This book is tough for me to review. I thought I liked it, but then I started to get irritated by it. I was hooked into this story of a girl who can o...moreThis book is tough for me to review. I thought I liked it, but then I started to get irritated by it. I was hooked into this story of a girl who can only tell the truth and must answer any question asked of her because she is an "oracle." There is a murder mystery and high school stuff and I liked the character. The writing is basic, straight-forward, just telling the story. However, I was frustrated because I figured out "whodunit" pretty early on, and I got really annoyed that the main character wasn't picking up on it. She seemed pretty smart, so I felt like she should've been picking up on more of the clues than she was. I also felt like the aspect of her going from being the school "freak" to all of a sudden having two of the most sought after guys in school vying for her seemed a little hard to believe (as far as why she wouldn't question it), and as a reader, it seemed so obvious to me which guy was the one who was more honest and better for her. And,ultimately, when I got to the end, I felt letdown. Not only because I knew who it had been all along, but when the suspense had been built this whole time, and the climactic moment comes, we only got another page and a half to wrap everything up. I felt cheated out of a full conclusion to the story. Most of that I could overlook (and imagine my students will), but my bigger issue was when it came to a scene where one of the boys was going to kiss Aria and she didn't exactly want it, but he kept pushing it. The concern I have is the message it sends, especially in light of all of the discussion lately on consent in relationships and any physical encounters, I hesitate because I didn't feel like there was enough of a repercussion or aftermath of her saying she wasn't sure and then him moving forward with it anyway in that particular scene. So because of that, I was made even more uncomfortable with the overall story. I can say though, when I was reading it in class and frustrated, I told a few of my 8th grade girls what I was frustrated with, and they all requested to be the first to read it when I was done.
*ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)
First Thought: I got to spend a little more time in Europe - the setting reigns in this book!
In STARRY NIGHTS Daisy Whitney has written an ode to arti...moreFirst Thought: I got to spend a little more time in Europe - the setting reigns in this book!
In STARRY NIGHTS Daisy Whitney has written an ode to artists and their famous artwork, to those who are well-loved and to those who just love to create. It instantly transports the readers to the streets of Paris, the museums housing the masters, and the heart of the pieces they lovingly created. It's a touch of whimsy, a touch of romance, a touch of friendships, a touch of secret underground societies, a touch of travel guide, a touch of art history, a touch of unrequited love, a touch of kisses, a touch of mystery, a touch of art heists, a touch of a tour of the greatest art museums around the world. The twisty bits as we uncover what is really going on as Garnier races to figure out how to fix these most famous art pieces before they are destroyed adds an element to the plot that kept me turning the pages. Some of my most favorite parts of the story were the after-hours in the museum with the artwork coming to life elements along with how real the setting became for me. I love Paris and Daisy Whitney transported me right back there with this novel. STARRY NIGHTS is a fun read with a sweet romance and a mystery to figure out that will keep readers intrigued and looking up artwork from the Masters. It's a bit Night at the Museum + Heist Society + some kind of romance story.
Final Thoughts: Daisy Whitney is one of my favorite authors, and STARRY NIGHTS doesn't disappoint. Although very different from her previous books, it's a whimsical read that I thoroughly enjoyed. (less)
I love Andrea Cremer as an author - her books are engaging and the sense of history and backstory you get from them is intriguing. I wasn't sure how I...moreI love Andrea Cremer as an author - her books are engaging and the sense of history and backstory you get from them is intriguing. I wasn't sure how I felt about steampunk, but it didn't distract me from the story of the characters in this novel, it enhanced and their journey. An alternate history from the standpoint of the British winning the Revolutionary War leads to a world built in a way that is unfathomable, but in the hands of Cremer, becomes a stark reality. I can't wait to find out what happens next!(less)