Review: The Electric Kingdom

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Penguin Teen) for promotional purposes. 

Wow. This was such an interesting book (in a good way)! 

When I first started reading it, I was a little confused about what was going on. You get thrown into the world without much explanation. But as the book went on, it was all slowly revealed. 

I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, but I will say it is sort of circular and kind of trippy (if that makes any sense). It’s a book that you have to read for yourself. By the time I got to the end, my mind was blown. 

The writing style is so beautiful. It’s very lyrical and poetic at times, but also had a slightly haunting quality to it. 

This is also a book that would be great to reread. Since you don’t discover everything until the end, it would be fun to reread it and pick up on all the little clues woven throughout the story.

Lastly, it felt eerie reading this book during a pandemic. This book is about deadly flies and the flu they carry and it made me think about the situation we are in. 

Overall, this was a deep and thought provoking story. I really recommend it! 


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Review: The Grace Year

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from The Book Drop. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. 

Omg this was a roller coaster of a book. 

This book is described as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies. I haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale but I loved Lord of the Flies. This was definitely like a female Lord of the Flies. In fact, it was 100 times more terrifying and disturbing than LotF. This book also reminded me a little of Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill because it also featured a sexist dystopian world. 

I don’t want to give too much away, so all I’ll say about the plot is that it is filled with non-stop action and intrigue, which makes it a fast read. You’ll be flipping through it trying to find out what happens next. You definitely won’t be bored. 

The writing style is also incredible. It’s hauntingly beautiful which perfectly captures the mood of the book. 

There was one quote in particular that really spoke to me. At one point, the main character states,

“We hurt each other because it’s the only way we’re permitted to show our anger. When our choices are taken from us, the fire builds within. Sometimes I feel like we might burn down the world to cindery bits, with our love, our rage, and everything in between”

pg. 345

I find this quote to be so reflective of our own society. In general, the themes behind this book are so prevalent in today’s world. 

Overall, this is an amazing and timely dystopian novel.

Review: Control Freakz

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Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So first off this book was written by a sophomore in high school which is pretty impressive. His command of the English language is remarkable for a person his age. When I was in high school, I could barely write a 4 page paper, let alone a full length book so I just want to say kudos to him.

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This was definitely an interesting book. It started off a bit slow. It wasn’t until I was a hundred pages in that I got more invested in the story. There was also this weird 3 year time jump that was a bit jarring. However, by the time I reached two hundred pages, I was hooked. The book ended on a cliffhanger and it made me really want to know what happens next.

As for the characters, I didn’t particularly care much for any of them. Natalie was kind of annoying for most of the book. Her talk of dying got on my nerves because that was all she ever talked about. Ethan was a bit interesting, but Hunter was kind of bland. I did like Danielle because there was more to her than meets the eye.

What I really loved about this book was the sly political commentary that rings true today. There was one passage in particular that I loved. The book states,

“what they didn’t realize, was that the one thing they were told would protect them, with their tariffs, immigration bans, and walls that separated them from the horrible outside world, was really the most dangerous thing of all. It wasn’t immigrants who came from less-developed countries who were destroying America, it was the ignorance of America itself. It wasn’t labor outsourced to other countries that caused America’s middle class to dwindle. It was the rich, corporate tyrants like President Ash himself, who owned one of the largest investment firms in the nation, that sucked the wealth away from most Americans” (41).

I was not expecting to get such deep commentary from a high schooler. That was a really pleasant surprise.

Overall, this was a solid debut book considering the author’s age. I cannot wait to see what else he puts out in the coming years.

 

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