An Adult, a Young Adult, and a Middle Grade #1

Posted December 1, 2016 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

Helllllloooo. Welcome to this new thing I’m trying. I’ve been going through some major, MAJOR blogger burnout. I haven’t felt like writing reviews and I’ve only wanted to read. Book after book after book. Let’s be real. Writing reviews can be a really tedious thing if it’s not something that feels like a strength. For me, it isn’t. I’ve never felt like I was great at writing reviews at all. For a while there I felt like I was improving, but then it sort of plateaued and…yeah. So I’m going to try something new.

Writing short reviews. And to keep my reading fresh and new and interesting for me, I’m going to read within all age categories like I always have, just more often.

In each installment of this new thing I’m doing, I’ll quickly review an adult book, a young adult book, and a middle grade book across a wide range of genres. There will be something for everyone here, I hope. I’m also going to try to read more diverse books by diverse authors.

Every now and then I’ll still do regular reviews, too. I’m just not able to post as often, and I’m really trying to do something to make blogging fun again.


An Adult

An Adult, a Young Adult, and a Middle Grade #1Vision in Silver (The Others, #3) by Anne Bishop
Published by Roc on March 3rd 2015
Genres: adult, Fiction, literary
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.
Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.
For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

I honestly thought this book was fucking wonderful. Until the last chapter. Something happened that…really brought down my enjoyment of this book. I was on a super high, ready to give it five stars, but then the thing happened, and it made me seriously dislike the protagonist. What a selfish thing to do. And it didn’t make me just dislike her either. There was another character I disliked as well. View Spoiler »

Up until that point, this book was beautiful. It made me think, made me debate how I would feel about certain topics, and I learned things about myself in the process. The book was a complete escape. The world dropped away as I read and escaped into the Amazon, to the world of the Lakashi, to undiscovered flora and fauna, and a rain forest teeming with life.

I can’t honestly say that I know how to review a book like this. I enjoyed the story, though I was more interested in the “find out what happened to Anders” part of the story than the medical “women having babies in their golden years” part. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but really it almost felt like two separate books blended into one. Though it worked very well, I might add.

I definitely want to read more of Ann Patchett’s books, and there are far better reviewers than I out there that have written a more intelligent review. I basically just spew words and hope it sticks. But I liked this. A lot.

A Young Adult

An Adult, a Young Adult, and a Middle Grade #1Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
Series: Flashfall #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on November 15th 2016
Genres: young adult, dystopia, science fiction
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.
But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

Flashfall was very, very good. It was a little choppier than I would have liked, meaning that, some scenes moved too fast and jumped to the next before I could clearly understand what was going on. There were a few clarity issues. Like the very last chapter. Not sure what is going on there, to be honest. But I get lost sometimes when reading because my brain just doesn’t pick up everything it reads, and rather than backtrack, I would prefer to finish–lack of patience, I know.

Mostly, though, this book was excellent. When I thought the dystopian genre had exhausted all originality, here comes something fresh and new with wonderful characters (though I wish there was a little more thought put into the secondary characters), a sweet romance, and a brutal, oppressive world that jumped right off the page.

I’m looking forward to book two. And at least this doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. I hate those.

Flashfall is suspenseful, tense, and really, really exciting. Going by the number of ratings and reviews on Goodreads, it looks to have been a flop as well which makes me really sad. It was excellent. So if you get the opportunity to pick this one up, please do.

A Middle Grade

An Adult, a Young Adult, and a Middle Grade #1The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver, H.C. Chester
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on September 29th 2015
Genres: middle grade
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

What you will find in this book:
– A rather attractive bearded lady– Several scandalous murders – A deliciously disgusting Amazonian shrunken head– Four extraordinary children with equally extraordinary abilities – A quite loquacious talking bird
Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events. When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.
This sensational new series combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H.C. Chester.
What you will NOT find in this book:
– An accountant named Seymour– A never-ending line at the post office– Brussel sprouts (shudder)– A lecture on finishing all your homework on time– A sweet, gooey story for nice little girls and boys.

I had really been looking forward to this series when I hear about it. I get really invested in middle grade fantasy series with a unique premise, plus the cover really intrigued me. It has a GREAT cover, what can I say?

But The Shrunken Head just ended up being decent. Everything felt rushed and too easy to figure out. I liked the writing enough, and generally there is more telling than showing in middle grade (and I totally get that), but this felt like it went above and beyond. I felt the same way about Oliver’s other middle grade novel, Liesl and Po, as well.

It was a fun way to pass a few hours, but it never got very deep and I never got invested in the characters. I wish I could say that this surpassed my expectations but this is just a very mediocre book and I don’t think I will be continuing this series, unfortunately.


One response to “An Adult, a Young Adult, and a Middle Grade #1

  1. This is a really neat idea for posts. Often, shorter reviews do the same thing long ones do, and to be able to find such reading diversity in a single post is a huge time-saver. And if it’s easier/more enjoyable for you, all the better!
    Kelly recently posted…YA Epidemics – So Much AngstMy Profile

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