The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

Book Review by Nathan

This book is the second in a series, the first being The Fever King. Even though I had never read anything of Victoria Lee’s, I certainly enjoyed it, even if it was a little more graphic than I normally would read. Nonetheless, it was a great book, and I definitely enjoyed reading it. It described Noam Alvaro’s quest to not only keep his dear friend Dara Shirazi alive but also their plots to kill a certain Calix Lehrer, the chancellor of Carolina. Over time, the revolution grows, and dangers mount.

This series (Don’t sweat it, it’s only 2 books) was amazing, I would definitely recommend this book, and also by extension the whole series, but with a serious warning, the series tackles several issues, namely abuse, and makes no effort to sugarcoat said abuse. Because of the extensive abuse throughout the series, and also the graphic scenes, I would hesitate to recommend the series to younger audiences. Warning aside, as a single book in and of itself, it’s still great, the character progression is great and feels really authentic, and while the world itself is dark, there are frequent moments of comedy scattered throughout. This book will have you switching back and forth between laughing out loud and wondering what’s about to happen next, and it’s honestly a great feel for a dystopian novel. I love it.

This book was a great read, with a few great messages, and characters that all have unique, believable flaws. This is one of those books that once you pick it up you’re not likely to put it back down for a while, overall a great read, and a great series!

Havenfall by Sara Holland

Book Review by Allie

HavenFall, by Sara Holland, firmly grasped my attention from page one as Holland combines topics such as childlike innocence, romance, adventure, heartbreak and more. Such a combination of subject matter often results in a powerful, relatable novel.

Maddie Morrow has always been looked at as the girl whose Mom killed her little brother. She has never felt like she fits in anywhere, that is except for the inn in a small town called Haven, located in the mountains of Colorado with her best friend Brekken, whom she has known and loved since she was little. The inn is called Havenfall, and along with this strange name comes an even more interesting secret – Havenfall is the crossroads of the other four realms that intersect with Earth, or as the Fiordens, Byrnstians, and the dreaded Solarians refer to it, Haven. Her Uncle has been the innkeeper for years but many years ago, before his time as innkeeper, the door to Solaria had to be sealed off from the others because of their role in the last war between the realms. The threat of the Solarians was thought to have been averted as the door is closed, but troubles soon arise as a dead body is found within the walls of Havenfall. Around this time, her uncle is gravely injured, Brekken goes missing, and Maddie finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone at Havenfall – with the high stakes of a dangerous creature on the loose. With dark secrets regarding her and the Inn resurfacing, she must be ready to do whatever it takes to protect everyone. She is willing to try anything, even seeking the help of a mysterious new staff member, Taya, in order to find the truth and restore Havenfall to the innocent place it was for her for so many years.

Although at the beginning Havenfall is a little slow-going it is still engaging nonetheless. Sara Holland has masterfully blended many different aspects  to make a compelling storyline that leaves readers wondering what is going to happen next. Maddie’s insecurities and revelations throughout the book are relatable and will resonate with readers. Anyone who enjoyed other books written by Sara Holland, such as Everless and Evermore, will love this beautiful tale of childlike wonder and the struggle of holding on to that while growing older.

Overall, despite its few flaws, I find Havenfall to be a well written book that firmly held my attention until the last page. I would definitely recommend this book to any young reader who enjoys fantasy or Holland’s other books. 

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Book Review by Nathan

This book took me on a journey. Right from the very start, I was involved in the story. I’ve never read anything by Adalyn Grace, but after this book, I would gladly read more of her work. The book follows Amora Montara, the heir to the royal family of animancers. After a miserable failure, she flees for her life, uncovering a plot to overthrow the kingdom in the process. The book had me rooting for Amora the whole time, even if some decisions she made were, at least in my opinion, questionable. As she journeys towards the island where the leader of the revolution lives, she learns more about not only the people she’s travelling with but also about the magic of the whole kingdom.

There’s no question in my mind as to if I would recommend this book to someone. It was a great read, and aside from the fairly large amount of blood, it’s not particularly graphic either, even if it does have a few fairly questionable scenes. It’s ending does leave something to be desired, but at least it’s not a cliffhanger. By the time I finished the book, I was already hoping for another in the series, which is going to be released in early February of 2021. This book has a good balance of battle and discussion, so it has a very good flow. The book overall has a very believable world, where very little feels greatly out of place.

This book was a great read, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone wanting some nice, fantastical reading with a hearty dose of magic and a few heaping spoons of comedy.

Interested in borrowing this book? Place All the Stars and Teeth on hold now!

Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis

Book Review by Mia

I’ve never read any of Mindy McGinnis books before, but “Be Not Far From Me” made a very impressive first impression for me. A survival book that follows Ashley Hawkins and her adventures through the forest, fighting to stay alive after finding her boyfriend with another girl. As she has to stay warm, make a shelter, and find food in the forest alone, many other obstacles slow her down, putting her at risk for her future as a running athlete.

I would recommend this book to anyone really, mostly teens as there’s lots of swearing and drama. I don’t want to spoil anything but this book is also about  95% in the forest and just talking about Ashley because she only has herself in this, so if you are a fan of survival and a little bit of gruesome this book would be for you. Throughout this book she goes through some setbacks that causes her to make really risky decisions, such as cutting off part of her own foot which is a concern because she doesn’t know how she will ever race again. The detail in this story is very well written. The author does a good job of describing Ashleys past life and the people in her life, then smoothly comes back to the present story, keeping you entertained and engaged about the book. I couldn’t really say anything bad about the book except for the fact that it seemed a little unrealistic, like cutting off her own foot. I know she had supplies and things to help her but I could have never done that, even if that’s all it came down to.

This is a great book that will keep you wanting to read until the end. Through Ashley’s adventures to find home, you will be on the edge of your seat the whole time. Such a great read!

Interested in borrowing this book? Place Be Not Far from Me on hold now!

EXAMPLE REVIEW: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This book has immediately given me so many feelings. From page one, I couldn’t put it down! Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon came out this summer, and I knew that I wanted to read it.

Rowan Roth has been competing with Neil McNair since freshman year. They’ve competed for highest grades, student government positions, extracurricular activities, and more, all while bickering back and forth. But the ultimate prize is up for grabs in their senior year: valedictorian. But before they can officially graduate, they get to compete in the Howl, a yearly tradition combining assassins with a scavenger hunt. Although reluctant, they put their intense rivalry aside to work together. As the day wears on, Rowan realizes there’s more to the freckly, nerdy Neil than she thought, and he may be just what she needs.

The banter between Rowan and Neil is infectious, and had me smiling the whole book. From the goofy nicknames to using Neil’s last name in clever ways (McMystery), I was a gooey mess from the start. This is the perfect enemy-to-lovers teen book. This book centres on a strong female character who stresses the importance of good, female-cantered representation in media (especially those we find in romance books!) as well as highlights double standards between boys and girls. Neil’s character is loveable, open to learning, and vulnerable about his own past and insecurities. The book also touches on anti-Semitism and how it is still prevalent today, and the profound affects it has on members of the Jewish community. I like that the author didn’t shy away from bringing this topic front and center, even in a romance book.

And this book has sex-positivity all over it!

If you can’t tell, I loved this book, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who loves teen romances, comedy, and contemporary teen fiction.