JJ Reads

Mini Reviews: August

I moved home! I’m going to talk about it more in my actual wrap up but suffice to say everything is going to be late because I’ve only just got Internet back. But here is my mini review post for this month! Featuring two novels, one novella and a short story from a mix of genres, as usual!

Links always go to the books goodreads page

See All the Stars by Kit Frick***** (Review Copy)

A twisty YA contemporary with a dual timeline set between junior and senior year of high school. Featuring super toxic and intense female friendships. I normally LOVE stories where there are secrets that slowly unfold, which is exactly what this book is, unfortunately I found the characters so flawed they came across as annoying and I didn’t really get enough revelations to keep me interested until the very end. But what a great end!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody *****

I’ve been meaning to read this book forever. I finally got around to it. Sorina is an illusion worker who has created herself a family who run a freakshow inside the festival but someone is killing their members. I loved the festival setting, the different types of magic, and the real purpose behind the moving festival was really interesting. I also loved the story’s twists and turns towards the end, but I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted especially in the first half. It seems to be a trend that this author creates amazing magic systems and settings in their books that I absolutely love but then I don’t quite connect with the characters which is a shame. Still a great book and I did love the demisexual rep for Luca.

Rep: There’s a bunch of queer rep in the background here but the main ones are Sorina is bi and Luca is demisexual.

A Ruin of Shadows by L D Lewis *****

An action packed fantasy short story following the General of a unit of assassins who turns against the empire and has to survive her unit hunting her. I loved the different assassins even though it’s bittersweet with them being enemies! But Edo herself is a great character, logical and pissed off in the perfect amounts! The invincible mask, and the secret djinni added a brilliant touch of fantasy. It all wrapped up perfectly in such a short story but I totally would have read a full novel about them. 

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor *****

I honestly expected a more action packed story from the blurb of this scifi novella, instead it was a much more character based political story about different species learning from each other which isn’t a problem for me at all. I loved it. I loved that the culture Binti came from was such a huge part of her journey, and that it wasn’t the same old default character we so frequently get in scifi when it comes to interacting with other species. While I loved the internal part of the story I would have liked it to dive a little deeper into the other aspects of the outer plot too.

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought or if you are planning on picking them up!

I’m saving my favourite book of the month for a full review in my wrap up so you’ll have to wait around for that one. But it’s been a hectic month so I’m not sure when that will be!

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