Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

La Belle Sauvage, by Phillip Pullman — December 11, 2018

La Belle Sauvage, by Phillip Pullman

When Malcolm finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust, he finds himself embroiled in a tale of intrigue featuring enforcement agents from the Magisterium, a woman with an evil monkey daemon, and a baby named Lyra.

This book was way better than the original trilogy!!!! I really enjoyed it and we got some answers to the questions that we asked. There were a lot of cameos and meetings that made me so excited because I saw some of my favorite characters before The Golden Compass. I really enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to see what happens next in this trilogy.

Phillip’s writing style was very lyrical and I loved reading it. I got the signed collectors edition of this book at the Boulder Bookstore so there were a lot of illustrations that I didn’t want in the book, but otherwise, I really liked that. Phillip was able to display Malcolm’s thought process really well and I enjoyed seeing another character react to Lyra, even when she was that young. The writing style was not terrible, but I’ve seen better. I wish that Phillip’s writing had been a bit more down to earth and that he was able to give us more Lord Asriel and Lyra together.

Malcolm, Alice, Lyra, and all of the other characters were so detailed. I enjoyed learning about Malcolm and how he interacted with the world. The side characters were just as detailed as the main character and I loved reading about the interactions between some of the characters. There seemed to be a larger cast of characters in this book than in His Dark Materials but that might just be me. I loved reading about Malcolm and all of the other characters and I can’t wait to learn more about them.

The daemons were very well written and I loved learning about them. All of the daemons were very detailed and I wish I had learned more about them in this book and the earlier ones. I always wondered whether daemons felt the pain of their human and vice versa. Thankfully, I got my answer in this book. I also enjoyed learning about how much daemons could shift and whether you could tell how someone was feeling just by looking at their daemon. From the minute I started The Golden Compass I knew that I had to know everything about these daemons as possible and La Belle Sauvage helps me with that.

The plot was very well-written and I enjoyed reading it. The plot only sped up during the second half of the book, but that doesn’t mean that the first part was any less important. Without the first part and everything that happened there, the second half of the book wouldn’t have been there. There were lots of plot twists and I guessed about half of them. The idea for this story was very unique and I enjoyed reading about something that hasn’t been done yet.

I really liked reading La Belle Sauvage and I highly recommend it and the His Dark Materials trilogy. I got the summary for the book 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

Unravel Me, by Tahereh Mafi — December 9, 2018

Unravel Me, by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point, the headquarters of the rebel resistance and a safe haven for people with abilities like hers. She is finally free from The Reestablishment and their plans to use her as a weapon, but Warner, her former captor, won’t let her go without a fight.

This book was not as good as I’d hoped that it would be. I wasn’t terrible but there were a few things that upset me. Like the dreaded love triangle, that I hope doesn’t continue onto the next book. This book could have been a lot better, but I still enjoyed it.

The writing style was beautiful. I really enjoyed reading it and I really loved the way that Tahereh portrayed Juliette. I know I probably talked about the strikethroughs, the obsession of numbers, and the odd formatting, but I really enjoyed it. It was a break from the normal formatting and I would love to try it sometime. But I don’t think that I would be able to pull it off as well as Tahereh. It would be fun to try, though. I really enjoyed how lyrical Tahereh’s writing was and I wish that I could write like her.

The characters were really well-written and I really enjoyed reading about them, but the dreaded love triangle almost ruined it for me. I’ll talk about that later. All of the characters were very detailed and I loved reading about them. We learned a lot more about all of the characters, villains included, which helped me understand a lot more about the choices they were making. A lot of relationships progressed in this book and it was really interesting to read about them. I wish that Unravel Me had gone into more detail about the characters, but it was okay that Tahereh didn’t.

Now I can talk about the issues in this book. Mainly, the love triangle. I hated it. I wish that it hadn’t been in this book at all. It was between Juliette, Adam, and Warner. It was so irritating!!! I think that it would have been better if Juliette had not been with anyone and instead just been friends with those two and everyone else. I mean, we know that Juliette and Adam aren’t right for each other, but why does she have to be with Warner then? I mean, I like Warner, but I don’t think that he and Juliette are right for each other, either.

The plot was very interesting. We got a darker side of Juliette and I sort of liked it. This book seemed to be very relationship-based, which frustrated me. I wanted the main focus to be on Juliette growing her new powers, not Juliette breaking up with Adam and then feeling bad about herself. The battles and training were very interesting and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. When Juliette wasn’t moping about Adam, the story actually was really good. Tahereh ended Unravel Me on a cliffhanger so now I guess I’ll have to read the next book as soon as possible.

I did enjoy this book for the most part, and I recommend it if you can deal with all of the moping and romance. 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

Kingdom of Ash, by Sarah J. Maas —

Kingdom of Ash, by Sarah J. Maas

With Aelin locked in an iron coffin by Queen of the Fae Maeve, Aedion and Lysandra struggle to defend Terrasen, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian face their own fates, and Rowan seeks his captured wife and queen.

This book was amazing!!! I loved it so much and can’t wait to discuss it with you. Although, Kingdom of Ash did have its faults. Which I will also be discussing. This might be a longer review. I wish that this book was perfect but it did have its issues. There were a few parts where my jaw was dropping in surprise, and I loved Kingdom of Ash but I think that it could have been a little bit better. 

I loved Sarah’s writing style. It was so clear and defined. I just wish that it was a little less flowery. I think that would have cut down on the length a little bit. I like how Sarah’s writing can be really brutal and make all of her readers feel things from just one sentence. I wish I could do that. The setting was really detailed and I loved reading about it. There was not very much that Sarah needed to do, but I pictured all of the places that the characters traveled perfectly.

The characters were not bad. But I did notice that they were not very fleshed out. Some of the characters that came back from The Assassin’s Blade were not fleshed out at all. Sarah expected us to read that book and to have already understood the characters. I wish that we had been provided some backstory so that people who did not read The Assassin’s Blade could understand some of the characters’ a little bit better. 

Aelin and all of the other characters (but Aelin especially) had a very interesting journey to go through. Aelin has been tortured for months at this point and has to deal with the effects of that. Rowan has to know that his mate is being tortured for months, he has to find her, and that she might not be okay when he finds her. Fenrys has to watch Aelin being tortured for months and Lorcan, Gavriel, and Elide have to deal with Rowan. While Aedion and the rest of the characters have to suffer through not knowing whether Rowan was successful or not. All in all, the characters handled it realistically and I sympathized with all of them. Except for Maeve. 

The plot fell flat for me. I was waiting for Sarah to astound me and make me gasp me in shock, but that happened far less than I anticipated. I was still gasping in shock at some points, I just thought that it would happen more. The plot explained a lot of things, but to know what they are you’ll have to read the book. The book was divided into many characters’ POVs, and I think that it was done well. Sometimes, I had to think about whose head I was in though. That was annoying.

I did enjoy reading this book and I highly recommend it, in spite of its faults. I got the book 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

The Diviners, by Libba Bray — December 7, 2018

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

download (1)Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

The Diviners was a great book!!!! Everyone has been reading and loving this book recently and so I just had to pick it up. The characters were superb and I loved reading about them. The plot was like nothing I have ever read before and I loved it so much!!! I can’t wait to tell you how much I loved this book.

Libba Bray’s writing style was so funny!! No, it really was funny. Her sarcasm was appreciated and I will definitely be picking up another one of her books just to see if her style is the same (as it probably will be). Libba described the setting very well and I imagined myself with Evie and the rest of her crew hunting Naughty John. I really enjoyed this unique writing style and can’t wait to read more from Libba. Her writing style really was like nothing I have ever read.

Evie, Sam, Memphis, and all of the other characters were really well done. But I didn’t understand the point of some of the characters, like Mabel. She was a very well written character and I enjoyed reading about her, but I didn’t see how she was crucial to the plot. Mabel wasn’t helping Evie figure out who the killer was, she just sat around. But, Mabel and all of the other side characters were very detailed. I really liked reading about them and hearing how they interacted with each other. Even though I couldn’t see the point of some of the side characters, I did enjoy reading about them.

There was one main thing in this book that I didn’t like. That was the trope of us knowing the killer before Evie and the other characters. I hated that. Whenever this happens I find myself wanting to yell at the characters for their ineptitude. I know that is probably cruel, but that is why I don’t normally like books like this. The Diviners was an exception to this. That trope in The Diviners was well written, but I didn’t particularly want to be reading it. I wish that it was not in this book, but at least it was done well.

The Diviners

The plot was exceptional and I loved it!!! It was very unique and I couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. It made being forced to put the book down a very side time for me. I wish I had been able to sit down and read this book in one sitting, but I don’t think that was possible. I have never read a book like this and I loved reading a unique idea. I don’t think that very many people could have pulled this off but Libba could.

I loved reading The Diviners and I highly recommend it. I got the book 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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Bright We Burn, by Kiersten White — December 5, 2018

Bright We Burn, by Kiersten White

download (1)To build the country she wants, Lada, the brutal ruler of Wallachia, must destroy everything that came before, including her relationships with brother Radu and former love Mehmed, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

This book ended me!!! I loved it so much and I wish that it had a happier ending. I wish that I had met Lada and bonded with her and that she learned valuable people skills. That was what I hoped for Lada, and it wasn’t achieved. I loved reading about Lada, Radu, and Mehmed and learning about the magical world of the Ottoman Empire.

Kiersten’s writing style was phenomenal!!! It was really realistic and I loved hearing her voice portrayed through Lada and Radu. Kiersten described the setting perfectly and I loved hearing about the forests and the cliffs and all of the beauty around Wallachia. I was engrossed in the story and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to the beautiful landscape. Kiersten’s writing was very smooth and addictive (I can’t wait to read her next book). It reminded me of Marie Lu’s writing style. I wish that I could have read more about Lada and Radu, but I understand that it would be complicated.

Lada and Radu were amazing main characters!!! I loved them so much and couldn’t wait to see what they did next. I probably should have cared more about Mehemed, but who cares about him when you have the scheming Lada and Radu to deal with. Lada and Radu really grew into themselves in this book and it was amazing to see the changes that both of them underwent. I wish that I could have talked to both of them and learned more about their tactics and the way that they thought (the book was in the third person).

Bright We Burn

The side characters were also really well written and I enjoyed reading about them. Stefan and Dacina became very prominent in this story and I was grateful to know more about all of them. There were also some very sad side character deaths that broke me and I think that I might have become a little too emotional. But it might just be me. I cried for a while at two of them (the two most heart-wrenching). I was also reunited with some side characters from earlier books that I loved dearly. I wish that I had learned more from them.

The plot was amazing!!! I was engrossed in it from the very first page and I couldn’t wait to learn more about Lada, Radu, and the tactics that they employed. It was amazing to see the plot finally culminate and all of the characters come together in an epic battle. Lada and her people were so strong and proud of their country, while Radu and Mehmed didn’t want to do what they had to do, but they did it anyway. It was really impressive to read about, but the ending broke my heart. I wish that it could have been any other way.

I loved Bright We Burn and 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

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Never Fade, by Alexandra Bracken — December 4, 2018

Never Fade, by Alexandra Bracken

download (1)In the second installment of The Darkest Minds trilogy, Ruby joins forces with the revolutionary Children’s League to find critical information about the epidemic that has torn both her life and America apart.

This book was amazing and I loved it so much!!! I was engrossed in the plot and I loved the characters. They seemed so much more detailed and realistic. I loved the writing style and all of the plot twists. Never Fade was a little bit better than The Darkest Minds, that’s for sure. My only complaint with this book was the number of pages.

The writing style was superb. I have always appreciated Alex’s writing style and wanted to write like her. Her style is so unique and definitive and I was engrossed in it for the whole story. I loved the way that Alex described the setting and mentioned references from the other book if you were paying attention. I loved hearing more about the economic crisis that the U.S.A. was in. All of the detail in the backstory was not lost on me, and I can’t wait to see what else happens with the background and the way that the series progresses.

Ruby, Liam, and all of the other characters were so realistic!!! I loved all of them so much and I can’t wait to see where they go in the rest of the series. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between Liam and Ruby. All of the villains should get the ending that they deserve. Otherwise, I will riot. All of their backstories were superb and I can’t wait to see what the villains become in the next book. All of the side characters were so fleshed out and realistic as well. I loved some of the side characters as much as I loved the main characters. Vida was such an amazing character and I hope that she gets her own story.

Never Fade

The Children’s League was one of the most interesting parts of this book. Ruby starts off working for them and we quickly learn that the League is divided into two. There are people who think that the children should be used as weapons, and people who believe that the children should be protected and cared for. I put my lot in the second group of people. So the League is an interesting group because of the power struggles and dynamics.

The plot was also very well done and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I was hanging on the edge of my seat and I was tempted to skip ahead to see if Ruby and the others were okay. Old characters (that we all thought were gone) were brought back and I loved every second of it. There were some parts that had me wanting to (or actually) throwing the book across the room because I had just been thrown in an epic spiral because of a plot twist. I loved the plot and hope that the plot in the next book is just as good.

I loved Never Fade to pieces and I highly recommend it. I got the book 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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What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera — December 2, 2018

What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

download (1)Told in two voices, when Arthur, a summer intern from Georgia, and Ben, a native New Yorker, meet it seems like fate, but after three attempts at dating fail they wonder if the universe is pushing them together or apart.

What If It’s Us was such a great book!!! Arthur and Ben were the greatest characters, and I was rooting for them the whole way through the book. The plot was very well-written and I loved the LGBTQ+ representation. The setting was quite detailed, even though I’ve been only to NYC once, I can tell. This book pulled on my heartstrings and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Becky and Adam’s writing style combined made for a wonderful book, full of joy and gut-wrenching moments. Becky and Adam have two very different writing styles, yet somehow they manage to make it work. I really liked how the dialogue was written. It could be really funny at times, but other times it could be very pessimistic. The combined writing style was definitely one of the most unique styles that I have read. At least for a while. If you like unique writing styles, this is the book for you.

Arthur and Ben were so sweet!!! I shipped them together from their first encounter, which made the ending so much harder. All of the side characters were also well-developed and I loved hearing them with Arthur and Ben. Arthur and Ben were both well-written and detailed. I loved learning about their likes, dislikes, and basically everything about them. I really enjoyed listening to the characters dialogue. It had me laughing out loud at some points, and begging some of the other characters to reconsider their words at others. Arthur, Ben, and the whole crew were so great and I hope that we get a sequel.

The LGBTQ+ representation was spot on. I loved the way that everyone dealt with Arthur and Ben’s coming out. I was touched by how Becky and Adam portrayed New York. Apparently, it isn’t the LGBTQ+ paradise that all of us other Americans are lead to believe. I thought that the representation would be a little bit better considering that both Becky and Adam have written books with LGBTQ+ characters before, but it is better than some books featuring LGBTQ+ characters that I read (you don’t want to know).

The plot was very well-written. It was an easy contemporary to read and I enjoyed it. I wish that we saw Arthur and Ben together more in the first part of the book, though. I really liked how well the sense of losing time was conveyed by Adam. He has definitely had practice. I really liked the multiple first dates thing. It was sweet, and I would like to do that one day. The plot was very character based and I loved that. I couldn’t wait to learn more. I loved all of the musical references, especially HAMILTON. You write a book about HAMILTON and I will die.

What If It's Us

What If It’s Us was an amazing and I loved it so much!!! I highly recommend it and any other books by Becky and Adam. 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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Girls Who Code: Team BFF: Race To The Finish — November 30, 2018

Girls Who Code: Team BFF: Race To The Finish

download (1)Sophia and her coding club BFFs have the best time together. Sure, they work on coding projects, but mostly they gossip about crushes, eat cookies, and do totally silly impersonations. Now they’re about to participate in their first hackathon–a full day of coding and meeting other coders–so it’s time to step up their game!

I really liked this book, although I think that it could have been done better. I enjoyed the character development a lot, but the pacing was off and all of the responsibilities heaped onto Sophia seemed a little bit inaccurate.

The writing style didn’t change at all from the last book. I wanted it to be a little bit different, but it wasn’t. Stacia’s style was (once again) really really basic. I wish that there was a little bit more prose in it, just because prose makes a story interesting and I love interesting stories. I really liked the way that Stacia used the setting to convey the mood of the characters, and how the others reacted to it. I didn’t particularly like the way that Stacia wrote, but I can live with it.

Team BFF_ Race To The Finish

The characters were okay, but I wish that they had been more detailed. I enjoyed reading about them, but I think that they could have been better written. All of the characters seemed very two-dimensional and I just wanted some well-written 6th graders (that aren’t from the Percy Jackson universe). All of the characters developed during the course of the book and I loved that a lot. All of the characters were so sweet and funny. I really enjoyed reading about the friendships in this book and hearing about how diverse it was. Stacia tried to make this book as diverse as possible, and I love her for that. 

The plot was not very intense. But maybe I’m just used to reading action-packed fantasy books. There is no magic in this book (unless you consider coding magic). I enjoyed this book, but I wanted things to happen sooner than they did. There was also the matter of pacing. This book’s pacing was very uneven. Things would be happening at the speed of light, and then they’d slow down to a snail’s pace. I just wanted the pacing to be steady like it was in the last book. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the first one, but it’s target audience might.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first one, but it was okay. I recommend to middle-schoolers and people who love coding. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Girls Who Code: The Friendship Code, by Stacia Deutsch — November 28, 2018

Girls Who Code: The Friendship Code, by Stacia Deutsch

download (1)Looking forward to joining the new coding club at school so that she can develop her app idea, Lucy is disappointed by the lukewarm reception she receives from the club’s other members, who work with her to decipher mysterious coding notes.

This book was so sweet!!!! It was about a group of girls who don’t like who they’re grouped with in coding club, and they start getting mysterious notes. The girls need to learn how to befriend each other to figure out who is sending the notes. I loved reading The Friendship Code and can’t wait to talk to you guys about it.

The writing style was very basic because this book was written for 9-or-10-year-olds. I enjoyed it though. The setting was very well done and I could envision myself with the characters, coding. I really loved how The Friendship Code talked about coding because not many books talk about that, and I think that it is a very important topic. I really enjoyed the style of the book, although The Friendship Code could have easily been cut down to half of its size if the publishers just made the font size smaller.

The characters were super well-written and I enjoyed reading about all of them. Lucy is a great main character. Her voice is unique, she handles problems realistically, and she acts like a sixth grader. Lucy acts her age. All of the relationships between characters were very realistic and I enjoyed hearing about them. I loved reading about the growing friendships between the girls, and how all of them grew as people. The girls were such amazing characters and I loved reading about all of them.

The Friendship Code

The plot was very well-written. It was also very character-based. The plot centered on the making of friends and family relationships. It was sweet. I loved the way that the story progressed. The pacing was fairly steady and consistent. The book tokk place over the time frame of a week. I enjoyed reading about the girls and how they handled their problems. I loved reading this The Friendship Code.

I really liked reading this book and highly recommend it. I got the summary from my local library. 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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Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor — November 26, 2018

Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor

download (1)As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected.

This was an intense book. I was engrossed in it from the beginning and I couldn’t wait to see what had happened to Sari and Lazlo. Laini’s writing style hasn’t changed, and I really liked that. I also enjoyed how realistic the characters were and how all of them reacted to the challenges they faced. The plot was very interesting and I really enjoyed reading it.

 

Laini’s writing style was very detailed and I loved it so much!!! Laini made her writing dense and thick, but we were never wondering about what things looked like because of it. I do wish that the writing had been a little bit better, but I really don’t mind that much. Laini described things down to the last room in the citadel, and I really liked being to picture everything that vividly. The amount of work that probably went into making the writing that detailed astounds me. I hope that one day I could write that well and detailed.

Lazlo, Sari, Minya, the whole crowd was back and (maybe not better than ever). We are introduced to two new characters in this book, Kora and Nova. I wish that we had been more chapters with them. All of the characters in came together and I enjoyed reading about all of them. I think that my favorite thing character moment in this book was how Sari and Eril-Fane’s relationship progressed. It was so sweet and my heart melted during some scenes. Lazlo and Sari were as solid as ever. But Minya’s relationship with everyone changed drastically. I was floored by the transformation that she underwent and I wish that I could read more about her.

Muse of Nightmares

We were introduced to several new perspectives during this book and I was really interested in how this would change the dynamic of the story.  Surprisingly,  not a lot changed, except for the fact that we got to see inside other characters’ heads. Getting in other characters’ heads helped me understand the story and characters more. The perspectives of the characters freshened up the book and made it more interesting, for me at least. I really enjoyed the different ways that the characters thought and reasoned. It really defined the characters.

The plot was very well-written. I loved how the book was written and how well information was revealed. It was not dramatic, yet it had my jaw on the floor. The plot was very character-based and I loved the way that Laini made the growth of the characters evident. As I said above, the plot was very intense and I loved all of the action. Everything was suspenseful and I enjoyed sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for what was to happen next. The whole plot was very well done and I will be picking up more of Ms. Taylor’s books to see if they are all this good.

I really enjoyed reading Muse of Nightmares and I highly recommend the duology. I got the summary of the book 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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