The one with intelligent humour: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (Book Review) #BookReview #ComingOfAge #YoungAdult #Contemporary #BookLovers

Title: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
Author: Preston Norton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 410
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

Warning: This novel contains strong language and touches the topic of suicide.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe is the one novel I feel like I had on my kindle app for the longest time. I got it unsolicited from the publisher (which I’m very thankful for) way before it was published, and then at first I saved it so I could read it closer to it’s releasing day, but then life got in a way, I hit that blogging and reviewing slump, and this book was one of the victims of the mental state I was in.

As Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe was on many bloggers lists of favorite books of 2018, I decided it was the time for me to read this book myself, and now when I finished it, I only feel sorry I didn’t get this book a chance sooner, because it was amazing!

The story follows Cliff who is known at school as Neanderthal because of his height. He got into fight with a popular boy at school, Aaron Zimmerman, and he is on his mission to get revenge.
However, after nearly death experience Aaron comes back to school claiming that God spoke to him, and gave him the list to make their high school a better place, and Cliff is the chosen one to help him complete the list.
From there we watch a new friendship being born and follow our main characters on their adventure to discover life.

First of all, this book is really funny. It talks about serious topics like poverty and suicide, but it still has that intelligent humour that never came over board. I really appreciate it for that.
Second, the way serious topics and problems were talked about made me appreciate this novel even more, because it touches important things, but never loses that light tone.

I think that I’ve read that this novel is perfect for fans of John Green and I agree, but also I have to stress out that there is something unique that Preston Norton gave to this story, something that is entirely his.

I know, in my reviews, I usually say that I want to read author’s other books, but this time I’ll say I know I will read Norton’s next novel, because there is no way I’m going to let myself miss it. I will probably read it as soon as it comes out!

As you probably guessed, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe impressed me, and if I read it last year, it would probably on my list of favorites too, but there is a big chance it shows up on my 2019 favorite lists.

If you like ya contemporary and coming of age stories, trust me, you do not want to miss this one!

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Book Review: The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes #BookReview #TheStormRunner #Mythology #MiddleGrade

Title: The Storm Runner
Author: J.C. Cervantes
Series: The Storm Runner (#1)
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents, Dysney Hyperion
Date: September 18th, 2018
Pages: 448
Format: Hardback
Source: from Publisher for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno — for his one good leg. What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy.

A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in — unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?

Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.

Review:

I was never Miss-Know-It-All when it comes to mythology.
I barely know basics about Greek mythology, know even less about Scandinavian one, and when it comes to Maya, before I came across this book, I had no idea it even exists.

Here is what come books for, to make us learn, end even though I can’t say that I am an expert in Maya mythology after finishing The Storm Runner, I can say that I know at least little about it.

The Storm Runner is a middle grade fantasy book that follows a 13 years old boy Zane. Along with Zane, readers can discover gods, creatures and legends that are part of Maya mythology.

This is own voices novel because the author’s origin, and it also represents diversity because our main character is Hispanic, and he is also disabled person (one of his legs is smaller then the other one).

The story is written in first person, from Zane’s POV.

I loved following Zane through the story, he was really interesting and had good sense of humour. I even laughed out loud couple of times, despite this not being a comedy.

Discovering ancient Maya gods and legends was exciting, even though the names (as they are so much different from my native language) often made me confused, and I would forget who was who in a very short time.
However, because the author did a good job in bringing us a story, it was easy to keep up.

The characters of the book were fascinating and I can see them being someone’s favorite characters. I surely liked them, especially Zane.

I can also easily imagine The Storm Runner being turned into movie or tv show.

I’ve read some reviews for this novels that compare it to Percy Jackson saying it is very similar to it. Since I haven’t read that series yet, I can’t tell you if that is the case, but I can tell you that the atmosphere in the book did remind me of the second Percy Jackson movie (and I love those movies, in case you didn’t know (and yes, I know it’s an unpopular opinion)).

I would recommend this book to fans of middle grade and young adult fantasy, but also to everyone who’d like to read a story that talks about Maya mythology.
Since this is a middle grade book, it will be easy to follow to everyone who know nothing about it.