Author: Gena Showalter
Published: July 4, 2006
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
A fiercely individualist Goth girl wakes up to discover that the whole world has gone Goth and she’s actually — gag — popular.
Jade Leigh is a nonconformist who values individuality above all else. She has a small group of like-minded Goth friends who wear black, dabble in the dark arts, and thrive outside the norm. They’re considered the “freaks” of their high school. But when Jade’s smart mouth lands her in trouble — again — her principal decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.
Taken to a remote location where she is strapped down and sedated, Jade wakes up in an alternate universe where she rules the school. But her best friends won’t talk to her, and the people she used to hate are all Goth. Only Clarik, the mysterious new boy in town, operates outside all the cliques. And only Mercedes, the Barbie clone Jade loathes, believes that Jade’s stuck in a virtual reality game — because she’s stuck there, too, now living the life of a “freak.” Together, they realize they might never get back to reality…and that even if they do, things might never be the same.
This book was great! I have read some of Showalter’s adult romance stuff and I really enjoyed them. Oh My Goth sounded interesting, so I went for it. The cover is gorgeous! We are going to have an amazing 2019 Most Gorgeous Cover Tournament! I’ve never been goth, but I have been different and weird. My high school years were full of trying to fit in and be popular and failing miserably at it. There’s a reason that I think teenagers are idiots, because I used to be an idiot teenager, the worst kind! If I could redo my high school years, 1. I wouldn’t, and 2. I would embrace my weirdness and celebrate it.
Jade is different, but she’s damaged. I felt incredibly sorry for her. She’s one of the very rare ones that didn’t have me saying, “oh grow up already! You’re not the only one who has suffered!” The whole point of the book was her learning that her coping mechanisms were indeed hurting others. I guess the difference in this book is that the idiot teen actually learns her lesson and becomes more mature. Plus, the idea of “outcast” becoming popular hurt my brain. I’d like to think that being unique is what makes us weirdos interesting, so to be popular is diametrically opposed to who we are. Shoutout to Big Bang Theory for making “nerdiness” popular and bringing in all the posers!!
But I really liked this book and considering the hardcore culture of goths, it was surprisingly clean! I would absolutely let younger teens read it and hopefully they can learn good things from it! I guess my only issue with this book is that the philosophizing and learning gets a little repetitive. A couple of places start to feel a little like a morality lecture, but those are few and far between. Overall, an excellent and emotional read!!
Today the Sunday Series Review is back for the first time in 2019 and today Kim reviews the Given Duet by Mindy McGinnis.
Books in the Series:
Given to the Sea
Given to the Earth
Given to the Sea
Published: April 11, 2017
Everyone has a place.
Khosa was born to be fed to the sea, to prevent the kind of wave that once destroyed the Kingdom of Stille. She can’t be sacrificed until she produces an heir, but human touch repulses her…except for the touch of the Indiri.
Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race with magic that’s seductive—a force of nature—but dwindling since the Pietra slaughtered their people.
Witt leads the Pietra, the fierce warriors who are now marching on the Kingdom of Stille. The stone shores of Witt’s kingdom harbor a secret threat, and to ensure the survival of his people, he’s prepared to conquer every speck of Stille’s soil.
Vincent stands to inherit the throne of Stille, but has no wife to share it with. When the beautiful and mysterious Khosa arrives without an heir, Vincent knows that his father will stop at nothing to make sure she fulfills her duty. Torn between protecting his kingdom and protecting the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is soon at odds with his heart.
While royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the Indiri struggle to survive, the rising sea calls for its Given, and Khosa is destined to answer.
Given to the Earth
Published: April 10, 2018
Although she was born to save the kingdom by sacrificing herself to the rising sea, Khosa’s marriage to King Vincent has redeemed her. As the Queen of Stille, she’s untouchable. But being Queen hasn’t stopped her heart from longing for the King’s stepbrother, Donil. And it hasn’t stopped her body from longing for the sea itself, which still calls for her.
While Khosa is made to choose between loyalty and love, Dara is on a mission for vengeance. Years ago, the Pietra slaughtered the entire Indiri race, leaving only Dara and her twin, Donil, alive. Now, spurned by King Vincent, Dara has embarked on a mission to spill the blood of Pietra’s leader, Witt, and will stop at nothing to show his people the wrath of the last Indiri.
As the waves crash ever closer to Stille, secrets are revealed, hearts are won and lost, and allegiances change like the shifting sand.
Kim’s Rating of the Series: 3 stars
I love Mindy McGinnis; those who read my reviews know this. Sadly, this series is my least favorite of her works. I’ll admit that my main issue was the fact that I had a hard time getting into it. It took me a while before I started caring about the characters and the story. I didn’t enjoy it like I should have while I was reading, which is why I gave it 3 stars. Looking back, remembering the story and each character, I like it better. I liked the guys in this book . . . which isn’t surprising since I don’t like women in general. 😀 Ivan likes to remind me of that especially when I’m critiquing a movie he likes!
Witt and Donil are strong men, yet with inner struggles. Donil manages to keep a smile on his face and an honorable spirit. Witt suffers from a dangerous culture, but I love how he continually puts his people first. Vincent is ok, just a little whiny for my taste, but thankfully he turns into a good leader. The girls are just girls. And unfortunately, there’s a really annoying love triangle. But dang, then the plot twist hits in the second book and I was flabbergasted! The ending was actually really good!
Overall, I did enjoy this series, after the fact. There is also a lot of sex . . . like apparently that’s all anyone does in Stille, with many different people! So, it’s probably best to reserve this for mature teens. I’d recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a unique fantasy story.
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: August 28, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I was so afraid to read this book! I love Wonder Woman and I love Leigh Bardugo so what happens if I don’t like this book?? But I worried for no reason, because I loved it. Bardugo captured the spirit of Wonder Woman perfectly! I saw Gal Gadot acting out every page in my head! Themyscira sounds like paradise and I’d like to live there. The Amazons are badass and brilliant.
Diana is the perfect combination of innocent and tough. Alia and her friends so accurately embody today’s youth, just without being insufferable. The story was well thought out and believable. I was completely satisfied with the ending; all strings were tied and everything made sense. My only issue with this book was the little political jabs that Bardugo put in. I’m not gonna get into how I hate politics in fiction, y’all have heard me complain before. I also acknowledge that they were indeed little and just because my views don’t align with Bardugo’s, they annoyed me more. But I still loved this book so much. It stuck in my brain and I had a great time contemplating and chewing on it. I would absolutely recommend this book to pretty much everybody! I cant wait to read more of the DC Icon series!!