Several book reviews!! \o/

The Sixth — Avery Hays.

5/5 stars.

The Sixth was a delightful mix of history and mystery that had me on the edge of my seat at times. The plot was clever, the protagonist was likable, and the backdrop very interesting for someone like me, who is interested in art and art history. I found it quite fascinating to see the way that Florbela interacted with the unestablished painters of the time, like Diego Riviera and Marc Chagall. Those names are almost household names now — or close to it, I should think — but the way that Hays describes them makes them seem like people that would never become famous, but she does so in a charming way. They are also quite likable, but not the “type of people” one would assume become famous. (Then again, I am reminded of what my 10th grade English teacher used to tell us about the word “assume”… “it makes an ass out of u and me.” XD)

Although it took me awhile to get around to reading The Sixth due to school and other life stuff getting in the way, I’m glad that I did read it, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a relatively light/easy read about espionage and secrets as well as art and art history.

Many thanks to Diadema Press via NetGalley for an opportunity to read and review this book!!

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City of the Sun — Juliana Maio

4.5/5 stars

I quite enjoyed reading City of the Sun — I love anything to do with WWII, and to have this novel’s setting be entirely different from that of any other novel I’ve read about World War II was quite refreshing!! Rather than being set in London, America, Japan, the UK, or Europe, it was set in Cairo. A very exotic locale indeed.

I found myself cheering Maya on throughout this novel — while she harbors secrets of her own, secrets that she needs to keep her family safe, I found her more likable than Mickey. I felt bad for her living situation in Cairo, however, since it was so cramped, and almost unwelcome.

The multiple storylines were a little confusing at times, however — switching from Mickey, to Maya, to the Nazi spy’s (whose name I currently forget, oops!) — but I think that while it could’ve been done a little more smoothly, overall it lent an air of believability to the novel.

Well done, Ms. Maio. Well done, indeed. I will keep my eye out for other books that you have written.

Many thanks to Greenleaf Book Group via NetGalley for an opportunity to read and review this book!!

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The Body in the Woods

2/5 stars.

I had a very, very hard time getting interested in The Body in the Woods. I picked it up initially because it sounded intriguing — I love YA, and I love murder mysteries — but I ended up reading this over several months rather than in the day or two that it probably would’ve taken me had it really pulled me in.

I’ve never read anything by Ms. Henry before, and I’m not sure what it was exactly about this novel that made it fall flat for me. Maybe the 3 different POVs, the way that I didn’t feel like I ever got to know any of the characters… I’m not sure. But it really just didn’t hit the mark the way I had been hoping it would.

Maybe I’ll try another one of April Henry’s books. Maybe. I’m really not sure though… I don’t want to feel as though I can’t say anything good about the books I review, and I don’t want to read something that I find unfulfilling and, in the end, a disappointment to have picked up. I might try the second in this series once it is published, but that is a very large “maybe” at this point. Who knows, it might be better than this one was… I can always hope, right?

Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley for an opportunity to read and review this book!!

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