I hit a record for reading this month. I read 9 books. I’m going to try for 10 next month, we’ll see what happens but I seem to be back in the swing of reading.
I’ve been trying to get ahead on doing reviews for June. I’m now mostly done with June’s posts and happy for it, that way I can focus more on tags and socializing. Because like I’ll note in my May Wrapup, my numbers weren’t great for this month and I think engagement is one of the reasons.
The one activity I’ve been enjoying in quarantine is cooking I’m hoping to make either some kind of bread or an apple pie today.
How have the last few weeks been for you? What are you looking forward to in June?
Written by an autistic author Corinne Duyvis this is an OwnVoices review.
On the Edge of Gone explores whose life is worth saving when the world is coming to an end. On January 29, 2035, a comet is scheduled to hit the earth, a big one. Denise, her mother, and sister Iris have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside of their hometown of Amsterdam.
But with Iris missing and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going they’ll never reach the shelter in time, however, a last-minute meeting leads them to something even better. A generational ship scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits.
But with usefulness as the indicator of who is allowed to stay autistic Denise worries about whether or not she’ll make the cut. What about her mother and sister? Do their lives matter enough, with the future of the human race at stake?
Denise is one of the best written autistic characters I’ve encountered in a while, which probably comes from the author being autistic. While the autism portrayal is wonderful, there are some elements I have questions about.
Denise is half white half Surinamese, which is cool I just have a question about a seemingly white author writing a half POC character. She did seem to hit several cultural points, but I’m not from the culture to know if they are correct.
There was also a trans character but I won’t ruin who they are, I think the author did a good job with their portrayal.
Overall it was a great piece especially when it came to autism, I just have a few questions about the other aspects of diversity included.
I’ve seen this all over the book blogging circles but the tag was originally created by Bec and Angharad @TwoBookThieves, so definitely check out their post.
Past Villager – Who is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart?
Ramona Quimby. I know she’s a bit problematic but I read these as a child a really enjoyed them.
Blather’s Blatherings – Recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read
I don’t read historical fiction. So the closest I can come is Wishtree, which tells the story of multiple generations.
Celeste’s Wish – What is a future book release you wish you could read now?
Hands down, Unlocked by Shannon Messenger. I want to find out what happens to her characters next, and if I’m being greedy, the next book in the series after that.
Timmy & Tommy – What is your favourite sibling relationship in a book?
I really enjoyed the sibling interactions in More to the Story by Hena Khan.
The Easter Bunny – A popular book character that you’re not a big fan of
Pretty much anything by Sarah J Maas. I’m not a fan of her writing style but everyone else seems to love it so there is that.
Nook’s Loans – An author you’d give all your money to
Victoria Schwab! I can’t wait for the third City of Ghosts book. Though to be fair Shannon Messenger runs a close second.
The Sisters Able – What is your favourite fictional family (found or otherwise)?
The found family in Seafire/Steeltide. They are a ragtag group that comes together to do wonderful things.
It’s a C+ – What is a book trope you don’t like that keeps popping up?
I hate you, now I love you. It can work occasionally, but it’s pretty much in every darn book now and I’m like no. If it’s well written I can get past it but usually it’s going to stop me from liking the book.
The Wandering Camel – What is your favourite book set in a land far away from yours?
Even though the land wasn’t particularly peaceful. I loved the magical system and think by the end it would be cool to visit.
Are you a fan of Animal Crossing? I’m going to tag
Thea, Coen and Nova thought they were out of all the danger when they escaped the tidally locked planet Achlys. After all they managed to survive a planet overrun with a virus that got the rest of their crew. But now where they should be safe they find themselves imprisoned on the UPC Paramount.
A rebel group called the Radicals who want freedom from the larger political Union plans to use Thea and Coen as weapons to make supersoldiers. They don’t care they are putting the entire galaxy at risk to do it.
Meanwhile, as Nova wakes up from a coma that was caused by the Radicals a new ally Amber begins to shift to their side, but soon tough choices will have to be made.
Thea, Coen, and Nova don’t know it yet, but there are also larger forces at work, forces that will do anything to make sure Thea is safe, but will it be enough to stop the Radicals?
To stop the Radicals they will have to use the only weapons they have left: themselves.
This book didn’t suffer from second book syndrome it kept the action going very well. The political stuff was mentioned in the first book, but I wish it was emphasized more since it plays SUCH a big role in the second book. Then again that could just be me thinking the political stuff wasn’t that interesting in the first book and kind of glossing over it.
Thea and Coen’s bond remains the heart of the book. Normally I don’t like romance, but they aren’t super cutesy about it. There is also another romance in the book but I won’t reveal what it is, I expected it but it was still sweet.
I will say that Bowman had me so emotionally invested in these characters by the end that I wanted them to get their happy ending as to whether or not they did, well you’ll have to read to find out.
I’m going to do this one a little bit differently. I’m going to do books where things seem normal but are really out of the ordinary. They may be magical, they may be a world hidden in plain sight, or they may be a person trying desperately to keep up a disguise. It’s been a fun ride guys so here is the final Pokemon Reads.
Lumberjanes Vol. 1
At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types isn’t like your normal summer camp. And that’s okay! For best pals Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley, they aren’t exactly normal campers. They are Lumberjane scouts as comfortable fighting a yeti as making a friendship bracelet.
This group isn’t going to let anything get in their way of having a fun summer not three-eyed wolves, giant falcons, any insane quest or arrays of supernatural critters
Lumberjane scouts have some of the best badges in history, so while they may not be normal, they may be better. Instead focusing on friendship before everything and things like talking out conflicts, theses are the scouts for today.
It is the second title launching in BOOM comics’ new BOOM! Box imprint. It’s a touch of punk rock, a touch of girl scouts, and a whole lot of awesome.
I read most of these in 2018 and I plan to do some backlog reviews on each of the Volumes soon.
The Pokemon this book reminds me of is: Skitty
The link between the Pokemon and the book is there because of something that happens a little bit later in the series.
Alex Stowe thinks that normal is a world where his creativity is shunned. So shunned, in fact, it’s deadly. He’s about to turn thirteen and. Every year in Quill thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
There isn’t a question which category Alex will be in, meanwhile, his brother Aaron is a Wanted, bound for the University, but instead of being sent to his death, the so-called “death farm” turns out to be a mirage hiding a magical world called Artime.
It is a place where the artistic Unwanteds can explore their creative abilities and use them magically. Alex is a visual artist and thrives there, learning a new kind of normal he never thought possible.
But twins aren’t often separated, and Alex and Aaron’s bond will be put to the test as Quill and Artime face off in a magical battle over what normal should be.
I also read this series in 2018 and hope to get the backlog reviews up at some point.
The Pokemon this book reminds me of is: Eevee
This Pokemon reminds me of this book because while it looks normal on the surface it can transform into all sorts of magical things.
Sometimes trying to find your own normal can be an adventure all it’s own. Molly Nathan’s is a middle schooler with OCD. She doesn’t want anyone to know about it though. Even though her world is spiraling out of control and she’s lost all sense of normal.
Her mother has left the country for a job. Molly finds peace in her rituals, they keep everything safe and normal. There are things to her that are perfect:
―The number four
―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil
―A crisp white pad of paper
―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines
But soon Molly’s rituals start to take over, things that used to be enough to calm her anxiety about something bad happening to her brother simply don’t work anymore. She finds her rituals encroaching on friends and school, and soon her slam poetry.
Molly knows there is something wrong with her, but doesn’t know what. But she’s starting to worry her friends and family will notice her rituals and figure out her secret, she’s crazy.
With the help of her friends and family, Molly may be able to find her own sense of normal with OCD.
Clover Martinez can survive anything, even the end of the world. Clover knows she’s different from everyone else she doesn’t feel emotions in the same way. But maybe that helps when she may be the only human left, it’s just her, her dog Sputnik and the aliens who have invaded earth.
The rest of humanity has been turned to dust, or so Clover thinks. It’s a fight to stay alive despite suicidal ideation until she hears a voice on the radio urging her to go to the former Area 51. The idea that there may be others left is just what Clover needs to keep going.
But when she arrives the group of teens are the last thing she expected. They are more interested in pretending the end of the world never happened than trying to save it. That combined with secrets Clover soon finds around Area 51 makes it hard to trust the Last Teenagers on Earth.
But with everything on the line, the group of misfits just might be the shot Clover was looking for, and while they didn’t start out as heroes, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be. Clover and her group make one final stand for Earth that is filled with surprises.
May I be the first to say, yay for first-class aromantic representation. Now I’m ace not aro so I can’t totally speak to its accuracy but from what I can tell it’s done beautifully. It’s the end of the world as we know it but the author also deals delicately and beautifully with the feeling that might come with feeling left out as someone who comes from a less common orientation.
Pohl also deals with suicidal ideation in a very dignified manner. Clover thinks about ending her life several times throughout the book when she thinks she’s the last person on Earth. She mainly stays around for her dog.
The group of misfit teens she meets are pretty cool, they were kind of tough to keep track of, but that may have just been me, there were several good bits of humor and I’m not normally one for humor in books.
I also like that there was more LGBT portrayal in the book including Clover.
In addition to all this, the aliens were creepy and it was a good mystery, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, The First 7.
To be honest thinking of books for all the types was MUCH tougher than I expected, I had a great time doing it though. I think my favorites were Poison-type and Water-type. I’m looking forward to the project I’m doing with the Eveelutions in June because yay more Pokemon.
I also hope to bring more Pokemon content from the Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion that’s coming in June as well. Either way, I’m glad I attempted and finished the tag and look forward to the fusion of video games and reading in the future.
I just did the Animal Crossing Tag which should be posted later in the week, can you think of any other video game/reading fusion that might be worth looking into?
You’d think it’d be easy to find books about electric powers and if I was focusing on YA I’m sure it would be. But here I’m focusing on books that I thought had a spark of something special, if there is an electricity pun, well, I’m all the more pleased. 😛
Each Tiny Spark
Emila Torres has trouble focusing, sometimes she doesn’t follow along in school or forgets what her mother or abuela asks her to do. However, what she can focus on is a time before her father’s deployment when her family was whole and made sense. She expects that life will go back to normal when her father comes home, but he comes home different, instead of spending time with his family he isolates himself and spends time working on cars instead.
Emila though keeps an eye on him and slowly they reconnect as he teaches her how to weld, soon she can see her old dad start to shine through, but as she is making progress with her dad, something happens that shakes her community, leaving her friends at the center of the conflict.
This book had just the right mix of dealing with serious things like mental health and PTSD, and reconnecting with family.
The Pokemon this book reminds me of is: Rotom
This playful Pokemon likes to get in different types of machines and I can just imagine it in Emila’s welding machine.
Lizzy and the Good Luck Girl
Lizzy and The Good Luck Girl was a lot of things, but first of all, it was cute, it had cats and friendship and luck and it was just a sweet read.
Twelve-year-old Lizzy Sherman lives in the small town of East Thumb, Maine, upstairs from her family’s diner. She tries to keep her eye out for signs, things that will warn her of good or bad luck so she can have a problem-free existence.
She pays attention to everything from clouds in the sky to juice on the floor spilled in the shape of a heart. If she can figure out what theses signs mean, she’ll know what to do next and know how to keep herself and her family safe.
When Lizzy and her best friend Joss go search for a stray cat, they find a runaway girl instead. When Lizzy notices a tiny four-leaf clover tattooed on the girl’s hand, she knows it’s a sign.
She dreams up a plan to hide the girl in her bedroom closet convinced that the girl will be able to protect her family from tragedy. But signs aren’t always what they seem and the girl may have something more valuable to offer than luck.
This book had just the right mix of luck, love and found family.
Just like Lizzy thinks the mysterious girl is going to bring luck to her. Tapu Koko is supposed to be lucky when seen.
The Science of Breakable Things
Natalie’s mother is suffering from depression, and Natalie is suffering too because she doesn’t know how to fix her mom. She has ideas as to why all of this has happened. Her mom is (was) a botanist and got fired, sending her into her depressive state.
Natalie is angry at her dad for trying to pretend everything is okay, and even though she doesn’t want to admit it, she’s angry at her mom, because she feels like she wasn’t good enough, and that if her mom loved her she wouldn’t be depressed.
All this is set against the backdrop of Natalie’s seventh-grade science class. Natalie’s science teacher wants them to find a research question. When Natalie struggles he suggests that she enter an egg drop competition. Natalie is reluctant at first but realizes there is prize money attached and that this might be the solution to fix her mom.
Her mom’s botany work focused on miraculous Cobalt Blue Orchids-–flowers that survive against impossible odds. The one they had at their house has died and Natalie is sure seeing the flowers will inspire her mom to want to be an active part of life again.
Natalie’s friend Twig is the first to sign onto the team, soon called Operation Egg, along with a new boy from India named Dari. With their help Natalie might just have a chance of winning the contest and helping her mom, but what happens when things fall apart like broken eggs?
Having friends around to pick up the piece help Natalie learns that talking about things can start her on a journey of healing and that with help. Her family might never put the pieces back the same way, but that they might slowly but surely begin to heal with or without the Cobalt Blue Orchid.
The book had that special spark of hope and Natalie’s found family is unforgettable.
So I’ve had a pretty productive week. I got the first third of a novel I’m working on done, I got some posts for the blog done, I baked a cake, and I did some reading. All and all it was a pretty good week. This post is also up a day late because honestly, I’m tired from all that work lol.
So I totally hit my reading goal for the month, this week, yay to me. What did I read?
The Last 8
A thriller about the last people on Earth after aliens invade, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, The First 7.
Expect a review of most of these later in the month or in early June.
I’ve also been working on a couple of novels, I won’t say too much just in case of future publishing, but I’ve been having a lot of fun. One is an either YA or MG epic fantasy, it hasn’t decided yet, and one is contemporary YA murder mystery.
It was a vanilla cake with butterscotch icing and it was really delicious especially the second day. I plan to cook and bake some more this coming week, hopefully working on bread and lasagna, and then maybe apple pie the week after.
I hope you all had another okay week of quarantine and that you are doing okay mentally. If you don’t get the privilege to stay home I hope you are staying safe and that everything is going well. Watch out for some reviews this coming week and come back and join me next week to see how the week went!