I have been looking forward to this book ever since I finished TITHE, and Holly Black most definitely does not disappoint. IR...moreReviewed for TeensReadToo
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I finished TITHE, and Holly Black most definitely does not disappoint. IRONSIDE picks up soon after the events in TITHE and VALIANT, and takes the reader on another breathless journey into the amazing and deadly world of Faerie.
Things have been uneasy ever since Roiben assumed the throne of the Unseelie Court, and with the threat of war in the air and Roiben's coronation drawing near, everyone is on edge. Changeling Kaye Fierch knows that she loves Roiben, but she feels increasingly unwelcome and out of place in the Unseelie Court. So the night of the coronation, determined to prove herself to Roiben and the rest of the court, she makes a formal declaration and pledges herself to him as his consort. However, faerie custom demands that a quest be undertaken before anyone can sit as the Lord's consort, and Roiben grants Kaye an impossible task: to find a fairy who can tell an untruth. Now she is forbidden from seeing or speaking to him until she completes something she knows cannot be done.
Kaye doesn't know where to go, because she has been feeling uncomfortable at home as well, knowing that she stole a human child's life. In a moment of desperation, she tells her mother the truth: that she is a changeling that was switched with Ellen's real daughter, the real Kaye, and she vows to retrieve her from the Seelie Court and return her to Ellen. She feels that this, at least, is something she can do, even if there's no way she can complete Roiben's quest.
But with all the tension between the courts there is nowhere safe, and in venturing into the Seelie Court to find her human counterpart, Kaye puts herself within reach of Lady Silarial. Silarial wants Roiben's throne, and she's willing do anything, including use Kaye, to get it. Once again Kaye finds herself in the middle of Faerie politics, but this time Roiben's not there to save her, and she may not have a way out.
In my personal experience it is rare that a sequel ever lives up to the first book, but IRONSIDE does just that. Full of court rivalry, deception and betrayal, sword fights and murder, faerie curses, new romances, and even characters from VALIANT, IRONSIDE is another wonderful foray into the dark, gritty world of Faerie and will not leave readers disappointed. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you pound your pillow in frustration and clap your hands in delight. My one and only complaint is that this is the last book set in this amazing world.(less)
Initial thoughts: I'm having a lot of trouble being coherent right now and not just a giggling, grinning, squeeing mess. <3
Full review (can also be...moreInitial thoughts: I'm having a lot of trouble being coherent right now and not just a giggling, grinning, squeeing mess. <3
Full review (can also be found on my blog From A to Z):
This has been by far one of my most highly anticipated novels for the last several months. Ever since finishing Anna and the French Kiss I was ready to jump right back into another Stephanie Perkins masterpiece, and I’m so happy to say that Lola and the Boy Next Door does not disappoint. At all. I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Everything about it is wonderful: the fun and quirky cast of characters (including the reappearance of two of our favorites from Anna and the French Kiss *happy squeal*), the setting of San Francisco (which I was lucky enough to visit for the first time earlier this summer), and a heartwrenching and smile-inducing story of old misunderstandings, teenage longing, and childhood friends finally falling in love (which caused a lot of excited squeaking and happy sighing on my part).
Just like in Anna, the supporting characters are all fantastic and made me wish the book was ten times longer so we could get to know each of them better. Lola’s two dads are such wonderful fictional parents; supportive and loving, yet firm and protective too. Even Calliope, though pretty unlikeable at first, ended up being quite an intriguing character, and I’m really looking forward to the possibility of seeing her (and others!) in the next book, Isla and the Happily Ever After.
Lola herself is fantastic, of course, and her fashion sense is SO FUN. She’s like a young, slightly toned-down Lady Gaga. And even though I could never BE her (the time and effort it must take her to get dressed every day! I’m exhausted already!), I absolutely loved reading about it. We could totally be friends.
Although if we WERE friends, we would definitely get in a fight over Cricket, that’s for sure. Oh my gosh, you guys, THIS BOY. Cricket is quirky and sweet and geeky and awkward and adorable and I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Watching him long for Lola made my heart hurt (Psst, take me instead, Cricket!). One of the things I loved about Anna was how REAL it was, how realistically Etienne acted and how beautifully their friendship unfolded. Somehow, Stephanie has managed to kick it up a notch in the “real” department with Lola. Cricket is so real. And kind of perfect. He’s the kind of guy I would love to date. He’s the kind of guy I would love my daughter to date (I don’t have a daughter yet, FYI). Plus, he’s TALL. Like, really tall. (Sorry Etienne.)
It’s not that I don’t love my paranormals, but sometimes you just want to read a story that could actually HAPPEN. A story where you can shamelessly insert yourself into Cricket’s arms and know that it could be real life. Something sweet, painful, romantic, awkward, heartbreaking, and totally swoonworthy. The joy in reading this book isn’t in the mysterious love interest, the main character discovering she is a (insert supernatural creature here), or the shocking twist at the end, it’s in the sweet little moments that make you smile and sigh with happiness. It’s in bridges built between windows and conversations with the moon. And it has completely stolen my heart.
Reading Lola and the Boy Next Door was seriously the most fun I’ve had in ages. I literally had to put it down several times while reading so I could get up and do a crazy dance around the room because I was so giddy. I’m pretty sure there were happy squeaking noises coming from my room the whole time.
In addition to the adorableness of Cricket, a considerable amount of these fangirl reactions was thanks to Anna and St. Clair, who are in the book as actual characters, not just cameo appearances (yay!). There were several tiny little references to things from Anna and the French Kiss, which made me sooooo happy, and after casting several adoring glances at my copy of Anna on the shelf, it eventually just moved to the bed with me. Let me tell you, Lola, Anna and I had an AWESOME party.
I absolutely cannot wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After, although having to leave all these fantastic characters for the final time is going to be heartbreaking. If I could live in a fictional series it would totally be this one (except that all the awesome guys are already taken! :P Stephanie, write my life, please? Kay, thanks.).
Oh, and the best thing about Lola and the Boy Next Door? *points upwards* Check out that release date! IT’S OUT TODAY, PEOPLE! What are you waiting for? You don’t want another minute to go by without reading this book.(less)