Woop! It’s bitesize time again! Here are 4 mini reviews for books that won’t get their own full length one!
Enjoy! (and also check out my past library of Bitesize Reviews!)
The Kinder Poison – Natalie Mae 4.5/5
This is marketed as ‘for fans of Holly Black and Victoria Aveyard’ – if you don’t like either of those authors books, don’t be put off. I hate their books but I LOVED this. And if you liked those books – good for you, but I’m not sure how relevant it is to this book cos I didn’t recognise anything similar between their crappy books and this amazing one! Basically – read this book regardless. Here’s why:
This book has way more humour in it than I expected it to have and damn if that isn’t both refreshing and a present surprise! Yass queen!
Can I just say – debut novel – WOW! What an immersive, enjoyable reading experience! Holy crap! Plus the magic system was really unique and explained really well, yet leaves just enough mystery to keep me wanting more!
On top of that, the writing style was excellent! What an amazing talent Natalie Mae is!
I mentioned earlier that this book is funnier than I’d have originally thought, and most of that comes in the form of sarcasm. it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure is my shot of tequila! LOVED IT!
The book is so fast-paced and I’m such a fan! So much happened but nothing felt rushed!#
And the characters, OMG! We got to know them over the course of the book and they changed throughout- my opinions of them all changed chapter by chapter as we learned more, and our heroine is one I can truly get behind! I ADORE morally grey characters and situations and this book gives it to me in SPADES and I LOVE IT!
It’s so good that it also sorta, kinda, maybe has a bit of a love triangle and I’m not even mad!
I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL! HOLY CRAP! PLEASE! I NEED IT NOW!
They Wish They Were Us – Jessica Goodman 3.2/5
Ok – I get what the author was going for, I do. But…a bit of a swing and a miss here.
I think Karen M McManus has ruined YA thrillers for me. I was really hoping for the same sort of vibes here but – nah.
Ok let me start off with the good:
I really enjoyed the high school aspect of it. Whilst I didn’t find all of it believable (more on that soon), I did like the idea of a ‘superior group’ that everyone wants to be part of – but again, only at the base of it.
I really liked the characterisation. I felt like I knew a lot of them and could recognise some of them from my own past experiences.
I really liked the authors writing style too. I found the flow to be super easy and whenever I put it down I got back into it super easy when I picked it up. Ok, on to some negatives. Firstly, I saw the ‘twist’ coming a mile off, and I don’t think that’s just me. I reckon a lot of people will see if from really early on. the red herrings are very red and very herring-y.
Now I could honestly forgive that if it was the only negative I had, but nah. Let me get my biggest one out of the way: I DO NOT BELIEVE FOR A SECOND THAT THE POPULAR GROUP WOULD BE HELD ON THE PEDESTAL THAT THEY ARE BY THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY AND THE TOWN – absolutely not. These popular people literally run everything, and damnit that’s SO unrealistic. You’re telling me that there’s not goth/loner loser kid who doesn’t give a fuck about 1) being popular 2) the lives of the popular kids?! Nope. Imma nope right out of that. With each and every ridiculous bit of hazing that went on, I just gave up on believability a little bit more. Urgh.
There were other bits like the absolute lack of police work that, I mean, there’s bad police work and then there’s non-existent policework that is flat un not real in any situation. This was another book that wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, and that’s a real disappointment.
I’m glad I’ve read it, for sure, especially as I loved the writing STYLE, just not exactly the story. I’ll read the authors next book for sure, but this one just fell flat. Boo.
The Henna Wars – Adiba Jaigirdar 4.1/5
I thought this was so cute! I don’t think I’ve ever read a f/f romance with Muslim representation and I loved how this explored sexuality and religion, especially as it’s not a religion I’ve read *much* about in my past readings ( but I’m working on that! ).
This was a well-paced drama/romance centring around two highschool girls as they work on their business class projects. Both girls choose to set up a henna business, one girl is from a culture that regularly practices henna, one isn’t. There is some tension and rivalry and unfortunately some racism that occurs.
But whilst this book deals with some really heavy stuff (race, religion, sexuality etc) it never gets too dark or what I call ‘oofty’. It was explored with some intelligent and light prose.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for f/f romance, young adult drama, anyone who is wanting to diversify their reading a bit and just to anyone in general. It’s so sweet and fluffy!
Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir 4.8/5
Wow this was completely different to anything else I’ve ever read! What a ride! This was excellent!
There’s a LOT going on here, and you definitely have to pay attention all the way through to get the most out of it, but boy is it worth it!
Gideon is fucking incredible! I love her! She’s so fucking snarky and witty and doesn’t give a fuck and I’m here for it. But I have to admit that Harrow is my absolute favourite character in this book. She’s a total bitch and had me laughing the entire way through.
The scenes with her and Gideon talk to each other alone are pretty much my life blood!
Tamsyn Muir is one hell of a writer! She handles some really complex characters and intense storylines with great ease and I have to say I LOVE the descriptions, especially when it comes to the gore! Holy crap!
I can’t really go into much detail without risking some spoilers, and this is a really difficult one to review properly without gushing, so I’m doing my best. I was completely hooked all the way through and wanted to read page after page after page. I’m fully on board for the next book (Harrow the Ninth – YAY Harrow!) and I felt so many feels through the book. Lesbian necromancers in space was what I was promised, and that’s exactly what I got! Just, stunning!
And we have reached the end of another batch of bitesize reviews! I hope you enjoyed them and if you’re after more mini reviews feel free to check out others I’ve done!
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