Quick Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

belles The kingdom of of Orleans is obsessed with beauty because their people were cursed with grey skin and brittle straw hair.  The Belles are the blessed few who were born with color and the ability to make others beautiful too.  They can change a person’s skin color, bone structure, hair and make-up and because of this they have a privileged place in the kingdom.  Camille is one of six new Belles and she wants to be the Favorite.  The Favorite lives in the Palace with the Queen and the Royal family.  She gets to help create the laws of beauty and sets the standard.  She will do anything to be the favorite even if it means getting it over her best friend.  However Palace life isn’t what she imagined.  For one thing, the Princess is a nightmare and a psycho.  She’s the technically the second in line for the throne but her older sister has been in a coma so she’s about to named regent.  Camille is smart and ambitions but at times she is so slow I want to scream at her to pay more attention to wants going on!  She at times is so wrapped up in being the best Belle and impressing others that she fails to see that she is falling right into their trap.  It was a good set up to an intriguing series. It had a lot of world building in the this one so now that is out of the way, I think the rest of series will move at a better pace.

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What We are Reading Now: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

dread nation

We’ve been reading about this book for months now.  So excited to finally get a chance to read it.

A Wizard of Earthsea

img_3304 Thanks for reading A Wizard of Earthsea with us this month.  I hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did.  What did you think?  How do you feel it ended?  Why do you think Vetch never made a song of Ged’s journey like his promised?  Are you going to continue and read the rest of the books in the Earthsea Cycle?  Sound off in the comments and let us know what you thought of this classic.

Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone This novel had a lot of hype around it and I’m glad to say it was justified.  From the very beginning I was hooked.  With the exception of one section, it was fast paced and gripping.  I immediately liked Zelie and was rooting for her to succeed.  I was drawn to Amari and struggle to right the wrongs of her family and battling her own fears. Both of these women are strong and brave.  They have their own flaws but when it came to helping those in need they didn’t hesitate to step in.  It’s beautifully written and full of lush imagery that I felt I was taken to an Orisha just as I was taken to Wakanda in Black Panther.  There is so much potential in how this series will unfold that I really can not wait to read the next book.  Like I want it right now!

That being said, there were a few things that I didn’t particularly like and leave that under the cut.  Continue reading

Review: Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

purple hearts The final book in the Front Lines trilogy was fitting ending for all three of our heroines.  The alternate history re-imagined World War Two if women had been allowed to serve and be drafted into the Military.  Rio, Frangie and Rainey all enlisted as the US was on the brink of joining the war.  Throughout the trilogy we have followed Frangie, Rio and Rainey through basic training, northern Africa and Italy all while trying to figure out who they are how they fit in in this new world.  Does being a soldier make them any less feminine? And what future do they have to look forward to after the war is over.  At the end of the last book, they were all awarded Silver Stars for their bravery in Italy.  If they  thought winning a Silver Star would make their lives as soldiers, they were mistaken.  In some cases it only made their mostly male soldiers resent them even more.  Rio’s hometown sweetheart, struggles to deal with the fact he had to be rescued by his girl and she gets rewarded for it.  The gender roles have been reversed and he can’t deal with it.  Our Soldier Girls are preparing for the D-Day invasion to open the final book.  With it comes all the blood and carnage that we come to expect from years of seeing this battle depicted on the big screen.  As the girls progress from Normandy to Paris to Battle of the Bulge in Belgium to finally Germany.  They are faced with hardships and hard decisions as they continue to face the cruel reality of war.  They are fighting a war against the Nazis about also about the sexism and racism in the Military.  It truly speaks to what women face today.  I have to wonder what our country would be like if women had been able to serve in World War Two. How would our world be different and how much would it be the same?  It sort of get the sense that Michael Grant doesn’t seem to think that history would have changed all that much but also could be my own cynicism.  Anyway, it was a good series full of great characters and an interesting ideas.  I’m glad I read it but I can’t help but wonder what if there were stories of real soldier girls that could be told.