Oct 4, 2022

Blog Tour: Review -Quest for Atlantis by Marisa Noelle


Quest for Atlantis by Marisa Noelle 
Series: The Mermaid Chronicles #2
Publisher: Marisa Noelle
Publication Date:  September 29, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook
Source: From the author in exhange for an honest review.



About the Book: 
MERMAIDS ARE BEING HUNTED.

They are no longer safe in the human world.

When one of their closest mermaid friends is imprisoned in a science lab, Cordelia and Wade insist on taking up the quest to find the lost island of Atlantis, a sanctuary for all the water species. But the island is guarded by the dragon kings, an ancient and formidable race who are determined to keep it for themselves.

Cordelia and friends must travel to distant pockets of the earth to collect the magical jewels that open the portal to Atlantis. But no one remembers how the jewels work, instructions are non-existent, and tensions are rife as Wade's ex-girlfriend appears on the scene.

Cordelia's heart breaks as she watches the love of her life waver. If they can't repair their broken relationship and defeat the dragon kings, the mermaids will be captured by the humans and face the threat of extinction.

Rating:

Review

Quest for Atlantis is the 2nd book in The Mermaid Chronicles and follows Cordelia and Wade as they must work together to find the lost island of Atlantis. 

I really appreciated that at the beginning of this book there was a short recap of what happened in Book 1, although I didn't have time to read book 1 before picking this one up, I felt fully briefed to read what came next. This is a new adventure for Cordelia and Wade, but they are very much in tune with one another from book one and they have a number of friends and relatives here to assist as well.

I really enjoyed the world that was built around these characters and around their adventure. There was a lot of the norm and just enough fantastical elements to keep me interested throughout the book. I enjoyed the cast of characters as they worked together to fight monsters, locate clues, and overall, just be united in their quest for Atlantis. While there is some Romeo and Juliet like feuding of families, it worked well. I really enjoyed the overall adventure, there were a lot of gasping moments, and I liked the twists and turns that were taken throughout the book. 

I liked Cordelia as the main character, she was a good person to follow through the sequence of events and Wade was good support at times. I think that while much of this plot revolved around these two being a couple, there was a lot of miscommunication that I did not really enjoy. I understand teen relationships are touch and go but this was a lot and I found myself wanting to skip past the bickering to get to the adventure parts. 

I have also seen some note that this could be mid-grade, I would have to disagree, there is a lot of love, sex, physical plot points that come into play here that while I think mid-graders could read, it might not be ideal. It was not spicy but there were a lot of mentions of intimacy. 

Overall, this was a fun, fast-paced adventure into the mountains, sea, and a mysterious land that worked really well for me. I enjoyed the tied up ending with just enough to add more later if needed/wanted, but that I could read it as a standalone. I think I will loop back and read book one when I have a chance. If you are into mermaids and mystery, and Atlantis adventure, this is a fun read, but be prepared for all sorts of teen-swoon romance that may make your eyes roll at times.



About the Author
Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of
science-fiction, fantasy & mental health including The Shadow Keepers, The Unadjusteds Trilogy (The Unadjusteds, The Rise of the Altereds, & The Reckoning), and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep. 

She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. With dual citizenship, Marisa has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and uses settings in both the USA and UK as inspiration for her novels. 

When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words. 

Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children. You can find her on Twitter @MarisaNoelle77 or her website www.MarisaNoelle.com


Find the Author

Oct 2, 2022

Building the Book Pile #412

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

IT'S SPOOKY SEASON! 🎃🎃🎃

My favorite season! But also SO busy at work these days. I am trying to push my reading time but I am just exhausted lately. I have finished and reviewed a few fun ones but have so many more to come.  It has been a few weeks since I posted the weekly re-cap, so sorry about that. Trying to make the most of the Autumn and days off.

I need to plan for October TBR but might just mood read it... we will see, stay tuned.

Photo credit: H. Tucker

Yesterday, we did our yearly run of the Great Vermont Corn Maze - 24 acres of maze. It took up 4 hours to complete, almost 6 miles of walking... and we took clues! It was a hard one this year. 

Photo credit: H. Tucker

On another note, did you watch Hocus Pocus 2? What did you think?!
Any good books recently? Lemme know in the comments!!


If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog


Recent Reads: The Way Back Home by Courtney Peppernell (Adult)

Blog Tour: Review - Quest for Atlantis by Marisa Noelle (YA)

Recent Reads: Haven: A Small Cat's Big Adventure by Megan Wagner Lloyd (MG)

Books Received Recently...   
 
I did some damage at the bookstore the other day...no regrets.


  
  


The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera - from the publisher for review, available October 4.



Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Sep 30, 2022

Blog Tour: Review - The Dark Alchemist by Rhys A. Jones



The Dark Alchemist by Rhys A. Jones 
Publication Date:  September 25, 2022


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook
Source: From the Author and Zooloos's Book Tours for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. 


About the Book:
The difference between sorcery and science is only a matter of knowledge. 
After hearing ghostly footsteps in the creaky old house he shares with his widowed mother, 13-year-old Oscar (Oz) Chambers sets out to investigate the strange historical artefacts his dad was so obsessed with. 
Oz juggles his unhappy school life with his mother's paralysing grief, but when accusations reveal a murky secret surrounding his dad's death, Oz, supported by his loyal friends, becomes ever more determined to learn why so many people are keen to get the Chambers out of the house.
Caught between a desperate need to clear his father's name and not upset his fragile mother, Oz quickly learns that there are those who will stop at nothing to get what they want. He must trust in himself and all that he believes in to survive the dark forces intent on his destruction, convinced that the answer lies somewhere within the house. A truth that could change him, and the world he lives in, for ever.
 

Rating: 

Oz is a 13-year-old boy living with his mother after his father passes away tragically. The live in a section of an old orphanage that was left to his father and still have the whole property but only use some of it. Oz finds out that spooky ad weird things happen in the old orphanage and learning more about its history has led him on a mystery mission or sorts. Many years prior, there were magical items said to have been seen at the orphanage and the previous owner was on the search for them after they had become lost. Now Oz is looking for them, believing that it will being him closer to his father, but also because it is cool.

The very beginning of this book had me very lost, and I think some readers might get a little discouraged because of it. There were a lot of weird names for things, and they were not defined well at all, many of which were things that we already have and use like games, movies, and the internet. So that was not fun pushing through. I think that author would go well to either explain the items a bit more or the settings a bit better to help with context clues. However, once you got into the actual mystery and plot those things didn’t really matter as much because you had other things that you were focused on.

The characters of this book were younger so I would span it between late middle grade and early young adult for genre, while they deal with some dangerous events and some life struggles, I think older middle grade is how this feels for me. Overall, the characters and the plot were fun. They understood a lot of clues quickly which seemed a bit odd but also did research and looked for things. The pacing was good once you got into the plot as well, aside from that beginning few chapters where I was a little lost.

I think that young readers will enjoy the overall story and the characters. Oz and his friends are very real in a very fantastical mystery. They play sports, have sibling issues, got to school, and have bullies, but they are a great group, and they are best friends even through tough times. If you are looking for an interesting read that has thriller aspects, a grand mystery, and a lot of fun, this would be for you.


About the Author:
Rhys A Jones grew up in a mining village in South Wales with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He managed to subdue his imagination long enough to carve out a career in medicine, writing whenever the chance arose.

In 1994, writing as Dylan Jones, he published his first scary book for adults, a thriller, which was subsequently made into a two-part film by the BBC called Thicker than Water. 

But his love of children’s stories never left him ever since he read Ronald Welch’s Gauntlet as a young boy. Inspired by fantasy, Rhys has gone on to write The Merryweather mysteries featuring a boy and his more-than-meets-the-eye Granny Merryweather. The Curse of Wihtlea Barrows (previously the Dreables) and The Curse of Borage Doone have now been completed with the third in the series entitled The Curse of Ragman’s Hollow.

For slightly older readers, The Dark Alchemist is the first in the Wonderworking quintet from Spellbound Books about 12-year-old Oz Chambers whose family inherits a ‘haunted’ house. His mother wants to leave, but Oz wants to unlock the house’s mysteries and uncovers a secret that will change his life forever. 

Rhys also writes fantasy books for adults as DC Farmer and thrillers as Dylan Young and. More recently, Rhys Dylan.

When not writing he walks the dog on the mountains of darkest West Wales with his understanding (very) wife.

Find the Author



 

Sep 26, 2022

Early Reader Review: My Self, Your Self by Esme Shapiro

Source: From Netgalley and Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

My Self, Your Self by Esme Shapiro
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date:  September 27, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis:
Follow along with lovable forest creatures as they discover what is a self and what makes each of us unique.

Your self is the only self you have, and my self is not your self . . . but what is a self? Whatever it is, it’s what makes you you!

From the way you button your coat to the way you tap your toes, from the top of your head to your adorable tummy, there are so many reasons to love your self, and so many reasons to be loved. Join a group of endearing forest creatures as they bake and eat cranberry-butter-pie muffins, sing silly songs at bathtime and stop to smell the chestnut-nettle roses, all the while exploring their individuality. This joyously affirming picture book from the inimitable Esmé Shapiro encourages the youngest readers to get to know and love and be kind to their wonderful selves and the equally wonderful selves around them.
Review: 
I have read a few of Esme Shapiro's books and they are delightfully cute and I love her illustrations. The style is so whimsical and fun. This is a picture book of sorts about being unique and different and how we have to love ourselves. But we also have to treat others with respect and love as well, regarless of their differences. 

It is was a simplistic way to put it, but it is a kids book so younger readers will understand better. The book is great for affirmations and it captures their imagination and is told in a wonderful way for kids to learn.

I think many will come for the beauitful illustraton but many will stay for the cute lesson that so many should be learning. I think this book would be great in classrooms or with counselors, but also wonderful to have in the home as well. 

Sep 23, 2022

Early Reader Review: One Cup at a Time by Matt Tarpley

Source: From Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

One Cup at a Time 
by Matt Tarpley  
Series: A Cat's Café Collection, Cat's Cafe #2
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date:  September 27, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Serving up another steaming hot cup of the warm and floofies, this new collection follows your favorite regulars at Cat's Cafe as well as several all-new characters as they handle the ups and downs of life with the help of their friends.

A follow-up collection based on the popular webcomic Cat's Cafe, One Cup at a Time immerses readers in the gentle, supportive world of cafe owner Cat and his adorable friends. With familiar faces like Penguin and Kiwi and new friends like Fox and Spider, this collection handles real issues like relationships, self-esteem, and mental health through a tender, positive lens. One Cup at a Time isn't about forgetting your problems; it's about supporting one another through those problems and loving each other and ourselves through it all.



Review: 
Grab a warm beverage and cuddle up with this adorable installment from the Cat's Cafe Collection. My mental health loves this collection, it is so supportive and positive that is makes me so happy to sit and read the comics. Sometimes a cozy comic is just want you need.

This book is over the top adorable, it follows adorable animals that have lots of love and support for one another and sometimes have bad days but try to push through positively.

The characters are all animals with worries or struggles, or are there for support and friendship. There is even a little Kiwi bird that is often portayed with a knife and it is hilariously fun and he is so angry but helpful. It is a series of shorter comics so it is easy to read in bursts or all at once, with easy stopping points. The strips are bright and bold and the illustrations are simplistic but very sweetly done. The main theme throughout is this sweetness, it is an absolute pleasure to read this series. You may really feel seen somewhere throughout the comics, and that is what makes it so nice and relateable. I highly recommend this installment and the last to anyone that needs some smiles in their day or positivity in their life, or for anyone really. It is just such a wonderful read.

Sep 22, 2022

Early Reader Review: A Starlit Trip to the Library by Andrew Katz

Source: From Netgalley and Chouette Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. 

A Starlit Trip to the Library by Andrew Katz 
Illustrated by Juliana Léveillé-Trudel
Series: Sequel to How to Catch a Bear Who Loves to Read
Publisher: Chouette Publishing
Publication Date:  September 27, 2022


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Sail to the library under the stars in this twinkling sequel to How to Catch a Bear Who Loves to Read!

One warm summer evening, Julia is camping out in the forest with her friends, Scotty the squirrel, Abigail the groundhog, and Frieda the skunk. Everyone gathers together for the night’s most eagerly awaited event: storytime by the campfire. But when Julia digs through her bag, she discovers . . . that she has forgotten to bring her book!

Will Julia and her friends have to go to bed without a story? Find out what happens when Bertrand, the bear who loves to read, helps in navigating to the library.
Review: 
A Starlit Trip to the Library is a cute book about a young girl and her animal companions. Tonight, they are camping but Julia has forgotten the bedtime story and who can sleep without a bedtime story? Luckily Bertrand the bear shows up just in time to captain their raft to the nighttime library where they should certainly find a good book to read. 

This was a very cute book, with lots of animal characters and their love for a good story. While rafting downriver, they learn about navigation by the stars and more animals in the sky. The illustrations are detailed and fun and follow the story really well. I had not read book one, but I don't think that you need to in order to understand anything. It might have helped with learning who the characters were, but it was pretty clear. 

I think parents and young readers will enjoy this bedtime adventure story about locating a bedtime story, especially if they like animals.

Sep 21, 2022

Early Reader Review: Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland

Source: From Harpercollins Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  September 20, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Hardback

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
The author of the visionary New York Times bestseller Dread Nation returns with another spellbinding historical fantasy set at the crossroads of race and power in America.

It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided—between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology—otherwise known as Mechomancy—not the traditional mystical arts.

Laura disagrees. A talented young mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage’s license and becoming something more than a rootworker

But six months later, she’s got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane’s Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice.

As they’re sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country’s oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America’s past, when Black mages were killed for their power—work that could threaten Laura’s and the Skylark’s lives, and everything they’ve worked for. 
Review: 
Laura aka the Peregrine has joined up with the Bureau of the Arcane’s Conservation Corps in order to gain her mage license. It was her last resort, and she has no idea what she has gotten herself into. 

The story is set in an alternate reality to our own, instead of the Great Depression, they suffer the Great Rust when magic and science clashed and caused climate/temperature anomalies called Blights. Now there are divisions of the government assigned to try to prevent the spread. There agencies are made up of mages that focus on various fields and work together to contain the Blight, however there is one spot in Ohio that is resisting their prevention efforts. 

This book had such an interesting premise, mages, historical fiction, alternate reality all mixed together. I also really liked the rep; the main characters are all Black and there is also aspects of the LGBTQ+ community as well. I thought that Laura/ Peregrine was a great character arch to follow. She was determined and pushed for her own boundaries, and she was pretty badass throughout the book, but she had enough emotion and fear to feel real and relatable. I really loved all the characters; they were all interesting and mysterious and built each other up well throughout the story. Another wonderful aspect of the book is the archival bits between chapters. Ireland used real images from the time with commentary from the characters and file notes from the Skylark to really pull the ending together from the start of the book. I really liked the use of the images while reading the physical edition. (Although I also listed on Audible for a while and it was hard to remember to go back and view the PDF to see them, so I do recommend reading along with the physical book or just bypassing the audio option so that you get the full effect).

Where the book fell a little flat for me was in the world building, while some of it was very well done, I felt that there were some things that were amiss. For example, while they talked about the magic system in the beginning, they didn't go a good job fully explaining them. Luckily on page 65 we finally get an encyclopedia entry that fully defines for us. The rest of the world building is also like this, there is a brief explanation or none until the readers needed to be told, which made me slightly confused at times. I think that it worked in some places because we were learning as Laura was learning, but it made things a bit hard to follow as well. I also found the ending to be a little rushed. I would have loved for this book to be a bit longer to really flesh out the world and the ending a bit more. 

Overall, though, this book was a great read. The racial commentary, the interesting magic system, and the characters were wonderfully done, and the political air made for a more powerful read. It was a strong showing, but I felt like it needed more length and detail. 

Sep 20, 2022

Recent Reads: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin


Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin 

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date:  July 5, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Hardback
Source: July BOTM pick


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends--often in love, but never lovers--come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before. 
Review: 

This book wrecked me, I guess in a good way... if that makes sense. I loved this book so much, yet it was frustrating and depressing and devastating at times. The book is a about a love of video games, both through the characters and the plot, games take a shining front seat. Being a game lover myself, it was lovely to read about people that were passionate about games and building them. The book follows Sadie and Sam, friends from a young age that drifted apart and then found themselves together again. They work together to build games, a company, and a life together as business partners versus sexual partners. They have an intimate relationship, but it is a friendship that spans decades and their work together. This aspect was so refreshing, it was a love story but a friendly love.

The book is lengthy at over 400 pages, but it is a deep dive into the lives of Sadie and Sam. They are very different and take different paths to get where they are together. The book has past and present chapters and in-game play as well, which made it super interesting to read. We also get the point of view of some other characters along the way. The story is also about their friend Marx, who seems like a side character but adds so much to everything this book does.

The author did a great job with rep as well, Sam is disabled, and there is an LGTBQ+ presence as well. The relationships all feel real and sometimes not great, but real. It was a breath of fresh air to read.

I just can’t say enough positive things about this book. I don’t often read literary fiction but this one was wonderful. If you like games, if you like the building of games, and drama and turmoil of friendships and relationships, this book might be for you too.

Sep 18, 2022

Building the Book Pile #411

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Another late Sunday posting...

We had a very busy week and weekend and I am still exhausted. 

I worked late almost every night this week then on Friday some of my team did some local volunteer time and cleaned headstones in the local cemetary. 

This weekend the hubs and I went to a Fall Festival and a local distillery. Now we are winding down with some Sunday Night Foodball and I will be reading shortly.

I hope you all all well! Have a great evening!

XOXO - Steph

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog


Recent Reads: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Adult)

Early Reader Review: Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland (YA)

Early Reader Review: A Starlit Trip to the Library by Andrew Katz (Youth)

Early Reader Review: One Cup at a Time by Matt Tarpley (GN, Adult) 

Books Received Recently...   
 


Review:


Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Sep 15, 2022

Recent Reads: The Year Without a Summer by Arlene Mark

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


The Year Without a Summer by Arlene Mark
Publisher: SparkPress
Publication Date:  August 16, 2022
 


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Paperback 


Rating:



Goodreads Synopsis:

Explosive volcanic eruptions are cool, really, cool. They inject ash into the stratosphere and deflect the sun’s rays. When eighth grader Jamie Fulton learns that snow fell in June in his hometown because of an eruption on the other side of the world, he’s psyched! He could have snowboarded if he’d lived back in 1815 during the year without a summer. 

 Clara Montalvo, who recently arrived at Jamie’s school after surviving Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, has a different take all this. She is astounded—and disturbed—by Jamie’s frenzied enthusiasm for what she considers an obvious disaster. The teens’ battling arguments cause science class disruption and create academic trouble: Jamie’s headed for a failing grade in science, and may not even graduate from eighth grade; Clara’s scholarship hopes are dashed. And school isn’t the only place where Jamie and Clara are facing hardship: as they quarrel whether natural disasters can be beneficial, their home lives are also unraveling. Uncertainty about Jamie’s wounded brother returning from Afghanistan and Clara’s unreachable father back in Puerto Rico forces the two vulnerable teens to share their worries and sadness. As their focus shifts from natural disasters to personal calamities to man-made climate changes, the teens take surprising steps that astonish them. Ultimately, through hard work and growing empathy for each other, as well as for their classmates’ distress over the climate change affecting their lives, Jamie and Clara empower themselves and the people they touch. 
 Review: 


Interesting book about a teenage boy and girl. While they interact the book is about their separate lives and how they came to clash in class one day but then it spirals deeper in a way.    At least this is what I thought given the synopsis. Really this is a book about fathers though. Two teens that have entirely different relationships and images of their fathers


The plot felt disjointed, Clara was on a clear path but Jamie’s was all over. Clara was worried about Puerto Rico and her father and disasters there. She takes it further by assisting and volunteering to help in disasters but really she it looking to get her father home. They weird thing about her story is the interaction with the governor. It would have been a deep and relatable story for some without the element but it made it more fantastical in a book that seemed to be dealing with very really world issues. Clara is passionate and determined and she is going to get her father back home to her family. So it is lucky the governor is on her side. 


Jamie’s story began with him being reprimanded for failing a test. All the thinks about it snowboarding and he needs to buckle down. He has to debate Clara about disasters but then all of this doesn’t seem to matter anymore and they move away from natural disasters to have a commentary about war. Because All that seems to change when his brother returns from the war in Afghanistan with head trauma and an injured leg. The focus moves to the brother and the war and sharing his story and recovery while Jamie panics. The relationship with the father is still mostly dad yelling most the time. I understand that parents can be like like that but his outbursts were weirdly placed in the story and the wife and kids never tell him he is wrong or that he needs to let them learn for themselves… that is how they got into this in the first place ( a son going off to war).   


Overall, this book was about climate change, natural disasters, refugees, politics, war, and families but I feel like it didn’t choose one topic and do it well. It was a good read but it wasn’t as focused as I would have liked for it to be. I am not sure the beginning of the book ties at all to the ending it just seemed weirdly overdone in parts and underdone in others.