I struggled with the most recent volume of Love at Fourteen

Love at Fourteen has been one of my favorite ongoing series to review, but Volume 6 was difficult for me:

An extremely uncomfortable aspect of Volume 6 is the continued emphasis on romances and crushes between middle school students and the adults in their lives, in particular between students and their teachers. Students having crushes on teachers — especially student teachers or young teachers — isn’t uncommon or particularly unnatural, but it’s another matter entirely to depict that teacher being romantically or sexually attracted to the middle school student.

You can read my full review at Girls in Capes.

Check out my most recent manga review at Girls in Capes

Find my latest review up now at Girls in Capes:

With that in mind, as a Madoka*Magica franchise fan, most of the mystery of the series evaporated. While that’s true of other spinoff series as well, the direct intersection of Oriko’s path with the plot of the main series is a major detraction from my engagement with the story.

Read more now.

Micro-Review: Hollie Overton’s BABY DOLL isn’t for the faint of heart

Hollie Overton Baby Doll Redhook US coverFrom the publisher:

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next…

…to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter…and to her captor.

While I truly enjoyed this book – it’s fast-paced, filled with action, and very engaging – the subject matter is definitely sensitive: a young woman who’s been held hostage and assaulted both physically and sexually escapes her abuser with her daughter and begins the legal process to get him put away.

There were times while reading this book that I felt physically nauseous, especially during descriptions of the abuse. Some sections are told from the perspective of Lily’s captor, and the sections feel so real and bone-shakingly horrific.

Because of that, while I thought this book was really wonderful as a thriller, I’m not sure if I would recommend to all readers because its subject matter is incredibly difficult to stomach. Readers who can, though, will find this an engaging, heart-poundingly suspenseful read.

4 out of 5 stars

June 2015 Books Completed

June marks the end of the first half of 2015! To complete the 100 Books Challenge, you should be at 50 books for the year.  Unfortunately, I’m not quite there yet — I’m actually falling pretty far behind. But take a look at the books I finished this month.

Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. A lower middle-grade title about a girl whose magic is “upside-down.” To be frank, I found its constant racial labeling strange, and I didn’t like the style of writing, as it just felt insulting to children’s intelligence. Wouldn’t really recommend for most children. 2 out of 5 stars

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. An adult fantasy about a woman searching for her daughter during an apocalypse-level event. A perfect fantasy read for lovers of science fiction. Review is forthcoming at Girls in Capes5 out of 5 stars

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker. This YA fantasy is to some extent a spiritual successor to Tamora Pierce’s Tortallan universe, featuring a heroine whose problems are surprisingly modern. Not my favorite of YA fantasy, but an interesting read. 3.5 out of 5 stars

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Contemporary YA romance centered around a girl whose immune disorder means she can’t leave the house and the boy next door she falls in love with. Despite what I consider a significant flaw in the book, still well-written and heart-wrenching. 4 out of 5 stars

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach. I re-read this adult space opera for this month’s Girls in Capes book club. It’s a book I really like, but some of its issues are a little too annoying for me to rate it that high. 3 out of 5 stars

Durarara!! Vol. 1 by Ryohgo Narita. This light novel starts off pretty meandering, and overall, it’s too surrealist for my personal tastes. It starts to pull together about 2/3 through the book. This series doesn’t feel like it’s for me. 2.5 out of 5 stars

What were your favorite books this June?