Tag: YA

Book Review: The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne

The Stars We Steal
Author: Alexa Donne
Published: February 4, 200
393 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets

Kim’s Review:

Ok, to be fair, I had an idea of what this book was going to be when I started reading. Beccie from Bookies wanted to do a read-a-long, so I read it. All the YA tropes you can find were put in this book. A bunch of idiot teenagers with very few responsible adults on a space ship orbiting earth, all trying to find arranged marriages for mutual benefits, multiple love triangles, and admittedly, some pretty good fashion. But no aliens, it would have been so much better with aliens.

Some people like those tropes, so fine, if you do, then you’ll probably like this book. My main issue with it was the ending. Donne took the lazy way out and didn’t even resolve the story. A happy ending was hinted at, but she tried to hide it all behind an open ending that just left the story incomplete. It was just a cringey read and I can’t even say that I enjoyed it. I think I’ll stay away from YA for a while. I’ll finish off on a positive note and say that the cover is gorgeous! So don’t read it, just stare at the cover.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: This is My America by Kim Johnson

This is My America
Author: Kim Johnson
Published: July 28, 2020

416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 19-27, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

Jessica’s Review:

I had this novel selected to read for April’s #Diverseathon prompt, which is a character who is not Caucasian. I DID finish it in April, I just did not get the review written by the end of the month.  But it still counts!

This is My America is a novel that was published last year and is very timely with what was going on with our country.  This is My America centers on Tracy and the Beaumont family.  Seven years ago her father was convicted for double murder and sentenced to the death penalty; he is innocent and has only 267 days left, so his time is running out.  Every week Tracy has written to Innocence X to try and receive help in her father’s case to no answer.  Then the unexpected happens, a white girl is killed and Tracy’s brother Jamal is a suspect. And up to this moment he has never been in trouble with the law and had a very promising future.  Jamal is on the run and now Tracy is determined to help both her father and now her brother.

This is My America is Johnson’s debut novel and what a debut it is! It shows how incarnation affects every member of the convicted’s family and the injustices of African Americans.  Johnson also shows us what it is like inside and visiting a convicted inmate in Texas.  It also shows some history into the KKK and how that organization still exists today and what they can do.  Johnson touches on so many important subjects and reaches her readers with very likable and enduring characters that you can’t help but feel emotions for.

Written in short chapters, this is one novel you don’t want to put down as the reader becomes fully invested in the story and is rooting for Tracy to succeed in both her father and now brother’s cases.    Be sure to read the author’s note at the end of the novel.  Though Innocence X is a fictional organization, Johnson mentions actual organizations out there that work to free those wrongly convicted.  I adore Tracy and her bravery at doing everything she can.  She is a character that young girls could look up to. 

This is My America is one that needs to be read by all teens and touches on so many important subjects that our nation is dealing with more every day.  This novel is up there with Dear Martin for me and may in fact even pass it in my reading. I cannot wait to see what Kim Johnson writes next!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Don’t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller

Don’t Tell A Soul
Author: Kirsten Miller
Published: January 26, 2021
384 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her.

People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.

All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family’s past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion.

But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he’d so lovingly restored.

The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don’t want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she’s discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home.

The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town’s haunted past, she might not either.

Kim’s Review:

I wish I could say I loved this book, cuz look at that cover: I bought it for the cover! And the description sounded like something I like with the old house and the ghosts … but I really didn’t like this book! I’m so tired of these characters who have chips on their shoulders! We get it, life isn’t fair, people are horrible, the teenage years just suck. Now grow up and start acting like the adult that you insist everyone treat you as. This book was a generic murder mystery with static, stereotypical characters and a setting filled with unrecognized potential.

The new woke topic is girls victimized by men and all men are bad and all girls are good; like I said, we get it, can we please find something new to write about? Oh and teens are idiots. That’s why they need parents; not want, need! So a book where all the adults are morons and incompetent and awful would be a lot better if the teens actually stepped up and acted like the mature ones. Stupid adults don’t work if you also have stupid teens. I was just so disappointed in this book! It had so much going for it but I considered DNFing it so many times. But I stuck it out and now I’m stuck with this boring, annoying story behind a fabulous cover. The only reason I added a star to my rating was because of the amazing cover.

I really don’t recommend this book for anything other than lovely decoration.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK