Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely — November 11, 2018

All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

download (1)When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn’s alternating viewpoints.

This book was perfect!!! It is definitely life-changing, especially if you’re Caucasian. It opened my eyes to how police brutality affects everyone in the community, not just the cop and the victim. All of the characters were very realistic and they all were amazing. The plot really moved me and the writing style was amazing and showed what happens when to great authors work together.

The writing style was very striking. I was hooked on their writing from the very first page and I hope that Jason and Brendan keep working together so that I can read more of their writing. Their writing was very different from what Jason writes when he writes alone. I was surprised because I couldn’t tell who had written what chapter. I thought that it would be easy to tell that Jason wrote from Rashad’s perspective and that Brendan wrote from Quinn’s perspective. I had to read a little bit of the book to get used to the style, but I loved it by the end.

Rashad and Quinn were such great characters. They were two teenagers who had only passed each other in high school hallways and were suddenly thrown together during this horrific event. I loved how detailed Rashad, Quinn, and all of the side characters were. It made me more interested in the story and I couldn’t wait to learn more about the characters. I was very interested in the way that the school was divided about the incident. It seemed very real to me and I think that what happened at Rashad’s and Quinn’s high school could happen at any high school.

The police brutality and the aftereffects were very well written. I was enraptured in the scenes where they talked about it and how everyone was reacting. The reactions of the some of the people that were involved in the incident appalled me. I was heartbroken for Rashad and I hope that someday soon, African Americans will be able to walk safely in the streets. I was very glad about the ending. It was the perfect way to close All American Boys. I was very impressed with how Rashad and everyone else reacted to the police and it broke my heart. No one should have to go through that.

All American Boys Quotes

The plot was very heartbreaking. I cried a lot during this book because of what characters were doing to Rashad and Quinn. I like to think that I would be like them. I hope that I would be. Even though most of Rashad’s perspective was spent in a hospital bed, I still felt the most moved by it. Quinn was more irritating to read through, but I understood where he was coming from. I hope that Brendan and Jason write more together.

This book was amazing and I highly recommend it and anything by either of these two authors. 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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Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland — November 9, 2018

Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland

download (1)Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania–derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities–and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations. But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

This book is about Jane McKeene, a teenager learning how to kill shamblers (zombies) and getting into quite a bit of trouble along the way. So, as you can probably guess, I loved it. I was engrossed in the story and can’t wait to read more of Justina Ireland’s writing.

Justina Ireland’s writing style was amazing!!! I was very impressed with her ability to describe everything and introduce us to so many things so quickly. I loved how Justina Ireland always wrote with sass, just like Jane. It was very interesting and I was engrossed in Dread Nation from beginning to end. I loved how Justina Ireland was able to describe the setting and the racialism and how bad it was through Jane’s eyes. Well, Justina Ireland’s writing style wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be, it was still very pleasant to read to.

The characters were amazing and I can’t wait to read more from them. Jane was very sassy and it was so nice. I loved how funny everyone was and I can’t wait to see how the characters react after the events of the last book. Jane, Kate, and Jack were the epic trio and I loved them. I was very interested in the way that the characters reacted to racism, and most of the time, they did not disappoint. They reacted the way that I would have, given the circumstances. I did think that they should’ve protested a little bit more though.

Dread Nation Quotes

My favorite thing about this book was the zombies. It provided a very interesting setting for this book and also a good way to protest.  I loved the way that Jane and her friends talked about zombies and the advice that everyone gave on how to fight them. It will definitely come in handy when the zombie apocalypse shows up (because it will). I loved the way that the zombies were described. I loved the way that the characters (especially the Attendants – zombie killers). 

The plot was very intense. I didn’t want to move because I just wanted to sit there and read this amazing book. I can’t wait to read more of this book. I loved the way that the characters interacted with the problems that Justina created. The way that the problems were written made them seem insurmountable. Until Jane and her crew solved them, that is. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book. 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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Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff —

Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

download (1)When the space station Heimdall is invaded, Hannah and Nik must work together to defeat the enemy.

This book was perfect!!! I was engrossed in it from the very first page and I cannot wait to read Obsidio. Gemina is basically about the leader of Jump Station Heimdall’s daughter and a criminal joining up to kick BiTech off of Jump Station Heimdall. So, as might you might imagine, this book blew me away. It is also the sequel to Illuminae, so that might explain it. I can’t wait to read more of Jay and Amie’s work, and I can’t wait to read more of their works.

When Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman write a novel together, you know that it is going to be amazing. And it lived up to my very high expectations. I was concerned that Gemina would fall into the bad second book trap, but it didn’t. When Amie and Jay work together, they create their own unique style that none of them have on their own. I was (as always) very impressed with Amie and Jay’s ability to make their characters realistic and their plot have all of the twists and turns that a book formatted as usual has.

Hanna and Nik were such amazing characters!! I also loved that Kady had a brief cameo. Hanna and Nik worked very well together and I wish that I worked that way with other people. All of the characters were very developed and I enjoyed reading about them. BiTech is the villain that I love to hate, and I can’t wait to read more about them in the next book. I can’t wait to see what Hanna and Kady do together, because whatever it is, it will be glorious. Wherever these characters go, I will be happy to follow them.

Gemina Quotes

I was amazed when I learned that Marie Lu had drawn Hanna’s journal entries. I didn’t even though that Marie could draw. I loved the style of her art and I wish that my artwork was as good as hers(because my art sucks). I loved how Marie could portray the feelings of Hanna through her art. It really emphasized the talent that she has. I was very impressed with Marie’s style and all of the sass that was conveyed through her art. I love Marie Lu’s art, and I hope that there will be more of her drawings in Obsidio.

The plot in this book was very straightforward. But that doesn’t mean that it was predictable. I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Some plot twists I could figure out, but some I couldn’t. That didn’t impact my opinion of Gemina in the least, though. The plot was also fairly unique, or maybe I’m just not reading very many sci-fi novels. I loved the way that Amie and Jay worked together to create this masterpiece. I still want to know how people can successfully collaborate and end up with something like this.

I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read Obsidio. I highly recommend anything by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 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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Still Life With Tornado, by A.S. King — November 7, 2018

Still Life With Tornado, by A.S. King

download (1)A talented 16-year-old artist slowly discovers the history of domestic violence behind why her brother left the family years earlier and why she suddenly cannot make art.

This book blew me away!!! A.S. King is a very talented writer and it really shows in this book. Still Life With Tornado talks about abuse, art, and hope. It reminded me of how A Thousand Perfect Notes is pitched. I loved the writing style, characters, and plot. The many Sarahs were quite amazing and I loved how snarky most of them were. I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read more of A.S. King’s work.

I loved A.S. King’s writing style. It was very frank, but also quite sassy. A.S. King writes a lot about abuse and she has practically perfected it. I loved the way that A.S. King wrote with some hope so that I didn’t get too depressed with the future. A.S. King wrote the setting and the background very well and I couldn’t wait for more. She is very talented and it shows in her work. I loved how well she described the setting and how I could envision myself in the room where Sarah was and it would play out like a movie.

The characters were all so realistic. I loved all of the many Sarahs and wonder if any of the other characters that we encountered were past, present, or future selves of other characters. I think that I enjoyed Helens’ perspective over Sarah’s. It was so sarcastic, and I think that Helen was the first to face and understand everything. I was very interested in the many Sarahs. They were something that I wanted to learn more about. Sarah was very nice, but she wasn’t my favorite main character ever. I think that if the book was longer I might have liked her a little bit more.

Still Life With Tornado Quotes

I really enjoyed the idea of many Sarahs, all in one place, all to help sixteen-year-old Sarah with her journey. I loved that and wanted to read more about it. I was very interested in this as it progressed and I wish that A.S. King dove into that and explained it a little bit more. Out of all the Sarahs, I think that I liked twenty-three-year-old Sarah the most. I don’t know she’s my favorite, she just is. I loved reading about the many Sarahs and wish that I could read more about them.

The plot was very interesting. I was engrossed in the story and hated every time I had to put the book down. Still Life With Tornado was a very odd book. It was not what I normally read. Still, this book managed to suck me in and make me feel for the characters and make wild guesses about the plot. I was really curious about how everyone was coping after Mexico and all of the abuse that happened in this book. That makes me want to go and read the next book in the series. If only A.S. King didn’t write stand-alone novels.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend all of A.S. King’s works. 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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They Both Die At The End, by Adam Silvera — November 5, 2018

They Both Die At The End, by Adam Silvera

download (1)In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day, they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.

This book hit me with the feels, right in the gut. And of course, when you look at the title, it’s obvious why. I loved Mr. Silvera’s writing style and how well he talked about death. All of the characters were so sweet and I loved how all of them stayed true to themselves. The plot was so well written and I loved it so so much and I can’t wait to read more of Mr. Silvera’s writing.

The writing style in this book pulled no punches. I was heartbroken and I wanted Mateo and Rufus to live (it’s not a spoiler)!!! I loved how Mr. Silvera wrote the different POVs of people that we think are unrelated to the story but then turn out to be critical. I loved the way that the story was laid out, with the different parts of the story. I was addicted to Mr. Silvera’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of his books.

The characters broke my heart!!!! In a good way, but still. I loved all of the main characters and the supporting characters. I was so invested in their story and even though I only knew them for a day, I felt like I had known Mateo and Rufus for years. I loved the way that those two interacted with each other and the supporting characters. I would love to name all of them but I don’t have the space to write about all of them and how they changed the story and my thoughts on Death.

The characters’ thoughts on Death rocked my world. Some of them accepted it and some of them fought it to the end. There was also some talk about whether there was an afterlife or not, which I thought was one of the most interesting parts of this book. I loved the way that the characters asked each other what they thought about the theories that they exchanged. I’ve actually thought about Mateo’s theory, but with a few small changes. I think that I enjoyed the fact that they could joke and laugh about death on their End Day. 

They Both Die At The End

The plot crushed me and I was so sad when they both died at the end. I was also broken-hearted because of some things that happened before Mateo and Rufus died an untimely death. I loved the way that everyone coped with their deaths, as it seemed very realistic and I understood why they were acting that way. I loved how Mr. Silvera was able to make twenty-four hours last 350 (more or less) pages. This book was very nerve-wracking for me, especially towards the end, but that was one of the many things that made this story unique. 

I loved this book so much and I highly recommend it to anyone with a soul. 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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Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi — November 3, 2018

Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi

download (1)Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a post-apocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.

This book was AMAZING!!!! IT FLOORED ME (this review might be in all caps and if you don’t like that kind of thing than I’m sorry). I AM SO STUPID FOR NOT PICKING THIS UP EARLIER AND NOW I NEED THE SEQUEL!!! I hope that I can somewhat contain my emotions as I rave about everything, but we all know how likely that is.

The writing style floored me. I loved it and was addicted to it from the very first paragraph. I was very grateful for Ms. Mafi explaining the strikethroughs and other obvious typoes and reassuring us that it was supposed to be that way. That was very polite of her. I loved how unique her style was and how the book was written, at least on my Nook, I was also impressed with how well she described everything through Juliette’s eyes. Reading from her POV, that must have been quite hard. 

The characters were BRILLIANT!!!!! All of them were so unique and PERFECT and they all just made me want to sob. Juliette and Adam were such creampuffs and they need a happy ending more than anyone else in the world. I loved how these two loved and respected each other and cared about the other’s feelings. It was exactly what a relationship should look like in YA. I loved how Juliette morally knew right from wrong and didn’t want to hurt anyone (unlike some YA characters that I also enjoy reading about). I can’t wait to see what happens Juliette and Adam in the future.

Shatter Me Quotes

I loved the aspect of whether Juliette was insane at the beginning of the book. It certainly seemed like it at the time. But as the book progressed, so did Juliette’s mental health. I could see it as the book went on and by the end, my decision was made, I don’t think that Juliette was insane. Juliette was traumatized, but she will be able to get over that. I can’t wait to see whether there is a progression or regression in the next book. I loved reading about a character who constantly doubted her sanity and herself, it was very different from what I normally read.

The plot is amazing and I cannot wait to read more!!! The suspense and action KILLED ME!!! I died and then I rose back up from the dead just to die again. There was just the right amount of balance between planning and action and I loved how well it was written. I was impressed with the way that the family scenes were written out, with arguments and beliefs being changed, and forgiveness. I liked how willing most of the characters were to forgive others and how everyone else reacted to that.

So as you might be able to see, I loved this book to death and cannot wait to read Unravel Me. I highly recommend this book and (even though I haven’t read them yet) every other book that was ever written by Ms. Mafi. 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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The Prince and The Dressmaker, by Jen Wang — November 1, 2018

The Prince and The Dressmaker, by Jen Wang

download (1)Prince Sebastian hides from his parents his secret life of dressing up as the hottest fashion icon in Paris, the fabulous Lady Crystallia, while his friend Frances the dressmaker strives to keep her friend’s secret.

This book was not what I expected it to be, but it wasn’t bad at all. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t connect with it until 100 pages in. That’s not very good for a book. I also didn’t know what time period this book was in, or how old the characters were. They looked like thirteen-year-olds to me. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book and will probably pick up another book by Ms. Wang.

The writing (and drawing style) was very sweet and it spoke of an author who put a lot of time and effort into her work. I respect Ms. Wang for that and have to say that I loved that part of this book. The dialogue was all very realistic and I loved how anyone could be having conversations like these. I was very curious about how Ms. Wang would address the question of why Sebastian wears dresses and she answered it in a way that makes me think that Sebastian is genderfluid (which is fine with me).

The characters were all so realistic and I felt for them. I loved how well they were drawn and how the art portrayed how they were inside. There were feelings on their faces that could not be put into words well. I loved both Sebastian and Frances, although I felt like their romance was unnecessary. I enjoyed the way that Ms. Wang drew the characters in motion and I also loved how she made them relatable. I also enjoyed how Ms. Wang wrote the characters. I liked her art a lot, and I think that the book was better with kids than it would have been with adults.

The artwork was beautiful and I was addicted to it as much as I was to the book. Ms. Wang is a very talented artist and I loved how detailed it was. Ms. Wang’s art was probably my favorite part of this book. There were whole pages where there was just art, no dialogue. Those were probably my favorite pages of the book because I just sat there and drank it all in. Ms. Wang is a very good artist and I loved her work a lot.

The plot was very well written and I enjoyed it. But I did think that it was a little bit fast-paced, but I could deal with it. I liked how realistic it was but I couldn’t figure out what time period it was in. The Prince and The Dressmaker was said to be set at the dawn of the modern age, but everyone was still talking about carriages and corsets like it was the 1700 or 1800s. I still enjoyed the book, it just confused me more than I thought that it would. I couldn’t connect with the book very well either but that might have just been me. 

The Prince and The Dressmaker Quotes

This book was okay but I didn’t really connect with it and some things about it confused me. I wish that I had liked this book more, but I didn’t. I recommend it to people that love comic books and graphic novels. 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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