Young Adult/Middle Grade I read in March 2018 – Reading Wrap Up

I actually picked up a couple young adult / middle grade books this month! Four of them! And I gotta say, most of them were pretty dang good. See my Comic wrap up post for the month over here.

  • Page (Protector of the Small #2) by Tamora Pierce
    • Rating: 4.75/5
    • Thoughts: Where we left off last month, I was pretty in love with the first book in the Protector of the Small series. In typical reader fashion, I pretty much immediately picked up the second book and flew through that as well. While not quite as good as First Test (which honestly was going to be VERY hard), there is SO much in this book to love. The characters, especially Kel are lovable and compelling, and it is just a fun to watch Kel become stronger and stronger as the story goes on, and really grow into a wonderful person. I think the pacing wasn’t as strong in this book as it was in the first one, but it really isn’t enough to detract from book at all. It’s just something that happens when you’re taking about 3 years of someone’s life and condensing it into a 300 page book. Also quick gushing about one of the characters: Lalasa is SO GOOD I love her and everything she will ever be forever and she is a GREAT addition to add to this book as almost a foil to Kel. I’m going to stop now or I’ll spend half an hour gushing about everything I love in this book. Pick some Tamora Pierce books up! Especially her Tortall books! They’re incredible! I took a break after this book or I was just going to FLY through the rest of these, but you know I am WAITING PATIENTLY (or not) to pick up the next two.

  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
    • Rating: 3.5/5
    • Thoughts: This book was such a positive and cute book! I picked up this book because after I’d finished a really…. unsatisfying book (Don’t worry, THAT will be discussed in the next wrap up I compile), and I just wanted some fun summery ya. And this definitely falls in that category! It’s nothing super special, but there’s a ton of really great representation and the wlw couple in this is just THE CUTENESS. The writing style left something to be desired, and I think some of the story construction felt super…. blah but. It’s still a lot of fun! A great happy story if you need a pick me up.
    • Honestly, the biggest pet peeve I had with this was the actual convention in which this takes place in. It’s almost laughable how much this book reads like someone who has really NEVER been to a large convention, let alone the convention the one in this book is based on SDCC. (Full disclosure, I’ve been attending SDCC regularly for the past…. 8-9 or so years, and the convention in this is clearly based on it. I even probably know a bit more on how the convention is run as I work as a volunteer and have seen a lot of the backstage kind of stuff.) I realize I have a biased when it comes to that, so I don’t think it will bother the regular reader. But it was jarring enough for me to care.
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
    • Rating: 4.75/5
    • Thoughts: WOOF Libba Bray has changed a LOT since I picked up the Gemma Doyle  series as a teenager. In the BEST way. Another quick disclosure, I do like parts of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, but I always felt like I had more problems with it than I had likes. (Though it HAS been years since I read any of them. Maybe I’ll do a reread?). But, I had heard SUCH great things about the Diviners, and it was billed as being super diverse, I had to at least give it a try and Y’ALL I was not disappointed. This is a lovingly crafted image of 20s New York which doesn’t fall into the gross white rose colored glasses the rest of America seems to wear about this time period. Not only that, the book presents such fun characters, and a BOMB murder mystery. The horror in this is TOP NOTCH, which was super surprising! It usually takes a lot for a book to freak me out, but the killer in this is just. Fantastic. This novel is some top notch creepy americana occult bullshit. Its a long book, but I felt like I flew through the last third of this, I was so enraptured. The cast is SUPER large, but I found that most every character was distinct and clearly existed as a character first, and not a means to an end or as a fun trope to play off of.  (something that I’ve found a lot of YA ensemble casts tended to do) This is a great set up to a series, and I can wait to pick up the other novels!
    • I do have to say though like. Straight up I think I hate every straight white male in this book except for MAYBE one, and he’s on thin fucking ice. Because of that the end of this book made me want to tear my fucking HAIR out. You’ll see what I mean if you pick this up
  • E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core by William Joyce

    • Rating: 3/5
    • Thoughts: I read the first book in this series a couple years back and I LOVED it. The series that the Rise of the Guardians movie is based on, the first book of this is such a classic and lovingly crafted children’s book. This book… doesn’t really follow up as successfully. I think there are some elements that DID work in this novel. I still really love how the author writes this villain with this profound anger and sadness and cunning – its really interesting to see in a kid’s book. And all the characters introduced in the first book are still pretty pitch perfect fun, But the introduction on the easter bunny / pooka’s is SO weak in this. The first book works really really hard for you to buy into this magical adventure, it’s almost like the second book dusted it’s hands off and said ‘well we did all the fun work in the previous books. we don’t need to be convinced of anymore’. Which was kind of a bummer – I felt like there needed  to be a lot more build up with the Pooka’s, and a lot more kind of getting to know Bunnymund as a character, especially when we got that time with St. North in the first book.  The ending too, I think is a little eye roll-ey, even for a kids book. Regardless, it’s not a bad sequel. It just a ‘meh’ follow up to a book I really enjoyed.

Whew alright! I’ve got 4 adult books left to wrap up. I’ll be going into my first purely negative review! That’ll be fun for the whole goddamn family won’t it

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