Mini-Reviews: The May (2021) Edition

Hello again, dear readers. I am happy to be sharing a handful of mini-reviews with you all. I wasn’t super motivated to write mini-reviews this month, so there are slightly fewer than usual, but regardless: here we are. πŸ™‚

I am currently working on prepping a handful of other posts so let’s jump right in! I hope you find something new and interesting.

A Pho Love Story – Loan Le | 3.5β˜… | 2021

A Pho Love Story has been on my tbr (and desk) for awhile now, and I was really looking forward to diving into it. But as the rating shows, it did not quite live up to my expectations.

The family rivalry was very enjoyable, and I loved the focus on painting and writing. The characters were sweet and undeniably lovable, although not incredibly memorable. I found the writing to be straight-forward and surprisingly (for a debut) smooth.

Why the rating, then? Well, it just felt like (a) it lacked spark (b) it took me forever to get into the story and (c) the first-kiss scene was…..ridiculous.

Genre(s): YA, Contemporary

Red, White and Whole – Rajani LaRocca | 4β˜… | 2021

This is a lovely #own-voices middle-grade read. Written in verse, it is moving and, at times, beautiful.

Reha’s struggles were strikingly portrayed, and I felt that the push and pull of two cultures was clearly shown. I would definitely recommend this one to all readers.

TW/CW: Death of a Parent | Genre(s): Middle Grade, Verse

A Castaway In Cornwall – Julie Klassen | 3.5β˜… | 2021

Klassen’s books are (almost) always slow-paced, cozy and interesting, and her latest release is no different.

To start with the positives: I loved the setting of the story! It was beautiful and rich. The characters were likable, if not incredibly remarkable, and I enjoyed their back-stories.

That said, although A Castaway in Cornwall in a solid read, it just didn’t do it for me. It might have been a case of right-book, wrong-time, but too many scenes felt stilted to me. As this was one of my most anticipated Christin-Historical-Fiction releases of the year, I must admit to being slightly disappointed.

Genre(s): Historical Fiction

The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas | 3.75β˜… | 2017

Well, I finally did it, I read THUG. Honestly, after loving Concrete Rose I couldn’t resist. But here I am with very mixed feelings about this much hyped read.

I am glad that I took the time to read THUG; it certainly touches on incredibly important topics, such as racism and police brutality. That said, I would not say that THUG is exactly the gold standard for YA books about tough important topics. It simply felt like a decent book about flawed human characters.

TW/CW: Racism, Police Violence, Minor Sexual Content [Older PG-13] | Genre(s): YA, Contemporary

Lovely War – Julie Berry | 4β˜… | 2019

This book has been on my tbr (basically) since it was released, and while I was I sorting through my massive tbr the other day I thought it was time to give it a try.

Going into LW I had no real expectations. This led me to be pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this refreshingly unique war-time love story.

I found the characters to be truly enjoyable and all their struggles slightly heartbreaking. LW was simply a solid (and fun) slightly heavy read.

TW/CW: Minor Sexual Content, War Violence, Racial Violence, Racism | Genre(s): Historical Fiction

The Room on Rue AmΓ©lie – Kristin Harmel | 4β˜… | 2018

After reading The Book of Lost Names, I knew that I wanted to read more of Harmel’s books; RoRA did not disappoint.

This story boasts a lovely and memorable cast of characters. Ruby and Charlotte are both strong, brave and wonderfully human. Thomas was an interesting character as well, but I certainly preferred Ruby’s POV.

The plot was slightly suspenseful and the story moved quickly, making it very easy to read most of the book in one sitting. Harmel’s writing is lovely: somehow both simple, beautiful and solid.

TW/CW: Sexual Content, Violence | Genre(s): WWII, Historical Fiction

Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading?

7 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: The May (2021) Edition”

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