Slay by Brittney Morris ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Kiera creates a world that she feels she can be herself in and embrace what being black means for her. The only downside is that none of her IRL friends know about this online persona she has created for herself and this game she’s made for black people. She thinks she can keep both worlds separate until a boy gets murdered for something from this game called SLAY. What happens next? Will she be able to keep her two worlds separate? What happens when the two worlds collide?
I loved this book the minute I opened it and was so sad every time I had to put it down, I was even sadder when it ended. I’ve been very intentional about what I read lately and want to make sure I get to read books by POC for POC and that is what this book is. This book covers so many important topics and I cant even begin to talk about them all here.
Red at the Bone⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This story starts off at the eve of Melody’s coming of age ceremony and goes back in time to tell the story of how that day came to be. This story is told through five different perspectives who all play a role in Melody’s life. The story of Melody’s parents and grandparents unfolds to show how they got to where they are now and the trials and tribulations faced along the way.
I cant even begin to start talking about my feelings toward this book. I saw that it mentions poetry in the description and when I started reading I thought how is this poetry. I had never seen prose written in this format but as I kept reading I fell in love with the structure of this book. Every section was powerful and moving, this style told the story in a way that felt authentic.
Frankly in Love⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoyed the complexity of this book and how it was much more than just a story about Frank being in love. At first I was a little upset by the fact that we don’t really know any of the characters in the story but after thinking about it I realized that was on purpose. We don’t know anyone the way that Frank doesn’t really know people including himself. I loved how purposeful that portion was and how this was more of a coming of age story.
I liked how we only saw Frank’s perspective on everything even if that left holes in the story for me and left me with so many questions at the end. I think it was great that it was like the book is done but also not complete if that makes sense. It left me with things to think about and I appreciate books who do that.
My Jasper June⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoyed how this book handles such complex issues such as death, friendship, and complicated family dynamics. I liked how the friendships between Leah and jasper were depicted and how they were able to open up with each other. I liked how they showed the building up of friendship and how it changes with time.
Guest: A Changeling Tale⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoyed that the main character was naive and acted her age. I read too many books that are meant for a younger audience in which the protagonist seems like they are an adult and it throws me off. It was refreshing to read something different as Mollie gets into a whole lot of trouble for being a child.
Something else that I liked was the way that the twists unfolded, it seemed like there was no substance to them but as I kept reading I thought differently. I thought it was great that there was an element of surprise but it didn’t throw off the main course of the book. I also liked that the twists were simple enough for 5-7 graders to understand and still want to read more.
This was such a nice middle school read and I thought the lessons taught were great for that age. The relationship that Marin has with her parents is nicely contrasted with the relationship that Charley has with his own family. I like how his relationship with his family reminds Marin of how she feels about her friends and how Charley says “I don’t think you know what its like to care about people who do bad things all the time. No matter what.” That sentence wraps up Charley’s feelings about his life really well and it was a moment I had to pause at.
The Babysitter’s Coven⭐⭐⭐⭐
When I started reading I kept having to pause because of the random TXTing lingo that was included, while I knew what the words meant they just seemed very out of place. I liked how the book had a very 90s theme and tone to it and I think there were some times where modern things were brought into play that took away from that. I wasn’t a big fan of all the time jumping because it made it hard to figure out what time period was this book taking place in.
While this was marketed as a babysitter’s club/buffy the vampieish book I looked past any of that since I’m not familiar with either of those things. I think because I wasn’t familiar and read this book as something new I found it really entertaining. I loved each of the characters and how they developed throughout the story. I liked how their relationships with each other changed and how complex some of those relationships were.
Bernard Pepperlin ⭐⭐⭐
Bernard is stuck in the world of Alice and Wonderland after Alice no longer lives there and is living a pretty mundane life. He falls through a tea pot and escapes this world into the city of New York, but sadly that world has problems of its own. There’s a gang who wants to stop time and Bernard is afraid that if they succeed he is going to be stuck with a life like the one he had in the past but worst.
The characters in this story are so cute and sweet, I love that its written around animals and their lives. It was so nice to imagine that these animals who live among us have lives and problems of their own just like us. I really enjoyed the humor in the interactions Bernard has with other animals and the range of emotions behind those interactions.