#UltimateBlogTour: The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen – #BookReview

I’m back with another #UltimateBlogTour post with the @WriteReads gang and this time it’s for the fast-paced YA fantasy: The Devil’s Apprentice written by Danish author Kenneth B. Andersen. The blog tour runs until 15 December so don’t forget to check out the other reviews for the first book in this exciting series!

Goodreads: The Devil’s Apprentice
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

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Book Review: Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Goodreads: Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
Publisher: One World
Publication Date: 26 March 2019
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

“Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?”
“Is that how people really walk on the moon?”
“Is it bad to be brown?”
“Are white people afraid of brown people?”

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love.

“How brown is too brown?”
“Can Indians be racist?”
“What does real love between really different people look like?”

Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.

This is such an important and relevant read for everything that’s happening in today’s society. Perhaps despite the more globalised world we live in, society has become even more fractured and I think one of the greatest examples can be seen with what’s happened and is happening in America (or at least, it’s what I’m constantly bombarded with on my social platforms. I thought Mira Jacob did a great job exploring the experience of immigrants and what it means to be a POC in America in this wonderfully told memoir through (often) tough but heartfelt conversations with her son, friends, and family. Although I’m not a POC living in America, I was still able to relate to some of the experiences that she shared because I did live in the Western hemisphere for several years and I think these experiences are something all POC go through, even if not to the same extreme. That said, I found it a very educational and eye-opening read.

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Mini-Reviews: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Field Notes on Love, and I Hate Fairyland – #BookReview

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1) by Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

Simon was a heartwarming, LGBT romance and I feel like the whole book was the epitome of the high school experience. This story was full of great friendships, hilarious and very quirky family relationships, as well as awkward and sometimes cruel high school experiences. I think Albertalli did a really great job of capturing the mind of a closeted gay teen and his struggles with coming out. Simon’s character was so endearing. He was sweet, caring, a bit of an oddball and actually pretty wholesome. I loved that everyone was so supportive of him! His exchanges with Blue were adorable and I really enjoyed how their relationship transformed from flirty friends to love as they opened up to each other. They were so pure and I wanted to give them all the hugs! That said, parts of this story really bothered me, and it specifically related to the friendship between Simon and Leah, who was his supposed ‘best friend’, but was almost wholly absent in his story. Having already read Leah’s book, I have my issues with her character as well, but for claiming that they’re so close, they’re not really? For some reason this really bothered me a lot 🙂 In the end, everything (obviously) sorted itself out and it was an uplifting story that left me feeling happy and content.

“I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways… And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance

Field Notes on Love is everything I thought it would be and then some. I loved the idea of a book being set on a train, two strangers coming together, and with ‘love’ in the title of the book, you know romance plays a big part of this story. Surprisingly, this was more than just a fluffy love story; it was about family, friendship, vulnerability and ultimately finding out who you are, what you want and what you’re willing to do to get it. The story was told in alternating perspectives. I liked that both Hugo and Mae were such down-to-earth characters, who were enjoyable as individuals as much as together. The almost instant connection between Hugo and Mae, which I would normally find cheesy and annoying, didn’t feel at all contrived. The family relationships were proper #familygoals. All their interactions were full of kindness, understanding, support and encouragement, plus I found Hugo being one of sextuplets very interesting. The siblings only make minor appearances throughout, but you can feel the love and connection between them, and their individual personalities shone. The banter within both families made me laugh out loud multiple times! Although the plot was fairly predictable, sometimes you just need a happy and fluffy read that leaves you feeling good after you finish the last page. The characters really won this book for me. If you’re looking for a good quick summer read, I’d highly recommend it!

“They could be anywhere and nowhere, but they’ve somehow found themselves here, and she’s suddenly grateful for it, all of it, for the extra ticket and the way it brought them together despite everything, the bigness of the world and the unlikeliness of a moment like this.”

I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After (I Hate Fairyland #1) by Skottie Young
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Humor

The thing that drew me to this graphic novel was the artwork. The level of detail, the vibrant rainbow colors, and the cute characters that inhabit fairyland all made me want to pick up this comic! I loved how the bright colorful artwork juxtaposed with the very gore-filled story as we followed Gertrude’s bitter journey through fairyland to find the key to take her home. I guess I’d be bitter too after so long. Her tirades and deft “dispatching” of basically every character she crosses in fairyland, while admirable if you like that sort of thing, does get old after a while though. The storyline didn’t reveal anything new about why she’s still there after all these years, and I kind of wish we got to see more of the start to her journey, before she completely lost her mind, and became a bitter young woman trapped in a child’s body. I also wished we learned more about how and why children get abducted to fairyland in the first place! But maybe that’s too logical and serious for a graphic novel such as this? While I did enjoy it, Gertrude’s trajectory was basically the same through all scenes, so I’m not sure if I’d continue on with the series. I will say I’m curious to see what happens next, although considering it’s Gertrude fairyland may end up looking like a killing field sooner rather than later!, I just don’t know if I’m curious enough. The art work is definitely amazing though—I’m always attracted to bright splashy colors and the various inhabitants of fairyland!

Have you read any of these? Would love to know your thoughts on them if you have! Leave a comment below and let’s chat books 🙂