Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

27883214Ever since Scarlett was a little girl she has wanted to go to Caraval. Caraval a magical, invite only, game. It took Scarlett 7 years, 7 letters to the Caraval Master to receive the exclusive invitation. But she is no longer a child who believes in magic. When Scarlett’s sister runaway to the Caraval without her, Scarlett reluctantly goes after her. It’s only a game after all, a world built on make-believe. Or is it?

Sure, it’s a game indeed, a treacherous game that you can lose yourself in at any moment, but it’s not a competition. I’m not going to elaborate, because I’d have to reveal some things that will spoil surprises. But it’s good, so good. It plays with the reader so well. The reader in me couldn’t help but try to guess where this was going and if that character(s) is good or bad, etc. But even though I kept trying to figure things out, I still ended up being delightfully surprised. That being said, Scarlett was annoying as all get out for about 90% of this book. It seriously took her long enough to lose the naiveté. I seriously wanted to slap her throughout the book, get a clue woman. But the last 30 or so pages, Scarlett finally, FINALLY sees the light. It’s a great start to the series. While I am totally going to read book 2, I am not dying to read book 2.

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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shandra Strickland

25861933I would like to think that I don’t have to explain Loving vs. Virginia and that the case is common knowledge. The book is the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. Mr. and Mrs. Loving were very much a private couple and Patricia Hruby Powell does that privacy justice. Powell beautifully and elegantly captures how two teenagers fell in love without somehow violating their privacy. I was very much captivated by the verse and I’m not normally a fan of this type of writing. However, Powell’s verses are magnificent. The novel mixes photographs, from the period, with phenomenal illustrations done by Shandra Strickland. I’m not sure what else to write. Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case is simple yet powerful. Easily should be on everyone’s reading list not only for Black History Month but for Valentine’s Day. No question, one of my favorite books of 2017.

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Teen Frankenstein (High School Horror Story, Book 1) by Chandler Baker

25663529It is a dark and stormy night when Victoria Frankenstein, Tor, accidentally hits someone with her car. And she sorta kills him. But all is not lost–Tor, being the scientific genius and all, she brings him back to life…but does she create a monster or just uncover the person there waiting to be unleashed???

I picked up the ARC (advance reader copy) of Teen Hyde but of course ya gotta read book 1 before you can read book 2. While I loved the concept of this book, the execution wasn’t really there. This re-telling of Frankenstein was a bit too cheesy for me. Everything felt flat. Sure there was an unknown murder on the loose but I never felt scared or threatened for the characters involved. I actually never felt anything for any of the characters. During the last 75 pages or so things got very interesting. The story became deliciously dark but all of this came from left field and so I’m on the fence as to if it worked or not.

I will say that I enjoyed the set up for Teen Hyde. We were very briefly introduced to the character and I am intrigued enough to give book 2 a shot. That being said, I think Teen Frankenstein is a book you should check out of the library and not necessarily spend money on.

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