Category Archives: Reason: Literati

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, Reason: Literati, Young Adult

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 Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is a very bizarre book. The story makes little sense and there doesn’t seem to be all that much of a plot. Sometimes too much description is a bad thing and with this book that is definitely the case. It could’ve been half as long. The cadence is weird, too. I read it out loud to my boys and usually within a chapter or two it’s easy to get into the rhythm of reading a book, but this one just stayed weird and was never pleasant to read. The romance was so contrived and unnecessary, almost like the author said to himself that this is a YA book therefore it must have some sort of romance (and the last paragraph, related to that romance, was totally silly and unneeded). The characters were pretty flat and while the main character got the information she wanted, there was no real growth or change to any of them. No one seemed to be shocked or even care much at having a traitor among the booksellers. It was just not a very enjoyable book so I do not recommend it.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 75
Pages Read in 2022: 27,273
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: Literati, Young Adult

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Set Fire to the Gods is a pretty exciting book. The way gladiators from ancient Rome and element bending were blended was quite interesting. The characters were well-written and made you care about them and what happened to them. I recommend this book to teens and up, particularly those who like gladiators or Avatar: The Last Airbender.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 67
Pages Read in 2022: 24,529
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Literati, Young Adult

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Dry is alarmingly realistic. It changed narrator regularly which I thought was very effective in telling the whole story. The authors really did a good job with how people would behave if there was suddenly no water. The government response was likely pretty accurate, too. I enjoyed the book a lot and it really made me consider how important water is to our lives. I recommend this book to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 64
Pages Read in 2022: 23,306
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

The first about fifty pages of I Killed Zoe Spanos were slow and quite confusing. I was starting to question why I had chosen it (the description sounded great). But then it started getting good. And then it got amazing (and ended up even better than the description made it sound). It was still a little confusing, or rather crazy making. I wanted to believe from the start that Anna had lied in her confession and that she had not killed Zoe, but then she knew things she shouldn’t have known if she was innocent and blackouts weren’t uncommon for her so I kept questioning my own thinking. A lot of it was psychological and so creepy. When I read it at night I couldn’t go to sleep right away after putting it down because it had me creeped out (granted it doesn’t take much to creep me out). I found giving the background of the case mostly through podcast transcripts very enjoyable. There were some things at the end that I really never saw coming. I highly recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy psychological thrillers.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 62
Pages Read in 2022: 22,559
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

The premise of Game Changer is great. The execution leaves a lot to be desired. The author seemed to want to hit every social issue and hit people over the head with it and then pound it in a whole lot to be sure they got the message. The preachiness got really annoying. When he jumped worlds to one where the Brown v Board of Education ruling went the other way, that was an interesting idea to think about. It would have been nice if more of his jumps were like that one. It was weird how some jumps built on each other and some didn’t. A few chapters before the end it seemed promising that it was going to wrap up well, but then the author decided to go big with it and it just was even more absurd than the rest of the book (and when you are talking about a book about a guy jumping around the multiverse that’s saying something). I don’t particularly recommend this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 61
Pages Read in 2022: 22,186
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Literati, Young Adult

How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff

How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff

How to Pack for the End of the World reads very quickly. I really enjoyed the creativity of each of the kids’ games they made up. The friendships between them are interesting and complex like any relationship in life. I thought the end was a little awkward and rushed. The author seemed to really want it all tied up in a nice bow with a very happy ending and I’m not sure that really made sense. With so much of it being like real life, I thought the ending wasn’t really believable, at least not without more explanation added. Otherwise, though, I loved it. I recommend it to anyone teens and up.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 60
Pages Read in 2022: 21,800
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

The beginning of Cut Off seemed pretty straightforward. A survival reality show with a bunch of kids competing for the top prize. And then it all went insane and went every which way. It was sort of sci-fi and sort of horror (though not terribly scary horror). There are parallel dimensions and creating a timeline out of your mind and being able to choose the one where you end up. My 13 and 15 year old sons (who both liked the book more than I did) thought it explained the multiverse much better than anything else they have encountered. The best chapter in the entire book jumps between snapshots of what’s happening in various parallel universes as they are trying to find the right one. I recommend this book to teens and up, particularly those who like sci-fi and especially parallel dimensions.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 48
Pages Read in 2022: 17,554
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Literati, Science Fiction, Young Adult

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

While overall enjoyable, sometimes A Study in Charlotte seemed to try too hard to copy the original Holmes and Watson. It often dragged. Solving who did it was very interesting and I had actually eliminated that person as a suspect a while before it became clear that was likely who it was. I liked that the epilogue was written from Charlotte’s point of view. I recommend it to teens and up who like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 46
Pages Read in 2022: 16,806
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult