Glass Town Wars: A Review

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

My Rating: 2 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 really love this cover. It is the reason I picked this book up. It’s honestly really beautiful in a weird way to me.

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Publish Date: September 8th, 2020

Number of Pages: 320

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

“The thrilling adventure story based on the writings of the Brontë children, by the bestselling author of Witch Child

When Tom is in a coma, his friend Milo decides that he can be a guinea pig for a new gaming device – a device that will take him to a troubled world where he meets the the warrior-like Augusta who is fighting to save her kingdom from takeover by her rival. With Tom at her side, she finds extra courage. Slowly but surely, Tom starts to leave his life in London behind as the two of them become ever more embroiled in a world of chaos and tension that encompasses the past, the present and the future.

But life in London won’t let Tom go so easily. His friends and family gather around him to try and bring him back – as does a girl from school he barely knows, who comes each day to his bedside to read to him from her favourite book, Wuthering Heights.

In this wonderful speculative fiction Celia Rees has created a meta-fictional world that will delight readers. This epic story, with Rees’s trademark strong female character and romance at its heart, is a compelling action-driven adventure with delightful twists and turns that thrill and surprise right up to the last page.”

Opening Sentence: “notHing is stRaigHtfoRWaRd. Nothing is as it seems… As in life, so in dreams.”

Musings:

So I didn’t like this book. I tried to enjoy it, but it isn’t the story that it says it is. It’s weird, but not the weird I fall in love with. It took a lot of old tropes and meshed it together to try and come up with a real story that seemed more of a ghost of something that many have written so much better before.

I’m not writing this in my usual format because I literally didn’t like anything about this book. Some of it was ok. Vaguely. But, even then I don’t remember a single name but Tom, and he was the only character I only vaguely liked, but even him I had problems with.

This apparently was supposed to be set in a video game world, but none of it felt like an actual video game. It felt like it was written by someone who knows nothing about them and didn’t even pick one up to get a feel for what it’s like. Even narrative driven video games aren’t like this.

I felt like she should’ve written a western themed novel and just left it at that, but she decided to bring it into another “game” completely negating pretty much everything about The Glass town narrative and to throw in some zombies? It felt sloppy. It was confusing and honestly I don’t even know what kind of story this even was?

It certainly wasn’t a love story despite Tom getting with another girl character. There was no real connection there. Literally the only thing was that Tom is from modern times and understands modern ideas and believes in the girls right to chose her partner instead of being arranged to marry. Other then that I did not see any other connection. It came off as very flatly written.

The only reason I didn’t give this book a one star is that I didn’t hate it and it’s bad but I’m mostly just indifferent about it. Anyway, I read it cause I’d heard nothing about it and now that my curiosity has been curbed I am happy to move on from it.

About the Author

Celia Rees has written over twenty novels and has become a leading writer for Young Adults with an international reputation. She says, ‘I like to write what teenagers like to read’.

She has written in different genre, from gritty realism, ghost stories and horror before focusing on historical fiction with the publication of Witch Child, its sequel, Sorceress, going on to Pirates!, Sovay and The Fool’s Girl.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea: A Review

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Candlewick press

Publish Date: May 5th, 2020

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers. 

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.”

Opening Sentence: “Long after the sun had set, when the passengers were nestled neatly in their cabins, the crew gathered on the deck of the Dove.”

Musings:

I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved so much of it. The structure, the characters, the magic! It was so well-constructed.

What I loved:

The discussion of gender. Flora is both Flora and Florian. Flora the girl who struggled alongside her brother Alfie to survive and Florian the boy who becomes a pirate of his own right. As far as I could tell reading Flora embraces both and I really loved seeing that in this novel. Also, The Pirate Supreme is non-binary and such a badass. They are also straight up called The Pirate Supreme and every-time their mentioned it’s full of badassery and I love them! I just liked that it’s there and that I’m seeing it so much more now then before. It makes me happy to see.

The way the story broke into parts. I loved the structure of this book. I rarely fall in love with pure structure, but this book does it so well. Each section was clearly defined and told the narrative well. It just fit neatly in a way I really appreciated.

Flora and Evelyn together. These two my lord! I love them together. They have this amazing bond that starts from Evelyn wanting to share books and stories with Florian and teach him how to read. To fighting together and loving each other later on not just as Florian but flora. This made my heart so happy. Especially, the ending which I refuse to spoil. It’s too good!

Rake. At first I wasn’t sure if I even liked Rake, but as the story went on I realized how much of a strong character he was. He’s one of the good guys as difficult as it is to be good in the circumstances of the novel.

The magic. I love a good magic system and I swear a magic system that uses stories to create magic is so beautiful. I loved the many stories the witch told in this book. I’m obsessed with it. It was amazing.

The mermaids. I loved how mermaids were portrayed in this book. I love what they eat. I love how Evelyn connected to the mermaid she wanted to save and saw how wrong it was for the sailors to take mermaid blood for their own. It was so cool. I don’t want to spoil the awesomeness of it.

All in All:

If you want to read a magical swashbuckling romance that is beautifully queer and just amazing in every way pick up The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. I loved every moment of it. So amazingly written.

About the Author:

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus, illustrated by Benji Davies, and the young adult novel The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband, son, and objectively perfect dog.

She has a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an MFA in Writing from University of San Francisco. 

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit.

You can follow her on Twitter, @emteehall
Or on Instagram @maggietokudahall

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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What Unbreakable Looks Like: Blog Tour/ Review

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

TW: Sexual Abuse, Rape, Sex Trafficking, Abuse, Drug Addiction, grooming.

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 7/10 it’s a really great cover! The poppy on the front represents Lex’s name while she was being Trafficked. The cover i think also shows the strength of character Lex has. It’s really great for this book!

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: June 23rd, 2020

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: “Raw, unflinching, and authentic, Kate McLaughlin’s thoughtful What Unbreakable Looks Like carefully crafts a story exposing the vulnerability of underage trafficked girls and what it takes to begin the process of healing from sexual trauma.”–Christa Desir, author, advocate, and founding member of The Voices and Faces Project

Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again. 

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. 

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.”

Opening Sentence: “Clean sheets. That’s what I’m dreaming about when something wakes me up.”

Musings:

First of all I am honored to have read a book like this one. It’s a hard hitter and I was in tears at so many points and yet it tells a truth of what goes on far too often. Yet, reading through it I never once feel like Lex is truly a victim. She comes out after everything standing tall and starts to figure out the kind of person she wants to grow up to be. Yet, the truth is she was given away to endure countless times of pure assaults to her person. What she went through. What so many young teens go through is an atrocity so foul I could never imagine what being in their shoes would be like. Reading through this book you can tell how much love went into it. How much research and care to write not only a story of a teen going through one of the worst things anyone could go through, but to also make it a story of hope.

I was in tears at the acknowledgments. Where Kate talks about the girl she’d spoken with who had gone through human Trafficking. Even re-reading it just now gets me teary eyed. No human being should have to go through this. Yet, I love that there is no brokenness to be found there. It truly is ‘What Unbreakable Looks Like’.

What I Loved:

The Friendship. Lex finds herself two amazing friends who support her and love her for all that she is. They don’t shy away from what she went through and they stand by her through it. They stay by her side and fight with her (and not just for her) to keep her safe and to lift her up.

The puppy! The part of the book that made me cry the most was when Lex gets a little Pitbull puppy. It’s one of the sweetest most hopeful moments and yet Lex feeling like she didn’t know if she deserved the love that that little one gave her broke my heart.

Lex’s Aunt. Lex’s aunt is such a wonderful soul. She fights for Lex and loves her truly for who she is. She’s gentle approaching her and talks with her openly. She is the kind of woman I think every child deserves to have in their lives. As their relationship grew closer it made my heart soar.

It’s difficult to read at times. With all the hope and the soaring highs this book has it is not without the dark parts. Knowing with detail at times some of the things she went through. How she was groomed. The drugs given to numb them out and keep them complacent. The awful condition the girls lived in. The pain inflicted upon them. Then the truth that many are killed and will never make it out. In a lot of ways this book is as educational as it is difficult. So much I didn’t realize about human trafficking. The weight of it is something no human being should bear. Let alone teens and children.

All in all:

This book is a must read. It’s unflinching and full of love and yet shows what true darkness looks like. The writing of which was handled with grace and with so much love. It is a book I will never forget.

About the Author

KATE McLAUGHLIN likes people, so much so that she spends her days making up her own. She likes writing about characters who are bent, but not broken – people who find their internal strength through friends, strife and sometimes humor. When she’s not writing, she likes studying people, both real and fictional. She also likes playing board games with friends, talking and discovering new music. A proud Nova Scotian, she’ll gladly tell you all about the highest tides in the world, the magical creation known as a donair, and people who have sofas in their kitchens. Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and four cats. What Unbreakable Looks Like is her debut novel.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Monstress Volume 2: A Review

Monstress Volume 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

Cover Rating: 10/10 these covers are always stunningly beautiful. True works of art like the comics inside are.

Publisher: Image comics

Publish Date: July 5th, 2017

Number of Pages: 152 pages

Received: Purchased off Amazon

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12

Opening Sentence: “ “Miss? I woke up last night, and you were gone.””

Musings:

I cannot say enough how much I love these comics!!!! They are so goooood!!! I could never hype them up enough. Sometimes the best things you can barely talk about cause you mind is shouting continually everyone must read this thing!!! It’s so goooood!!! Over and over. These comics are top notch in every way.

What I Loved:

THE ART!!! I will never not be obsessed with this art. I finish one of these comics and immediately want to go back and obsess over how god damn gorgeous it is. It’s glorious. Sana Takeda is a queen!

It’s dark. The story itself has this continued sense of foreboding and urgency with horrific tones throughout. I love for it. Even the adorable cat history parts always have grim stories and grim imagery it’s perfection.

The Hispanic influences. It’s the little touches too of mixing in Hispanic culture. Specifically the use of Spanish words and acknowledging that background context that Maika has in this unique fantasy world is beautiful I love to see it!

How invested I get. You can’t read this without wanting to know more or caring for these characters. It’s dripping with mystery and curiosity. Both at the larger world level and at the individual motivation and wants level. Every single facet of the story itself is interesting.

It’s so gorgeous! The writing is so good! The art is a *chefs kiss*. Both writing and art are so nuanced and work together seamlessly to propel the story forward. I LOVE IT!

All in all:

I don’t want to spoil this I just want everyone to read it for themselves. It’s soooo good!

About the Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and she leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop.

Ms. Liu was born in Philadelphia, and has lived in numerous cities in the Midwest, as well as Beijing and Shanghai. Prior to writing full-time, she was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

About the Artist

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Some BLM resources:

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Diamond City: A Review

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

My Rating: 4/5 stars!

Cover Rating: 6/10 it’s a pretty cover. It fits the novel inside it pretty well. I love the warm colors of the diamonds! It’s a solid cover.

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: January 28th, 2020

Number of Pages: 400

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.”

Opening Sentence: “ “Do you want to know the secret to survival?””

Musings:

Diamond City is a fun fast pace novel that flies by as your reading it. Every chapter leaves you wanting more. It’s such a great read!

What I Loved:

Assassin Queen! Aina is an incredible assassin. She’s so much fun to read about. She’s smart and does things quick and efficiently and it’s so cool to read.

Casual bisexuality. Aina is bisexual and it’s just part of who she is and I loved being able to have that and have her also be this kickass assassin and it’s all just how things are.

Open-ended Romance. There’s several people that Aina likes and connects to. Yet, she’s giving herself the time and space to feel her feelings and see what she wants for herself in a relationship. I find that admirable and really nice in a ya.

Adventure Adventure Adventure! Every moment spent in this novel is an Adventure. It’s incredible. There’s not a moment to breath most of the time it’s just on to the next exciting thing and it’s great!

Good friendship. This book is essentially a bunch of friends coming together and doing something together for the greater good.

All and all:

Diamond city is a book that will have your heart racing to the very end. With dynamite and knife fights and grappling hooks.. this book will hook you till it’s exciting completion!

About the Author

Francesca Flores is a writer, traveler and linguist. Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. She began writing Diamond Citywhile working as a corporate travel manager. When she’s not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and jazz, practicing trapeze and contortion, and visiting parks and trails around San Francisco, where she currently resides.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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The Grace Year: A Review

The Grace Year by Kim Ligget

My Rating: 5 stars!!!

Cover Rating: 9/10 I love this cover! It’s perfect for the novel inside it. The dead look on the girls face and the red ribbon devolving into blood is a perfect representation of the book itself. What you get in this cover is what you get in this book and that’s what makes the art of it so amazing!

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: October 8th, 2019

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. 

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. 

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life―a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other. 

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Opening Sentence: “No one speaks of the grace year.”

Musings:

‘The Grace Year’ is a fantastic novel. Just a chef’s kiss kind of novel. It’s got everything that makes a great novel great. I had such a wonderful time reading.

What I Loved:

Darker then Dark. The girls in this novel are vicious. They are deadly. They are girls that you want to stay very far away from. Kim Ligett swing for dark and hit a home run. It’s scary how mentally these girls get so attached to believing they have magic they must purge that they turn so savage. It’s a wonder anyone survives a grace year. The whole time I kept thinking am I really reading this? Did she just tell that girl what I think she told that girl to do? Is that really what that tree is for? It’s so dark.

Somehow the Romance manages to be adorable anyway. One light in all the dark is the love story. I loved it! Yet it’s a little bit later in the story so I don’t want to spoil anything about it. Just that it’s swoon worthy.

I didn’t know how hope could live in this world. If your a woman in this novel your life is good for either a. Being a wife b. Working terrible jobs or c. Being sent to the outskirts to be a prostitute. Also, if your husband gets tired of you he can just say that you’ve been harboring magic and then you get hung. The prospects for a woman in this book aren’t great. I was wondering for a while where the hope lied and there is hope in this novel it just took a while to get there.

It’s a nail bitter of a book. The entire time you wonder is this girl going to make it? Is it possible for her to survive the savagery of the Grace Year. It’s madness. There is no other way to describe it the Grace Year is utter madness. Getting through it with a bit of your sanity is a miracle.

I’m still thinking WTH.. I can’t get over this book really. What it says about women. What it reflects about society. How goddamn dark it was. I’m still in awe. What a fantastic book it was.

All in all:

I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Grace Year. If you love a strong heroine with bite you’ll love this book. If you love a good dark story you’ll love this book. If you want to stare up at your ceiling wondering about life you’ll love this book. What are you doing still reading this? Go pick up this book!

About the Author

At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80’s.
Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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P.S. I Still Love You: A Review + Thoughts on the Film

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 8/10 it’s beautiful and completely relative to the story inside. It captures Lara Jean and her style beautifully. A very well put together cover!

Publisher: Simon & Scutcher

Publish Date: May 26th, 2015

Number of Pages: 337

Received: My Mom Purchased this for me from Barnes and Noble

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. 

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? 

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Opening Sentence: “Dear Peter, I miss you.”

Musings:

The Culture. I love how they have Lara and Kitty explore their Korean heritage. From the food to what they wore on New Years the small touches were really beautiful.

Kitty’s Personality. Kitty is a feisty one. She’s full of life and loves to make trouble. I love having a little sister character that stirs the pot. She made the book so much fun to read!

The Game. Having a game between friends that has lasted throughout time was so much fun. I loved how seriously everyone took it. It was one of my favorite parts.

John Ambrose. I am 100% on John’s team here. I like him so much more then Peter. I feel like John fits Lara better. Plus, I think he’s just really good at romantic gestures and I’m such a sucker for them.

The story is simply cute. I love a cute story and this is that. There are some somewhat serious topics, but mostly this is a fun novel about a girl whose navigating first love and it’s lovely for it.

All in all:

P.S. I Still Love You is great! I very much enjoyed it. I had a great time reading it. Loved the characters and the fun of it. Was an amazing story.

Was the Film Better?:

I would say that the book was so much better then the film. A lot of the plot points that I loved in P.S. I Still Love You were taken out of the film and replaced. The story itself gets moved around in a way that felt off beat. Plus, a lot of the time the movie felt inauthentic in a way that the book was all authentic. I liked the film, but it was nowhere near the goodness of the book. I don’t think I’ll be rewatching the film.

About the Author:

She is an executive producer on all three Netflix films– To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Summer I Turned Pretty series. Her books have been published in more than thirty languages. A former librarian, Jenny earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Monstress Volume 1: A Review

Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: Easiest 5 stars of my life

Cover Rating: 10/10 there is no other rating accepted. The art of the cover and inside this amazing comic is top tear. I’m singing this artwork the highest of praise. It’s GORGEOUS! Perfect! Stunning! GLORIOUS! Sana Takeda is a QUEEN!

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: July 19th, 2016

Number of Pages: 202

Received: My mom bought it on Amazon for me and I read it in one sitting as soon as it came in.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Opening Sentence: “It took three years to find a name.”

Musings:

This comic book was incredible! I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s been a few hours since I read it! It’s beautiful, stunning, gorgeous. It’s everything! The story is dark and gritty and gorgeous. The art is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I LOVED Monstress so much!!!!

What I loved:

The art. I mean.. duh. The art is fabulous. It’s dark and only I scene basically has lighter tones. It’s simply gorgeous. There is not a page that isn’t beautifully drawn and colored it’s just a chefs kiss top quality amazing work of art.

The Latin Influences. I love that the author put her heritage into writing this. The bits of Spanish here and there. The mix of latinex characters in a fictional world is something I live for. I can’t wait to read more and see what other influences pop up.

It’s dark. I love a dark story. This is exceptionally so. When your allies can’t trust you cause you might eat them and not know your doing so at the time it’s real. There is a lot of death. A lot of action. A lot of stakes. It’s really awesome.

Adorable history from a cat professor. This is a cute side thing that pops up every so often and though the history is dark having an adorable cat tell it didn’t fail to make me smile.

Great world building. This story feels massive even though it follows a single girl. The larger history and learning about the various races and kingdoms makes it feel like a billon stories could be written from the world. It’s incredible.

I just want to go jfidoenr wlap. I am fangirling so hard over this story that words don’t even matter. It’s all incomprehensible and straight feeling. It’s awesome!

All in All:

I LOVE THIS COMIC!!! It’s the first I’ve ever physically read and I adored every single second. I’M OBSESSED! It’s great!

About the authors

The QUEEN!

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

Another QUEEN!

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of over nineteen novels. She is the co-creator of the Eisner-nominated series MONSTRESS published by Image Comics. Her comic book work includes X-23, Black Widow, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She currently teaches a course on comic book writing at MIT.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Glow: Book 1, Potency: A Review

Glow: Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 a beautiful cover! It works beautifully for the novel. It covers the sci-fi elements as well as what Harper is capable of being able to glow.

Publisher: Ruby & Topaz Publishing

Publish Date: June 16th, 2020

Number of Pages: 420

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

The Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter. The same night of the outbreak — thousands of miles away — Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, finds herself face-to-face with a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood.

As the world goes on high-alert from the Syndrome, Harper is kidnapped and taken to the Base of Ki, a massive dome with a sheening white city and fantastic technology … built by beings from another solar system.

There, she must form cross-species alliances to save her friends, family, and the human race before she loses all chance of returning to Earth.

Opening Sentence: “My hands are almost shaking too much to grasp the knob.”

Musings:

(Before I start this review I have a few things to say about the author. Aubrey Hadley is super sweet. I posted on Twitter about reading the book and how the Quarantine part hit hard during these times. She kindly tweeted at me and let me know that I was reading an older version of the book. She emailed me the new version and was so kind about it. It was one of the sweetest interactions with an author I have had.)

Now for my thoughts on the book:

I can’t really imagine something more terrifying then a syndrome showing up and killing people in mass. Add that with Aliens being behind everything and stripping apart everything you thought you knew about the world and it’s terrifying. Following Hybrid Harper through this novel and seeing how she deals with such a terrifying situation and stays strong is really cool.

What I loved:

The Idea. I liked the back story behind everything. Being a hybrid and growing up believing yourself to be human. Discovering who you are only to realize that if you don’t do something to try and save the Earth no one else is going to.

The light in the dark. This easily could have been a heavy novel. However, Aubrey kept it mostly light. When it hits it hits, but there was decent amounts of reprieve to balance the weight of what Harper is going through.

The contrasts. In the beginning your immersed in Harper’s home life. She’s dealing with heavy emotional abuse from her mom. She’s protecting her sister as much as she can. Then, being captured by beings from another world she must quickly adapt and keep quiet in order to be able to escape and help save as many lives as she can from the syndrome that threatens to end the entire human race. When you go from one part the other you feel like a fish out of water. Which is exactly how Harper feels being taken.

The question of whether or not the earth is worth saving at all. Morality in general is grey. It isn’t black and white. There is so much evil in the world. Being presented with only that evil and earth is better off rotting, but in Harper’s heart she knows that the good in people’s hearts and how much we try to do better makes the earth worth saving. It’s wonderful.

All in all:

I very much enjoyed Glow. It is a wonderful novel well worth the read. I love a good sci-fi and I really enjoyed this one.

About the Author

Aubrey Hadley has always loved two things in life: words and design. In 2005, she put writing to the side (she wasn’t sure if she was any good at it) and moved from her hometown of Sparks, Nevada to San Francisco, California to focus on a career in Human Interface Design. In 2012 — after working in the Tech Industry for a while — she decided to get back into writing and began her first novel, Glow: Book I, Potency.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly: A Review

Sea Spell (book 4) by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Cover Rating: 9/10 it’s gorgeous! One of my favorite things about this series is the covers. They are stunning. The black and white with jacket to give Astrid the look of her personality it’s so well done. Eye catching for sure.

Publish Date: June 14th, 2016

Number of Pages: 357

Received: thrift store buy

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history? Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home–and her beloved Mahdi–again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Opening Sentence: “Manon Laveau, regal on her throne of twining cypress roots, regarded the merman before her.”

Musings:

You know a book is solid when it’s been two years between the time you read one book to the next and your not confused at all when your reading again and being reintroduced into the world. That in itself is an accomplishment. I’m in love with this riveting story about friendship and magic and doing anything to make things right in a time that is going terribly wrong.

What I loved:

The world itself! Jennifer does an amazing job at making you feel like your truly underwater. Her world building is incredible. There is no filler and every detail adds to the story in such a rich way.

The sisterhood! These girls have gone through so much over the course of this series. They’ve had drama between each other, two of them basically acted as enemies for a while, and together they’ve experienced so much loss. Through it all they’ve become so strong together and nothing could tear apart their friendship. They’ve lifted each other up and pushed each other to be the best versions of themselves. It’s such a beautiful thing of hope to see.

These lines:

I love great romance! These lines were so good especially in the deeper context of the rest of the story. Made my chest glow in joy. Had to take pictures and send them to my partner with the excitement I felt reading! I love these storylines!

The romance is there, but not at all central to the plot. The romances in this book are great and lovely, but the focus is centered around the girls friendship and their quest to save their realms from great evil. It makes me smile to see a book that has such a wonderful balance to it like Sea spell does.

The pets! I swear I love a book with pets. Plus, these ones are so unique. For example, the adorable octopus Opie owned by Marcos. I love it so much!

All in all:

I don’t want to be too spoilery in a review on a fourth book in a series. I’m just going to say that I greatly enjoyed Sea Spell. It was truly magical.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in Upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or follow @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.