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  • RoAnna sylver

REVIEW ROUND-UP: Hello World, Viral Airwaves, The White Renegade, Climbing The Date Palm, Graveyard

I’ve been reading some really good books lately. Like five-star books, consistently. Here are my Goodreads reviews for some of them! (Full reviews at links, view all my reviews here!)

Hello World by Tiffany Rose My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Binaries can be smashed,” Script said, “And systems can be subverted.” * * * Yes they can. And a lot of that goes on in this book. HELLO WORLD is kind of one giant system-subversion, ‘system’ in this case referring to both a literal computer program, and an ever-growing corporation that holds power over human bodies, brains, and the technology this cyberpunk near-future runs on. Whoever controls the machines controls the game.

Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault My rating: 5 of 5 stars He was not a hero. He had told Joshua that, once, and hadn’t understood what his friend had meant, saying it didn’t matter and that none of them were heroes. But he understood now. They hadn’t needed heroes. They had needed regular folks flooding the streets of Reverence instead of staying in the fields. They needed people to act, to try what little they could. That’s what he was doing. He was trying. If he could succeed, too, that would be fantastic. * * * …At this point I’m going to stop even pretending I can keep it to one-sentence headers. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S BOOKS I LOVE THIS MUCH. I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO START, I’M JUST LIKE…. AGH (this is a good sign really)

The White Renegade by Claudie Arseneault My rating: 5 of 5 stars Seraphin threw one last glance backward, at the fallen tree he’d once admired for its resilience. The pale gray bark had already grown darker from dirt. It seemed at peace, lying on the ground, half its twisted branches broken. Perhaps it deserved the rest. Perhaps everything would be okay, despite its fall. After all, Seraphin had learned to stay proud and stand on his own just in time. The tree’s legacy was another he’d be proud to carry on. * * * Yes, I’m quoting the entire last paragraph instead of my usual one-sentence header. Couldn’t pick a single line, too much awesome in the whole thing (especially that ender).

Climbing the Date Palm: A labor rights love story by Shira Glassman My rating: 5 of 5 stars “My heart is completely consumed, and recreated to exist within you.” “I’ll tend it well and keep it safe, here — with my own.” * * * I loved this, let’s just start with that. I’ve loved the entire Mangoverse/The Second Mango series consistently since starting it – very out of order, as Book 2 is the latest one I’ve read. (Which is fine, because the books and stories really stand on their own very well, and you can probably start at any point you want and never get lost.) I can’t really pick favorites with the Mangoverse, since they’re all lovely, validating, orientation- and identity-affirming fantasy, but if I could, this would be up there.

Graveyard Sparrow by Kayla Bashe My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Someone once said that there’s nothing more poetic than the death of a beautiful woman, but I think that’s only true until the women get revenge. And I’m done with spending my days hidden away behind heavy curtains and wrought-iron gates. I want to burst forth into the sun and unfold and blossom there, like a waterfall cutting through rock. No more beautiful dead girls. No more sculptures made of women’s bones. Never again.” * * * And another review where I can’t pick a single sentence to start out with, because the entire section I want is just so good and illustrative of the book’s major themes.

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