Book Review: Wires And Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Book: Wires And Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Published January 2019 by Square Fish|240 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Wires And Nerve #1

Genre: YA Graphic Novel- Sci-Fi/Fantasy

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new,action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold.When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

I really liked Wires And Nerve!  I keep wanting to call it Wires And Nerves, for some reason, but that’s definitely not right.

I loved the Cinder series, which is why I picked this book up ages ago.  It’s been on my book shelf for literal years, and since I’m in this mood to read all of the books on my bookshelf that I haven’t read, I knew it was time to read it.  I didn’t like it nearly as much, but I still really liked it.

Iko, of coure, is awesome, and the format was perfect for her story.  I’m glad we get a book about Iko!  I loved seeing what she was up to, and she really is perfect for the job she had to do in this book.  I keep forgetting that Iko is an android, because she has so much heart and personality.  One of Cinder’s guards has no problem reminding her that she’s not human, and I feel like it definitely got to her.  I wish we saw a little more of that, but maybe in the next one.  I’m pretty sure we would have gotten that had this book been a novel, but I’m also having a hard time picturing this book as a novel.

I did read this book in one sitting, which wasn’t a surprise because it’s a graphic novel.  It did work well for this particular story, and I can’t really put my finger on it.  It just worked.  Even though we see what’s going on with all of the other characters, part of me wished we spent more time with them.  I know we’ll get glimpses of them in the next one, and I can always go back and re-read the original series.  It just wasn’t the same, now that they’re all off doing their own things because all is relatively right with the world (and moon).

As much as I liked it, I also had a hard time getting into it.  I don’t know if it’s because we’re seeing the ever after, and all of the work that goes into, or if I’m just not in the mood for it, but I had a hard time loving it the way I loved the Lunar Chronicles.

It’s still great, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you love the Lunar Chronicles and haven’t read the graphic novel yet.

4 stars.  I really liked Wires And Nerve, but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted or hoped to.

Book Review: Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

Book: Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

Published November 2019 by Delacorte Press|455 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Blood Heir Trilogy #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

I really liked Blood Heir!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with some of the controversy surrounding the book.  I was still interested enough to read the book.

It seemed very Russian-esque to me, and for some reason, I kept thinking about the Anastasia Romanov, and how people thought she was alive.  I think some of the language used is why I kept thinking about Russia.  I could picture a really cold landscape that seemed bleak but also sort of interesting and beautiful.

I can’t wait to see what happens next, because Ana’s work is definitely far from over.  She does have a kingdom to win back, and it certainly won’t be easy for an Affinite, especially one with her ability.  But if anyone can do, it’s her.  I don’t know how she’s going to get the support she needs, but I feel like she can rally the troops in time for the epic battle I’m pretty sure will happen in the last book.

I really liked Ana, and I really felt for her.  Something about how her dad treated her ability reminded me of how Elsa’s parents acted in regards to her abilities.  I’m hoping things aren’t what they seem, but I do wish we saw flashes of what her mom thought.  The way people were told she was sick in order to hide it, how her brother was really supportive…I am also getting some Elsa vibes in addition to the Anastasia vibes.  I don’t know if it will be just this book, or if we’ll see more similarities come out over the rest of the series, but I did really like it.

And how the Affinites were treated were horrible.  I can see why early readers saw slavery but I think human trafficking came through much more strongly, at least for me.  I’m curious to see how it comes up over the rest of the series, and I really felt for all of the characters we saw who were taken, only to be put up for auction.  It made me sad for all of the real-life people who have no way out.

What happened to May was really sad, but I think it’s more because of how Ana reacted to it.  I just felt like we didn’t spend with May, but it definitely felt like it affected Ana, and I hope she finds May’s mom.

4 stars.  I really liked it but I I didn’t love it.  I still can’t wait to see what happens next!

Book Review: Tears Of Frost by Bree Barton

Book: Tears Of Frost by Bree Barton

Published November 2019 Katherine Tegen Books|480 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Heart Of Thorns #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own.

Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.

As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.

I liked Tears Of Frost, but I didn’t like it as much as the first book in the series.  I don’t know if there are more books- I feel like there’s probably one more- but I would keep reading just to see what happens.

I finished this book pretty recently but I’ve already forgotten a lot of what happened.  It was interesting to see Mia come back to life and try to find her mom.  I really felt like her mom was built up to be this amazing person and she turned out to be someone who wasn’t as great as she was made out to be.  It was like she was on a pedestal because she was gone.

I don’t know that I particularly cared for Pilar and Quin.  Pilar had a lot to deal with and there was a part when they’re in the snow kingdom that reminded me of the scene in the first Fantastic Beasts when Newt and Tina go to MACUSA and are about to have their memories removed.  That scene really stood out to me, and I’d love to see that particular scene on screen.

I am glad we got to see more of this world.  There’s a lot more that we see and it was nice to travel a little bit.  Having a world get bigger in a series is always cool, but I know there’s a chance we’ll be staying in places we’ve already seen.  I’m fine with that, because there’s a lot that needs to happen before these characters can move on with their lives.  I just hope that Angelyne is no longer queen because there’s been a lot of destruction because of her.  Actually, I can’t remember if she’s still queen at the end of this book, but if she is, I hope she’s not queen by the end of the next book.  So many details are not sticking with me, and I can’t remember what’s what.  I think that means I should wrap this up.

3 stars.  I liked it, but it’s a hard book to remember, even writing this a couple of days after finishing it.

It’s Tea Time!

Hello sunshines!

I’ve been on a tea kick lately, and wanted to share some of the tea I’ve been drinking.  I’m a pretty new subscriber to Sips By, and I’ve been drinking more tea because of it.  I usually drink tea in phases- sometimes I go periods of time not drinking it, and sometimes, all I want to drink is tea.  I really want to drink it more regularly, so I’m glad I get to try a lot of different teas I wouldn’t have heard about (or tried) otherwise.

Each box comes with 4 different kinds of tea- each box makes around 15 cups.  It’s actually a great amount because you get a really good sense of each tea.  I also love that they include tea bags if you get loose leaf tea in your box.  Plus, each box comes with 4 different teas that make around 15 cups of tea.

The subscription is a lot more personalized than some of the themed boxes you can buy.  The quiz is a great idea, because the tea is more personalized to what you like or want to try.  You’re able to rate the teas individually, and the box as a whole, so the idea is that as you rate teas and boxes, your box is more personalized to your preferences.  That’s what I’m getting from it.

They also have themed boxes- they had a few for Valentine’s Day, and there was a New Year’s box.  Today, I’m going to be talking about the New Year’s Resolution box and my first personalized box from them.  I do have a couple of their Valentine’s Day themed boxes, so I’ll be talking about those at some point.

And this post is not at all sponsored or anything.  I just really wanted to talk about it!

The first box I’m talking about today is the Resolutions Tea Box.

Overall, I wasn’t a big fan of this box.  This was my first introduction to them, and initially, I wasn’t sure about getting the subscription box.  It was a great way to dip my toes into the tea subscription box world, and since I ended up getting the subscription box, the Resolutions box obviously didn’t deter me from getting it.

  • Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Valerian was the first tea I tried.  I liked it, and it has a pretty pleasant taste.  It does taste a little bit medicinal and earthy but I didn’t find it off-putting.  If you like the Yogi brand of teas, you’d probably like this one.
  • Next up was the Tipson Tea Tumeric And Passionfruit Matcha.  I didn’t like this one at all.  I was expecting a lot more flavor from it, and I felt like there wasn’t any.
  • This box also had Snarky Tea Detox, which I didn’t like.  I just didn’t like the flavor, which was both very herb-y and minimal at the same time.
  • The last one that was included was Miracle Tree’s Chai Moringa Energy Infusion.  It was okay.  I liked the spices but I felt like that was all I could taste.  I’m only used to coffee shop chai lattes, so that might be affecting my impression of plain chai.  In comparison to the Chico Chai tea I’ll talk about later, I’d definitely go with Chai Moringa tea.

The first personalized box I got from them was in February.

I have pretty mixed feelings about this box.  I really liked two of the teas, but didn’t like the other two.  Overall, I liked this box more than the Resolutions Box, and I think it’s because the subscription boxes are more personalized than the themed boxes.

  • The Cinnamon Orange Tea from Savoy Tea Co was really good!  It’s like red hots but in tea form, and it smelled just as good as it tasted!  I’m finding that I hate it when a tea smells really good but then it tastes like nothing.
  • I also really liked Queen Of Tarts by DavidsTea.  It’s tart but fruity and really good!
  • I wasn’t a fan of Tea Kitten’s Minty Mojito Mate.  It smelled like lime when I opened the bag but I couldn’t taste the lime once the tea was brewed.  I could barely taste the mint in it, so I was a little disappointed.  I also didn’t like that the tea was not in a resealable bag, so I end up keeping it in a ziploc bag while I finished it.
  • I also wasn’t a fan of the Chico Chai Original Chai.  I didn’t like the taste of it, but I also might be way too used to chai lattes from Starbucks, and not at all used to regular chai.  It’s hard to tell if it’s this particular tea or just chai on its own.  I did prefer the Chai Moringa tea over this one, because I felt like the flavor was stronger.  I don’t know if the milk diluted the flavor at all, but I wasn’t a fan.  Like the Minty Mojito Mate, it didn’t come in a resealable bag, so this was another tea I had to keep in a ziploc bag.

The packaging for the Minty Mojito and the Chico Chai was a little strange to me.  Pretty much every loose tea I’ve purchased have come in resealable bags or some sort of container, but there’s nothing I can really do about the packaging.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s a sample, or if that’s how it’s typically packaged, but I wasn’t a fan of it.

Overall, here’s what I think.

The small amount you get is great.  You get an overall sense of each tea, but if I don’t like a particular tea, it’s something I could easily finish or give to someone I know will like it.  It’s also enough tea if I’m on the fence or if I really like something and want drink more of it.  I like how personalized it is, and also how each box comes with tea bags for loose leaf tea and instructions on how to make one.

I’m pretty excited about this subscription, and I’m looking forward to see what teas I get every month.

Happy drinking,

Book Review: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks

Book: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks

Published August 2019 by First Second|211 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: None

Genre: YA Graphic Novel- Contemporary

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Beloved writer Rainbow Rowell and Eisner Award–winning artist Faith Erin Hicks have teamed up to create this tender and hilarious story about two irresistible teens discovering what it means to leave behind a place—and a person—with no regrets.

I LOVED Pumpkinheads!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, because overall, Fangirl is the only book of Rowell’s that I’ve liked.  At least from the ones I’ve read, so even though I was intrigued, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

But I loved it just as much as I loved Fangirl, which really surprised me.  This graphic novel is hilarious and nostalgic, and I had so much fun following Josiah and Deja as they had adventures all over the pumpkin patch.  Everything that could go wrong did, and the names for the fudge girl were really funny…I mean, Fudge Judy, Vanessa Fudgens, Cornelius Fudge…I wouldn’t expect anything else from Rowell, because she is good at incorporating pop culture in her books.

I loved the nostalgia factor of one last night before everything changes.  I wasn’t expecting to cry at the end but I did.  I loved the moment Josiah realized something important, and I’m glad he had one last adventure at the pumpkin patch.  It’s March, and Halloween is months away, but I really, really want to go to a pumpkin patch.

Especially this pumpkin patch.  I would love to go to this one, and I loved that we were able to see so much of it.  It really came to life in this book, and Hicks did a great job with the illustrations.  I really could see everything that was happening, and being able to see what was going on was great.  The story really is suited to a graphic novel format, and I really hope they work together on another project one day, because I’d love to see what they come up with.

5 stars.  I loved Pumpkinheads and it’s a great story with great visuals!

Currently Obsessed With: January 2020

Good morning everyone!

I can’t believe its time for another one of these posts already!  It feels like I just did a wrap-up for January, and now I’m recapping February.  I feel like this one is going to be a lot shorter, but we’ll see.

You can’t go wrong with hearts, especially for February.  I’m not big on Valentine’s Day, but it felt right to draw hearts.

And the quote you see in one of the pages above was the quote I didn’t know I needed until I was working on this particular page.  February ended up being a little rough especially after Valentine’s day, and that quote just really stood out to me.  I know the size of this picture is big but I just really wanted to make sure the quote was easy to see.

Inspired By:

The 52 Lists journals.  I talked about it a few weeks ago in this post, and while I wanted to talk about it, I don’t know that it warrants a full-blown post.  But I’ve really liked doing them, especially the last couple of weeks.  We’ve moved past the introductory-type lists- favorite things and goals for the year, and that sort of thing.  The lists are starting to get more thought-provoking.  I really am trying to be honest with these lists- it’s a little hard sometimes, because it would be so much easier to just put something on paper and not think about it again.  But I just really want to put a lot of thought and effort into it.

Watching:

This is going to be a short section, because I only wrote down the things I was really excited about: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.  I just love both movies so much, and while there was crying involved, both movies were also really fun and cute and what I needed when I watched them.

Reading:

Hand Lettering: Creative Alphabets.  I’ve been writing things a lot more this year, and I thought it would be fun to try out different alphabets and ways to write.  So far, I’ve just been looking at this one, but at some point, I may took a look at other books to see what they have to offer.

Thinking About:

Going back to school for RHIT.  I’m also going to talk about this in a different section, but it’s a registered health information technician program that ends with a certification.  I’ve been on the fence for a while, but with some changes at work that are coming, having that certification would be really nice, and open up more opportunities for me.

Scrapbooking.  I honestly can’t remember if I’ve talked about this, and I don’t feel like going back to check, but I have a bunch of photos I want to go through and organize.  I’ve been looking at the scrapbooking section at Michael’s and it’s hard to not get excited about the stickers and washi tape and different kinds of card stock.  It is another way for me to get things organized.  I’ve definitely been on an organization streak this year, and I don’t know why but I’m going to go with it.

Listening To:

Lindsey Stirling.  I don’t listen to her enough, but I highly recommend her.  Her new album, Artemis, is great, but I think Brave Enough is my favorite of hers.

Lovers by Anna Of The North.  I’ve been listening to this song on repeat ever since I watched the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movies.

Your Mental Breakdown, which you can find here.  It’s a relatively new podcast that I heard about on My Favorite Murder.  There’s only around 5 or 6 episodes, but I really like listening to it so far.  You’re listening in on a therapy session between the host and one of his clients, and there’s also a breakdown of the session afterwards between the host and one of his friends.  I think it’s really interesting to not only hear the session but to hear a breakdown of it as well.  I really do recommend listening to it from the beginning, which shouldn’t be too hard, because there are only a handful of episodes.

Dream Life:

There’s not much to report here, but the one dream I do remember is the FBI investigating my work.  I don’t know why they were…I just know they were.  It was really weird.

Researching:

RHIT programs.  I work in medical records, when I don’t have to cover as a receptionist, and having that certification would be really nice to have.  It would open a lot of doors, especially if I wanted to move into billing and coding, or something else related to medical records.  Online would definitely be easier, and thankfully, it seems like there are plenty of online programs I could do.

Flower pens.  I know this is random, but somehow, at work, ALL of our flower pens disappeared.  I know there are tons of tutorials, and if I can remember to make sure I have pens at home, I’ll be good to go, since I have everything else I need.

Eating + Drinking:

I’ve been eating chili, comfort food (like pot pies), cookie butter (right out of the jar) and hot chocolate.  Work is really stressing me out right now, so I’ve been eating a lot of fast food to (momentarily) make myself feel better.  That’s not working out for me in the long-run because my stomach always seems to hate me a few hours later.

I made this instant pot chili, if your looking for the recipe.  I brought it to a potluck at work, and there was still some leftover, so I saved it for the rest of the week.

Grateful For:

Awesome and supportive co-workers!  I’ve had a really hard time at work the last couple of weeks, and I ended up talking to my boss about it.  I’m just glad I was able to get some relief until we can get fully staffed again.  I’ve been having a hard remembering that I do have things to be grateful for, and even though I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal this year, it’s fallen to the wayside the last week or so.  It’s definitely time to get back on bandwagon, and it’s something I can use to remind myself of the little things when I need it.  Hopefully, I’ll have more to share next time.

The Good Things:

It’s a really short list this month, but the book signing for All The Stars And Teeth was really fun!  I also stopped by the grand re-opening party for Mysterious Galaxy, which was pretty cool.  Any event that has Storm Troopers outside is a must.  Book club was fun, as usual, and I always look forward to it, so that’s probably going to be the thing that comes up every month.  Basically, everything was fun.

I also started doing yoga!  My hips have felt particularly stiff and sore, and my back has been hurting a little bit more than normal, so it’s been really nice and helpful.  I really, really like Yoga With Adriene, and as someone who doesn’t exercise (even though I know I should), her videos feel very accessible.  Compared to a couple of other channels that I really like but struggle with doing, I feel like I don’t need to be really flexible or in shape to do her videos.  I feel so calm and relaxed afterwards.  I also love that she has so many different types of videos.

Plus, it means I get to use this pretty yoga mat.

That’s all for February’s recap, and I’ll talk with everyone soon!

Book Review: Song Of The Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

Book: Song Of The Crimson Flower by Julie C Dao

Published November 2019 by Philomel Books|288 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Rise Of The Empress #2.5

Genre: YA Fantasy

From the acclaimed author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns comes a fantastical new tale of darkness and love, in which magical bonds are stronger than blood.

Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician’s apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman’s daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao’s prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest’s Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that’s been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

In this fantastical tale of darkness and love, some magical bonds are stronger than blood.

Song Of The Crimson Flower was just okay for me.  I really wanted to like it more but I just wasn’t really into it.

That makes me sad, because I loved Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns so much, and the more books I read in this series, the less I like it.  The world is amazing, and the writing is really pretty but it wasn’t enough for me to like the book.

I didn’t like Lan, and even though she realizes she cares for Bao, she was pretty horrible to him.  She does regret how she treats him, but she does come across as selfish, spoiled and unable to see what’s in front of her.  She does change but even with those changes, I just didn’t care what happened to her.

I did really like Bao, though.  He seemed like a good guy, and I really felt for him.  I thought (some) of his family history was obvious, and so I wasn’t surprised when it was actually revealed.  I was glad things worked out for him in the end.

I was glad to see what happened with both Wei and Jade.  They seem to be doing really well, and it was nice to catch up with them and see how things were working out for them.

2 stars.  Song Of The Crimson Flower was okay for me, and I really wish I liked it more because this series started off so strong for me.

Around The Internet #23

Hi there!

I feel like I’ve been doing these a lot more frequently than once every month or so, but there are too many cool things not to share.

Like this little statue.  I saw it when I was walking into my building a few weeks back, and I keep meaning to share it because I think it’s cool.  Expect the unexpected and take what you need from the links below.

I hope you find something that will help you get through today, and have a great week!

Book Review: Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

Book: Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

Published September 2019 by HarperTeen|320 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Verify #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies. When she turns on the news, she hears only the facts. When she swipes the pages of her online textbooks, she reads only the truth. When she looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels the pride everyone in the country feels about the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the government presides.

But when Meri’s mother is killed, Meri suddenly has questions that no one else seems to be asking. And when she tries to uncover her mother’s state of mind in her last weeks, she finds herself drawn into a secret world full of facts she’s never heard and a history she didn’t know existed.

Suddenly, Meri is faced with a choice between accepting the “truth” she has been taught or embracing a world the government doesn’t want anyone to see—a world where words have the power to change the course of a country, and the wrong word can get Meri killed.

I didn’t like Verify at all!  Don’t get me wrong, the idea is cool, and as a reader, I loved the message that words are powerful, but the story didn’t work for me.

I wasn’t particularly interested in Meri, or what happened to her.  She seemed to come around to rebellion pretty fast, even though she really struggled with it.  I wish she had struggled with a little bit more, because it felt really rushed and fast.

It also felt like it happened over the period of a few days, and if that’s the case, she went from knowing absolutely nothing about this group to being the leader of a revolution in a matter of days.  I really wish it were more clear the period of time in which this book is taking place.

I had no sense of the timeline, and when this book was supposed to be taking place.  It seems to be taking place decades later, but it was not clear how far in the future we were.  It also wasn’t clear how we got to the point that they were able to erase words to the point that no one knows how they’re pronounced, and all in the span of a few decades?  How were they able to change history that quickly, especially because there are going to be people who remember words like verify?  Something about that didn’t sit quite right with me.

Clearly, anything having to do with time didn’t make sense to me.  I feel like I didn’t miss anything as far as that goes, but I feel like a lot more could have been explained in this book.

Also…how is there no bookish black market in this world?  Like, I love the Great Library series by Rachel Caine, where the Library Of Alexandria is around and in control of all books and knowledge.  There’s a black market and burners, and it’s just so weird to me that people were so willing to give up prized editions of books instead of said books circulating some sort of black market.

I know there’s this group hiding things like The Federalist papers, and it’s possible there are other groups doing the same thing, to varying degrees of success.  But no black market for books?  Really?  I find that a little disappointing.

And the revolution Meri finds herself in charge of?  It was really thrown together, and it’s no wonder it didn’t seem to work.  It felt like they wanted to do something but didn’t want to put a lot of effort or thought into it, and just went with the first thing that came to mind.

I really feel like I can’t make sense of this world.  I am having a hard time getting over that, because it didn’t feel like it was put together very well.  Or at least, in a way that got me interested.  I feel like my review is all over the place…much like this book, so I think I’ll wrap it up with my rating.

1 star.  This definitely wasn’t the book for me, though I liked some of the ideas in it.

Book Review: Race To The Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Book: Race To The Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Published January 2020 by Rick Riordan Presents|306 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Re-telling

Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her.

When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . .

Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest.

I really liked Race To The Sun!  I am definitely glad I read it.

I liked Nizhoni, Mac and Davery, and they worked really well as a team.  I loved Davery’s knowledge and Nizhoni’s ability to detect and defeat monsters.  I loved that Nizhoni was brave but also scared and unsure of herself.  It made her easy to relate to, and I feel like I would have acted the same way if I were in her position.

Sadly, I don’t have anything to add about Mac, which makes me sad because I really do wish I had more to say about him.  I felt like he wasn’t super-important to the story, even though he goes along for the ride.  It really felt more like Nizhoni’s story, and I kind of wanted Mac to have more of a role.

It is a great adventure story, especially if you like the Percy Jackson books.  This is partly because this book is a part of Riordan’s imprint, but also I think that if you love mythology and stories, you really like this book.  I knew nothing about the stories and characters we see in this book, and I really want to know more.  I really liked seeing a story focusing on the Southwest and seeing mythology that’s not Greek or Roman.  Not only that, but I loved seeing Navajo stories brought to life.

The stories were woven in so well, and it felt contemporary and timeless at the same time.  I really want more books set in this world, and it seems like this book is a stand-alone.  I feel like that’s something I don’t say often, but I really want at least one more book set in this world.

The ending did feel a little rushed and I think it could have been a little bit longer, but overall, it was a fun and great read.

4 stars.  I really liked Race To The Sun, and I wish it were a little longer!  It’s a great read if you like stories and adventure.