Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Big Fat Recommendation List: H and I Authors

Here are all the books by authors whose name starts with the letters H, and I, whose books I have read and recommend. I am putting I here, because there aren't many writers I've read whose name starts with I. So it's kind of silly for me to make a whole page for them when there'll be like...two authors there.

H Authors


Princess Academy books by Shannon Hale

Marguerite Henry
Misty of Chincoteague series
King of the Wind
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Born to Trot
Justin Morgan Had a Horse

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Bunnicula series by James Howe


Gone With the Respiration Duology by Lia Habel
The Girl is Murder Duology by Kathryn Miller Haines

Shannon Hale
Books of Bayern series
Book of a Thousand Days

The Conspiracy of Us Trilogy by Maggie Hall
Deadly Cool series by Gemma Halliday
Rebel of the Sands series  by Alwyn Hamilton
To All the Boys I've Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han

Cynthia Hand
Unearthly Trilogy
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
The Lady Janies series co-written with Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Kim Harrington
Clarity Duology
The Dead and Buried

Seraphina series by Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall series
Rebel Belle Trilogy

The Girl From Everywhere Duology by Heidi Heilig
The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman
Splintered series by A. G. Howard

Shaun David Hutchinson
We Are the Ants
At the Edge of the Universe
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/Literary/Historical Fiction

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo


Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
The Hollows series  by Kim Harrison
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley


Charlaine Harris
Aurora Teagarden series
Lily Bard series


Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Cotillion by Georgette Heyer


A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry


The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes


Around the Way Girl by Taraji P. Henson
The Geek Feminist Revolution  by Kameron Hurley

I Authors

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/Literature/Historical Fiction
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

Monday, August 27, 2018

Book Review: Heart of Iron

TITLE: Heart of Iron
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Ashley Poston
PUBLISHED: February 27th, 2018
GENRE: Science-Fiction
PREMISE: A sci-fi retelling of Anastasia.
MY REVIEW: So I got this book in my OwlCrate box awhile back. I wasn't really anticipating it or anything, but after enjoying Geekerella, I figured I would at least be reading it. For those wondering about the Anastasia factor...it is definitely there. If you're reading this for the hopes of some Russian inspired sci-fi or something though...you'll probably disappointed. It just takes the bare bones of the movie Anastasia and sets it in space and takes liberties.
Luckily, I liked the liberties. World building wise...this isn't really hard sci-fi or anything. If you're someone who likes the science part of sci-fi, I guarantee the science in here will probably bug you. But story wise and character wise, it was pretty good. It's fast paced and entertaining. I don't mind the relationships that much either. There's a cute side M/M relationship as well as the main one. There's also quite a bit of diversity. I wish the book had advertised those facts more. I bet people looking for those things would like to know the book has it.
Story wise...it goes pretty predictably. But there are some pretty good twists here and there. Particularly at the end. The characters are all enjoyable and it's very readable and entertaining. I'll probably be picking up the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Anastasia fans, sci-fi fans, fans of things like These Broken Stars
MY RATING: Four out of Five lost princesses

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Book Review: The Case for Jamie

TITLE: The Case for Jamie
Book 3 in the Charlotte Holmes series
AUTHOR: Brittany Cavallaro
PUBLISHED: March 6th, 2018
GENRE: Classic book referencing, Mystery
PREMISE: Charlotte and Jamie get thrown together for another case...
MY REVIEW: This series continues to be really enjoyable. I love what the author does with the characters of Charlotte and Jamie. Mystery wise...it's about average. But character development wise...it's top notch. I honestly wish this author had been put in charge of the BBC Sherlock show. I bet we would have gotten much better development for everyone. ;is still bitter about how that series turned out;
I can't really go into much without spoiling a lot of the book. But this deals with the fallout of the last book and I love how it dealt with it. It didn't try to demonize anyone or make the reader pick sides or put any character on a pedestal. That was so refreshing, because that can often happen when there's a conflict in book series.
So my feelings on this series are mostly the same. It's an enjoyable riff on Sherlock Holmes. It does gender-flipping well and does something new with the Sherlock Holmes stories. I can't wait to read the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read the first two books, Sherlock Holmes fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five excellent character developments

Saturday, August 25, 2018

(Modern) Classic Book Review: The Neverending Story

TITLE: The Neverending Story
AUTHOR: Michael Ende
CATEGORY: Middle-Grade
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A boy finds a book that magically transports him to a magical land.
MY THOUGHTS: I have seen the Neverending Story movies a long time ago. I believe back in middle-school, actually. I enjoyed them well enough. That's kind of my reaction to the book: I enjoyed it well enough. It's not really life-changing or anything, though.
Probably if I had read this as a tween, it'd be a different story. If you have a tween into fantasy, give them this book. They will probably at least get a kick out of it. Me, I just can't give it more then a shrug. Part of it is that it's predictable. Nothing happens that isn't really unexpected. It follows typical fantasy quest rules. It's wish-fulfillment for boys, basically. It is also frankly...a little dated. Female characters don't really do anything, the one PoC character is a horrible stereotype. He...kind of does stuff, but is quickly pushed aside, once Bastian goes into the book. Which...I get it, it's a wish-fulfillment book. So naturally, everyone is going to be focused on making Bastian the best hero he can be. It was still kind of annoying though.
So...I get why it became a thing. It's a decent story and does the trick. There's some meta stuff in the beginning about reading that I really liked. For the age group it's aimed at, I recommend it. For older folks though...I suspect it might bore you. Especially if you're like me and have seen the movies, so you already know what happens.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tweens/Middle-school/early high school readers, fantasy fans

Friday, August 24, 2018

Book Review: An American Marriage

TITLE: An American Marriage
AUTHOR: Tayari Jones
PUBLISHED: February 2018
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A detailed look at a marriage and its ups and downs as the husband gets convicted of a crime he didn't commit and goes to prison.
MY REVIEW: I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On one hand: the writing is great. There are a lot of topics brought up in this book that make you sit and think about things and I loved that aspect of it. The characters are well developed as well.
On the other hand....it was really slow. And I really did not like the ending. I felt like there was all this big amazing build up that...just fizzled out at the end and I was just left there going "that's it? Really?". Which...is unfortunately a thing that often happens with me in literature books.
So I'm torn on how to rate this. It was really good and I liked it. For the first two thirds of the book I thought I might have a five star read on my hand. But then the ending happened. But I don't want to rate a book low just because of the ending. The ending is just one factor of a book. I like to look at all the factors. For most of it...this book was really good. So...yeah, I'm not sure what to rate this one, really.
WHO SHOULD READ: Oprah's Book Club fans, those who like gut-punching kind of books
MY RATING: Three and a half to four out of five troubled marriages

Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review: Anger is a Gift

TITLE: Anger is a Gift
AUTHOR: Mark Oshiro
GENRE: Contemporary
PUBLISHED: May 22nd, 2018
PREMISE: Moss' life gets turned upside down when his school starts getting metal detectors and a heavy police presence...
MY REVIEW: Some of you may know Mark Oshiro from Mark Reads or Mark Watches or his general Mark Does Stuff website. I've been a fan of his for awhile now. I used to actually comment on his readalongs/watchalongs but stopped and now mostly just lurk. So I was pretty excited to hear that he had written a book.
I am pleased to say: it is great. There are a lot of comparisons being made to The Hate U Give and that is definitely apt. This takes a lot of the issues brought up in that book (as well as the book Dear Martin) and builds on it in a wonderful way.
This book does not play. To quote Mark himself: shit gets real. Very fast. There's a bit in the middle and end that is especially gut-punching. Basically, this book is just damn good. Read it. Especially if you need something to tide you over until THUG movie or Angie Thomas' new book in February.
WHO SHOULD READ: THUG fans, Dear Martin fans, Adam Silvera fans
MY RATING: Five out of Five tear stained tissues

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Review Catch Up Part 3: The Second Half of July 2018

Last of the review catch up posts, I promise. Here are all the things I read in the second half of July.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding Book 1 by Alexandra Bracken
Category: Middle-Grade
Published: September 2017
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Enjoyable read, as usual, from Alexandra Bracken. Turns out this is going to be made into a movie, so I read it just in time.
Rating: Four out of Five snarky demons

Another Country by James Baldwin
Category: Adult
Published: 1962
Genre: Contemporary
Read mostly because it was on the Great American Read list. I'm kind of slowly going through the ones I haven't read. Not all of them, because there are some I'm just not interested in, at all (Atlas Shrugged, for instance). But most of them I will be reading....at some point.

Robots VS Fairies anthology by various authors
Category: Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi
Published: January 9th, 2018
Fun short story anthology that had stories featuring either robots or fairies.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five short stories that I wanted to be whole books

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Social Commentary/Feminism
Published: February 6th, 2018
A deep look into the sexism of the tech industry. How bad it is, how we got there, why it persists, and how we can change the culture. The book is good and interesting...it's just draining, hearing about all these incidents and seeing all the indifference from some of the people in the industry.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five informative, but sad books

Kat Holloway Book 1: Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Published: January 2nd, 2018
Okay historical mystery. Didn't really impress me, but didn't really fail me either. It's good for if you just want some Downton Abbey-esque feelings with a dash of mystery.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five nosy maids getting shit done

Veronica Speedwell Book 3: A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn
Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Published: January 16th, 2018
This series continues to be delightful. If you like slow burn romances, heroines who don't give a fuck about society's expectations, and snark, seriously pick this series up.
Rating: Four out of Five awesome snarky heroines

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Category: Play
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: 1953
I started to read this one, and it turns out I actually already have read it...way back in school. I just apparently forgot that. Oh well. If nothing else, it was a good refresher.

Comics read:
Captain America original 1940s series on Marvel Unlimited
Heavy Vinyl vol. 1

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Book Review Catch Up Post Part 2: First Half of July 2018

Here are some of the things I read in the first half of July:

River of Teeth Book 1 by Sarah Gailey
Category: Adult
Genre: Alternate History
Published: May 2017
This is a short novella that takes an interesting what if idea and just runs with it. The result is a really fun and fast adventure story. Need to get my hands on the second book.
Rating: Four out of Five hippos (the reference will make sense when you read it)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Category: YA
Genre: Verse/Contemporary
Published: March 6th, 2018
Contemporary verse novel about a girl finding her voice through slam poetry. I liked most of it, but the ending with the mother left a lot to be desired for me. If it wasn't for that, this would be five whole stars from me, because it's beautifully written.
Rating: Four out of Five let down endings

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary, literary fiction
Published: January 9th, 2018
Everyone and their mother has been raving about this book and honestly...I don't get it. Half of it was good, the other half...not so much. Also I was really not into the way it stereotyped people a lot.
Rating: Three out of Five side-eyes

Caraval Book 2: Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Published: May 29th, 2018
Oh Caraval, I have so many mixed feelings about this series. I gave the debut a four out of five, but after much reflection...I would probably rate it lower now. I enjoy this series, it's very readable and everything. There's nothing really bad in it...it's just not really good either. If you like it, I get it. I like it too. But...I also fully acknowledge that quality wise...it's not the best.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five generic, but enjoyable fantasy reads

American Panda by Gloria Chao
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary
Published: February 6th, 2018
Cute and fluffy contemporary about a girl finding her way while dealing with controlling parents.
Rating: Four out of Five satisfying reads

Magic Misfits Book 1: The Magic Misfits by Neal Patrick Harris
Category: Middle-Grade
Genre: Contemporary/Adventure
Published: November 2017
Yes, NPH wrote a book. It was...just okay. The thing with middle-grade books is that there are two kinds: ones written with a general audience in mind...and one just written for tweens. This was written for tweens and they should be happy with it. I am not a tween, therefore, I was not really the target audience for the book.

Graphic novels read:
Generation X (2017) series (yes, the whole thing, I recently got a Marvel Unlimited subscription and have been putting it to use)
America Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez
Runaways (2017) Vol. 1

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Book Review Catch-up Post Part 1: June 2018 Reads

Yeah...I'm woefully behind on reviews on here. I have been reading...I just haven't been terribly motivated to post reviews. So I'm going to do a catch up and try to get back into the swing of reviewing/posting stuff this month.

Here are the rest of the books that I read in June:

Rebel Mechanics Book 3: Rebels Rising by Shanna Swenson
Category: YA
Genre: Steampunk/Historical Fantasy
Published: April 2017
Rating: Three and a half out of Five steampunk outfits
Okay ending. Everything tied up a little too quickly and neatly for my taste. A bit of a let down after how great the second one was.
Rating for series: Three and a half out of Five

Tyranny of Petticoats Book 2: The Radical Element by various authors
Category: YA
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy, Short Stories
Published: March 13th, 2018
Rating: Four out of Five awesome female leads
If you've read Tyranny of Petticoats, this is just more of the same. Lots of good stories in this one.

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
Genre: Contemporary
Published: January 23rd, 2018
Rating: Three and a half out of Five
I like the overall message in this book, and there were some beautiful passages of writing in it. But the story overall...just fell a little flat for me for some reason.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Category: Adult/Classics
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 1905
This was...interesting. It was a bit slow for my taste, but overall I liked it. I find that Wharton's books tend to subvert expectations and I really like that aspect of her books.

Numair Chronicles Book 1: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Published: February 6th, 2018
Rating: Four out of Five
I adore the Tortall books and pretty much everything Pierce writes. So it was a given, I was going to read and enjoy this. However, even as I enjoyed it...I think the series is unnecessary as most prequels are. It gives good insight to Numair's character...but that's honestly about all it does. But this was mostly just build-up, I think I suspect the next book will be where everything I actually care about happens. Such as Numair meeting Alanna and co.

The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes
Category: Classics
Genre: Poetry
Published: This edition, was published in 1995. It includes all of Hughes poems written over the the years, going as far back as the 1930s.
Still very new to poetry, so I can't comment on the quality. But I personally loved these. I also found some that were written over fifty years ago that are still relevant today. Part of me thinks it's because Hughes was just that good and part of me also thinks its because our society has not evolved as much as we like to claim.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Category: Classics
Genre: Non-Fiction/Philosophy/Politics
Published: 1513
If you're into history, you'll probably like this. As a lot of it is Machiavelli talking about politics and drawing from examples of history to back up his ideas. I just honestly found it dull.

Graphic Novels read:
Ms Marvel Vol.s 7 and 8
Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1
Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Vol. 2