American Panda…✧✧/5

Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Start date: January 26, 2018
Finish date: January 31, 2018
Note: Special thanks to Simon Pulse for providing a digital copy for review.

✧✧/5 (2.5/5)

I FEEL LIKE A TRAITOR. After ranting in previous book reviews about how few Taiwanese YA authors there are, I almost feel bad about giving American Panda, also written by a Taiwanese author, a 2.5/5 rating, but I really didn’t like this book. This may have been something I would have loved as a teen, but I’d like to think it would have been a more superficial type of attraction; one that focuses more on the fact that there weren’t many female Taiwanese protagonists out there, and so I’d feel compelled to give it a 5/5 for the sake of seeing myself represented in a novel. This is not the case anymore.

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Feeder…✧/5

Title: Feeder
Author: Patrick Weekes
Start date: November 21, 2017
Finish date: November 25, 2017
Note: Special thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing a digital copy for review.

✧/5 (DNF)

What. A. Hot. Mess. This was sadly a DNF for me because I just couldn’t bring myself to care about what happens in the end, and the thing is, I tried very very hard to finish this because I was already so far into the book. I think that says a lot about how frustrated I was with Feeder.

Let’s discuss the good because this book wasn’t all bad. Feeder is a fast-paced YA Science Fiction featuring a group of ethnically/physically diverse and superpowered teenagers; think rogue X-Men characters. If there was one positive thing about this novel, it would be the inclusion of LGBTQ2+ characters and how they were depicted as strong, confident and capable human beings, rather than being plagued with trivial issues. These traits are rarely seen in YA fiction and it’s nice to see some different representation. While the cast of characters is intriguing, I was also surprised to notice that the multiple points of views weren’t confusing. Each character had their own distinct voice and personality so it was easy to differentiate them from one another; they were truly unique individuals and that made the story a little easier to get through (up until the point where I gave up because I had issues with the plot and lack of explanations).

Another positive thing about Feeder is the action sequences. There’s never a dull moment and it is most certainly extremely fast-paced. If you thought you could take a breather to absorb information and details about this interesting world, think again. I felt like there was never a pause button for the plot, and for some readers that may be a great thing. I didn’t find a section of the book where nothing was happening.

However, the lack of world building and the constant barrage of action and dialogue just wasn’t for me. I had so many questions that were left unanswered for way too long. There wasn’t a gradual explanation for the whys, hows, whens, and whats.

I wanted to know more about the feeders, the history of what happened, whether the infected can be saved at all, why weren’t the teens concerned about their infected parents (they kind of just…gave up on them after learning their fates), who’s running the government that would allow all this to happen and why weren’t they doing anything about it, how did the feeders even get here and why are they attacking humans, if Lori is not fully human, how is her brother safe, plus so much more. We’re inexplicably dropped into this world and expected to just deal with it. I also want to know why the feeders are so sassy!

Readers are presented with the good guys who are supposed to save the world and the bad guys hell-bent on destroying it, and not much else for context. I did begin to see some explanations 3/4 into the book, but I had lost interest already by then. I also wanted to learn about the backstory behind all these interesting and diverse characters, but sadly, was left wondering about that throughout the book. Reading Feeder was like watching a Michael Bay film: explosions, action-action-action, more explosions, hot girls, weird alien things, and additional explosions just in case there wasn’t enough at the start.

To further prove my point, there was an odd scene where Handler simply tells Lori that she has a power she was previously unaware of. How does Handler know this? Where does Handler get all its information? What IS Handler? Maybe this is covered in the later chapters, but I feel like I shouldn’t have to wait until the very end to get basic questions answered.

Feeder attempts to do too much in too little pages and word count. It is an extraordinarily short book for such an immense concept. This one just wasn’t for me.

Whisper…✧/5

Title: Whisper
Author: Lynette Noni
Start date: November 14, 2017
Finish date: November 16, 2017
Note: Special thanks to Kids Can Press for providing an ARC for review.

✧/5

I am so disappointed and angry that I don’t even know where to begin. The premise seemed like something I would love but the poor execution of the plot and horribly developed characters prevented that from happening. The prologue had an interesting hook and I actually didn’t want to stop reading. Despite the first few interesting chapters, the book lost me past Chapter 2.

thinking GIF
(An excellent depiction of my reaction while reading this book)

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