The Serpent’s Shadow (2012) Review

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The Serpent's Shadow (Kane Chronicles, #3)

The Serpent’s Shadow – Rick Riordan

3/3 The Kane Chronicles Trilogy

Middle Grade, Mythology

Buddy read with Destiny

Trigger Warnings: Racism, enclosed spaces, death, loss of a loved one (past), injury, body shaming

Publication date: May 1st, 2012

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL BOOK REVIEW

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TITLE: The Psychology of Time Travel

AUTHOR: Kate Mascarenhas

SERIES? Standalone

GENRE/ AGE RANGE: Science Fiction, Young Adult

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Death, Violence, Sex

TAGS: Mystery, Time Travel, Sci-Fi, F/F Relationships, M/M Relationships, Feminist

PUBLICATION DATE: August 9th 2018

ACQUIRED: E-arc via Netgalley (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)

SYNOPSIS: 1967: Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine. They are on the cusp of fame: the pioneers who opened the world to new possibilities. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril.

2017: Ruby knows her beloved Granny Bee was a pioneer, but they never talk about the past. Though time travel is now big business, Bee has never been part of it. Then they receive a message from the future–a newspaper clipping reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady.

2018: When Odette discovered the body, she went into shock. Blood everywhere, bullet wounds, flesh. But when the inquest fails to answer any of her questions, Odette is frustrated. Who is this dead woman that haunts her dreams? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder?

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FINAL DRAFT SPOILER-FREE DNF REVIEW

Final Draft

no rating

tags: YA, LGBTQ+, F/F ROMANCE, CONTEMPORARY, HIGH SCHOOL

So, the joke’s on me for thinking I would enjoy a happy contemporary book. This is a dnf review, so if you are looking for a full review you might consider looking here or here.

This book has gotten so much love and so many glowing reviews so I hate to burst this bubble but I got an arc and now I feel obligated to write a review, dnf or not. I only got 32% of the way in, but from page 1 I knew this wouldn’t be the book for me.

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This book just didn’t work for me.

it’s a happy contemporary so really I should’ve known better. I prefer books like The Female of The Species or The Nowhere Girls, where the vibe is generally negative and the themes are heavier. Which is not to say, that there aren’t a few heavy plot points in this book (from what I read), because there are. This just isn’t my style. I’ve read a few that I’ve enjoyed, like Simon Vs The Homo Sapien’s Agenda & Queens of Geek, but I also don’t reach for them all that often on my shelves.

I found this book to be unrealistic to my experiences in high school. Now, take my opinions with a grain of salt, because everyone had a different experience in HS and also consider that I go to school in Australia and am also straight.

  • I don’t know about you and your experiences, but I spent pretty much every night in high school doing homework, reading or sleeping. There wasn’t much time for me to hang out at my friends’ houses and watch tv, then go home before 10/11ish, do homework and then get to school on time the next day and somehow still remain sane. It just wouldn’t have worked for me. So, will someone please explain how the friend group in this book manages to do it???

 

  • This is not a spoiler, but the mc is a writer and so, much like in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, there are a lot of excerpts from the mc’s wip (work in progress).

This was a bit weird for me, I’ll be honest. I wasn’t a fan of it in Fangirl (haha, get it?) and I wasn’t big on it here. It mostly served to take me out of the story as I was trying to get my head around what the hell is happening and why the heck we were in a spaceship. There were a whole bunch of these sprinkled throughout, as well as a lot of overly long explanations about tv shows, other books and games (I think), so I think this book felt more like a tv guide or a YA for Dummies instead of an actual ya novel tbh.

  • Also, and this isn’t too big a deal. But, I made it 32% of the way through this book had happened. Everyone was raving about the romance and to that I respond, WHERE???

I know, that I DNF’d this but the book is only 272 pages long. According to my math, I made it roughly 80ish pages through the book and all that happened was a few tv show explanations, some drama about an assignment, a spoiler thing and some teen angst. There are only 190 pages left, how are you going to a fit in a beautiful romance + the assignment drama + probably friendship drama + probably some teen angst, let’s be real + probably some family drama ???

I’m sorry, this book wasn’t for me. I wanted to love it which is why I requested it, but unfortunately, I was just not the right reader. I hope that you pick it up and love it more than I did!

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SPOILER FREE MINI REVIEWS: The Perfect Mother, To Kill A Kingdom, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Undead Girl Gang

WHOOP WHOOP YA GIRL’S BACK BEING A “REAL” BOOK BLOGGER AND POSTING SOME REVIEWS (All spoiler free, of course!) I haven’t posted a mini reviews post since back in 2016 so I thought since my ‘rtc’ list on Goodreads is getting larger I should really kick my a** into gear.

My NetGalley tbr hasn’t exactly been getting away from me lately (It’s May when I’m writing my intro and including the arcs on this list, I only have 14 on my NG tbr). 

*Are you guys okay with swearing? I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

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Thank you to Hachette Australia for supplying the e-arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

★★★☆☆

tags: mystery, suspense, adult, debut, may 2018 release

TW: Child abduction, rape

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My official rating for this is a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Perfect Mother is Aimee Molloy’s debut novel and I’d say she did pretty damn well. I don’t read mysteries as often as I would love to, and within that, I have also never read a domestic suspense novel. So, I was feeling both apprehensive and excited!

This was a really interesting book! Not only did it have some really interesting commentary about motherhood, what makes a mother and how mothers should act within society’s eyes. I really enjoyed that commentary, it was one of my favourite aspects of the book and what made it so enjoyable to read. It was really interesting (I’m so sorry I keep using that word ughhh!) to see how harshly mothers are judged by not only their husbands and the general public, but by other mothers too.

As for the mystery/suspense aspect of the novel, I did also find it quite intriguing. I found that I really enjoyed the idea of a domestic mystery. I thought that it was really cool for the mystery to be centred around a mothers group. It gave the story a different feeling and in a weird way made it feel more normal and more like this could happen to anyone. You really started to understand the characters and feel for them as the story went on and by the end, I was really enjoying myself, despite the subject matter/ type of mystery.

The author, Aimee Molloy has great writing and writes really interesting characters. She also clearly has a great mind for mystery. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

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To Kill a Kingdom

★★☆☆☆

tags: Fantasy, Retelling (The Little Mermaid), Young Adult

TW: Non-Consensual kiss, Mental/ Verbal/ Physical abuse, Abusive parenting

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My official rating for this is a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

I feel like I have a lot to say and no idea how to say it. This book had so much potential, and for a lot of people I think it reached that potential, but for me, this story just barely got off the ground. I think I’m in the minority when I say To Kill A Kingdom wasn’t good. This book was a clusterfuck of shitty people doing shitty things and I was not big on it.

I wanted so badly to love this book but, it rubbed me the wrong way, I guess you could say it got my goat?? To kill A Kingdom was going to be so good, it was going to be what finally gave me the push to finally watch The Little Mermaid (TKAK is a loose reimagining). I was determined to love it, which is why I finished it, instead of DNFing it which I came so close to doing around the halfway mark.

I will admit, there are aspects of this book I did really like. I love the title, I loved the ending battle chapter and I enjoyed the character, Kai. But, that’s around about where my love for the book is cut short. For the first 80% of this book I was going to rate this 2 stars, I was even tempted so many times to just DNF it and be done with it. But, I held on hope that it would get better and it did, a whole 0.5/5 better. No spoilers, but there is a character towards the end of the book with a massive battle and I actually LOVED that part of it, but then that ended and I pretty much went back to not caring.

Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.

This is a mini review so I’ll try to keep it well, mini, and just tell you guys the long and short of it. While the author put a really cool and interesting twist on an old story, the characters suck and they are absolutely what ruined this story for me. It took me to around 75/80% of the way through this book for me to actually start appreciating them and by then the story was mostly over, so what was the point?

This book also felt very long. I read half of the book in one day, and the rest the next day and it felt like I had been reading for weeks, I had to make myself start playing the audio again. Also, I know this isn’t nearly as bad a case but you know how everyone and their mother complained that nothing was explained in Zenith? (Sasha Alsbberg & Lindsay Cummings). Well, the same thing goes on in this book, though to a lesser degree. Kingdoms, creatures and other names are just thrown around without any explanation and while it didn’t take me out of the story to the degree that Zenith did, it was still weird and confusing.

Also, PSA if you listen to the audio on Audible it’s going to be a bit shaky. The audio is pretty crap. I think they had to go back and re-record parts of the book (like, a lot of it holy shit) but, maybe they re-recorded with a different mic or something because it was weird and I was not about it.

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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers Australia for supplying the e-arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

★★★★☆

tags: Adult, Contemporary, Australia

TW: Animal Abuse, Abusive Parenting, Physical Abuse, Abusive Relationships, Death, PTSD, Panic Attacks, Rape

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Holy Crap you guys, This book is absolutely brilliant. As you can see by the trigger warnings (tw) this book is pretty heavy. It’s based around a girl raised in an abusive home and features many types of abusive relationships from different perspectives. It’s a really interesting and heartbreaking read and if you think you can handle it I honestly do recommend it. Though, I do want to stress that, yes there are multiple abusive relationships there is also animal cruelty (all inflicted by male characters) towards dogs in this book. I know, that more that anything that is what almost set me off many times while reading this book, and it didn’t help that I read the whole book in one day.

I will say that I don’t know if everything in this book is a good depiction of grief or abuse but, I will say that in the way it was written, it felt real. Because of the amazing writing, everything in this book felt real, I felt like I knew the characters in this novel and I really felt like I understood the main character.

This was fantastic, especially for a debut novel. This book tackles so much and handles grief and abuse in a very real way, in that you don’t always know it’s abuse until it’s too late, which is a very honest portrayal of abuse. Holly Ringland has written something truly special with this book.

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Undead Girl Gang

★★★☆☆

tags: YA, Mystery, Magic

TW: Death, Funerals, Zombies, Magic, Bullying, Murder, Fatphobia, Grief, Guns, Self harm

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Here I am… again… probably rating one of your faves low. Sorry guys, I swear I’m not doing this on purpose but Undead Girl Gang was mediocre at best. Originally I gave this a 3 stars but, since then I have changed my rating to a 2.5, purely because the plot was somehow boring to me, I thought the main character was kind of horrible and it just made me feel bad while I was reading it.

A few years ago I’m sure I would’ve loved this but I just don’t think it’s for me anymore. I’ll be honest, this book was just too much rolled into a really short space of 300 pages. Some authors can write an amazing story that tackles all kinds of subjects while also having a fantastic plot (See: Seanan McGuire). Amber Robertson was trying to prove that popular girls have hearts, fat people have feelings and opinions, there’s a line between good and bad, friends can change, people aren’t always who you think they are, and Hey! Magic is real! Also, Zombies.

And, speaking of, Robertson used one of my least favourite topes (in any media) – The Populars™ being B*tches. I’m sorry, I’m sure there are some sucky “popular” kids in the world, but not all of them are horrible people. It’s an overused and offensive trope and frankly, I’m sick of seeing it.

So, back to the actual plot of the book. This is a mystery, or so they tell me. Three girls end up dead, one of them being the MC’s best friend. And, now the MC has to try and figure out who killed them all, so naturally, she raises them from the dead. To me, the mystery was why I kept reading the book. I couldn’t dnf because who dnfs in the middle of a mystery? Either way, the mystery was a bust and easy to figure out, the main character was horrible, there were pacing issues and there was self harm not being called out, but instead recommended as a coping mechanism.

I think it’s great that so many people loved this book and that it had some good fat rep, that didn’t actually shy away from the word “fat”. But, this book was just not for me, hopefully, you guys will like it more than I did!

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JULIET TAKES A BREATH SPOILER-FREE REVIEW // A book everyone should read

JULIET TAKES A BREATH

my rating: ★★★★☆

tags: LGBTQIA+, YA, Feminism

goodreads rating: 4.27

Juliet Takes a Breath

Thank you to Riverdale Avenue Books for supplying the e-arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are my own.

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Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favourite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.

Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle?

With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.

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“Feminism. I’m new to it. The word still sounds weird and wrong. Too white, too structured, too foreign: something I can’t claim.”

Juliet Takes A Breath is a must read, not just for women, but for everyone. I will admit that it might be more relatable for women, and in particular women of colour. But, I think this book and the character of Juliet is what makes the book so special. She learns so much in this book and I think that is the point. She makes the story relatable for some readers and she makes it a slap in the face for others.

This story handles feminism and what it means to be a woman. Juliet goes through every feeling under the bus in this book and learns so much throughout her short journey in the novel. She learns some really helpful tips and tricks on how to make your period easier to handle, which I’ll be honest I had never heard before but, will definitely be trying out in the future.

“You control the energy in your body. Never forget that, Juliet.”

This book is fantastic and I think everyone should read it. Juliet is a really interesting character and I think there is definitely something to learn from her and her experiences, no matter who you are. What I loved most about this book was that it took me for a total learning curve. I have very little in common with Juliet. I am white, straight and share pretty much none of her experiences, I also don’t live in the US.

“None of the clothes were made to fit me. None of the people shopping in there look like me.”

On that note, what I learnt from this book was something particularly interesting about the store Banana Republic. I have never really heard of the store so learning about its history was quite interesting and very disturbing.  It’s actually kind of horrible that I had never heard about their history but, I guess that is the kind of world we live in now.

Juliet Takes A Breath also goes into the education system and how we are often not taught about our own histories. We are rarely ever taught about the “bad side” of the history of our own countries and that often leads to ignorance. I  personally related to this because I know that Australia’s past is certainly not squeaky clean, but we really don’t learn about it at all in school.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t recommend it enough. if you’re looking for a short and bingeable modern contemporary to put on your tbr, this is perfect!

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