Review: Shadown and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow & Bone Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
By: Leigh Bardugo
Website: http://www.leighbardugo.com/index1.html
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Series: The Grisha Series
Award: Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2014), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2014), Lincoln Award Nominee (2014), Prix Elbakin.net for Meilleur roman fantasy traduit Jeunesse (2013)
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When you hear an author’s name enough you become interested. I had heard of Leigh Bardugo a lot lately and decided to give it a try. Six of Crows has had such rave reviews I was afraid to not like her style for something so widely loved. So, I chickened out of starting there and picked up her previously published trilogy, the Grisha trilogy, instead. (Plus, I had a gift card and got the box set.) So, let me tell you about the first book in the trilogy, Shadow and Bone.

Review Special: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why
By: Jay Asher
Website: http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/
Release Date: October 18th, 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Award: Georgia Peach Book Award Nominee for Honor book (2009), South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book (2010), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Preis der Jugendjury (2010), California Book Award Silver Medal, Lincoln Award (2013) Missouri Gateway Readers Award (2010), Oklahoma Sequoyah Award for High School (2010)
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Maybe you’ve seen this title mentioned a lot lately. Thirteen Reasons Why. It’s a new series on Netflix. Recently a 10th Anniversary edition of the book was published. What you should really know is that this book is gripping, haunting and one of the books in my library that I purposely have two copies of (my original copy and the 10th Anniversary edition) and that I won’t be departing with either copy, ever. 

New Release: Gauntlet

31014644 Gauntlet
By: Holly Jennings
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Ace
Series: Arena #2
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Never have I seen a second novel in a series so completely outdo the first in nearly every way. I’ll be honest here. I probably wouldn’t have picked up Gauntlet by Holly Jennings if the publisher hadn’t sent me a digital copy. I found Arena, the first book in the series, disappointing. I could see the potential within the novel and desperately wanted to love it, but found it fell short of the mark. I was hesitant to start reading Gauntlet.

It is immediately obvious that author has grown as a writer. Gauntlet is an exciting, suspenseful, near future sci-fi that will have you rooting for Kali and Team Defiance all the way. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Because dear lord, people, that cliffhanger!

Review: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular, Vol. 3

18295855 Review: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular, Vol. 3
By: Nico Tanigawa
Release Date: (Original Japanese) December 22, 2012; (English) April 22, 2014
Publisher: Yen Press
Series: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular #3
Rating:


Here we are again, another volume of No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!, Vol. 3 down. This series by Nico Tanigawa, pen name for the two creators of the series, is about Tomoko, high school student determined turn things around from her middle school days, make friends, and talk to boys. Unfortunately, this is harder than it originally sounded. Already at the start of second term, none of Tomoko’s plans have come to fruition.

Review: Riverkeep

25883016 Riverkeep
By: Martin Stewart
Release Date: July 14, 2016
Publisher: Viking
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I had my eye on this book for a long time. As in way before it was published. I only recently got my hand on a copy courtesy of the library, and delved in immediately upon getting home. Riverkeep by Martin Stewart is a coming of age story set in a fiction world where magic and monstrous creatures lurk just on the edges of civilization.

Review: It’s All Fun and Games

28331715 It's All Fun and Games
By: Dave Barrett
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Nerdist
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


I’ve read quite a number of ‘trapped in a video game’, even more ‘trapped in another world’ books, and I’m always looking for more. It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett is another trapped in a game book, but with a bit of a twist. This isn’t a video game. The main characters are LARPers. The world they wind up trapped in isn’t the video game they were playing, but a real life version on the scenario they were given during the LARP event weekend. It’s a different take on a growing theme in literature, and I was quite enthusiastic to read it.

Throwback Thursday Review: Spacer and Rat

491204 Spacer and Rat
By: Margaret Bechard
Release Date: October 1, 2005
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Award: Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2007)
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I recently picked up a copy of an old library book at a used book sale. It had a minimalistic, but interesting looking cover, an author I wasn’t familiar with, and title I’d never heard. So of course I picked it up immediately. Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard is a young adult science fiction novel that I am very happy I discovered by accident.

Review: The Beast of Cretacea

24727083 The Beast of Cretacea
By: Todd Strasser
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rating:


Sometimes you don’t ever hear about the best books. Not from a friend. Not from the internet. Not from the thousand and one subscriptions that hit your inbox daily. Sometimes you just have to stumble upon them. And that’s exactly how I discovered The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser. I found this one at the library, tucked into the regular circulation stacks when I was busy wondering when exactly the first book in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater was going to be returned so I could finally begin that series. And then I saw this one, the spine a mix of color with a title that made the story sound ripe with adventure.

So I did what I always do. Picked up the book without so much as a glance at the synopsis on the inside flap and never looked back.

Review: Rebel of the Sands

24934065 Rebel of the Sands
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Website: http://alwynhamilton.com/
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Award: Northeast Teenage Book Award Nominee (2016); Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author (2016); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2016)
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Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton was a book I’d heard mentioned quiet often, but didn’t know much about. I picked it up on somewhat of a whim when I was at the library, not quite knowing what to expect, just a little miffed that the first book in the series I was originally searching for wasn’t returned yet.

So what did I think about this book?

Review: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! Vol. 2

17899412 No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! Vol. 2
By: Nico Tanigawa
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Yen Press
Series: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! #2
Rating:


Another day, another manga read. This time it was No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular, Vol. 2 by Nico Tanigawa, a pseudonym used by the two creators. The second volume in the series continues with Tomoko’s misadventures in high school. It’s just as fun as the first volume in the series, and one I definitely enjoyed.

Small note here: The title is often shortened to Watamote, which is also the title the anime is known by. This is what I will be using to refer to this volume for the rest of this review. Because the full title is just too damned long. Great title. Perfectly explains the manga. But just way too long.