Tag: YA

Otherbound is trying very, very hard, but just isn’t that good

Otherbound is trying very, very hard, but just isn’t that good

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

This is a very meh book. I didn’t particularly want it to be, but it failed me in every way. There was nothing really going on, the writing was dull, the worldbuidling was clearly making an effort but explained poorly, and nothing felt interesting, legitimate, or real.

The characters are diverse, but even in the reviews that’s all anyone can talk about. Yay for diversity! Not much to cheer about otherwise.

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A Soul To Take has a great premise, but needs a rewrite (or two)

A Soul To Take has a great premise, but needs a rewrite (or two)

★☆☆☆☆

(1 star)

(This is a review of a free ARC I got from the publisher. As you may guess, this did not impact or change my review or review process. These opinions are my honest own.)

I hate to leave a negative review, especially for a book I’d been excited for, especially for a book by a debut author, especially for a book from an indie press… but here we are.

This book was right up my wheelhouse- wait, scratch that, it was parked in my garage. Urban fantasy? Demons? Demon-human integration? (with promise of political-social implications of that?) Beauty and the Beast type romance? Soul selling? Gothic cyberpunk? Yes. Yes please. It was on my ‘to-read’ list before I’d gotten myself an ARC.

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Only Ever Yours is an incredible modern, yet classical dystopia

Only Ever Yours is an incredible modern, yet classical dystopia

★★★★★

(5 stars)

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.

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Cover Reveal: Cheerleaders from Planet X! (Lyssa Chiavari)

Cover Reveal: Cheerleaders from Planet X! (Lyssa Chiavari)

Full cover below cut.

Hey hoi folks. I like to support indie authors, lgbt+ stuff, so I signed on to help build a bit o’ hype for this here book. I’ll also probably be reading the ARC pretty soon.

Official text coming, but in short: campy, ridiculous sci-fi. Sounds like a bad (good bad) cheesy sci-fi film. But with lgbt+ stuff also (specifically, lesbians). The title alone cinches it. The cover is also some pretty appealing photoshop for small press…!

Here is the full blurb:

Aliens are among us. And humanity’s only hope just happens to carry pom-poms.

Laura Clark thought she was just your average college freshman—until the day she saw a cheerleader on a skateboard get into a superhuman brawl with a lightning-wielding stranger in a trenchcoat. And the weirdest thing of all? Nobody else saw it happen. Nobody, that is, except the beautiful but standoffish Shailene, one of the mysterious (and possibly super-powered) cheerleaders from Laura’s rival school, Bayview University.

When girls start disappearing all over the City, Laura suddenly realizes that she may have seen more than she should. And if she wants to keep from disappearing herself, she needs to find some answers. But though Laura can’t shake the feeling that they’re somehow connected, Shailene is more than a little reluctant to share her secrets. With strange, bug-like creatures and a sinister man in a dark coat stalking her every step, Laura will have to uncover the truth fast if she wants to survive.

The fate of the planet just might hang in the balance.

A tongue-in-cheek cross between Marvel comics and Space Invaders, Cheerleaders from Planet X is a zany, quirky and snark-filled send-up of just about every sci-fi trope known to humankind—with 100% more lesbians.

Sounds like it could be a lot of fun. As mentioned, will post a review.

Continue reading “Cover Reveal: Cheerleaders from Planet X! (Lyssa Chiavari)”

Beauty Queens: Diversity is good, but it doesn’t make a book

Beauty Queens: Diversity is good, but it doesn’t make a book

★☆☆☆☆

(1 star)

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.

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Valhalla is, at the very least, something different

Valhalla is, at the very least, something different

★★★★☆

(3.5 stars)

Valhalla is not for everyone. It’s action, for one, an overlong action film put onto the page. It’s a hyper violent romp through a complex future world with a murderous lesbian as the guide. Do I like it? The first book holds up well when reflecting on the rest of the series. What I ultimately have to conclude, however, is that it’s at least something very different. New.

It harkens back to the old days of action/sci-fi while still being a very modern book. And even though I say this, I can’t name any one thing I could compare it to.

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