It’s time for Show Us Your Books with Jana and Steph. I have some mini book reviews to share with all of you today. First off, don’t forget to enter my Favorite Things Giveaway (and others in the hop as well). It ends on February 28.
I read a lot of books in January as part of the CYBILS awards. I’m helping to judge the YA Fiction category. The winner will be announced Friday, so for now, I can’t share my thoughts. Expect lots of reviews to come!!
Here’s some of the other books I’ve been reading though—
- library copies; all opinions are my own
I don’t know a whole lot about fencing, but it’s definitely an interesting sport. I really love these graphic novels – the next one, Fence: Rivals, comes out in May. The books follow Nicholas and Seiji, rival fencers, until they end up at the same boarding school. They’re essentially still rivals at school too, though, as only so many people can make the team. I loved both main characters, as well as the secondary characters. I think it’s awesome that there is so much diversity, especially in terms of sexuality. Plus, their coach is a woman, so that’s pretty awesome!! I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.
Check, Please!: Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
- library copy; all opinions are my own
I’ve wanted to read Check, Please! for awhile so I was excited to see that my library had a copy. This is a really cute graphic novel about Eric “Bitty” Bittle and his college hockey team. I like that the book is set in college, as readers get to experience that world along with Eric. His teammates are all very different and great – some are particularly amusing! The illustrations are bright and fun, though not overly realistic. It worked for the book though! Another LGBT+ graphic novel series that handles everyone’s sexuality and gender identity well. The second book, Sticks and Scones, comes out in April.
Here In the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
- copy from publisher; all opinions are my own
I took part in the blog tour for Here in the Real World, so I already have a full book review posted. You have about 10 days left to enter the giveaway too, so check it out. However, here are some brief thoughts about the book-
I found Here in the Real World to be a good middle grade book, but it definitely started off kind of slow for me. As the book progresses, it picked up steam, though it’s definitely not a book full of action. It has a lot more introspective and imaginative moments.
Anyone But You by Brien Michaels
- copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
I did a full review for Anyone But You, but again, some brief thoughts-
I’d like to say that while I liked Anyone but You, it’s more of a solid three-star read than something I’m gushing about left and right.
However, it had a really great mystery!
- personal copy; all opinions are my own
I read Ban This Book as part of the Read the Alphabet Challenge, and again, here are some brief thoughts-
I loved that the Banned Books Locker Library made Amy Anne more bold and better able to speak up for herself and others. It also gave her the chance to learn more about her classmates, and other kids in the school, instead of just hanging out with her one friend, Rebecca, everyday. Ban This Book is a wonderful middle grade novel, and it would be great for starting discussions.
Wounded Martyr by Courtney Maguire
- copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
I love the beginning of the official summary for this book: Ice is an asshole, but he’s working on it. That’s pretty accurate. Ice is a recovering alcoholic, as well as the lead singer in a metal band. His ex, Ricky, is finally giving him a second chance, even though Ice treated him horribly when he wasn’t sober. At the same time, Ice is starting to well…not develop feelings exactly…but he’s becoming more attracted to band mate and best friend, Ashton, who he’s known for years. Back on tour, Ice is finding it difficult to keep his demons at bay, and I really did become invested in his story.
I felt bad for Ice and it was obvious that he was struggling. At the same time, I also felt equally bad for Ricky and Ashton who are caught up in his downward spiral. This book definitely took some turns I didn’t really expect, but I think they made sense and worked for the book. I definitely enjoy books about musicians, and this was a really interesting look at the hardships some face when becoming famous. I gave this one 4 stars!
That’s it from me this month! Have you read any of these books? Do any look good to you? Let me know in the comments!
Wounded Martyr sounds great! I love stories about musicians also. The love triangle, and coping with addiction sound like this story is probably a little intense. Thanks for sharing your mini reviews Lauren 🙂
I love the cover of Check Please, how fun does that look???
Lots of fun books! Graphic novels really intrigue me.
I’ve heard such great things about Check, Please!
Oh, love the cover and idea behind Ban This Book!
I have Ban this Book!
Check, Please! sounds so cute. I love a good hockey story. 🙂 I really need to check my library for graphic novels.
Always love to see your book reviews. Pinned the banned book book. It would be such a great book to read for banned book week. And to make middle schoolers aware of some of the great books that have been banned in some libraries.
I’ve been wanting to read Fence and just looked it up on Hoopla and they have it!!
Karen @ For What It’s worth
I have SO many reviews to get up on the blog I really should just do one big post like this. Ugh! I just ordered “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” which should (hopefully) finally come tomorrow, and then today “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” (nonfiction) came. I’m on a real nonfiction run lately, this is more than I normally read in that genre all year!
Okay, the premise of Ban This Book sounds interesting! Adding it to my TBR 🙂
These covers are so fun! Especially Anyone But You 😉
Looks like you had some fabulous reads! I’m looking forward to hearing about your Cybils books—the judging process has been tougher than I expected it to be!
I wish I enjoyed graphic novels, but I’m not a big fan. I think my son’s a little young for some of these, but I may check out Ban this Book for him.
That Sara Pennypacker book looks amazing. The illustration on the cover is beautiful. And funny coincidence – I used to live on a street called Pennypacker. 🙂
I love graphic novels. I’m going to add some of these to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing!
I love that you get to be a book judge! That’s so awesome!
I haven’t really jumped on the graphic novel bandwagon, although I’ve been meaning to check them out as they seem like they’d been a nice change of pace. Ban this book sounds awesome.
Ban This Book sounds like a good one for my son to read.
Dang you did read a lot of books! I am down to almost finishing one, but sooo not very fast! Last month I did better, but it was only like 3 🙂
What’s your advice for enjoying graphic novels? I feel old and have a hard time getting into them like my ‘word’ books. LOL Can’t wait to hear your YA picks!
Graphic novels can be a bit strange to read at first if you aren’t used to them. I can always find ideas for you if you let me know what types of books you like though – just shoot me an email: Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com
I love how varied your reading list was! I have always loved graphic novels but I’ve not read one. Yeah, I know, I’m weird. Fence looks good, I’m going to see if my library has them.
This is reminding me that I really need to try some graphic novels! Jona is really into Dog Man (which is obviously suited for the younger set) but I know there are so many great ones out there spanning all different themes/topics.
ooh yes, I love graphic novels. If you ever want recommendations, let me know!
You spears read the best books, Lauren! I haven’t heard of any of these (but I remember reading your review of Ban This Book and n B I’m definitely intrigued. Also Wounded Martyr sounds really interesting too (I like books about music and touring, too). Thanks for sharing!
I love the cover for Here in the Real World!
This looks like a nice mix. I love discovering new graphic novels too.
I was just talking about Check, Please! with Jackie over at Death by Tsundoku. I loved that book! Pies + hockey + an adorable romance = a great time for me
The fencing books look fun. My son fences and I’m learning a lot from his lessons. 🙂
That’s so cool that your son fences!
Okay Fence looks so good, I am definitely going to check that one out because you’re right, how many fencing books are there!? Also, I adored Check, Please, and I cannot wait for the next one!! Glad most of these were pretty good for you!
Fence was so good, can’t wait for the next installment!
Ban this Book is new to me! I need to check that one out. Thanks for sharing all these reviews!
Ban this book has such an interesting title that it’s calling me to buy it. I am reading a lot of self-development books this month so I need something a little different to shake things up.