIF

Zara wasn’t memorable but at least she was sweet.

Cadence’s dad was well-meaning but overbearing. Still, he was okay in my book. I didn’t care about his little romance though.

Random note: I kept reading Sofine as So-Fine. :p

OVERALL:

“…Learning to be strong didn’t mean changing everything” (pg 259).

This book was a little dry. Too much poetry and way too much irrelevant junk. It was really hard for me to push through and finish it.

I don’t like giving stars, but this one is about a 2.5. Still, I’m sure it will make some kid’s day.

SN: THAT COVER! (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

Cadence has the cutest pixie cut!