|| Mini Reviews: Coldtown, Simon vs., + Hidden Oracle ||

Hello, all! I thought I'd do something a little different today. There's a lot of books I've read lately, and wanted to review, but they're books that didn't really warrant a whole post pertaining specifically to them. I've seen bloggers do mini reviews on numerous blogs before, and I thought that this would be a perfect thing to start doing. I won't be going into a ton of detail concerning the books I talk about in these posts like I would in a regular review-- but more just sharing my basic feelings about them, and highlighting important/key thoughts. I hope you enjoy! 

That was the problem with monsters. Sometimes they looked just like everybody else.

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black
(cover + summary from goodreads)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. It's an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day - gorgeous, glamorous, deadly! Because, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave...A wholly original story of rage and revenge, love and loathing from bestselling author, Holly Black.

characters: 5/10
creativity: 9/10
plot: 8.5/10
pacing: 6/10
overall rating: ★★★☆☆

Arguably my favorite thing about this book was that the world and Coldtowns were described in insanely in-depth and immersive detail. Black's background on the vampires and how things came to be, was fleshed out very well, and felt like the kind of believable 'history' you get in epic fantasy books. Vampires are completely romanticized in this world, and there are people who will do anything to be turned. They stick needles in themselves and literally just place themselves in the vicinity of bloodsuckers, hoping they garner their attention. I feel like it's a kind of Hollywood on steroids type thing--where people will kill to get a shot in the limelight, or be chosen by a vampire to be turned.
I thought the plot, the world, and the concept of the book was terrific, and fascinatingly dark and off-kilter, as well as quite unique considering it concerned the much addressed topic of vampires. But the only characters I found myself liking were Gavriel (i feel like the fact that the psychotic murderous vampire was my favorite says a lot), + a few other minors who didn't get much page time. Tana's voice annoyed me immensely, and Aidan was just ugh. Not to mention that this thing was thiiiiiick. It had an average amount of pages, but the writing lagged and took ages to get through. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown certainly contained an interesting world, and a unique spin on vampires that was really refreshing. But the characters lacked for me, and with the sluggish pacing, the read was definitely not a favorite.

So I lean in toward him, and my heart is in my throat. "I want to hold your hand." I say softly. Because we're in public. Because I don't know if he's out. "So hold it." He says. And I do.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
(cover + summary from goodreads)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
characters: 9/10
creativity: 8/10
plot: 8/10
pacing: 9/10
overall rating: ★★★★☆

I'm always super nervous when it comes to hype, and I avoided this book for so long. Everybody seemed to adore it, and after not loving several other hyped/much screamed about books, I was super worried that I'd dislike this. But a bookstore employee convinced me to finally pick this up {amidst us flailing together over throne of glass} and guaranteed that I'd love it. aND I DID. 
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was one of those stories that deals with a lot of serious and important things, while also managing to be an undeniably cute and uplifting read. Simon was dorky and adorable and so very real. I loved his voice, and he always slipped in the most fantastic + hilarious comments. I loved his character arc, and particularly how he realized about halfway through that although he'd known the people in his life for a while, he'd never really taken the time to learn about them. It was so nice to see him apply that thought, and take time to ask more about his friends/family. It's always such a joy when characters actually apply what they've learned and you can see them change.
All the characters in the book were terrific in their own right, and so well-fleshed out. I loved Nick, Leah, + Abby. They had their issues with each other, and they certainly weren't perfect, but they meshed well and had so many great scenes together. Abby + Nick taking home drunk Simon in the car had me laughing so hard. And gAH, SIMON + BLUE. SO. ADORABLE. I loved their emails back and forth-- although at times I felt like Blue was far too secretive/closed off. I mean, I get that he was trying to keep his identity securely under wraps, but Simon was so honest and open w/ him, and I just feel like Blue was quite bland in the emails. ONCE BLUE REVEALED HIMSELF THOUGH I WAS JUST

As a whole, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was a sweet, quick read that definitely lived up to its hype. Simon was precious, the characters were fantastic, and the story was so real and touching.

That's the nice thing about being human. We only have one life, but we can choose what kind of story it's going to be.
The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo) by Rick Riordan
(cover + summary from goodreads)
How do you punish an immortal? By making him human. After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor. But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

characters: 10/10
creativity: 9/10
plot: 9/10
pacing: 10/10
overall rating: ★★★★

After calculating it out, I've figured that Rick's books have been a part of my life for around 7 years. I remember being a small little thing and talking about the original series (during the time when only they and like one other book were out) with my friends. I had a friend who wrote fanfiction about the world (although none of us knew what fanfic truly even was at the time), then more of us wrote spin-offs of the spin off, and it was just such an integral part of my early school years. So of course this felt like coming home again, and of course I loved it. The humor is just as sharp and terrific as I remembered from R's other books, and although marketed as being for younger readers, the world of demigods and Camp Half-Blood still has that mesmerizing and wonderful draw to it that makes anyone and everyone able to love it. Apollo has a wonderful voice, and his POV was so fresh & different from Rick's other characters. I adored little Meg and how her godly parent was one that hasn't really been focused on much before.

There certainly wasn't enough Percy, though. Or Solangelo. Or Leo. Or any of the faves, tbh.

(I just want another Percy Jackson series okay?)

But yes-- The Hidden Oracle was amazing, and I'm so excited for the next book to come out. Rick still has that magical writing touch, and I'm still every bit as in love with the demigods as I've ever been.


And there we go! That was my first set of mini reviews! I hope you enjoyed, and that wherever you are, you're having a lovely time. Don't forget to smile for me, because you're fantastic. <3 

Have you read any of these books? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you think the world needs more Percy Jackson? (the answer to that is yes) Talk to me down below! 


  1. Simon vs. looks so good!! I'm going to have to put that on my TBR list now :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. i can't stress enough how good it is. i hope you pick it up and enjoy it! ^-^
      xx a

  2. I did notice the oracle one at Costco the other day, but never picked it up. It never even made it into my brain that Rick Riordian wrote it either!
    Several summers ago I read all the original 5 Percy Jackson books in less than a week, and then started on the heroes of olympus. At that point I was growing bored of the books, because I was noticing a definite pattern in them. I suppose that's what happens if you read too many books of the same series in a row. But in the time I was waiting for the next heroes of olympus book to come out, I took a nice break and it was very comforting to return to the familiar pattern and voice of Rick's books. (Also somewhere in there I read the kane chronicles and the new series with norse gods). So yes. I am behind you 100% on the world needing more Percy Jackson.

    1. i definitely agree with you, and think they have an easy to see pattern, but i guess when it's spread out it's way less noticeable.
      i originally wasn't going to pick it up, but i was at the bookstore and saw it and thought eh why not? i had kind of lost my love for the series back when blood of olympus came out but i'm so happy i gave this a chance and was able to get sucked back into the world again.
      i'm glad you think so, too. <3
      xx a

  3. I love this mini review(s?) idea! Very cute and convenience. I DNF TCGIC but I LOVED SIMON AND TOA!! God, Simon had THE CUTEST STORY ALRIGHT but The Hidden Oracle was sUper funny ALSO WE CAN'T FORGET SOLANGELO!! <333 Great reviews, Adaline!


    1. ah, thank you! it was really fun to do, and a nice break from a full on review post.
      i kinda wish that i had dnf-ed tcgic??? it just feels like it was such a waste of time tbh.
      thanks, love!
      xx a


Post a Comment