CATCHALL How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. There are many, many ways. Words alone cannot describe how incr*****FINAL RATING: 4.85 STARS*****
CATCHALL How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. There are many, many ways. Words alone cannot describe how incredible this book was. It is, without a doubt, easily in my top ten favorite books of all time. Maybe even top five. The characters are strong, the plot is exquisite, and the story flows right along. There’s even a touch of romance.
THE HEROINE CALAENA SARDOTHIEN Celaena is just as badass in this book as she is is the first two. Yet she has her weaknesses. She’s not a natural at everything, but with practice and hard work, she gets to the point where you can hardly tell. Celaena is strong, but she’s still recognizably human, and that’s one of the things that makes her who she is. She’s far from perfect, but she knows that. And her character development is incredible. She struggles with herself, and who she is, but she’s finally starting to see that.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS PRINCE ROWAN WHITETHORN Do you know I can’t remember the last time I loved a character this much? There’s no way it’s healthy, but here I am. Rowan is everything you’d expect of a fake prince on the outside: perfect, dangerous, and cunning. But on the inside, while he might still be some of those things, we can see that he, too, is flawed. He’s not perfect, and he definitely has inner turmoil. Yet he slowly learns to work through it. CAPTAIN CHAOL WESTFALL Chaol is a charmer, I think, because as a character he managed to win me over in this book. He’s made a huge sacrifice, for one thing, and he’s finally starting to see the implications of it. He’s not going to give in easily, though. He struggles with his loyalties, and questions who is the right person to follow. PRINCE DORIAN HAVILLARD Dorian goes through a lot of growth in this book. Where once he was definitely no more than a foolish boy, his magic has forced him to grow up quickly, and he’s learning that he must question everything. He wants to do one thing, but cannot help but do another at times. Dorian learns some lessons the hard way, and while it might not be easy, it helps his grow. AEDION ASHRYVER Aedion is maybe one of my favorite characters, ever. He’s done a lot of questionable things, and he isn’t proud of it, but he’s done what he had to do to stay alive, and sometimes that’s all you can do in his world. Aedion is one of the most fiercely loyal characters in this book, and he knows that he must continue to play his part if he wants to see his cousin restored. He struggles internally, but he’s not the type to let it show.
I never expected to love Sorscha as much as I did, or grow so attached to her. While I felt her character was a little underdeveloped, and some things about it confusing, I still adored her. She’s braver than she looks, and she’s willing to do a lot for both Dorian and herself. But she’s not selfish at all, and she’s so strong. Sorscha really is a powerful character, made more powerful by what she does near the end of the novel. MANON BLACKBEAK I have mixed feelings about Manon. On one hand, I admire her for her determination, but on the other she’s so extreme that I have difficulty relating to her. She’s ruthless, and it suits her, but makes her a very unreachable character. Still, she plays her part well, and she’s certainly determined. She doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants, no matter what it is.
THE PLOT If there are sufficient words to describe the plot of this novel in English, I don’t know them. This book was absolutely heartwrenching. It’s beautiful, but there’s sadness mixed in with all the happiness and the beautiful parts. Which is as it should be.
Sarah likes to peel back one layer of mystery away at a time—which is fine by me. It makes for an incredibly interesting story. There’s still so much we don’t know, and this book isn’t huge on revealing pieces of the puzzle, which is just as well. There’s so much else going on that adding more to the story might just be too much!
That doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on, however. There’s a lot going on. There’s a new army forming, for one thing—one kept secret, one that Celaena doesn’t know about. There’s Dorian and his magic, and there’s Celaena and her struggle to prove herself so she can learn more and unlock pieces of the puzzle.
Somehow, even though this plot is far from traditional, it managed to keep my interest very well. It’s not fast-paced, and yet it reads that way. It’s a very difficult book to put down.
THE ROMANCE This book only has a touch of romance (some people would say none) but in my opinion it’s there. It’s very soft and doesn’t call attention to itself, but the beginnings of a new relationship are often like that. It’s very sweet and gentle, and I like the way it really develops slowly, rather than immediately. It makes it seem more real, and more likely to be lasting. There’s also a romance with the prince and the healer—something that could have been cliché, but in the end was anything but.
THE WRITING Sarah’s writing is among the best I’ve ever read. She adds more voices in this book, and with them, we can see the diversity in her writing. It’s gorgeous. The characters each grow into themselves through Sarah’s writing. It’s descriptive, and really helps set the scene where the story takes place. It’s like you can visualize the beauty of Wendlyn and the harshness of Adarlan.
THE ENDING I loved the way this book ended. It’s bittersweet, since there’s some sadness, but there’s also a ray of hope. Not everything went as expected, or as planned, yet it’s not over till it’s over. I feel sad that certain things happened, but I think they had to. And with the end, this part of the story was neatly wrapped up and waiting for the next era of the story to continue. Not a killer cliffhanger in the traditional sense, but it left me with a sense of wanting nonetheless.
WRAPUP Heir of Fire was an incredible, amazing book, and I cannot wait for Queen of Shadows to be released. With stunning characters, a gorgeous setting, and a wickedly cool plot, this book won my heart easily. I’ll definitely read whatever Sarah releases for the rest of forever, and happily so.
CATCHALL I absolutely loved Intangible, so I was thrilled when I realized I would have the chance to read Imaginabl*****FINAL RATING: 4.80 STARS*****
CATCHALL I absolutely loved Intangible, so I was thrilled when I realized I would have the chance to read Imaginable. It was absolutely as lovely as its predecessor, perhaps even more gorgeous in some ways. Everything about it was just gorgeous and there was more romance, which I loved. The plot also moved forward in ways I didn't expect and there was so very, very little I didn't love about this book.
THE HERO LUKE I really like Luke because he's not perfect. He cares very, very deeply for Sera, to the point where sometimes he gets impulsive and makes mistakes. It's really sweet to see how much he cares for his sister but it never gets creepy and in this book he's much less overbearing. He wants to protect her, but he also allows her to make her own decisions. Meanwhile, he's struggling internally with some feelings as well. He exudes confidence on the outside, but he's more sensitive than he lets on.
THE HEROINE SERA Sera is an artist, which has always been one of my favorite things about her. She's also a healer and she hates to see anyone in pain, to the point where she will do things she doesn't want to to protect them. While that is dangerous, it is also admirable. I also really feel like Sera finds an inner strength that she didn't have in the first book. She's growing into her powers even more than Luke is, and she doesn't know what the right thing to do with them is all the time.
THE LIGHT ELF PROTECTOR FEY Fey might be my favorite simply because she's so strong but also not. She's been alive for literally hundreds of years, but she's more human than she first appears. Fey has one of the deepest senses of compassion I've ever seen, and she has a hard time reconciling her head and her heart. She knows what she should do but that often conflicts with what she wants to do. Her loyalties are really tested in this book and she has some very difficult choices to make, which I think she really handles well.
THE HEAD VAMPIRE JONAS Jonas is so, so, so wonderful. I love him probably beyond logical reason, but whatever. He isn't afraid to do what he thinks he should be doing and he's protective of both twins, but particularly of Sera. He'll do anything to keep her safe and he's willing to take major risks to ensure that she is. Also, like a lot of the characters, he has some pretty deep-seated insecurities. He doesn't really let them physically show, but they're definitely hiding in his heart. He's brave, and he's loyal.
There are loads of other characters I'd love to mention, but if I mention one I would have to mention them all, and then this review would be longer than the book practically, and you'd get bored. So, go read about them. ;)
THE PLOT In Imaginable, the plot thickens. That sounds lame and cliché, but it's true, so forgive me. Not everyone is yet completely recovered from the betrayal they faced, especially Sera, and the threat of Lilith still looms in the background ominously. Yet the twins and their friends are facing bigger problems now.
Without veering into spoiler territory, Sera's ability to heal is causing problems for them all. She had only good intentions at first, but other people used her to warp and change her gift into an action that is something awful. There's a sort of bloody rebellion beginning to build, and if they don't manage to stop it everything will change for them, and not in the gumdrops and roses way.
I also like the treatment of magic, although that is also my main problem with this book. I like that the magic isn't perfect or flawless. There are definitely crutches and things it cannot do, and it is not perfect. However, sometimes the magic can do things that I find frankly ridiculous and at times it was too much for me to believe. So essentially, I do like the way magic is used, but it is also the main fault in my opinion.
It is a very fast-paced novel, and I definitely got caught up in the action. I really couldn't put it down either because something was always happening. The chapters ended in ginormous, intense cliffhangers and kept me reading on and on.
I also love that there is so much originality in the plot. I really feel like it is so unique from other books I've read. There are vampires and elves, yes, but there are also other types of creatures, including the particular introduction in this novel of a unique and monstrous one. It really belongs on its own level as far as urban fantasy goes.
THE ROMANCE I was so, so happy with the development of romance in this book as opposed to the last. Fey and Luke silently struggle with their feelings for each other, and waiting to see where they would go was immensely interesting. There are definitely some misunderstandings between them, and I kept hoping they would work them out. Jonas obviously cares deeply about Sera, but she's still not necessarily ready to open herself up to love again after what happened with a certain someone in the last book. Even so, she cannot deny her connection to him. It's all explosions and kissing and kind of fabulous.
THE WRITING I recognized J.'s talent from the very first paragraph of hers that I read, and I can honestly, legitimately say that it has only improved. It is absolutely gorgeous, peerless. The way she describes things is beyond beautiful, and she makes everything feel so unbelievably real. The dialogue and banter between the characters is also fun, and J. has an absolutely incredible sense of humor. I actually had to stop reading this book during class because I could not stop laughing. It never feels tacky, just genuine.
THE ENDING The ending was perfect. It doesn't resort to using a killer cliffhanger because it doesn't need to. The overall conflict definitely isn't resolved, but the immediate one is more or less. And yet, despite that, I still found myself on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was next. This book was wonderful but it wasn't enough. The ending was awesome, but in some ways it was almost doubly cruel.
WRAPUP Do I recommend this series? Abso-freaking-lutely. Go buy the first book if you haven't, and if you have then you need to read this book now. This is actually one of my favorite series, and I know I say that a lot, but this series is really something special. I will, of course, definitely be keeping up with the series. In fact, getting book three yesterday isn't soon enough for me.
CATCHALL Fairy Godmothers, Inc. surprised me by being one of my favorite reads of the year and ever. Books that rel*****FINAL RATING: 4.70 STARS*****
CATCHALL Fairy Godmothers, Inc. surprised me by being one of my favorite reads of the year and ever. Books that rely heavily on humor tend to be hit-or-miss for me since I apparently have a weird since of humor, but I loved it in this one. The two main characters are enormously entertaining, the plot was the fairytale-esque one you expect it to be and there were more twists than I could count. It is a brilliant concoction of laughter and love set in a gorgeous fairytale world.
THE HEROINE KATE Kate is a fairy godmother whose job is to help poor, abused girls find true love and marry princes, much like a Cinderella story. She doesn't approve of her company using "true love" potion, however, which is basically an aphrodisiac, and she never uses it herself. She won me over to her side the minute I found that out about her. She doesn't blindly follow what she's told, but she does her best to ensure that he clients are actually happy. Kate is strong-willed, a little stubborn, and has a sparkling sense of humor. She's no-nonsense, maybe a little bit dense, but cute.
THE LOVE INTEREST JON Jon is a hero who definitely had me swooning; I admit it freely. He's a gentleman from the very beginning and is willing to do almost anything to win Kate over (not that he really needs any help there). He, like Kate, has a wonderful sense of humor. He's also the one in the castle who really runs everything, even though his mother and older brother should really be doing that. Even so, he takes over. Jon is kindhearted and puts other people first, though like anyone he has his selfish moments.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS RELLIE I love Rellie. For some reason, it's impossible not to love herm even though she's the type of person that if you met them in real life you'd be hard-pressed to resist the urge to shut them up violently. Her ditziness works for her somehow, and she's sweet without trying to be. I also love how she has her moments, and that even if she's often silly she's genuine. And whimsical. NED Ned is sensitive and yet passionate; he's in love with Rellie from nearly the beginning but he doesn't want to act on it because he wants to let her get her happy ending with the prince. I love that he puts her happiness above his own. We also see him change surprisingly a lot from the beginning to the end of the book.
THE PLOT Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is officially an adult novel. The heroine and hero are both adults, as are the other characters. However, it reads very clean, and as far as I'm concerned it's got loads of crossover appeal. It's something I myself loved, and I have faith that YA readers will absolutely fall in love with it too. I think honestly that it is a book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
I love the world, too. It's very definitely a fantasy world, but there's also a very modern feel to it. It's the type of fantasy world you want to crawl into and live in. It's set up so vividly that it's easy to imagine and there's so much to love about it. There are illusions to several fairytales and even a nod to Greek mythology. It's actually similar to the world of Ella Enchanted–the movie version, the book is way different–but like, infinitely better.
There were so many plot twists–a few of which I probably should've seen coming, but never did. It was more fun that way, though. This book was fluffy and fun but it was also really intense and it actually physically made my heart race. It was thrilling and I got myself really invested into the story. Whenever something unexpected happened it would make me jump a little bit.
The fairytale lore was so much fun too. It's definitely in some ways drawing from several different fairytales, but it is also in many ways its own unique plot. I've certainly never read anything like it although I really wish there was more like this. Kate is a spunky heroine, and she really made this story just come to life.
I honestly don't really have any complaints about this book. There's just nothing I really feel the need to complain about! Every once in a while, that has to happen. This was pure fluffy fun, and yet it was more than that.
THE ROMANCE Surprisingly, I wouldn't call this instalove. I'm not sure why, bur I don't want to. Though the feelings seem to come quickly, they're not immediately acted upon, which I really liked. They get to know each other before that, even if there's strong attraction and chemistry on both sides. The romance is also messy–there were so many factors keeping everyone apart that at times it seemed unfixable. But hey, true love conquers all, right?
The secondary romance did happen a bit quickly for me, too quickly for me to really believe, but it didn't bother me all that much. I kind of just let it slide, but it's still notable.
THE WRITING This book is beautifully written. It tells the story from the alternating POVs of Kate and Jon–with someone else featured a few times. I won't say what other characters we get. I thought it was confusing at first to suddenly add in the POV of a new character but when I understood why it was done I could just kind of relax and enjoy the ride. It was nice getting the chance to see things from a new perspective. And of course, this writing is so much fun. There's so much humor evident in every word, and the descriptions are gorgeous.
THE ENDING You know that feeling when you're nearing the end of a book and everything is so messed up you feel like it can't possibly be fixed in time? That's how I felt reading this book. I was so, so worried that not everything would work out. There were definitely some unexpected endings. But I got the one I wanted, so I'm happy. I was very pleased with the way everything turned out and satisfied 100% with the way the story wrapped up. Neat and pretty, but with imperfections.
WRAPUP Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is one of the cutest books I've ever read, easy. I am definitely looking forward to more from Jenniffer! I'm sure she'll come up with something even more brilliant and I cannot wait to read it. I would definitely recommend this–to adults, to teenagers, to fans of contemporary romance, to fans of fantasy an retellings. It's one of my favorite books, so it comes with my high praises. Even if you think it wouldn't normally be your thing I really think you should give it a try. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
CATCHALL Honestly, I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I picked it up because the cover was pink and*****FINAL RATING: 4.90 STARS*****
CATCHALL Honestly, I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I picked it up because the cover was pink and pretty and I'd been craving a fantasy. I barely even skimmed over the blurb. I was as surprised as anyone else when I ended up completely falling in love with it. It is legitimately one of the best fantasy books I've ever read, with easily one of my top five favorite romances. Set in a gorgeous and intriguing world full of people who'll stop at nothing to rise to the top, The Rose Throne absolutely blew me away. It was my first book by Mette, but I guarantee it will not be my last.
THE HEROINES ISSA Issa is easily my favorite of our two heroines. She's clever and yet not weak. She's ladylike, and a true princess, but at the same time her courage is strong without being obnoxious. She knows her place but she also isn't afraid to risk everything just to help someone else. Issa has spunk and bravery, and yet she isn't insipid and she doesn't make her decisions without thinking about them. She does what she believes is right but she isn't impulsive. I freely admit that I have a massive girl crush on her. AILSBET Honestly, while I adored Issa, I had mixed feelings about Ailsbet. It's much harder to get a read on her character, and it was really difficult to figure out her true personality. I don't think she's an awful person, but she's definitely selfish. I do think she sometimes tries to see what's better for other people but she has so much pride that she has a hard time seeing past it.
THE LOVE INTERESTS KELLIN I am actually head over heels for Kellin, so, you know. I completely, utterly adore him. He has that whole strong and silent things going on, but then going further he's actually really sweet even if he doesn't always show it. Oh, and don't let's forget passionate. And sexy. Really, really sexy. He has a righteous heart, but he's not an idiot and he doesn't do things without taking precautions. He rebels against the bad in his own way, and his loyalty runs deep. UMBER I don't even know why I'm mentioning Umber, since I never really liked him and he didn't feel that important to me. At first I thought he might be decent, and he really did treat Ailsbet well. But we never really get to see his true intentions clearly, so it's difficult to judge him.
THE PLOT From page one, I was instantly drawn into the world of The Rose Throne. Prophecies are always exciting, and I loved the way this one played out. I was really invested in seeing where it would go and I literally could not put this book down. I began reading it on a whim, but it soon turned out that this book had me wrapped around its…pages.
I loved how everything fit together. Issa wants to please her father, so she goes along with the idea of a loveless marriage to a much younger prince. There, she meets Ailsbet, the princess who is hiding her owns secrets. I loved getting the POV of both girls. Each one is hiding something, so it was interesting to see their struggles alone and yes, together.
I really enjoyed the fantasy elements too. In this world, women have magic of life, or neweyr, while men have magic of battle and death, taweyr. Of course, sometimes there are people born with no magic or people born with the "wrong" magic, which is a really interesting side plot that helped me in falling for Kellin. But, I really like the way the magic was employed. It's not necessarily central, but it's definitely important.
My main complaint is that when I later went back and looked over the blurb it is kind of misleading. Not so misleading that it destroys the whole book, but there are some noticeable things that just didn't match up. Still, I didn't think it was a huge deal.
So, yeah, I loved this. I really, really loved it. It is easily one of my top favorites of all time and maybe the best book I've read this year or at least way, way up there. I enjoyed this book so much I just want to cuddle with it.
THE ROMANCE Issa and Kellin are easily one of my top five favorite fictional couples ever, and that is a hard list to get on because it involves kicking someone off. But they did it. I absolutely, completely adore them together. They had chemistry from the very beginning, and for a while I worried it wouldn't go anywhere, especially as there were distractions. There's a sort of burning intensity between them that I love and though it isn't easy, love rarely is. I love the way they tease each other and yet take care of each other, and how they can't stay apart even when they try to.
THE WRITING I adore the writing in this book. I am in love with it. Both girls have distinct, clear voices, and even though their thoughts aren't always completely clear, they're still understandable. The word choice is gorgeous and uncomplicated. I love the way things are explained without being pushy, and though I wish there had been more descriptor language it was still so, so wonderful. Everything really flows and connects.
THE ENDING The ending has the hint of a resolution and what is going to happen next, but it still leaves room for more story to be told. There's definitely something of an HEA, though, at the same time, which I really liked and helped cement my deep love for this book. I'd love more, but the ending was still written in such a way that even if there isn't more, I can feel like the story came far enough along and was resolved satisfactorily.
WRAPUP The Rose Throne is currently a standalone, but Mette has two ideas for sequels drafted, which I would be hugely open to. Normally I'd appreciate that it's a standalone but in this case I'm dying for more so desperately that I really hope there's more. The ending was awesome but I still want more. I loved every bit of this. It's a seriously beautiful book and maybe the best thing I've read this year. Would I recommend this book? Duh. If you're a fantasy lover like me, don't think twice. Even if you're normally not huge on fantasy, please consider this one. It is really on its own level of amazingness.
CATCHALL I was actually very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this. I expect a lot out of my fantasies, but t****FINAL RATING: 3.65 STARS****
CATCHALL I was actually very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this. I expect a lot out of my fantasies, but this one was tons of fun and a very quick and pleasant read. I had a awesome time reading this and swallowed it in three sittings. And the only reason I stopped at all is because i was in school. But if I could have, I would have read through this all at once. It captured my attention from the first pages and didn't let go.
THE HEROINE EMMA Emma is our very spunky heroine. She's used to moving around a lot, being at the bottom of the food chain at school, being nothing special. But in her latest home, she's starting to realize that se's more than that. She's very determined to do what's right, and while she starts off as much of a realist, she slowly comes to step up to the new reality she's found herself in and I really admire that. She's very caring of others, and many of her acts are selfless.
There are other important characters, but as I was writing this review I discovered it's really difficult to speak frankly about them without being spoilery, so.
THE PLOT When she moves into her new home, Emma immediately notices something seems off about it. Almost like it's–alive. This freaks her out for obvious reasons, but she thinks she must be imagining things. Then she starts to see little people, but convinces herself that she is dreaming. However, her denial can only take her so far.
I loved the way the entire process worked. It was realistic, and Emma's reactions seemed fitting, although she did adjust rather quickly. However, being thrust into the new world as she was, that only makes sense.
The plot moves fairly quickly too, so there's a lot going on. It can get confusing if you don't follow things carefully, but it was a lot of fun.
Something I wasn't expecting: a lot of mythology, particularly of the Greco-Roman variety. It was woven into the story as well, and the way it was done was really clever and original. The mythology and the fantasy were both equally elements of the novel, and there were some concepts that I can't remember seeing before that I loved.
THE ROMANCE There's actually no romance in this book, but I'm hoping there is in the next!
THE WRITING Tanya's writing is highly enjoyable. It's third person, but even so I managed to get a strong grip on Emma's character and thoughts. I loved the descriptions of the fantasy world too, which felt like just enough without being infodumps. There was a certain smoothness to the writing, and it had a type of spontaneous feel to it that was unique.
THE ENDING Actually, the ending really threw me off a lot and I didn't like it. This random thing happened that made absolutely no sense to me and kind of just ruined the whole end for me. It really wasn't explained to my satisfaction and just felt random and left me wondering where the hell the missing pages were. But seriously, yeah, not a fan. The ending was easily the worst part of this book, but then when it gets to the very final pages it kind of makes up for it.
WRAPUP I really did love Root Bound, and I'm actually really, really looking forward to see what the next book brings to the table. I'm interested to see what will happen next, especially with a certain character! I'm going to have to keep an eye out. I highly recommend this book and suggest that y'all go and read it. It should really be more feel known.
CATCHALL I absolutely loved loved loved this book. It was gorgeous and enticing, and everything I could have asked*****FINAL RATING: 4.75 STARS*****
CATCHALL I absolutely loved loved loved this book. It was gorgeous and enticing, and everything I could have asked for after being blown away by Illuminate. It kept me up reading late into the night, and it was even more haunting and creepy than the last book. It turns out demons can get still more evil, and that there's even more intrigue in this book than in the last. I adored it entirely.
THE HEROINE HAVEN Haven grows so much stronger in this book. Before the shy introvert, Haven has really begun to take a stand. She's still who she was before but she has even more courage now and she isn't afraid to make her own decisions. She does I think depend in other people a bit too much but I can understand that. I love how caring she is of everyone around her, and she's definitely a very relatable character to me. She's every teen girl in some ways, and that's the best thing about her.
THE LOVE INTERESTS LUCIAN I am very vocal about my deep love for Lucian. I absolutely adored him more than anything. For one thing, his passion is sexy. He's sexy. He also made some bad choices before but seeing how deeply he cares for Haven is heartrending. I love how much he's changed in some ways but in others not at all. Lucian is also so good to Haven, no matter what she does, and he's protective of her too. But above all, he wants her to be happy, even if it's not with him, though of course he'd prefer that. How can you not love that? LANCE Okay, though I have been Team Lucian from the beginning, I did love Lance in book one. Unfortunately, I stopped liking him in this book. Not only does he turn into a tool, but he starts getting involved in really dangerous things and making stupid choices. He acts completely out of line and becomes a total jerk to Haven. I lost all respect for him in this book, which makes me sad.
THE BEST FRIEND DANTE I didn't think too much of him before but I've always like him. Dante is a lot of fun as a character, and he's one of the best friends Haven could ask for. He's sweet and loyal, and always supports Haven no matter what. He also struck me as a lot less stereotypical in this book and really became a character I could root for.
THE PLOT In Infatuate, the plot thickens. I am aware if how cliché that sounds but it is absolutely true. What happened before was just the beginning. Now, everything is about to get more serious. This time Haven and her friends will have help, but it's much-needed. Even with the help they're still going to struggle.
I loved the plot of this book infinitely more than the last. It's far more interesting, and there are more nuances to deal with. We also get a much deeper insight into this particular world of angels, and we learn a lot more about what it means to be an angel for Haven. It's complicated stuff, and the best part is that they don't have ridiculous powers or anything. They do avoid some things, but I think that's only fair.
I was also kept guessing throughout the book. It's really, really difficult to figure out who is on what side up until the end. Just when you think you've figured it out, a character will do something totally unexpected. Nothing seemed overly coincidental to me.
It's just as original as the last book! I loved that as Haven gets stronger in some ways she loses power in others. I love, love, love that she doesn't just become this ridiculously amazing and empowered person who can do anything. She has to make sacrifices and give things up to get better, just like anyone else.
The pacing was also perfect. I wouldn't call it fast-paced, but it's definitely not slow. It moves along faster as time progresses, and though it starts off a little unremarkable it quickly grows into something alluring.
Overall, this book is an absolute masterpiece. I was thoroughly impressed by the complexity and originality of the plot and I loved all the new developments. There are no mentionable plot holes and everything that happens connects to something else. It flows gorgeously, and there's really nothing bad to say.
THE ROMANCE Ah, romance. My main struggle with this book. I love how much Lucian loves Haven, and how he'd do anything for her, including watching her be happy with someone else. They still have chemistry, and the scenes with the two of them were all my favorites. However, I don't like Lance anymore, so watching him and Haven be together was not a fun experience for me. He acts like a total jerk to her and she just kind of accepts it. Not. Okay.
THE WRITING Aimee is an extremely talented writer, and she's only improved. Haven's voice had become surer and more distinct, and the word choice is better as well. It's more descriptive than before, and the new setting is so lushly described. I also really love the way the characters interact, and how fun their banter is and how every relationship is different.
THE ENDING The ending shocked me. Where Illuminate ended on a fairly closed note, this book ended with a major cliffhanger that I didn't expect. While I didn't find what happened devastating, it still left me on the edge of my seat and willing to beg for more. I still am, because I absolutely have to know what happens next. It really left me with a feeling of surprise, and I also liked that a certain someone got out of something. Can't say more than that without spoiling.
WRAPUP I loved this book so much, and it's easily going to be one of my favorites of the year. It's an awesome series. You can bet I'm dying for the third and final book! I even hope that maybe just maybe she'll write more than that. I really, really love these books. I highly recommend Infatuate if you loved Illuminate, or even just liked it, since it's so much better! And if you haven't given this series a try I highly recommend it. Highly.
CATCHALL Everyone and their mother seems to have loved this book, so I was excited yet nervous to read it. I wanted*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****
CATCHALL Everyone and their mother seems to have loved this book, so I was excited yet nervous to read it. I wanted so much to love it, but was afraid I wasn't. However, as it turns out, I needn't have worried. I absolutely was blown away by how much I loved this book. It was an amazing story with compelling characters, and an original, haunting story. It was certainly something I'd read again.
THE HEROINE ALYSSA Alyssa thinks she's insane, just like her mother, until the day she realizes that maybe...she's not and there's just something different about her, something supernatural. Naturally, she wants to fix this, to be normal again. So, she does. I love her determination, and she's spunky as well. She's troubled by all the things that are wrong about her, but she's also very much a normal high schooler in some ways. She's just a typical girl who happens to be someone with the ability to talk to bugs and plants, and that's the best thing about her.
THE LOVE INTERESTS JEB I love, love, love Jeb. Like, more than anything ever. He's so loyal to Alyssa, and he'll stay with her no matter what. Do anything for her. That's clear from the beginning. I don't approve of all his choices, but in the end his heart was in the right place and that's really what matters. He really comes through in the end, too, in more ways than one, and I just have a lot of love for him. He never gives up, and he doesn't go into major denial either. He does at first, but when Alyssa needs him, he's there. MORPHEUS I love Morpheus as a character, but not as a love interest. He creeps me out. Though I'll be the first person to say that age is just a number, it's different with Morpheus. For one thing, he's creepy-ancient as opposed to just ancient. For another, he's a huge liar. I never trusted him at all and I think if he cared for anyone but himself he should have showed it. He's selfish and cruel, and I don't think Alyssa should be with someone as delusional and sick as him.
THE PLOT Splintered is more of a continuation, a hundred years later sort of thing of Alice in Wonderland as opposed to an actual retelling. I have actually read this original book for once, and I think Anita did a fantastic job of capturing the true spirit of Wonderland. This isn't the Wonderland from the fairytale, though.
From the very beginning, this story drew me in irrevocably. Alyssa herself was a fascinating narrator and she explained her history in such a way that it didn't get hopelessly boring. We get glimpses of her past that she herself can't fully put together, and though it's a tad predictable it's a forgivable predictableness.
There were some things that seemed random and overly coincidental, but I forgave them. This is Wonderland, after all, and I found that I just didn't mind that much.
The story followed the original in some ways, but it also produced twists I never expected and original plotlines of its own. I loved the way everything was portrayed, too.
It was almost a disappointment to return to the real world after reading this.
THE ROMANCE Alyssa and Jeb have chemistry from the beginning, and I'm not just saying that. You can practically see the sparks flying when they interact, although originally they don't do anything about it. I love the rapport and trust built between them, and the way both of them will sacrifice for each other. It's an even relationship. I don't like Alyssa with Morpheus, which I've already said. It's just creepy and weir and I'm not going to go into that because it'll just disturb me.
THE WRITING Anita is a very talented writer, and her world-building is unparalleled. Her version of Wonderful is dark and haunting, but there's a strange sort of beauty in it too. The way she describes it makes me ache to be there. Her prose just flows off the page. I also love Alyssa's voice. It's unique and young but yet sometimes wide beyond her age. It's a very realistic characterization.
THE ENDING As far as I'm concerned, the ending was perfect. I don't want to get spoilery, but I loved it. There's so much that's been resolved for Alyssa now, and she knows who she is. At the same time, you can tell that it's not all over. However, I felt satisfied with the ending. Sometimes not knowing can be a good thing! I think it left just enough mystery open to be interesting. However, Alyssa does make a choice that actually doesn't make sense and would never have worked in the end, which bothered me. It was made too simple and the true consequences were ignored.
WRAPUP As much as I loved this book and kind of want a sequel, Splintered ended on such a perfect note that I'm afraid a sequel would mess that up! I'm actually really happy with this as a standalone although I'm definitely a hue fan of Anita's now and will definitely be keeping up with her future writing. I absolutely recommend this to everyone, especially those of you who love an original paranormal fantasy. It's a romance, but it's more than that too.
CATCHALL I had absolutely no expectations going into this book. I hadn't really heard anything about it, and just dec****FINAL RATING: 4.30 STARS****
CATCHALL I had absolutely no expectations going into this book. I hadn't really heard anything about it, and just decided to take a random chance on it because I wanted a light, fun read after some of the heavier stuff I'd been shouldering. I never, never expected to love it so much. Rapunzel is one of my favorite, if not my actual favorite, fairytale, so of course I was interested to see how it was retold in this book. The result was something I haven't seen before, and I loved the way it turned out.
THE HEROINE RAPUNZEL Rapunzel annoyed me at times, but on the other hand I could hardly blame her for some things. She was lied to her entire life, but for so long she had no reason to not believe it. And anyway, Rapunzel is no damsel is distress. She takes care of herself and though she gets help she ultimately makes her own decisions. Even though I didn't always agree with her decisions I could understand why she made them.
(Irrelevantly, why does spell check say "Rapunzel" isn't a word? It's the name of a classic freaking fairytale character. Ugh, whatever.)
THE LOVE INTEREST FANE Well, hello there. From the very beginning Fane is an intriguing character. Even though he's a perfectly ordinary human being he has an air of otherworldliness about him or something. He says what he thinks, he's funny, and he's not afraid to face the truth. He takes care of Rapunzel and takes several risks for her, even when she tries to push him away. From the very beginning, he tries to protect her, and he's so fabulous and so sweet and so loyal.
THE PLOT In the author's letter, she says that although this story is set in the modern world, there's one difference: in the world this book takes place in, there's no such thing as the fairytale Rapunzel. It has never been told, never existed. It's a small change but an important one.
At the beginning of this book, Rapunzel has everything she could possible want. Everything, that is, except for freedom. Luckily for her, her mother has no real idea of how to work the internet. So when Rapunzel claims to use it for school, she leaves her alone. Rapunzel proceeds to discover Facebook and friends some random cute guy from a nearby school. While not recommended for obvious reasons, it works out pretty well for her.
There are definitely basic elements of the classic fairy tale. Rapunzel's blonde hair is ridiculously long, and though she doesn't know it yet, the woman who claims to be her mother of course is not. Oh, and she lives shut in in a tower. It's a modern Rapunzel, but it is still recognizable.
I loved the way the story unfolded. At first, it just seems like it's all for fun. But eventually, as everything starts to unravel, it grows more serious. Rapunzel was comfortable in her life before, but after meeting Fane, she can't go back and she doesn't want to. She fights back for the first time.
Even though I loved this book, I can't ignore the randomness or the inconsistencies, though. I can't say exactly what they are without being spoilery, but let's just say that not everything fits together. Furthermore, there are just some random paranormal elements thrown in that aren't really ever explained and never really go anywhere and yeah. Felt kind of pointless.
Still, that didn't keep me from loving this book. Those errors were fairly minor and didn't ruin the book for me. I love Rapunzel's story from beginning to end. It was fun, yes, but there was more to it than that too.
THE ROMANCE From the very beginning, Rapunzel and Fane have chemistry that eventually builds into something greater. Rapunzel has absolutely no romantic experience, but that doesn't stop her from learning. It is a cute and sweet romance, but it's also strong because of how it develops as the pair piece together Rapunzel's mysterious past and find out who she really is. I love their interactions, and their first kiss is absolutely perfect. He takes care of her, and she trusts him.
THE WRITING Somehow, I really clicked with this writing even though it's not usually the type of style I like. Despite my initial frustrations with Rapunzel the writing really allowed me to understand her thoughts and connect with her character. I loved the way the words were used, and how she put in modern lingo without doing what I secretly call "over-teenagerisation." (Oh, shut up.) The descriptions were a bit lacking and I would have liked more imagery but other than that it was fantastic.
THE ENDING The ending was so sweet and so perfect. I mean, yeah, it worked out almost a little too ideally. But honestly, I didn't care. I was so, so happy with the ending. I adore HEAs, and though this book suffered from at least one fairly major inconsistency near the end I still managed to get past that. I was really impressed with the way everything came together, and though a lot of the truth seemed to take forever to come out I was still mostly satisfied.
WRAPUP I truly enjoyed this book, and I loved it so much more than I would have expected to. It was fun, but it also contained some darker stuff which I loved. I'm definitely going to start keeping an eye on Cindy's work and hope she more fun fairytale retellings like this. I'd love to see Cinderella. Anyway, would I recommend this? You bet. If you're a fairytale or even just a modern contemporary lover, this book is definitely for you.