Welcome to the Tearling. Our new fictional home in the THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING trilogy. The setting is quite a puzzle for readers to figure out in tWelcome to the Tearling. Our new fictional home in the THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING trilogy. The setting is quite a puzzle for readers to figure out in the beginning. Set in the future, the story appears dystopia. Still it also had many medieval and historical influences. I'm sure that I would have enjoyed this book more hadn't there been the constant irritation about the clashing futuristic and historical feels to it.
The story starts at a cottage in Reddick forest where the future queen of the Tearling has been kept save for all her life. Now it's time to take the journey to the castle and claim her birthright. This journey supplies readers with action-packed pursuits and many new dark characters Kelsea meets along the way. We are provided with a map of the Tearling which makes it a lot easier to follow Kelsea's way.
THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING is told from multiple perspectives. There is of course Kelsea who is our main narrator. You even slip inside the antagonistic Red Queen's head and experience her view on the impending war between the Tearling and Mortmesne. You can expect violence and strong language.
It's very hard to figure out where the story is headed romance-wise. There are hints at a future love story for Kelsea. And if Kelsea falls for one certain character known as the Fetch it promises to become a very dark romance since he's a complete enigma and appears more dangerous than amiable. At first Kelsea herself proved to be quite difficult to like. She had very low self esteem and many issues with her body, always talking about how unlikable she was and how beautiful other people were in comparison. So that means she has still a lot of growing-up to do. One of her big trials is to figure out her opinion on the slave trade that has been happening in her kingdom for years. Lazarus, her Queen's guard captain, was by far my favourite character of the story since he was always so sure of himself and very protective of Kelsea.
3/5 *** THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING - A dark and twisted new series where dystopia meets historical fiction and no one is safe, especially not the future queen.
When I first picked up Erika Johansen's debut novel I found the detailed and very descriptive writing immensely slowing down my reading progress. It was only until I was halfway through the four hundred plus pages that the story picked up pace and I clicked with the characters. I'm definitely reading the sequel to this promising first book in the THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING series. ...more
First impression: Unique story approach and a protagonist worth getting to know better. Holly Bourne introduces us to Bree, a quiet girl who is very iFirst impression: Unique story approach and a protagonist worth getting to know better. Holly Bourne introduces us to Bree, a quiet girl who is very intelligent and withdrawn. Soon she's going to change radically. In the beginning she has a fantastic relationship with her best friend Holdo. They watch movies together and hang out. They have a very trusting and intimate friendship that makes both their lives so much brighter. It is a friendship that I recognized as something very important for Bree's story. One that could've worked against the mean girl streak she's developing at some point. Unfortunately, Holly Bourne allowed Bree to completely neglect the great support I saw in their friendship and ditch Holdo for her fake new life.
Second glance: I can honestly say that I didn't like Bree anymore once she was caught in her plan to become popular at all costs. And all for the cause of her own curious social research for her writing. Her goal is to seduce Hugo and become friends with his girlfriend and their clique in order to observe their life and analyse their ways of being interesting and popular. I hated that everythigng was kind of an experiment for her and that she didn't really want to change her life the way she did because she wanted to live it that way. It all felt kind of fake and I couldn't but cringe at the sure future outcome and the unfairness towards the people she was deceiving.
What could've saved Bree's story for me wasn't present. A romance that I could enjoy and get lost in. In all her confusion and revenge I was hoping for Bree to find a person who would be so good for her that she could finally accept herself. Her relationship to her teacher is an prominent part of the story in order to distinguish and show readers the difference between fake and real Bree. But sadly I'm no big fan of reading about student teacher romances. Don't you find them kind of irritating, too?
Still, sometimes I even found myself engaging in Bree's transformation and hoped for the popular kids to actually like her so that she could establish an honest and kind friendship with them. Her manifesto changes the relationship to her parents as well and especially the bond between mother and daughter. The family part of Bree's story was probably my favourite because it was the one most real and emotional. Holly Bourne's writing was skillful and that's why I'll definitely read her debut novel SOULMATES soon.
3/5 *** THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING - A very delicate thought experiment for every reader!
THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING explores the depths of a teenager's feelings of failure and unacceptance. How important is popularity and success for a young adult? And how much is someone willing to sacrifice of what's been good in his or her life if they can get something supposedly better? Would you be willing to hurt the people you love in order to reach that goal? ...more
Everyone who's read my review of SHADES OF EARTH, the last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, knows I'm a huge fan of all three books in Beth ReEveryone who's read my review of SHADES OF EARTH, the last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, knows I'm a huge fan of all three books in Beth Revis' debut series. Since the end of SHADES OF EARTH I have been craving a sequel to Amy and Elder's story and wanting to know how life on earth looked like after so many years spent on the Godspeed. In THE BODY ELECTRIC Beth Revis gave us the chance to learn more about what happened to our planet after Amy left it in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when Beth asked me to review her newest book. I admire her for writing this story and for deciding to publish it on her own!
THE BODY ELECTRIC is set some time in the 2300s and comes along as part sci-fi, part dystopia. You'll definitely recognize a few details and elements from the AtU trilogy, the Godspeed and its story is a legend now. I loved that!
As much as I was looking forward to get to know Ella and Jack and the world they are living in, I was beginning to notice that some components of the story weren't quite working for me. If you know how brilliantly Beth Revis' previous books are written you'll notice that this story still could've used some fine-tuning and polishing. This is a problem due to lack of thorough editing. All chapters are pretty short, spanning only a few pages, which I appreciate in a book.
Beth's narration in THE BODY ELECTRIC often provides very vivid images and gory details. I certainly wouldn't describe these bloody details as YA inappropriate, but definitely not very appealing for a reader like me who had been looking forward to a more romantic story. I had expected the major part of the story to revolve around Ella and Jack and their romance. I didn't need the entire focus to be on it, but I would've wished for more intimacy and emotional attachment between the two. Because the moments they had were great!
Furthermore, I wasn't entirely comfortable with the character cast Beth Revis chose for her THE BODY ELECTRIC because I was convinced it wasn't as rich and varied as it could have been to provide the background for a thrilling and riveting story. In addition, dystopian Malta, only confused me more than it worked toward an exotic choice of a setting. But I can also imagine that many readers will find the dystopian city of New Venice interesting to explore. Bonus points for the map of New Venice on the first pages of the book. Also there sure will be many fans of the discourse between humans and robots. The mind and feelings of a living, breathing individual versus those of a machine, technically constructed and programmed.
Whereas the overall picture of THE BODY ELECTRIC didn't ultimately made me see this book as a perfect companion novel to Beth's previous books, I noticed that her eye for detail and technical innovations was as sharp as ever. She has the writing magic to conjure a stunning future world!
3/5 *** THE BODY ELECTRIC - A slightly flawed harmony between character cast, setting and editing work make for an average YA sci-fi read. Yet, many readers will find it thought-provoking and visionary!
This story is a possible treat for many ACROSS THE UNIVERSE fans. But notice that you don't have to have read Beth's previous trilogy to enjoy Ella and Jack's story. I can honestly say that even if I didn't enjoy THE BODY ELECTRIC quite as much as I had hoped I would, I would always support Beth Revis' writing and encourage readers (especially those who are new to the genre and are hesitant about picking up a sci-fi story) to read her books! ...more
Knowing WRITTEN IN THE STARS would explore two different future scenarios, I was sure I wanted to make Ali Harris' new book one of my summer reads thiKnowing WRITTEN IN THE STARS would explore two different future scenarios, I was sure I wanted to make Ali Harris' new book one of my summer reads this year. And I didn't have to wait long until the present line of action slipped into the two possible future scenarios. It's Bea's wedding day and she is a beautiful bride, happy with her life. Or is she...happy? When her teenage love Kieran shows up in church, Bea slips and everything goes black. It's at this point that something changes and her life parts into two alternate strings of possibilities.
One path would be her walking down the aisle to marry her intended Adam. What would their life as newly weds be like? But what if she decided to be the runaway bride and find out that not Adam is her perfect match but Kieran? It's about the past and the future. The two men in her life. Adam or Kieran. The one who left Bea for eight years when he promised to be back in one. And the one who promised to spent the rest of his life with her and never left. In the big picture Bea's story is about who she belongs with. Depending on her choice at the altar, every other aspect of her life is under the influence of fate. Bea's job, her friends, her love life, the past of her family and her missing her dad are all factors of importance. Mentions of tragic events in Bea's past made me so deperately want to find out what happened back then to Bea and Kieran. Maybe you think judging from the tone the story was told, you might know which path Bea picks or which guy she'd end up with, but you don't. I was surprised at how her story ended.
Sometimes when the perspectives changed from one chapter to the next, it was a bit tricky to differentiate between the two and there was an initial confusion. Am I reading about Bea Hudson (married to Adam) now or Bea Bishop (still single and figuring out her relationship to Kieran)? But Ali Harris did her best to give us hints in form of social media status updates in the beginning of every chapter. Really liked that contemporary social media detail to Ali's new book.
As mentioned before, Bea's past and her relationship to her father is one key element factoring into her decision in front of the altar. Usually, I'm very into stories with strong focus on familiar bonds, but I just couldn't stand the parts of the story that had to do with Bea's father. Of course there was meaning behind his disappearance when she was only a child, but the whole explanation and his letters to younger Bea in between chapters were just too tedious and absolutely annoying.
Readers fluent in the language of flowers will be delighted that Bea has a green thumb. Ali Harris has a thriving imagination and I was amazed about all the floral metaphors she could think of. I'm really into gardening and was delighted by Bea's passion for everything green. I especially enjoyed the garden planning projects Bea described, like her very own relaxing rooftop garden in London. Bea's new drive in her career life is purely motivational for every reader, too.
4/5 **** WRITTEN IN THE STARS - An invigorating and cosmic new chick lit novel that promises a warm and flowery reading experience.
WRITTEN IN THE STARS is the first book by Ali Harris that I read. She's become an author I don't want to miss a single future book of. In the acknowledgements Ali Harris tells us that writing her new book was so hard. As it is a story that works with many parallels and alternate outcomes of even small decisions. It's a very complex book and a story that shows how much thought and creativity went into plotting WRITTEN IN THE STARS. ...more
Lizzy Spellman is one of the funniest chick lit girls I've had the pleasure to accompany on her disastrous journey to happiness. We clicked on the firLizzy Spellman is one of the funniest chick lit girls I've had the pleasure to accompany on her disastrous journey to happiness. We clicked on the first page when Lizzy is in this aweful costume and is called on stage to sing karaoke in front of a horde of wedding guests and get dumped by her boyfriend. And then a YouTube video of the whole scene goes viral. What a terribly awkward start to the story! Of course I was instantly hooked and couldn't wait to find out what else Ellie Adams had planned for her heroine.
Lizzy and Elliot are not your typical adorable chick lit couple. He's a grump. She is disappointed in men after being dumped in front of a huge crowd. The two are pretty different characters. Elliot is always disapproving and hesitant at letting people into his life, whereas Lizzy is bubbly and outgoing. You think Lizzy can break his shell?
IT HAD TO BE YOU is like a quick-witted and modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. He seems so rude and unapproachable at first and Lizzy is instantly convinced that he's stuck up. Still, between misunderstandings and confusions a solid and beautiful friendship develops between the two. Their friendship makes up a good part of the story until they finally get a chance to test their romantic feelings for each other. Which was a welcome change to the love stories that feel too intense too fast. I could really use a sequel to the story so that I can find out what happens next in Lizzy and Elliot's love story. Friendship in general is a brilliant aspect of this book. Poppet and Nic are Lizzy's best friends. And they are such fun friends who made the story a much more enjoyable read. As much as you want a happy ending for Lizzy, you want it for her friends, too.
Like many others of my favourite chick lit books IT HAD TO BE YOU is set in London. This very urban and colorful setting holds so many possiblities. One of them is Lizzy working in PR. And the PR work was hilarious. Usually, I'm not very into reading so much about what characters are doing at work every day, but Lizzy's job experiences really gave the book an uplifting and warm spirit. Lizzy's work scenes were probably my favourite part of her story. I couldn't count how often I texted a friend to share the hilarious jokes. They are too good not to be shared!
4,5/5 ****/* IT HAD TO BE YOU - This has to be it, your next chick lit read!
Lizzy Spellman is a character you want to meet. She's funny. She's lively. And I could relate to her really well. Lizzy's awkward and hilarious situations, and secondary characters with actual, outstanding personalities make IT HAD TO BE YOU an especially memorable read. I read Ellie Adams' new book in one sitting while on vacation. ...more
Callum, our protagonist, is such a kind and lovely boy. He is also a lonely boy. That is, until his life changes radically when he is accepted into thCallum, our protagonist, is such a kind and lovely boy. He is also a lonely boy. That is, until his life changes radically when he is accepted into the Magisterium, the one place on earth he's always wanted to avoid at all costs. He has a disability and has been an outsider all his life. So even if he didn't want to attend the new school, this opportunity means a new start for him. It's his chance to make new friends and prove the world that he can be good at something, maybe even the best. The character of Callum is a character who represents all the kids who are struggeling with a disability themselves. He shows that many things are possible when you believe in yourself. Call will encourage many readers to be as brave as he is.
Together with his new friends Aaron and Tamara, Call introduces readers to a new generation of magic apprentices at the Magisterium. THE IRON TRIAL kind of reminded me of the Harry Potter world. Yet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's book has so many bewitching peculiarities that are solely Magisterium-made that you can't but think of it as its own magical world. I'm sure many readers will enjoy this new and different brand of magic.
The three kids are only getting to know the Magisterium and its rules. As part of their apprenticeship Callum and his friends are presented with little tasks and small missions to develop their magic skills. They are mostly harmless missions, so the story comes along less adventurous than expected. It is a very innocent kind of magic the kids are practicing. And they are learning to control the elements with the help of their mentors. Despite the big author bonus and the friendship story that works great I am not fully content with the rather slow pace of the story. The introductory part was longer than necessary and it was a while until I felt at home in the Magisterium.
This Middle Grade read is suitable for younger readers. The friendship part of the story is very important. Cassandra and Holly go into detail how such a strong bond of friendship between Callum, Tamara and Aaron develops over time and how trials are mastered together. I really like this wizard trio!
3,5/5 ***/* THE IRON TRIAL - Readers all over the world will fall in love with Callum's story of bravery, magic and friendship!
Two beloved authors of mine teamed up to write a new magic school series, and now that I know there will be five books in this series I am an even happier reader. Clare and Black's writing is rich in detail and very strong in creating lovely atmospheric background settings to every chapter. I would recommend THE IRON TRIAL to younger readers but older fans of magic schools will definitely get their money's worth, too. ...more
Harper and Penn's story is one that tells how opposites attract each other. Lauren Barnholdt's newest book is told from his and her perspective. ChaptHarper and Penn's story is one that tells how opposites attract each other. Lauren Barnholdt's newest book is told from his and her perspective. Chapters read fast and easily, which I liked just fine. When I hear about a new novel by Lauren Barnholdt I'm always excited about the story and can't wait to read it, but in the end it's just not enough. With its cute premise THROUGH TO YOU sounded like the kind of story fans of Simone Elkeles or Katie McGarry could be interested in. But as always with Lauren's books, the characters didn't feel as forthcoming, well-rounded or with enough emotional depth as they could've been. But don't get me wrong, Harper and Penn's love story is cute and I guess theirs is the one that I liked best out of Lauren's stories.
3/5 *** THROUGH TO YOU - Penn and Harper are Lauren Barnholdt's cutest couple so far!
I like that Lauren Barnholdt's books always make for a fast and light read with a little morale lesson or emotional or personal conflict solved. I will keep reading her books even though I fear I won't ever be completely satisfied by them. Maybe if I just accept that, I can hopefully enjoy them more in the future....more