Title: Remember Me
Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Release Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.01 (of 231 ratings)
representation: talks of mental health (depression, hallucinations)
content warnings: attempted rape, death (of principle character), murder, suicide, violence (especially against a woman), physical and emotional abuse (from parent), death of parent
The best way that I can describe this book is The Shining meets Somewhere in Time – and, like, I’m dead serious because it picks up elements from each down to the creepy child, bloody elevator, and grand hotel atmosphere. It had interesting elements, but for the most part, it was…well, it just was?
I did like the atmosphere for the hotel, and the setting was super cool. I felt like I was running down the halls of a grandiose hotel, and it is a super intriguing mood. Both storylines were equally interesting, so that is always nice to have both of them keep me invested. I felt like the scenes of abuse and violence were handled with care, but they were still quite hard to read since they did get graphic at times. I tended to skip.
However, besides that, nothing really stood out for me in the book. The characters felt like shells of true characters, and I never got fully deep or connected with them. The writing was okay – it had a habit of having really short chapters that kind of messed up the flow sometimes. The storyline also got eh at times, so by the end, I was just skimming along just to make it through the story.
Overall, this was just an eh read. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly wasn’t feeling it. It had some good elements like the atmosphere and setting, but nothing really stood out at all. It also wasn’t scary??? Since this was a bumpy ride, a Cinderella Rating!
Title: The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4)
Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.47 (of 4730 ratings)
representation: bisexual MC, Latinx main-ish character, black side character, Asian side character, lesbian side character, other diverse side characters
content warnings: death, violence, grief
As always, Riordan delivers another solid installment in this amazing series. After kind of destroying us with the last book, this book was more mellow – acknowledging and allowing us to grieve, recover, and try to prepare ourselves to the final book in the series. It still was filled with action and usual Riordan craziness, which is quite on brand for us along with intriguing mythology and history.
While I did enjoy this one, I felt like the cameos weren’t as on par for this one? Like, I loved seeing our main Camp Jupiter ones along with some fresh faces, but I didn’t get as excited as I wanted to be? Like, Reyna was one of my favorite characters in Heroes of Olympus, and I will forever scream she deserves her own story, but I felt like she didn’t get quite the justice or due time I wanted? I felt like her time in the story was just okay??
Overall, this was a good addition to the series. It was enjoyable, and I moved through this story pretty quickly. It’s Rick Riordan business as usual, which is always good. I guess I just wanted a bit more, and I felt like I was a bit underwhelmed in this one. I’m just ready for book 5! An Ariel rating!
Title: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Author: Kwame Mbalia
Release Date: October 15 2019
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.47 (of 180 ratings)
representation: black main characters
content warnings: death of friend, grief, intense sequences
This was just a well written book filled with heart, action, and two intensely likable main character – and yes, I’m counting Gum Baby as a main character because she stole the show for me. This book is a prime example of why middle grade is totally winning the game at times if you are looking for a book with vivid imagination and hope.
I really enjoyed this book. It was wholly unique and so intriguing. Mbalia created a fantastic world filled with folktales and mythology that felt fresh and new along with creating really fun characters. The world really shown, and I enjoyed the twists and turns that the story took. I loved Tristan a lot, and Gum Baby was a gem. She was kind of a morally grey character but just so lovable. The other characters were a little more hazy, but they were still enjoyable.
The only issue that I had with the read was the pacing. This book is 400+ pages, and I mean, it felt like 400+ pages. I just wanted it to feel like it was going fast, since I was enjoying it. However, I definitely struggled it.
Overall, this was a really fun and exciting read. If you’re looking for a book that showcases what middle grade does best, this is for sure the book to pick up. It’s a lush imaginative world filled with fantastic characters and a lot of heart. It just was a little off with the pacing. An Anna rating!
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What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!