January (2018!) Wrap Up

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I listened to this on audio book and it was, simply put, AMAZING. In this dystopian novel, the themes and happenings hit uncomfortably close to home, and I found myself thinking “oh my goodness, what if this actually happened?!” I particularly loved the ending (SPOILERS!), as we never got to really find out what happened to Offred. It was so unsettling, but really forces the reader into the protagonists own shoes. She never got to know what happened to any of her loved ones either, so why should we?   I would highly recommend this book, as well as the hulu tv series. SO so good!

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The Graces by Laure Eve ⭐⭐⭐

Ahhhh this book left me SO confused on how I felt about it. For the first 20 pages I actually found myself kind of laughing because the main characters voice and thoughts were SO overdramatic and ridiculous. Admittedly, there was something about this book though, that made me continue reading. I was fascinated enough by the friendship themes and mystery to keep flipping the pages. I don’t think I’ll continue the series, as I really just did not like the main character, but I’m glad I gave this book a shot! Also, the cover is just stunning– easily one of my favorite covers to date. 😍

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The Numberlys by William Joyce ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Feel free to make fun of me, but I have recently rediscovered my love for picture books. Yep that’s right, I like children’s books! They are just SO dang beautiful to look at you guys. And the stories are whimsical and fun, and always have wonderful meanings. I’m in love with all those things!

Anyways, I specifically really adore William Joyce. I remember reading books like George Shrinks and Dinosaur Bob over and over again. I would check out PILES of books from our local library, and I truly loved his stories. Turns out, he’s still writing and collaborating with incredible illustrators, and I am determined to collect all of his books. The Numberlys was SO cute, contained incredible art, and I would strongly recommend for any parent to get this one for their child! 4 stars because it was exceptionally short.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another one by William Joyce that I adored. This was a touching story about a boy who loved reading and writing, but it was all taken away from him after a storm swept through his town. He slowly picks up the pieces and is able to once again have a library of books to keep him company. (I’m explaining it poorly though– just go read it!) Beautiful, wonderful book.

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A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was my first ever manga that I read! Yay for trying new things! I must admit, I had to look up how to read it at first, as I wasn’t sure about which panels/pages to read once I turned the page– but once I figured it out, it was easy to get used to!

This was such a good start to a series. It’s about a boy, Shoya,  that bullies a deaf girl, Shoko, when they’re in 5th grade. She ends up transferring schools because it gets so bad, and then years later he decides to seek her out (to apologize, I’m pretty sure!)

I was shocked at the awfulness of those little tryants. Kids are so mean, ya’ll. As someone who was bullied pretty hard as a kid, my heart went out to Shoko. I felt so bad for her, as she was truly innocent and deserved to be treated much better. What stunned me even more was the actions (or lack thereof) of the adults! The parents, teachers, etc. were so careless in how they treated the situation. That was easily the most tragic theme.

The novel ended by fast forwarding a few years after all the bullying, with Shoya going to meet Shoko. I need the 2nd one right NOW to know what happens! I think I might have just started a new love for manga.

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The Selection (#1) by Kiera Cass ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am such a sucker for the series, I can’t lie. The Selection Series is 100% my guilty pleasure. It’s like The Bachelor meets Hunger Games.

There really are a handful of problematic themes in the book, as well as a giant cliche love triangle. For these reasons, I don’t recommend this series if you’re looking for anything more than a fluffy contemporary full of princesses (in training), dramatic scenes, cat fights, and pretty dresses.

In a nutshell, this book is a dystopian YA where a bunch of girls of different class systems are selected to be sent to the castle for the Prince to court them and eventually select his wife and future Queen. It’s such a fun concept and there are some really solid friendship aspects, as well as the romantic relationships (ugh swoon). I think the first book is a really solid start!

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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Or, ALL THE STARS!)

THIS WAS THE BEST, CRAZIEST, MOST FUN READ! Okay, caps off. But please listen… if you event remotely enjoy YA Contemporary, Mystery/Psychological Thriller, you need to give Little Monsters a chance.

I’m not sure if it was because the last book I read in this genera was such a let down, or if the audiobook I listened to for this was just super on point… but I seriously fell SO hard for this book! It was so addicting, the characters were fleshed out and I had ZERO clue who did it (and I’m usually really good at guessing the ending!). I also really enjoyed the family dynamics. They were really present throughout the whole book, which is usually rare in YA.

Okay now someone else PLEASE go read this so we can talk about it for 2 hours!

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Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.75 stars)

I think this might be my favorite graphic novel to date! The art is so beautiful, especially the color scheme. The sub-character Wood Man made me actually laugh out loud. If you’re a fan of the Cartoon Network show Adventure Time — you’ll enjoy this story and art! I just wish it were longer (guess I need to buy & read the rest)!

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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.75 stars)

I loved Nevermoor! Easily one of the best Middle Grades I have read in a while. I flew through the beginning, but it did seem to lag a little in pace over time. This was such a FUN read and I can’t wait to see what the next book has in store!

I’m not sure why this didn’t feel like a total 5 Star read for me! :/ It was enjoyable, but I didn’t feel like it was mind-glowingly good as most people have rated it. Granted, I think for any book being compared to Harry Potter would be hard to measure up.

All in all, I enjoyed Townson’s writing style so much and really loved the characters. Jupiter, Jack, Fenestra, the Vampire Dwarf, Hawthorne… what a wonderful cast! ❤️ hurry, book 2! I can’t wait!

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Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5 stars)

Scythe is a super fascinating read! Easily one of the darker books I’ve read. This genera (YA Science Fiction/Dystopian/Fantasy) isn’t something I usually gravitate to, but it was $5 on audible, so I thought I would take a chance on it. And I am SO glad that I did!

The whole concept of these “Scythes” (aka, grim reapers of the world), keeping population in check after the world has “perfected” itself and natural death is no longer an issue was very intriguing. I found myself completely wrapped up in this concept and world. Shusterman did a fantastic job world building throughout the novel. The character development was a little slow at the beginning, but really picked up toward the halfway mark. The cast of characters was fantastic, and I had all the feels (hated some, loved others).

I think the only thing that irked me was the “love interest” between Citra and Rowan. I really didn’t care for it, and felt strongly that they should have remained close friends. I just didn’t think that the two of them being in love was believable and felt forced.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to any sci-fy, fantasy, dystopian lovers out there!

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Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

WHOO this YA mystery was crazy! Basically, if you know anything about the Amanda Knox trials/case/have seen the Netflix documentary, you already know the plot of the book. I do kind of wish the book and author were more forthcoming that this is essentially inspired and a re-write of that real word case, as I really had no clue until I started reading. However, this was so much fun. Easily the most fast paced book I’ve read all month, as the chapters are very short (love that), and jump around in the timeline of the story.

It’s safe to say the ending GOT ME, y’all. I WAS SHOOK. I was actually happening that the ending was going to go that way, so it actually made me give the book more stars because of that. I did enjoy this one, but still did not love it as much as but not as Little Monsters.

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