Hello readers! It’s time for another round of Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. This installment, let’s chat about: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, Girls With Razor Hearts and Heartstopper: Volume One.
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly | Jamie Pacton
Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first… Goodreads
“It might be symbolic. But what better way to smash
the patriarchy than with a lance and sword.”
“Indeed. One small step for women, one giant step for Wenches!”
Kit Sweetly works as a ‘serving wench’ at the Castle, a medieval themed dinner theatre. What she really wants is to be a knight like her brother – but according to company policy, only guys can be knights and they refuse to budge on the subject. Kit is determined to remove the gender restrictions at the castle no matter what and comes up with a plan.
The main storyline was pretty good, which was Kit fighting against the absurd company policies. I loved how supportive her brother was of her throughout the book and how the two of them were always there for each other. I was also very impressed at the diversity in this book and how naturally it’s taken, without any kind of fuss.
This could have easily been a story I loved, but there was way too much other stuff going on and so many plot points left unexplored, which detracts from the main story. Kit keeping secrets from her friends should have been a much bigger deal than was shown, since their jobs are essentially on the line. The romance was also hugely unnecessary to the plot, especially since this seemed to be aiming for a strong feminist narrative. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style either, and it was really hard to connect to the characters.
Overall, while this book did have a wonderful message, it just wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. It does have a lot of potential though, considering this was a debut, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more novels by this author in the future. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a fast-paced easy YA read.
Publishing Date: May 5th, 2020 (Page Street Kids)
Girls With Razor Hearts (Girls With Sharp Sticks #2) | Suzanne Young
It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.
The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.
And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations – they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts… Goodreads
This was a marvellous follow up to Girls With Sharp Sticks. Fleeing Innovations Academy, the girls struggle to process the shocking truth of their existence, that they are not human, and they make it their mission to find out who is behind the horrible experimentation and take down the organization. But the world outside proves to be just as dangerous and they can only truly rely on each other.
As with the first book, this was a thrilling read even though there weren’t in my opinion as many shocking twists in the plot. I love the friendship between the girls is and how strong their trust in each other remains throughout. That this is all set in a world that could be near-future is kind of disturbing, but still makes for a riveting read and I’m really looking forward to book 3! I would definitely recommend this series for science fiction or dystopian fans.
Publishing Date: March 17th, 2020 (Simon Pulse)
Heartstopper: Volume One | Alice Oseman
Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner… Goodreads
I’ve been hearing so many good things about Heartstopper over the past year, and it did not disappoint! This was such an adorable read! This is the first webcomic I’ve ever read, and I enjoyed it so much that I’ll definitely be checking out a few more in the future.
I’m rarely one for any kind of romance novels, but this is one of those rare few that just made me feel so happy reading it. I’ve been waiting for my library hold of Red, White and Royal Blue for ages now (no matter that I’ve read it half a dozen times already), and this was exactly what I needed! The illustrations were so beautifully drawn and as someone who doesn’t read many graphic novels, I was very impressed with how much could be conveyed with so little dialogue in some places. This was probably the cutest and most heart-warming book I’ve read all year and I can’t wait to read the next part of the story. Highly recommended!
Publishing Date: February 7th, 2019 (Hodder Children’s Books)
Have you read any of these books or do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!