Monday, March 29, 2021

The Medicine Book, DK Publishing

 The Medicine Book, 5/5


Pages: 336
Book Number: 1 of 1
Genre: Nonfiction, Science

Summary by Author: How are illnesses diagnosed? When did the first successful organ transplant take place? Why are some pandemics so deadly? 

This book explores big questions like these, explaining the breakthroughs and discoveries that have shaped our modern-day understanding of medicine and helped us protect and promote our health. Written in plain English, The Medicine Book cuts through the jargon and is packed with pithy explanations of the most important milestones in medical history, with step-by-step diagrams and witty illustrations that untangle knotty concepts.

From ancient medical practices, such as herbal medications and balancing the humours, through groundbreaking work including Jenner's experiments with cowpox, which laid the basis for vaccination, The Medicine Book offers an engaging overview of medical history across the world all the way into the 21st century with gene manipulation, immunotherapy, and robotics and telesurgery. Covering the role that therapies and drugs have played in the human quest to treat and prevent disease, the establishment of hospitals and later international medical bodies, like the WHO, and medical science's response to new challenges, such as accelerated antibiotic resistance and COVID-19, The Medicine Book explains the stories behind each milestone development.

Continuing the "Big Ideas" series' trademark combination of authoritative, informative text, and bold graphics, The Medicine Book uses an innovative visual approach to make the subject accessible to everyone, whether you're a student of medicine or science, a medical professional, or an armchair expert.

Opinions: The above summary says it all: The Medicine Book is packed full of easy-to-read information, making education accessible to anybody interested in biology, no matter your age or background knowledge on the subject. Expanding on this, the narrative is clear and every single page is decorated with timelines and diagrams to depict the reactions and cycles being discussed! Whether you're a grade schooler with a passion for medicine or an adult needing to catch up on the basics, the easy-to-read writing style and timelines have got you covered. Complimenting this, DK Publishing maintained a healthy balance between shop-talk and vibrant images, meaning all readers can maintain their engagement and not be discouraged by a too-mature or too-childish display. However, The Medicine Book is quite dense and, in my opinion, could not be used to spark a passion for medicine in children. Middle or high schoolers may be struck by individual chapters, for example cloning or females in the medical field, but there is too much nitty-gritty "jargon" for those without a passion for medicine to stay connected. 

My Favourite Thing: Without giving too much of the content away, I loved the information The Medicine Book taught! You will learn biology, chemistry, ancient practices, history, and even biographies of famous doctors, nurses, and medical professionals. Whether you're writing a research paper or not, this book is perfect for learning exactly what you need to know about the world of medicine.

My Least Favourite Thing: It's worth being prepared for all 336 pages of The Medicine Book because, as I said above, you learn biology and chemistry... but also history, ancient practices, and professionals' biographies. Considering at least 1/3 of this book teaches the history of medicine, at least 1/6 of this book focuses on dates, names, and detailed locations that are irrelevant to learning about medicine itself. This is not a fault of the book, but you should know what you're getting into beforehand so you aren't let down.

Recommended For and Similar Reads: The Medicine Book is a nonfiction science guide for readers with a passion for medicine, historical doctors, and/or ancient medical practices! Similar reads are You and Your Strange Brain by Clive Gifford, The Rise and Fall of Modern Science by James le Fanu, Anatomy and Physiology for Dummies by Maggie Norris, The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee, and The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris.



Publisher: DK Publishing
Publication Date: March 4, 2021
Per FTC regulations, please know that I received this title for free for review from the original author, the publisher, publicist, or a third party. I am honest in my reviews, meaning the fact I received the book for free does not alter the rating I give it.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Rapid Review Series #1

Kids don't have their own blogs to review and connect, so where does all of the feedback for children's books come from? Me! Rapid Review Series #1 discusses three books I read as a child: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, The Titanic Locket by Suzanne Weyn, and Wonder by R J Palacio. These reviews are "rapid" because I haven't read the books in a long time and therefore am only discussing the lasting impression they've left!




Where the Sidewalk Ends, 5/5

Pages: 176
Genre: Children's, Poetry

Summary by Goodreads: Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. There you'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.
Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is one of Parent & Child magazine's 100 Greatest Books for Kids. School Library Journal said, "Silverstein has an excellent sense of rhythm and rhyme and a good ear for alliteration and assonance that make these poems a pleasure to read aloud."

Shel Silverstein's incomparable career as a children's book author and illustrator began with Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. In 1964, Shel's creativity continued to flourish as four more books were published in the same year—Don't Bump the Glump!, A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, and the beloved classic The Giving Tree. Later he continued to build his remarkable body of work with Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and Runny Babbit.

Opinions: If only high school poetry was this much fun...

Shel Silverstein, specifically due to his works in Where the Sidewalk Ends, was my idol in elementary school. I remember memorizing Silverstein poems for the National Poetry Month competitions and using them as a template to "spark my own creativity" in Language Arts. Even nowadays, I quote Silverstein without realizing it, proving that it significantly impacted my entire life! I can easily attribute my confidence with writing, and more importantly, posting book reviews to this heartfelt collection. Without a doubt, Where the Sidewalk Ends is a staple read for all children because it encourages a passion for English and proves that you can have fun learning.

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Where the Sidewalk Ends is a perfect collection of poems for children who have an open mind and are looking for a good laugh! Similar authors are Dr Seuss, Maurice Sendak, and Roald Dahl! Where the Sidewalk Ends is a must-read in my book.

Publication Date: 1974
ISBN: 0060513039





The Titanic Locket, 5/5

Pages: 208
Genre: Childrens, Historical Fiction, Paranormal

Summary by Goodreads: Don't touch anything in The Haunted Museum!
It looks like the high point of Samantha's spring vacation is going to be a glimpse of a cute boy she sees at The Haunted Museum in England. She and her sister, Jessica, and their parents are taking a cruise on the Titanic 2, a replica of the original Titanic, and there's not even wifi! At least the Titanic exhibit at the Haunted Museum had wax figures and beautiful jewels to look at.

But from their first day, Samantha and Jessica notice strange things happening. Their cabin number keeps changing. There are creepy scratching sounds coming from between the walls. And a locket that Jess opened at the museum seems to be... following them.

Is the locket haunted? Or could it be the ship itself? Are there actors in costume walking about the ship... or could they be ghosts? Why is Sam's sister calling her by another name? Samantha will have to unravel the threads tying her and her sister to the past, or they could go down with the ship!

Opinions: The Titanic Locket was by far my favourite book as a child; I must have reread it thirty times before I outgrew the reading level. From this premier in "The Haunted Museum" series, children will learn a lot about the original Titanic that set sail in 1912, but they won't be bombarded with information! I can easily recall the crippling fear I experienced as I swept through the pages. The most memorable scene, without spoilers, was the protagonist's vision of water filling up the ship as if it were sinking. If any author deserves a reward for making a book come to life through imagery and relatable characters, it is Weyn. Even as I reread the pages for the dozenth time, I shivered with anticipation and felt the water pooling in my socks. Fortunately, the book did not induce nightmares when I read it, but I cannot promise the same for all readers. It's the perfect read for children who need a scare but aren't ready for Stephen King!

Recommended For and Similar Reads: The Titanic Locket is an educational and panic-inducing read for elementary or middle schoolers who have a medium reading level and a desire for clean, non-violent horror. Similar reads are The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki, The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn, and The Fear Zone by K R Alexander.

Publication Date: April 29, 2014
ISBN: 0545588421





Wonder, 5/5

Pages: 315
Genre: Childrens, Realistic Fiction

Summary by Goodreads: 
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others.

Opinions: Wonder is one of the most influential and inspirational books a child can read. It will encourage an open mindset, appreciation for a diverse society, and even comfort to readers who are also different! I only vaguely remember reading Wonder when it was first published, but I know that it has vastly impacted my life (more so than any YA, NA, or Adult book has). Whenever I recognize systemic or cultural prejudice against a race, religion, sexual or gender identification, personality, or image, I re-ponder the themes about acceptance, appreciation, and respect that Wonder taught and, using this wisdom, try to take action against the bully. If everybody read Wonder, we would be living in a much happier and safer world. I strongly encourage you to read Wonder with your child so they are taught to include and love everybody from a young age. The 2017 film adaptation with Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, and Julia Roberts is an excellent addition to teaching these lessons - though not a replacement for the book!

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Wonder is a heartfelt and life-changing read that I believe all children and adults should read. Similar reads are Brainwalker by Robyn Mundell, Obsessed by Allison Britz, The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros!

Publication Date: February 14, 2012
ISBN: 0552565970

Surrender Your Sons, Adam Sass

Surrender Your Sons, 5/5

Pages: 408
Book Number: 1 of 1
Genre: YA, NA, Romance, LGBTQ, Horror

Summary by Author: Connor Major’s summer break is turning into a nightmare.
His SAT scores bombed, the old man he delivers meals to died, and when he came out to his religious zealot mother, she had him kidnapped and shipped off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes.”

But Connor’s troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide from the campers to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director, and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camp’s horrible truths for what they are— and taking this place down.

Opinions: I cannot express in simple words how incredibly important of a read Surrender Your Sons is for all teenagers, whether they're LGBTQ+ members or allies. 

Per the educational side, each chapter will induce tears as readers learn about the horrors past, present, and potentially future queer people face, including but not limited to being forced to break up with partners, being refused transitional support, facing abusive conversion therapy, and being torn apart from family members. Sass did not make any sacrifices when it came to sharing the truth, even if it means needing to include a trigger warning in the beginning of the book. On top of the straightforward facts, readers will also receive some insight into the motifs of perseverance, self-respect, loyalty, friendship, and surprisingly the value of investigation! However, "some" is the key word in that sentence because while I believe Surrender Your Sons is heartbreaking and raw, no reader will understand what the characters felt unless they experience the atrocities themselves. On the other hand, Surrender Your Sons certainly provides more perspective than any other YA LGBTQ book I've read, meaning the themes are certainly relevant and inspiring. 

Looking past the educational side, Sass has a beguiling writing style that will keep all readers on the edge of their seat. Due to my OCD, I always read the first 10% of a book, the last 10%, and then start over from the beginning. However, I was so enamored by the heart-wrenching cliff hangers, deplorable conflicts Connor faces, and life-altering plot-twists that I could not bear to spoil the read! Do you know how amazing a book must be in order to ignore a mental health condition? There is nothing else I can say to persuade you to read Surrender Your Sons. You will bawl in sorrow, shriek from laughter, and spend hours of your day thinking about the masterpiece you read. If I could give a sixth star, I would.

My Favourite Thing: I think you've heard enough about my fondness of the themes, so I'll obsess over my next favourite thing: the diversity! I give full credit to Sass for filling Surrender Your Sons with different religions, gender and sexual identities, and races. Every character was unique, starting from the imagery used to describe their physical features to the depth and complexities of their personalities. Without an intricate cast of pertinent peoples, Surrender Your Sons would not be as rich and resonating as it is.
My Least Favourite Thing: With all intentions of being frank, I personally believe there is nothing wrong with Surrender Your Sons. Rightfully so, some readers may find the topics of discussion difficult, but for me, it was just intense enough to spark change. 

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Surrender Your Sons is a thematic, tear-jerking, provocative for LGBTQ+ and ally teenagers. Similar reads are We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia, Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye, Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, Lost in the Never Woods by Aidan Thomas, Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas, Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington, I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, Out Now, and Jack of All Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev Rosen! I fully recommend Surrender Your Sons.


Publisher: Flux
Edition: Kindle
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
ISBN: 1635830613

Friday, February 19, 2021

Majesty, Katharine McGee

 Majesty, 2/5


Pages: 374
Book Number: 2 of 2
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Summary by Author: Is America ready for its first queen?

Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we're looking at you Daphne Deighton.

As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her "party princess" persona...and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace--and Prince Jefferson--at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne's carefully laid "marry Prince Jefferson" plans.

A new reign has begun....

Opinions: I apologize to all of my followers who didn't get a chance to read my American Royals review... because I never wrote it! As a reviewer, I find that the hardest reviews to write are for the books with only two or three stars because I'm simply indifferent about it. No hatred, no love, just a second thought about how I enjoyed the read but am glad that it's over. This is how I felt about American Royals and this is how I feel about Majesty

In my opinion, there was nothing special about the series. McGee spawned a realm that will entice some readers but simply be another land with an unrightful monarchy for others. Nina will be a beguiling protagonist for some but a cliche, cookie-cutter character from YA for other readers. Setting aside the "modesty," Majesty was very repetitive of American Royals. Not only does the series follow the same pattern as other YA series, but the individual books follow the same pattern as each other. Did I gain anything from reading either book? No. Did I have to pick up the first book to double-check that scenes weren't copied-and-pasted? Yes. 

In short, I believe the "American Royals" series isn't unique and wasn't worth the read. It isn't bad, but there's nothing special about it! I won't go out of my way to recommend it but I won't stop you from reading it. 

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Majesty, the sequel to American Royals, is perfect for teen readers who love romance and political dystopias without the suffering. Similar reads are Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra, The Selection by Kiera Cass, The Betrothed by Kiera Cass, Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston, The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, and Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall.


Publisher: Random House
Edition: Kindle
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 198483021X

Simply Quantum Physics, D K Publishing

Simply Quantum Physics, 5/5

Pages: 160
Book Number: 1 of 1
Genre: Nonfiction, Science

Summary by Author: A clear, simple, graphic-led introduction to quantum physics.
Are you short of time but hungry for knowledge? This beginner's quantum physics book proves that sometimes less is more. Bold graphics and easy-to-understand explanations make it the most accessible guide to quantum physics on the market.

This smart but powerful guide cuts through the jargon and gives you the facts in a clear, visual way. Step inside the strange and fascinating world of subatomic physics that at times seems to conflict with common sense. Unlock the mysteries of more than 100 key ideas, from quantum mechanics basics to the uncertainty principle and quantum tunneling.

Each pared-back, single-page entry demystifies the groundbreaking ideas in modern science. From Schrödinger's Cat and quantum teleportation to atoms and gravity, Simply Quantum Physics is the ultimate jargon-free overview of the subject.

Understanding Quantum Physics Has Never Been Easier.

This illuminating reference book introduces you to the greatest physicists of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Richard Feynman, and more! It's the perfect gift for anyone interested in physics or science in general and life-long learners.

Whether you're a physics student or just an interested layman, this indispensable guide is packed with everything you need to quickly and easily understand the basics.


Opinions: "Clear, simple, and graphic-led" are the best words to describe Simply Quantum Physics. Expanding on this, the narrative is clear, the writing style is simple, and every single page is dotted with graphs and diagrams to demonstrate the science being discussed. Without a doubt, this book is perfect for all readers! Whether you're a high schooler with a passion for physics or an adult who needs to catch up on the basics, the easy-to-read style and footnotes have got you covered. Complimenting this, the author maintained a healthy balance between nitty-gritty science and vibrant images, meaning all readers will remain engaged and not be discouraged by a too-difficult or too-childish display. That said, despite the colorful writing style, there is a minimum age required to read this book due to the level of background knowledge needed to understand any of what is taught in Simply Quantum Physics. If you haven't studied atoms, magnetism, light and sound waves, ionic bonding, and the basics of nuclear physics in your own time, you'll need to wait until high school for this book to resonate with its full potential. But who knows? Maybe Simply Quantum Physics will spark the same joy for science in you as it did in me. I fully recommend this book and I sincerely hope you give it a go.

My Favourite Thing: I adored the content of Simply Quantum Physics! It provided insight into dozens of intriguing topics I'd barely touched on in school and even introduced some new subjects that deepened my appreciation for science. Furthering this, Simply Quantum Physics didn't only talk about physics! It linked chemistry, earth sciences, and biology together to create a single realm of intelligible knowledge and a believable relationship between random mutations in the structure of DNA, The Standard Model of elementary particles, and quantum teleportation. I can't be the only one who didn't think there was a relationship between these things, right? I proudly stand corrected!
My Least Favourite Thing: My only "complaint" is that Simply Quantum Physics is so short! I could've used a hundred more pages of information in this style. However, I'm thrilled to have read what is actually available.


Recommended For and Similar Reads: I fully recommend Simply Quantum Physics to any and all readers who want to expand their knowledge but don't know where to start. Similar reads are Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein, How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog by Chad Orzel, The Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking, and Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed by Jim Al-Khalili.




Publisher: DK Publishing
Edition: Kindle
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
ISBN: 0744028485
Per FTC regulations, please know that I received this title for free for review from the original author, the publisher, publicist, or a third party. I am honest in my reviews, meaning the fact I received the book for free does not alter the rating I give it.

Playing Cupid, S C Alban

 Playing Cupid, 3/5


Pages: 300
Book Number: 1 of 1
Genre: YA, Fantasy/Mythology, Romance, 

Summary by Author: For the past five years, seventeen-year-old Megan Cooper has built a wall around her heart with little room to experience true feelings. However, her entire world shifts the moment she hits Cupid with her car driving home from finals. With his shooting arm significantly injured, she has no choice but to take his place.

Now, as Megan races to find Cupid’s final three love matches in order to meet his quota by the start of the new year, she comes face to face with the very emotions she’s been pushing away for so long.

Caught between what her head is saying and what her heart longs for, Megan must face old wounds, find forgiveness, and track down the perfect match for the one boy she can’t stand.

This YA debut is a touching and heartwarming shot through the heart for teen and adult readers alike!

Opinions: In my opinion, Playing Cupid was a perfectly average book. The plot is enticing, but not invigorating. The themes are existent, but will not be appreciated by teen readers. The mythology is unique, but not enchanting. In short, Playing Cupid will be a fun read for some readers but nothing more. That said, fun it shall be! For the teenagers who can look past a few monotonous scenes and Mary Sue-like character development, Alban's passion and dedication to Megan's journey must be acknowledged. Even though I didn't particularly enjoy this one, I am still impressed with the obvious planning, researching, and imagination needed for Playing Cupid to exist! It's easy to say the book deserves the stars from another reader, it simply isn't my cup of tea.

My Favourite Thing: As I mentioned above, I sincerely appreciate the effort Alban put into Playing Cupid. It must be noted that although this isn't the first YA book with Cupid in it, it's the first one where Cupid gets hit by a car and it is certainly the first one where a human has to take their place! Personally, I wish Cupid had a larger role but finishing the book was no job when Megan took lead. The mythology and creativity is the main reason why Playing Cupid deserves three stars in my eyes! 
My Least Favourite Thing: Also as I mentioned above, too much about Playing Cupid was flawless. Without spoiling anything, Megan grows as a person, Cupid's journey is completed, and complimenting the latter, the ending is rather predictable. This isn't to say reaching the climax wasn't exciting, but I personally would've preferred a bigger reveal.

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Playing Cupid is a quick, heartwarming read for teens who are looking for a mix-up in the fantasy genre! If you have read and loved Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Cheerleaders from Planet X by Lyssa Chiavari, His Hidden Wings by Alexander Williams, The Redpoint Crux by Morgan Shamy, or Vampires of Portlandia, you should give Playing Cupid a try!



Publisher: The Parliament House Press
Edition: Kindle
Publication Date: February 23, 2021

Per FTC regulations, please know that I received this title for free for review from the original author, the publisher, publicist, or a third party. I am honest in my reviews, meaning the fact I received the book for free does not alter the rating I give it. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: SCARS OF CEREBA by Rachel Emma Shaw



SCARS OF CEREBA by Rachel Emma Shaw is the second book in the Memoria Duology. Congratulations for another beautiful book cover!



Summary by Author
Sometimes I loved her. Sometimes I hated her. Sometimes I was her and wanted to die.

Falon’s mind is broken. Sarilla returned his memories to him, but in doing so, she fractured him into the man he was before she took them and the man he became after they were stolen. He’s fighting to rejoin his two halves, but locked up in the prison below the palace with his neck already fitted for the hangman’s noose, time is quickly running out.

It’s more than just Falon's memories that are fighting for control of his mind, though. So are those of the memory thief who caused all his problems in the first place. Sarilla. The woman half of him loves, but the other half hates.

Her memories have stained his eyes black, causing everyone to fear what Falon has become. He needs to find a way out of this mess, but it’s not going to be easy. Especially since all three of the people in his head have very different plans for how to go about it.’




Giveaway!
I have one ePub/Mobi of Last Memoria for a dedicated reader who...

+ Follows me and Rachel Emma Shaw on Instagram (Emma Katherine Blog and Rachel Emma Shaw)
+ Likes some of my photos on Instagram
+ Comments on some of my posts on Instagram
+ Shares the cover reveal and tags me and Rachel Emma Shaw on Instagram
+ Comments on this post!

Complete all of the tasks to collect more entries! Giveaway ends on February 3rd, 2021. Get your entries in soon!




Free Short Stories
To celebrate Shaw's Last Memoria becoming a finalist in SPFBO, she released free short stories set in the same realm as the duology! Check them out here: https://rachelemmashaw.wordpress.com/?page_id=13




Find Book #1: Last Memoria
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48644511-last-memoria?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=qRbigSCizh&rank=1
Universal book link: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/b3ef6ec2-278a-11eb-af51-ffe42ea2e10f
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1652372849




Find Book #2: Scars of Cereba
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SY9PVP3
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52260587-scars-of-cereba




Find Rachel Emma Shaw:
Website: https://rachelemmashaw.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelthestoryteller
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachel_emma_shaw/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/paintedredder/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelEmma_Shaw




SPFBO
SPFBO is the annual "Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off" competition run by Mark Lawrence. In 2020-21, Shaw's Last Memoria became one of ten finalists out of 300 entries! If there's a better reason to read a book, I can't think of it. Give Last Memoria and Scars of Cereba a try!




Review: 5/5 
Book Number: 2/2
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication Date: 10 May, 2021

Opinions: If there's one word to describe Shaw's attempt at Scars of Cereba, it's ambitious, but when has that ever been a bad thing? We want our fantasy to push the limits, to leave readers with a chill down their spine, to appear in our thoughts months later when a friend asks for a book recommendation. The dictionary's definition of ambitious is, "an earnest desire for an achievement or distinction." I insist on being the first reader to say to Rachel: you achieved your goal! Scars of Cereba was a thought-provoking and resonating sequel that makes fantasy meaningful. I guarantee that any reader, especially those looking for an illustriously written, dark fantasy adventure will begin to appreciate YA literature as much as they truly should after reading the Memoria Duology. In my opinion, Scars of Cereba sets a new standard for teen fantasy! 

My Favourite Thing: What can I say? My love for Rachel Emma Shaw's work is consistent: my favourite part of Last Memoria was the world building and fantastical elements, and that appreciation stuck around while reading Scars of Cereba. Although the atmosphere was familiar from reading other fantasy novels, the conflict of a supernatural power was exceptional. Although I was thrilled to see the climax of Falon and Sarilla's tale, I wish there were a million books so I never had to set their story down.

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Expectedly, Last Memoria and Scars of Cereba are novels for mature teenagers who adore dark magic, adventure, scandal, and thrilling fantasy! For a variety of reasons, if you have read Dream Keeper by Amber R Duell, Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, and A Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, you will adore the Memoria Duology and should give them a try! I strongly recommend this series to teens stuck in lockdown who are looking for a good thrill!