Review: Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan

ABOUT:cotm

Name– Child of the Moon
Author– Jessica Semaan
Genre– Poetry
Source– Author/Netgalley
Katie’s case– 4/5

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DESCRIPTION:

In between being your mother and father,
I forgot to be your daughter
And became the child of the moon

“In her debut collection, Semaan offers an upfront & moving glimpse into the true nature of healing: an imperfect, nonlinear journey”–Amanda Lovlace, bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one

An illustrated poetry collection about finding light in the darkness. Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War and the author’s turbulent family life, Child of the Moon is a powerful reflection on her journey through fear, shame and despair, and the unconditional love that helped her begin to heal from childhood trauma.

REVIEW:

Child of the Moon captures the journey of grief, trauma, and probably most profoundly- healing- and the many, nonlinear forms it comes in. Jessica Semaan’s diverse range of poetry will inspire a connection with anyone who is lost, lonely, or suffers from self doubt.

I was moved by Semaan’s ability to open herself in such a raw and relatable way to all of us fellow children of the moon, and I appreciate her hard hitting honesty in areas we need to hear it most. I also loved her poetic devices, such as rhyme, which I feel a lot of poets I’ve read recently have done away with. I enjoyed how some verses were fun and clever, while others resonated on a deeper emotional level, and that everything was different.

Besides the genuine, heartfelt, and resonating writing- the illustrations between the sections are simply beautiful. I think I will be purchasing a physical copy if just for the illustrations.

I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down, bookmarked half of “New Moon,” and already know I will be returning to it again soon. Thank you Jessica Semaan for sharing your empowering story with us and thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for the free copy of this book!

AUTHOR JESSICA SEMAAN: 
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Review: Virulent by Jason Scott Melo

ABOUT:virulent

Name– Virulent
Author– Jason Scott Melo
Genre– Thriller, Horror
Source– Author
Katie’s case– 5/5

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DESCRIPTION:

virulent
adjective
1. (regarding a disease) extremely severe or harmful in its effects
2. bitterly hostile

A county epidemiologist and his summer intern are sent to investigate a potential outbreak at a research facility deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Soon after their arrival at All Cure, Dr. Chuck Sparrows and Nina Cabugao find themselves in a situation far more sinister than either could have ever imagined when they agreed to take on the case.

A strong will to live will be just as important as their infectious disease training if they hope to make it out of the mountains alive.

REVIEW:

What a gripping page turner! Melo’s background in epidemiology, paired with his incredibly fresh voice in the subject, truly make for an excellent thriller. You get the best of both worlds, an insight into the world of outbreaks, but also a chilling and skilled style.

I tend to go for books with a strong atmospheric component; I want to feel like I am right there with all of the characters. Melo’s latest novella does not disappoint. You can practically feel the treacherous and sinister setting throughout this novel as chills will run down your spine in real life. You can feel a range of emotion in this book as the characters have to know how to trust and know how to trust their own guts.

Without giving too much away, go into this book knowing you will not want to put it down until you have reached the very last page. I already cannot wait to reread it in the future!

AUTHOR JASON SCOTT MELO:
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Review: Basilica by Jason Scott Melo

ABOUT:basilica

Name– Basilica
Author– Jason Scott Melo
Genre– Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk
Source– Author
Katie’s case– 5/5

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DESCRIPTION:

Built by megacorporations in humanity’s waning years, Basilica is the last functioning city on Earth. The Jean-Fa Dynasty, the family that has held majority control of this artificial island and its oligarchic government for decades, will soon fall.

Only the four surviving progeny — Ana, the youngest, her older brother, Dante, their estranged cousin, Eveline, and their troubled uncle, Jack — have any chance of saving themselves from a grim tomorrow. Together, aided by their personal array of unique talents and the technological innovation known as the magnetvakt, the last Jean-Fas will struggle to restore order to their lives, seek out unexpected allies, and take on old foes. Family bonds will be strained, broken, and mended and the city’s darkest secrets will be revealed.

Ultimately, Ana, Dante, Eveline, and Jack will seek justice for their family, a family whose tragic fate might have been the only justice they ever deserved.

REVIEW:

“Tomorrow’s world is yours to build”

Basilica follows four narrators, and four uniquely voiced perspectives, in navigating the life and future of the island mega-city that’s powered completely by individualist corporations two centuries from now. Despite their differences, the four must come together to not only save their lineage, but also to defeat the many twists and turns of evil enemies and forces against them and create a better tomorrow.

While being a novel packed with action and adventure, the book reads with style and language that can appeal to any reader. As an avid reader of other genres, I loved the readability of the action scenes and was engrossed throughout each one. Each scene was described as vividly as if I was watching the scenes play out in front of me. However, there is not an absence of humanity and emotion throughout the book. The novel touches on major themes of culture, heritage, and social issues. Through these themes I was able to feel emotionally touched and connected to each of the characters and grew to feel like I was in the Jean Fa family by the end.

Fantastic first book for Jason Scott Melo and I cannot wait to read more of his work in the future!

AUTHOR JASON SCOTT MELO:
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Review: Big Woods by May Cobb

ABOUT:bigwoods

Name– Big Woods
Author– May Cobb
Genre– Thriller, Mystery-Thriller, Crime
Source– Author/Netgalley
Katie’s case– 4.5/5

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DESCRIPTION:

It’s 1989 in the sleepy town of Longview, Texas, when ten-year-old Lucy disappears. Her parents, the police, and the community all brace for the worst, assuming her body will soon be found in Big Woods. Just like the other unsolved kidnappings.

But then Lucy’s fourteen-year-old sister, Leah, starts having dreams about Lucy—dreams that reveal startling clues as to what happened. Leah begins her own investigation, and soon she meets a reclusive widow who may hold the key to finding Lucy . . . if only she can find the courage to come forward.

Delving into the paranoia surrounding satanic cults in the 1980s, Big Woods is an emotionally wrought, propulsive thriller about the enormity of grief, the magical bond between sisters, and a small town’s dark secrets.

REVIEW:

May Cobb’s debut novel is a fantastic look on not only growing up in the 80’s, but also the inseparable bonds of sisterhood. Big Woods stands out for me amongst recent mystery-thriller novels, and had everything I love in a book: small town secrets, cult-y overtones, some great blast-from-the-past references, and a little sisterly magic.

Told by two incredibly fresh voices, a elderly woman and a young teenager, Cobb skillfully connects the reader to both of the differing personalities. I loved getting into the minds of two characters who were not of my relatable age or setting, but still felt like I could get to know them. As readers, we get to watch Leah grow through some of the classic weird teenage friendships, but also some dark adversaries. I felt Leah’s emotions and pain throughout the novel, thanks to vivid details and very relatable human emotion. And we get to know Sylvia’s past through twists and turns that made my jaw drop at times. I loved getting into the mind of an older woman, I felt this was a very new and fresh perspective for me and admired her story. Cobb also gives life to the setting itself, a small town completely consumed in Satanic Panic and the mysteries of the missing children. Although I would say some of the writing- particularly the metaphors and similes- didn’t completely land for me, I liked how I could practically hear the metal music and smell the pine trees from Cobb’s vivid descriptions throughout the book.

Without revealing too much, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has fascinations with small town mysteries paired with a little bit of cult secrets and finally some sisterhood magic. It encompasses so much depth to the characters, the town, and the writing. This novel stands out from a lot of the other thrillers on my bookshelf and doesn’t follow any sort of overdone formula, so it kept me guessing until the very last chapter and I couldn’t put it down. Great debut May!

Thank you Midnight Ink and NetGalley!

AUTHOR MAY COBB:
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