Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 5-31-22
YA - Contemporary

Love Radio- Ebony LaDelle: Prince Jones has always been a romantic. At only seventeen, he's the youngest DJ at a local radio show, spinning music and dishing out love advice to the Detroit masses. Despite helping others find their happy endings, Prince has put his own on the backburner to help support his family. Until he meets Dani Ford. Dani doesn't have any time for relationships. Her sole focus is on finishing her senior year, getting into a good college, and moving to New York City to become a writer. If only she can get past the incident at a party months ago that blocked up her creativity. When Prince and Dani meet, neither can deny the attraction, but Dani can't afford any more distractions. So the pair agree: Dani will give Prince three chances to prove to her that he's worth the risk.

I thought this was a nice coming-of-age story. I liked watching the relationship blossom between Prince and Dani. I thought it was heartwarming to see how gentle Prince was with Dani and how much he respected her boundaries. The dates they went on were adorable, and I liked watching the two of them grow closer and open up. LaDelle did a great job creating these two characters who were going through things, but who weren't afraid to ask for help when they needed it and knew that you never have to face something alone. It led to open and honest dialogue that was refreshing. I also loved the dynamic between Prince and his group of friends. It was so cute watching how they hyped one another up, but also called each other out when necessary. The letters that Dani wrote to her favorite authors were also a lovely touch. Since I'm a bit older than the targeted demographic, there were times I had a hard time connecting with what was going on, but I still think it's a good read.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 11-2-21
Adult - Fantasy

A Marvellous Light- Freya Marske: Robin Blyth is juggling a lot on his plate. He's struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and finding ways to secure his failing lands after his late parents' excessive habits. All Robin wants to do is keep his head down, but when an administrative error lands him in a position working as a civil liaison to a hidden magical society, Robin finds his life is about to get even more complicated. Now, Robin must contend with dangerous magic, a deadly curse, visions of the future, and the company of his counterpart, Edwin Courcey. Edwin is cold and doesn't hide that he finds Robin more hindrance than helpful, but the two must work together to unravel a mystery that threatens every magician in the British Isles.

I had high expectations going into this one because I've heard nothing but amazing things, but I thought it was just okay. I liked the premise and thought the characters were fine, but nothing stood out. Robin and Edwin were enjoyable, and I liked how they were both so grumpy. They butted heads a lot, especially at the start, but I liked seeing them warm up and develop feelings for one another. The magic system was also engaging and easy to follow. I did think there were some pacing issues with some parts dragging, but I'm still intrigued to see where this series goes from here.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 9-4-18
Adult - Historical Fiction

The Silence of the Girls- Pat Barker: Briseis was once a queen, but when her city is attacked by the Greeks on their way to Troy, she is taken as a slave and given to the famed warrior Achilles as his war prize. Now, Briseis finds herself warming the bed of the same man who butchered her family, destroyed her city, and took away her freedom. With her unable to overpower her captor, Briseis knows her chances of escaping are very slim, so to survive, she must play a dangerous game. She turns her attention to the camp itself. Observing every detail, listening in on conversations, and in doing so, lends a voice to those who need it most: the women. With the winds of war changing, Briseis knows that the coming weeks will be full of petty men trying to boost their egos and gain power, and it's up to her to make sure the sacrifices of the women aren't overlooked in the aftermath.

I've read a few retellings of the Trojan war, so it's hard to find one that stands out from the rest, but this one did just that. Barker doesn't shy away from the brutality of war and the toll it takes on those affected by it, especially the women. It was so compelling to read from Briseis' perspective and I felt like it made you see the events in such a different light. Everything she and the other women had to go through was harsh and unfair and tortuous, but despite it all, Briseis never faltered in her resolve. She was determined to make it out and did everything she could to make it happen. The relationship between her and Achilles was different than in other books I've read which also helped it feel unique. I do wish we only got her perspective though because at times I felt taken out of the story when it switched over to Achilles. The majority of the time, history gives all the glory to the men, but Barker rewrites the narrative and gives the women the respect they deserve in a way that is so heartbreakingly beautiful.

Rating: 4/5


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