Wonder Woman: Warbringer
I was wary of reading this book because, well, I suppose I find it difficult to consume a character in a different media than I am used to. Because I am not a comic reader, I have only seen Wonder Woman on screens and was thus afraid of the author’s inability to portray her correctly. I was afraid that there would not be enough substance to fill an entire novel. But I saw that the book was being met with excitement and anticipation so I took the chance.
I enjoyed it. The Wonder Woman and warbringer lore were all new to me and fascinating. I was interested enough in the plot to keep reading. Once through the middle, you will find yourself flying through till the end. It was jam-packed with fight scenes and surprises, like a really good action movie. I liked the characters enough to care whether they lived or died but mostly I kept reading because of a “what next?” compulsion.
In the end though, the book is ALL plot and I was glad I had borrowed it from the library. Kudos to the author though, for including many POC characters and keeping faithful to Wonder Woman’s feminism. That’s nothing to frown at.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Three out of Five stars
I didn’t know much about this book other than the information on the dust jacket. It sounded funny. It sounded kind of like a Harry Potter thing with the school of magic. I didn’t know that it was a carry-over from her Fangirl novel (which I haven’t read). I didn’t know that it was like a fanfic inside a fanfic trying to be a stand alone novel. The similarities to Harry Potter (while not reading as parody) were so jarring that I had to stop a few chapters in and Google some information on this book.
It is entertaining. It is important as a LGBTQ+ positive, YA novel. And it does stand on its own merits. Eventually. The first half of the book was slow and too steeped in Harry Potter parallels. I know we all miss JK Rowling’s world, but we are not seeking to read something so similar that it could have been published on the internet under a screen name. I am just unsure as to why the later (unique) elements were not incorporated into the front of the book.
While I don’t mind switching view points, I think we had too many in this book. It detracted from the development and appeal of other characters. The conclusion was also anticlimactic for our main protagonist.
Carry On was not a bad book, but I would say that it was a disappointment from Rainbow Rowell.
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
Five out of five Paws
When I asked for help to find this in the bookstore, the employee was enthusiastic, inquisitive, and he told me that I would love the poet. I just wanted to share that because it made me smile and think about the value of brick and mortar stores. I’ve worked at a chain bookstore and it was the only job I ever truly enjoyed.
Back to Mary Oliver: I had never read her which is kind of shameful as she won the Pulitzer, but I suppose there are too many writers out there for me to know everyone. This book was on my to-read list after it was recommended to a grieving dog parent. I had actually been interested to know if anyone was writing “good” dog poems. I should know better than to ask such things of poetry.
Well, the bookstore employee was right. I did love this book. I even devoured it in only a few hours which never happens anymore. It made me cry. Books never make me cry.
I am aware that this review has become merely an overview of my visceral response rather than any thoughts on writing style or whatnot but I’d like to think that saying “this book broke and mended my heart” is review enough.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
4.8 out of 5 Paws
This is an unusual book and a bit of a jarring switch from her usual if you spent the past couple months working your way through Stiefvater’s books. I would classify this one as magical realism.
I loved that I could tell Stiefvater was a fellow horse lover. I didn’t know for sure until after I finished the book and looked it up. It was the way she wrote about them. Even the blood-thirsty sea horses.
I also ended up looking into whether or not Thisby is real place. It’s not. But it felt so real. That was one of the real strengths of the book. You could feel the sand and taste the salt on the air.
It was a love song to place and animals.
Wild Becomes You by Ashley Sapp
Five out of Five Paws
It’s about friendship and grief and depression. It’s about the beauty of nature and our bodies’ literal and figurative place on Earth. It’s about love.
This chapbook is timely. I feel intensely like it embodies the struggles and thoughts of the older millennial (as much as I hate that word). But then, it is not so rooted in the year 2017 that those from other and future generations won’t be able to relate. Honestly, a couple of poems (those particularly about the loss of friendship) hit me so hard and so exactly square in my chest that I stopped reading for awhile. But it was nice, so nice, to feel un-alone in such a situation that makes a person feel very isolated.
Sometimes I fear that mental illness (especially depression) and the notion of empowering the self (in particular, women) has become trendy. I have read some poems lately that felt bland and obvious. Ms. Sapp’s writing, her words and metaphors are unique. She makes you think about some of the things that others are talking about too, but she makes you see them in a whole new way.
I just really enjoyed this. And I hope, and also know, that Ms. Sapp will go far.
Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill
Three out of Five Paws
I discovered Nikita Gill on Instagram. I loved her content. The short poems were inspirational. My favorites spoke womanhood and the wolf. Of embracing the wild in you. One spoke so closely to my soul, that I have decided to tattoo it on my back someday.
Needless to say, I was excited to grab this book.
While three stars is not a bad review, I was expecting to read a five star quality chapbook. I was a little disappointed.
The book was divided into sections by theme, which would be fine and is not particularly unique, only here it serves to emphasize that Gill’s poems are very repetitive. Having motifs in your poetry is good, but Gill needs to find different ways, different words, to say similar things. As it stands now, the repetition of words and even phrases make the work bland and a little tedious.
That being said, the great poems in this collection are outstanding and the book itself is beautifully put together. The poetry is easy to understand (obvious sometimes, as a downfall) but I am a champion of accessible writing. Whatever it takes to get people to read.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
4.5 out of 5 Paws
I’ve made no secret of my love for Maggie Stiefvater. YA books are important and she’s one of the authors you should be reading. And as much as I loved The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I think that The Raven Cycle surpasses my adoration. If I was doing an overarching starred review, the cycle would get five stars, and I think my favorite book out of the four is The Dream Thieves.
I’ve rated The Raven King with a very high 4.5 because it was beautiful, scary, and a satisfactory ending to the saga. There was even room left for a sequel series, which I didn’t love, but I’m sure the fanfiction writers did. I read that Stiefvater was working on a Ronan specific trilogy. I wasn’t expecting that but I am delighted by the thought. A rating of 4.5 means I thought very highly and even loved this book but it’s probably not one I will try to read again and doesn’t push anything off my favorites list.
see what I thought of the other books:
The Dream Thieves
Blue Lily, Lily Blue