Book Review #24: Genius: The Game

30532527This book needed some mayonnaise or BBQ sauce because it was dry!

STORY:

“Cameras are eyes… Microphones are ears… (pg 294)”

In Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout (320 pages), Rex Huerta’s a regular sixteen-year-old boy who has a knack (and need) for hacking. Unfortunately, his parents are at risk for being deported from the U.S, Teo, his older brother, has run away from home, and school isn’t much fun for him. With all these things weighing on Rex’s shoulders, the announcement of the genius Kiran’s youth-hacking competition sounds promising, not to mention he needs a quantum computer. Of course, Rex’s internet hacker friends Tunde and Painted Wolf are going to be there for their own reasons.

This book needed more detail. To know a character is “tall, thin, and broad-shouldered (pg 125)” is not enough for me! Does the character have dimples, sunken in cheekbones, and are their clothes loose or ironed to perfection? These are the things I want to know!

The visuals like the diagrams, drawings, and photographs were a nice aesthetic, but they felt like a crutch sometimes.

Also, Rex’s—actually, everyone’s— narrative was dry. And there were too many info-dumps that could’ve been weaved into the story better.

There’s a little attraction between Rex and Cai (Painted Wolf). I mean they were alright. Depending on how old Kiran was, I liked him with her better if only for the Batman/Catwoman angle.

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CHARACTERS:

This book has a bunch of diverse characters! Yay! The three main leads are respectively Mexican, Nigerian, and Chinese! Within the Genius competition, there are South Americans, Egyptians, South Africans, and Haitians and others.

Still, I had no favorite character.

Rex is okay, I guess. But he doesn’t really have a personality. He just reacts to the things that happen around him.

“I do not like the term junk. It implies inherent uselessness and I have come to find that nothing is inherently useless. It is only a matter of finding the time, functionality, and place of the object” (pg 40).

I did like Tunde the most due to his sense of wonderment. I didn’t mind his not-translated Nigerian lingo because I could figure out most of it from context.

Cai (Painted Wolf) was supposed to be this baddie/vigilante chick that I just did not get or care about.

Kiran was interesting just a smidge.

OVERALL:

I’m sorry guys but I could not wait for this book to be over. It took me 9 days to finish this because I had to force myself. It was almost a DNF, but I hoped it would get better.

Not a bad idea but I wished it could have been executed differently (and with more detail)! I might read the sequel.

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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 #11: I Am Princess X

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The presentation for this book is wonderful. The book cover, chapter design, and illustrations are what drew me in. The purple theme is fitting because y’know royalty=princess.

STORY:

“The princess became their alter ego, their avatar, their third best friend” (pg 8).

In I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest (256 pages), May and Libby bond over Princess X a character they mutually created in fifth grade, May wrote and Libby drew. Their friendship comes to a drastic halt when Libby passes away in a car crash. May thought Princess X died with her best friend, but apparently, Princess X is very much alive.

“Nobody ever… (pg 172)” [I forgot to write down my favorite quote from the book in its entirety, and I’ve already given the book back to the library. ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ ]

Here’s a quote I like from the book, that I actually wrote down:

“The cement turned a satisfying cherry red, like the pavement was bleeding” (pg 1).

I really liked that detail.

So, concerning the story, junk got real very fast. No lie, page nine hits the reader clean in the face. Pfft, it probably rearranged your nose.

I thought  I knew who the great antagonist, Mr. Needleman, was but I was wrong!

CHARACTERS:

I liked reading about these characters a lot.

May was likable but a bit bland. Of course, she knew that as well because Libby’s the one who brought liveliness to their lives.

Libby’s half-Asian (half-Japanese to be exact) so there’s 50¢ of diversity. But, she dies in the first ten pages so…giphy

Anyway, I liked Libby a lot, to the point, I wished she would have narrated the story. For me, May could’ve been Princess X and let Libby shine by herself. Also, there was so little reaction for Libby’s dad.

Patrick was a lot of fun!

My favorite would have to have been Jackdaw! He seemed a bit like an anti-hero. I don’t know many people who would have done as much as he did.

OVERALL:

A pretty good thriller with a few surprises, 4 out of 5 stars! I wanted a cupcake more of suspense, but I acknowledge I had to read this book quickly (before its due date). Maybe I needed more time to ruminate on the ending. And for those who don’t enjoy it, there was NO ROMANCE.

I recommend this book for any teen, though some of the hacking/computer stuff could possibly make someone paranoid.