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Sunday Funday: PopCulture Mini-Thon - Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

Happy Sunday everyone!  Over the course of September 20th-26th, I completed the first PopCulture Readathon mini-thon, created and hosted by Whitney @ bookswhitme (with some assistance from Lorryn @ Reading Parental).  I managed to make it through all four of the books I had on my TBR.  You can see my original TBR here.  Keep reading to see my thoughts on the books I tackled for this challenge:

Original Aunt Viv: HBIC Character

❋ ❋ ❋ 

I'm not sure why I put off Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu because its a great YA Contemporary that deals with important issues and handles sexism and intersectional feminism well.  It's definitely a must read for fans of The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis and it should certainly be read by all high school students.  I take that back, it should just be read by everyone.  Potentially, they could learn a lot and gain some understanding in this intriguing girl power novel.  I have to admit that I graduated quite a while back now from a rural high school, but some of this felt far too familiar, particularly with the dress code, etc.  That was particularly depressing to remember how that all operated.  Overall, this hit almost all the right marks for me and was very close to earning all five stars.  It comes highly recommended from me.

My review is also on Goodreads.

Carlton Banks: Boarding/ Prep School Setting

❋ ❋ 

Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors and historical fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so I had high hopes for this 2003 series opener.  Unfortunately,  A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray is my least favorite Libba Bray novel.  It's not terrible, but it's not what I've come to expect of her style  in the last few years.  The first 50% is pretty boring and I didn't like Gemma herself among others right from the beginning.  Needless to say, they grated on my nerves for a good chunk of it.  All that said, it's still worth sticking around for the last half because it really picks up from there on out.  Even so, I doubt I'll be back for the rest of the series.

My review is also on Goodreads.

Ashley Banks: Fun YA Read Starring A Black Girl

❋ ❋ 

To be honest, I wasn't terribly thrilled with A Blade So Black, the first installment of the Nightmare-Verse trilogy, but it had enough potential I needed to see where the series went.  Plus, there were quite a few great reviews that made it seem like this sequel would be a better fit for me.  I'm glad I decided to come back for A Dream So Dark (The Nightmare-Verse #2) by L.L. McKinney because it takes the best part of its predecessor and turns them up while clearing up some of my issues with details of characterization and world-building.  I can easily say that I preferred this to book one.  There's a lot of great action and we get to see a good deal more of Wonderland and meet some brand new characters.  I'm still undecided if I'll be back for the upcoming grand finale A Crown So Cursed, but I may give it a try.

My review is also on Goodreads.

The Fresh Prince: 2020 Release


Cries From the Lost Island by Kathleen O'Neal Gear sounded like it was going to be right up my alley, but in the end it just wasn't for me.  I was expecting something much different actually.  I'm really interested in Egyptian mythology and that's what kept me reading, but there were several moments where I was very close to DNF'ing this novel.  My main issues were with the writing style.  I felt too far removed everyone in the cast.  Their behavior and dialogue was much too stilted for me to become truly invested in the characters, the world, and the overall story although there was so much potential.  I'm sorry, but it just wasn't for me.

My review is also on Goodreads.

Have you read any of these books?  Did you participate in this mini readathon?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!


  1. I'm sad to hear about Cries From the Lost Island, I actually have a copy but haven't read it. Now I'm not so sure...

    1. Well, I hope you'll like it more than I did anyway. Thanks for coming over, Tammy.

  2. That's a bummer about Cries From the Lost Island... :(

  3. i haven't read any of the books, but i am always on the lookout for something new
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. Awww sorry Gemma didn't work out for you! I still need to finish that series.


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