Honestly, this book always sounded really cool- I was still quite surprised to sincerely enjoy it. I don’t know, I seem to be a cynic when it comes to YA, especially the dark sub-set- writing analysis and studying it for University likely is one reason why. I even cited this book pre-reading when discussing cover and story tropes in the genre!
Yes, To Kill A Kingdom has it all in terms of what is ‘hot’: Difficult princes, dangerous leads, a spy/murdering main character, lots of royalty, a fairytale retelling, diversity, and a slight more ‘adult’ content than used to be the norm. However, none of those things- common tropes- are necessarily bad. They are just in right now. They are probably ‘in’ for a reason.
This book offers: good writing, characters, plot, romance, morality, and leads.
Continue reading “To Kill A Kingdom is a classic example of the Dark YA genre- that doesn’t mean it isn’t great”
Got this book as an ARC off NetGalley for an honest review. Like an odd number of recent reads, I picked this because *kisses fingertips* the cover is fantastic. I am incredibly easy to persuade about a book if I like the cover, and I especially love the illustration on this one. It’s fantastic arc and deserves credit, as does the typefacing and font-work!
Anywho, this is a slightly different YA fantasy- that still, very much so- is extremely conventional. It’s an indie book with an extremely mainstream storyline, and seems to fight itself over if it wants to tell a typical YA story, or if it wants to make a point about breaking those cliches. While the latter half of the book surprised and pleased me, overall I found the cast not particularly likable, the worldbuilding uninteresting, the storyline plain, and the writing far too overdone.
Continue reading “Evenfall breaks a few genre conventions, but can’t shake a cliche story”
What a turnaround!
If you tried to tell me a month ago I’d be a certified Black Witch fan, I would have been very worried for my future. Now I sit here quite excited for the next book in the series, and quite certain it’s good to have a bit of fun.
There’s still some negatives I’ll talk about, but on the whole I had a blast. The characters grew on me. I understood the large world better. The drama and storytelling was up a notch. It’s YA, but good YA.
I even drew fanart (possibly the first ever for the poor series).
Continue reading “The Iron Flower is a lush fantasy with lovable characters and far fewer issues”
I read this on the floor of a train station during a ten-hour train delay, finishing around 2am, and it was probably the perfect experience for this book. Strange, long, complicated, at times mysterious and frustrating, Only Ever Yours brought perfectly together Brave New World and 1984- but with a more direct commentary on feminism, the role of women in society, sexuality, and media. (While also having time to talk about racism, eating disorders, sex, sexism, social inoculation, brainwashing, and mental illness).
And listen, folks, I’m not a pretentious person. You won’t catch me dead giving a holler about women’s studies or queer theory. But Only Ever Yours is not some highbrow, academic commentary. It’s a solid story in an extreme dystopia, where the world has shaped the characters perfectly, and the reader never quite knows enough.
Continue reading “Only Ever Yours is an incredible modern, yet classical dystopia”
I love Libba bay. I want to put that out there. I loved Going Bovine, and when I was about 13, it was probably my most read and reread book. Beauty Queens, by her, sucks. Oh man. Oh boy. I used to just be lukewarm, but I’ve been seeing it float around on LGBT recommendation lists and on tumblr, so I want to officially clear the air: Don’t read this book.
Is there a lot of diversity, female friendship, gay stuff, ethnicity stuff, and feminism? Does the cover rock? Is the premise gold? Well, sure. But that doesn’t make up for everything else.
Continue reading “Beauty Queens: Diversity is good, but it doesn’t make a book”