I received this one a while ago and it took me a really long time to finally read it. SO MANY REGRETS. While I dislike the fact that it’s compared to The Fault in Our Stars (I think nothing can really compare to John Green’s novel), I loved this book. I actually went in thinking I would hate it because of some reviews that I’d read, but thankfully it was the complete opposite. Maybe One Day was full of heart and I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started it.
Truth be told, Zoe’s character pissed me off now and then. Especially at the start of the book. She seemed to constantly make it all about her when her friend was sick. I mean, come on. Yes, it’s absolutely tragic that your best friend has cancer, and OF COURSE you’re going to freak out and feel sad at the prospect of losing her. But making it about you? Not cool. There was also the whole language thing. I’m not one to shy away from f-bombs. But when it becomes part of your vocabulary and you put it in every sentence then it becomes a problem. It’s not shocking, which is the impact it should have–it’s just annoying. Thankfully, Olivia’s character was so much better. Zoe’s did get better later on but it was a constant pain having to read some of things she does. However, what I did absolutely love was their friendship: the funny moments between them as well as the really sad, gut-wrenching ones. There’s no denying that their friendship was the best part of this book.
❝I stood on the edge of the lawn, the phone still pressed to my ear. Cars pulled in and out of the parking lot, and kids rumbled from the building, taking the stairs two at a time as they raced into the liberty of the afternoon. The sky over my head was almost painful blue, the grass a bright and vivid green. It was a crisp, beautiful, perfect fall day. All that beauty was completely wrong. The sky should have been black, the grass withered, the students wailing with grief. Olivia is sick! I wanted to howl. What are you people doing? My friend is sick! It was impossible–the sky, the cars, the kids walking around as if it were a day like any other day. Nothing made any sense.❞ –p. 42, ARC* *text is subject to change in the final version
The author must have really done some research on this book. It was integrated so seamlessly into the book that it just felt natural learning about it through Zoe’s perspective. As Olivia’s cancer goes through various ups and downs the pain that is conveyed was so tangible. Kantor’s writing is fantastic in essence but it was a punch to the stomach with the emotions that it brings up. As a reader you can really see the ups and downs that not only Olivia goes through but also Zoe. While I still didn’t really like her character, going through denial, loss, hope, acceptance, ignorance was quite the rollercoaster.
I found it difficult to start writing this review because this book was all over the place and I couldn’t really piece together how I really felt about it, despite really loving the book once I’d finished it. In one word, Maybe One Day is powerful. Beautifully written, make sure you have tissues on hand when reading this book: Melissa Kantor’s amazing story of friendship will be sure to bring tears.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins International for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I saw this one AGES ago but I never did get my hands on a copy. Until now. I’m seriously happy I got Promise of Shadows for review because I absolutely loved it. The beginning took me a while to adjust to, in terms of getting an idea of what exactly was going on, but omg–it’s been such a long time since I’d read a book focused on Greek mythology that met modern day (so... urban mythology?). The last book I read focused on this sort of stuff was Fleeced! but that’s aimed at younger readers, so all in all: a YA book that involves Greek myths? It’s practically been a lifetime since I’d read one last. Anyway, back to the main point at hand. THIS BOOK? So beautiful. So dark. And I loved it SO much.
I liked that our main character Zephyr, also known as Peep (which is the most adorable nickname ever), wasn’t the typically strong and flawless main character portrayed so often in young adult fiction. She’s definitely quite flawed and is the kind of person who would rather run than fight in most situations. However, her snappy and sarcastic attitude annoyed me sometimes. I didn’t really enjoy her bursts of anger and quick judgement upon others. Tallon’s got the same problem–both these characters are hot-headed. Otherwise, I totally love them! All the swoons for Tallon, trust me. This book had such an interesting and diverse cast of characters. Blue was a sweet character, and Cass probably had the most interesting background story EVER. I’m grateful that romance wasn’t a big part of the story and instead of spending ages reading about a girl pining for a boy every second of the day, we got a story of a girl with a clear plan in mind that didn’t revolve around said boy.
❝I am tossed and turned in a sea of pain and rage and disappointment. I reach out, attempting to wield some of my own forbidden power. For a single shining moment the darkness abates, reluctant to hurt me. But it’s pointless. The orbs quickly begins devouring me again, Hades’s intent pushing it forward. My abilities are nothing compared to his, a raindrop trying to attack the ocean. I surrender to my punishment, going limp as the dark energy tears me apart atom by atom. My last thought before I lose consciousness is relief. At least I finally know how I die.❞ –p. 57
This book contained several new mythological terms that were new for me. I think most of them were made up, since I searched up characters such as Ramun Sol and nothing popped up, but there were a few things that I didn’t know about previously. What I love about YA books that allude to mythology is that I always end up learning something new or end up yearning to learn more about the subject. Several things in this book–erebos, vættir, Æthereals–had me curious to know more.
Promise of Shadows was a seductive and thrilling ride with a touch of well-timed snark guaranteed to make readers laugh. Justina Ireland brilliantly weaves fiction and myth to create a truly unique story. Delightfully dark and filled with jaw-dropping twists, be sure to pick this one up as soon as you possibly can.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I only started reading this series because I received an advanced copy of Her Dark Curiosity from the publisher, and I'm really glad I did! I've come to love these books, it's subject matter and the characters, and I found that this was as dark as the first one. The story picks up a couple of months after the events in The Madman's Daughter, with Juliet's return to London. It's interesting to see how the island has changed Juliet, and how she has so much more understanding of the science behind her father's experiments and uses this to her advantage.
I'm glad to say that I liked Juliet even more in this book! I thought in the last book, while I did still like her, she was a bit "drab" and too focused on which guy to pick. But this time round, her character is so much stronger and fiercely independent – no longer dependent on men that much in her life – that I really enjoyed her story. There's the return of characters from the previous book, which would be a spoiler (kind of) if I mentioned them, so I wont. We do get to learn a lot about Juliet's friend Lucy, who played a small part in The Madman's Daughter, and there's some new characters, such as the professor, who is Juliet's guardian, Elizabeth, and Inspector Newcastle.
Like The Island of Doctor Moreau, I haven't actually read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – I should really get around to reading more classics – but I knew at least something about it that I was able to recognize how it was embedded into this book. The end promises yet another retelling for the final book in the trilogy, and this one got me super excited because it's one that I've ACTUALLY read. I'm not going to tell though– you've got to read this book and find out for yourselves! It's a very well-done twist to the plot that Shepherd had included, and completely caught me off-guard.
Her Dark Curiosity was enthralling and spine-tingling, and the sequel is even more amazing than the first. It's clear to see that I loved this one, and I come upon regretting that I read the book so early, because it now means waiting until next year for the last book, and I don't want to wait so long! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I received this one quite a while back, but for some reason, I never picked it up. Then, roughly a year after, I went to Boston for university, and I heard Soman Chainani speak about The School for Good and Evil at Boston Book Fest 2014. I was super excited to start it after hearing more about the inspiration behind it, but even when I came back home for winter break, I didn’t pick it. It’s only now, two years or so after I received the first book for review, that I finally picked it up. To be honest, I was expecting a pretty straightforward fairytale-esque book for children.
What I got was something completely different.
The School for Good and Evil was brilliant. Even though it took me a while to get through it (trust me, this book is HUGE), I couldn’t stop reading it. And when I had to stop reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Yes, it’s one of those books–the one you can’t stop thinking about for weeks after you finished it. The book hangover strikes again! Honestly though, I felt like I spent way too long looking at the cover. I own a hardcover and it’s GORGEOUS. And it’s not just the cover. The hardcover spine, the map inside, the illustrations–too much beauty to handle for my mere brain, clearly.
This book revolves around two characters: Sophie and Agatha. The perspective constantly shifts from one girl to the other, and from this it was really easy to get a grasp on the world that Chainani has created. Because both Sophie and Agatha are dropped (and I mean literally dropped) into these environments that completely oppose their characters, being in a strange place where you stand out amongst the others becomes a great lens to view this world. When it comes to the characters, I had a few ups and downs. For instance, I constantly oscillated with my feelings for Sophie. I hated her one moment and then I’d feel bad for her the next. Obviously, I think this was intentional since she really isn’t a pleasant character to begin with. But holy smokes, she has the biggest transformation EVER. It’s a little frightening to watch and I did end up somewhat sympathising with her. Agatha, on the other hand, I loved. She’s the most level-headed person in this story, and I like my characters who know what they’re doing, and more importantly, who are both kind and strong.
As I mentioned before, this is a really thick book, so a LOT happens. Several plot twists, plenty of room for character growth, as well as introducing different snippets from well known fairy tales. What I was really happy about was that it wasn’t JUST fairy tales–there were a lot of myths and stories involved too! There was one particular thing that got me excited: there’s a character in the School of Evil called Ravan. I don’t personally know much about Hindu mythology, but I definitely got the allusion to Ravana, especially when it came to his character performing his talent. That little tidbit got me super excited, because YAY FOR DIVERSITY!
A bewitching story of two girls trying to understanding who they really are, The School for Good and Evil was a phenomenal debut that left me yearning for more. Soman Chainani skilfully refines popular fairy tales and tropes into a remarkable novel that is unlike any other. If I didn’t have A World Without Princes on my shelf, I would have surely gone mad with the anticipation of having to wait for the next book. The School for Good and Evil is definitely one of my favourites this year: it's innovative, it's dazzling, and it’s bound to enchant readers from start to finish.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sarah from HarperCollins International for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I decided to review this one before I reviewed Every Day, because of chronological order. After finishing Every Day, which I loved immensely, I delved into this extra short-story featured at the back of the book. I don’t think it matters whether you read it before or after Every Day, but reading it after, after learning so much about A’s day-to-day life, it’s an interesting glimpse into A's life before meeting Rhiannon.
The process is repetitive yet different day-to-day. This short collection travels through various stages of A’s life, from age ten to seven to sixteen. It’s absolutely beautiful and saddening to see the different lifestyles these children lead, with parents who love them and parents who are strict, to birthdays to just normal days. The last chapter of this collection was definitely the best, and I loved seeing the struggle that A is put through, particularly when it comes to the people who love the person A has inhabited.
This, being a novella, was a super short read, and I loved it, because after the gorgeousness that was Every Day, this was a much needed extra. Reading this made me feel even sadder than I did after reading Every Day, just because of how ephemeral A’s experiences seem to be. I can’t wait to dig into Another Day! ...more