Leave This Song Behind | Review

Pages: 220

Genre: poetry

 

Synopsis

“Leave this song behind” features the best poetry from many teen writers that has contributed to Teen Ink. The topics and styles varies widely, and all the poems are divided into seven sections based on techniques and theme. In this collection is all from simple, thought-provoking poems to longer ones that paint vivid images with their carefully selected words.

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

tre

I think there’s something a lot of “adult” poets can learn from these teenagers in that not every poem in a collection needs to be about the same thing described over and over. This collection had a lot of variation, surely because the poets behind it are so different personalities and it was nice to read through the different styles and themes. It also seemed to have made the collection especially difficult to fit together, as the subject of a poem can range from death and hospital visits to more light-hearted humor in a few pages.

It wasn’t always obvious that the writers were teenagers in the writing itself, most of them did a much better job than I could’ve and my (untrained) eyes see a lot of talent in here. But inexperience was more obvious in the subjects that were written about and, even though I’m sure I’m the same age as a lot of them, that decreased my interest some while reading.

There were some poems in here that almost made me tear up, or that communicated something to me, among a lot that didn’t. All in all, this seem like a fantastic project and I’m glad it exists to encourage young poets and creativity!

Here’s a couple example poems:

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Review

Genre: contemporary young adult, lgbt

Pages: 325

 

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

fem

“So here’s the thing: Simon means “the one who hears” and Spier means “the one who watches.” Which means I was basically destined to be nosy.”

It’s the best coming out story I’ve read, I think, and this is from a person who tries to avoid them. And it’s a book with so much more than that as well, with a main character with questions that everyone can see themselves in. It’s a young adult book that’s actually relatable to teenagers, not just filled with abbreviations like lmfao and things that seem like a parody of youth culture (on that thought – will tide pods every make it into a ya book?).

 

“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

Parts made me feel lonely along with the main character. Overall it has incredibly clever and witty writing. I loved the themes that comes up, especially Simon feeling like he was “not allowed to change”, as a person it’s easy to label your identity or have others do so to a fault, where you think you are the same as your interest or your habits, which you now can’t change. Identity is a weird concept in general, and this book put just how weird it is into words.

 

“He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to. I mean, I just had to know him.”

The romance was pretty lovely as well, though the friendships takes more place in this book, along with the mystery of finding out who Blue is. I just love that there’s published more gay books all the time, especially cute ones along with all the angst. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie adaption soon.

 

more favourite quotes

But Creekwood’s zero tolerance bullying policy is enforced about as strictly as the freaking dress code.

In this moment, all I want is for things to feel like Christmas again. I want it to feel how it used to feel.

“I didn’t know you drink coffee.” Okay, this. She does this every freaking time. Both of them. They put me in a box, and every time I try to nudge the lid open, they slam it back down. It’s like nothing about me is allowed to change. “Well, I do.”

Nothing is worse than the secret humiliation of being insulted by proxy.

My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey | Audiobook Review

“If you can’t dream big, ridiculous dreams, what’s the point in dreaming at all?”

This book was ridiculously inspiring.

Genre: memoir

Rating out of five:

fire

My thoughts

This book is a lot about fighting, about Ronda’s routine, mindset and training, which I expected, but also about her background in judo and life growing up, dealing with struggles like her dad’s accident and then suicide, and all setbacks she’s had fighting and in life in general. Have in mind that it was released before she lost her champion title, I’m just late reading it.

 

Things I learned about Ronda Rousey:

(I already knew she was a strong superhuman)

She can tell a story. I listened to the audiobook, which might’ve increased this even more, but there’s so much power behind her words and looking over the writing afterwards it’s written just how she would express herself. It feels like a nine hour motivational speech/documentary, with tough as well as good times, and it was amazing. I mean –

“The kind of hope I’m talking about is the belief that something good will come. That everything you’re going through and everything you’ve gone through will be worth the struggles and frustrations. The kind of hope I’m talking about is a deep belief that the world can be changed, that the impossible is possible.”

I never realized how emotional Ronda is, even if she clearly says so at the beginning. She cries a lot, and with each time my respect for her grows. It must be difficult to cry in a room with fighters, and then say it to the world with such confidence.

She’s had some shitty boyfriends. Not all shitty, some just with their own alcohol/drug problems, but I wanted to punch most of them. Telling her to be more feminine? Get the fuck out. Who did they think they were dating? Another ex-boyfriend took nude photos of her without permission, which is all kinds of fucked up. Not wanting to let him have that control of her, never knowing if he really deleted them in the end, she did a nude photoshoot.

 

– her backstory –

There has also been some very bad times in Rousey’s life. At one point she had walked out from home while everyone was sleeping, was between gyms and eventually thrown out from friend’s house, without much money. All after being in the olympics. How the fuck can’t olympic athletes earn money to sustain themselves?

When I all of a sudden realized how alone she was, without real possibilities to turn to or even work towards, it was heartwrenching. Had to remind myself it would get better, obviously knowing she ends up in the ufc someday. That’s what Ronda seems to focus on too looking back, that she’s earned good things out of the bad times. She’s never complaining or bitter, but still emotional about certain things.

“You have to fight because you can’t count on anyone else fighting for you. And you have to fight for people who can’t fight for themselves. To get anything of real value, you have to fight for it.”

– MMA career –

Other things I noticed was how much anger, or maybe agressiveness, is shown at times, and I certainly understood why she’s a fighter. I’ve always wondered how much of the focus in her mma career was on the sport and being the best fighter she could be and how much was show and entertainment.

Turns out she already had more experience than I thought fighting in judo, and she also was aware it also was about giving a show and personality people that people could be captivated by and cheer for. A good mix, then. She was the first female champion in the ufc, and the one who opened up a lot of possibilities for others.

It’s interesting listening to her future plans and movie roles, from the future knowing she lost the way she did. But in the book she even admits it all might end some day, in an instant. And how she describes every other loss she’s had through her career, I don’t doubt that losing the champion title was extremely hard for her as well.

 

– fighting and bulimia –

In many ways this book is made for a broad audience, but also fighters, becase she describes in detail her pre-fight routines, food and weight loss. She’s quite open about her problems with bulimia early on in her career, but with the more professional team in ufc she got an expert on food around her, which made her realize she could eat nearly normal and still make weight.

She doesn’t say it outright, but there’s clearly tension on the contsraint and unprofessionalism fighting in judo, in comparison to mma. Which makes sense because it’s where the attention and money lies, but it’s still weird.

“Once you give them the power to tell you you’re great, you’ve also given them the power to tell you you’re unworthy. Once you start caring about people’s opinions of you, you give up control.”

– final thoughts –

It’s a book I would recommend to everyone interesting in fighters and sport, or just looking for inspiration to work hard to achieve something. The audiobook was the best kind, a memoir told by the person it’s about, and I would completely recommend that as well, I can imagine it would be great listening to it while working out.

 

 

 

 

The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan | Review

Genre: contemporary young adult, has gay characters

Pages: 320

Synopsis

Mattie tries to hide her passion with escapalogism from her family, friends and classmates. She has one best friend, Stella, who leaves for boarding school for the summer. Her anxiety for college applications and being completely alone for two months propells her into finding and starting her project. She’s been watching videos of artists like Harry Houdini for a long time, and she goes to find Miyu, the reclusive daughter of another famous escape-artist. Her loft if full of equipment, but the training is challenging and sometimes dangerous. There’s lots of locks to be picked and a submersion tank to dust off.

Mattie learns of her potential, of what she can do if she throws herself into her passion onstage, finding a community who cheer and heckle her. But then her worst fear comes true, someone she knows finds out. She imagines her new separated worlds crumbling. It helps when she realizes other teenagers are also trying to figure out themselves and carrying secrets.

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

fire

I went into this book without expectation and it blew me away with its witty dialogue, truth on friendship and characters being passionate about their interest (which is possibly my favourite thing).

It was an entertaining read, Mattie and her friends were so well-written and I never could’ve imagined how real their characters or world would feel. It’s a good plot, I especially liked how things in everyones life built up to each of Mattie’s performances on stage. Which for the record was in true magician style with anxious assistants and a baffled crowd, where I wanted to clap for her myself in relief.

Miyu goes from being just an obvious mentor to becoming a whole human being as I learned more about her, she kind of transformed in front of my eyes in a way that facinated me. At the beginning I did not care about the small paragraphs about her mother’s life, then as I realized what they were it gave the book some nice details along with giving another perspective, the story was no longer just about Mattie, but had become bigger.

I can’t get past how painfully relatable Mattie’s thoughts and attempts at friendships was. In books like this some big events happens that forces the introverted character to come out of her shell, but I really liked how in this book it was a choice. It was definitely started by smaller things happening, like Stella going away for the summer and trying to find out what she was passionate about before big decisions like college. But it was Mattie herself who chose to put herself out there, to go to Miyu and ask for training. The way it went down was actually inspiring, especially for someone who keeps her interests very to herself.

The official release date of this book is June 19th. I need more young adult books with the realness I’ve found in this book along with Maureen Johnsons “Truly Devious” and Becky Albertallis “Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda”. They’re all very different books plot-wise, but to me they felt very similiar in style and how relatable they were written, in a genuine way I wish more ya had. Genuine characters that could’ve been actual teenagers, I hope it becomes even less of an exception in young adult books.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

*some more discussion and spoilers below this*

There’s a couple of things that bothered me, and I don’t know how to explain them without spoiling a few things. There’s this string of events that drives the plot, mainly started by Mattie choosing to go to Miyu and get really into escapologism. And somehow it ends up with bringing them all together, which is fine, but one of the last performances leads everyone to end up with someone. Everything always works out in the rest of the book as well, in a way that took me out of it at points. Everything bad that happens I can think of, like Will being outed, turns into something that propell further actions. Also the friend group talk about being awkward people, yet everyone knows what to say in any situation, which creates a split in my perception of them.

That said, everything good in the book heavily outweighs this, and I would completely recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining young adult story about finding oneself. It seems like a perfect summer read as well.

Currently Reading | Book Things

It’s time for another update! I’m currently on a seven-hour train trip, writing this on my phone. My flight was cancelled, so it was my only way to get home.

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Leave this song behind by John and Stephanie Meyer is a collection of poems from teenagers, and some of them were really lovely. Review to come.

I started reading “when breath becomes air” by Paul Kalanithi at the bus to my flight this weekend. Horrible idea, as it’s about Paul’s fight against cancer after having worked as a neurosurgeon and removed tumors regularly. It’s about how his worldview changed, about the experiences he had at medical school and his wonder of death to being forced to face his own. It’s hard to go from doctor to patient. I was brought to tears so many times, regularly closing the book to not start bawling my eyes out in front of people. It was a masterpiece of a book though, as someone who has spent a lot of time in hospital, even if I luckily have no direct experience with cancer.

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I’m going to Belgium next week, so books I have in physical copy like Fahrenheit 451 won’t go with me. Maybe I’ll continue harry potter e la pietra filosofale, but i’ve said that for a couple weeks without following up as well. I’ll probably get to read some emily dickinson poems though, in between being a tourist and a lot of socializing (feel tired already, haha)

I travelled to visit an technology university this week and in the theme of trying to choose education, I decided to try listening to “letters to a young scientist” by Edward O. Wilson. The audiobook is okay, but as some sections aren’t as relevant to me as others and it would be easier to jump around in another format. Some info is outdated, and because of that I’m not certain what I feel about this book yet. Also it’s a lot of talk about snakes and ants, so mainly biology, which is the one science I’m not into.

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff two/five stars

Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami four/five stars

Silence fallen by Patricia Briggs three/five stars

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel three/five stars

Books I Loved But Will Never Re-Read | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week. 

TTT

Turns out, most of the books I’ll never reread is because I read them years ago, as a child or in my early teens and don’t want to judge their quality now. I think that leaving some of them alone is the best way to honour the choices I made and what I liked then. Also there’s other reasons, for examples there’s some beautiful or emotional memories I have attached to certain places and I want to keep those.

The Gone Series by Michael Grant

  • Book 7 is out after four year break, needless to say I started this series a long time ago, the first book came out in 2008. I’ll give it a chance for nostalgia’s sake, but I’m not rereading this series to catch up again.

Night School series by C. J. Daughtery

  • I had trouble reading the last book of this series, I found it an exciting ya spy-ish read and is torn between not wanting it to end and being a bit bored

Heist Society by Ally Carter

  • A fantastic young adult mystery and heist series which I would still very much recommend, but I have no need to reread.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

  • What would a top ten tuesday list be without a Sanderson book?
  • A good ya fantasy book, but not worth a reread for me

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

  • Was a great series for me as a child, further fueling my interest for mythology, stories and especially greek gods. Most recently read the Heroes of Olympus and if that’s a pointer, I’ve grown out of these series. Won’t dare to ruin the magic rereading it and finding out, though I think the Heroes of Olympus is more unoriginal overall.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • Do I need to explain why this book is on this list? The movies and hype ruined it for me, as they did with Divergent, I won’t reread it to find out just how much.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

  • Liked it when I first read it, but later books in the series made it not worth the reread.

Vampirates series by Justin Somper

  •  Once upon a time I read a series with pirates that sometimes were turned into vampires and two twins who wanted to spend their life at sea. I had never found a book that perfect for me, in norwegian because this was before I learned a lot of english, with a strong female character as well. I will definitely reread it one time out of curiosity, so not never, but it deserved its place on this list.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

  • I read this book in summer, visiting one place, a family summer house that reminded me a lot of the summer house of this story. This book will now forever be linked to that place, and I hope to find new book experiences like that.

The first three books of the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik

  • I loved this series with dragons and war between nations. Novik has since written books like Uprooted and has a new release soon. So I searched for her and realized there exists SIX other books in this series! How did this go me by? I read the first three books translated to norwegian at my library, and these just never appeared. I’ll never reread the three first books because there’s a slim chance I’ll ever finish it at all if she’s going to continue releasing those amazing fairytale-inspired books as Uprooted.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel | Review

Pages: 550

Genre: Science fiction, steampunk

Summary

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt’s always wanted; convinced he’s lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.

In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.

 

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

tre

A very good book with steampunk aspects, flying ships and creatures, not to forget the sky pirates. Of the similiar books I’ve read here and there, this is definitely the winner so far, it has it all.

– the characters – 

This is how a young adult book should be. The two main characters are Matt Cruse, the boy on the airship Aurora, and Kate, a wealthy girl who arrives on it and is very excited about the mechanics behind how it works and science in general. They’re both adventurers, in their own way, but Kate is definitely more of one.

Matt has proved his abilities on the ship multiple times with some awesome action in the beginning, but because he’s young and too poor to go to school to become captain (i don’t think that’s the right title) he has to work harder to rise in the grades on Aurora. On the other hand, Kate’s parents are not excited about their daughter’s interests in science and adventure, and she’s constantly trying to get away from her chaperone, who doesn’t think anything is fitting for a girl. They’re both treated like kids and certainly has recklessness enough at times, but still tries to overcome their situations and do better.

“She didn’t slow down. “Good point. But we mustn’t be governed by our fears, Matt Cruse. We have a duty, you and I.” “A duty?” “To science, absolutely. If there are bones on this island, we must find them.”

– the plot & action – 

The action was definitely there, having to deal with pirates turns out to create chaos. The lesser characters like Matt’s friends, the workers on board, and Vlad the cook is well made, as is the villain. In the middle of the book there was some “lost on deserted island” vibes, where the adventure certainly continued. Still, the plot is very divided into actions ten years before, before the pirates, island and after pirates. It feels like it could’ve been divided into multiple books, or maybe it was some parts that was to slow in contrast. It became obvious which parts was important to include to get a fitting ending, even if the suspense was still there. It wasn’t obvious if it would end well, like other similiar books.

– the writing – 

There was lovely long sentences, stretching over half a page sometimes. And good writing overall. Matt Cruse’s view on his life and the reasons he prefer to be on board of a flying airship was heartwarming, his father used to work on the same ship and he felt freer in the air than on land. It showed the contrast between his and Kate’s interests and personalities, and I while the ending left some of a bitter taste, it made sense.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who feels interested. Here’s some more proof of the good writing:

“She nodded absently, as if pulling open drawers in her mind, searching for something.”

“At night when the sky is scalloped with clouds and the moon does a vanishing act, you fall back on instinct when looking for moving objects. Almost like looking for shadows on shadow.”

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs | Review

Mercy Thompson #10

Pages: 370

Genre: urban fantasy

Synopsis

Mercy Thomson is a coyote shapeshifter living among werewolves. It has been true for most of her life, but certainly now when she’s chosen an alpha werewolf as mate. In this book she’s suddenly attacked and abducted (again?) by one of the most powerful vampires in the world. Which lands her without the pack bonds, money or clothes a long way from home, in Europe, searching for allies and enemies. Also the ghosts of Prague doesn’t seem to be leaving her alone.

 

My thoughts

Rating out out five:

tre

Travelling is nice and expands the universe, but it also leaves the familiar, already established world and friends. With no new interesting characters being introduced, just varies of the same old, the character interactions felt flat. Might’ve been saved by learning anything new about the character’s, especially the vampires, backstories, but it wasn’t enough of that either.

The problem is that this book has been done before, in all the nine other Mercy Thomson books. Until now I felt every book has contributed something, but this book just floats on past glories and reveals. Even the plot is sentered around it, about how great Mercy is and the victories she’s done. The humble-bragging and “I’m/she’s great because” speeches made me cringe because they seemed so misplaced. Really I’m giving this book a star extra because I agree Mercy’s pretty great, but if you skip this book and go straight from book nine to eleven, I don’t think you would notice much difference. Maybe one reveal towards the end that will hopefully play out further in next books.

The only thing that made me giggle was a surprise guest, which I’ve halfway guessed wasn’t who I thought, but the reveal managed to sneak up on me anyway. Slow applause for that, I could see the hints spread throught the book afterwards.

 

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami | Review

Pages: 480

Genre: fiction, magical realism, japan

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Do I pretend like I know what this book was about? 

Rating out of five:

fire

This book was great *looks nervously around*. No, it was actually good, the main guy Kafka ends up living in a library, so of course it’s great. But this book is intricate and has so many hidden meanings that I haven’t yet deciphered. It deserves a second read through, at least. I’m almost angry at this book, at how confusing and well written it is.

Murakami’s might explain it better himself; “Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren’t any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the kind of novel I set out to write”.

Let’s just say it’s one magical and fantastic story. And also magical realism, which I love. Would absoloutly recommend it.   

It’s following different storylines, some I cared less about than others, but all are important and make sense in the end. There’s Kafka who’s fifteen and have run away from home, the main plotline. There’s Nakata, an old man that during world war 2 was a part of a group of schoolchildren who all suddenly lost consciousness in the woods. He lost his memories and became mentally challenged, but gained the ability to talk to cats. He uses his time to search for lost cats. He’s great. 

There’s a lot more characters, lots of mysteries in this book and lots of surprises. I adore this book, and perhaps I’ll figure out what it all means someday. I heard reading Murakami’s other books might help, so I’ll start there. “Kafka on the shore” doesn’t have one clear plot and it’s one of the things I love most about it.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff | Review

Pages: 430
Genre: fantasy, young adult

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

to

This story has an incredible average review rating, but I was terribly bored, found the plot flat and some aspects idiotic. This hardcover is nice though. It starts with a simple fantasy concept; an orphan girl enrolling in an assassin academy where there’s as much chance of dying as of graduating, especially as someone is murdered by a fellow student and she got to figure out who (even if they’re all killers). Also she can’t forget why she came there; to train until she’s strong enough to take down the Senate who killed her father, after convicting him as a traitor. Okay, maybe not so simple, but not the most original story either. And that’s what this book plays on, because every small detail is done better than most of the young adult fantasy heroine books I’ve read.

“Forget the girl who had everything. She died when her father did.“
“But I–”
“Nothing is where you start. Own nothing. Know nothing.”
“But why would I want to do that?”
His smile made her smile in return.
“Because then you can do anything.”

It also succeed with the characters and their interactions within the school. Mia, the main character, has lost everything but her life and snarky humour, and has to use her mind as she navigates this new enviroment where everyone is dangerous. Even the library will kill you. I can’t decide if I like that the characters are built on archetypes like “mean girl”, “brutal teacher”, “evil twins”, “hot boy”, but that they all are murderous versions who don’t behave as expected. It still feels too easy and unoriginal.

 

That said, a few things really bothered me;

  • ASTERIX! FREAKING EVERYWHERE. Especially at the beginning. You think I’m kidding, but more than once the author covered more than half the page. And 1/10 of them is related to the plot so I have to read them just in case. Why u doing this?? Usually I like the extra voice these notes bring, but here it was too much too soon and interrupted the pace.

 

  • You don’t need to read the whole book. At least not to follow the plot. Never thought I would say this, but the writing is so slow and filled with unecessary words that for the middle part of this book you can read the first and last sentence of a paragraph and still follow the plot. Trust me, I tried.

 

  • I didn’t realize the problem reading it, but there’s* a discussion of this book being problematic in regards to possible links between the book’s dweymeri people and the maori. If you’re curious, do a google search and you’ll find blogs better qualified to answer it than me. From the little I’ve seen the author was kind of a jerk about it on twitter trying to explain they’re not based on the same group of people. But hey, I haven’t looked into whether or not he got a lot of shit for it either. I’m all for people making their own critical choices when supporting books, and it’s good to be aware of these things. I believe that he can have created a world with negative views on for example mixed kids and enforcing certain stereotypes without that being a unique thing for this book. It’s a problem in fantasy and world-building in general. There’s plenty of other reasons not to read this book, the way I see it, mostly because it’s boring and unecessary large. But it’s definitely a discussion worth being loud about.

*disclaimer: i wrote this review some time back and at the time it very much was a discussion around this book. how much the word problematic has been overused since then, but even with some more thought in this case it applies well. from what i’ve seen the plotpoints of racism are not outright terribly wrong, but seen as problematic from many and at the very least unecessary.

The last hundred pages of this book was the best, but it was not worth it. While I really loved the new twist on young assassin heroine Mia’ with her shadow-abilities and the not-cat, I just don’t think I’ll read the next book when it comes out. I used sixteen days to get through this one, which is a long time for me. It had great solutions to problems already in young adult fantasy books, but was blind to the new problems it created for itself. I won’t waste time on the next books, might sound harsh, but based on the amount of unecessary lines alone, I couldn’t do it.