September 20, 2017

Mini-reviews: You Bring the Distant Near + Invictus

pub 9/12/17 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received ARC from pub
You Bring the Distant Near spans three generations, provides the perspectives of five very different women and Mitali Perkins easily and quickly makes the reader fall in love with every single journey almost immediately. That is no easy feat! But because of the sincere writing and relatability of her characters, I have no doubt that anyone who picks up this book will feel the same way. It explores a multitude of topics such as the balancing act between cultures, first loves, family and sisterhood, friendships and the desire to be your own person. Looking back, it's pretty incredible how much the author covers in a book that's only a little over 300 pages but she does so thoroughly. As a Filipino-American woman who grew up with a first generation mother, matriarchal type grandmother and plenty of aunts – I just related these stories in both little and big ways even if my own life experiences were and have been quite different. We first meet two sisters with opposite views and personalities, then we meet their children and how they integrate culture with their American life and later it all comes back to the grandmother who from the very beginning has been worried about identity. I loved how it all came full circle and I can't say enough how impressed I am with Mitali Perkins' storytelling and writing.

Do I recommend? I do! It's definitely a quiet novel but one that very much left an impact on me.

pub 9/2/17 by Little, Brown Books
for Young Readers
Young Adult - Science Fiction
Received at BookCon 
Doctor Who meets Guardians of the Galaxy? There was no way I wasn't going to read this book! Farway Gaius McCarthy is the son of a present (err future) day time-traveling Recorder and a Roman gladiator from 95 AD and as a result of this forbidden relationship, was born outside of time. He's basically a recipe for adventure and after he fails his time-traveling exam, he takes a job commanding a ship with his crew of friends to steal valuable artifacts from the past. But during a heist Far crosses paths with a mysterious girl he's seen before and is shocked when she demands to join his crew. Together, they go on their biggest adventure yet as everything they thought they knew about history and time comes into question.

I am a sucker for adventure-type stories that involve unique individuals, heartwarming friendships and romance and this book had all three. Far may come across as a little cocky but history is important to him for a reason. He wants to know who he is and see what the world has to offer. It's also clear how much he cares for his crew and vice-versa. I enjoyed seeing how their little family worked and even how it was disrupted with the appearance of this new member. The author managed to make my jaw drop a few times with her surprises and that is always fun for me as a reader (even though I'm admittedly easily surprised).

Do I recommend? Yes! I've read almost all of Ryan Graudin's books at this point and they're also so different! This is probably my favorite from her.



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