Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Book cover for Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson.
Title: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)Author: Maureen JohnsonPublisher: HarperCollinsPublication Date: January 16, 2018
Summary (from Goodreads): Author Maureen Johnson weaves a tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a new series. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.” Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

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Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Book cover for Batman by Marie Lu.

 

Title: Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)Author: Marie LuPublisher: Random House Books for Young ReadersPublication Date: January 2, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):  Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

 

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Book Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Book cover for American Panda by Gloria Chao.

Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Stars: 3.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? Continue reading

Blog Tour, ARC Review & Giveaway: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Let’s Talk About Love
Claire Kann
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

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Review

It is honestly a shame that I have never seen a book out there like Let’s Talk About Love. The story follows an asexual main character and has a good balance of humour and serious events. I would say that this is both an excellent resource and an excellent story, perfect for those wanting to know more about asexuality.

This book tells the story of a biromantic asexual college student figuring out her future. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with an asexual main character, so this book was eye-opening for me. I adored the themes of friendship and how the main characters work in a library. Let’s Talk About Love tackles some serious topics, and I admired the fact that it is both cute and raises awareness.

Alice is such an amazing main character. She is independent and transforms so much throughout the book. Alice has a great sense of humour, and she has a great group of friends. Her relationships and her daily struggles are so realistic, making it easy to connect with her. I can’t honestly say if Alice’s asexuality is portrayed realistically, but it seemed believable to me.

Let’s Talk About Love is a book all about a biromantic asexual woman and is, I believe, the first of its kind. The story is both light and heavy, and the main character is relatable. I would definitely recommend this book, as it is a great resource.

 

Author Bio:

Claire Kann hails from the glorious Bay Area where the weather is regrettably not nearly as temperate as it used to be. She has a BA in English/Creative Writing from Sonoma State University, works for a nonprofit that you may have heard of where she daydreams like she’s paid to do it. LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE is her debut novel.

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