Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Deepest, Darkest
Author: William Ritter
Book Series: The Oddmire Book 3
Recommended For…: Middle Graders, adventure
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Genre: MG Fantasy
Recommended Age: 10+ (adventure, violence, war, scary moments, )
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Review: This was an enjoyable book! I really liked story, even more than I did in the first book, and I liked that this book was darker than the others. I loved the character development and the book also did great with the world building yet again. I also really liked the writing.
My only complaint about the novel is, again, the pacing in some places.
Verdict: Highly recommend!
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author and publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: If You, Then Me
Author: Yvonne Woon
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Asian American lead and side character, Nigerian side character
Recommended For…: young adults, contemporary, coding, romance, fail and rise again trope
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Recommended Age: (Racism, Slight sex content, Slight Language, Bullying, Alcohol consumption by minors, Drug use, Being drugged, TW Sexual assault, Victim blaming)
Explanation of CWs: There are mentions of racism against the MCs ethnicity by the bully character. There are some small instances of some curse words. Alcohol is consumed frequently throughout the novel by underaged characters. There is 1 mention of drug use by the main character and a few small scenes and mentions of seeing other characters use drugs. The main character is drugged in that same scene. It is not a roofie, but she was slightly unintentionally drugged by the villain character. There is one scene where the main character is forcibly touched and groped. She is also blamed for the day incident later in the text.
Synopsis: What would you ask your future self? First question: What does it feel like to kiss someone?
Xia is stuck in a lonely, boring loop. Her only escapes are Wiser, an artificial intelligence app she designed to answer questions like her future self, and a mysterious online crush she knows only as ObjectPermanence.
And then one day Xia enrolls at the Foundry, an app incubator for tech prodigies in Silicon Valley.
Suddenly, anything is possible. Flirting with Mast, a classmate also working on AI, leads to a date. Speaking up generates a vindictive nemesis intent on publicly humiliating her. And running into Mitzy Erst, Foundry alumna and Xia’s idol, could give Xia all the answers.
And then Xia receives a shocking message from ObjectPermanence: He is at the Foundry, too. Xia is torn between Mast and ObjectPermanence—just as Mitzy pushes her towards a shiny new future. Xia doesn’t have to ask Wiser to know: The right choice could transform her into the future self of her dreams, but the wrong one could destroy her.
Review: I really liked this book! When I first started it I was concerned because the book features a lot of coding lingo and computer knowledge and if you’ve ever been to a hang out with my friends (who are all into the coding/computer/IT world) and I then you might be concerned too lol. I’ve spent many a hang out session with them disassociating because computer talk is it’s own language (insert Java/Ruby/HTML joke here). But I understood the book and what I didn’t understand I was able to by the context. I loved the world the author built and I love the character development. The writing was amazing and it made for easy understanding of the computer lingo and world of Silicon Valley. I guess you could call this my first dedicated post to my friends and my husband. I never realized how much there is in programming/coding/IT and now I do and I’m tagging one particular friend in here if you’d love to check her out to learn/see more into the programming world too. I also loved the plot of the book and I thought that the characters struggles were very much in tune with what modern teens might see today.
The only issue I had with the book is that I felt like it ended too soon, I wanted to see more of Xia and make sure she was ok. I also had a slight issue with what happened to a certain villain character at the end of the book. It felt too swift of an end for that villain and not enough justice.
Verdict: I absolutely adored the book and I’m definitely buying it today! I’d also love for the author to come out with a sequel because I want to see bosslady Xia at work.