An Adult, A Young Adult, and A Middle Grade #2

Posted December 30, 2016 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

I’m back for the second edition of An Adult, a Young Adult, and a Middle Grade! I’ve been doing lots of reading, and I have some short reviews of those books that I’ve been enjoying! Just to remind you about this feature:

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 #2Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #3
Published by Roc on March 3rd 2015
Genres: adult, urban fantasy, paranormal, fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
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…

In my opinion, this is the weakest book in the series. That said, if you’ve read this far, you probably love it and it’s not going to matter at this point. And that’s kind of where I’m at, too. I love these characters, I love the world, I love the lore, and I’m reading it to the end, regardless of what happens. But for the sake of appearances, let me try to actually explain why this book sort of irritated me.

Number one, not enough of my favorite characters. There is hardly any Vlad, Sam, The Elementals or The Ponies. There was a bit more of Tess, but not nearly enough, in my opinion. I am much more attached to the side characters than I am to Meg and Simon. And that’s the problem, I think. I like them enough, but I’m always going to be left a little unsatisfied because I don’t get enough of the characters I love.

The other issue is this book had very little action, and the tension built up to very little resolution. There is a conclusion, but it feels small in comparison to the other books thus far. Vision In Silver had a weaker story arc, and that could be because this is a middle book in the series, and I’m really hoping  that book four does not have this same issue.

But look, I rated it 4 stars, so I enjoyed it enough, though that rating is more towards the series as a whole than this one book. I’ll be reading Marked In Flesh soon. I fully intend to finish this series in 2017. Because I am addicted. If you aren’t reading it yet, you’re really missing out. It’s truly special.

A Young Adult

An Adult, A Young Adult, and A Middle Grade #2This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on October 4th 2016
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

I liked this enough, but I found the plot to be a bit boring for me, personally. That, and I would have preferred the characters be developed better. Some were okay. I liked Vera and Frank. Gabe felt like any male love interest. Remy was a bit flat, but Sloane was my least favorite. And it’s not because I didn’t like her. I Just found her very one note. I can tell that the author tried to make her three dimensional. She used her humor as a crutch to hide her insecurities. So she was very funny, but in her head she was super serious. I loved it, but that was ALL there was to her. She didn’t feel like a real character to me. She felt forced. And I think this was the thing that kept me from loving the novel, honestly. It’s definitely a character-driven book, and if the characters do nothing for you…well. I would have much preferred that Vera was the protagonist.

So depending on how you feel about the characters, this book will either work or not work for you. Most people seem to love it, and it IS really humorous but touches on some serious topics as well. I have Emma Mills other book, and I think I am going to try that as well to see if I feel the same about the characters in that one.

A Middle Grade

An Adult, A Young Adult, and A Middle Grade #2Into the Lion's Den by Linda Fairstein
Series: Devlin Quick #1
Published by Dial Books on November 1st 2016
Genres: middle grade
Pages: 258
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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Watch out, Nancy Drew—Devlin Quick is smart, strong, and she will DEFINITELY close the case in this thrilling new mystery series for girls and boys from New York Times bestselling author Linda FairsteinSomeone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.
With all of the heart-pounding excitement that made her internationally bestselling Alexandra Cooper series a hit, Linda Fairstein paves the way for another unstoppable heroine . . . even if she is only twelve.

Okay, so usually when authors of adult fiction try to write in the middle grade or young adult genre, it’s not usually so successful. I am really picky about requesting those books because usually they are terrible. But in this case, it worked pretty well.

Into the Lion’s Den was pitched to me as a modern Nancy Drew, and that’s exactly what it is. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a child. I read so many of those books, and this was very similar. Intelligent beyond her years teenager helps someone with solving a crime, and said crime takes her and her friends all over New York City.

It’s fun, it’s exciting, and I really enjoyed the tightly plotted story. This is the first book in a series. I have no idea how long it’s going to be or if the entire thing will be in NYC, but I’m excited to see where it goes next. This is exactly what I am looking for in a middle grade novel. Adventure, excitement, and a great story.

The only complaint I have? Devlin. I liked her, but 7th graders do not speak the way she speaks. It is entirely TOO adult. I wish the author had taken more time to understand how kids actually talk. Even intelligent kids do not use the turns of phrase that Devlin uses. There were times it got a bit bizarre and yanked me out of the narrative. This sometimes happens when adults write children, and I hope it’s more realistic in future books.

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