Friday, September 20, 2019

[Review] Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Rating: 5 stars

Published: May 30th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.
But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.
This book made me cry. That's a great way to start a review.

There's a stark contrast between the Eliza Mirk of the real world versus the Eliza Mirk of the online world. For starters, though she appears to be the awkward, shy, essentially friendless girl of her high school, is has gained fame online for her webcomic, Monsters of the Sea. There, on her forum and through the internet, she is praised, adored, and noticed, garnering fans from all corners of the world. She even has a few friends that she trusts with her real identity. However, this secret life Eliza leads may be compromised when a fan of the series moves to her school. Both simultaneously start emerging from their shells, and for once, Eliza begins to question if the real world might be even better than the virtual one.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

[Review] The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray 

Series: The Diviners #1
Rating: 5 stars

Published: September 18th 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
Roaring Twenties historical fiction (with magical realism and spooky Halloween vibes) at its finest! I'm going through a little bit of a phase where I finally decide to tackle YA that isn't 2019 releases or new debuts. It's refreshing, to say the least. I've encountered hits, and many misses, but I can say for one that The Diviners is a definite hit.

Evie O'Neill is sent to New York City to stay with her Uncle Will after causing some mischief with her 'parlor trick' - the ability to divine someone's past from a precious possession. But NYC has more hustle and bustle than what Evie is used to in her hometown, since a serial killer is on the loose, and Evie puts it upon herself to solve the case with her new set of friends.

Monday, September 16, 2019

[Review] A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: October 17th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .
Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide. Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding. 
Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard. 
And now there's a spirit inside her. 
The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father's rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret. 
But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.
This book reminded me so much of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman with its spookiness and ghosts! Should have read it during Halloween season haha.

Makepeace has the power to absorb the spirits of the dead, communing with them and honing their abilities, making her a sought out person by the Fellmotte family, who has been utilizing this power for generations. She is essentially the 'spare' in case the 'heir' of the family is unable to properly absorb the spirits of his past ancestors. But Makepeace wants more to be tucked away for safekeeping in Grizehayes, the Fellmotte estate, and so must come to terms with the fact that in order to find freedom, she must commune with the dead inside her.

Friday, September 13, 2019

[Review] Sad Girls by Lang Leav

Sad Girls by Lang Leav

Rating: 1 star
Published: May 30th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to—it’s the first one who breaks it.
School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad—the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?
TW: discussion of suicide, self-harm

Sad Girls, as the name suggests, is supposed to be about several sad girls. Boy was I wrong. I'm also extremely angry with this book, so I'm about to pull another one of my sassy reviews.

Audrey loses a classmate, Ana, to suicide, because of a secret Audrey spread. Honestly, you'd think that the majority of the book would be spent with Audrey coping with her guilt for this secret, but nope it was her spending time pining after Rad, Ana's boyfriend, and causing drama and havoc along the way.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

[Review] Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Rating: 3.5 stars
Published: April 4th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Eeyln is part of the Aska clan, and has been taught since birth to hate the Riki clan, especially since she's lost her brother in a fight with them all those years ago. However, she ends up a captive of the rival tribe, and discovers the truth behind her brother's supposed death. But when a enemy much bigger than the Riki comes to destroy everything precious to Eelyn, she bands together with the Riki, with growing feelings for her brother's friend, Fiske.