It’s a Bunch of Belated ARCs! // Mini-Reviews

MiniReviews

Plenty of ARC reviews because I’ve gotten too lazy to review regular books because I feel like I have less of an obligation to do so. Oops? Eh, I’m having fun reading them, so who cares – I’ll write reviews when the mood strikes me.

thehateugiveThe Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) | Goodreads | 4 stars

I was extremely lucky to receive a digital ARC of this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

It’s hard to talk about this book because it’s great and much-needed, but it’s not a happy book, it’s not the type of book you could enjoy in one afternoon or even really enjoy. Well, that’s going too far – you can enjoy it, but as a book about a black teenager being shot by a white officer and the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s not going to be a fluffy adventure.

Every year, we seem to get more diverse books, more #ownvoices books that aren’t simply diverse books written by non-diverse authors, and this is one great example of that. We need to hear from people who experience the same things that their characters do, who understand things on a more personal level. As a white, cisgendered reader, it’s easy for me to see a book about a black character, for example, and be happy that there’s representation without actually knowing if it’s good representation. This book is a good example of representation, as far as I can tell, and it’s an example of what we need for all readers, not just YA.

Issues about white officers shooting unarmed black suspects (and “suspects,” because we can’t ignore the fact that innocent people are getting caught up in the crossfire more and more) and Black Lives Matter aren’t easy topics, and this book isn’t an easy book to read. There are lots of characters, and it’s easy to lose track at times and feel like there’s so MUCH in this book, but that’s important because nothing is black and white and this book is trying to represent a large population, a big experience, and a huge movement. We need more books like this so that The Hate U Give doesn’t have to bear all this alone.

Rambling aside, this is a good, difficult book, and I want to see plenty more from Thomas in the future.

Stars40

yourewelcomeuniverseYou’re Welcome, Universe (Whitney Garnder) | Goodreads | 3.5 stars

I was extremely lucky to receive a digital ARC of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Before I review this book, I have to say – get a physical copy of it. Library book or your own, either works, but it’s just not the same seeing the many great illustrations of the protagonist’s graffiti in an ebook, especially since sometimes they split into two different pages.

Anyway, on to the book itself! I thought it was an interesting story, and we need more books about Deaf people (I think they’re the only community that prefers the term in front of the name instead of people first, as most people with disabilities do, but correct me if I’m wrong), but Julia wasn’t my favorite character. She was a great subversion of the Happy Person With a Disability Who Inspires People, but it’s not super-fun being stuck in the head of someone who’s so angry all the time and doesn’t really connect with people. That includes her moms – we have two moms with distinct personalities, but we didn’t really get to know them because Julia didn’t connect with them too much because she was trying to hide her nights spend painting graffiti.

Despite being in the head of a pretty stand-offish person, this book wasn’t too bad. We need to see diverse people with disabilities, and this book definitely did that, so it deserves snaps for that. I’m also interested to see what Whitney Gardner writes next.

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TheShipFromBeyondThe Ship Beyond Time (Heidi Heilig) | Goodreads | 3.5 stars

I was extremely lucky to receive a digital ARC of this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

I was a BIG fan of Heidi Heilig’s debut, The Girl From Everywhere, so I was really excited to see what would happen in its sequel. I was a tad disappointed, but I think that was mainly due to high expectations.

This sequel tried to go bigger than the first one did – more maps, more fantasy, more mythology (from the story – there was wonderful mythology in the first book and I liked seeing it in this one as well). It could be a bit overwhelming and harder to connect with the characters who made the story.

Things ended well, but there were some elements that didn’t have answers, which makes me wonder if we might get another sequel. Despite some problems in this one, including the suddenly added second POV (it wasn’t bad, I just prefer knowing from the first book if we’re going to have multiple POVs), I’d definitely be up for another adventure, but hopefully it would winnow back a bit.

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antisocialAntisocial (Jillian Blake) | Goodreads | 3.5 stars

I was extremely lucky to receive a digital ARC of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

I came into this book with kind of high expectations for a debut because it involved a mystery and social anxiety, two pretty awesome things (well, anxiety isn’t awesome, but portrayals of it are pretty cool).

It was nice seeing how Anna’s anxiety affected her on a daily basis and how she dealt with it, especially during such a stressful time (relationships ending and being renewed, personal information being exposed in a mass school hack, things like that), but I didn’t really care about the mystery – mainly because it didn’t feel like there was. Sure, we’re wondering who did it and all that, but there was a bigger focus on Anna’s personal life. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, so it left me a little disappointed. One of Anna’s best friends was also the type of pushy, all about sex best friend that I’ve become tired of in YA.

It wasn’t a bad debut, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, and that made it harder to look at it objectively. I’m curious to see what Blake writes next, though, so not all is lost.

Stars35

oneofusislyingOne of Us is Lying (Karen M. McManus) | Goodreads | 4 stars

I was extremely lucky to receive a digital ARC of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

I read this book right after Antisocial, and because they were both mysteries, I thought this book would suffer. Maybe it was because the former left me disappointed and my expectations for this one were lowered, but this was a pleasant surprise.

This book was a more straightforward mystery, with a dead kid and four POV characters who all seem like they could be involved because they all had things to gain from the head of a gossip blog dying before their secrets could get out. I’m not sure that the characters’ different POVs were very distinctive, but that’s never been something that’s really bothered me, so I wasn’t really paying attention to that aspect. It’s been a month or two since I read it, so I can’t remember if the culprit was as obvious as I remember him or her being, but I actually didn’t mind. I cared enough about the characters and their journey to find the culprit and clear their names that that took precedence and was enough.

I’m definitely interested in seeing what McManus writes next, and I hope it’s another juicy mystery.

Stars40

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