Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Book Roundup: The Athena Protocol and I Am Heathcliff

Honestly, I am never going to complain about having too many books to review, I just wish that there were more days of the week! Tomorrow I will have a recap of some fun family stuff so look forward to that. I have so many great books coming up for you and honestly, I don't know if your credit card (or library) can handle it. I don't. Something for literally EVERYBODY.

It's not too soon to start thinking about Christmas. Stop buying kids and people junk and toys- buy books. Books are so much more fun and gets your brain working. Here are a couple to consider:

The Athena Protocol - Shamim Sarif

Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.

Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.

Jessie needs to right her wrong and prove herself, so she starts her own investigation into the trafficking. But going rogue means she has no one to watch her back as she delves into the horrors she uncovers. Meanwhile, her former teammates have been ordered to bring her down. Jessie must face danger from all sides if she’s to complete her mission—and survive.

I'm a fan of a good YA book, and this one delivers. So many teens have a hard time finding a book read and to that I say- try a thriller. A thriller is something we can all get into and it gives you that physical, almost anxious/panicky feeling when danger is right there and that's what keeps someone hooked. Make no mistake, this book gives you that. We have danger, human trafficking, we have an LGBTQ lead character, a female secret spy (!!!) and we have some relationships that keep it all twisty (a struggling parent/child relationship, and a bit of a romance that I didn't feel like was very front and center but kind of in the background). I really, really enjoyed this one and managed to finish it in the course of a weekend. This feels more like it could be compared to Divergent versus Hunger Games, and a little bit of The Darkest Minds. It's the grownups doing things they very much shouldn't and the teens having to make it right. I know this is marketed as YA but I'd really say this is more suited for high school and not so much middle school. Yes, I know middle school is reading more mature books but this one feels like it would make more sense to an older teen. At least an older teen could start to think of some of the greater implications of some of the topics brought up in this book. Also? This has a badass lead female, so if you are all about girl power, this is your jam! A solid 4 stars from me!

Shamim Sarif has partnered with Headwaters Relief Organization that works in disaster-stricken areas to educate vulnerable families about human trafficking, which sadly, is something incredibly common worldwide. If you order your copy of The Athena Protocol from the Headwaters Relief Organization, she will donate a portion of the proceeds to their global efforts to fight and prevent this hidden aftermath of disasters. If you are a teacher and/or librarian, or know one who teaches at the high school level, consider purchasing a copy (or more!) of this book from this site. I promise you it will get read and you'll be working for a great cause. If you want more information about this organization or cause, you can find their website HERE

Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers and Shamim Sarif for my copy for review! Can we also comment on this cool cover and how much I love it?? 

I Am Heathcliff - Kate Mosse

16 modern fiction superstars shine a startling light on the romance and pain of the infamous literary pair Heathcliff and Cathy.
Short stories to stir the heart and awaken vital conversation about love.

If you are a long term reader of this blog you know that years ago I borrowed Wuthering Heights from my local library when I had a goal of reading nothing but classics for a summer challenge. I failed miserably and it turns out I didn't understand the book at all and I hated it. Absolutely hated it. I ended up reading a dumbed down version of the book, which was so bizarre but I at least understood it and I still didn't like it. 


I really like short stories and if there ever is a time that I want to feel like I'm flying through a book, I read a book of short stories. The great thing about this one is that while there are 16 stories in here, it is just under 300 pages so most of the stories are only a few pages and you can easily get one or two done while you're waiting for your kid in the pick up line at school, or before bed. Each one is really interesting and different than the last, written by different authors, which also makes it feel fresh because each had a really different writing voice.

The great part of this isn't the readability of this, it's that the curator, and every writer within, recognize what a powerhouse Emily Bronte was and still is. She paved the way for every female writer since her and I am completely here for this if only for that reason.

Admittedly, a couple of the stories were not great and I didn't care for them, a couple of them were amazing and I wanted more of the story (more and more pages!) and from the writer. One was a bit odd to me, I can see where a few have some English humor to it that you might not catch right away, but it is just so well put together.

Overall? I'm giving this 3 stars, only because it's basically the average of each story in the book. I enjoyed this one and that's saying something because Wuthering Heights just was not my jam (because Heathcliff kind of felt like a creep and I don't know, it just didn't do it for me in any way but I tried to remember the time period and yeah... even still- can't like the guy). If you have a fan of the classics, maybe someone who likes a little twist to a classic or even re-tellings, and obviously massive fans of Wuthering Heights and/or Emily Bronte will enjoy this. It did her justice, just as it should.

I am so excited that The Borough Press and Harper Collins sent me this beautiful book for review! I feel so fancy and smart when people see it on my shelf or table. Ha!

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