Thursday, February 9, 2017

February YA Book Reviews!

One plus side to having your hands be useless for a month is I have plenty of time to read all the books. I picked three super popular ones to start the month off which always makes me nervous. I don't know if anyone else is the same way but the more people tell me to read or watch something the more unlikely I am to do that. Since I have nothing but time currently I picked some I wouldn't normally pick and I'm mostly glad with all my choices.  Let's go best to worst! Allons-y!

A Study in Charlotte
By Brittany Cavallaro

At the end of last year I decided to delve into BBC's Sherlock and became obsessed pretttttty quick as I tend to do. So when I saw this at the library I was hoping it would have my favorite aspects of YA and Sherlock in one little package. 

We start the novel meeting Jamie Watson, the great-great-great-grandson of Doctor John Watson. He's attending Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school on a rugby scholarship. Of course somehow Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes also attends this school. Shocker. Charlotte has been groomed since childhood to be the best Holmes she can be: she plays the violin, is a genius, interacts poorly with others and even has a slight drug problem.

Jamie is pretty obsessed with Charlotte but doesn't get the chance to become her friend until some classmates are murdered in imitations of Holmes' most famous mysteries and they're framed for the crimes. The begin to work together to solve the crimes and clear their names.

Sherlock being a girl was one of my favorite parts of the book. She has a great mix of fierce mysterious sherlock-ness and real teen girl problems. I also enjoyed the way Cavallaro played out the story. She says shes a huge Sherlock fan and I think you can tell by the way she writes the crimes. I can't decide weather or not I liked the Watson/Holmes romance? I think I just kept thinking of Johnlock though... I didn't love it anywhere near the BBC show or even the RDJ movies but I liked it well enough that I am excited to read the next book. If you like the Sherlock world I'd encourage you to pick it up. 

4/5 Stars

Sidenote: is there anything better than reading a older book
and finding out the next one comes two week later? Small victories. 

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo

I'm going to be 100% honest, I tried to read this book and put it down because there are SO MANY WEIRD NAMES and the first chapter is basically full of people you never hear of again. So I was trying to keep track only to find out I didn't even need to remember them. Sigh...either way I picked it back up because the ratings and reviews it had really recommended it, so I tried again and I'm glad I did! Once the book gets going it's much easier to keep track of the same people. 

The book starts off in Ketterdam "a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price." The hub is run by a bunch of different gangs, and the main one we focus on are the Dregs. The leader Kaz Brekker is made an offer he can't refuse by a rich merchant to rescue a scientist from the impenetrable ice castle in the north. He assembles basically an Oceans 11 type group that has a range of skills. Each rag-tag member of the crew has complicated histories and personal agendas.  You have:

"A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes "

I really liked the book. It had adventure, betrayal, revenge and romance. It had a few drawbacks: the crazy names like I said, the fact that it's a cliff hanger, and also it's a little dark. Sometimes I had to remind myself these people where supposed to be teenagers? But overall I was a fan. 

4/5 Stars.

Sidenote to my earlier sidenote: Yes, I lied, there is something better than reading an older book with an upcoming second book...ITS WHEN THE SECOND BOOK IS ALREADY OUT! Or like when I read Cinder and there were 4 more books available...that's really a wonderful thing.  The library has the second book on hold and I can't wait to read it.

Carve the Mark
By Veronica Roth

I was given Carve the Mark by my good pal Chloe, otherwise I wouldn't have ever picked this one up. I never read the Divergent series or saw the movies because it really didn't seem like my kind of thing. This type of YA sci-fi is confusing to me because it's old school classicism but in space? and I feel like by the time we get to space I hope we'd be past that? Also this was hard to get into because like Six of Crows the names in this book are ridiculous. I swear she was trying to be difficult. 

Anyways, the story takes place on a planet divided by two waring nations. Certain people in both nations are given fates that no matter what they will fulfill. While only some will have fates, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape their future. Most people have gifts that are helpful but our two main characters have gifts and fates that make life very difficult for them. 

First we have Cyra, who is I think technically the princess of the Shotet people. Her brother Ryzek  is the current ruler after the death of their parents. He's crazy for power and uses Cyra's gift for giving pain to torture his enemies. Cyra's gift not only causes her chronic pain but also emotional pain from being her brothers tool. 

Our second main character Akos and his brother are kidnapped by Ryzek from the more peaceful nation of Thuve and taken to Shotet. Ryzek hopes to use them to his advantage after learning of their currentgifts and fates. Akos' currentgift is the abilty to neuitalize others gifts, so Ryzek gifts him to Cyra so she won't be in constant pain but will still be useful to him. In a pretty predictable way Cyra and Akos have to learn to co-exist to overthrow Ryzek and save Akos brother. In the process they eventually start to fall for each other. Meh.

Overall I found the book a little confusing and slow. The parts you wanted to be longer were short, and the areas you didn't care for went on too long. I didn't know it wasn't going to be a stand-alone book (I should have known) so that was annoying to have a cliffhanger again, and then I went on Goodreads to rate it where I found a whole can of worms I didn't realize in the story regarding racism and disrespect towards individuals who suffer from chronic illnesses. 

I'm giving it a pretty generous 3/5 stars. 
If you liked Divergent you'll probably like it, but if that wasn't your thing I'd say skip it.

Last sidenote: I read that as part of their marketing plan Harper Collins paid people to read and review the book shortly before the release. I find that creepy and sad. I know galleys and arc are always a thing but to give people contracts and payments seems like they're trying to push this book way to hard to make up for it being less than stellar.

So now you tell me, what awesome books are you reading this month??
Did you read any of the above three? Agree or disagee?
Let me know in the comments!

till next time,

No comments:

Post a Comment