The Disasters reminds me a lot of this Sci-Fi show I love called Dark Matter, except not as dark. Complete with a heist, high stakes and a band of misfits with their own stories and motives this book makes good on the promise of a YA sci-fi adventure.
The world building is great, as it actually feels like our world but a 100 years in the future. What particularly stayed with me was this sense of despair England creates, throughout most of the book I was compelled to read simply because I did not know what they were going to do. As the story unravelled it never felt unrealistic because they just used the skills they had in the best way they could. I liked that the romance arc(s) didn’t take over the narrative and the action was the main focus, but they did bug me a little (see later on).
The characters do seem to warm to each other fairly quickly, too quickly really; I would have enjoyed a touch more conflict. The book is quite short and whilst that adds to the suspense and great pacing, I think it would have benefited from a teensy bit more exploration into the characters themselves.
The crew of the Swift Kick is very diverse ensconcing characters that are homosexual, bisexual, mixed race, transgender, and from different religious backgrounds and the way they accept each other so readily, given the fact that in this world those differences are less of a point of conflict and discrimination but (mostly) accepted as they should be, was really refreshing to read.
There was a bit of swearing which to me didn’t feel excessive but it might to some. The only area of content I find a little problematic is the indecisiveness Nax experiences in his vague love triangle. In the very least it felt a little … juvenile and forced? It just felt that it’s only purposes were to give the illusion of friction where there was none and to validate Nax’s bisexuality, which was unnecessary.
Overall really fun and I really liked it but to be honest this will probably lose a star if there is a sequel as I think it’s stronger as a standalone – you know, unless the sequel is amazing. It would also make a good movie. I’d recommend it to any YA fan looking for some light sci-fi to intro them to the genre.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Teen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 2 by Grant Morrison – Comic Book Review I enjoyed the interesting and modern take on Wonder Woman this book presented, in particular on some of Diana’s most iconic villains. Dr Leon Zeiko (Dr Psycho) in particular was a very interesting and clever choice, presented more as a reality-based, troll sharing […]
The State of the ARC meme was created by Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks. I’m posting this in place of my Top Ten Tuesday post this week as I’m not feeling all that spooky and I don’t generally read books that are either. I don’t feel like I’ve done too well this month but let’s see, shall […]
I saw this post first over at Aurora @ Aurora Librialis‘s blog and thought it was such a cool, neat post idea that I asked Aurora if she would kindly let me steal pay homage to with my own post. At first, I thought would be a good fill-in for weeks I didn’t have anything […]
The State of the ARC meme was created by Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks. Okay, last changes to my layout for a while – I just decided I liked this one better. This is coming to you a lot little late this month as I have been awfully busy and I also wanted to get the reviews […]
I received a copy of this book from the publisher Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
🌟 🌟 🌟
Overall, I really enjoyed this refreshing take on one of my favourite classics. Zoboi approaches the story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy’s with a new, authentic and #ownvoices perspective, which is a rare occurrence in an abundance of interchangeable traditionalist retellings.
Though it would be worth mentioning here I would not strictly class this as a retelling; I think the cover gives a better description, ‘a Pride and Prejudice remix’. It has notes and snippets of the original story, but the beats are different. There’s nothing wrong with that, just worth mentioning if you’re going into this expecting a carbon copy of Austen’s tale adapted because this is not that book. I feel for a book to really be considered a ‘retelling’ there are certain pivotal plot points that have to be included, which in this case they weren’t. All that really features from the original text and the templates of the majority of the characters and the hate to love relationship between Darius & Zuri.
Zuri Benitez is a really distinctive and strong narrative standpoint, and the integration of her poetry into the story was a really great touch and gave a deeper insight into her character. The rest of the cast of characters are also brilliant in their own right, both those familiar from Meryton and those unique to this book. Zoboi creates an authentic, warm and vibrant atmosphere and setting you can’t help but get caught up in. So much of this book felt like music coming off the page.
Pride does contain a lot of slang, both in narrative and dialogue which generally I don’t like but I feel as though the book would have been missing that note of veracity without it. I’ll admit, I had to consult Urban Dictionary for a lot of it (learned some new words!) because I just don’t use that much slang. It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with it, hell half our language is based off it nowadays, it’s just not how I express myself and so I sought help from Google.
However, I still felt I missed a lot in this book. When Zuri speaks to Warren and other people in her neighbourhood who share her culture she often references ‘a secret language’ those involved in the conversation all understand. This language is never really translated to the reader and as a result, I kind of felt like I was on the outside looking in, in places.
I recognise I am not really the target audience for this book but at the same time, I feel #ownvoices books like this have a secondary purpose, as well as representing marginalised cultures and minorities. That secondary purpose being to remedy ignorance by bringing attention and educating the reader about these marginalised cultures and their beliefs and points of view. This is a small qualm really, and some things could be inferred but at times it really did feel like I was reading another language as the words being exchanged were clearly loaded with meaning but I just didn’t know what it was.
The characters undergo similar development to those in P&P but my only real problem was with an aspect of Zuri’s development. Though I know prejudice is a huge aspect of this novels makeup I found Zuri more than a little close-minded throughout the book and it’s not a trait she entirely lets go of. From her opinion to her changing neighbourhood – which, fair enough I understand having seen my own city change dramatically over past years, but I’m a firm believer places shouldn’t be defined as belonging to one ethnicity or one culture, there should just be places that we, the only race on Earth, the human race, are free to move freely between and live in without being made to feel or believe we have no right to be and I mean anybody when I say that, though I’m well aware it only goes one way at the moment and that sucks – to her constant perpetuation of what she thought Darius ought to be like because he’s black, and her complete refusal to try and get to know people with a different background to her own.
It just sort of grated on what I felt Austen wanted to represent in Elizabeth Bennett who, for her time, was forward thinking and nonconformist woman, made more brilliant for the fact she used her intelligence and other people’s prejudices and preconceptions to get away with it.
Zuri seems closer to acceptance at the end of the novel and I suppose these frustrations are a sign Zoboi wrote her book well as, though I understand their equivalents in the original text, the chronological difference prevents me from really feeling anything for the struggles of the Bennett sisters, where the Bentitez sisters’ struggles feel immediate and relevant to me.
A great read for Afro-Latinx women wanting to see themselves represented by an ingenuitive female author or anyone wanting to try something new and experience a culture I know I personally haven’t been able to before.
First, a thank you to Edelweiss and DC Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Disclaimers I have read the issue in Dark Days: Road to Metal with Duke Thomas in, and had heard a lot about him from his episode on the Geek History Lesson podcast, but […]
First, a thank you to Edelweiss and DC Ink for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Disclaimers I have not read any Harley Quinn solo titles prior to this book, equally, this is the first DC Ink title I have read. The ARC I received contained only the first […]
First, a thank you to Edelweiss and DC Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Disclaimers I have never read any of Archie Comics before, though I’m somewhat familiar with the characters through the TV adaptions Sabrina & Riverdale. I have also never read and Harley & Ivy stories […]
Hello everyone! ARC August is over, (aaawwwww) yeah, I know but I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on how I did for my first time. Stats ARCs Read: 10 Pages Read: 2, 770 pages Average Star Rating: 4 stars Read-a-thons Taken Part in: 0 😦 ARCs Read Click on any of the […]
The State of the ARC meme was created by Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks. I’ve made some adjustments to my spreadsheet, one so it blends in better with my theme but also to make it a bit more useful to in terms of statistics. I also notice my previous table seemed to cause a little confusion. Let […]
Hello everyone! As you may already know, I’m taking part in ARC August this year and I wanted to keep you updated with where I’m at. I completed two lines with my last read – yay! So this is my entry for the ARC August Bingo prize! Are you participating in ARC August too? How are you doing so […]
I received a copy of this book from Hot Key Books via Readers First in exchange for an honest review.
🌟 🌟 🌟.5
This is a book I want to give to 16-year-olds who have made themselves ill over stress and school work like it’s the end of their life and not just a stepping stone to the next stages. Gracie Dart is a relatable and funny character and her journey of self-discovery and growing up is one I think young women need.
Vallance perfectly captured the mindset of a post-GCSE student and the sense of earnest, determined independence, yet greatly undecided and vulnerable nature of a young adult realising the insignificance of these exams in hindsight. The feelings described in this book about how school life depicts your future in comparison to the reality is so accurate it’s staggering. That, and Grace’s witty narration is so candid and sincere, even in melodrama, I was laughing from the start.
Grace goes through a tremendous amount of personal development and self-discovery, not least of all acknowledging her own sexuality to herself and her family and friends and coming to terms with what it all means.
Til, Grace’s best friend, was my favourite character; she was so funny and direct and reminded me so much of my best friend toward the end of high school.
I feel this book may be better given to less impressionable readers who are well versed in the mantra of ‘stranger-danger’ just as, I don’t know what it’s like in Brighton, but I wouldn’t advise Grace’s method of friend-making where I live. Though I did like Spider, he was an interesting character, his and Vicky’s age isn’t really that well defined (that I remember) but I got the idea they were a bit older than Grace and it made their relationship somewhat strange. It also made me a little uncomfortable with the fact this girl (who certainly acts 20+ years old) repeatedly kissed Grace, a 16-year-old, without invitation and Grace repeatedly comments on how she’s not sure she liked it or wanted her to.
I wouldn’t say any of the above is problematic per se, I just found it uncomfortable and weirdly, though I know I felt very grown up at 16, the closer I get to 20, the younger and more childlike that age seems to me.
A little note from me: I’m trialling some new Pinterest Graphics for my book reviews, and they took a while to perfect. I’m pretty proud of them but didn’t want them clogging up my post so they’re hidden within the review – if you could take 1 minute to maybe pin one with the below button I would really appreciate it!
I received a copy of this book from Berkley via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
“Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, about how kids can turn into monsters, how they learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that’s unrecognizable.”
Except this isn’t Nazi Germany, or Bosnia, or Rwanda, this book is set in 21st century America, a country recently relinquished to the control of religious zealots who have silenced half the population with technology I’d guess is not beyond the capability of that we hold now.
I had contemplated making my review only 100 words long but realised that would probably utterly contradict the point this book was trying to make. And boy, it was making a point. If you are looking for subtle metaphors and understated symbolism portraying the oppression of women and its subsequent call to action, this isn’t really that book. This book’s message is not subtle, it’s blatant and undeniable but in a way, I think that is a good thing.
I love that academic subtlety and metaphor in my didactic literature as much as the next person, I really do, but in my experience discrimination is becoming more and more subtle and with anything you try to remove, is digging its heels. Most of my brushes with sexism nowadays are discovering it hiding, ingraining itself in cultural and social practices in the hopes of not being identified.
“When you get down to it, what’s the difference between some backwater assholes’ advising men to marry teenage girls and a bunch of costumed drunks flinging beads to anyone who shows her tits on St. Charles Avenue?”
I don’t necessarily think the above comparison is the best one to make, but I get the point behind it. In an age where basic arguments for equality are often met with a response of ‘political correctness gone mad’ (or at least in my corner of the world), it’s becoming clear that some arguments should be direct.
Enjoy seems a strange choice of word, but I did enjoy this book. It scared me, deeply, for two reasons. The first was Steven, the MC’s son, and how easily a young person at their peak of impressionability can be moulded into a character that is unrecognisable, even to their own mother. The second was, though I’m familiar with the concept of complacency, I have never considered myself complacent but this book made me feel like I was.
“Think about what you need to do to stay free. Well, doing more than fuck all might have been a good place to start.”
The book isn’t without fault. The pacing, though generally good, did glaze over some areas and the inclusion of an affair on top of everything else felt like an unnecessary inclusion really. The story would have been perfectly good with either Lorenzo excluded, or situated as Jean’s husband. The whole thing felt … odd. Which bring me neatly to my main issue and that is the fact that Patrick was an interesting character that could have had a brilliant arc to do with uncovering the hidden layers to him, etc. but about 80% of this book short-changed him, especially in the end which felt a lot like the proverbial tying up of loose ends/brushing under the carpet/cleaning house.
I understood the meaning was showing how easily the world can turn onto its axis, as it were, but it wasn’t very well done. Despite that, this book did keep me hooked and it made me feel things: anger, fear, anticipation, indignation. Because of that, it deserves its 4 stars because only a good book can do that.
Hello everyone! As you may already know, I’m taking part in ARC August this year and I wanted to keep you updated with where I’m at. Unfortunately, when I last filled in my card I made a bit of a boo boo and included The Goblins of Bellwater, which I actually read on the last day of July […]