Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Review: The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

About the Book

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis 
Published on October 1, 2019 by Tor Teen

GoodReads Description

Westworld meets The Handmaid's Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls--they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a "welcome house" as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta's most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It's going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

My Thoughts

What an exciting novel!  It was a combination of Joss Whedon's Firefly, The Handmaid's Tale, and Maze Runner.  This piece is difficult to review because I liked a lot, but I also didn't like some of the same things that I liked.  My opinions and preferences definitely made my job as a reviewer more challenging. I am really hoping that Davis comes out with a sequel soon.

What I Liked

  • The characterization amazed me.  I loved getting to know each character, especially Aster.  This strong heroine and her gang were described more wonderfully than several of the other characters I've read about this year.  Davis has a talent for only releasing information when it's important to the tale.  Her skills of "showing not telling" are especially evident when we learn about Mallow's relationship.  What a skilled author!
  • I truly appreciate that the characterization in this piece extends even to the minor characters.  So many authors will write their minor characters as both flat and static.  It was interesting to see more dynamic minor characters.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • Arketta fascinates me.  I would have liked to learn more about it, however.  As a place where the history is so vital to the story, the world building is absolutely lacking.  I think this would have been a more engaging novel if the world building was more complete.
  • I flew through the sections about Zee and Clem because I didn't feel like they were very realistic.  This is one romance that felt rushed and forced.  I would be interested to see more development in this relationship in a sequel.

My Rating





Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison

About the Book

Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison
Published on August 3, 2006 by Speak

GoodReads Description

Abandoned by her parents, and then apprenticed to a witch, Mira is captivated by the other young apprentice, who adopts her as a sister. Mira would do anything for this beautiful girl- and that's just what her sister bargains for. With the utterance of a simple spell, Mira's body is turned to wood, her face to glass. Her only power is the magic her sister gives her, the power to make her sister a queen. 

But the sister disappears, and where one fairy tale ends, another begins. Mira is left to gather dust until a new hope arrives-a peasant girl with troubles of her own. Soon the two are on their way to find a new kind of magic, a magic that gives life instead of taking it.

My Thoughts

I definitely enjoy alternate versions of fairy tales and was excited to come across this one!  As with all books, there were definitely things that I liked about it and things that I did not enjoy. Because of time constraints, today's review will be rather condensed. I am excited to share that this book has been added to my classroom library!

What I Liked

  • I felt like the relationships between characters in this novel were rather believable.  I never felt that one character overshadowed the others.  Even though Mira was definitely the main character, she felt just as important and just as richly written as the other characters.
  • I loved the theme of sisterly love.  I know that many fairy tales focus on romantic love, but it was wonderful to see a piece that spoke about a different kind of love and selflessness.  
  • The ending was beautifully written.  I felt like it was the perfect way to end this novel and both the suffering and happiness therein.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • While I liked Harrison's style, sometimes the style took away from the meaning.  I found myself reading the same passages over and over again trying to figure out what was happening and who was talking.  
  • The relationship between the two girls was rather puzzling at first.  After all, if someone stole my face I'd be TICKED!

My Rating




Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

About the Book

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Published by Harcourt Graphia on October 18, 2010

GoodReads Description

“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?

My Thoughts

This was a fast and meaningful read.  I think it is a piece that many high school students should read, albeit a little difficult due to the content that is discussed.  This book will be on my classroom shelves.  Someday soon, I hope to read Kessler's story about another rider, War.

What I Liked

  • I love this cover!  It's simple yet elegant and meaningful!  It's a wonderful reflection of the writing within.
  • I appreciated the honest inside look at both anorexia and bulimia.  I felt it was especially poignant coming from an author who had struggled with bulimia.
  • The character development in this novel is phenomenal! Lisabeth goes from being a weak little mouse to a warrior queen.  She shows strength in many different ways.  Many people need the reminder that sometimes admitting you have a problem and asking for help is the strongest thing you can possibly do.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • The world building in this novel was very weak.  Several of the hows and whys of the Horsemen are left unanswered.
  • This book felt incredibly rushed.  There was a lot of ground to be covered and a strong story should be allowed to fill the space it needs.
  • I dislike the uncertainty at the end.  Does she deal with both problems or only one of them?  This piece needed a lot more closure.

My Rating