Size Doesn’t Matter (160): Something Stinks in Hamlet; The Dark Prophecy; The Best Possible Answer

Size Doesn’t Matter (160): Something Stinks in Hamlet; The Dark Prophecy; The Best Possible AnswerSomething Stinks in Hamlet by M.E. Castle
Series: Fakespeare #1
Published by Imprint on May 23, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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three-stars

Three kids get lost inside Shakespeare’s book and must help Hamlet finish his story in order to return home in this silly middle school series!

Dear Reader,

You are reading this because you expressed interest in the Get Lost Book Club.

Get ready to take a journey through time to a really smelly place known as Denmark. There, an evil uncle is trying to dethrone a prince who sees ghosts. Moat serpents will try to eat you. There may be a few sword fights, and a haunted graveyard. Your only allies are the world’s most reluctant reader, Kyle Word, his annoying neighbor, Halley, and his baby brother, Gross Gabe. Help them defeat Uncle Claudius and make it to the end of the story, or you’ll be trapped in Hamlet forever!

Intrigued? Worried? Downright terrified? You should be. But if you’re ready for an adventure, step right up and follow me. It’s time to get lost.

Sincerely,
The Narrator

When visiting Lenore (author of Level 2), her copies of both Fakespeare books had just arrived, and I read Something Stinks in Hamlet on a whim. Though unsurprisingly a bit juvenile for me, Something Stinks in Hamlet was a surprisingly clever reimagining of Hamlet for young readers.

Expect a lot of poop humor when you set out on the Fakespeare journey. That’s very much not my thing, but obviously will be popular with the intended audience. What I enjoyed here were the cute modifications made to Hamlet, which isn’t the most kid-friendly story, what with all the death. The change of something rotten in the state of Denmark to Elsinore literally being stinky was pretty hilarious and perfect for the age group. The fact that Claudius was actually framing Hamlet to seem mad was clever as well.

Fun and quick, I suspect these could be great for young readers. I probably won’t read the second one, unless I fall behind on my book challenge again and it’s handy. 😉

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (160): Something Stinks in Hamlet; The Dark Prophecy; The Best Possible AnswerThe Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
Narrator: Robbie Daymond
Length: 12 hrs, 30 mins
Series: The Trials of Apollo #2
Published by Listening Library on May 2, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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two-half-stars

Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?

After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he's gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .

The amount that I do not care about Apollo is approaching legendary levels. The way he’s written is fairly clever, as per usual for Riordan, and the plotting is standard Riordan fare. Most people will enjoy The Trials of Apollo, but it’s really just not working for me.

My issue is that Apollo is a god, and he’s only going to change so much. However much he does evolve from being human, he would eventually regress. It all feels so pointless. There’s no ship on the horizon really. He’s got crushes on a couple of people, both male and female, but nothing’s really started. My best guess is that he might end up with Thalia Grace, if he ends up with anyone. So yeah, I do not care about Apollo. Nor do I care about Meg. Leo and Calypso are probably going to be less involved, and they weren’t enough to carry me through. The next book’s going to have Grover and probably a cameo from Jason and Piper, who I loathe, so I think I’m giving up on this one, even though Frank and Hazel should also be in it.

Basically, I’m just not invested in any of the characters in this series enough to make it through FIVE books. Peace out, Apollo.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Size Doesn’t Matter (160): Something Stinks in Hamlet; The Dark Prophecy; The Best Possible AnswerThe Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on November 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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three-half-stars

AP exams—check
SAT test—check
College application—check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for—check

Super-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has never had room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection is derailed when her boyfriend leaks a private picture of her to the entire school—a picture only he was supposed to see. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Vivi feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Vivi realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.

The Best Possible Answer was my first Kottaras book but will assuredly not be my last. Though not as fluffy as the cover indicates, The Best Possible Answer delivers a cute ship and fantastic anxiety rep.

Viviana works really ridiculously hard to achieve her goal of attending her father’s alma mater, Stanford. She studies so hard, in fact, that she fell asleep while biking back home after an AP test. So hard that she’s actually starting to do terribly. She’s become so tightly wound and anxious that she’s having fairly regular panic attacks. The pressure she feels from her parents and from her father’s absence, which she worries might be her fault just exacerbates her anxiety. I really love the anxiety arc in The Best Possible Answer, View Spoiler ».

Because of her fall from her bicycle and the diagnosis of anxiety, her parents decree that she won’t be doing the summer program she’s been looking for and must rest all summer. They’re trying to help, but they don’t realize that being cooped up with the stress of family life and nothing to do but think is a horrible thing for someone with anxiety. Vivi manages to convince them to let her have a low stress job at the apartment complex’s community pool.

The ship is absolutely adorable. Evan’s such a genuine sweetheart, and Kottaras manages to distinctly avoid the romance “fixing” Vivi’s anxiety. In fact, Vivi cannot even begin to handle the idea of a real relationship until the end when she has a plan for working on her mental health, even though Evan’s massively supportive and understanding. I could, however, have done without the unnecessary love triangle with Vivi’s best friend.

Similarly, there’s a massive amount of drama in the parents’ plot line. Combined with the love triangle, the book sometimes lurched over the edge into melodrama, which didn’t really suit the voice and tone of the rest of the book imo. View Spoiler » That said, Vivi’s arc throughout is fantastic and really emotional.

Read this one for anxiety rep and cute ship, but prepare for a bit of intense melodrama.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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