dododenise's reviews
317 reviews

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I really thought this book would get to me but sadly it never quite got there. The world building is amazing with a really intriguing magic system. I loved that the main character was nonbinary and used they/them pronouns. Everything was set up for this to blow me away. 
Where it fell flat for me were the characters and the plot. The story starts quite cosy, which was unexpected but I liked. But then the world building expanded and I saw the possibilities of a big scale plot. The story gave me hints of that, but then immediately retreated again. Most of the story stayed pretty slow paced until there were weirdly short action scenes. That change of pace was disorienting and pulled me out. 
None of the characters and their relationships were particularly interesting either. None of them grew close to my heart and their arcs weren’t enticing either.
This ended up being a great concept with an execution that fell flat for me. 
Too Like the Lightning (1 of 2) by Ada Palmer

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1.5

I have no idea what happened in this book. 
Into the Glittering Dark by Kelley York

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adventurous dark emotional tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

This book took me unusually long to get through and I have a hard time putting my finger on why that is. In the beginning I really enjoyed that the book forced me to slow down. It gave me the time to really digest the delicate world building and the big cast of characters and their relationships.

At some point I wanted the plot to pick up on pace though. Not a whole lot of things happen in this book. Sometimes the plot is literally traveling back and forth. That did get a little tiring. It wasn’t that bad though, since the pages were still filled with character work and further establishing the world building. 

I can’t stop mentioning the world building because it is so intricately done. I love the magic system. The politics and people involved in it work so well together. The world felt very real very quickly. The world building was also built into the story really well. It often bothers me when a fantasy book is just a confusing mess the first 100 pages and drops all the world building on you. That isn’t what happened here. It was threaded through everything else. I was made to care about the characters and their story very quickly. 

I expected this story to be mostly about Wren and Everis. I was surprised to see chapters from so many other characters at first, but quickly got into it. This story is first and foremost about political intrigue and betrayal. It’s not a romance, although the love the characters feel informs all their choices. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book, with amazing world building, characters, and relationships.

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Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

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Did not finish book. Stopped at 60%.
I really tried but I can’t get into it. I’d rather spend my time reading a book I enjoy reading. 
Frieren: Beyond Journey's End, Vol. 1 by Kanehito Yamada, Tsukasa Abe

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3.5

It’s a nice story but not really my cup of tea. 
A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman

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4.0

I’m a simple person: If it’s related to Sherlock Holmes it’s very likely I will like it. 
Skater Boy by Anthony Nerada

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challenging emotional hopeful reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Thank you Netgalley for the arc!

I flew through this book and somehow listened to it all in one go. The pacing is quick and I it was so easy to keep going.

This book takes an interesting approach by making the main character the bully. I was apprehensive at first, but the character and his story swept me away. Wes proves that everyone deserves compassion and to be seen as a human being. He goes through a tough journey and learns a lot from it. He is deeply troubled (I hate that word but it's the best word I can come up with to describe him) and that carries throughout the entire story. Yes, I might hate him for a few things he does in this book, but I always understand him. That is most important. I could understand him and the struggles he is going through. It made him a deeply interesting character who was there to tell an important story.

This also carried to the other characters in this book. They did not feel empty. The book is short, so there is not a lot of time to get to know them that well, but I still enjoyed them and was interested in everything the story gave me. 

The book deals masterfully with how boys are taught to not express any emotion other than anger. And the consequences of that. Wes struggles with anger and aggression. It is one of the main themes in the book. It is upsetting to see what kind of person society and its pressures shaped him into. He is a bully because of this. He ruins his relationships because of this. It impacts every part of his life and seeing him deal with that part of himself and starting to heal was so impactful. Wes still has a long road ahead of him, that much is clear, but he can get there.

Tristan is a wonderful love interest. The contrast of a ballet dancer to Wes's skater punk is delightful. They're beautifully awkward together and yet they fit so well. Can I say for sure that they will last? Maybe not. But they give each other so much. They have chemistry and make each other into better people, which is exactly what I want to see in a romance story.

This book is both a simple romance as well as an important analysis of Wes, what made him who he is and how he can grow. It finds the perfect balance between the two, making this an immensely enjoyable book!

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The Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake

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challenging dark mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I’m a bit confused? I feel like parts of this story passed me by and I didn’t fully grasp them. I don’t know whether that is my fault or the books’. This books definitely needs some processing and I also kind of like that.

I still enjoyed reading this book. I was happy to revisit these characters that I’ve been intrigued with for several years now. I just don’t know what to do with that now. 
I understand the choices for this story. I understand why the characters did what they did. But that still wasn’t all that satisfying. I like happy endings and this was, i don’t know, something else? It makes sense for this story that in its nature is different to your basic story. But that makes it also so odd to judge. I’m left confused on what to think. Perhaps that is also just the hollowness of finishing a book series that you were invested in. 


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