Reading

The Great Godden – Meg Rosoff | A Book Review

The Great Godden - Meg Rosoff

Title: The Great Godden

Author: Meg Rosoff

Genre: Contemporary (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s about a family who spends the summer at a holiday house by the sea. When the Godden brothers in Kit and Hugo arrive, everything changes. This coming of age novel explores the loss of innocence.

I received an advanced reader copy from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: The cover is interesting and drew me in. I remember reading the premise and wondering what would happen. It starts off slow, establishing the setting and introducing the different family members.

Characters: Even though the story is told from the narrator’s point of view, they are never identified by name or gender. This was an interesting choice by the author that added another layer to the story in my opinion.

The narrator’s family includes their parents, Mattie, Tamsin, and Alex who each have individual interests. I was intrigued by the two brothers who are two complete opposites: Kit is sexy, Hugo is surly.

Quote:

“After all, most of getting something is really wanting it.”

Writing: The simple writing and short chapters make it an easy read at less than 200 pages. I felt like the story focuses more on the characters than the plot, especially in the beginning. Not a lot happens at first and then everything changes all at once.

Final thoughts: The ending was quick and unexpected. I wouldn’t have minded if the author spent more time exploring the effects of the event on everyone. If you enjoy a coming of age novel about relationships and romance, consider picking up The Great Godden.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Witches Steeped in Gold – Ciannon Smart | A Book Review

Witches Steeped in Gold - Ciannon Smart

Title: Witches Steeped in Gold

Author: Ciannon Smart

Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s the first in a Jamaican-inspired series that follows Iraya who has spent her life in a prison cell and Jazmyne, the doyenne’s daughter. These two enemy witches work together to defeat a common threat.

I received an advanced reader copy from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I was excited to read the story because the premise piqued my interest. The cover is gorgeous, and I also love the title. In the beginning, Smart develops the world and sets the stage for what’s to come.

Characters: The main protagonists are Iraya and Jazmyne, two witches who come from very different backgrounds, but they have similar goals. At times, I wasn’t even sure who to root for as Iraya and Jazmyne both make difficult choices throughout the book. Overall, I love the diversity and representation.

Quote:

“However difficult it has become to avoid, friendship is a noose I can’t afford.”

Writing: Told from alternating points of view, the book is over 500 pages long. The plot takes a while to get going, so I found the start of the story to be slower. Sometimes there’s a lot of information to take in.

Final thoughts: The pacing picks up at the end with some unexpected surprises. While the beginning and middle are description heavy, the ending contains more action. If you like longer fantasy novels full of magic, you might enjoy Witches Steeped in Gold.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Catwoman: Soulstealer – Sarah J. Maas | A Book Review

Catwoman: Soulstealer - Sarah J. Maas

Title: Catwoman: Soulstealer

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s part of the DC Icons series that can be read in any order. The YA novels focus on different superheroes during their teenage years. The story follows Selina Kyle who teams up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn as Catwoman to wreak havoc on the city. Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove himself as Batwing, but Catwoman keeps outsmarting him.

First impressions: I don’t know much about DC Comics or superheroes in general, but I like how easy the book was to follow even without any background knowledge of Catwoman or Batwing. Even from the beginning, I found myself intrigued by the story.

Characters: The novel mainly revolves around Selina who is a strong protagonist. As much as I found myself rooting for her, I also did the same for Luke, maybe even more so. I appreciated how the romance didn’t overwhelm the storyline. That being said, I loved their interactions.

Quote:

“But a glass house was definitely not the place for someone to live when they were throwing quite so many stones.”

Writing: It’s a little over 350 pages long, so the plot unfolds at a solid pace. The chapters are short, and the cliffhangers made me want to keep reading.

Final thoughts: I had no idea what to expect for the ending, but I’m glad all the loose ends are wrapped up. I would recommend Catwoman: Soulstealer even if you aren’t into superhero stories.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Everything I Thought I Knew – Shannon Takaoka | A Book Review

Everything I Thought I Knew - Shannon Takaoka

Title: Everything I Thought I Knew

Author: Shannon Takaoka

Genre: Contemporary (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s a standalone novel that follows seventeen-year-old Chloe who gets a heart transplant. She finds herself stuck in summer school and wanting to surf. Chloe also begins to have the same recurring nightmare about crashing a motorcycle in a tunnel. She remembers memories that aren’t her own, which makes her question everything she thought she knew.

I received an advanced reader copy from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: The cover is beautiful. I was intrigued by the premise because I haven’t read anything quite like it. I found myself getting more and more interested in the story.

Characters: Chloe is a likeable and relatable teenager. She faces many challenges after getting a new heart. I enjoyed her character development as well as her interactions with family members and friends.

Quote:

“Live your life for you without the burden of also living your life for someone else.”

Writing: It’s a little over 300 pages long. The story is mainly told in Chloe’s point of view. I liked that the author included chapter titles.

Final thoughts: I wasn’t sure how the novel was going to end, so the ending took me by surprise. There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I highly recommend Everything I Thought I Knew for fans of realistic young adult novels about life and love.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

You’re Next – Kylie Schachte | A Book Review

You're Next - Kylie Schachte

Title: You’re Next

Author: Kylie Schachte

Genre: Mystery (Young Adult)

About the book: Flora Calhoun puts herself and those around her in danger when she starts investigating the death of Ava, a girl she was once close with. Flora uncovers secrets about her school, specifically illicit activities involving her classmates. Not only is she trying to get justice for Ava, but Flora also has to keep more people from being killed.

I received an advanced reader copy from Hachette Book Group in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: You’re Next is pitched as Riverdale meets Fight Club. I like a good murder mystery as much as the next person, so I was excited for this novel.

Characters: Flora is flawed, and she makes a lot of mistakes. Even when she messes up, Flora doesn’t quit on her quest to find out who killed Ava. The secondary characters like Flora’s best friend, her grandfather, and sister grew on me. There’s LGBTQ+ representation and racial diversity, which I appreciated.

Quote:

“Been pushing everybody away for so long, but it hasn’t made me any better.”

Writing: The book is a little over 450 pages. I enjoyed the pacing at the beginning and end of the story more than the middle. Schachte balances description with dialogue.

Final thoughts: I wasn’t sure how the story was going to end, but the ending is so sad and unsatisfying in my opinion. You’re Next isn’t for everyone, but if you like YA murder mysteries featuring diverse characters, consider picking it up.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

We Are Not From Here – Jenny Torres Sanchez | A Book Review

We Are Not From Here - Jenny Torres Sanchez

Title: We Are Not From Here

Author: Jenny Torres Sanchez

Genre: Contemporary (Young Adult)

About the book: It follows 3 kids in Pulga, Pequeña, and Chico who attempt to make the journey from their hometown in Puerto Barrios all the way to the United States.

I received an advanced review copy from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I was looking forward to this novel as the premise sounded interesting and different from other books I’ve read. I like the title as well as the cover, both capture the essence of the story.

Characters: I adored the main protagonists. They are easy to relate to and likeable. I saw parts of myself in many of the characters. They develop so much, changing in such profound ways.

Quote:

“I guess sometimes lying to those we love is the only way to keep them from falling apart.”

Writing: The point of view alternates between Pulga and Pequeña. I loved the short chapters because they helped to build suspense and made me want to keep reading. The whole story is beautifully written but so heartbreaking at the same time. I enjoyed the Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout.

Final thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect with the ending, but I think Sanchez did a great job overall.

I highly recommend We Are Not From Here. It’s such a timely, relevant read that will have resonance for years to come.


Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

The End and Other Beginnings – Veronica Roth | A Book Review

Amazons, Abolitionists, And Activists - Mikki Kendall And Anna D'Amico

Title: The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Science Fiction (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s a short story collection with black and white artwork throughout that complements the text.

I received an advanced review copy from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: The title and cover are cool. I enjoy futuristic stories, so I found the premise interesting.

Characters: Each story follows a different cast of characters. I could relate to the protagonists, and they develop a good deal by the end of their narrative.

Quote:

“I wanted one last chance to tell you that you’re worth so much more than your pain.”

Writing: The stories aren’t too short or too long. Despite the advanced technology, Roth explores human issues like friendship, revenge, as well as love.

Final thoughts: I crave closure as a reader, and I felt the ending tied up loose ends enough to satisfy me. That said, the narratives also leave room for further rumination.

If you’re looking to read a few futuristic stories, check out The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future. It’s not a lengthy collection, so the book makes for a quick, fun read.


Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Fireborne – Rosaria Munda | A Book Review

Fireborne - Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne

Author: Rosaria Munda

Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s the first in a series following Lee and Anne, two teens rising in the ranks as dragonriders, despite different backgrounds. Fireborne explores ties to the family you were born into and the family you choose.

I received an advanced review copy from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I adore both the title and the cover. I was also super intrigued by the novel’s themes.

Characters: The two protagonists grew on me so much. I especially enjoyed seeing Anne’s development into a more confident young woman. Even the secondary characters are unique and likeable.

Quote:

“It is difficult, knowing that your choices are ones whose consequences others suffer.”

Writing: The book alternates between Lee’s and Anne’s point of view with flashbacks to their childhood at the beginning of some chapters. Munda is descriptive, building the world in detail. Overall, I liked the platonic relationships as well as the romantic ones.

Final thoughts: The ending provides some closure while leaving questions to be answered in the second novel. I’m curious to know what happens next. My favourite fantasy novels balance fantastical elements with human issues; this book falls into that category.

I highly recommend Fireborne if you like stories about rivalries and romance.


Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!