Bitesize Reviews Vol. 20

Once again it’s time for some mini reviews! I call these my bitesize reviews – these are 4 mini reviews for books that probably won’t get their own full length review!

Enjoy! (and also check out my past library of Bitesize Reviews!)

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This One Summer – Mariko Tamaki 3.8/5
This was so cute, as well as quite profound in some aspects. This is the kind of story where all the drama, and action I guess, happens around the main characters, rather than to them for the most part – if that makes sense?

It’s one of those stories that is insignificant in the grand scheme of the world, but centres on a specific significant small moment in adolescence for the characters themselves. It’s like a coming of age thing – but for the reader, I’m not sure if it can offer something more than a quick sense of nostalgia or a moment of ‘oh, I remember that sort of feeling from my own unique yet similar experience’.

There were a few moments that made me laugh in the ‘forcefully exhale out of my nose’ way, and other aspects made me smile.

But the shining jewel of this story are the illustrations. Holy crap they are amazing! I loved turning the page and seeing the art display the entire story so perfectly. Honestly, this is worth the read just to experience the art, cos it really is an experience.

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Teen Titans: Beast Boy – Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo 3.2/5
Oh…:( Oh. After the absolute knock-out that Raven was this was a bit of a disappointment. I wanna say that the disappointment 100% did NOT come from the illustrations. they are OUTSTANDING like always and are the superior part of this graphic novel. Excellent, no negative comments from me. I loved the colour palette, the line art, the expressions – all of it. Loved it.

But the story….eh. What a letdown. I feel like too much focus was on the supporting cast this time. I also felt like there were so many ‘so what?’ parts of this story. Did they add anything to the story? No, not really. Did they evoke any emotion? Nope. Just…meh.

When I got to the end I was like…wait…where’s the rest of it? Such a disappointment and I honestly think a disservice to a great character. I LOVED when Raven showed up and I’m curious about whatever Slade is up to. But this particular instalment was MEH.

I’m hoping Beast Boy Loves Raven will make up for this – but the story and writing really dropped the ball on this one.

Star Daughter: Amazon.co.uk: Thakrar, Shveta: Books

Star Daughter – Shveta Thakrar 1.8/5
Wow, what a disappointment. I had the Fairyloot edition of this novel and it is STUNNING to look at, so I was really hoping that I’d like the story too. Not only did I not like the story, I wasn’t even entertained by it. Hence ‘had’ the edition. I sent it on to a friend.

I was expecting this to be centred on a magical tournament as the main focus – not exactly Hunger Games levels, but more than the what…5? maybe? pages that I got of a competition?

Urgh. I wouldn’t even mind if the characters and worldbuilding and the rest of the book were entertaining. I’d be a lil miffed, sure, but I’d get over it. But I kept zoning out of the story because I just wasn’t gripped. There was some whiny, high school bullshit going on with the characters that I rolled my eyes so hard at I swear I pulled a muscle.

The writing was competent at times, sure. But I don’t think the nail was hit for the involvement for the reader.

I enjoyed the exploration of a culture that is new to me from a reading perspective. I’ll say that for sure. I loved that!

But it’s not enough to save some space (or are they in the sky?) kinda talent competition? With stars and humans? What even was going on?!

Meh. One of my biggest disappointments of 2020. Shame

Who I Was With Her – Nita Tyndall 3.5/5
Many other reviewers have rated this book higher (at time of writing this) so I don’t want anyone to be put off by my lower rating, as I think this book would be helpful and inspiring to many people – it just wasn’t for me.

First thing – I saw myself an awful lot in this book. I myself am bisexual and I was also an all-star cross country runner as a teenager. But that’s where my connections stop as I (luckily) haven’t experienced grief yet and I never struggled with my sexuality or coming out.

But regardless of this, I don’t think that’s what stopped me connecting with these characters. I really, REALLY wanted to connect to these characters, especially Corinne. But I just…couldn’t. She just felt…flat. I get that she’s grieving and grief does some horrific and strange things to us whilst we endure it, but I don’t think that’s what was happening here. I just felt like she wasn’t fully fleshed out. At least for me, she felt a lil 1-dimensional. And I hate to say it.

On top of this, the supporting cast didn’t offer much support either.

However, I really did like the writing. And the theme. Of course this theme is vitally important and should be read more, I think a lot of people would find it helpful at some point in their lives. especially as it deals with grieving alone and pretty much in secret. I liked the emotions talked about (I just didn’t feel the emotion from the characters) and all the other important subjects touched on.

This book was well written, it really was. But I just don’t think there was enough character development to make this hit home.

But I don’t want to put anyone off reading this, as it might help someone. It just wasn’t for me.

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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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