Book Reviews, Contemporary, Fantasy, Young Adult

Mini Book Reviews: February 2020 – Part 3

*Books included in this batch of mini book reviews: The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black, I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching #4) by Terry Pratchett, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, & All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney


» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black



5-Star Rating System

*3.75 Stars*

After being disappointed in the second installment, The Wicked King, I was unsure of whether I was going to finish the trilogy out or not.  I decided to give this conclusion a chance…WhatILiked»  I enjoyed The Queen of Nothing much better than the second installment.  The Queen of Nothing was action-packed from start to finish, unlike the second book where nothing happens until the final 100 pages.

» I liked Jude much better in The Queen of Nothing than I did in the previous books.  In the first two books, I always felt irritated by Jude’s poor decisions & placing herself in bad situations.  In this installment, I feel like Jude went through a decent amount of growth & development.  I’ve also always appreciated how Jude is unapologetically herself and goes after what she wants.

» Grima Mog was an excellent addition to the cast of characters!  I wish she would have been in the cast from the start of the series.
WhatIDidntLike» The climax was rushed, thus felt very anticlimactic.  I blinked and it was all over.  This was probably the biggest let down for me.  After 3 books of buildup, I was expecting an epic battle scene.

» I felt like Cardan’s character did a complete 180º out of the blue without enough character development to show his change of heart.  Actually, there isn’t much of Cardan in this book at all, despite the fact he’s a main character…

» There were a few loose ends that I would have liked to see wrapped up.

» I did not enjoy how everything was wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end of this book… It didn’t suit the tone of the series at all.

› Recommended to ⇒ fans of morally gray characters; fans of the hate to love trope

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ death, battle scenes, gore, etc.

» I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching #4) by Terry Pratchett


add-to-goodreads-button5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked» I think Tiffany Aching is one of my favorite fictional characters ever.  She really just keeps getting better with each book.  Thank you Terry Pratchett for creating a young female character that draws her strength from being smart, cleaver, resourceful, hardworking and practical!

» This may be an unpopular opinion, but I was happy about the whole Roland-Tiffany potential relationship ending.  I was NOT a Roland fan.  Now Preston on the other hand!  I’m all for the Preston-Tiffany potential relationship!

» The Wee-Free Men will always hold a special place in my heart.

» I cannot say enough about Pratchett’s humor & whit shining through in these books.  If you are a fan of dry humor, I recommend Terry Pratchett to you!OverallAfter I finish this series, I am looking forward to reading more in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

› Recommended to ⇒ fans of eccentric characters; fans of humor & whit

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett


» The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes



5-Star Rating System

*3.5 Stars*WhatILiked» I really enjoyed the 1930s Kentucky setting.  Being just north of Kentucky in Ohio, I’ve visited Kentucky often, so I could vividly picture the setting of The Giver of Stars.

» Pack horse librarians!  Does this really surprise you?  I’m a Librarian at a public library, so of course this appealed to me on a professional level.  My favorite parts of the book were the librarians setting up the library, navigating the harsh landscape of the Kentucky hills, and interacting with less than hospitable residents.

» I loved the friendship between Alice, Margery, Izzy, Beth, and Sophia.  I loved their individuality, their dedication, and their passion for the pack horse librarian initiative.

WhatIDidntLike»  I would have liked more of the story to center around the library & pack horse librarians and less on the various romances.

» I wanted more development in Izzy, Beth, and Sophia.  I found these characters very intriguing, but they were only surface-level.

» I wasn’t engaged with the story aside from the pack horse librarian aspects.

› Recommended to ⇒ library lovers; historical fiction fans

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ discrimination, sexism, racism, domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc.

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson


» All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney



5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked» This was a beautiful coming-of-age story about a girl that is struggling with her identity.   As a Circassian-American that has lived her entire life in the United States, Allie struggles to connect with her Circassian roots.  Furthermore, since her parents do not practice Islam, she also struggles to connect with her Muslim roots.  I loved watching Allie’s growth & self-discovery from start to finish.

»  It was heartbreaking to read from the perspective of a Muslim teen that felt she had to hide part of her identity for fear of prejudice and discrimination.  Reading these perspectives always give me a fresh outlook & make me recognize my privilege.

»  Typically, I do not like to read books where religion/faith is central to the plot, HOWEVER I really appreciated learning more about Islam in this book.   All-American Muslim Girl does beautiful job of laying out what Islam is, and what it isn’t by challenging common misconceptions.

» While there was romance included in this book, the romance was secondary to Allie’s journey to discover who she is.

› Recommended to ⇒ fans of religiously diverse characters

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ Islamophobia

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo



Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think?

Comment below & let me know 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Mini Book Reviews: February 2020 – Part 3”

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