American Gods by Neil Gaiman

30165203★★★

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I really liked the plot and the characters, but on the other, the book was just too dense. I think I’ll settle for a three star rating, but I may change it.

The main storyline was amazing and engrossing. We follow Shadow, an ex-convict as he is freed from prison and becomes employed by this guy who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. Gods exist, brought to America by all the beliefs and hopes of the people who came here, and they are fading. New gods are coming into being, gods of technology and progress, and Wednesday is set on stopping them. With Shadow in tow, the pair travel around the country recruiting and persuading gods to stand and fight. But not everything is as it seems. For even gods can die, if people forget, and it’s everyone out for themselves with Shadow caught in their midst.Read More »

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

17643 ★★★★

This book was beautiful. A harrowing tale of love and loss, a tale of freedom under the dictatorship of El Jefe in the Dominican Republic. It was eye-opening and enthralling, and this is a piece of literature I am all too happy to read.

Alvarez shines a light on a part of history commonly overlooked. While the rest of the world was focused on the aftereffects of WW2 (the cold war), the Dominican Republic didn’t get much attention. It was just another Latin American country under the rule of a dictator. This book follows the people’s rebellion against El Jefe, and its profound effects on Anita, the daughter of a prominent face of the rebellion. The cause, though a good one, uproots Anita’s family and takes away her father and uncle. Anita goes through the struggle of being a kid during one of the biggest political upheavals the country has ever known. Read More »

Inferno by Dan Brown

★★★17212231

Thriller? Yes. Mystery? Yes. Art history guide to various European cities? Definitely yes. But did I like this? Maybe…?

Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence with no recollection of how he got there. He has a bullet wound in his head, and there’s a mysterious object in his jacket. Promptly after he wakes up, someone storms the hospital attempting to shoot him. From there, he and Sienna (a doctor he escaped the hospital with) piece together the mystery of the distorted painting of Dante’s Inferno, and get caught up in a mad genius’s plot to save the world from ruin.Read More »

Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

13069935This is a good summer read and was pretty fast to finish. The author illustrates well what it’s like to not know who you are and not having to support necessary to figure it out.

A few years ago Astrid Jones moved to a small, close minded town after living in New York City. Astrid spends hours staring up at the planes flying overhead, sending them her love and asking them questions. She can’t trust anyone who she actually knows, so she talks to the passengers, having them help her figure out who she is.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9f1This is a beautifully written book and I highly recommend reading it, especially because it’s such a topical book. All the way through the book makes you think about how people of color are treated in modern society. The book its self is pretty easy but the ideas and feelings behind it are not.

The story follows a girl named Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black high school student. While driving home with Khalil (a friend), they are pulled over by cops, Khalil is shot and killed. The thing was that Khalil did everything the police told him to and was unarmed. Everyone wants to know what happened but Starr is terrified to talk, thinking it will cost her life. Her friends at her private school are unsupportive and don’t understand what she’s going through.

Angie Thomas eloquently describes what it’s like to have a split life. Starr has her private school friends who she has to be careful around because she doesn’t want to be seen as a typical black girl. But she also has her neighborhood childhood friends who she can talk about everything but school to.

The way Angie Thomas writes, makes you so involved in the characters and the story. I had few shared experiences with the characters but still felt like I cared about them. I liked Starr a lot. I felt like she was a real person who was gutsy and more like a normal girl than a lot of female characters in books generally are.

There are two scenes in particular that I still remember vividly. One is when Khalil is murdered, which I can’t do justice (so read the book!) but was incredibly powerful. While I was reading the other I could really smell the smoke and the fear, hear screaming and glass breaking.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Stories are wild creatures. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?

★★8621462★★
Wow. Wreak havoc indeed. What a tragic, yet hopeful, story. This is a tale of loss and hardship, strength and acceptance. I finished this book late at night, and it haunted my dreams.

Connor’s life isn’t going well. He’s ignored and bullied at school, and his father’s left for America to live with his new family. And that’s all okay, because he has his mother. But her illness is getting the better of her, and soon he may not have her anymore. Then, one night, the yew tree in the churchyard outside his window comes to life. A towering thing, with a solid trunk and gnarled knots for a face, the monster forces Connor to face what he truly fears: the truth. About his emotions, about his mother and his future. The monster guides Connor through his journey, weaving stories and tales of old as they reach the end of it all.Read More »

Thick as Thieves by Megan Turner

8306741

★★★

A well-crafted fantasy with a cast of unforgettable characters, Thick as Thieves was the perfect addition to my otherwise uneventful day.

Readers follow the journey of Kamet, a treasured slave of the Medians, as he escapes his country with Costis, an Attolian soldier (and the star of a previous book, The King of Attolia ). Along their way to Attolia, they encounter numerous obstacles and develop a strong friendship, as they unveil new things about each other and the sovereigns they serve.Read More »