Hello, everyone! I’m very excited to be bringing you this review today. I started reading In the Lives of Puppets as soon as I was approved to receive it on NetGalley, and I couldn’t be more grateful to Tor for allowing me to read it early. I love everything I’ve read by TJ Klune, and this book was no exception. This will largely be spoiler-free ramblings about how much I loved the book. Consider yourself warned. lol.Read More »
Hello, everyone! I’m excited to be reviewing Heat Wave, the conclusion to The Extraordinaries trilogy by TJ Klune. I’ve had this ARC for a few months staring me down on my Kindle, and I just couldn’t wait to read it any longer. I love superheroes and queer YA stories, and this series blends those two things together into something completely unforgettable. If you missed my reviews for the first two books, The Extraordinaries and Flash Fire, be sure to check them out too!
Heat Wave is the explosive finale to the thrilling Extraordinaries trilogy by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author TJ Klune!
Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz are back in action bringing justice, protection, and disaster energy to the people of Nova City.
An unexpected hero returns to Nova City and crash lands into Nick’s home, upturning his life, his family, and his understanding of what it means to be a hero in the explosive finale of the thrilling and hilarious Extraordinaries trilogy by New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune.
***Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
I adore the first two books in this series so much, and this finale did a great job of wrapping everything up in a satisfying way. I’m a little disappointed that Nick’s journey is over, but it has been one hell of a ride. So, I guess I can’t complain too much. As with the first two, this book made me laugh A LOT, cry, and cringe hard. The writing exuded Klune’s wit and charm, as always, and I never wanted to put the book down.
One of the main things I love about this series is the absolute extra-ness and cringe associated with the comedy. Klune is an absolute master at writing crass humor and scenes that make me so embarrassed for the characters. If you liked the humor and mortifying sex-ed components from the previous books, you will continue to find a lot of enjoyment here, as well. There was a scene between Nick and his dad that included prolonged instruction on enemas, which had me almost rolling on the floor laughing because it was so awkward. I lost count of the number of times the term ‘fecal penis’ was used in this book, and I’m still chuckling and cringing thinking about it now.
This cast of characters was really just perfect. One of my favorite additions from the second book, the drag queen superhero Miss Conduct, was back with a bigger role, and I enjoyed every second of it. Jazz and Gibby were their usual awesome selves and kicked a lot of ass in this book, which was awesome. Seth continued to be the super reliable boyfriend and the rock for Nick to lean on. Their relationship deepened considerably in this book, and it was nice to see them grow as a couple. Of course, there was also Nick, precious Nick. He was still a damn disaster, but I wouldn’t want him any other way. His character arc was probably my favorite in this book because he matured quite a bit without losing any of his flair for the dramatic. He struggled to accept his new reality of the things he found out about himself in the second book and really learned what it means to be a hero. He faced a lot of obstacles, internal and external, but ultimately he prevailed by rejecting the need for vengeance and relying on those around him who loved him.
I’m not going to say much about the plot because of spoilers, but the second half of this book really kicked things into high gear. There were some epic fights and showdowns that had me reading frantically to see what was going to happen. The first half of the book, though, was a bit weaker. There were still plenty of great moments, but it all felt a bit aimless. There was something happening that the reader was aware of but the characters weren’t, and it took way too long for the characters to find out. It felt like a drag on the entire first half of the story, and once they found out it seemed kind of pointless. It didn’t ruin the book for me; I just think that aspect of the story could have been tightened up considerably.
I also really loved all of the social and political commentary in the book. It got a bit heavy handed and preachy a couple of times, but even then it didn’t feel out of place for the characters to say or think those things. A bunch of topics were tackled, including police brutality, body image issues, and the role of prejudice and fear in the rise of fascism, among others. While the delivery wasn’t always perfect, I appreciated Klune’s willingness to confront such important topics and his ability to make them fun to read about while showcasing important lessons.
The main heart of this novel was the parent-child relationship. The relationship between Nick and his Dad has been front and center throughout this series, and this book was no different. I have enjoyed seeing their frank, open relationship because that isn’t something I often see in YA books. In a lot of YA lit, parents are usually absent, dead, or neglectful to some degree. So, it has been refreshing to to see Nick’s dad be there for the ups and downs, even though he has been far from perfect over the course of the series. This book took it even further and made the parents of the other kids a huge part too. The dads even came together to form the Dad Squad, which was one of the most hilarious things ever.
Overall, if you are looking for a hilarious, heartfelt story about teen superheroes who are queer AF, then this is the series for you. Despite being a bit rocky in the first half, this book pulled off a fantastic finale that brought the story full circle and allowed the characters to learn some important lessons about themselves, the people they care about, and the world around them. I cannot recommend this series enough.
Hello everyone! Today’s post is another Top 5 Tuesday! The prompt for today is the top 5 standalone books. I think this is probably heavily influenced by the recency effect since historically most of the books I read are part of a series, but I gave it my best shot. Check out my list below, which has my top 5 standalone books, in no particular order! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted at Meeghan Reads!Read More »
Author: TJ Klune
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Print Length: 384 pages
Read Date(s): September 10, 2021 – September 12, 2021
Hello, everyone! I cannot believe it is already time to start looking forward to anticipated releases for September. But it is that time! Here are my top 6 most anticipated releases for September 2021 that I will definitely be adding to my shelves:Read More »
I’ve made some progress on my ARCs since the last NetGalley check-in. Check out where I was a month ago in my last check-in post. My feedback ratio is back up to 71%, and I read the two ARCs I planned to complete in the last month. I’ve completed 15 ARC reviews out of the total 21 for which I have been approved. I now have five unread books available to read on my shelf since I was approved for one ARC and read two ARCs in the last month.
The books below are those currently needing to be read on my shelf. I plan to read and review the books in bold before the next check-in on September 15.Read More »
I have held fairly steady in my progress on my ARCs since the last NetGalley check-in. Check out where I was a month ago in my last check-in post. My feedback ratio has dropped a bit to 65% compared to last month’s 71%. I’ve completed 13 ARC reviews out of the total 20 for which I have been approved. I now have six unread books available to read on my shelf since I was approved for three ARCs and read one ARC in the last month. I’m pretty happy to have mostly maintained my ratio and prevented myself from requesting all the books. 🙂 I’m also incredibly excited about all three ARCs I got this month because they are all highly anticipated reads I didn’t expect to get.Read More »
Hello, everyone! I cannot believe it is already time to start looking forward to anticipated releases for July. But it is that time! Here are my top 6 most anticipated releases for July 2021 that I will definitely be adding to my shelves:Read More »
Author: TJ Klune
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Length: 384 pages
Read Date(s): May 30, 2021 – May 31, 2021
Given my struggle keeping up with my NetGalley ARCs, I have decided to do a check-in at the middle of each month to keep myself somewhat accountable. My feedback ratio has been atrocious. Although, I think it is at least partly due to me just starting out. It doesn’t take many approved books without reviews to send my rating plummeting through the floor.
Right now my feedback ratio sits at 38% with 6 feedback sent for 16 approved books. However, I don’t think that is completely accurate because there are 7 books, not 6, with feedback in my shelf. Has that happened to anyone else? It is really frustrating because I was excited to have my percentage above 40%, and then the seventh book disappeared from my ratio calculation. I’m still proud to have improved it from the 20% ratio I had just a few weeks ago, though. So, progress…right?
I’m going to do my best to stop requesting new books until I’ve made a little more progress on reading the books currently on my shelf. But there are so many books that sound interesting.
The books below are those currently needing to be read on my shelf. I plan to read and review the books in bold before the next check-in on June 15.
Child of Light by Terry Brooks | Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Flash Fire by TJ Klune | Publication Date: July 13, 2021
If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich | Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Into the Lightning Gate by Roberth Roth | Publication Date: June 7, 2021
The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw | Publication Date: September 7, 2021
The Sightless City by Noah Lemelson | Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Traitors of the Black Crown by Cate Pearce | Publication Date: September 22, 2021
Not My Ruckus by Chad Musick | Publication Date: February 16, 2021
How do you stay on top of your NetGalley ARCs? Are you successful at staying above the coveted 80% ratio threshold? Let me know in the comments!