Don’t Read the Comments Book Review

Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Goodreads Summary: Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

Thoughts: Don’t Read the Comments is a story that tugs at your heartstrings the whole time that you are reading it. From Divya wanting the best for her mother to Aaron’s parents wanting the best for him and everything in between, you’ll be laughing and crying with these characters. I enjoyed the complexity of race, social class, and gender in the gaming world and how that impacts Divya and Aaron’s relationship with each other and those around them.

The action scenes were written with a lot of heart and were what made me want to read more. I felt for Divya as she was harassed in the gaming world because she is a female and I laughed as Aaron first tried to come in as her savior. I loved the development of both characters as they grew with each other and come to their realizations about what this world means to them. It all reminds me of my mixed feelings of entering the gaming world and how I feel about being surrounded by men in that world.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that it was written in both Divya and Aaron’s perspectives. Because of this you got to see both of their lives apart from each other and it was nice to see where their lives collided. I liked being able to hear Aaron’s thoughts on everything going on and how he was experiencing things and then go to the next chapter and see Divya live through it all.

You can pre-order this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library. This book is coming to shelves near you January 28th.

Long Bright River Book Review

Summary: In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

Thoughts: I won this book in a giveaway by Riverhasd books and was a bit concerned I wouldn’t like it. The description on the back didn’t catch my attention but bookstagram was raving about it so I had to read it. I’m very glad that I did, there’s something about the writing style that I find beautiful.

I love how this story goes back and forth between then and now. It’s nice to watch as Kacey grows up and to see how she became the person she is now. Its interesting to see how people and events from her past impact her current life and I love seeing the mystery of Simon.

I like how the style of writing lends itself to the shorter chapters. The story flows well and the shorter chapters make you feel like the story is going quickly. While this is a longer book th re shoft chapters and the back and forth between then and now make it feel a lot shorter.

I really enjoyed getting to know each character throughout the novel even if it’s all through Kacey’s perspective. I think so much of the characters get vilanized through Kacey that its fascinating to watch as they each get introduced into the story.

The twists that occur throughout the book were unexpected and kept me interested. I loved the anticipation of what was going to happen next and trying to solve the mystery.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library very soon. This book publishes on January 7th.

Deception (Dark Matter #2) Book Review

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Summary: There is an epidemic that is currently spreading across the country faster than people can begin to find a solution to this problem. It is believed that survivors are the ones who are spreading this disease so Shay turns herself in to the authorities. Kai on the other hand is frustrated and is now on a search for Shay after she left him without warning. Will Kai be able to find Shay? What will be revealed along the jounrey? Are survivors really the problem here?

Stop here if you haven’t read book 1 as this is a review about the second book in the series and contains spoilers about the first one.

Thoughts: Whenever a book has the mention of a virus, contagion, disease, etc. I know I’m going to have to read it. This story was no different and after reading book 1 I was so glad netgalley gave me the chance to read book 2. This is one of those books that I’m frustrated about reading as it publishes because it leaves me wanting more.

This book picks up right where they left us at the end of book 1. This book just keeps developing an even deeper plot and when I think they may be done exploring another level gets revealed. I love how elaborate this supposed virus really is and how the survivors continue discovering more about themselves as time passes. This virus seems to have a mind of its own and I cant wait to find out who the real villain of this story is.

I enjoy how much we get to know the characters from their own perspectives and minds to the views and minds of others. I cant help but love Callie, Kai, and Shay and want nothing but the best for them. It’s such a struggle to watch them be separated throughout this story when you saw them building a future in book 1. Everytime a new girl gets introduced in Kai’s life or a new boy comes into Shay’s life I’m so scared that the life Shay and Kai had before is gone.

The twists in book 2 just keep getting better and as more is revealed you as a reader keep guessing what’s going to happen now. So much of this book scares me because of how invested I am in certain people and story lines. I love hearing more about Alex, Shay and Callie’s father, and finding the story about this virus unravel as we get to know him.

I cant wait to see what happens next to all my favorite characters and to this virus.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

The Babysitter’s Coven Book Review

Thank You Penguin Teen and Random House Publishing for the advanced readers copy in exchange for my review.

Summary: Esme has a babysitting club that consists of just her and her friend Janis until the new girl comes to town. She begs to be able to join the babysitting club and fails at her job the first night, so why would she want to even be a babysitter? Does she really care for children? Does she really want to get to know Esme as she claims? Or is there something more to this babysitter’s club than Esme knows?

Thoughts: 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.

Something I really enjoyed was the last few chapters as the action picks up and you can’t turn away because you need to know what happened. I’m glad this is a series because after that ending I”m left wanting more of this babysitters coven and of the girl’s parents.

I recommend this to those of you who like novice magic in your books or to teens ages 13-16.

You can find this book at Barnes and Nobles or look for it at your local library.

Bernard Pepperlin Book Review

Thank You to HarperCollins for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Summary: 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.

Thoughts: 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 amongst 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.

The characters were all lovable from the instant that you met them. I loved that each of them has a different personality and quirks that make them unique. I really liked the pictures that were included because it brought these characters to life.

Something else I enjoyed in this story was the plot of these animals needing to come together to defeat this animal gang. I think it showed the powerful lesson of strength in numbers and also how important asking for help is. I think it also shows how regardless of your differences you can come together to accomplish great things.

I recommend this to children ages 7-11 and to adults who are looking for a cute short read.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library after September 17th.

My Jasper June Book Review

Thank You HarperCollins for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Summary: The school year has just ended and all of Leah’s friends have plans that don’t include her. She would be hearing to summer camp but it wouldn’t feel right to her after things changed a year ago. Everyone has been distant with her including her parents until she meets Jasper. Jasper is different from anyone that Leah knows and Leah finds that she is also going through a tough time. Together they create a place just for the two of them, away from parents and the difficulties that they both face. How long will this magical place last for them?

Thoughts: I was a little bit hesitant with reading this book because I love young adult books but this was more middle grade. I winded up really enjoying this book though for several reasons.

I liked how this book discussed so many heavy topics such as: homelessness, family, friendship, death, and violence. While the girls knew that this was a lot for them to deal with on their own the book still addressed these things in a way that the age group it was meant for could understand.

I liked how Leah and Jasper both had a hard time opening up to others but slowly opened up with each other. It really showed the impact of friendship and how important having someone to go to is. I thought that the way this friendship was depicted was a good way to show what friends look like at this age and beyond. Their friendship is beautiful without having to say much they just understand each other.

I recommend this to people who like reading middle grade and to those who are between the ages of 12-15.

You can purchase this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph Book Review

Thank you NOVL for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Summary: Birdie (Dove) has her life already set out for her, she’s just planning on following whatever her parents have set out for her. Unfortunately for Birdie falling for Booker was not part of this plan and she knows her parents would never approve of him because of his past. Carlene, her aunt, has now come to stay in the apartment with her family and things suddenly start changing for Birdie. Will Birdie tell her parents about Booker? Will they find out on their own? What secrets are her parents trying to keep from her?

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this coming of age story and how complex each of the character’s lives were. I loved how Birdie is hiding her boyfriend from her parents but she’s surrounded by people who all have secrets of their own and little does she know her parents have secrets to hide from her too.

I really enjoyed how everything pieces together and how things develop over the whole story. Carlene becomes my favorite character as you see everyone doubt her and question her motives when all she wants is to get closer to her niece. It’s heartbreaking to watch her family turn away from her and not believe in her because of her past.

The twist at the end of the story really tied things up nicely in my opinion and I never saw it coming. I thought many different things when everyone was being secretive but never what we find out.

Something else I enjoyed in this book was the amount of LGBTQ+ representation that was there. Finally I have read a book where a character is ace and I put the book down in that moment because I had to take in the beauty of that.

I recommend this to those of you who like reading YA and who want to read a good coming of age story.

You can purchase this at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.