Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: Eliza and her Monsters


64Title: 
Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia

Genre: Romance, contemporary, YA

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea.

Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fan fiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace’s fan fiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

Review: 

This book. This freaking book. This wonderful book. These characters. Please just take a chance on this if you have ever considered yourself a nerd, or a geek, or for a time or even now find the online world a more comfortable place to be than the real world. You need to go to your local book retailer, or your library, or online and get a copy of this book.

I will start out by saying that I bought this book two days ago and started and finished it in one sitting. I devoured the words on the page, and the illustrations and I adored the meta within.

The setting is standard, a girl’s bedroom, her computer, her art, her whole life encompassed in one room and school the interloper in that life.

It’s possible I felt an affinity for this character because she reminds me so much of myself when I was younger. I often felt more comfortable online, behind a computer screen, only instead of drawing I would write feverishly, words flowing out about my favourite characters in TV, movies and books. My friends, encouraging me from around the world.

I was never a big name though, but did seek comfort from my anxiety in that world. Sometimes I still do.

This book is reminiscent of Fangirl, which is one of the things that appealed to me about it. It is a familiar world in this genre now and I am not complaining as it does remain set apart, without seeming to copy Rowell’s work. Eliza’s journey is individual, and wonderful on its own without the comparison.

The story unfolds with each anticipatory word, skillfully written, and each artwork, beautifully rendered. There is immense growth within the characters, and a bleak, hopeless moment or two that had me clutching my eReader, half panicked.

It is not without flaws, sometimes the characters seem a touch pretentious, but then don’t we all when we’re teenagers, thinking we know everything? Their self-absorption is as real as the words on the page, but so is their character development and their gaining strength.

It is a real, and sometimes upsetting portrayal of anxiety that really impressed me in this, the symptoms and the feelings of that vivid, and possibly triggering.

Favourite Quotes:

“That computer is my rabbit hole; the internet is my wonderland. I am only allowed to fall into it when it doesn’t matter if I get lost.”

“Monstrous Sea is mine.
I made it, not the other way around.
It’s not a parasite, or an obligation, or a destiny.
It’s a monster.
It’s mine.
And I have a battle-axe waiting for it.”

“I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they’re still my friends. They don’t just hold Monstrous Sea together. They hold me together.
Max and Emmy are the reason any of this exists.”

What I plan to read next by this author:
The Children of Hypnos
Made You Up

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Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Warcross” by Marie Lu

62Title: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Summary:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Review:

This book is like nothing I’ve ever read before, and I desperately want, but don’t want something like Warcross to exist in real life. It’s exciting, and intriguing but at the same time books like this have made me scared of computers and robots haha.

It is vibrantly described, and has a gritty, dark underbelly I appreciate, especially in a young adult novel. Warcross is an intriguing concept, and not so futuristic that it seems too hard to comprehend or picture.

Emika is a fun character, and extremely well written in my opinion, with stubbornness and determination in spades. She isn’t your normal YA protagonist which I appreciate, and she doesn’t let her judgment get clouded too much by her feelings.

Marie Lu has knocked it out of the park with this novel for me, giving me a series I can’t wait to read the next book in, and an ending that had me furrowing my brow and hugging the book wishing for more.

I wish I could explain how much I loved this book but I find that my words fail me. Just read it for yourself.

Book List 2017, Reviews

Title: Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds

miles morales.jpg

Title: Miles Morales

Author: Jason Reynolds

Genre: Superhero/YA/Suspense/Awesome

Rating: Image result for spiderweb clipart Image result for spiderweb clipart Image result for spiderweb clipart Image result for spiderweb clipart

Summary:

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I started reading this book because it was Spider-Man. I kept reading this book because it is awesome.

Miles Morales is a good kid. A good superhero. He’s got a good heart and is written out in a very human way. He isn’t perfect. He’s filled with guilt and teenage angst. He’s not infallible which makes him better, more interesting. He is all the best parts of being a teenager, and some of the worst as well, as he fumbles in talking to girls, sometimes doesn’t communicate the best with his family and bottles everything up inside

A teacher is meant to teach you, and help you become a better person, but some aren’t there to do that. Some people are just not meant to teach and this novel shows you how.

This novel also shows you how to stick to what you think is right, and stand up for what you believe in, in the best possible way.

I would recommend this to not only any fans of Spider-Man, and Marvel, but to anyone who wants to read a YA novel filled with a lot of heart. If you want that then this is the book for you.

Also it introduced me to a new form of poetry and I’m not going to complain about that.

Book List 2017, Uncategorized

Review: Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone

paradise girl

Title: Paradise Girl

Author: Phill Featherstone

Genre: YA Dystopian

Warnings: Lots of death, attempted assault

Silver linings of warnings: Some of the best written suspenseful scenes I’ve read in a long while.

Overall Rating: Image result for explosion emojiImage result for explosion emojiImage result for explosion emojiImage result for explosion emoji

A highly infectious and incurable virus spreads worldwide. Seventeen-year-old Kerryl Shaw and her family live on a remote farm and think they will be safe, but the plague advances. Despite deaths around them, the Shaws survive. However, this changes when a stranger arrives, and it soon becomes apparent he has brought the infection to their door. One by one the family succumbs, leaving Kerryl alone.

Kerryl is sure it’s only a matter of time before she, too, dies. She decides to record what she thinks will be her final days in a diary. She realises that it will never be read, so she imagines a reader and calls him Adam. As loneliness and isolation affect the balance of her mind, Adam ceases to be an imaginary character and becomes real to her…

Continue reading “Review: Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone”

Book List 2016, Reviews

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

36

Overall rating: ★★★

I would love to be one of those people who judges the main character for being vapid, silly and a little bit stupid but in all honesty I cannot because I, in a way, was that girl. Though I never harboured feelings for my sister’s bf. Partly because she’s 9 yrs older than me and partly because our tastes are so, so different.

This book is a long book, but yet a quick read. It’s easy to feel sympathy for Laura Jean, while bashing your head off your ereader wishing she would just learn how to be honest out loud instead of just in letter form.

There is no ending to this novel, so reader be warned you will want to own the sequel before reading this. That being said, let go of expectations and just let the words roll over you and realize that the best love you can have in life is that of your family, or at least that’s how this made me feel.

Reviews

2 for the Price of 1: The Golden Compass and Reality Boy

the golden compass

This is a book I’d wanted to read for quite some time, since having seen the movie and learning about the controversy. I picked it up quite some time ago at a library sale, and regret not having read it before this.

Lyra is a very precocious, often selfish little girl, but the character progression throughout the novel is brilliant. From someone who thinks only to themselves, to someone who cares deeply about others Lyra is definitely a good example of a how to, how to make your character grow that is.

This books is filled with the sort of fantasy I can find myself falling into quite easily, with daemons and Dust. It is brilliantly written and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I can’t wait to pick up the next book and give it a read.

reality boy

All I have to say is that YA fiction has changed quite a bit since I was one, and I’m hardly complaining.

A.S King pulls no punches with the way in which she writes her characters, or the language she uses in doing so. She also doesn’t seem too fearful of giving her characters very real problems.

There is true tragedy found in the pages of this book and it has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, which is really good. The two main characters lead very tragic, very real lives, and it’s easy to see why A.S King is a favourite among teens and adults alike.

This book is harsh, but never too melodramatic, and I developed a real fear for the characters as they battled their personal demons.