Reviews written by Angela Blount, Staff Reviewer

258 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
January 22, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Neo Wonder Woman

I snapped this one up because I love Wonder Woman, and I much appreciated Leigh Bardugo's adept writing in Six of Crows. (I know shameless fandom pandering when I see it, but I found this one harder to resist than others in this vein.) Disclaimer:...

November 10, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
Young Adult Nonfiction
A Story of Distorted Self-Image

A memoir in graphic novel form, offering the personal account of a young Muslim girl’s nearly lifelong battle with perception, body image, and eating disorders. An offhanded (and honestly, benign seeming) remark from her aunt on how “big” she’s gotten sends a very young Dounya spiraling...

November 04, 2019 (Updated: November 04, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Vlada the Gender-Swapped Alternate History Impaler

To be honest, I went into this expecting vampires. I guess between the visual tone to the cover and the fact that this was purported to be a gender-swapped variant on Vlad the Impaler (inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula), I had vague expectations that this...

October 22, 2019 (Updated: October 22, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
Loss and Grief

A weighty YA Contemporary, grappling with a wide array of crises and quandaries. What I Liked: As ever with stories on this order, it’s great to see the inclusion of helplines and websites at the back of the...

September 15, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Fowl In Full Color

As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit of darkness and grit, but still conveys characterization and emotion to a close approximation of what I’d envisioned while reading the actual book. (The scene with Artemis trying...

September 10, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Honestly Abe

A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book tracks and examines the life of Abraham Lincoln—from his unremarkable birth and monetarily/intellectually impoverished upbringing, to his time as an indentured laborer—on to his courtship of Mary Todd and budding...

June 18, 2019 (Updated: June 18, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Pain Is A Monster

4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience age. Thirteen-year-old Conor O’Mally has a lot to deal with. His mother is ill, and has been for some time. His father abandoned them...

June 12, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
Lost and Found?

A first-person past-tense telling exclusively from the perspective of Maia, a depressed high school sophomore with some ambitious—if half-formed—plans for running away from home just before summer break. (She doesn’t seem to see it as running away so much as setting out to find her reclusive whale scientist mother.) ...

April 02, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Intro to Earthsea

“The wise needn't ask, the fool asks in vain.” My first exposure to Ursula K. Le Guin’s work, I’m a little sorry to say. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long… but I CAN now see some of her influences in more recent...

March 19, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A Superb Foray Into Sci-Fi

Sanderson raises the YA sci-fi quality bar in this high-flying story of human survival, friendship, legacy, loss, and confronting enormous odds. “Sometimes, the answers we need don't match the questions we're asking." … "And sometimes, the coward makes fools of wiser men.” ...

March 12, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Eustace Returns to Narnia

Set somewhere around a year after the events of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace Scrubb remains much better off for having had the experience. Back at the fairly dreadful school he’s attending in the real world, he encounters a crying classmate named Jill. In attempting to lift her...

March 07, 2019 (Updated: March 07, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
Down With The Matriarchy

The dark YA fantasy tale of a brutal matriarchy, and its vicious method of choosing its rulers. On an island kingdom steeped in magic and sadistic tradition, triplet girls are always born to the ruling queen. When they come of age, it is expected...

March 03, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
4.0
Learning Value 
 
4.0
Archaeology and Faith

A reading experience that combines the Bible with actual archaeological finds and information—bringing scripture to life in a more vivid and academic (yet accessible) way than children typically encounter. The book is divided into two distinct sections. The first 85 pages convey select portions of the Old Testament, and the...

February 23, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Cult Life

Told entirely from the first-person perspective of Minnow, beginning from the point she is arrested and placed in a juvenile detention facility. At first, her unreliable narration leads readers to think she has been placed in this facility because it’s suspected she somehow caused death and destruction at the isolated...

February 16, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
A Classic Retold

Based loosely on the tale of Cinderella, The Blood Spell is the fourth standalone installment for the Ravenspire series of fairytale retellings. On the surface, this book is in the same vein as many a dark YA fantasy. The magic system involves fae, wands, and transmutation; with...

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