Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: June 30, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 7-10, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Fall in love all over again with the characters from the bestselling Simonverse novels in this highly anticipated epilogue novella. Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli, the movie Love, Simon, and the new Hulu series spin-off, Love, Victor!
It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.
Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.
I 1000% adore Simon and this series of books by Becky Albertalli:
Now we have the ‘book-end’ novella: Love, Creekwood that Albertalli wrote for the fans, and it truly is for the fans of the series.
Love, Creekwood is a 127 page novella that we did not need, but really wanted! It follows where the others in the series leave off as our gang are in their first year of college, some together and some not. And they all communicate by email! It was different that in this time and age that was their method of communication, but the reason why is also addressed with one sentence for those curious. This novella is made up of solely the emails to each other, so I was missing the ‘in person/real life’ interactions between our cast of characters.
I still adore Simon to the end, despite his extreme missing of Blue. But what would college life be like if you were far away from your boyfriend? Of course you would be dramatically pining away for him too. I’m still not a big fan of Leah, but I do adore Abby.
I listened to the audio book version and all of our previous narrators are back! Michael Crouch IS the voice of Simon for me! I will be listening to more of the books he narrates. And my favorite narrator Bahni Turpin voices Abby. Pretty much anything she narrates I will listen to. And as mentioned before, I adored the film version of Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, called Love, Simon.
I think this will be the last we see of the Creekwood gang, and I will miss them, but I enjoyed going back into their world and seeing what happened next for them: College. Many thanks to Albertalli for writing this final book-end for those who it mattered: The fans of the series!
Author: Kate Pentecost
Published: April 14, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Elysium, Oklahoma, is a town like any other. Respectable. God-fearing. Praying for an end to the Dust Bowl. Until the day the people of Elysium are chosen by two sisters: Life and Death. And the Sisters like to gamble against each other with things like time, and space, and human lives. Elysium is to become the gameboard in a ruthless competition between the goddesses. The Dust Soldiers will return in ten years’ time, and if the people of Elysium have not proved themselves worthy, all will be slain.
Nearly ten years later, seventeen-year-old Sal Wilkinson is called upon to lead Elysium as it prepares for the end of the game. But then an outsider named Asa arrives at Elysium’s gates with nothing more than a sharp smile and a bag of magic tricks, and they trigger a terrible accident that gets both Sal and Asa exiled into the brutal Desert of Dust and Steel. There Sal and Asa stumble upon a gang of girls headed by another exile: a young witch everyone in Elysium believes to be dead. As the apocalypse looms, they must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor — only by reinventing the rules can they beat Life and Death at their own game in this exciting fantasy debut.
This. Cover. It’s gonna be awfully hard to beat this absolutely amazing cover! I didn’t even read the description until after I had gotten home with it! Then I saw that the description sounded interesting so I moved it to the top of my list. Definitely worth it! The story was pretty unique! It was kinda Grapes of Wrath mixed with Mad Max and a little Harry Potter … if that doesn’t intrigue you, then I’m not sure what will!
My only real issue was the virtue signaling that kept cropping up. The one that really bothered me was small, but to me it was problematic. At one point, Sal and Asa met a couple of the desert girls and one was described as white and the other as Black … one capitalized, one not. I’m not ok with that. Unfortunately, it distracted and bothered me enough to bring my rating down. But thankfully, the characters were likeable, the plot engaging, and the experience uncommon. I think this would be a great book to give to a teen that wants to start reading! I loved the idea of magic within a Dustbowl community and those horses … well I can’t give much else away! I would recommend this to most teens and to anyone who enjoys fantasy.
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. We both enjoyed it and I LOVED it! Kim read the physical book and I listened to the audiobook.
Author: Adam Silvera
Published: September 5, 2017
Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: May 13-17, 2019
I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons: The concept is unique and *spoiler alert* we know what is going to happen in this novel from the title, but it is not about the end of Mateo and Rufus’ lives, it is the journey they go on for their final day.
Imagine you live in a world where there is Death-Cast and you finally get that phone call. What will you do? Will you stay at home attempting to avoid the end or will you live this day how you want as it actually is your last? They Both Die had me thinking about so many things as I Iistened to the audiobook. We never know when our time will end, and I decided that I would not want to live in a world that has Death-Cast. I always go to worst case scenario and would not be able to ‘enjoy’ my last day and truly live it. I would be constantly worried if a certain situation would be the cause of my death.
Mateo and Rufus are total opposites and you grow to like them both. Even though we know what their ending will be and we don’t want it to happen, we don’t know when or how in the day their lives will end or even if they will they die together or separately
There was so much more I wanted to know about this world that Mateo and Rufus live in. I wanted to know the workings of Death-Cast and how it ‘knows’ who is going to die. Normally this would have bothered me extremely, but the point of the novel is Mateo and Rufus living their last day. There is a little information given about Death-Cast but I would love to read the story of how it came into being. I still have some questions I want to address: What if somehow Death-Cast cannot get in touch with you and it is your day to die then will you still die? Would you have still died if Death-Cast was not in existence or is your death because of Death-Cast? Is receiving the Death-Cast call a self-fulfilling prophecy? It was all this and more that had me thinking long after I was done with the novel.
There are three narrators for the audiobook: Robbie Daymond and also two of my favorites: Bahni Turpin and Michael Crouch. I will listen to just about anything those two narrate and the fact that they were both narrators in They Both Die was a big plus for me.
I was leery about reading this as I wondered how emotional I would become knowing that we are going to lose both Mateo and Rufus. I liked them and was rooting and hoping that somehow one or both would ‘beat the system’. Fortunately I did not cry, but They Both Die stayed with in my thoughts for a few days afterwards with the many thoughts it leaves you with.
They Both Die at the End is highly recommended.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
I have been dying to read this book since it was first published. I finally got it for my birthday this year. I’m all about unique reads and this book is incredibly unique. This book is all about the journey, not the destination. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because it did get a little slow at times. Other than that, this book was beautiful and full of feeling. The title literally tells you how this book ends, but I felt so much hope the entire time I was reading. Mateo and Rufus are gonna be the exception to the Death-Cast rule. All their friends hoped right along with me. I loved getting to know, not just the boys, but their families and friends too. I became so caught up in them and their histories and their emotions, all I wanted was to see these boys grow up and live to old age. Mateo’s father was what got me in the end. The poor man was in a coma through the whole book, and all I kept thinking was that he’d wake up and his son would be dead and he didn’t even get to say goodbye. I’ll admit it, I cried!
I also spent some time considering what I would do if I only had one day left to live. I even laid on my hammock and closely studied the colors of the sky and the leaves. This book definitely makes one feel and feel a lot! It was a wonderful reminder to live in the present and appreciate what we have. I definitely recommend it to just about anybody!