Mini Review Monday: 6/26

Finally, another Mini Review Monday is here! I’ve decided I’m going to be using this feature to cover a few of my upcoming NetGalley reads, along with my intended fun reads, to play catch up and get through some long overdue books on my TBR. I’ve fallen behind due to some minor unexpected medical speed bumps. Nothing serious, more just nuisances, but none the less have hindered my overall progress with my blog this summer. That said, I’ll be trying to make this a weekly feature over the next month or so and then likely scale back to my intended 2 times per month scheduling. Whatever reviews I have handy over the week that will be short I’m planning on including here and I am looking forward to investing in my Mondays again! ❤

 

Book Title: Song Of The Current
Author: Sarah Tolcser
Series: Song Of The Current #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates, Romance
Goodreads
Pub Date: 06/06/17

 

 

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

I can see now why many folks are having a tough time rating this one. On the one hand, it was fun, enjoyable, and entertaining, but on the other it was filled with the heavy fodder of sailor lingo and descriptions of scenes that were slow and lacking action. Overall, this one won me over; by the end, I felt invested in the story and am so ecstatic that, as the first in a series, it doesn’t leave us with a giant cliffhanger that we’ll likely forget by the time book #2 in the series is released.

There was a great myriad of characters (both in number and type) which I found very endearing. I whole-heartedly embraced the magical aspects of the book; there were non-human life forms alongside those humans with special gifts, and just plain old normal people as well. I’m really torn, because at times I would put this book down and not feel any sense of urgency to finish it, and yet others I would be so drawn into a fight scene that I wanted to finish in one sitting! The writing was beautiful and enticing, but the repetitive lingo and heavy descriptions might irritate some readers. I really don’t want to touch on the plot, but it was planned in similar forms to some of the YA community’s latest favorites, meaning there are lots of little twists and turns along the way, some of which I could spot ahead of time and others I couldn’t.

I have a soft spot for YA pirate books, especially those that feature young women and their empowerment, so I decided to give this a 3.5 star rating and would definitely recommend it for the less picky fantasy genre dabbler. I really love the cover they designed for this one and felt that, after a middle of the road start, this ended with the potential to be a beloved series for fans of pirate themed novels. As I stated above, I felt fully invested by the end of the story and am looking forward to the next book in the series. Tolcser has immense potential and I’m really excited to see where she takes us next and the growth in her writing.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.

 


Book Title:
Girl On The Verge
Author: Pintip Dunn
Series: None
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense
Goodreads
Pub Date: 06/27/17

 

 

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

My initial interest in this one stemmed from a desire to find more culturally diverse reads in a plethora of genres. I always fangirl when I can find one in the young adult sector as I think it’s important to empower our young people and expand their views on cultures other than their own. I’m not “old” by any means, but I’m far enough removed to wish I had found more books like this when I was a teenager. Girl On The Verge was a fantastic example of such; while it didn’t feel like an info dump of non-fictional facts it DID have enough cultural importance invested into the story to keep the pace flowing really well. I’ve adored all of the author’s cover art to date; I feel it seems to really tie in to her dark themes while keeping a bright, attractive face to draw in the reader.

As I just stated above, this was a really dark read that packed quite a punch in such a slight amount of pages (somewhere around 250 I believe). The plot starts out steady and even, but once Shelly is brought into the picture things take a dark turn rather quickly and go haywire. I can appreciate the need for a dramatic, jaw dropping conclusion, but I was a bit torn on my final feelings toward the one used here. It felt a bit over-the-top, and while I know this is fiction, it seemed utterly unrealistic and somewhat hard to swallow. I’ll give Dunn credit where it’s due though; I certainly didn’t see it coming and it indeed caused a major jaw drop from myself. Other than the credibility of the ending, I found this an entirely delectable read that was easily consumed in a single sitting. Highly recommended for those looking for diversity in the fictional genres; I truly enjoyed immersing myself in Thai-American culture and felt like this side of the book was the strongest and most valuable aspect included.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here. 

Advertisements

About The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

Chelsea is a happily married mother of two who's love of mysteries can be traced back to her first Nancy Drew experience. When not reading and writing book reviews, she likes to drink wine in her jammies and pretend that she exercises.
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mini Review Monday: 6/26

  1. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: 6/30 |

  2. Wonderful reviews! They are so complete for being mini 😉 Much more than I get from some “full” reviews. I am hoping I can pick up Song of the Current. I think I will enjoy it. Hope you are doing well ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. blackcatkai says:

    I just preordered a copy of Girl on the Verge, myself!! Can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s