Welcome to my new feature–Monthly Minis–where I feature MG and YA books that I read during the past month but didn’t quite have room to write a full post about each. Mini reviews are only a paragraph each and include a star rating. This feature is inspired by several features on other blogs.
July is the first month of Monthly Minis and I have to say, I had a lot of fun putting these together! Ready? Okay. Here we go.
Mini #1: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future
My Rating: 5 stars!
I started hearing a lot about this series right around the time that Cress (the third book) came out. Although Sci-Fi isn’t really my thing, Cinder sounded so unique that I had to try it! I’m so glad I did, even though I struggled to get into it at the start. Fairytale retellings are one of my favorite things in novels and one of the things I loved about Cinder was the way it is clearly still the classic Cinderella tale but at the same time, completely and entirely Marissa Meyer’s story.
The heroine, Cinder, is a cyborg. Again, not my thing, but I fell in love with the world-building. The Lunar queen, Levana, has proposed a marriage alliance between herself and the earthen emperor, Kai, to prevent a war. The only problem? She *might* be planning on taking over the planet herself after the wedding. I had no problem believing the world-building in Cinder. I loved it, really! This definitely makes my favorites shelf.
If you enjoyed The Hybrid Chronicles or the Throne of Glass series, give this a try.
Mini #2: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it’s over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano — on her own terms. But when you’re used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
My Rating: 2 stars
I was really excited for this book but I felt quite let down by the end. I couldn’t connect with the main character, Lucy. She constantly complained about her situation and lack of sympathy from her family, even though she was the one causing the problems to begin with.
The romance also got on my nerves. Lucy has a crush on her married piano teacher, Will. Besides the fact that Will is married, I found him really creepy. Overall, I couldn’t enjoy this book but if you have read it, I would love to know!
Mini #3: The Summer I Saved The World In 65 Days
It’s summertime, and thirteen-year-old Nina Ross is feeling kind of lost. Her beloved grandma died last year; her parents work all the time; her brother’s busy; and her best friend is into clothes, makeup, and boys. While Nina doesn’t know what “her thing” is yet, it’s definitely not shopping and makeup. And it’s not boys, either. Though . . . has Eli, the boy next door, always been so cute?
This summer, Nina decides to change things. She hatches a plan. There are sixty-five days of summer. Every day, she’ll anonymously do one small but remarkable good thing for someone in her neighborhood, and find out: does doing good actually make a difference? Along the way, she discovers that her neighborhood, and her family, are full of surprises and secrets.
In this bighearted, sweetly romantic novel, things may not turn out exactly as Nina expects. They might be better.
My Rating: 4 stars
This was a fabulous fluffy contemporary read. Everything about it was really adorable-from the romance to the quirky neighbours and interesting characters.
The main character, Nina, is a pretty normal kid who decides that she wants to do 65 little good deeds in summer, one for each day. I liked the message behind this book that one good deed can make someone’s day. Definitely one to recommend, particularly for readers of Karen Harrington and Frances O’Rourke Dowell.