*Spoiler Free* Series Review: The Wicked + The Divine Volumes 1-4 by Kieron Gillen

I don’t think I can praise this graphic novel series enough, seriously! This is hands down the BEST ones I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and I loved every part of it.

I’m going to be giving little mini reviews of each volume (1-4) here and each with their own rating etc.

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description

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5

reviewWith volume 1 here I was absolutely hooked from the get go! The premise is so unique and interesting, I mean everyone’s pop star idols are literal GODS reincarnated every 90 years and only live for 2 before they die. The only problem is that we don’t get much explanation for anything in this volume and I was left with a lot more questions than answers. I’m actually still not 100% sure of what’s going on….at all. But that’s okay because it’s still SO GOOD!

The overall mythology/world building is pretty vague but already extremely fascinating. Of course there’s loads of room for more development, which I’d love, such as exactly why the gods are reincarnated and why it’s only every 90 years etc. Anyways probably one of my favorite parts about this graphic novel is how diverse the gods are, not only with thier human bodies but with the actual gods themselves. We see gods from all different kinds of mythology and religions : Irish, Egyptian, the religion of Christianity, Norse, Shinto (a Japanese religion), Greek, Sumerian, and probably a ton more as well! I think it’s AWESOME to see some other mythologies other than the traditional Greek and Roman being represented in stories, it’s fun to learn about all of these other gods, goddesses, and deities.

The characters, if you couldn’t already tell, were a-ma-zing! As I already stated they were all very diverse characters with different races and sexualities as well as the gods themselves being from many different mythologies and religions. Laura, the main character, was really relatable one of the main reasons being that she’s a huge fangirl of the gods. She’s pretty down to Earth and feisty! I also absolutely fell in love with Luci aka Lucifer, I mean seriously her character is so badass and all around amazing. One of the greatest characters I’ve ever come across! The Morrigan is a close favorite as well since I think her character is gorgeous and also one of the more interesting gods since she’s an Irish war goddess but is a sort of 3 goddesses in 1 type of thing! Overall though each god was very different with their own unique styles and personalities so they’re pretty easy to keep track of.

The art style……..how do I even begin to gush about the stunning artwork in “The Wicked + The Divine”? It’s one of the best art styles I’ve come across in a graphic novel it’s realistic, detailed, and the color palette is absolutely beautiful! I adored how vibrant all of the colors were! I was forcing the pages in everyone’s faces so they could behold how gorgeous the art is!

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*gush, gush, gush, gush*

Also that ending is pretty brutal so I recommend having the next volume on hand!


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I think I have to say that this was my favorite volume so far (out of the 4 I’ve read) because it was very action-packed with many crazy plot twists!

Basically in this volume Laura is trying to figure out who was behind the events that occurred at the end of volume 1 and some of the gods are willing to help her out as well.

We finally get a little more insight on the gods, which I liked but I still really had no clue what all was going on and what the “bigger picture” is. I’m starting to think there isn’t really any larger plot line here at all though, which is a little disappointing.

There’s also new characters! Yay! More badass and visually pleasing gods and goddesses! I have to say I absolutely loved the addition of Inanna because he’s gorgeous and also reminds me very much of Prince which I think was the point but still! He’s perfection!

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Of course the artwork is STILL gorgeous too!

And also this is probably the most cliffhanger-y ending I’ve ever read! Definitely have volume 4 at the ready! (volume 3 is filler)


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My least favorite volume seeing as how it’s mostly just filler and doesn’t really continue the story from volume 2 at all. Also apparently James McKelvie was on a break during this volume so a bunch of guest artists were brought in to illustrate each issue so the beautiful artwork we all know and love was not present in volume 3. I honestly really hated some of the artwork too…….

I really, really, really didn’t like the art for the issue about Sakhmet’s backstory……

Basically all we get to see here is the backstories on a lot of the gods and see how they went from human to deity. My favorite origin story would definitely have to be The Morrigan and Baphomet which was also thankfully accompanied with a decent art style.

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I just felt that I couldn’t really focus that well on appreciating the backstories when that ending from volume 2 had me still screaming in agony!

My overall thoughts were that this was okay but definitely not as impressive.


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Finally answers to what the hell happened at the end of volume 2! A ton of shit goes down in this volume, there’s a lot of action and fight scenes and they are amazing! It was a lot of fun to get to see all of the gods’ powers and abilities since we haven’t seen too much of them up until this point.

Really loved getting to see Laura again and especially in this volume, no spoilers though! The characters were of course all as wonderful as they’ve been so far but we don’t really see any new characters in this volume either.

As much as the story picked up on this volume it was also very, very confusing. Once again I’m left wondering if there’s really anything else going on behind the scenes or if the only story we get to see is the “whims of the gods” type of thing. I am still hoping there’s something “bigger” going on. I’m also just very confused in general especially with that ending. The ending this time around was a little underwhelming and left me feeling curious but also not dying to know what’s going to happen next either.

I’m also glad we are back to the original art style, thank goodness!

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Overall I HIGHLY recommend checking this series out!

Links for The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act

Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

ARC Review: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

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There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

review

**** Huge thank you to Berkley Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!****

(This was a buddy read with Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd! I will be linking up her review when she has it up here and keep a look out for our buddy read discussion and Q&A!)

As you all probably know by now I was a HUGE fan of Christina Henry’s “Alice” and “Red Queen” which were horror retellings of Alice in Wonderland. On top of that I “Peter Pan” is my all time favorite fairy tale so a Christina Henry retelling was going to be right up my alley……and it was!

(For those of you who are interested my reviews for “Alice” and “Red Queen” can be found here!)

PLOT

“This isn’t a wonderful place for boys to play and have adventures and stay young for always. It’s a killing place, and we’re all just soldiers in Peter’s war.”

While this story is a retelling of “Peter Pan” it’s also an origin/redemption story for the character of Captain Hook/James Hook where we get to see his side of the story and here he is a boy known as Jamie who was whisked away to Neverland by Peter. He is the first and favorite Lost Boy who watches over all of the other Lost Boys because while in Peter’s mind the island is nothing but fun and games…..it’s quite the opposite for the boys.

Enter the horror aspect of the story.

Jamie has watched countless other Lost Boys succumb to the horrors of the island: pirates, the Many-Eyed, crocodiles, disease, and battles aka arena fights to the death. After so many years of this it starts to weigh on Jamie and it starts bothering him how Peter doesn’t seem to care about the well being of anyone but himself.

The pacing is a tiny bit slow to start but once the plot picks up you won’t be able to put this book down. There’s plenty of twists and turns you most definitely will not see coming.

I was absolutely blown away by how unique and twisted Christina Henry made the world we all know as Neverland. It was almost as if I was reading an entirely new story! Trust me when I say twisted too, this book is DARK and full of carnage, it’s almost like watching a slasher movie play out. She took the tale of “Peter Pan” and completely flipped it on its head and took us to its darkest depths.

I also loved the world building that was given, it wasn’t a whole lot but more and more was revealed as the story went on. Could it have used more? Definitely. Did I still enjoy it? Of course! All of the allusions to the original tale were fun to pick out as well because they all had their own dark twists such as why Hook is missing his right hand and of course why Peter and he are sworn enemies.

Be prepared for a very emotional ride because the things that happen to Jamie and the other Lost Boys can not only be terrifying but also extremely heart-breaking. You have been warned!

characters

Of course the characters were fantastic since they are the driving force of the story here the main characters, Jamie and Peter, were incredibly complex.

I really enjoyed these versions of Hook and Pan, plain and simple. Jamie is a bit of a mother hen, always looking out and caring for the other boys while Peter is selfish, jealous, and doesn’t show any remorse.

Jamie is a very easy character to sympathize with as he is very caring towards the younger, inexperienced boys always helping them out and even burying them when they perish. He gets upset and angry with Peter over their deaths as Peter could care less and always goes off to get more boys as replacements.

Peter on the other hand was easy to dislike, he’s the true villain of this story. He only cares about playing games and having the boys adore and worship him, he grows very jealous if anyone is getting more attention than he is. However, even though he needs the constant attention of his Lost Boys he is very careless about looking after them and shows no guilt when one of them dies.

I have to say it was truly horrifying to see such a twisted, sick version of Peter Pan but I also loved every second of it. However, I can say my childhood may be ruined and I don’t know if I’ll ever look at Peter Pan the same ever again!

As for the secondary characters they didn’t really get a lot of depth but this makes sense as most of them are fodder for the island anyways……However, notable Lost Boys that I absolutely adored were Nod and Fog, Sal, and Charlie.

in conclusion

I need to scream my love of this book to the heavens! It was perfection! It was everything I was hoping for!

What I Loved:

  • Unique, horrifying twists on the original story (and just in general)
  • Complexity of Jamie and Peter
  • Great allusions to the original story
  • Even to fast pacing
  • Horror, carnage, and shockers! (this may not be a plus to some people but it was to me!)

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The world building could have been a little more fleshed out
  • (Other than that it was FANTASTIC!)

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly, highly recommend reading this book if not just checking it out! If you love “Peter Pan”, fairy tale/classic story retellings, or even just horror stories then you most certainly will find something to love with “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook”!

This book goes on sale July 4th, 2017!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

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Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

review

How do I even begin to write a review to such a wonderful, magical, and completely relatable book? I have to say I don’t know if I’ve ever read something so relatable in my life. “Every Heart A Doorway” is a book for us readers and us dreamers, it’s for those of us who have always wanted to live in the fantasy worlds we read about and maybe even feel like we may belong there more than where we are.

You know what I’m talking about: waiting for your Hogwarts letter, opening every wardrobe and closet door looking for Narnia, or even waiting by your window in the hope that Peter Pan will come to whisk you away to Neverland.

If you understand exactly what I mean then drop everything you’re doing and read this book!

PLOT

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place where parents send their troubled children who claim to have been to other worlds. Eleanor helps these children learn to cope with the fact that they are back in the real world and may not be able to return to their fantasy worlds again but offers a safe place for them where they can be believed. However, when the new girl, Nancy, shows up from a trip to an Underworld things start taking a sinister turn at the Home and she finds herself amidst a murder mystery.

Not only is this story very relatable to me as a reader it’s also very original in it’s acknowledgement of many different children visiting many different fantasy worlds and then going back home afterwards and having to deal with the aftermath. I absolutely fell in love with this concept, it’s never really been done before! It’s also almost heartbreaking how much I understand how the characters feel having to come back from these worlds and realizing they may not ever go back.

The world building was incredible I find it so amazing that Seanan McGuire managed to develop a world so quickly considering this is only a 173 page book! I loved learning more about all of the different worlds and how they intersect there are Underworlds, Nonsense Worlds, and Logic Worlds and all have their own unique twists. I could not get enough details about the worlds the characters all visited!

And the writing was fantastic as well it was magical, dark, and light-hearted all at once! The atmosphere the writing created was, for lack of any other words, hauntingly beautiful which is the best way for me to describe it. This book is strange, magical, and has a lot of humor as well and honestly it’s just perfection.

The only part of the plot that bothered me a little bit was that the murder mystery was a little predictable, but honestly that’s all!

characters

I really, really loved the characters in the story not only because I found them all to be very complex and well-developed in such a short amount of pages but also because of how diverse they are as well. We have an asexual main character as well as a transgender boy character and I honestly loved how well both were handled in this story, I felt it was respectful and even a little informative too. There is also racial diversity with a girl of Asian descent and a Latino boy, it was fantastic to see diversity with gender identities and races!

Almost all of the characters that are mentioned have their own worlds and backstories and it was fascinating learning about the worlds they visited and how they impacted them.

in conclusion

Overall I was incredibly impressed with every aspect of this book and I NEED more!

What I Loved:

  • The unique and amazing story
  • The world building with all of the fantastic worlds
  • The writing and eerie atmosphere
  • The well-developed and diverse caste of characters

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Only that it was too short and I want more!
  • The murder mystery aspect was a little predictable

RECOMMEND

I don’t think I can recommend this book enough! Like I said in the beginning this is perfect for those of you who always wanted to fall into a magical world.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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description

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

review

“This life is not always what we think it will be,” Cain says. “You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

I have to say I was a little worried about this one since it’s a pretty hyped up book but it was definitely worth the hype in my opinion! This book is very intense and just all around amazing!

PLOT

As I said this book is intense that’s honestly the best word to describe it! It’s very fast-paced and action-packed with a plot that grows more and more complex as the story progresses. I actually really enjoyed reading both perspectives, Elias and Laia, because it added a lot of depth to both “sides” of the story even though I preferred Elias’ a bit more since it was more eventful. There’s plot twists, betrayals, secrets and even a little politics as well which all adds to the excitement.

I also really like the world building, I like the Roman inspired bits and pieces as well as a bit of the mythical and magical being tossed in for good measure. It’s also a pretty dark, nasty world as well which I loved (I’m not weird, I promise). The punishments and trials the characters face are gruesome and the threat of torture, violence, and even rape are almost constantly hanging over there heads. This book was EVIL but it also kept me turning pages because I was honestly terrified for the characters and that’s exactly what all the brutality in this book wanted was to shock and infuriate us, it succeeded!

That ending killed me though, talk about a cliffhanger! I am really curious to see how the story will further develop though since we were left with many, many questions regarding a bit of the world building and just what will happen next in general!

characters

The characters were easily the best part of the book and they aren’t the usual, run of the mill YA Fantasy characters either. I loved how complex, well developed, and unique each character was even the secondary characters were interesting! I also really loved and appreciated how realistically badass all of the women in the story were, not always with weaponry or fighting either but with their wits and compassion as well.

Laia isn’t the secretly badass heroine we always seem to see, she’s “weak” and “cowardly” and constantly thinks these things of herself as well. I feel like Laia’s trials were a lot more challenging for her because nothing came surprisingly natural for her, she wasn’t a “special snowflake” in disguise at all which was very refreshing! Overall I loved how her character felt very real she wasn’t weak or cowardly she was normal, I think it’s safe to say most of us would act the same way if we were put into similar, horrifying positions!

Elias was also a very likable protagonist and really differed from the usual YA male characters we see. Like most YA characters we see he’s trying to get away from his “fate/destiny/what’s expected of him” but what makes Elias’s story a little different is that he actually has really good reasons to feel this way that also makes him feel very real and relatable.

Like I said earlier, the secondary characters were really great as well but two that are well worth mentioning are Helene and the Commandant. Helene is a badass and I adored her ferociousness and skills, she’s just an all around great female character! As for the Commandant she is the head of Blackcliff Academy and she is a vicious bitch that I loved to hate, honestly she’s one of the most cold-hearted characters I’ve ever read about. Just so many great characters!

romance

First off I’d like to say that the romance in this book is some sort of weird love square? It’s odd but honestly I didn’t mind it at all, which is really saying something! I actually like all of the potential couples in the story and thought they’d all be great together which really kills me because if certain characters are together they break the other’s hearts, awwwww feelings!!!!!

I also like the fact that there weren’t really any other tropes concerning the romance, there was a case of instant attraction but NOT insta-love. The romance didn’t ever really feel like it was over-taking the main plot line either, it felt like a bigger part of the story after a while but never actually overshadowed anything else which I LOVED!

in conclusion

I actually really enjoyed this book and am eagerly waiting to get my hands on the next book because I need more of this world! Overall I think this was a wonderful, unique YA fantasy book.

What I Loved:

  • The characters, all of them!
  • Female representation
  • All of the action, fast-pacing, and brutality of the plot
  • The world building
  • The romance didn’t really take precedence over the plot
  • I like all of the potential romantic couples!

What I Didn’t Love:

  • I don’t really have anything to complain about!

RECOMMEND

Yes! I highly recommend checking this book out, especially if you’re a YA fantasy lover! It’s a very actio-packed, fast, unique book!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

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Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

review

“You’re used to knowing what’s what. You think like the rest of them. Things are set in stone. Things are well ordered. Reds at the bottom, everyone else standing on our backs. Now you’re looking at me and you’re realizing that we don’t bloodydamn like it down there. Red is rising.”

Where do I even start with this book? It was absolute perfection and simply amazing! Basically I could sit and fangirl over it all day instead of actually writing a coherent review! It’s super hard to write a review for a book that I found to be so utterly brilliant but I’ll try.

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PLOT

First of all I’d like to say this book is very much a blend of genres, it’s not JUST sci-fi and it’s not JUST a dystopian either. “Red Rising” has a little bit of everything because it’s got both sci-fi, dystopian, and even a little bit of high fantasy elements as well. Now being the big lover of both sci-fi and fantasy that I am, I was completely blown away by having these all combined into the “perfect book” for me! I think the blend of genres would make it a book that’s easy for every type of book lover to enjoy!

I absolutely loved the world building as well, Pierce Brown did a magnificent job of being original in my opinion. There is a caste system where people are placed according to Color and do jobs according to that Color, it’s also set on Mars (which we learn more about that as well!), and there’s a lot of Roman mythology in it as well! There’s also just so much unique slang and culture in the world too. It blew me away honestly, I just thought everything was so creative and compelling.

The plot was just overall amazing I love stories about rebellion, rising above oppressors, and rooting for the underdog! This story is all of those things! I was hooked immediately and could NOT put this book down to save my life once I started it. There’s constant action, plot twists, and is very complex overall. While the pacing could be considered more on the slow side I still felt there was enough going on not to be bored. It’s so VICIOUS! There is a lot of violence but it’s awesome (I’m horribly like that), I thought it helped this book break the mold of the usual YA.

Also, the writing? Just as amazing as everything else, of course! I loved how the writing made me FEEL what the characters were feeling and honestly I cried more than once. For me, crying because of a book is always a sign of it’s perfection. I love when a book’s writing is so wonderful it actually brings out emotions in the reader.

This book is VERY reminiscent  of “The Hunger Games”. It bothered me only a little bit that it was so similar but I got over it easily because it’s still a very different book. The arena the Golds compete in is similar to THG as well as the factions since they’re very reminiscent of the Districts in THG. But like I said it’s different too, for example “Red Rising” is by far more violent and gory and I LOVED it for that. There’s also a lot more strategy to it as well, which once again I loved.

characters

Let’s see here……hm…..the characters? Were as freaking awesome as everything else in this book! They’re ruthless, savage, and will do ANYTHING to further their own agendas. I love characters that are this complex and developed, seriously, ALL of them! I was amazed with Brown’s skill to take so many secondary characters and develop them in a few sentences!

Darrow is a great narrator, I loved how fiery he is but yet he knows he has flaws and weaknesses. He has his moments where he’d have his moral lines blur but overall he never forgot his purpose in doing all of this. I’ve seen people complain that Darrow is a “Gary Stu” because he’s chosen and perfect which I can understand but overall I saw that Darrow did have his flaws and I adored him.

The secondary characters were all fantastic as well, honestly it was like having a bunch of other main characters alongside Darrow. I loved how Pierce Brown could make you go from hating a character to loving one in a matter of sentences and vice versa! Everyone was so full of surprises.

I’d also like to take a moment and share my love for both Pax and Sevro who were both the most vicious and adorable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. That is all.

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romance

The romance definitely isn’t the central focus of the plot but it is important as Darrow’s love for his wife, Eo, is his main driving force. I thought those two were very adorable and Darrow is just so sweet and loves his wife so much, ugh, feels!

There is a bit of another romance in the story that I also was  a big fan of but I won’t get into details because….spoilers!

in conclusion

I am concluding that “Red Rising” is an amazingly perfect book and I, personally, found nothing wrong with it. I just had so many emotions and so much FUN reading this book!

Hopefully this review was at least moderately helpful….and not just me gushing too much!

What I Loved:

  • The unique setting
  • The world building
  • The writing
  • The characters, who were wonderfully complex
  • Literally, everything

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Nothing!

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend this book, seriously, especially for those of you who enjoy dystopians, sci-fi, or fantasy! I pretty much just recommend it anyways though…it’s perfection!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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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.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

review

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Let me just start off by saying I’m usually not a big contemporary reader so when I rate a contemporary 5 stars it’s just through the roof amazing! “The Hate U Give” is probably one of the most hyped books out there and it is 100% worthy of all of it, not only is it just an overall incredible read but it’s also a very important book. It focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and speaking up for equality and against racism and police brutality.

I wish I could go into more depth on the subject matter of this book but I am not one to talk about important issues such as these that I don’t know anything about personally (not saying I’m completely ignorant I just don’t know enough to go giving you all the information you need). All I can do is try and give “The Hate U Give” a review that will do it at least some justice and convince you all just how much you need to get your hands on a copy.

PLOT

First things first, I cannot believe this is Angie Thomas’s debut novel! Her writing is phenomenal and she writes like a pro, it was easy to follow, entertaining, and very emotional. Trust me when I say that books have to be VERY well written for me to get so immersed in the characters and story that I’ll be crying and I did more than once throughout this book!

As I mentioned above this book focuses mainly on racial inequality, our corrupt justice system, police brutality, and racism and in my opinion it really nails all of these things and sheds light on the truth of the way our society works. While this is some pretty heavy stuff that doesn’t mean “The Hate U Give” is that way the whole time, in fact there is a lot of humor in the otherwise somber plot. I loved how many light-hearted moments were included even though what Starr was going through is very tragic and scary.

The story is very character driven and that being said almost every single character has their own storyline that interconnects with everyone else’s as well. So the plot is very complex and there is never, NEVER a dull moment. You will be hooked from page one and will be 100% invested in these character’s stories.

Remember when I said the writing is very emotional? That’s probably one of the things that stuck out the most with me, just how emotional this story gets in so many different ways. There were times when my heart was absolutely broken, other times when I was over-joyed, and times where I was legitimately terrified for the characters.

This last thing I want to say involving the plot is kind of a side note but I wanted to mention it because it pissed me off so much! The white kids at Starr’s private school decide to hold a protest for Justice for Khalil which is awesome….except the only reason they did anything was to get out of class and they didn’t actually care. How about NOOOOOO? I did really appreciate the fact though that some of the other white characters refused to do it once they found out it was just a gimmick.

characters

If I was going to be honest and tell you what my absolute favorite part of this book was I’d have to say all of the characters! There wasn’t a single character who didn’t have a personality and a story all their own.

Starr is an extremely down-to-Earth and relatable character, I was rooting for her the entire time! Not to mention she’s also sassy, smart, and brave but she also isn’t without her flaws as well. Overall she’s very complex and has earned a spot in my favorite bookish heroines!

I also absolutely adored the family dynamic in “The Hate U Give”, literally loved it to little bits and pieces! It’s definitely a nice change to see a loving, supportive family in YA with children/teens who respect their parents and elders. I mean how many times do we see YA heroes/heroines that blow their parents off? Too many is the answer and it drives me nuts to see kids be so disrespectful.

The secondary characters were amazing as well and it was almost mind-blowing to see so many complex and developed characters all at once!

romance

So this is going to be very brief because while there is romance in the story it definitely does not take over the plot, THANK GOD! While I do love the way Starr’s interracial relationship is handled by themselves and outside parties I just didn’t like it overall, I felt that Starr and Chris just didn’t really have any chemistry. I think that Starr’s friendships and family relationships were handled a lot better with much more depth.

in conclusion

This is usually where I state the things I did like and didn’t like in the book and honestly there just isn’t anything I disliked that strongly, it is a 5 star book after all! I loved the story, the writing, and most of all the characters and I have zero complaints.

RECOMMEND

If I could give every single one of you a copy I would that’s how much I wish everyone would read “The Hate U Give” because as I said not only is it just a plain amazing book it’s also an extremely important one that handles some very serious and all too real issues.

GO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!!!!!!!!!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Graphic Novel Series Review *SPOILER FREE*: Amulet #1-7 by Kazu Kibuishi

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****This is only the description for Amulet Volume 1!****

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

review

So this is a review of all the volumes that are currently out #1-7, the series is going to have 2 more volumes that will finish it out. I’m not sure on a release date for either of them though.

These are mini reviews that I’m going to keep SPOILER FREE and very short since I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone planning on reading the entire series! I’ll provide an overall review of what I thought of the series as a whole at the end of this post.

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Amulet: The Stonekeeper (#1)

This is a wonderful start to such a magical, enchanting adventure full of mysteries and action both! It pulls you headfirst into the story immediately capturing your attention with the mystery of Em and Navin’s great grandfather’s house and their mother suddenly being kidnapped by a strange creature. They then follow her down into a new, mysterious other world and from there the story really takes off!

Plenty is explained as you read through this with the right amount of information being provided and left out, making you want to read on. My only complaint is this first volume felt a little rushed since it takes a little bit for the the plot to unfold.


Amulet: The Stonekeeper’s Curse (#2)

With the second volume we finally start to see a little more character development in Em and Navin since the first one was more so setting up the plot.

We also see some new characters added into the mix that are fierce and endearing (Leon, anyone?) and of course the plot develops more as well!


Amulet: The Cloud Searchers (#3)

The journey continues with once again some new found companions that I LOVED (*cough* Trellis *cough*) and lots of little mysteries that I NEED answers for.

We also see exponential growth in Em’s character, I really enjoy watching her come into her power as a Stonekeeper.


Amulet: The Last Council (#4)

New Stonekeeper characters that are awesome and badass! More plot twists!


Amulet: Escape From Lucien (#5)

New enemies, locations, friends, and creatures! Woohoo!


Amulet: Prince of the Elves (#6)

We finally get some backstory on some very important characters and that’s really the main focus in this volume.


Amulet: Firelight (#7)

All I need to say about this volume is: THAT CLIFFHANGER DESTROYED ME!

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I absolutely LOVE this graphic novel series and honestly have no complaints about them except I wish they were longer!

This is technically Middle Grade but I still found it enjoyable and I think all ages would enjoy it too since the story is just so engaging. It actually gets a little dark at times too, surprisingly.

The art is absolutely stunning, colorful, and simplistic.

It’s like fantasy mixed with science fiction since there are elves, magic, flying ships, and robots! It makes for a very interesting and imaginative combination.

Overall there’s just plenty of action and the world with it’s mysteries is very intriguing and I highly recommend this series!

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Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy