Guts by Raina Telgemeier [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy from the kids I babysit. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Book Review: Guts by Raina Telgemeier | RachelPoli.com

Title: Guts
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir, Middle Grade

Series: Smile, #3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Plot

Guts is about a middle-schooler who ends up with stomach issues. She doesn’t know why and it begins to take a toll on her physically and mentally. Not to mention she’s dealing with everyday middle-school drama: mean girls at school, best friend drama, homework, no privacy at home, etc.

I didn’t realize how relatable this book would be until I started reading it. Raina, the protagonist, has anxiety over food and others getting sick. As someone who has anxiety (and gets it worse about germs due to COVID) this book was exactly what I needed to read.

The overall plot was well done showing us how and when Rain began to have her troubles and carries us through as she overcomes them. It captures the teenage girl in a realistic light among life, school, fears, and growing up in general.

Characters

The characters were the best part, I think. Raina is the protagonist but she’s also the author as Guts is a memoir as well. Where were these books when I was growing up? I don’t know.

But the characters are well-done in the sense that you can relate to their middle-school issues. I also related to Raina’s parents as they did their best to be supportive and help Raina through her troubling times.

Writing Style

Being a graphic novel, this story is told through dialogue, minimal description, and lots of pretty pictures. The author’s art style is cool and makes it easier for young kids to read and comprehend. The overall topic of the story isn’t too heavy, despite it being about mental health. But mental health is something we need to normalize and this book captures it perfectly, showing kids they’re not alone when they feel this way.

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Guts by Raina Telgemeier is a quick read and a book everyone should read at some point. It’s certainly an eye-opener for young kids that’s informative and entertaining at the same time.

5

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The Anatomy of Prose by Sacha Black [Book Review]

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I bought an eBook copy of the book through Amazon. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: The Anatomy of Prose: 12 Steps to Sensational Sentences
Author: Sacha Black
Genre: Nonfiction, Writing Reference

Series: Better Writers (Book 7)
Publisher: Atlas Black Publishing
Publication Date: May 29, 2020

Seeing as this a nonfiction, writing craft book, my review format is a little different. There are no characters and no plot but there is a whole lot of writing style.

Within these pages, the author goes in depth on the craft of writing better sentences, thus better scenes within your novels. She discusses anything and everything from basic sentence structure, description, dialogue, word usage, and more.

The Anatomy of Prose packs a punch and has a lot of useful information without bombarding you. It’s easy to read and the author has a humorous, conversational tone. At the end of each section is a bulleted summary list of takeaways from the section allowing you to easily go back and search for something to need to look up.

If I were still in college, this would be a great textbook for a creative writing class. There are topics that you learn in elementary school, such as the meaning and use of personification, which is touched upon in this book but it goes much deeper than a dry explanation with dull examples.

This is the third book in the Better Writers series (not including the workbooks) and I think it’s the best one yet.

The Anatomy of Prose: 12 Steps to Sensational Sentences by Sacha Black

Conclusion

Informative
Easy to Comprehend
Writing Style

Overall

There’s always something new to learn when it comes to creative writing. Even looking over what you already know once in a while is useful. The Anatomy of Prose does both well.

5

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Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria by J.M. Bergen [Book Review]

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I was given a free ARC of this book from the author’s publicist at Book Publicity Services. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria
Author: J.M. Bergen
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Series: The Elandrian Chronicles, book 2
Publisher: Elandrian Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2020

Plot

Book two takes place three months after the events of book one. Thomas and his friends seem to believe the battle is over though more dangers await them.

The plot was well done since it picks up where the previous book left off. The story was already established with new ideas put into place. This was another fun adventure.

Characters

Most of the characters were already introduced in the first book. We get to know them a little more in this one but it’s refreshing to see them again. The kids are the lot of fun to follow in this story. They’re serious when they need to be but their kid-antics and mannerisms still come out here and there and it’s realistic.

Writing Style

Even though this book is classified as middle grade, I think it’s a fun read for all ages. The writing style isn’t “too young” yet it’s not complicated for a younger audience.

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria is a great sequel to a unique series. I’m looking forward to book three.

5

Favorite Quote

“Dying would be a terribly ineffective way to save the world.”

J.M. Bergen, Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria

About The Author

J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.

When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.

If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).

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A Noble’s Path by I.L. Cruz [Book Review]

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I was given a free copy of this book from the author. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: A Noble’s Path
Author: I.L. Cruz
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Enchanted Isles, book 2
Publisher: Bosky Flame Press
Publication Date: January 31, 2020

Plot

A Noble’s Path, book two of the Enchanted Isles series, picks up where book one left off. There’s a lot at stake and Inez seems to be in more trouble than she was before.

I found the plot of this particular book to be especially well done since it truly hit the mark on the head when it came to snowballing the events of the first book into the second one. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Characters

All the characters were back and it seemed that some had more of a hand in the events than before which was nice to see. There was more romance between Inez and Zavier this time around too.

Writing Style

The author did a good job at explaining what happened in book two throughout book two. I always recommend reading a series in order but you can read this one without reading book one without feeling too lost.

The world holds up well in this one and I enjoyed jumping back into it.

A Noble’s Path by I.L. Cruz

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

A Noble’s Path held up to its potential following the first book and beyond. I’m looking forward to the third book.

5

About The Author

I.L. Cruz, Author | RachelPoli.com

I.L. Cruz wants to live in a world where words are chosen with care, shoes are as comfy as socks, and reading time is sacred.

She’s used her BA in international relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue.

When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much fanboy fare and reads until her eyes cross.

She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

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A Smuggler’s Path by I.L. Cruz [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission should you buy from these links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

I was given a free copy of this book from the author. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: A Smuggler’s Path
Author: I.L. Cruz
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Enchanted Isles, book 1
Publisher: Bosky Flame Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2018

Plot

Inez lives a double life in an attempt to bring magic back to all. For a young adult fantasy, this is something we’ve seen before. Magic gets the protagonist into trouble and they learn a lot about where they came from along the way.

Needless to say, A Smuggler’s Path is done in a unique way. Yes, the foundation is set, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I can’t say anything too much due to spoilers but I think the overall plot was well done.

It was complex and kept you engaged throughout.

Characters

There is a wonderful cast of characters. Inez herself is a strong, independent woman with a good head on her shoulders. It was fun to follow this story alongside her.

I enjoyed all the other characters as well but I will admit there were a lot of characters. There is a glossary of people in the book but I found myself having a hard time keeping track of who was who. (I also read this on my Kindle so it’s not like I could easily flip back and forth to the cast of characters and my page.)

Writing Style

A Smuggler’s Path is written in a beautiful, wonderfully crafted world. Having a cafe named Froth is a the coolest thing ever, in my opinion.

There were a lot of fun and unique places within this story and the author’s writing style and description was easy to follow along and painted a nice picture.

A Smuggler’s Path by I.L. Cruz

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

A Smuggler’s Path is a great read for fantasy fans. It’s familiar but unique enough to jump into a brand new world.

4.3

Favorite Quote

“I only run to evade being caught by someone chasing me – running for fun made no sense to me at all.”

I.L. Cruz, A Smuggler’s Path

About The Author

I.L. Cruz, Author | RachelPoli.com

I.L. Cruz wants to live in a world where words are chosen with care, shoes are as comfy as socks, and reading time is sacred.

She’s used her BA in international relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue.

When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much fanboy fare and reads until her eyes cross.

She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

Website | Blog | Twitter

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it around. Also, you can take a look at more Book Reviews here.

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