Burn: Review

So rarely do I have to sit for a few hours (or days in this case) and think about the book I just read before I finally hit I FINISHED and started a review. Patrick Ness, as an auto-buy, auto-read author, always seems to hit me with I’ve kept all my long-buried emotions and brings them out into the world in the form of big fat sighs and manically sobbing because dragons are just so cool.

This book was just so bizarre. I know that’s a strange way to start a review, but I can’t think of any other word to describe it. BURN is set in the 1950s in the great state ( and my current home) of Washington. It follows quite a few POV’s but didn’t really feel overwhelming. A biracial teen named Sarah lives on a failing farm in a world where humans and dragons coexist in semi-harmony. Sarah’s dad hires a dragon to help with the farm, burning down all forest, etc and soon befriends him. But there’s a homophobe, racist cop who screws everything up. Then there’s also a queer boy named Malcolm who is part of a cult that worships dragons and an FBI agent who is after him because he’s murdered a bunch of people on his way to find out what the hubbub is all about with a prophecy involving the dragon goddess.

Also, there are also other things I can’t mention because I want you to be as officially f*&ked as I was whilst finishing this masterpiece.

I knew going in that I was in for a wild ride, but this was like getting on the Spiderman ride at Universal and finding out that not only does it go really fast and loop and all that but it also goes to the moon and ricochets off a few craters and eventually comes back down.

This book hits all the high notes including DRAGONS. Having actually dragons in a book about dragons is few and far between so this was a breath of fresh air. Fresh fire? I’m going off the rails here. Let’s regroup.

The ending is probably the only thing that irked me. It was a bit too abrupt. You could tell there was going to be a sequel. It would work just fine it Ness didn’t write one, but I wouldn’t complain if he did.

Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-arc to review.

I’m here for it.

BURN was crazy and weird and violent. If you want a myriad of emotions, this is the book for you.

House of Dragons: Review

FINALLY! A book with the word dragon in the title that has DRAGONS.

Huge thank you to Penguin/Random House for supplying me with this arc after a little bit of begging ;D

What a wild ride I was just on, you guys. This book starts with a BANG. We jump into the five povs. Yes, I said it. FIVE POV’s. But as daunting as that sounds, it wasn’t too bad once you get to know the characters. But I digress. This wild ride starts when the emperor dies and the eldest of each of the five houses in Etrusia line up for the Call to compete for the throne. But things don’t go as planned and the least assuming (bastards, youngest, etc) are chosen. The winner gets the crown. Losers get the Cut. I.E executed. These outcasts, each with their own issues, battle for the throne all while uncovering some secrets and flying DRAGONS!!

I cannot stress this enough and I will scream it from the rooftops. I LOVE DRAGONS. This book didn’t disappoint in that aspect. Nor the intrigue and violence that I love in competition books like this. I connected to each of the protagonists to the point where I thought I was watching a reality show and kept switching to who I wanted to win.

This is a Romanesque fantasy world and there’s some violence that had me staring open-mouthed at my Kindle. There are also some pretty strong themes throughout that are kind of brutal for younger audiences.

To close off this review I will say that this book sets itself apart and I loved every bit of it. I am so glad my begging paid off. This book is one for the shelves.

This is My Brain in Love: Review

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review this title ahead of its release date.

THIS MY BRAIN IN LOVE is told by two POV’s, Jocelyn and Will and set in Utica New York. Joc is the daughter of Chinese restaurant owners, struggling to keep afloat. She crosses paths with Will whom she hires to jumpstart the business, otherwise, her family would have to move. He helps with social media, getting the accounts out of the Stone Age, and narrowly missing death by a Chinese father when he falls for Joc and vice versa.

Joc is a clever and down to earth protagonist that we can all relate to. But she is also a perfectionist and can come across as callous at times. Will, having anxiety himself, recognizes something in Joc that concerns him. Will is an all-around nice guy and is so super sweet to Joc and her family and friends. I loved him as a love interest and protagonist.

Both main characters are persons of color. Will is half Nigerian and Joc is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Together, they were a refreshing pair. Unlike a lot of YA contemporaries, their eventual romance is held back by more than just outside interference. Although we do have the classic, harsh Chinese parents who set restrictions on their relationship. But Will’s habit of not wanting to make people uncomfortable about his condition and Joc’s denial of her own makes for a rocky road.

Joc’s friend, Priya is the best, but I did wish we saw more of Will’s friends. The references to movie culture and food drew me in. I am a sucker for any book set against a restaurant, food truck, ANYTHING WITH FOOD. I am familiar with American Chinese food (my fav!) but I loved learning about Nigerian food and I promptly looked for restaurants in my area!

Against the backdrop of yummy Chinese food and teenage love, is the topic of mental health and the stigma that holds people back from properly addressing their concerns. I think this book hit the mark with how most people feel when faced with the idea that they may have depression, anxiety or any other mental illness. This book will resonate with the YA community for its diversity and realistic portrayal of mental illness.

BEWARE: this book will make you hungry.