Song of Blood and Stone – By L. Penelope
Goodreads Synopsis: Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.
Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.
Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.
The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.
I decided to read this book almost completely based on it’s super beautiful and cool cover.
Sadly I didn’t end up vibing with this book very much. While I thought the world was very cool and unique, I found the story to be pretty cliche and I wasn’t a fan of the main characters either.
Jasminda wasn’t really my type of character, although she was sweet and strong, there was also a lot of cliches in her backstory. Her parents having lied to her about some parts of their past and a few other details that had me rolling me eyes. Overall I just didn’t really connect with her in a meaningful way.
Jack I just couldn’t take seriously. While I appreciated that he wasn’t an ”alpha male” like so many male romantic leads are, he was also just so one sided. He’s constantly fainting and obsessing with the softness of Jasmina’s skin instead of doing anything useful. It felt like he had no point.
The story itself was also too slow for me to stick with it for very long. I ended up quitting about 30% in to it and gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.
Hullmetal Girls – By Emily Skrutskie
Goodreads Synopsis: Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor’s salary isn’t enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.
Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.
In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha’s and Key’s paths collide, and the two must learn to work together–a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.
With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, but whatever it was I was still surprised by the story.
Hullmetal Girls is an incredibly diverse and unique Sci-Fi story. It has a trans character, an arcoace character and a pansexual character. And get this all of these characters are friends and the main cast of the story, they aren’t background characters! I really loved this.
Aisha is the character I ended up empathizing with the most. She leaves her family behind to go into a dangerous and potentially life threatening surgery, just so that she can get more money to her siblings. She’s strong and motivated and I loved her.
Key is the other character that has a POV in this book, and she’s a very interesting character too. Her memories are wiped, but she slowly gets them back over the course of the story. I liked that at first you think her backstory is cliche, but then you realize that she’s actually being used.
This story is weird, dark, unique and a lot of fun to read. It’s about family and friends and I think you all should give it a try. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.
Ship It – By Britta Lundin
Goodreads Synopsis: CLAIRE is a sixteen-year-old fangirl obsessed with the show Demon Heart. FOREST is an actor on Demon Heart who dreams of bigger roles. When the two meet at a local Comic-Con panel, it’s a dream come true for Claire. Until the Q&A, that is, when Forest laughs off Claire’s assertion that his character is gay.
Claire is devastated. After all, every last word of her super-popular fanfic revolves around the romance between Forest’s character and his male frenemy. She can’t believe her hero turned out to be a closed-minded jerk. Forest is mostly confused that anyone would think his character is gay. Because he’s not. Definitely not.
Unfortunately for Demon Heart, when the video of the disastrous Q&A goes viral, the producers have a PR nightmare on their hands. In order to help bolster their image within the LGBTQ+ community-as well as with their fans-they hire Claire to join the cast for the rest of their publicity tour. What ensues is a series of colorful Comic-Con clashes between the fans and the show that lead Forest to question his assumptions about sexuality and help Claire come out of her shell. But how far will Claire go to make her ship canon? To what lengths will Forest go to stop her and protect his career? And will Claire ever get the guts to make a move on Tess, the very cute, extremely cool fanartist she keeps running into? Ship It is a funny, tender, and honest look at all the feels that come with being a fan.
This book sounded like it would be the perfect book for me, sadly it ended up being a pretty problematic story with a terrible main character.
At first this book is cute and pulls you in with a likable character that could be you or me, or anyone who has ever been obsessed with a TV show. As the story goes on it becomes more and more of a train-wreck.
Claire is a terrible person. She’s internally homophobic, but on the other hand she pushes a sexuality on another person in a way that made me very uncomfortable. She does terrible terrible things in the name of the fandom, without seeming to care that she could ruin Forest’s career forever. She goes on to share some of Forest’s private information in a fanfic, and continually harass him. And I’m not even started on the abusive relationship she has with the girl she likes. I hated Claire with a passion.
The story itself also had issues. I didn’t like the message it was pushing about fandoms and writers. Fans don’t get to dictate what writers write. They can comment and critique the show or story, in fact they are supposed to do those things! But they shouldn’t force a writer to change something, because in the end it’s not their story. And the fact that we’re supposed to be sympathizing with Claire as she tries to push everyone to do what she wants, seemed wrong to me.
I was honestly surprised I made it through the entire story, but I decided I needed to read it in order to give you all a fair review of it. Now all I can say is I don’t recommend this book, I gave it one star on Goodreads.