Book Review: Mary Jane by Judith O’Brien


Cover image from Goodreads

If you couldn’t tell by this novel’s cover, I am indeed about to review a Marvel novel. Specifically, a novel based on The Ultimate Spiderman comics.

My knowledge of Spiderman is fairly limited. I know his basic story from watching movies like The Amazing Spiderman,  but I’ve never read the comics or novelizations. I am, however, trying to get into comics, as anyone who has seen my current library holds list will tell you. (Was that you who ordered all those Batman books? Nope, wasn’t me! *takes stack of Batman comics*) My point here is that you don’t need to know a lot about Spidey to get into this book. Should you read it, though?

Mary Jane follows, you guessed it, Mary Jane Watson. MJ, as she is sometimes called, moves to a new school, and who does she find? Her childhood friend (and crush) Peter Parker. A lot has changed since they’ve last seen each other, as you might guess. However, MJ has a whole life of her own. She’s taking dance classes, trying to deal with her dysfunctional family issues, ace her science project, as well as fit in. But she keeps coming back to Peter, and the mystery masked guy in her neighborhood. Will Peter feel the same way about her?

Honestly, this book was a little silly. I doubt it was written for older  teenagers who tend to read darker novels and less of the fluffy romance stuff. But what made this silly was just the awkwardness! I kid you not, there’s practically an entire page about MJ feeling Peter’s abs. I mean, really?

The back of the book claims this novel is a “compelling” read. It was entertaining enough, because it’s Spiderman, but compelling isn’t exactly the word I’d use for this book. I also can’t get into this too much, but a character’s eating disorder seemed to help them a little more than hurt them. Yes, they finally discovered that they had one and that it was bad and started to recover, but it still didn’t really send the right message across to the audience, who again are probably middle school age girls. In my opinion, a young girl reading this might still get the wrong idea.

Read this for some quick entertainment, but nothing more. If you’re having a book hangover and love Marvel movies, give it a go. Just don’t expect anything incredibly literary or thrilling. I gave this one three stars.

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”


Fairest Freakout!!

So I just sent out two tweets about my excitement over borrowing my bosses copy of Fairest by Marissa Meyer and I figured why the heck not blog about it too. You all need to see the gorgeousness that is this novel.


Photo taken by me

If you have not begun The Lunar Chronicles series yet, you must! Then we can fangirl over your beautiful copy of Fairest when you get to it 😀

So tell me, what are the most beautiful books you know? Books with pretty covers, spines, endpapers… Whatever!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: Florence by Ciye Cho

Missing summer? Hungry for more mermaid novels like Waterfell by Amalie Howard? Look no further!
Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received a e-copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, as always!

Publication date: July 2012
Author: Ciye Cho
Official Plot Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand–and find out where she belongs–Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart… and her very soul.

My Review
At first, I didn’t know what I was diving into. Yes, I said diving into. This novel is self-published, I believe, but do not let that scare you away. I think self published books can get a bad rap, which is absurd, because not everyone can get published (financial reasons, logistics, time…) by a publishing house. The company who publishes the book does not mean the book is any less quality than another!

Anyway, Florence is a likeable character. You’ll have fun shipping her with the many mermen she meets (ooh, we can have debates about this in the comments when you read it!), and you’ll just have fun exploring Niemela.

Florence is a breath of fresh air for the YA genre. I’ve read several other mermaid books before, but Florence is an original spin on mermaid tales. (Wow, I’m on a roll with the unintended mermaid pubs today!) I love that it is not the stereotypical “I am a human who discovered I am a mermaid oh no!” book. Mr. Cho approached it from a different angle, adding some more ominous twists to the ordeal. You get to see the mermaid world, rather than the human one!


Speaking of the mermaid world, the world and characters are nicely built. I feel like now that I have finished the first book, I’ve lost a friend, because there are some really nice characters in here.
The only nitpicking I can really do here is I did wonder the whole time, what on earth are the humans doing right now? I mean, you find out a girl in your class was abducted, is anyone worried? Is anyone panicking or crying that this girl suddenly disappeared? As ordinary as she was, I’m sure someone cares, but this is all irrelevant to the story.


I give Florence 4 stars!


The novel is currently 99 cents in most eBook retailers right now, and the third installment in the series is released February 9th, 2015, aka today! It is also available as a paperback. (And you know me, I love physical copies of books!)

Happy Reading 🙂