The Gauntlet

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More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Gauntlet The Gauntlet, 1. Feb 29, Adam Silvera marked it as to-read. That synopsis tho! I went to go add this to my to-read list but I apparently did that back in February. Nov 11, Sue Hollywood News Source rated it really liked it Shelves: characters-of-color , diverse-books , authors-of-color , middle-grade.

They say good shoes take you to good places, I believe the same thing could be said to books. The Gauntlet is that book. It will take you to a place where winning a challenge is a must to survive. It will take you to an unimaginable land where cultures intersect.


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It will take you to a community where vibrancy and comradery exist between a cluster of people. It seems so simple, but the lasting effect is there. The Gauntlet easily become my favorite.

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Also, I was really weak for the mouth-watering food descriptions. Big sister FTW. Verdict: Without doubt, The Gauntlet is going to places. I love it. Full review to come. A great start-up for people that are unfamiliar with MG, highly recommended to kids that enjoy challenges.

View 1 comment. Mar 29, Ava rated it really liked it. This is such an excellent Middle Grade novel. I'm so happy this book exists. It's fast-paced, beautiful, and intriguing, and perfect for all ages - not just middle grade readers. The stunning description will leave you hungry for the described food and wishing you could see what Farah and her friends are for the architecture and more. The Gauntlet was one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. I know that I am definitely a black sheep with this opinion but I just did not enjoy this book as much as everyone else seemed to.

I struggled to even make it to the end of the story! It was undeniably enjoyable but I just did not enjoy it that much. The story was in The Gauntlet was one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. The story was incredibly plot-driven and while I usually prefer my stories to have more of a focus on the characters, I could have forgiven that if the plotline had actually been interesting.

In theory, I did enjoy exploring the world of Gauntlet with Farah. Riazi managed to capture the vibrancy of the Middle Eastern-inspired setting and it was a treat to see a such a rich, gritty non-Western fantasy world dripping with effortless diverse elements… but there is only so much a pretty backdrop can do.

It cannot hide a boring plot and that was my main problem with this book: it was boring. I loved the idea of having to face three incredibly difficult, life-threatening challenges to win the game.

Clint Eastwood rousting the bikers in The Gauntlet (1977)

They were dull! There was not a single shred of urgency to them. How am I meant to be scared for these kids when they are literally just tasting desserts?

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It was incredibly underwhelming. I know some people are going to justify this by pointing out that this is an MG fantasy, not YA, but middle grade readers are not stupid or gullible. They do not need you to dumb down plotlines or skate around life or death situations. This should not be an excuse, especially because I can effortlessly list about five MG stories right now that balance the targeted audience with a gritty, complex plotline perfectly.

My other problem was with the characters. While Farah was a decent protagonist herself, the secondary characters did not have shining personalities. I felt like we barely got to know them at all, even though they were just as central and present in the plotline as Farah herself. If you are looking for a gorgeously written setting or a fantastically diverse cast, The Gauntlet may be for you but I was personally disappointed.

I did not connect to the characters like I would have liked to. The plotline was also lacking. The gritty steampunk Jumanji retelling we were promised was… dull, to put it mildly. I was bored by the challenges and the story as a whole. Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review. View all 19 comments. Apr 20, Lauren Stoolfire rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , middle-grade , adventure.


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  7. I don't know about you, but the moment I heard about this novel I immediately knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I don't read middle grade that often, but this one sounded like it would be well worth my time. Sure enough, it absolutely paid off. There is so much to love about Riazi's diverse fantasy debut - it has something for everyone and it is perfect for rea The Gauntlet , a reverse steampunk-esque Jumanji and meets The Wizard of Oz inspired MG adventure with a Middle Eastern flair is exactly my cup of tea! There is so much to love about Riazi's diverse fantasy debut - it has something for everyone and it is perfect for readers of all ages who love a good adventure.

    I'm really looking forward to Karuna Riazi's next project! May 25, Laura bbliophile rated it it was amazing Shelves: diversity , books-i-own , releases. Mar 04, Silvana [The Book Voyagers] rated it it was amazing Shelves: , arcs-galleys , by-authors-of-color , main-characters-or-li-of-color , middle-grade , month-march The Gauntlet is for sure one of my most anticipated books. Karuna Riazi is my hero and I look up to her so much.

    I saw a bit of Jumanji and a bit of Wizard of Oz to be honest too. I loved loved this book and how it was written.

    The chapters are short so it has that easy flow that middle grade novels have. It has a lot of puzzle games and board games, which I adore in real life and to see them in this b The Gauntlet is for sure one of my most anticipated books. It has a lot of puzzle games and board games, which I adore in real life and to see them in this book is just fabulous. Plus I didn't know all of them so it's always nice to find out about more new stuff!

    This book is filled with delicious descriptions of food that made my mouth watered and made my tummy growled. I am the heart eyes emoji when I read those passages and I seriously felt like I could smell the desserts and snacks and sweets this story had. And let's not forget our main character, Farah, and her two best friends, Alex and Essie. This book is all about friendship and family and bonding and teaming up with new friends. But THIS is awesome; perfect if you want an exciting adventure with unexpected twists and turns.

    Great food - authentic, fresh and homemade

    It's so much fun! They showed strength through adversity and weakness, and showed that, by working together, we can accomplish amazing things. Apr 09, Nafiza rated it it was amazing Shelves: author-muslim , read What a ride. I have known Karuna for a while now and have been anticipating this book ever since I knew it existed. Not just because she is my friend and a wonderful writer but also because how important this book is and what its existence means.

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