All Book Reviews

A Study in Scarlet
Doyle, Arthur Conan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is the quintessential mystery novel. A Study in Scarlet introduces the famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, and his beloved partner, Dr. Watson. This novel makes you instantly fall in love with the famous duo and will keep you captivated for novels to come. Sherlock Holmes' deduction ability will leave you speechless and his wit will keep sucked into the
story. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it for any readers searching for a classic mystery thriller.

Reviewer's Name: John B.
Genres:
The Stone Girl
Sheinmel, Alyssa B.
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

Sethie has perfect grades, a boyfriend, and a new best friend. However, she has the constant struggle of losing weight to conform to the model society sets. She knows that by skipping a few more meals, and vomiting a few more meals away, she can achieve her goal. She has working on her body her number one priority, even when everything she loves is gone.

Personally, I don't recommend this book. While I appreciate the book's attempt to bring light to the issues of body image and anorexia, it's not well written. There are way too many time skips and not enough clear transitions between them and the present time in the book, which made the story way too complicated to follow. There were some scenes I could understand, and the chemistry between the characters is well done, but it's kind of hard to connect with a story when you have no clue what's going on. I couldn't even finish this book, it was that bad! This book is a solid skip for me.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Murder Has Nine Lives
Levine, Laura
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Jaine Austen has a trip to Hawaii with her parents on the horizon, and her new freelance writing assignment gets her a date with the company president's handsome nephew. Just when Jaine thinks her life couldn't get any better, her cat Prozac lands a starring role in a new cat food commercial. Visions of fortune and fame flitter in Jaine's eyes, but it becomes clear that the person who hired Prozac is in some shady dealings, and that the inventor of the cat food is an absolute a**hole (excuse my French). Just as the shoot is about to end, the inventor of the cat food drops dead on set, and it's clear that it wasn't accidental. With everything she was looking forward to now at stake, Jaine Austen must put on her detective gear to catch the culprit before they take a swipe at another victim.

This novel is Laura Levine at her best. At every point when I was reading this novel, I was unable to guess what would come next, and every step of the story had me full of anticipation and joy. It was pretty satisfying to watch Lance get his just desserts, as well as seeing the side plot with Jaine's parents not revolve around one embarrassing antic of Mr. Austen, but a human event that slides into chaos. The mystery, as I said, was handled incredibly well, keeping the readers guessing until the very last page, while still having a hearty helping of Laura Levine's hilarious humor. And let me tell you, while the climax was identical to all Jaine Austen mysteries I've read, I did not expect who the culprit was in the end. It was a plot twist I did not see coming! This is definitely a book I recommend you pick up as soon as you can lay your hands on it.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Genres:
The Axe Factor: A Jimm Juree Mystery
Cotterill, Colin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Being cooped up with her eccentric family in a rural village on the Thai coast, Jimm Juree longs for something thrilling and interesting to happen in her life. And lo and behold, she gets it. She is assigned to interview a local European crime novelist named Conrad Coralbank (I legitimately almost wrote Colin Cotterill when typing this review up). At the same time, she finds herself in the middle of solving the disappearance of local doctor Dr. Somluk, who never returned from what was supposed to be a three-day conference, as well as the wife of Conrad Coralbank. All of this looks very suspicious to Jimm's family, who notice Conrad's disturbing attraction to Jimm quicker than a cheetah can run. With a monsoon headed their way, and a potential serial killer threatening Jimm's life, it seems like Jimm's entire world is in for some serious changes.

When I first read this book's description, I didn't have high hopes for it, given that the culprit seemed to be painfully obvious from the start. Half the fun of a mystery novel is figuring out who the culprit is, so having the culprit be handed over to you is a huge blow. With that taken into account, while I was intrigued by the book's premise, I felt like the book wouldn't have much to offer in terms of a thrilling mystery. But I was so, so wrong! The tension in this mystery novel is unlike any I've ever seen before, and the characters are written exceptionally well. Also, be prepared for a huge plot twist at the end, because Colin uses the obvious culprit facade to bring a plot twist you will not see coming. The climax was one of the best parts of this entire novel, not only because of the plot twist and how action packed it was, but because of how funny it was. I kind of want to see a climax similar to it in a Jaine Austen mystery. Just super saiyan. However, this book does have some major problems with dialogue. There weren't enough breaks to tell us who's talking, making the dialogue very confusing to read. The setting of the dialogue is also often made very unclear at first, and there are little interactions with the environment in the dialogue, making the dialogue seem like it's in a vacuum. But even with these dialogue hiccups, this is a book I highly recommend you check out. I'll be back again for books by Colin Cotterill soon, hungry for more.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Genres:
A Long Walk to Water Book Cover
Park, Linda Sue
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A Long Walk To Water teaches about water conditions in South Sudan, Africa. The story is told from two perspectives, a girl named Nya and a boy named Salva. The reader follows the story of Salva and Nya’s journey through Sudan with little water, and little family. It’s an interesting book and it teaches about how important our resources are in our real world. I am someone who hates to read, and I was assigned this book to read for a school project, and it wasn’t bad to read.

Reviewer's Name: Lynniah C.
Genres:
Book Review: Manga for the Beginner : Chibis
Hart, Christopher
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is good to start with for someone who is new at drawing anime. It gives simple step by step instructions on how to draw cute chibi characters. It helps the reader draw expressions and poses. There are also examples of how to draw chibi animals. There is also a chapter on how to draw furniture and objects. This book is easy enough for kids to follow. Chibi art is a good style for children to draw in. Kids might like this book because the characters are adorable.

Reviewer's Name: Lynniah C.
Black Butler, vol. 3
Toboso, Yana
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Black Butler is about a 13 year old boy who makes a deal to give his soul to a mysterious demon butler named Sebastion. Black Butler takes place in Victornian- Era London. The main protagonist Ciel is born into the wealthy Phantomhive family. He loses his family when his house is allegedly set on fire and he is kidnapped. When Ciel meets a demon named Sebastion, he agrees to make a deal to give Sebastion his soul when he dies, and in return, Sebastion will protect him. Ciel lives with Sebastion as his demon butler as a servant to protect him and one day have revenge for his family.

Reviewer's Name: Lynniah C.
Sonic/Mega-Man: World's Collide
Sonic/Mega man scribes
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is the first part of a twelve part series. It’s a story that combines two video game characters: Sonic and Megaman. It compares the similarities and differences between Sonic and Mega Man. The art style is detailed and nice. Each panel has a lot of detail and expression. It’s very consistent. It is interesting to see both Mega man and Sonic’s worlds put into one book. There is a lot of action and humor. This book would be good for audiences of all ages to read.

Reviewer's Name: Lynniah C.
Naruto, Vol. 53, The Birth of Naruto
Kishimoto, Masashi
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Volume 53 of Naruto stands out from a lot of other volumes. This book gives the reader a backstory of how the main protagonist Naruto, a strong ninja from the Hidden Leaf Village grew up, and where he came from. This book shows the reader details about Naruto’s past. This book has great and detailed illustrations that show the reader a lot of expressions. The art helps the reader understand how the characters feel and relate to them.

Reviewer's Name: Lynniah C.
Attack on Titan, Vol. 1 Graphic Novel
Isayama, Hajime
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Attack On Titan is about how a boy’s life changes when he loses his family to titans. The main protagonist is a 15-year-old named Eren Yeager who lives with his sister and parents until one day, his village is destroyed by giants called titans. After Eren’s mother is eaten by a titan, Eren decides to avenge her death and become strong enough to kill titans. This book is awesome because of the illustrations and interesting stories.

Reviewer's Name: Lynniah C.
Since You've Been Gone
Matson, Morgan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Emily is an introverted teenage girl who is best friends with Sloane who is a huge extrovert. They have been best friends for a long time and they can't be separated. When it came time for summer break though, Sloane disappeared. There was no sign of her anywhere and every time Emily went to her house to check to see where she was; Sloane was nowhere to be found. Emily was confused and hurt that her best friend didn't tell her where she was, but then a letter showed up. It was in Sloane's handwriting and it was a summer checklist. They were things that Sloane knew Emily would have to get out of her comfort zone to do. Emily debated on whether or not she should even do the list, because why would Sloane give it to her with no context? But the thought that it might bring her to her best friend made Emily determined to check everything off the list. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and love interests, Emily started the list and the search for her best friend.
I loved this book because it was so interesting to read. There was something different in every chapter with unexpected events as well as flashbacks for the needed backstory and to develop Sloane as a character. The plot and development of the story is surprising and a fun representation of a teenage girls' life. It is also a pretty easy read and easy to follow, I would definitely recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Courtney C.
Six of Crows
Bardugo, Leigh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Six of Crows is a book about six individuals who have teamed together to complete a supposedly impossible and deadly heist, each with their own driving motivations and goals, but all aware of what's at stake: their lives. While the book is divided among six main characters, Bardugo does an excellent job at giving each a distinct story and voice. The book, along with its sequel, take place in a fictional world where some people, called Grisha, are born with powers. While the Grisha are not an obvious main topic of the book, the world building, fantastical powers, and underlying societal beliefs about them are all still there. Six of Crows has a perfect blend of fantasy and action with just enough suspense and romance to keep you on your toes and interested.

The six main characters are tasked with going to a land, foreign to most of them, to retrieve a doctor who knew the recipe for a drug that could amplify Grisha powers and control them. Unfortunately, the doctor is burried deep within a fortress of ice with more than one group after him. I would highly recommend this book, if not just for the plot, then for Bardugo's knowledge and craft of language and her ability to excellently build immersible worlds.

Reviewer's Name: Kathleen H.
The Night Circus
Morgenstern, Erin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Night Circus is the enthralling tale of a magical circus called Le Cirque does Rêves, which appears mysteriously and is open only at night. But there’s much more to the Circus of Dreams than meets the eye. The apprentices of two powerful magicians, bound to each other by fate and a deal made when they were children, must prove themselves. Soon the lives of everyone involved with the circus hang in the balance as the young magicians fight for victory—and love. Le Cirque de Rêves is a beautiful, enchanting, and intricate setting, each detail magically realistic. Morgenstern has
created an enthralling plot, with twists and turns and surprises waiting around each corner. This novel is perfect for anyone who enjoys a good fantasy or romance.

Reviewer's Name: Alexa H.
The Art of Looking Up
McCormack, Catherine
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is about famous and not so famous ceiling art around the world and it has beautiful pictures and some awesome explanations about how the art lands into one of four categories: Politics, Religion, Culture, and Power. It is a really great book!!!

Reviewer's Name: Megan
Genres:
The Wrong Girl
Casey, Donis
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a book well worth reading as it has all the mystery and glamor and humor a good mystery should have and it has people who help and show compassion for the girl in the story! It is also a story written with the correct facts of the era in which this story plays. I have read the other Donis Casey books and love how this one has come about. Its a follow up of Donis's other series. Can't wait to read the next one!!

Reviewer's Name: Sandra
And Then There Were None
Christie, Agatha
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A stand alone mystery from the great Agatha Christie. This mystery is
inspired by an Olde English nursery rhyme about ten little soldiers. Reading
the poem can give clues as to what is happening and what happens next but the
mystery is bamboozling and enthralling the whole way through. It is a
complicated psychological thriller that takes an epilogue to understand.
Thrilling from start to finish.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth
Shadow Puppets
Card, Orson Scott
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

It’s odd for me to read the third book in a series and be confronted with
problems that I usually see by the fourth book. So far, I’ve been on board
with the whole Shadow series as it focuses on an interesting character in the
form of Bean. For two books, I’ve read about Bean’s survival, made all
the more thrilling by the antagonist Achilles. Of course, during Ender’s
Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon , the series picked up plenty of side
stories and sub-plots. This is what ruined Shadow Puppets for me: the focus
wasn’t on Bean and Achilles, but rather on advancing the story of all these
sub-plots.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Shadow Puppets has a lot of interesting events.
It’s just that it was so entertaining to read about Achilles in the
previous books, and he’s relegated to a bookending motif for this book. We
don’t get to see him directly interact with others, instead of having the
main characters always wondering how he’ll react to their attempts to trap
him. This kind of “telling” instead of “showing” really rubbed me the
wrong way and made the climax of this story (let alone the first three books)
feel quite anticlimactic.

I do appreciate some of what Card does with these well-rounded characters,
and I want to see what happens next with a world in such turmoil and
turnover. And yet, with how unfocused this book was, I don’t know if I want
to get my hopes up for the next books in this series. After all, the central
conflict of the previous two books is now behind Bean, which makes me wonder
what could replace such a heart-pounding game of cat-and-mouse. There are
plot threads to follow into the next book, but I could probably predict what
happens just based on the foreshadowing contained in this book.

An unfocused and slightly anticlimactic conclusion to one of the best
antagonists, I give Shadow Puppets 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
The Obelisk Gate
Jemisin, N. K.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I’ll admit that reading The Fifth Season had a bit of a learning curve for
the Broken Earth series. Not only did I have to learn about the vastly
powerful magic system based on rocks (and other rock forms), but I had to get
used to a second-person point of view (POV). Jumping between timelines with
similar characters who had different names was a bit confusing, but I was
able to figure it out by the end. Fast forward to the sequel, The Obelisk
Gate, and most of my qualms with the first book were smoothed over or solved
outright.

One of the things I enjoyed about The Obelisk Gate was the increase in the
scale of the magic system. Including the moon in these calculations makes
perfect sense considering the nature of the orogeny magic. I also appreciated
how the story seemed to focus on a single POV, which made for a more intimate
experience as we followed only one or two individuals instead of four. Now
that I was used to the second-person writing style and the character it
described, it didn’t bother me as much as when I read The Fifth Season.

While The Fifth Season set up the world-building for this trilogy, The
Obelisk Gate’s only weakness is that it finally set up the climactic plot
for the third book. Sure, there was plenty of character development and
intriguing twists in the plot in The Obelisk Gate, but they all seemed to be
hinting at something much more significant that wouldn’t take place in this
book. I do appreciate an excellent three-act structure, so this slight
weakness can be seen as merely an artifact of the second book in a trilogy.
In fact, because it was more focused, I liked this book more than its
predecessor. After all, it’s a strong concept with solid execution.

A focusing and foreshadowing of the Broken Earth series, I give The Obelisk
Gate 4.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Book Cover
Reed, Amy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Evie has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she's agreed to stop
treatment, prepared to face the bitter end. That is, until by sheer miracle,
her cancer completely heals and she can move on with her normal life again.
However, everyone still sees her as Cancer Girl, and she's unable to live the
life she thought she gained back. That is, until she meets Marcus. To her,
even with the danger involved, he is the light at the end of the
tunnel,making her feel invincible to all harm. However, she had no idea she'd
soon be on a winding path down the drain.

This is a story that gets more and more depressing as it goes on. Already
dealing with the depressing topic of cancer from the start, you'll soon find
yourself jumping into topics of death, loss, abuse, and drugs. Since this
comes right from the eyes of the main character, this book has an almost
unbearable pain leading up to a depressing and nerve-racking conclusion. This
book is beyond criticism.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Book Cover
Ewing, Amy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

It's been a few months since Violet and her friends escaped to the Farm.
Their plan to overthrow the royalty in the Jewel is coming together. However,
when Violet's sister's life is threatened, Violet is forced to go back to the
Jewel to rescue her. While in there, she discovers shocking secrets that
could both help her plan and put it in jeopardy. As the days to the attack
tick down, Violet must conjure up all her strength to ensure victory and
safety for all, even when her friends are torn away right in front of her
eyes.

If there's ever been a series I'd recommend, it's the Jewel trilogy. It's a
very quick read, and no matter how hard I try, there's not a single flaw I can
find. This book is no exception, and provides an action-packed, gripping
finale to the series. It also hit me with the saddest deaths in any media
I've yet to find (and I've endured Der Flohwalzer). However, this did present
a problem, as it happened right before the book's climactic final battle,
which made it hard for me to get sucked in. However, after taking a crying
break for two hours, my tears turned to unbridled rage against the royalty,
and I was able to get back into what I consider one of the best final battles
of all time. Overall, I highly recommend this book. Just make sure to have
some tissues ready.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Genres:

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