CATCHALL I loved this book. It was absolutely dazzling. Lucy is a strong heroine, and it’s written so beautifully tha****FINAL RATING: 4.10 STARS****
CATCHALL I loved this book. It was absolutely dazzling. Lucy is a strong heroine, and it’s written so beautifully that it’s hard not to love. The world it’s set in is fantastic, and everything about it screams to be loved. Though not without its flaws, it’s such a beautiful book that it was impossible for me to walk away from it with anything but an overwhelmingly positive attitude.
THE HEROINE LUCY Lucy is a strong heroine who is extremely relatable. She’s needed in England, but she doesn’t want to go. She wants to stay isolated and live in peace, but she eventually realizes that she can’t hide forever. She has magic, strong magic, and that makes her responsible for helping others. Lucy has a really good heart, and she’s smart, but not so clairvoyant that she comes across as too powerful.
THE LOVE INTEREST NAT I didn’t love Nat as much as I remember loving him in the first book. He’s a bit foolish, and seems to question everything everyone else is doing. Even if he’s right, it’s not the smartest thing to do all the time. He’s stubborn, and doesn’t always make the right choices. It’s incredibly frustrating sometimes, to see him try to do everything on his own.
THE FRIENDS GABRIEL The moment I saw Gabriel, hearts came into my eyes, because he’s exactly my type, though he’s not right for Lucy, I don’t think. He can laugh at himself, he’s kind, and he’s a good friend to Lucy when she needs it. SYBIL I wasn’t sure what to think of Sybil at first. She’s a mysterious character, and it’s difficult to tell exactly whose side she’s on. But she’s a good friend to Lucy nonetheless, and she really helps her when she’s in a tough spot.
THE PLOT This book rings true because alchemy is something that was once a real, true obsession. In this book, it’s augmented by the fact that Lucy is a chantress. Instead of wanting to make gold, though, they want to make a special stone. It’s interesting to watch because it could be a similar plot to another historical fiction book, one that contains no magic at all.
Lucy must race to find the missing crucible, but she also must figure out what is going on at court and how to stop it. She may be forced to accept a marriage she does not want, and her beloved is not appearing a good option. Lucy has to get to the botton of what is happening before she can stop it, but as she searches for the missing crucible, things appear more complex than they first appeared.
The plot is considerably more intense than that of the first book, and for good reason. There’s no real chanters hunters on the loose anymore, but as the last remaining chanters, Lucy is under a different kind of pressure.
It’s a fast-paced type of book, and I kept turning the pages, dying to know what was going to happen next. It’s a wonderful, easy read type of book, and I didn’t put it down until I was done.
THE ROMANCE This book is light on romance, and there’s an awkward love triangle that never really goes anywhere, but aside from that, the romance is sweet. Lucy and Nat are an adorable couple, and it’s plain to see how much they care about each other. They’re both willing to take risks for the other, and they’re stronger together than apart.
THE WRITING Amy’s writing is gorgeous, and the world-building is truly spectacular. It’s historical fiction, but my favorite kind of historical fiction—the kind with a magical twist. She writes it in such a way that I can almost believe England really was that way once—it has the twist of truth, even though logically I know it’s not truth. The descriptive language could use work, but it’s still beautiful.
THE ENDING Chanters Alchemy wrapped up neatly and prettily, almost too much so, which is why this book didn’t get a higher rating. The ending seemed really rushed near the end and too easily to take entirely seriously. Everything worked out perfectly and it just seemed overly contrived to me. I like the ending, don’t get me wrong, but I think it would have had more impact if not everything had been wrapped up so prettily.
WRAPUP I adored this book, and at the time I’m writing this review I’ve already read the last book in the series, but you can be sure I’ll read anything Amy chooses to release in the future. Chantress Alchemy was a gorgeous, beguiling book and I’m sure I’d want more even if I didn’t already know what happens next. It was a pleasure to read something so beautiful and I highly recommend the series.
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 After Bloodrose, I was hesitant to read this book, but I found it better than I could have ever hoped for. I****FINAL RATING: 4.00 STARS****
CATCHALL After Bloodrose, I was hesitant to read this book, but I found it better than I could have ever hoped for. It’s a captivating book with an incredible set of characters and an even more intriguing storyline. I loved every minute I spent reading it, and I don’t have a moment of regret that I picked this book up.
THE HEROINE ADRIADNE And is a badass, stellar young woman who struggles in this book against darkness that threatens to claim her. She’s always known exactly who she is, but now, she’s fighting alone against forces she doesn’t understand. Still, I really fell in love with her. Anne’s strong, and she’s not going to give in so easily.
THE LOVE INTEREST CONNOR Connor is still the same character I loved in the Nightshade series, with his quips that often lighten the mood. But now we really get to see that his character is actually a lot deeper than it first appears. He struggles with his relationship with Adne, as well as the fact that he wants to protect her but she won’t let herself be protected.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS RENIER I love Ren. This is no secret to those who know me well. He has an attitude, and he has his own agenda more than just following the one that was set for him. He works as well as he can to mess with Logan’s plan, and he struggles with the fact that he can’t do everything he wants to. But he’s not giving up so easily, either. SABINE I adore Sabine, but she’s unrecognizable from the girl we met in the Nightshade books. She’s strong, confident, and finally knows who she is. She’s protective and strong, and knows the extent of her ability to help. SARAH The moment I met Sarah, I knew I’d be able to relate to her, and I was right. She’s a grieving woman who misses her son, and I found her pain perfectly understandable. She wants to do anything to get him back, and in the process forgets who she is. Like any grieving person, though, she eventually comes out of it stronger. LOGAN Logan is the clear villain in the story, but because we also see the story through his eyes, we get a good sense of what he’s planning and what he’s willing to do to get there. He’s ruthless in his own way, and has a violent streak. But there’s also more to him than that.
THE PLOT Logan wants to find a way to bring Bosque Mar back, which seems like it would be boring. But it’s not. Not at all, actually. The story is written in such a way that it’s impossible to be bored.
While Logan’s busy with that, the Searchers race to stop him. Yet they don’t know exactly what they’re stopping, or even if anything needs stopping. With the Keepers scattered, they struggle to find their new place in the world, and there’s inner turmoil as well. The Searchers can’t agree on anything, it seems, and that divides them further.
It’s beautifully written, and that makes it such a pleasure to read. It’s an entertaining, intriguing story that drew me deeper with every page.
THE ROMANCE The romance in this book was tasteful and not overbearing in any way. Connor and Adne are perfect together, and yet their romance isn’t an easy one. There are a lot of obstacles in their way, made worse by the fact that they’re not always prepared to face them together. But, given some time, I think Connor and Adne will find that the best way to go forward is together.
THE WRITING Andrea’s writing has improved immensely since Nightshade. She flourishes under this new style of third person omniscient as opposed to first person and it’s beautiful. Despite not being directly inside each character’s head, we nonetheless get a really great sense of who they are and what they’re thinking. The continuation of the world-building is stellar, and are the characters.
THE ENDING I loved the way Snakeroot ended. It hit the perfect balance of cliffhanger and wrapping up the story neatly. Enough happened that it didn’t feel like a filler book, and yet by the end I was gripping the book and hoping for more.
WRAPUP Snakeroot was a beautiful continuation to the Nightshade series, and I’m glad it exists. I’ll definitely be reading the next book. I’d recommend it to any fans of Nightshade, and I’d also recommend it to people who are new to the series. It’s that good.
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 received this as an ARC a little while ago, and it may have sat in my TBR stack indefinitely if not for*****FINAL RATING: 4.60 STARS*****
CATCHALL I received this as an ARC a little while ago, and it may have sat in my TBR stack indefinitely if not for the recommendation of one of my wonderful friends. I'm so glad she pointed it out to me, because I absolutely loved it! I don't read many books about witches and witchcraft, mostly because there just aren't that many out there. But this one…well, this one was wonderful. The characters came to life, the plot was full of both action and romance, all wrapped up in gorgeous writing.
THE HEROINE BROOKE Okay, so the name Brooke is not my favorite, but I still loved her. She's very real without being overly dramatic or ridiculous. I also like the way she goes about things. When her friends turn on her, she's hurt and confused—but she doesn't crawl into a corner and feel sorry for herself. No, she's proactive. And I absolutely admire that about her. I also think that although, yes, she does complain, she doesn't do it too much and it only serves to make her more real.
THE LOVE INTEREST MARCUS Marcus is absolutely wonderful. He's introduced as this very dark and brooding character, but we quickly see that that's not all he is at all. Actually, he's absolutely marvelously sweet. He cares deeply for Brooke and also his brother, but he'll still do what needs to be done. Marcus also isn't afraid of what other people think of him. He's confident, but not annoyingly overconfident, and he never abandons Brooke or fails to make her smile. Basically, I adore him.
THE PLOT Witchcraft and reincarnation. Together, these two topics have made something truly unique and fabulous. Reincarnation is fairly common to see in books, but witchcraft is not. However, in this book it was done so spectacularly that I wish it was in more.
Brooke, Marcus, and their friends are all reincarnated, but none of them know it yet. Turns out that Marcus and Brooke have fallen in love in past lives and it's always ended badly due to the interference of someone who wishes them harm.
And the reincarnation was handled so well. It was believable. There were just enough flashbacks without them taking over the whole story. I could see the connection of the characters to their former selves. They were alike and not alike, just as you'd expect.
I really liked the way the magic was handled, too. It's there, but at the same time, it isn't. I can't say more without getting spoilery, but it really is fabulous. There's a witch who wishes them harm, and she's more powerful than them in many ways. But not in the important ones.
I also think that despite the fantastical elements, it's very realistic. Brooke goes through some really difficult things. Her friends seem to have abandoned her. She doesn't know where to turn to, and she's terrified. But she does have Marcus.
It is surprisingly full of action. I didn't expect that but I like it. It kept me very full of anticipation. There's really not a boring moment at all, and everything that happens is super important. It was a very quick read for me, and I loved every single moment of it.
Okay, actually, I don't want to, but I do think I should mention it: there is one scene that really, really, disturbed me. It's near the end, and it only lasted for one longish paragraph, but it was just…really disturbing. I understand why it was added, but there are totally other ways to get the same point across. Okay. I get it, but I don't like it.
Still, overall, this was spectacular. Wonderful.
THE ROMANCE I love romance. You guys know that. And this romance was so so so…sweet. Wonderful. Perfect. I have seen reincarnation used a crutch for instalove before, and I'm happy to say that that was not the case here. No, Lisa took the time to develop the romance between Marcus and Brooke. They're definitely attracted to each other at first sight, but she doesn't call it love. And as they get to know each other better, then it does transmute into love. And the entire process is rife with chemistry and sparks flying without being too flashy.
THE WRITING I most definitely love Lisa' writing! It's told from first person, from Brooke's point of view, and I really like that, especially the firsthand look we get at the reincarnation and how she comes to accept that. We really get an intimate view into Brooke's mind, and somehow it really makes her easier to connect to. I also really like the way she writes the differences between the characters, like when they're under enchantment versus being themselves, and the dialogue and how everything changes.
THE ENDING The ending was perfection. It's been so long since I've read a book with a straight ending and not a cliffhanger, and I loved it. Everything wrapped up so perfectly and prettily that I practically sighed with happiness. I love a good happy ending. And of course, no, it wasn't all happiness. There's definitely sacrifice. But at the same time, the sacrifice was so that there could be happiness. And they realize that, and they don't let it bring them down.
WRAPUP So, I absolutely loved this one. However, it is nice that it's a standalone! While I'd love to see more, knowing that the author didn't try to drag this out is really, really awesome. I'll definitely keep an eye out for Lisa's books in the future. As to would I recommend this? Um, yes! If you like romance, definitely grab yourself a copy of this one. Same goes for if you like magic. In general, I actually do think that most people will enjoy this book, so go! Buy a copy!
CATCHALL I loved Rua. I really did. It wasn't perfect, but it was genuinely enjoyable. Even so, there were some things***FINAL RATING: 3.25 STARS***
CATCHALL I loved Rua. I really did. It wasn't perfect, but it was genuinely enjoyable. Even so, there were some things about it that just majorly got and my nerves and ticked me off. I was usually either enjoying myself or vastly annoyed. So yeah, while I loved it, it wasn't the best thing I've ever read. Even so…the fact that I was willing to overlook my annoyance speaks volumes.
THE HEROINE CELESTE Celeste was a very interesting experience for me. Sometimes she was awesome, and sometimes annoying. She's never really put down roots before, and that's the way she likes it. She has her parents who love her, and that's enough for her. But when strange things start to happen, she understandably freaks out. However, a lot of times I found myself getting really annoyed by her. She acts really strangely sometimes, and her lack of self-confidence just doesn't work on her since sometimes she'll randomly have some. She wasn't at all easy to connect to. I liked her, but I still have some issues to work out with her.
THE LOVE INTEREST RYLAN Rylan I loved. I have some issues with him too, but I still love him. I love how protective he is without being overly dominating. He wants to keep Celeste safe, but he isn't stupid about it and he doesn't try to control her. At the same time, he felt kind of clichéd. He doesn't even really seem to know Celeste at all but out of nowhere he's just there for her. It's sweet but odd and overused. However, he's got a wicked sense of humor and I love the way he makes Celeste laugh.
THE FRIEND TINK Tink was like the most stereotyped character I have ever read, and yes, that majorly, majorly ticked me off. He's gay, which isn't the problem. The problem is the way he acts. It's the most stereotyped gay character I've ever read, and there is no realness to it at all. He's like a freaking cardboard cutout because there is legibly nothing to him that isn't some ridiculous stereotype. Like, you push him and he falls over. So to speak. No substance.
THE PLOT Okay, so the plot. It gets tons of points for its originality. It was really unique. I've honestly never read anything similar. It was an entirely new concept, and I found that fascinating. In a world where a lot of YA is starting to sound the same, the newness in this was a breath of fresh air.
Celeste has always known she was adopted, but this has never bothered her. When strange things start to happen to her, she dismisses them at first, even as she is drawn to the gorgeous Rylan, who seems to know something. Eventually, she can't deny that something supernatural is going on. The strange things only escalate, climaxing on her seventeenth birthday.
I learned about Celeste's new world alongside her, the rules and the status quo. As it went on, there was some suspense and danger added. I was always curious as to what was happening next, and it was entertaining and held my attention.
The final event, the climax and ending, were a bit weird though. I'll get into that more in a bit but I do feel the need to mention it.
THE ROMANCE Okay, so, the romance. It's a tad instalovey, so that was annoying. Rylan and Celeste have chemistry, but even so, it wasn't really enough for me. They connected on some level, but they didn't really get to know each other very well. I'm honestly not even really sure or convinced that they actually like each other. Obviously they do, but it didn't come across very clearly. Overall, disappointing.
THE WRITING Miranda has gorgeous, lovely writing. I love the way she describes things. Like, LOVE. It's so vivid and ridiculous in an awesome way. What I don't like is Celeste's voice. It's in third person, so actually I guess not her voice exactly, but still. It made her difficult to connect to. It sounded a bit stilted at places, and the dialogue wasn't stellar either. Not awful, but just average.
THE ENDING So, the ending. Well, like I said, the end event was sort of weird. I don't know. Awkward. Random. Still, it wasn't awful. I need to be careful here because I don't want to spoil anything, but…it's difficult. I just thought the whole situation was unrealistic and the way it was dealt with, especially this one last thing, really, really, really bothered me. It was just not okay on any level.
WRAPUP I loved this book, but like I've said, it does have myriad problems and I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. Still, if you can overlook the faults, then this could probably be a really cute yet suspenseful read for you. It's certainly fun, and I know that some of you will love it. I'll definitely be reading the next book, since I do want to know what happens next.
CATCHALL I actually ended up loving Shift even more than I loved Exiled, which is saying something. It also got fiv*****FINAL RATING: 4.60 STARS*****
CATCHALL I actually ended up loving Shift even more than I loved Exiled, which is saying something. It also got five stars, which is also saying something. I really, really loved this one, you guys. It was awesome. There was excellent character growth and the plot actually moved forward, which is more than I can say for some books. Basically it was an excellent second book. I also really like the title because it can be taken literally or…not. And depending on which way you choose to take it there are vastly different meanings.
THE HERO CHASE Chase continues to grow as a character much as he did in the last one. He's still prideful and arrogant, and more than a little impulsive. He doesn't always think before he does things and he clearly has a temper. Even so, while I don't condone what he does I can see that he doesn't do things simply to be cruel. Though I don't always like his arrogance, which he still has an abundance, we all have our faults. Plus, he is definitely getting better at learning to control it.
THE LOVE INTEREST RAYNA Rayna still has the same awesome attitude that made me adore her in the first one. I love that she isn't afraid to stand up to Chase and call him out when he's being a jerk. At the same time, she can be sweet. Rayna is incredibly stubborn, and sometimes she needs a little pushing to do the right thing, but she isn't difficult only for the sake of being difficult. She's unconditionally loyal to Chase, which I also like, but she still gets upset with him.
THE SECONDARIES I was feeling too lazy to make individual headers today… MARCUS There's a revelation about Marcus in this book that I had actually suspected but that Chase didn't, and it was really interesting to see that. Marcus don't show much emotion, but I think that he's actually incredibly passionate and just has learned to hide it. I still want to know more about him for sure. RILEY Riley is kind of a jerk, but I think that's the point. He doesn't seem like a good man, let alone a good father. But even Chase notes that he wasn't perfect, but that he wasn't always like this, that he's changed. And when you hear something like that, you can't help but want to hear more about the why. Although he's not a likable character, he's a very interesting one. WILLY Willy learns to stand up for himself and others in this book, which I love. He's not just the underdog anymore! He's willing to face down dangers for Chase and he really starts to find his own place in the world as well. I didn't care for him too much before, but I really like the direction his character was taken in, and as far as I am concerned character arcs are always a win. TIKI Tiki is still completely loyal to Chase, and will do anything for him even when he doesn't want to. He'll put himself in incredible danger. I don't know. He's not from this world, so he often acts odd and is very unusual. Still, I feel like we didn't get to know him as much as I would have liked to, so hopefully that gets rectified. CHIEF Chief has an actual name that also starts with a C, but for some reason I can't actually remember what it is, so whatever. Anyway, I think that Chief is a spectacular character. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of him. How true were his intentions? Does he really want to help? I couldn't be sure, and needless to say I was definitely suspicious. JAX I have something a secondary character fetish, so it happens a lot that I'll randomly latch onto some character who appears maybe three times and decide that they are the awesomest person in the book. Not even making that up. But anyway, the point here is that I really, really like Jax. He's not an important character for most of the book, but by the end he is and I'm sure we'll see more of him, which naturally I am happy about.
THE PLOT One of my favorite words these days is spectacular, and it happens to apply here. This book is, in every sense of the word, spectacular.
Chase is the Protector, but it's not entirely clear what that means yet. Even so, we can see that he's changing, and I mean in things regarding magic mostly, without getting too spoiler. Unusual circumstances surround him, and highly irregular occurrences also. I actually really want to say more on this, but I hate making spoiler tabs because they screw me up on my blog. And it would get way to spoilery to not use one.
This is just wonderful. I enjoy the way everything works out. It's very complicated, but it's also not so complicated that I can't understand. It isn't oversimplified, and there are complicated lines of loyalty and hatred that make up ties and breakages. I like the interconnections and seeing how everyone interacted with each other. It added a certain depth to the story.
What else I liked is the background. There's always something we don't know. Usually more than one something. There's definitely history in most of this, and hidden motives that we can't begin to guess at.
We get some awesome new characters in this book, with their own complicated background, both villains and heroes. And each has their own piece to contribute. It's a very tangled web of intrigue and also of sacrifice, as many of them have to decide just how much they're willing to give up.
There's a ton of action, so that meant that I was never bored. I turned the pages of the book at an insane rate. I didn't want to stop reading it. It enthralled me. Thrilled me. It kept me interested and throughly entertained.
What I'm trying to say here is that this thing was conceived from awesomeness.
THE ROMANCE There is more romance in this book than there was in the last one, so that just kind of makes my heart happy. I love the chemistry between Chase and Rayna, and moreover, I love that it isn't instalovey at all! There is way too much of that everywhere these days and so it was refreshing not to see it here. I love that it was given time to develop. I expect there will be troubles ahead, since, you know, there always are, but, well, you know. They'll work through them, eventually. But what's a little love without a little war? NOTHING. (Okay, so I've clearly been reading too much Shakespeare lately.)
THE WRITING Like Exiled, shift is told in first person from Chase's perspective. His outlook on the world is an interesting one, and I love being inside his head. His actions are often brash, and he doesn't think them out fully. But being able to see his thoughts as he does questionable things certainly makes him more likable than he would be otherwise. Also, I really like the way everything is described. Whenever a new place is visited, it is described so vividly that I can practically see it, and I love when I can picture myself in the same place as in my books.
THE ENDING The ending was perfect. I really, really loved the way it ended. There was definitely a certain level of happiness and security, and I was glad to see that a large piece of conflict has been resolved, yet of course the main conflict got only more complicated. But we're left knowing more than we did before, and it definitely spiked my desire for the next book. I enjoyed this ending also because it was fairly upbeat. That's not always something you see, and so it wasn't just fun to see it here, it was different.
WRAPUP So, I recommended this series after the first book and now I can recommend it even more confidently. I loved this one even more than the first one, and everything basically only got even more fantastic. So, I think you should go pick this up, like, ASAP. Pretend for life depends on it or something if that helps. I am, of course, totally in love with the series, so I would read the next book no matter what.