Laure Eve, The Graces Review

Author: Laure Eve

Title: The Graces

Synopsis: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on? (Source: GoodReads)

Disclaimer: These are my opinions about this book, and I mean no harm to the author or the fans of this book.

I was originally drawn into this book, because at my local Barnes & Noble’s there was a recommendation card that said that it was a mix between Mean Girls and The Craft. I’m hear to tell you that was a blatant lie.

I would consider The Graces to be more of a Twilight/ Single White Female fanfiction. That idea sounds way cooler than the actual plot of this book.

But The Graces was just so…corny. I found myself rolling my eyes all the way through.

Not only was it corny but it was confusing. Like is her dad dead or is he missing? Are they witches or is she witch? And why the hell is she single white femaling this  family? I need answers!

It took me awhile to connect with the main character, River, and when I did I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like her. She was only friends with The Graces based off of looks alone. She said they were best friends, but if they were really best friends she would have been comfortable enough to open up to them. She wanted to know everything about the Grace family yet she didn’t offer up information about herself one time. And she was only friends with Summer (the youngest Grace) just to get to her brother.

But what really disturbed me about River is that she kept saying how much she wanted to be a Grace. At one point she even said that she was a Grace. No, sweetie. You’re a stalker.

Another thing that turned me off about The Graces, was how long it took to get to the climax. At some points I would think I was there and then I wouldn’t be and then I would think I was there again and I still wouldn’t be it. And then it finally did happen, and it fell flat. With how many hints and cliffhangers there were leading up to that point I expected it to be bigger, and it just wasn’t.

I wanted to like The Graces I really did. But it just wasn’t for me. I read on GoodReads that there is a second one and a part of me wants to read it just to see if it’s any better. Don’t know if I will or not, but if I do I will definitely post a review.

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Jason Rekulak, The Impossible Fortress Review

Title: The Impossible Fortress

Author: Jason Rekulak

Genre: Young Adult/ Fiction

Synopsis: The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine…The year is 1987 and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys—Billy, Alf, and Clark—who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan—they’ll swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience store by seducing the owner’s daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy’s mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn’t your average teenage girl. She’s a computer loving, expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden, big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary’s affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends. (All Stats from GoodReads)

When I first picked up The Impossible Fortress I didn’t think much of it. I just thought it was going to be a short, easy read, which it was, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

The story is told from the perspective of fifteen year old, Billy Marvin, and it took me a while to warm up to Billy. He’s young, impressionable, and all he really wants to do is create video games and see Vanna White naked. Not really my type of guy.

But I ended up enjoying his character very much. Though I found myself cringing at some of the stupid decisions he made. Billy turned out to have a good heart, and most fifteen year olds make stupid decisions. His and Mary’s relationship threw me through a loop towards the middle, I was not expecting what happened at all. I’m not going to spoil it, but Mary is not as innocent as she seems. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Overall I really enjoyed, The Impossible Fortress, it was a sweet coming of age story. It’s very short so it was easy to get through, and it took me on a journey through Wetbridge, New Jersey in the spring of 1987. And I learned a little bit of code in the process. You can find The Impossible Fortress in your local bookstore and online.

Phoebe Robinson, You Can’t Touch My Hair Review

Title: You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain

Author: Phoebe Robinson

Genre: Humor/Non-fiction

Synopsis: Phoebe Robinson offers a hilariously smart narrative on being a black woman. Filled with Phoebe’s life experiences and her struggles of being a black woman in comedy and of being deemed the “black friend.” Robinson’s, You Can’t Touch My Hair, breaks down the many struggles that black women, and just women in general, have to face in society in an honest and funny way. (Source: Me( Surprise!! I wrote this all by myself) )

I have never related to a book so much in my life. I may have said that about, Alida Nugent’s You Don’t Have to Like Me, but Phoebe Robinson took the thoughts write out of my brain and put them in a book.

For example my favorite chapter, How to Avoid Being the Black Friend, Robinson tells her experiences with being the black friend and what to look for to know that you are the “black friend.” As someone who has been the black friend my entire life, it’s nice to read that I’m not the only one who has had this experience. If I had a quarter for every time I sat in a classroom and I was the only black person in the class, I would have a hefty savings account.

Robinson hit all the points for me to give You Can’t Touch My Hair a 10 out of 10. Relatability, humor, a unique voice, and honesty. I want everyone I know to read this, even my white girlfriends who will never know what it’s like to have black hair or to be the black friend. But luckily for them Phoebe Robinson wrote a whole book about it, so they can learn.

I hope that Phoebe Robinson is able to write more books in the future, and that she can continue to produce amazing content for her podcasts.

You can find check out more of Phoebe Robinson in the links below:

Sara Benincasa, D.C. Trip Review

 

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Title: D.C. Trip

Author: Sara Benincasa

Genre: YA/Fiction

Publisher: Adaptive Studios

Synopsis: Alicia Deats is a new teacher chaperoning her very first high school trip to Washington DC, and nothing could be more terrifying than a class full of horny, backstabbing, boundary-pushing teenagers under her watch. To make matters worse, she embarrassed herself with her co-chaperone Bryan Kenner with one too many margaritas and an ill-placed vomiting incident at last year’s teacher mixer and is hoping this trip can be a fresh start for them. Alicia believes in positive reinforcement and trust to keep her students out of trouble, but best friend high school sophomores Gertie, Sivan, and Rachel have a different idea: they plan to take full advantage of the un-parented freedom that a trip to DC offers. Source: Goodreads

I loved this book so much, it is easily one of the best books that I’ve read this year (even though the year just started). I finished D.C. Trip within a few days, I just could not put it down,

This book was hilarious, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard while reading before. I found myself struggling to hold it together in the library while I was reading this. From the mischievous girls to the naïve teacher who was struggling to get her crush to like her. Benincasa’s humor shined through this novel.

D.C. Trip was not only hilarious, but it was also really relatable. The conversations between Gertie, Sivan, and Rachel reminded me a lot of my friends and I. I even related to Alicia Deats even though I’m not a teacher, but we’ve all had a crush on someone that we didn’t think like us back

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This book was pure gold, and I would recommend it to anyone. I just finished it, and I’m already thinking about reading it again. I had never heard of Sara Benincasa before this, but I will definitely be checking out more of her work. I’d also never heard of Adaptive Studios, but when I went into Barnes & Noble the other day I noticed that the had their own display. After reading the backs of some them. I think I might pick up a few the next time I go book shopping.

I can’t wait to see what else Sara Benincasa does, and read more of her work.