Chanina’s review of Flight by Sherman Alexie

51pfkute2bhl-_sx316_bo1204203200_This is not a typical time-travelling story. As our main character, “Zits”, is thrust backward into his Native American ancestry and into other people’s lives, he is faced at every turn with the realities of human nature and forced to constantly reevaluate his own point of view. Throughout the novel, Sherman Alexie uses Zits’s experiences to craft a debate about good and evil. Can fundamentally “evil” people do anything with purely “good” intentions? Is it possible for a “good” and an “evil” side to exist in war? Where is the line drawn between abuser and victim if the latter can seemingly morph into the former? It becomes clear that there is no black and white answer to any of the above questions, though Alexie does his best to delve into the many layers of gray in between.

To those looking for a shorter read: Flight is an excellently written novel and encompass several books-worth of events and detail in the roughly 200 pages that it spans. To those who dislike profanity and/or violence: there is a lot of both in this book, so perhaps make your own judgement on whether or not to read it. However, it is reasonable to say that the explicitness of Alexie’s writing only makes the story more realistic and effective. From hilarity to sorrow to terror to bliss, Flight takes an uncensored look at human experiences through time, and has a lot to offer for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or good storytelling in general.

Chanina rates this book 5/5

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Chanina’s reviews of Paper Girls 1 & 2 by Brian K Vaughan

papergirls_vol01-1papergirls_vol02-1Four preteen girls meet in the early-morning hours the day after Halloween. All four of them are distributors for their local newspaper, and all four of them are about to witness things more astonishing and unbelievable than any story that has ever been printed in the papers they toss onto people’s driveways. Vanishing civilians and strange futuristic technologies are just the beginning of their troubles, and as timelines and realities warp, they must rely on each other to survive.

Paper Girls is absolutely for those who enjoy strong visual imagery. Through Cliff Chiang’s illustrations and Matt Wilson’s colour-work, Vaughan’s story is brought vividly, eye-catchingly, to life. Fans of science fiction and mystery novels alike may also be interested in this series. It should be noted as well that Paper Girls has been rather groundbreaking in its portrayal of female camaraderie in such a male-dominated medium. My only criticism of the series is that it sometimes feels as if certain outrageous and weird things are added into the story for the sole purpose of making things a little more outrageous and weird. This is only a small judgement I’ve made however, and as a person who otherwise fully endorses all things outrageous and weird, I believe that more people should definitely check this series out.

Chanina rates these volumes 4.5/5

Cassandra’s review of Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

23018259Two targets are on their way to California. One is the asteroid BR1019, an asteroid big enough to destroy the West Coast. Another is Yuri Strelnikov, a seventeen year old physics prodigy. There are seventeen days before BR1019 hits home, can Yuri save the world in time? It is already hard enough without the fact that no one listens to his ideas. Just when Yuri starts to get a tad bit suicidal, he meets Dovie, a “normal”-ish teenage girl who is oblivious to the incoming danger. By spending time with her, he not only learns how to swear appropriately but also learns more about what kind of person he is and could be.

I deeply enjoyed Learning to Swear in America. Yuri is a very interesting and unique character. He is an extreme math and physics geek who is actually quite cute at times. He may be a genius, but he doesn’t know a lot of stuff about life, which Dovie slowly teaches him. Dovie is a perfect complement to Yuri. They are complete opposites of each other. The best scene in the novel is when Yuri visits a typical high school. SO FUNNY!!! If you want to read a humorous realistic fiction stand alone, then Learning to Swear in America is damn right for you! (Disclaimer: the swearing is used for emphasis only; no harm is intended.)

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Cassandra’s Review of The Young Elites by Marie Lu

20821111The Young Elites describes a world weakened by a deadly illness. Most people who got the illness perished, but many children, who survived, obtained strange scars. In the kingdom of Kenettra, the survivors are considered abominations (malfettos). A majority of the marked are innocent, but some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and they have come to be known as the Young Elites. This story is about the Young Elites and their struggle to bring justice to the malfettos.

I really enjoyed The Young Elites! The novel is told in three different perspectives, including both people in the Young Elites group and in the Inquisition Axis, a force that strives to hunt down the Young Elites. Though the characters are not very likable, I really loved the world building and plot line. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Thankfully, The Young Elites is followed by two more wonderful novels: The Rose Society and The Midnight Star. This trilogy is a safe bet for high class fantasy.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Review: Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

41f0anc74bl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker are not as different as they seem. Although Mina possesses mind blowing powers of deduction and Evaline is constantly searching for new vampires to kill, both are committed to discovering the connection between the mysterious death of two girls and Egyptian scarabs even if it means putting their own lives at risk. As they reluctantly join forces to solve this mystery, both of them develop romantic interests in two extremely intriguing men. The plot of this story is filled with a few twists and can be interesting to the reader. I liked that the female characters had desirable traits such as courage, passion and even empathy. However, the ending did not reveal the true identity of the woman who had referred to herself as the Ankh and who had been highly involved with the mystery of the Egyptian Scarabs.

The Clockwork Scarab is the first in a series of four captivating books. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy mysteries with some elements of romance. Although some romance is involved, the mystery and the setting is the main focus of the novel. Details of Evaline’s encounters with a man named Pix and Mina’s encounters with Dylan are smoothly integrated into the plot of the story.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

Cassandra’s review of Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh

17196290“Chaos cannot claim everything, you know- there are always objects and points of stability in the worst of it.” Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh follows sixteen-year old Lark, who is sent on a mission to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec after foreseeing a Troth invasion through her power of Sight. Yet, Lark is not the only party that needs help. The kingdom of Tarnec has called her there for a far more dangerous task… Lark is chosen as Guardian of Life, who must recover a stolen amulet to keep the world in balance. With the help of her Complement, a beautiful white horse, and an awesome gnome, Lark is ready to soar into the Chaos.

I really enjoyed Lark Rising, because it has a fantastical Lord of the Rings feeling. Waugh uses beautiful imagery to set the stage for the novel. Although Lark can get annoying sometimes, she is able to blossom from an almost hermit to a true Guardian of Tarnec. Overall, I would recommend Lark Rising to anyone who wants a fantasy romance that is written in a non YA-like way. The Guardians of Tarnec deserves to have a third and fourth book published!!!

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Sai’s review of My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

22840421To generally start off, the genre of this book is romance. At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger suggested by the man who is at the right hand of Jane’s cousin, King Edward (the king must get someone ready for the throne because he is sick and about to die). However, there is also a conspiracy that people trying to rob him of his throne. Unfortunately, right after Jane’s marriage there are rumors in the country that the King is dead. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. Unless…

I would recommend this book to a person who is interested in revenge, adventure, and romance. I would recommend this book to someone who is willing to dedicate their time to read it thoroughly. Even though there are detailed details on very page, every page kept me going. I have finished this thick book in a matter of two days! It’s really good!

Sai rates this book 5/5