*Books included in this batch of mini book reviews: Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren, The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White, The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan, and Compass South (Four Points #1) by Hope Larson
» Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren
YA contemporary/romance is NOT a genre I reach for often… or ever. I’ve been trying to read more YA since I am now a Teen Librarian, and this one came in at our branch, so I decided to pick it up.
» I love books that revolve around female athletes. I am just such a sucker for a character that is passionate about a sport and we get to see the hard work and dedication that it takes to excel in a sport. I also appreciated that the author tackled some tough issues of female athletes: double standards, sexism, sexual harassment, etc.
» Holland was an excellent female main character. She’s hard working, confident in her abilities, strong, and not afraid to stand up for herself.
» This was such a sweet romance story! I think this relationship felt very realistic of a high school romance, which is not always true of many YA contemporaries that I’ve read before.
› Recommended to ⇒ fans of female athlete stories
› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ sexual harassment, sexism, etc.
› If you liked this book, try ⇒ Beartown by Fredrik Backman
» The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White
This was one of my most anticipated books of 2019! Did it live up to my expectations, not exactly, but I still think it is a worth while read.» I’ve mentioned this before, but I love Kiersten White’s retellings. I think she does such a wonderful job keeping elements from the original fairtytale/legend/myth, while creating a new & unique story. When I found out that this was a retelling of King Arthur & Guinevere retelling, I was stoked. I’m not surprised, but I really loved how White retold this Medieval legend. I think the concept for this story was brilliant!
» I loved the LGBTQIA+ representation and am very intrigued on how things are going to pan out in the next installments. I can’t really elaborate because of #spoilers.
» I felt like I was just dropped into this world & story without proper development, which caused me to feel disoriented for much of the first half of the book.
» Because we were thrown into the story, I never really felt a connection to the main character, Guinevere. Had White started the story sooner and introduced us to “Guinevere” before she travels to Camelot, this would have helped.
» The story felt very stunted for the majority of the book. There wasn’t enough forward progress.
» Arthur felt very bland and underdeveloped. We do not see enough of him, which in turn makes the romance elements feel forced.Despite my various issues, I still enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading the next installment. I have high hopes that my issues with this book will be cleared up in the subsequent books.
Recommended to ⇒ retellings; medieval settings
› If you liked this book, try ⇒ And I Darken by Kiersten White
» The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan
My mother-in-law actually recommended this book for my son, a reluctant reader. » The Ruins of Gorlan is the story of a 15-year-old orphan that is training to become a Ranger. I flew through this quick paced & action packed story. There are some wonderful themes in The Ruins in Gorlan such as hard work, courage, good vs. evil, friendship, etc.
» Will was an excellent main character. I enjoyed watching his growth over the course of the book. I loved watching Will train & grow confident in his abilities under the watchful gaze of Halt. I think it was wonderful that the author focused on all the hard work & dedication that Will puts into his training.
» I would also consider The Ruins of Gorlan a wonderful gateway book into fantasy. If you are newer to fantasy or find fantasy intimidating, this is a good place to start.
» My mother-in-law was right, this book is an excellent read for reluctant readers.
» My only criticism of the book was that I did not like when the book shifted into Horace’s perspective. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy his character, just that the POV switch felt off. I think the story would have been better focusing only on Will’s story, and only seeing Horace through Will’s eyes.This is a wonderful fantasy story that will appeal to reluctant & avid readers alike.
› Recommended to ⇒ reluctant readers; new to fantasy readers
› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ bullying
› If you liked this book, try ⇒ The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan
» Compass South (Four Points #1) by Hope Larson
» Compass South is a exhilarating historic adventure story set in the 1860s. Filled with gangs, schemes, pirates, potential treasure, and travels, this graphic novel is a wild ride from start to finish. It gave me Treasure Island vibes, so if you are a fan of the classic story, you may enjoy this.
» I’d probably say this graphic novel will appeal to the 10 to 12-year-old age range.
› Recommended to ⇒ fans of adventure stories
› If you liked this book, try ⇒ Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?
Comment below & let me know 🙂