Quickfire Reviews

Quickfire Reviews is a thing I do very sporadically when there are books to talk about that I should have reviewed but haven’t. Sometimes I didn’t like these books enough to want to review them; sometimes I loved them but time got away from me; and sometimes, less is just more. Also it’s something a bit different which is what I am all about this year – being more than just review after review.

So here we have it, grab a KitKat and settle down.

What’s it About? Monty is a rogue. He was born and bred to be a gentleman but he’s not very good at it. His super strict father has allowed him one last hurrah before he Settles Down and Grows Up: a Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend Percy (on whom he has a huge crush), his sister Felicity, and a chaperone. The trip is not what anybody expected and it is GLORIOUS.

What I liked everything. This book is so good. Honestly, it’s everything I love.  Monty is such a complete dick and his friendship with Percy is delicious and they’re just adorable idiots in love and I want to smush their little faces together and Felicity is perfect and they get into so many scrapes and also there are PIRATES. It’s just a delicious romp of a book. Also: all the diversity, this book has it, but not in a serious I AM A DIVERSE BOOK kind of way.

What I liked Less It ended. I would read a twelve book series about Monty, I swear.

What’s it About? It’s the second book in the YA cotemporary series, following on from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lara Jean has a boyfriend, which she still thinks is…unexpected. What is even more unexpected is a face from her past, another recipient of one of her letters (see book one) popping back into her life and making everything confusing.

What I liked Lara Jean is cute. Lara Jean and Peter are cute. Kitty is cute. The story is cute. I like these books, I really do. They’re just….they’re good. Nice and fluffy and easy to read YA contemporaries. And I am so not the target market but whatever, they’re just a nice cute little bit of escapism and isn’t that kind of the point after all?

What I liked Less It was a little predictable and there was a love…square, I’m going to say a love square, that felt a bit unnecessary and Gen is a bitch.

What’s it About? inspired by an actual study made famous by the New York Times this is a book about Hildy and Paul who join a university psychology experiment – can love be engineered? They ask each other 36 questions, the idea is that by the end of it they’ll be in love.

What I liked I’m not going to lie: this book was cute and I found myself rooting for Hildy and Paul a little bit, quite by accident actually. The whole concept was really interesting and I loved the questions. The formatting made it a super fast read, for sure and it made me laugh.

What I liked Less it was so predictable. SO PREDICTABLE, and the book was v biased in that you find out much more about Hildy than Paul and that bugged me, mostly though, I felt like I’d read it as soon as I started it so honestly, I was a little bit bored…

What’s it About? Viv Carter is fed up of following the unspoken rules of high school and having to put up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment so she decides to fight back: she anonymously sets up a feminist zine and starts a bit of a revolution.

What I liked It’s empowering and smart and relevant and clever. I liked it so much that I gave a copy to my 17 year old cousin for Christmas: I hope she reads it. It is entirely unapologetic in what it stands for. There is excellent character development and a really strong clear narrative – this is writing that I liked a whole lot. Seriously though: I think I said it when I read it but I’m definitely saying it now – we need more books like this one.

What I liked Less I did have a few issues with Viv; I couldn’t quite get a read on her and the story could have done with being a little more fleshed out. There was lots of message but it fell a little short when it had to fill in the gaps.

What’s it About? It’s the sequel to Six of Crows which I still have so many feelings about. Kaz Brekker and his gang have just pulled off the biggest heist and now after being double-crossed they have to pick up the pieces and find a way to get back what is theirs.

What I liked HAHAHAHA HAVE YOU EVEN HEARD ME DECLARE MY LOVE FOR SIX OF CROWS? This book is just more of everything I loved about that. And actually why have I not actually properly reviewed this one because I think I have a lot to say. There is more excellent heist stuff. I LOVE HEISTS although this is a lot more mind-gamey (totally a word) and we get to look a lot further into Ketterdam and its politics and what is what there which I loved because WORLD BUILDING. Also ALL THE FEELS: Nina and Matthias; Kaz and Inej; Jesper and Wylan. I want more. I really want more. I am so sad that this is just a duology
What I liked Less I don’t know but some of it feels a little bit convenient and it took a little while to get going and there wasn’t enough Kaz. There could never be enough Kaz.

What’s it About? Kestrel is the daughter of a general in an empire that rules by war and slaver. She has two choices: she can join the military or she can get married; she’s not all that taken by either idea, even less so when she finds herself developing feelings for a slave she bought on a whim at an auction. Which makes it sound fluffy and romantic, which it kind of is, but also kind of isn’t.

What I liked Kestrel, for the most part, is an excellent protagonist and Arin and Kestrel are cute and the world building is pretty good. The second half of the book was stronger, for me; this is where the story became less Kestrel playing piano and visiting her friend Jess and grumbling about Arin and there more conflict and action and stuff happening. There was a good look at the politics and a pretty good insight into how this world works which I was interesting; I downloaded book two as soon as I’d finished so you know, that’s a good sign.

What I liked Less Arin and Kestrel are cute but it was kind of insta-love; it felt like it came from nowhere, and I couldn’t quite work out where this book was trying to pitch itself. I would have liked more depth I think. And it felt a little…tame. Like it was a little scared to commit to whatever it is it wants to be; I felt like I needed more, of everything.  Also something happens at the end of the book that is so obvious and yet one of the main characters totally misses it, and this is a character that is meant to be smart. And that annoyed me.