Moxie by: Jennifer Mathieu (CW: Misogyny, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault)

Summary:

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

The Review:

This was a book I kinda picked up on a whim. I have seen some ARC reviews about this book, and it seemed like a pretty awesome premise. I thought it was an amazing book that should be required reading for any young girl.

The book is set in high school in which the football players rule the school and pretty much get away with anything, and it was one incident in the classroom in which Mitchell, the quarterback made a sexist remark to the a girl, Lucy and when Lucy defended herself the class was punished. Vivian basically tells Lucy how that was the norm around the school. After looking through her mothers old stuff and realize that she was a Riotgrrrl she decides to to start a zine highlighting the problems girls have in the school and the misogyny they face.

I love that I got to see the “zine” within the book, it really made it feel as if I was in on the action. I also like how it started off as something small but than grew and started becoming inspiring to all the girls at the school. While the audience knows Vivian is the author, I like that she made it anonymous, so it reminded me a lot of Mr. Robot. I also like that it started a movement within the school in which most the girls were involved in.

Most the issues that was covered was the sexual harassment brought on by the football players with the “bump n grind”, the schools sexist dress code policies, and lack of funding in the girls sports teams. They are all real issues that many young girls face today. It also touched upon how sexual assault often gets mishandled by school administrators.

Vivian as a main character was very engaging. I like how she wasn’t afraid at first to do the zine because she wanted to reach as many girls as possible. I also like that has started off as very shy and only having just a few friends, mainly Claudia and Lucy.

I also love the emphasis on female friendship. You really don’t see a lot of female friendships in YA novels and the fact that the relationship between the girls seemed real. There is also a romance in the book, but it is not the main focus of teh book. There were some other characters like Kiera and Emma who I did like, but I kinda wish they were a bit more fleshed out.

Viv’s boyfriend Seth is a very well written male character, I like that he isn’t the “brooding YA protagonist”. he is actually very supportive of Viv writing Moxie, and he also knows when to be a good feminist ally. While there is times he almost ventures into “not all men” he understands that there is stuff that he will never understand. I also like how their relationship was actually well done, while they did fight it wasn’t to the point where they have the second act break up, it was an actual meaningful relationship.

A minor criticism I have is that I wish the book was little more diverse. While Lucy is a Hispanic character, I felt that some of the side POC characters weren’t really fleshed out. But I do like how Viv discusses how the 90s RiorGrrrls didn’t include many POC and was willing to make a change with Moxie.

In the end, Moxie was an amazing book that is has a lot of good feminist themes. I think it should be required reading for all young girls because of its themes. I think the book will hopefully inspire young girls to get involved in activism. It was has some engaging characters with a nice story along with it.

Grade: 4.5/5

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books you’ve read because of blogging/Booktube

Happy Wednesday everyone, here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is,

September 27th: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc.
–Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

While this maybe cheating because this book was on my TBR before blogging, it wasn’t until several bloggers recommended it to me because of my love of sci fi. It was an amazing book and I hopefully try to finish the series.

The works of V.E. Schwab

I decided to put all of her books on here. It started with This Savage Song, loved that and than I read Vicious which was amazing and all of a sudden she became one of my auto-buy authors. She comes up with these brilliant worlds and characters that you just want to keep reading her work.

The works of Adam Silvera

Earlier this year I read More Happy Than Not, which was an amazing book. I heard so many good things about his work and I think I read it when History is All You Left Me was coming out. Both of those books were amazing. I wanted to get They Both Die at the End but it was sold out at Boston Teen Author Festival, but I was still able to meet him.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I read Shadow and Bone, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, so at first I wasn’t interested in reading Six of Crows. Than I kept hearing so many good things that I had to check it out and it was amazing. A great plot with extremely well done characters.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I remember hearing about this book when Gemina, the sequel was about to come out . I was also afraid to read it because how hyped up it was, and the book was worth the hype. Even if the book is written unconventional it still had an engaging plot.

Those are the books I read because of Blogging/Booktube. What books were you introduced to because of the bookish community? Let me know in the comments below!

Windwitch by: Susan Dennard

Summary:

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

The Review:

Eariler this year I read Truthwitch and I really liked that book. While I am a huge fan of fantasy Truthwitch was a very different fantasy series which Incorporated a lot of magic in their world.

Windwitch, picks up almost right where Truthwitch left off, an explosion comes on Merik’s ship and Safi is shipwrecked. It mostly involves those characters trying to get back and having an adventure along the way. Iseult is trying to find Safi, and with a bounty on her head she works with Aeduan, a Bloodwitch who is tasked with bringing Iseult in.

While a minor problem I had with the book is that the leading characters are separated throughout the book, and I loved seeing Iseult and Safi’s relationship in Truthwitch but it was lacking in Windwitch. But I actually liked seeing their story arcs separate from each other. Safi spends most of the book with Vanass, and it was nice to for her to have a new ally. Meri is trying to get back home, with everyone thinking that he is dead he works with Cam. The relationship between Merik and Cam was really good, and I am glad that it wasn’t a romantic relationship.

What made Windwitch a good sequel was that it did a good job at expanding the Witchland world, including a sort of underbelly city called Shiitetown, which is filled with refugees. It was further developed some characters like Vivia, Merik’s sister. A lot of Vivia’s POV chapters dealt with her dealing with the politics of Nubrevna, and most of iot was her trying to be a new leader, with some people in her royal circle attempting to betray her. Vivia had a lot of development in the book and it they really expanded her character.

Camden is another character that was further introduced in this book with her relationship with Merik. She can still hold her own and spends most of the time defending Merik. Aeduan was one of the new characters that I felt had the best arc. While it may seem like a cliche trope in which someone who is tasked to kill her, ends up falling for her. While Aeduan doesn’t exactly fall of Iseult, he does grow to respect her.

I would also day that this book kinda suffers from second book syndrome. It has a lot of plot lines built up throughout that will hopefully be payed off in future books. It felt as if it was a set up book. But what it lacked in plot development it made up for in character development, all of the leading characters has significant development throughout the book, and it makes me excited about where they are going next.

The character I felt that had the strongest development was Merik. While in Truthwitch Merik was the sort of lovable rouge type, you really see that he cares about people and the world around. There was a point where he felt that he had to make a hard choice and either way it would have wrecked him. He also has to try to figure his place within the kingdom.

Iseult and Safi are still some of my favorite characters, and even though they spent the entire book apart from one another they still care about one another. A major strength about Truthwitch and Windwitch, is their strong bond and I really hope they have a great reunion in the next book.

In the end, Windwitch was a sequel that delivered in terms of character development. While it was lacking in plot development, it was made up for with fleshed out character arcs, both new and returning characters. I am very excited to see where this story goes.

Grade: 4.3/5

Warcross by Marie Lu

Summary:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

The Review: 

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I was always a fan of Marie Lu’s works, mainly The Legend trilogy and the Young Elites trilogy, so it is always good to see one of my favorite authors writing more series. I also like how Marie Lu isn’t afraid to write other genres. Warcross being a Sci Fi book.

Emika is a great character. She is a hacker/bounty hunter who is just scrapping by living in NYC. After hacking into a Warcross tournament she catches the eye of Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross, and all of a sudden she is a player at the Warcross torunemant.

You can tell that she is a very independent character who had to live on her own for quite sometime and when she is going to Tokyo she is amazed how Tokyo is from NYC.

Hideo Tanaka, is also a great character. He has a good relationship with Emika and there is a reason behind why he created Warcross.

The world of Warcross is also amazing. It is basically a game in which two teams have to find an artifact before the other team through several levels based upon video games. You can tell that Marie Lu uses her background in the video game industry to come up with these grand ideas for levels and their design. Also the parts of the Warcross tournament is amazing. Everything about the scene when we see Warcross is action packed. Marie Lu is very good at writing action sequences that keeps the readers engaged.

There are some great supporting characters, mainly her teammates in the Warcross tournament; The Phoenix Riders. They all come from diverse backgrounds all chosen to compete in Warcross. While they didn’t really have a lot of development in this book, they still were great characters to have on her team.

This book also had some great twists. I really don’t want to give anything away but the ending did catch me by surprise. I always could tell that the Warcross tournament is a small aspect of a bigger picture. While some of twists could have been telegraphed throughout the book, is was still an amazing twist.

In the end, Warcross delivers in every way that I wanted it to. Much like Marie Lu’s previous work it is filled with engaging characters and a great world. It was ties into her love for video games which also ties into a great plot.

Grade: 5/5

Top 5 Wednesday-Favorite Fancasts

Happy Wednesday everyone, here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is,

September 20th: Favorite Fancasts
–Discuss your preferred fancasts for some of your favorite characters. (Fancasts means actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as)

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Another great topic, mainly because when I read books I always have my own fancasts

Chloe Bennet as Cinder from Lunar Chronicles

She is great on Agents of Shield, and I can definitely see her kicking butt as Cinder.

Bob Morley as Elias from An Ember in the Ashes

I just started watching the 100 and Bob Morley is amazing as Bellamy, and also as I was reading An Ember in the Ashes, I fully believe that he has the performance capability to play a great character like Elias.

Franz Drameh as Jesper from Six of Crows

As one half of Firestorm from Legends of Tomorrow, he also can put on a good performance in movies such as Attack the Block. I can see him being a good gunman when they go on their heist.

Caity Lotz as Adelina from The Young Elites

She plays White/Black Canary from Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, she is perfect for Adelina, especially once Adelina becomes a lot more darker as the series goes on.

Ryan Potter as Day from Legend

While mostly know for his voice work on Big Hero 6, I think he can be an amazing Day. Even in his voice work he can put on a very good performance that the character of Day requires.

Those are some of my fancasts. What are your favorite fancasts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Queens by: Libba Bray

Summary:

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

The Review:

This was a book on my TBR for quite a long time, and I would usually pick up the book and than put it down and it wasn’t until after the announcement of an all-girl version of Lord of the Flies and the subtle shade by Libba Bray that I decided to finally read the book, and I was surprised about how good it was.

The book picks up right at the start of the plane crash, and everyone trying to figure out what happened. When I was reading it I was picturing the crash scene from the show Lost, seeing explosions everywhere.

The book is told through multiple perspectives, one of the main ones being of Adina, or Miss New Hampshire. She is the closet the book has to a main protagonist, and her arc stems from he trying to bring down the Miss Teen Dreamers pageant from the inside because she never really believed in the whole thing. She has a really good arc throughout the book.

There are also other characters who are also fully fleshed out out. The is Taylor, miss Texas, who acts as the defecto leader of the surviving girls, who still wants to girls to prepare for the pageant in case they get rescued, which of course causes friction between her and Adina, mainly because Adina wants to try to get the girls to survive on the island.

There is also Nicole and Shanti, the two characters and pageant contestants of color, who I love how they speak about the subtle racism of Miss Teen Dream. I also like their relationship with each other and how they realized that they shouldn’t see each other as competition, being the only two minorities in the pageant.

The book has a lot of great characters who are very well rounded and fleshed out, and I like that Libba Bray didn’t resort to just the archetypes of the characters and actually gave a lot of the characters distinct personalities. It also has a nice set of diverse characters who are LGBTQA and also disabilities.

The world building is also great. Libba Bray sets up a world outside the island, with the use of movies and TV shows set within that world. She would write “a word from our sponsors” which also includes products such as Lady Stach Off. She sets up a world which is also run by “The Corporation” who sponsors the pageant and also produces hit programs such as; Patriot Daughters and Captain Bodacious.

One of the strength about the books is how the girls relate with each other, and ever since the news of an All-Girl Lord of the Flies is that the girls would probably not go in all violent, but will try to work together to help each other. I also liked the satire of girly culture that the book had. I also liked how even if the girls would hate each other, they would still work together to get the job.

I did feel that the book was very slow, towards the middle of the book, but it did add a lot of great character development and to flesh out the plot a bit more. Also while did sort of like the end twist, I thought it could have been a little bit better.

In the end, Beauty Queens was a great read, and I am so glad that I read this book. It had great characters that were fully fleshed out and a nice world setting. I honestly would rather have an adaptation of Beauty Queens, than an all-female Lord of the Flies that Hollywood is working on.

Grade: 4.5/5

September TBR

Hello everyone,

I feel as if August wasn’t a good reading month for me I only read two books this month. Hopefully September I could get out of my reading slump and start reading some books again.

I hope to read these books in the month of September. It may be subject to change.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by: Leigh Bardugo

I was always a fan of the Wonder Woman comics growing up and I really loved the movie when it came out over the summer. So of course I am excited that one of my favorite authors has written a book about Wonder Woman. I never read a comic book hero in book form so this should be amazing.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Of course, Marie Lu being one of my auto-buy authors I am very excited to read this book. I loved her Legend trilogy and her Young Elites trilogy. I also like that she isn’t afraid to write new genres with every series she writes.

Beauty Queens by: Libby Bray

When news broke out of an all-female Lord of the Flies, my first thought was of course “why not adapt Beauty Queens?” This book was on my TBR for quite a while and the premise is really interesting. Hopefully if more buzz comes out about this book it could lead Hollywood into adapting this novel instead of remaking Lord of the Flies.

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

I remember reading Truthwitch, in the beginning of the year and loving it so of course I want to read the sequel. Especially since Truthwitch ended on a cliffhanger I want to know what happened next.

Those are my September TBR. What books are your reading this September? Let me know in the comments below.