To All the Books I Didn’t Review (Mini Reviews)

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I really admire Fitzpatrick for her ability to look into the lives and minds of teenagers and represent complex, compelling characters.  She is isn’t just imagining or desperately trying to remember what it’s like to be a teen; she actually understands.  So while I think my favorite of her books is still What I Thought Was True, I still really enjoyed and respected this one.  Fitzpatrick writes with great empathy about a teen people have basically given up on, and shows us why it’s worth pushing people to be the best they can be. 4 stars

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Illuminae book cover

Space books aren’t always my thing. There’s something limiting about setting a book primarily in a spaceship that makes a lot of these stories sound the same.  However, Illuminae really stands out as a creative twist on the theme.  The format is incredibly engaging, as the book is supposed to be a collection of different file types gathered together–texts, official military documents, computer records, etc.  And it still manages to get the hearts and voices of many different characters to come through.  I also like that the book broke some YA molds by starting out the story with the main characters having just ended their relationship. Bold move! 5 stars

Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

Pennyroyal Academy

This is possibly one of the most confusing and nonsensical books I have ever read.  I don’t want to get into specifics because we’d be getting into spoiler territory.  However, someone on Goodreads essentially described the book as what must be the result if you had a trippy dream and woke up and tried to novelize it; what makes sense in dreamland does not make sense in the real world.  I suppose I was entertained, in a sense, but I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone. There’s also some possible sexism that was never addressed–which was basically that boys get to learn the manly heroic arts of war, while women “fight” with the powers of inner virtues like hope and love. 2 stars

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

The Key to Extraordinary

I enjoyed Lloyd’s debut A Snicker of Magic more than The Key to Extraordinary, but this was still an imaginative and fun-filled story in a similar vein.  The book introduces readers to a cast of odd but extremely likable characters (as well as a spine-tingling villain) and takes then on a mildly spooky adventure to find a long-lost treasure. What’s not to love?  I also enjoyed that, although the main character’s family is known for being consistently extraordinary, this doesn’t mean all of them were the US president or an Olympian swimmer or a bestselling novelist.  Sometimes being extraordinary means doing one “small” thing that helps a lot of people. 4 stars


7 thoughts on “To All the Books I Didn’t Review (Mini Reviews)

    • Briana says:

      I do, too! Sometimes I worry there’s a risk of getting gimmicky because I have definitely seen books that seem to have had a unique format JUST to have one and not to serve any other purpose, but I really like it in Illuminae.


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