The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy Review

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

“I do not need reasons to exist. I do not need to justify the space I take up in this world.”

The-Lady's-Guide-to-PetticoatsWe return this week to the second book in the historical fantasy series of novels with very long titles. Although I would never read a series out of order the first time around (I’m too much attached to chronological orders and backstories), this second book of the series is absolutely my favorite, due in no small part to its main character. I already spent a paragraph in my previous review expressing my affection for her, and now that she’s our leading lady I will no doubt spend this entire review rhapsodizing about her. (Also maybe the dragons. I always love books with dragons.) You have been warned.

Continue reading “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy Review”

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Review

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

It’s beginning to feel like he’s shuffling his way through the seven deadly sins, in ascending order of my favourites.

The-Gentleman's-Guide-to-ViceI have returned after my month long hiatus! Between NaNo (which I failed), the holidays, and working on my printing press, I spaced off doing reviews for…quite a while. I am finally back though, and will try to keep up with at least biweekly reviews. Despite my not finding time to write reviews, my reading hasn’t slowed much so I have a fair number of books to do reviews on in the coming weeks. Now without further ado, I should get on with this week’s actual review.

Continue reading “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Review”

Reverie Review

Reverie by Ryan La Sala

“Kane absolutely did not want to fight the Dreadmare. He wanted to kiss the Dreadmare. Maybe.”

ReverieI decided to read this book for the Big Library Read which occurred this month. I’ve been in a couple “general” book clubs (i.e. not specific to one genre, like mystery), and had come to the conclusion that any book picked for a book club type event would always be some form of realistic fiction or nonfiction. Imagine my shock when I began reading Reverie and my instincts immediately began screaming “YA contemporary fantasy!” As soon as I got over my surprise I was immensely pleased. My favorite genre, finally getting some of its due!

Continue reading “Reverie Review”

Surrender Your Sons Review

Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass

“My question is the scandal of the century, apparently.”

Surrender-Your-SonsSince this Saturday fell on Halloween, I decided it would be a perfect time to review the contemporary YA thriller I recently read. This was a new experience for me, as I don’t believe I’ve ever read a YA thriller before (or any other thriller for that matter). Mystery, yes, I’ve read plenty of those, but not a true thriller. Although I must say this thriller did come with its fair share of mystery.

At some point before reading this book, I saw it likened to Lord of the Flies. Considering the fact I passionately hate Lord of the Flies, it may seem odd that I decided to read a book that has been deemed similar to it. It’s true I was leery of reading a thriller, especially one liked to that classic, but ultimately I decided experiencing a contemporary re-imagining might just be worth it. As it turns out, I’m glad I took the plunge!

Continue reading “Surrender Your Sons Review”

Only Mostly Devastated Review

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

“I was fairly sure Lara buying me a present was listed as an end of times sign in the Bible, between false prophets and stars falling from the sky.”

Only-Mostly-DevastatedShifting away from fantasy again, I have another contemporary YA on the review list today. This one, according to some of the synopsis I’ve read of it, does have an interesting back history though. It seems this book is a retelling of Grease, which was a 1978 movie, which was a retelling of a 1971 play of the same name.

Now, I should say that while I’ve seen the movie version of Grease, it was a long time ago and my memory of it is pretty sketchy. Possibly this is why I only saw a few general, overarching themes in this book that appeared to hearken back to the movie. (Assuming the movie version was, in fact, the Grease this book retells.) Or perhaps that’s just the way the book is–after all, a retelling is supposed to be original in its own right, not a verbatim reiteration of the work that inspired it. In any case, I must admit I found Only Mostly Devastated more to my liking than I found Grease, for many reasons.

Continue reading “Only Mostly Devastated Review”

The Gravity of Us Review

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

“At home, I’m invisible. At school, I’m bizarre. But to the rest of the world, I’m a journalist.”

The-Gravity-of-UsBreaking the mold of my last two reviews, we move out of the fantasy sphere into regular YA contemporary fiction. Although you could perhaps argue a sci-fi bent, considering the main plot revolves around putting humans on Mars in 2020, which obviously hasn’t happened yet.

Yes, that’s right, The Gravity of Us is set in July of 2020, though a slightly different 2020 than the one we’ve experienced. Books, for any who don’t know, are usually written at least a year in advance of when they are published. Since this book was published in early 2020, I imagine it was written in 2018 or earlier, so it’s no wonder the real 2020 turned out…a little differently.

Continue reading “The Gravity of Us Review”

Cemetery Boys Review

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

“Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.”

cemetery-boys

I’ve never been one for horror, but I do love a good ghost story, and this one certainly delivers. Being squarely within the YA fantasy realm, with Maya death gods, magic, and plenty of ghosts, this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020.

I will admit after reading the synopsis that while I was excited to read Cemetery Boys, I was also afraid it would be one of those heart wrenching books that haunt you for the rest of eternity. A living MC falling in love with a ghost boy? That sounded like a recipe for heartbreak to me. Because of my preconceptions, I spent a good 90% of the book in a state of stress, waiting for the moment Julian would be released or turn maligno, all while frantically trying to come up with alternate scenarios that did not involve Julian dying…like, permanently.

Continue reading “Cemetery Boys Review”