Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier — August 30, 2018

Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier

thSixteen-year-old Gwyneth discovers that she, rather than her well- prepared cousin, carries a time-travel gene, and soon she is journeying with Gideon, who shares the gift, through historical London trying to discover whom they can trust.

This book was very well-written but Gwyneth was way too stupid. According to the author, she forgets everything instantly and didn’t do anything useful until she started time-traveling (and then she had a big panic attack and made a fool of herself. The plot and setting were okay, it was just that infuriating Gwyneth. If you want to hear more of my thoughts then you should keep reading.

Most of the characters were very well written. Some of them weren’t. I enjoyed the fact that they all developed over the course of the book. I also really liked the way that they all talked, they sounded like they knew more than you until you proved them wrong, that is. I also enjoyed laughing at the jokes they made, without knowing. All of them were very unique, sometimes it was good and sometimes it was bad. Gwyneth was the worst character, which was good, because if she was the best then this would have been one of the few books that I DNFed.

The best character in the book was probably Gideon. He was realistic, funny, and actually pretty interesting. So, basically, whatever Gwyneth was not. He cared for Gwyneth (somehow) and treated her like his equal. He was also a tremendous flirt. I enjoyed his charm and quick wit. He was very unique, in a good way, and it was easy to see why Charlotte and Gwyneth fell in love with him. I would like to see where his journey takes him in the next book, but I’m not sure that I’m going to pick it up.

Ruby Red Quotes

The plot was very well-written and intriguing. It kept me interested in the book when Gwyneth got especially annoying. The writing style was quite unique and beautiful. I would never have guessed at the plot twists and the ending. I really loved the way that the story was told, in beautiful prose. The prologue and the epilogue were probably my favorite parts of the book, just because they gave me a big breath of fresh air. I also really enjoyed the way that the information was revealed. It was what kept me hooked on the book.

The setting was very well-written and descriptive. I could easily imagine myself adventuring with the characters, talking to them, and correcting all of their mistakes. The mythology and backstory was not that well-written. I wanted to be engrossed in the book and interested in everything. That didn’t happen. I wish it did. I probably won’t be picking up the sequel.

I had high hopes for this book and they were not fulfilled. I honestly can’t recommend it to anyone. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (52)

The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson Illustrated by Rafael Lopez — August 27, 2018

The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

downloadTitle: The Day You Begin

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrator: Rafael Lopez

Date Published: August 28th, 2018

Publisher: Nancy Paulson Books

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature 

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpre Illustrator Award winner Rafael Lopez have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding the courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

This ARC was provided by the publisher. All opinions are entirely own. 

This book was so cute!!!! I gave my little sister, who hates reading, and she loved it!!! I think that this book was amazing and teaches a lot of important lessons and will get any kid addicted to reading.

Ms. Woodson’s writing was just as amazing as it has been in the past books and it makes me want to read all of her books. This book was written in such a way that the child has to read the next page, otherwise, they won’t finish the sentence. All of the other books I’ve read by Ms. Woodson have not been like this, which makes me want to read more of her picture books to see if it’s the same style.

The art was so unique and I wanted to sit still and look at it for a while. Everything was so bright and colorful and I was entranced. This picture book would have kids hooked, if not on the story than on the art. I loved it, my little sister loved it, and most children will love it as well.

The Day You Begin Quotes

I loved how different everyone in this book was. There were so many people and the odd thing was, I didn’t know any of their names. I thought that was cool. I can’t help but smile when I remember the ending of the book. This book also lazy summers and how it’s okay not to go any vacations. I loved this book and I want to read more of Ms. Woodson’s picture books. 

Ms. Woodson’s books are always so lyrical and I can’t wait to read her next one. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Trell, by Dick Lehr — August 24, 2018

Trell, by Dick Lehr

34129066From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel inspired by the true story of a young man’s false imprisonment — and those who fought to free him.

This book was very well written and it told me that I should probably not be reading criminal mysteries because I always figure them out halfway through the book (it sucks). I loved the characters and the setting but once I figured out the mystery it got pretty boring. I enjoyed it and all, but it just didn’t catch me the way that I want to be caught in mystery/crime novels.

The characters were probably the most interesting part of the book. They were very unique and they hooked me from page one. All of the characters developed quite nicely and I couldn’t wait to hear about what they were doing next. All of them were very talented and different. I enjoyed the way that they interacted with each other and helped each other. I also liked hearing about how they were all similar, like their distrust of the police. Honestly, I enjoyed reading about the characters and how they interacted as a community. 

My favorite character was Nancy Walsh, the lawyer. She was so determined and I fell in love with her instantly. Ms. Walsh cared a lot about her clients and it really showed. I also loved how persistent she was and how she taught Trell some things about lawyers as well. She wasn’t in a lot of the book, which made me wonder where she was when all of the drama was happening. She would have known what to do. She was also one of those figures that make little kids want to be a lawyer when they grew up. I really liked her kindness to Trell’s family and her persistence.

The plot was very well written. It just lost it’s appeal to me once I figured out who had actually killed Ruby. I am still a bit confused on how the characters didn’t figure this out earlier. The author did everything right, he dropped critical pieces of information at the right time, he created a lot of suspense, and then there was a big reveal. It was just that I figured out the mystery 100 pages into the book. After that, it was just me waiting patiently for the characters to figure it out already.

The setting was also really well done. It was really descriptive and it described the relationship between the gangs and the civilians with the police perfectly. I think that it was very well written and it told an important story. The setting was very descriptive and so was the backstory. The message it sends is very powerful and it is done well. The setting helped me grow invested in the story. Honestly, it wasn’t the best part of the story but it also wasn’t the worst.

Trell was very good and it told a powerful message. I really liked it up to the point where I figured everything out. I recommend it, just prepare to figure out everything before the characters. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey!!! You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Starfish, by Akemi Dawn Bowman — August 21, 2018

Starfish, by Akemi Dawn Bowman

downloadKiko Himura yearns to escape the toxic relationship with her mother by getting into her dream art school, but when things do not work out as she hoped Kiko jumps at the opportunity to tour art schools with her childhood friend, learning life-changing truths about herself and her past along the way.

This was a hard read. Really really hard. It was beautiful and I fell in love the characters instantly. I loved the plot and the setting as well. The book pulled me in at the very beginning and I couldn’t wait to pick this book up again. If you want to hear more of my thoughts then you should read the rest of my review.

The characters were so beautiful and pure and innocent and I wanted to get to know them way more then the book did and I wish that they were all happy from the very beginning. There, I’m done with my tangent. I loved the way that the characters developed over the course of the book and how they interacted with one another. All of them changed a lot over the course of the book. I wish that I could’ve met the characters in more detail.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman Quotes

My favorite character was Hiroshi. He was so kind and he suffered the same way that Kiko did. I loved his way of getting Kiko to utilize her potential and then helped her achieve . . . something (can’t tell you without spoiling it). He cared about his family and couldn’t help but do what’s best for them. Hiroshi was always there for Kiko, and he made it quite clear that if she ever needed a shoulder to cry on he would be there for her.

The plot was very well written. Due to it being a contemporary, the plot was very character based. I was constantly kept on my toes. The information was released gradually and it kept me hooked. I enjoyed the witty dialogue of the characters and the way that they could get me quietly chuckling. There were also a lot of different themes in this book, like beauty, that made this book very important for everyone. The book was very well written and even though this was a debut novel it seemed like Ms. Bowman had written novels all her life.

The setting was also very well written, as was the backstory. Everything was very descriptive and I could envision myself with the characters, drawing (if I actually knew how to), and talking to them. The backstory was very sad and also very realistic. I got very mad at some of the characters at different points at the book, like I was probably supposed to. The setting was very descriptive and I hope that I pick up another one of her books it will be just as good.

This book was very well written and I cannot wait to pick up Summer Bird Blue. I highly recommend it. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey!!! You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

th (14)

Ban This Book, by Alan Gratz — August 18, 2018

Ban This Book, by Alan Gratz

downloadA fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship.I 

This book was really really good. I appreciated the message and how it was conveyed. It was really really funny. The characters, plot, and setting were really well written. If you want to know more than you should read on.

The characters were magnificent!!! I loved and related to them all and wish that this book had been longer so that I could spend more time with them. All of them changed quite a lot over the course of the book. I really enjoyed hearing how all of the characters interacted and fought for each other. I loved them all and wish them happiness.

My favorite character was Amy Anne. She was so strong willed and I enjoyed the way that she had conversations with everyone else in her head. She was so smart, if only she would say the things that were in her head. I loved how everyone acted around her, before and after the book banning. I loved how much she read and think that she would make an excellent book blogger. I loved her independence and courage, by the end of the book. Honestly, I admired her determination to change the school’s library for the better.

The plot was very interesting and very very relative. I have never heard of any books banned at any schools that I know of, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know it happens. It makes me sad to know that people think that some books are bad and that they should not be read by children. I really liked the way that everything was revealed, in bits and pieces so that I was always kept guessing. I was constantly kept on my toes. This book was very relevant and it sends a powerful message to everyone who reads it.

The setting was very descriptive. I enjoyed the way that Amy Anne’s home was portrayed and the feelings that went along with it. It was very interesting to read about how everyone felt about books being banned. Everyone’s reaction was different but they all told me something interesting about the person. I loved how descriptive the school was and how the characters didn’t just stand there talking about what they were going to do, they did it as well. I loved the writing style and how it wasn’t like any other writing style that I have ever read.

All in all, this book was very well written and it sent a powerful message to anyone reading it. I highly recommend it. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

Mask of Shadows, by Linsey Miller — August 15, 2018

Mask of Shadows, by Linsey Miller

downloadA childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

This book wasn’t bad. I enjoyed the fact that it had a genderfluid MC in it, you don’t normally see that in books, and how detailed it was. I also loved the plot and how unique it was, except for TOG, but that doesn’t count. The setting was also very intriguing but I didn’t get the thing about the shadows very much. If you want to hear more than you should read on.

The characters were very interesting. I enjoyed having a gender-fluid character for once, we don’t normally hear of them but they are there. I especially liked how the other characters reacted to Sal and him being gender-fluid. It was very eye-opening. All of the characters changed a lot over the course of this book. I also enjoyed the way that the characters interacted with each other and that even though they were supposed to kill each other, some of them still became friends. I’m not sure what that was about. I loved most of the characters and wish the ones that survived a happy ending.

My favorite character was probably Sal. I got to know him more than any other character and I enjoyed his perspective on life. I wanted to learn more about his past and can’t wait to see what happens in his future. I enjoyed reading about how he changed and how he acted when threatened. I also really appreciated the thought that went into the gender-fluid part of Sal’s character. Honestly, I wish that Ms. Miller had put this kind of thought into the side characters as well. I enjoyed Sal a lot and can’t wait to see what happens to him in the next book.

Mask of Shadows Quotes

The plot was very original (if you haven’t read Throne of Glass). And I was very curious as to what would happen next. I loved the detail that went into the plot and wish that it had been extended to the backstory. I also loved how the Left Hand operated and wanted to know everything I could about them. The plot was a little bit predictable but not as much as some books (*cough cough* Daughter of the Burning City *cough cough*). All in all, the plot was pretty good.

The setting. The problem area. I know that writing fantasy settings is hard, I’ve tried and haven’t really succeeded yet, but that doesn’t mean that the author shouldn’t try to write a decent backstory. The setting itself was very descriptive but it was like Ms. Miller tried to write a backstory and then gave up. The shadows confused me so so much. How do they work? How are they made? How do you stop them? All of these questions and more were left unanswered. I hope that these questions will be answered in the next book.

I really enjoyed this book despite it’s flaws. Ms. Miller is a debut author so I’ll cut her some slack. I recommend it if you can forget about it’s flaws. I got the summary from Goodreads. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (15)

Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell — August 12, 2018

Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

15745753Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

This book was so sweet!! I read it and then I reread it so that I wouldn’t have to return it to the library. Everything between Eleanor and Park was so sweet and so so real. I laughed and I cried and it was amazing!!! I wish that I could go to the bookstore and buy this, but that would be a waste of money. All of the characters were amazingly realistic, as was the plot and the setting. If you want to read more of my thoughts then you should read the rest of my review.

The characters were so sweet!!! None of them deserved what they got and it broke my heart when I learned what was happening to them. That was when I started crying and couldn’t stop. I loved how the characters changed over the time period of the book. They helped each other and transformed everyone around them into better people. I really liked all of them and wish them happiness.

Eleanor & Park Quotes

My favorite character was Park. He started off being my least favorite character but then I grew to like him as I got to know him better. He was the right person for Eleanor and I ship them with all of my heart. Park also does what he feels is right for him, even if it annoys the people around him. I enjoyed the loyalty that he feels to Eleanor and wish that the ending had been different. I think that Park’s relationship with his father was very well done. All I want to do is give him a big hug.

The plot was, as usual with contemporaries, very character based. It seemed very realistic to me, but I haven’t lived through half of the things that they have. I appreciated the way that the bullying was portrayed in this book, one of the many many times I cried while reading this book. I loved Eleanor and Park gradually came to love each other and it wasn’t insta-love (I hate that trope). Writing a book like this takes a lot of talent and if reading two books of Ms. Rowell’s hadn’t already hooked me on her writing this one did.

The setting was amazing!!! The characters didn’t really go anywhere so the setting was really descriptive. Park’s house made me want a waterbed. All of the places that the characters traveled were very descriptive and they made me never want to be in the situation that Eleanor was in. I wish that there was a sequel to this book, badly, preferably years in the future. The way that the backstory was revealed was genius. Absolute genius. I loved this book and I hope that we get a sequel, sometime in the future.

All in all, I loved this book and cannot wait to read more of Ms. Rowell’s books. I highly recommend it. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

Even the Darkest Stars, by Heather Fawcett — August 9, 2018

Even the Darkest Stars, by Heather Fawcett

downloadKamzin dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. Then River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives and demands to hire Kamzin — not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected — for his next expedition. River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor; it means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. When Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb beating her to the summit.

I went into this book with very low expectations and this book surpassed them. I wasn’t expecting what I got in this book and it kept me on my toes. The characters were not bad and neither was the plot or the setting.

Even The Darkest Stars Quotes

The characters were not that bad. I actually enjoyed reading about them and their stories. They all changed over the course of the book, and I can’t wait to see how all of them change in the next novel. I really enjoyed how different all of the characters were. All of them were as different from each other as night was from day. Maybe that was what made them so appealing.

Honestly, my favorite character was Lusha. She was such an intriguing person from the start of the book to the end of it. I can’t wait to see where she goes in the next book. Lusha’s loyalty to Azmiri was really strong and I loved it so much (even though her loyalty to her family was lacking).

The plot wasn’t half bad. I haven’t read very many books like it. I enjoyed the plot twists that I sometimes saw coming and sometimes I didn’t. There was quite a lot of action and drama, which was much appreciated. There wasn’t enough planning for me though. I was hoping for it to be equal, even though as soon as I got to know the characters I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Ah well, I can dream. 

The setting was probably the most interesting part of this book. I don’t read many books set in a wintery, mountain setting. I should probably read more of those because it is my dream place to live (no one will visit me so I can just read). The mythology and backstory were so complete and I loved it instantly. But I do wish that the book explained the ghosts a little bit more. I was curious about them and none of my questions were answered.

All in all, this book was a fun read. I recommend it to all fantasy lovers. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my about page. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (15)

Red Rising, by Pierce Brown — August 6, 2018

Red Rising, by Pierce Brown

downloadDarrow, a Red in the lowest caste of society, joins a revolutionary cell and attempts to infiltrate an elite military academy after witnessing the execution of his wife.

This book was very good. I enjoyed it and I can’t wait to read the sequel. The worldbuilding, plot, and characters were all really well done and I enjoyed accompanying them on their journey. The setting was done very well and I felt like by the end of the book I could journey to that world and get on fine. You know, if I looked like any of the classes. If you want to know more about my thoughts on the book then you should keep reading.

The characters were very well done. I enjoyed them and their antics. They developed a lot over the course of that book and they made alliances and broke them. It was amazing and I loved it. The characters were also really funny. I don’t know if they meant to be funny or not, but they were to me. Darrow had a very good sense of what was right and wrong and I loved it. I was so happy that someone in this book didn’t have warped morals. I think that they were strong, independent individuals and I can’t wait to see where they will go in the next book.  

My favorite character was Sevro. He was amazing and I was in awe of him the entire time. He was such a strong character, with such an ingrained sense of loyalty. I think that he was a great supporting character. I also wanted him to be in this book a little bit more. I also wanted to know more about his Howlers. I felt like they didn’t give enough detail for that. I hope that Sevro comes back in the next book as the beloved character that I remember him to be.

 The plot was extremely intense and fast-paced. Sometimes I thought that it was too fast-paced and I couldn’t remember some of what was happening. The action, once it started, was pretty much nonstop. There was very little planning and lots and lots of action. I think that it could’ve used more planning, or it could have at least shown us the planning scenes. Because I know that the plans that these characters came up with cannot be done on the fly. So besides that little issue, I thought that the plot was rather good.

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The setting was also done really well. I could envision myself with the characters, helping them on their quest. I think that the setting could have been a bit more descriptive but not much. The backstory and information given was perfect. It was just enough to keep me wanting to read more and learn more. And then they dropped enough information at the end to make me want to read the sequel. So honestly, the setting was done very well.

I did enjoy this book, except for the little flaws. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy a good sci-fi book. The summary came from the Library of Congress. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find a link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (15)

Tempests and Slaughter, by Tamora Pierce — August 3, 2018

Tempests and Slaughter, by Tamora Pierce

downloadArram Draper, Varice Kingsford, and Ozorne Tasikhe forge a bond of friendship that sees them through many changes as student mages at the Imperial University of Carthak.

I was expecting a Harry Potter rip-off. This is not a Harry Potter rip-off. This is so different. For one, it isn’t as good (but nothing is as good as Harry Potter). And two, the setting, characters, and plot are completely different. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to discuss it more with you guys.

 

The characters were really good. But because there were no descriptive words I didn’t know what the characters looked like. I could tell that they changed over the course of the book and I liked that. They also grew closer to each other and became each other’s family. When I started this book I immediately thought, “Oh no. This is going to be a Harry Potter trope and I’m going to hate it.” It was sort of tropey, but it was different from Harry Potter. I would love to know them all and be able to talk to them.

Tempests and Slaughter Quotes

My favorite character has to be Varice. She was so strong-willed and intelligent that I fell in love with her instantly. I think that she should be the main character rather than Arram, she was so much more interesting. Honestly. Arram’s life could be very boring at times. Sorry, Arram. Varice never let the sexism of the people of Tortall get to her. She is so empowering and she could be a great role model for girls everywhere. And that’s only a few reasons why Varice is my favorite character and I love her so much. I hope that you all love her as much as I did.  

The plot was very intriguing. I have never read a plot like it. It followed Arram’s life, from the time he was nine to the time he was thirteen or so. I loved and hated the fact that we didn’t miss out on any aspect of his life. It does get tiring after a time. I loved how interesting Ms. Pierce made it, though. I do wish that we did other things and learned more about background information. All in all, the plot was okay. At least Arram’s life was filled with action and adventure.

The setting was pretty good. It was very descriptive and I could imagine myself there with the characters. The backstory was not as good as I’d hoped it would be. It was put aside in favor of the plot. That was sort of irritating. But, there was a map at the beginning of this book. That gives it bonus points. I expected more from this book than what I got. It was sort of annoying. I’m not sure whether I’ll pick up or not yet.

All in all, this book wasn’t what I was expecting but I enjoyed it. I recommend it to any fantasy lovers. This fills my Published In 2018 spot for my 2018 Book Bingo. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (15)