Category Archives: ARC review

[Review] Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds

Book Title: Long Way Down (Standalone)
Author:     Jason Reynolds
Number of pages:  320

Synopsis:

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

(re: Goodreads @ Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– A fully formed story with 99% of the words removed, seriously.
– Claustrophobic and introspective realistic fiction with themes of gun violence, power, and family at the heart of it all
– Setting and characters may not be discretely described but they act as vessels to this cyclical story that can apply anywhere

Initial Thoughts

My first verse novel ayyyy.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Long Way Down from Simon and Schuster Canada and at Book Expo.


Continue reading [Review] Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds

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[Review] The Temptation of Adam – Dave Connis (+ Author Q&A and Giveaway!)

Book Title: The Temptation of Adam (Standalone)
Author:     Dave Connis
Number of pages:  224

Synopsis:

Adam Hawthorne is fine.

Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists.

But Adam is fine.

When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice.

(re: Goodreads @ Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis)

Get Your Copy Today!
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Amazon.com: http://ow.ly/fu9230g4bOZ

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– YA fiction about porn addiction. C’mon now.
– Tackles various issues: addictions (sex/porn, substance use, etc.), sexual assault, divorced households, race relations
– Setting feels very normal (in a good way) and isn’t overly flourished
– Both character-and-plot driven; pacing is slow early on but picks up midway through

Initial Thoughts

Plot aside, Nic Stone was the catalyst for me in reading this…

…I also apologize for this gratuitously long review and Q&A.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Temptation of Adam from Thomas Allen & Son.


Continue reading [Review] The Temptation of Adam – Dave Connis (+ Author Q&A and Giveaway!)

[Review] The Assassin’s Curse — Kevin Sands

Book Title: The Assassin's Curse (Blackthorn Key #03)
Author:     Kevin Sands
Number of pages:  384

Synopsis:

Wherever Christopher Rowe goes, adventure—and murder—follows. Even a chance to meet King Charles ends in a brush with an assassin.

All that’s recovered from the killer is a coded message with an ominous sign-off: more attempts are coming. So when Christopher’s code-breaking discovers the attack’s true target, he and his friends are ordered to Paris to investigate a centuries-old curse on the French throne. And when they learn an ancient treasure is promised to any assassin who succeeds, they realize the entire royal family is at stake—as well as their own lives.

(re: Goodreads @ The Assassin’s Curse by Kevin Sands)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– MG ‘The Da Vinci Code’ set in Paris in the 1600s
– Mystery and puzzles are based on wordplay and the nuances in language
– World building might take the assumption that readers know what each landmark looks like; might be a concern re: imagery
– Expands the lore of Benedict Blackthorn’s legacy
– Although 500+ pages (in the ARC), the dialogue reads very quickly and the story is well-paced

Initial Thoughts

Kevin Sand’s The Blackthorn Key series is a middle grade book that should be on everyone’s radar. Full stop.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Assassin’s Curse from Simon & Schuster Canada.


Continue reading [Review] The Assassin’s Curse — Kevin Sands