Monthly Archives: September 2022

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

All of Us Villains is extremely well-written Hunger Games fanfic. Take the Hunger Games, add magic, and make it between children in seven specific families and you have the premise of this book. A character even comments that someone else almost made him spill his drink on his pants. The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of four characters, three chosen as their family’s champion and one not. I got sucked into the story and then it just ended. There was no resolution whatsoever. It just got to a point and, boom, done. I wasted no time ordering the second book of the duology, but it still annoyed me a bit. I have no problem with series, but I do like for each book to wrap stuff up at least somewhat. This one answered one single question (who wrote A Tradition of Tragedy) and that’s it. Not satisfying at all. Other than that, I loved the book. I recommend this book to people who like magic set in the current day and enjoyed reading The Hunger Games. Just be aware that the two books really should just be one single book and expect to move on to the second book quickly to finish the story.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 85
Pages Read in 2022: 30,226
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Grim Readers, Young Adult

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Ban This Book is an excellent way to help middle grade kids understand why so many right now are trying to get books some deem inappropriate removed from schools and why that’s a bad thing. The point that it’s okay for parents to say you, their child, cannot read a book, but it’s not okay for someone to say no one’s child can read it is very clearly made. It also teaches kids to speak up to people who can change something if it doesn’t seem right. The kids in the book are all likable and even the “villain” (the woman leading the charge of banning books from the school library) is portrayed as a very good, nice person. I very highly recommend this book to kids who may be confused by why their favorite books are being questioned or removed and also to parents. It’s a great book for spawning a discussion with your late elementary/early middle school age children about book banning.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 84
Pages Read in 2022: 29,840
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Grim Readers

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing is a slow moving book. I generally do not care for books like that, but for this one it totally worked. It just fits the vibe and makes you kind of feel like you’re in the marsh, living a little slower, noticing things happening around you. The character development in this book is phenomenal. Even some of the side characters grow and change. The descriptions of things living in the marsh are incredible and vivid. The ending is both surprising and, when I think about, just what part of me hoped for. Kya learning to read so quickly and being able to comprehend high level textbooks is somewhat questionable as is her ability to so easily communicate with others even though she was so young when her family left her and spends long periods of time all alone. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy contemporary fiction.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 83
Pages Read in 2022: 29,583
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: Grim Readers

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and illustrated by Christopher Baldwin

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and illustrated by Christopher Baldwin

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor is really funny. I laughed out loud several times. The pictures are very nicely drawn. I recommend it to people who like graphic novels, especially those who also like gothic novels.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 82
Pages Read in 2022: 29,204
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Graphic Novel, Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: Literati

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

As is typical with books by Karen McManus, The Cousins was filled with twists and turns and so many things I did not expect. My daughter read the book just before I did and she happened to be sitting next to me when I got to one of the big shockers and my mouth dropped open and my eyes got huge and she knew exactly what I had just read. All three points of view it alternates between have their own voice and are easily identifiable as Milly, Aubrey, or Jonah. Every question (except maybe one) was somehow answered satisfactorily by the end. This is a truly excellent book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult mysteries, especially if you like to be surprised.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 81
Pages Read in 2022: 29,204
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Buddy Read, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: Recommended by a Friend, Young Adult

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I preordered The Final Gambit ten months before it was published. It was worth every month of that wait! The book is full of surprise twists and puzzles to solve. The light romance is nice, too. By the end of this book all the questions have been answered and the ends are tied up, for now at least. I was very sad that my time with Avery and the Hawthorne brothers had come to an end, but it was a very satisfying end so that made it okay. I very highly recommend this book to everyone, but you have to read the first two Inheritance Games books first.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 80
Pages Read in 2022: 28,874
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

Eat the Rich by PJ O’Rourke

Eat the Rich by PJ O’Rourke

Some parts of Eat the Rich are amusing. Some parts are educational. And some parts are just plain ridiculous and not good satire at all. Pretty much every chapter just went on way too long like the author didn’t quite know how to finish it out. I did find a comment about capitalism increasing violence and hopefully that violence would be aimed at Donald Trump to be funny mainly because the book was published way back in 1998. At the end he tried to make an argument that wealth distribution violates the tenth commandment (because it’s obviously due to people coveting the rich peoples’ money). He also made a weird argument for evading taxes not being so bad since that money just goes into the economy instead of to the government. I don’t recommend this book unless you just want to see what certain countries were like to visit in the late 90s and what their economies were like at the time.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 79
Pages Read in 2022: 28,500
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo