Review: Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

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Published: 5 September 2017

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Category: Middle-Grade/Contemporary/Fiction

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK’D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK’D.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present CLICK’D to the judges?

New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone combines friendship, coding, and lots of popcorn in her fun and empowering middle-grade debut.

Rating:  2.5 Stars

I picked Click’d up because I read Tamara Ireland Stone’s book Every Last Word last year and loved it. I think it was even a 5 star read for me. When I saw a new book from her that was about young game developers, I thought it would be an interesting read.

I want to start off this review by saying that while I rated it 2.5 stars, I can see that it was a case of the book not being for me. I can see how a lot of other people might enjoy the book, but I spent more than a few minutes while reading it being frustrated with how things were going, being presented, and ending up.

Allie, the main character, starts out the book having finished a summer activity at a CodeGirls Camp, designed for young women to spend the summer developing app ideas and working on their skills. At the summit presentation that Allie gave, she presents a bare bones version of how Click’d would work. Reading about it, the app itself as presented then didn’t sound special. The premise sounds nice, but basing the connections it makes off a small, generic quiz, something you might see on BuzzFeed, didn’t make it special enough to warrant the attention it’s creator Allie was getting from her computing teacher or the camp personnel. That a young person could code well enough to make an app is impressive because that sort of work seems hard to me, but the end product was average at best.

Things did sound marginally more interesting when Allie showed the app to her school friends a couple of days later, but it was still ordinary. I felt like calling it a game was a bit of a stretch. The scavenger hunt aspect might count, but Nathan, Allie’s classmate/arch-nemesis, had an actual game that sounded more interesting and overall “good” than Allie’s. In fact, I felt a bit let down when we found out the range of other games that were presented at Games for Good, the competition happening a week into the school year that Allie’s computing teacher Ms. Slade nominates her for. When looking at the other developers and their work, Click’d was never something that would’ve won. As the main character, I would’ve thought that she’d have something more in line with Nathan’s game which facilitates raising funds for Habitat for Humanity, or another student whose game brings fresh drinking water to those in need.

The timing aspect in the book felt strange as well. It was odd that the time Allie had with her mentor before the competition Games for Good was so short. Is a week really enough time to refine an app, test it, etc.? Why did Allie need a mentor for five days when she’d spent all summer working on it with supervision? A recommendation and that should’ve been it for Ms. Slade, who didn’t end up actually doing a whole lot in her mentor capacity.

Click’d also doesn’t take into account the sheer weirdness of Instagram. It takes a photo from your timeline as a clue for the scavenger hunt aspect, but how will that help if you take pictures of your pets, of books?

I will say that the friendships portrayed throughout the book seemed very real. I pretty much blocked out everything that happened to me between 7th and 12th grade, but what I do remember from right before that in elementary school was that friends were like this. You got mad, but it generally got better a lot quicker than it does when you’re older, when you can hold a grudge. I didn’t quite get the relationship, if it can be called that, between Allie and Nathan though. It felt like that was one partnership that never got resolved, other than their were “enemies” at the beginning and then things were better b the time the Games for Good competition rolled around. There didn’t seem to be real resolution to the problems they had communicating, just…hey, we helped each other’s game problems, we’re all good. O.o I know I said relationships at that age I remember as resolving quickly, but these two didn’t have a friendship that would facilitate that kind of recovery.

All in all I thought Click’d was an okay book for me, though I probably wouldn’t’ read it again. I like middle grade books for the most part, but I think this was one of those times were it would be better enjoyed by the actual target age group rather than adults that enjoy the genre.

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.
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Review: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

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Published: 12 September 2017

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Category: Young Adult/Contemporary/Historical Fiction

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity– award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

Rating: 4 Stars

You Bring the Distant Near is a well executed story of heritage, expectations, points of view, and how to live in a world where these things clash.

Each generation had something that was important to their story. While these themes overlapped, they were stronger with the woman/women who are the focal point in the time period. It was interesting to see as Ranee’s children, who have lived in many countries, adapted to America in contrast to their mother at first. There were prejudices to be dealt with and none were resolved quite so easily as perhaps Tara and Anna would have liked.

Even as the years passed and progress came into their lives, there were still difficulties hanging over from the past, such as Ranee’s views of black people. Anna’s Indian heritage, so vital to her personal identity (not least of which is because she was raised in Mumbai), is challenged when she feels her family is becoming too Americanized. It was difficult to watch these women struggle with their views, some changing over time and some needing coaching. Shanti’s own identity is brought into sharp focus during a clash between her grandmothers: Ranee, a Bengali widow, and Rose, an African-American drama teacher whose views about their families don’t mesh well for several years. Shanti’s outburst and her declaration that she’s “both” was powerful, not only to herself but to those around her.

The synopsis was somewhat misleading in details regarding the story, or at least how important they are to the individual women. Anna certainly fights to preserve her Bengali identity and that of her grandmother, but the reference to Bengal tigers is mentioned once and I don’t believe ever again. Ranee does try to preserve her children’s Indian heritage, but again, not nearly so much as the synopsis would lead you to believe.

I loved reading the stories of these women, over the course of several decades. I felt at the end, though, that it bordered on too short? Each section felt good but like it could have been so much more involved.

The writing style makes me certain that I will be looking for more works by this author, as I was wrapped up in the story so well that I didn’t want it to end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Top 10 Tuesday: Foodie Books

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Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.

This week’s prompt was a great one for me because food is comforting to me. Characters eating or talking about their restaurant dreams, etc., makes me smile.

Today’s topic has a lot of leeway and I’m going at it this way: these books contain my favorite portrayals of food. They’re either illustrated or described in such a way that I find myself wishing that my cooking ability and patience were up to snuff so that I could enjoy these myself while reading.

 


 

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Food Wars! by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

Soma Yukihira’s old man runs a small family restaurant in the less savory end of town.  Aiming to one day surpass his father’s culinary prowess, Soma hones his skills day in and day out until one day, out of the blue, his father decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school!  Can Soma really cut it in a school that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate? And can he convince the beautiful, domineering heiress of the school that he belongs there at all?!

Favorite Dish: Gotcha Pork

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling 

Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

Favorite Dish: Fizzing Whizzbees

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night…

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Favorite Dish: Chocolate mice with almond ears and licorice tails

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

Favorite Dish:  Frikadellen (German hamburger/meatball patties)

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Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment by Julie Powell

With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul!

With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.

Julie Powell is 30-years-old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that’s going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother’s dog-eared copy of Julia Child’s 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes. In the span of one year.

At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crépes, she realizes there’s more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the eye. With Julia’s stern warble always in her ear, Julie haunts the local butcher, buying kidneys and sweetbreads. She sends her husband on late-night runs for yet more butter and rarely serves dinner before midnight. She discovers how to mold the perfect Orange Bavarian, the trick to extracting marrow from bone, and the intense pleasure of eating liver.

And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her kitchen into a miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life’s ordinariness through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance.

Favorite Dishes: Boeuf bourguignon, Braised cucumbers

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Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

A family with an ancient curse…

And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.

Favorite Dish: Onigiri

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil—what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.

Favorite Dish: Meat Pasty

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!

Favorite Dish: Seed Cake

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Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago… But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely. Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…

Favorite Dishes: Nell’s brown bread and triple chocolate brownies

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & ParkA coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Favorite Dishes: Gravioli (perfect late night snack food) and tacos

 


 

Do you have a favorite dish that you’ve ever recreated or wanted to recreate from a novel? What was it? How was it? Let me know! 😀

 

 

 

 

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Protected by Claire Zorn

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Published: 3 October 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Category: Young Adult/Contemporary/Mental Health

I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?

Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?

In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl’s struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal.

Rating: 5 Stars

Trigger Warning for bullying, including homomisia/transmisia

*Spoilers Within*

Protected has a lot to talk about in its run time. There’s bullying, grief, and traumatic events. The book examines these from Hannah’s point of view and through that the reader witnesses how not everyone will react the same after an event like the one that killed Katie, Hannah’s sister. Not everyone is brought to justice and sometimes, justice is more complicated than right/wrong, black/white.

There are a lot of strong feelings in this book, depending upon who you’re looking at in a given scene. Hannah has a lot of sadness and a lot of anger, stemming from the bullying forced upon her and from the after effects of the car accident that changed her family.

Hannah’s mother sinks into a deep depression after the death of her elder daughter, but there’s also anger toward her husband, the driver of the car carrying her daughters and himself, but there’s also frustration toward Hannah, the only witness to the accident from that perspective. She wants to know what happened, who’s to blame, and since Hannah initially blocks out the traumatic event, her feelings turn against her husband and inward toward herself.

There are some slightly removed influences, such as Nanna (Hannah’s maternal grandmother) and Mrs. Van (the next door neighbor), that are affected by the tragedy but have different opinions of grief than the core family does. While Katie’s immediate family is encapsulated by her death, and the fact that her father is being tried as culpable in the accident, Nanna and Mrs. Van encourage moving forward and not becoming forever entrenched in their grief.

There’s a conflicting emotion that arose in this book, I think, with regards to Katie and we see this in what Hannah goes through and the flashbacks to the funeral, to school after the accident, and the scenes Hannah reflects upon of the two of them growing up. When someone dies, there’s this thing that happens that causes people in and around the situation to wipe clean the sins of the dead person and I could see it happening with Katie and the people that tormented Hannah.

Every interaction I had with Katie when she was alive and when Hannah “saw” her ghost beside her lead me to the conclusion that Katie was not a nice person. She was horrible to her sister and she lied a lot, both to her parents and Jensen, the person she was dating shortly before her death. However, at the funeral in particular, the people that had bullied Hannah and even those that had never been friends with Katie, were acting like she was a saint. It was a very sad occasion, of course, but what is it that makes mean people suddenly so kind after they’re gone?

Hannah’s experience, dealing with the changes of her world after the death of her sister, the fact that she’ll have to testify at a hearing in which her father is being prosecuted for the accident, and in who she is now that the bullying has subsided but never fully addressed, was an emotionally fraught experience.  I could feel a sickness in my stomach when people were confronting her, the worry and anxiety she had that the bullying would pick back up again. It was terrifying, written very well, and made the characters very real rather than flimsy background people.

The bullying aspect of this was, as I mentioned, sickening, but I think the worst part about it is that it’s never resolved, not really. Hannah misses school for a day and is being driven there the next day following some particularly horrible bullying event when the car accident occurs. After Katie’s death, it’s like Hannah becomes off limits. While I’m glad that she was at least left alone following a traumatic event, the Clones (the main perpetrators of the bullying) are never punished. No teacher ever finds out that they’re the ones that tormented Hannah, no one ever confronts them. Even Katie, before her death, never helped her sister because she was more interested in maintaining the image she had crafted before Hannah advanced to her school. It was intense and saddening and, thinking about it now, probably entirely too true. How many victims are there every day who are never given any justice?

A lot of contemporaries that I’ve read have had a romantic aspect to it and this one didn’t, which I appreciated so much. Josh, the character mentioned in the synopsis that might bring Hannah some hope, doesn’t fill that stereotypical romantic interest role. He’s a bit off putting at first and Hannah even worries that he’s acting nice as part of some larger act. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him because he did have a few annoying moments, but overall he turned out to be what Hannah needed most: a friend. They may become involved in the future, but for the course of the story their relationship was what it needed to be.

There is no real happy ending to this book. Some things are resolved, some things are not. I didn’t like some of those details, but it reflected real life more than I realized until I reflected upon it. Hannah’s life may still be difficult, it will always be affected by the actions of her sister, her peers, and the after effects of losing her sister, but there is a spark of hope that comes not only from the people supporting her, but from the strength she finds within herself to endure.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Chapter by Chapter Blog Tour: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

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Welcome to my review stop on the Chapter by Chapter Blog Tour for Tristina Wright’s new novel 27 Hours. This has been a much talked about book in the book community for many reasons. Today I’m sharing with you my thoughts about it, as well as a giveaway for a 27 Hours Prize Pack.

There are many other stops on Chapter by Chapter’s 27 Hours tour. Click on the link below to see all of them, including reviews, spot lights, guest posts, and interviews.

27 Hours Blog Tour Schedule

Tour Date: October 9-27, 2017

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Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada |

B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads  | Entangled

Published: 3 October 2017

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Category: Young Adult/Science Fiction/LGBT+

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

Rating: 3 Stars

Wright wastes no time in introducing the reader to the action in 27 Hours. After mere moments Rumor is thrust into a fight for his life, leaving no time to get acclimated to the world. This doesn’t stop you from engaging with the characters, oh no, but rather causes your attention to hyper focus on them, catching the edge of their coats and hanging on as it were.

The writing style of the book was satisfactory for this tale, particularly the action scenes. Rumor in particular felt like he could have been straight out of an action movie with the training and moves he displayed in the course of the story.

Nyx was my favorite character. I haven’t had the experience of reading many characters who are deaf or hard of hearing, save You’re Welcome, Universe and her inclusion made me enjoy the chapters that centered on her. Her use of hearing aids, her love of her best friend Dahlia, and her pure spirit were meaningful, fun.

The automatons were one of the inventions that I liked the most. In the grand scheme of things they probably weren’t thought of as the most important development, but I thought they were quite important, not to mention adorable in their own way. There were metal plated cats, canines for disability services. I can understand why the actual animals would not have been ideal for space travel, but I like that human nature for companions and the need for service animals remained and they found a way to create a bit of home.

Something I found somewhat perplexing, interesting maybe, was what survived in the current culture of Epsilon and the HUBs. There seemed to be a singular language that, although never called it, appeared to be English, though I assume it would change depending upon the translation of the book.

There were traces of other languages (i.e. abuela/abuelo, ASL), accents, etc. It’s 2375 at the opening events of 27 Hours, 358 years from our current time, several generations worth of scientific advancements both in the book’s timeline and in the preceding events. That’s amazing, considering how many advancements were made in the early 20th century.

So how did what the reader saw come to be a part of the culture seen represented in this book? Especially considering that Bailey, one of Braeden’s mothers, mentions that she witnessed a generational ship falling out of the sky. With these ships, presumably fresh influxes of colonists from Earth bringing their history with them, how did what was lost get lost, what remained remain? While the journey from Earth takes 200 years, I’d have expected something to survive. Nyx mentions that the first generation of colonists were “from Earth”, but given the timeline stated for the ships, that wouldn’t have been possible. Whole generations, families, were born and died on these ships. What was lost on those trips alone?

In addition to the question of culture, I was happy when I saw that there would be a lot of representation; some of it I cannot speak to as the representations do not apply to me, others felt somewhat lacking.

With the range of representation came the question of what had happened in the interceding years to have, seemingly, eased the way to a very accepting society. I suppose it could be similar to the rapid advancement of science, or perhaps the people that were originally part of the colonist mission were particularly accepting. A lot of issues we see today, homomisia, transmisia, and the like, did not crop up in this narrative. Again, I was happy to have so much representation, but some background into the developing society among the Earth descendants would’ve added an engaging element.

There were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way, other than the thoughts I’ve already mentioned above; some I noticed while reading, others that were in the back of my mind and I realized when I was finished and reflecting on the experience.

From page one, on which there is a speech by the Canadian Prime Minister, there was a strong sense of colonialism.

Rumor’s people, descended from the original Earth settlers, are at war with the natives of Sahara’s moons (Rumor’s home). The gargoyles are depicted as beasts, some of which look humanoid, and witnessing their interactions with the Earth descendants left an unpleasant taste on my mental palate.

Not only is this evident in their physical descriptions, but in the early part of the book, when Rumor’s home (HUB2) is attacked by gargoyles using dragons, he has an internal shock about this because he doesn’t believe the gargoyles have the intelligence to work with dragons, in addition to his views that they (the gargoyles) are unintelligent and have no right to be attacking the colonists. He doesn’t seem to believe they even have the power of speech, is shocked when he’s fleeing HUB2 and hears the voices of the gargoyles coalescing into one as they’re searching for one of their own.

There was a line from a Nyx chapter that had me shaking my head in disbelief. After the above actions, in reference to plant life that filtered the air, there was still this:

The founders of the colonies had put practices in place in an attempt to subvert the human tendency to be a parasite.

A little late for that sort of thought, don’t you think?

Toward the end of the story I was not surprised by the humans that ended up doing what they did. Their opinion of themselves and what they were doing was exactly what I would’ve expected from colonists. The ending did not leave me entirely hopeful for the sequel in terms of a “happy” resolution, whatever that means. It may well prove interesting how the politics, the loss, the intense wave of events in 27 Hours will affect those that survive in the sequel.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

A 27 Hours Prize Pack, including:

* A 27 Hours Candle

* A set of 27 Hours Character Cards

* AND a copy of an October release *

*Open internationally wherever The Book Depository ships

About the Author

Tristina Wright

Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy at a young age and frequently got caught writing in class instead of paying attention. She enjoys worlds with monsters and kissing and monsters kissing. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up more stories for her wombfruit, who keep life exciting and unpredictable.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

 

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley as part of the Chapter by Chapter Book Tour in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

My House Cup Reading Challenge Sign-up Post & TBR

The-House-Cup-Reading-Challenge

I haven’t been participating in as many challenges this year as I did in the past because I’ve got an abundance of work to do, but if it’s Harry Potter related then I’m sure as heck going to figure out a way to make my schedule work!

Hosted by Kelsey of Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf, Alex of Book Daisy Reviews, Lauren of Live, Love, Read, and Erica of Escape Under the Cover, this challenge has a lot of leeway as far as the challenges go.

The idea is to get from Year 1 to Year 7, reading one book per “year” and those books are all reader’s choice. Woo hoo! Then there are the additional challenges, one for each house and many more that are Hogwarts themed, based on classes or character types or creatures. I’m on #TeamRavenclaw (caw caw).

Now, what will I be reading? Um…who knows? Let’s be honest, I don’t have the greatest track record keeping up with TBRs because I’m a bit of a mood reader, but I’ll do my best. These are the seven books I’m hoping to read for the main #HouseCupReadingChallenge :

  1. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Long
  2. Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
  3. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  4. Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza
  5. Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
  6. The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale
  7. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Reading for points is always an adventure. Can I do it? We’ll see! Each finished book above will net 20 points for my house and then I’ll see about reading more in the optional categories.

Have you read any of these? Which should I start with? Let me know in the comment section. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Cover Reveal: Stake Sauce by RoAnna Mitchell

Today I’m helping reveal the cover for STAKE SAUCE ARC 1: THE SECRET INGREDIENT IS LOVE, NO, REALLY! It’s a fun, creepy, and dark-but-hopeful serial about queer punk vampires and the humans who love them, from RoAnna Sylver, author of the CHAMELEON MOON series. STAKE SAUCE releases October 31st, 2017 from The Kraken Collective!

The cover was designed and drawn by the author… and references this classic Dracula cover. Vampires then and now!

I’ve loved vampire books for as long as I can remember and Stake Sauce renews my love for that fantastical character. The cover looks both iconic and classic, while still having parts that are fresh and inclusive.

With Chameleon Moon ready to go on my Kindle, it’s only a matter of time before RoAnna’s next story is there as well, perfect reads for the autumn season (my favorite for reading in general). If you have a moment, please enjoy the cover and take a look at the preorder information below, including how to pre-order and get a free short story, and exclusive bonus content!

 

stake sauce arc 1 cover

 

STAKE SAUCE ARC 1:

THE SECRET INGREDIENT IS LOVE. NO, REALLY.

 

IN WHICH: A cute punk-rock vampire and a disabled firefighter-turned-mall-cop with a dark past join forces to battle the forces of evil.

Jude used to leap out of helicopters to rescue/protect people from terrifying infernos. Now, by day, he protects the local mall from rowdy teenagers who ride their skateboards inside. By night, he protects the the parking lot, and the rest of Portland, from undead, bloodsucking creatures of the darkness. Or would if he could find them.

But he’s just about ready to give it up (living with PTSD and pain from the traumatic event that cost him a leg, a friend, and a lot more is hard enough), when something crashes into his life. And his window.

It’s one of these creatures of the darkness – and he’s a lot less scary than expected. More cuddly, with dark fuzzy wings, and neon-bright hair.

His name is Pixie, and he refuses to bite anyone. Assault/murder/draining fluids isn’t punk, even if being a vampire really kind of is. He’s very hungry by now, and the much bigger, meaner, deadlier vamps kick him around on the nightly. Jude would love to find and fight some actual undead bullies. And Pixie could use some help staying… ‘alive.’ Time to make a deal.

Together they fight crime. And maybe even heal.

Of course, life still sucks when you’re a vampire who refuses to suck blood. Fortunately, there’s a really interesting new barbecue restaurant in the mall, with an intriguing new recipe. (We hear that the secret ingredient is… love. No, really.)

 

PRE-ORDER BONUS AND EXCLUSIVE CONTENT:

 

Pre-order the full first arc (containing 6 acts/parts!) on Gumroad, and get a free short story, What We Learned In The Fire! This takes place before the main book, and will introduce you to some super important people and… things. Stake Sauce Arc 1 releases October 31st; Happy Halloween!

Stake Sauce is also available (or soon will be, some distributors are pending) for pre-order from Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo, as well as other retailers, but these do not carry the pre-order bonus story!

 

SUBSCRIBE ON PATREON AND GET TONS OF EXCLUSIVE STAKE SAUCE BONUS CONTENT AND EARLY RELEASES!

 

FIND THE AUTHOR ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

 

Add Stake Sauce Arc 1 to your Goodreads!

 

 

 

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.