You know those books that leave you without words? Books that are so utterly beautiful that you’re stunned into silence? This is one of those books.
You know those books that leave you without words? Books that are so utterly beautiful that you’re stunned into silence? This is one of those books. I honestly don’t even know where to begin or what to say that can possibly explain how amazing The Raven King was. This is the final book in The Raven Cycle, and this whole series has been one of the best written YA series that I’ve read. I’m going to keep things spoiler-free in this review, but I will have a discussion video on my channel very soon to talk about everything, and I mean Every. Little. Detail.
Let’s start with the characters. These characters, oh my god. I love them so much. It’s been a joy to see them develop over the course of the series, and whilst they’ve been faced with many heart-breaking situations, they’ve worked through their difficulties together and remained the strongest of friends. The heart of this series really is the friendship between the boys and Blue, and I’m so happy that it’s stayed that way.
Ronan Lynch is my favourite in this series (and one of my all-time fave fictional characters) so I was thrilled that a large part of the plot focused on him and his dreaming-abilities. One of the biggest plot twists appears courtesy of him right at the end of chapter 21, and I literally had to put the book down because although it made perfect sense, I hadn’t suspected it at all.
We finally got to see the slow-burning romantic relationships fully develop, and oh boy it was worth the wait. I can’t even begin to describe how much I adore the way Maggie has built the romance throughout this series. There is a huge amount of YA that is marketed on the romantic side of the story, but these books don’t need to rely on that. We’re given little glimpses here and there amongst everything else that’s going on in the plot, so that when the romance finally does happen after all of the tension, it’s completely breath-taking. FYI, I’m still not over chapter 39, and will probably never be over chapter 39.
The style of writing throughout this book is simply gorgeous. There are so many passages that I adore, particularly with regards to how the characters are feeling. Maggie focuses a lot on their thoughts and it helps us feel more connected to individual characters.
The final few chapters are packed full of emotion. Without saying too much about what happens, I can tell you that my heart broke repeatedly and I couldn’t see the pages through my tears. However, I am thrilled with the way this series has been wrapped up, and the epilogue was sheer perfection. I can’t help but feel proud of these characters!
As I said at the start, words can’t quite do justice to how I feel about this book, and this series as a whole. Although it’s sold as a quest to find a hidden King, The Raven Cycle is about much more than that. It’s so characters driven and full of magical storytelling, exploring mythology and various different themes. Finally I’d like to thank Maggie Stiefvater for creating this beautiful world and the characters in it. I guess all that’s left to say is, that’s all there is....more
There are four major issues I have with this book:
1. When I sat down to start reading the other morning, I only intended to read for a little while. IThere are four major issues I have with this book:
1. When I sat down to start reading the other morning, I only intended to read for a little while. I had other things I needed to be doing. However, when I next looked at the clock, I realised that the ‘little while’ had turned into hours. It left me wanting to scold my bladder for needing a toilet break, and glare down at my growling stomach for needing me to put the book down for lunch.
2. My heart says I love this book, but my eyes, stinging from lack of sleep, would hugely disagree. They really didn’t appreciate being forced to stay open until 3am when they needed to reopen at 7am that morning.
3. I am now suffering from the nightmare we call ‘book hangover’. Do I have other books in my ‘to-read’ pile? Yes. Do I want to pick them up right now? No. Why is that, you ask? Because their pages do not contain the beautiful world within Uprooted, and Agnieszka and the Dragon are nowhere to be seen. AND I MISS THEM SO MUCH ALREADY.
4. This book is one of those books. You know the ones, a book that is so awesome you actually struggle to summarise the awesomeness into a review. Now I have to try and find something to say that’s a little more informative than just ASDFGHJKL;
But I’ll try.
This is enchanting fantasy at its best. It takes fairy-tale elements that we know, and twists them into something new and exciting. The writing is truly gorgeous. The characters emotions are demonstrated beautifully and the action scenes are captivating. There is a creepy darkness to this story in the form of the Wood. I was completely sucked into the horror within it, desperate to know why it was there, and what it was doing.
What I also loved was the fact that it’s a stand-alone novel. Fantasy so often comes in the shape of a trilogy or more, so it was refreshing to read a book that gives a complete story with a satisfying conclusion.
What else do I need to mention? THE CHARACTERS. Seriously, the characters in this book are just so brilliant. Agnieszka was feisty when she needed to be, and I loved her coming-of-age journey. Her friendship with Kasia is touching, and the scenes that the pair shared were packed with emotion.
The Dragon was a fascinating character. The idea of him coming to the valley every ten years to take a young girl away intrigued me from the start. I loved how mysterious and cold-hearted he was in the beginning. He made me want to reach into the book and shout at him myself a lot of the time. But then I enjoyed getting to know more about his life, and understanding why he acts in the way that he does. I also loved how Agnieszka comes to challenge him rather than fear him. There was humour in the way he clearly didn’t know how to react to her attitudes and stubbornness.
The relationship between Agnieszka and the Dragon was well developed. Sometimes I find myself a little disappointed in the romantic elements of fantasy, because it can easily take away from the story itself. But the romance in this book adds to the story beautifully. There were no cringe-worthy moments. The tension between the two of them was unbearable at times, and leaves you eager for further scenes between them. And there was just the right amount of *ahem* steaminess.
Everything from the Prince, the politics, the Wood, and the corruption is compelling to read about. It's a world that is well built for getting completely drawn in to. This is no Disney-style fairy-tale. It’s dark, it’s violent, and it will drag you through the wars within it. But it’s also beautiful, and magical, and thought-provoking, and everything you want from a fantasy story.
It is so difficult to not spoil anything here because I’m desperate to talk about all of it. It consumed my life for the couple of days I was reading, and by the end it felt like I had returned home from the same epic journey as the characters. I just hope I've said enough to ensure that you read this book for yourself, so you can fall in love with it as I have.
This story follows David and Leo as they form an unlikely friendship after Leo transfers to Eden Park School. David was a girl born inside a boy’s body, and the only two people who know about it are his two best friends. He wants to tell his parents but doesn’t know how to. He assumes that they think he is is gay, and have been waiting for him to tell them so, but he doesn’t know how to explain to them that he’s not gay. He’s actually a straight girl.
When the school’s bully gets hold of the notebook David uses to write about the changes happening to his body, Leo steps in to help. When the pair end up in detention together, they slowly start to get to know each other more.
Heart-warming, witty, and full of brilliant characters, I completely fell in love with The Art of Being Normal. The characters and events throughout the story are believable and beautifully written. Both protagonists had their own individual voice and personality, and the scenes between them were wonderful to read.
The character progression of both Leo and David was perfectly executed. I loved watching them grow throughout each chapter. This isn’t just a book about transgender issues; it’s about watching these characters develop and overcome their own personal problems and doubts.
I’m glad that David had his best friends, Essie and Felix, throughout the story. They were incredibly supportive of him, and it was good for him to have people to share everything with. Leo, on the other hand, is reserved to begin with and doesn’t have any desire to find close friends, so it was great seeing him slowly open up to David and finally learn that friendship isn’t a bad thing.
Leo’s story was fantastically written. Williamson has a great way of conveying the emotions that run through the minds of the characters and I feel she did this exceptionally well with Leo. When we finally find out what event happened in Leo’s past for him to have to move schools, I had to fight back the tears. It broke my heart, but it was so important to read.
There is a lot I would like to say about different parts of this book, but I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone! Just know that it now owns a little piece of my heart. As well as showing readers a glimpse at the struggles these characters have to face, this story is also packed with humour, hope, and beautiful moments that will stay with us long after the last page.
It’s also a fantastic example of good UKYA, and I can’t wait to see what else Lisa Williamson has in store. There was a lot of buzz online about this book before I read it, and now I see why. It’s a story that does live up to the hype. I’m excited to see more and more readers pick it up and fall in love with the characters as I did.
*I used male pronouns in regards to David in this review because they are used within the book.*...more
10AM on a Sunday morning. I decided to have a few minutes of reading time with my coffee. Just a few minutes. The next time I looked at the clock, it was 3:15 in the afternoon. How on earth did that happen?
There is nothing dull about this story. Set in the wonderfully created land of Lormere, it’s a tale of Kings and Queens, of killings and curses, and of love and betrayal. It has everything to offer, and delivers it all.
Our protagonist is Twylla; a girl blessed by the Gods, and can kill a person by mere touch. She is known and feared by everyone as the embodiment of Daunen, daughter of the Gods. Because of her ‘gift’, she is to marry the prince, because he can survive her deadly touch.
I liked Twylla pretty much straight away. I loved her narration of the story, and the descriptions of her emotions were written beautifully. I was rooting for her from start to finish. She wasn’t perfect, she made mistakes, and her judgement wasn’t always on point, but that only made her more endearing as a character. I was happy to see her develop and grow stronger as she learnt more about herself and the people around her.
The two guys in the story, Prince Merek and Lief, are both fantastic characters. I sympathised with Merek’s situation, and I desperately wanted things to work out for him. I get very easily fed up of love triangles in YA, and I usually have to fight the urge to roll my eyes whenever I inevitably read about it. But for some reason, I was totally okay with this one. It worked really well, and I liked the contrasting characters. The one small downer I had was that I thought there were a few too many kisses. I wish they’d been held back a little more, because they would have felt extra special if they were limited, you know? But that’s probably just me.
The story telling in this book is enchanting. I’m a total history geek, so even if it’s fictional history, I want to know about it. And this book gave it. I love how in-depth the story goes into the history of Lormere. Sometimes, chunks of backstory can be quite confusing, but this was explained beautifully. And I absolutely adored the whole Sleeping Prince story. I really liked how the characters kept going back to that simple tale, and I was so excited to see if there was something more to it than just a wild fairy-tale.
I pride myself on being able to spot plot twists and figure out mysteries quite easily. I usually have those triumphant ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ moments when reading most books. But not with this one, oh no. It was more a case of ‘WAIT, WHAT???’
The final few chapters were completely unputdownable. There are some wonderful twists and turns to compel you into keeping the book open. It pulled me out of the reading slump I’d been in since Christmas, and I don’t even want to admit how much caffeine I needed after a night of binge-reading this book. One thing’s for certain, I cannot wait to read more.
If you’re looking for a new thrilling adventure, then make sure this is the book you pick up next.
Also: Shoutout to Melinda for having the most entertaining acknowledgments. ...more
I completely adored Beckoning Light so naturally, I was totally excited to re-enter Energo in Perilous Light!
Book 2 picks up a year from were Beckoning Light ended. Charlotte has been trying to adjust to living a normal life without Calvin. Meanwhile, Kevin has gone off to college. But, of course, the time comes when the pair has to go back to the world of Energo.
I loved hearing Calvin's point of view in this instalment! It made me understand him more and gave me a chance to see both sides of his and Charlotte's relationship.
I also really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Kevin and Samantha. I think Samantha is a brilliant match for Kevin.
I do have to admit, I still favour Liam! (Can I keep him?) He is such a sweetheart and I think it's great that he has more importance in this book. I’m really excited to see how he develops in the next book.
There are even a few laugh-out-loud moments to be had in Perilous Light. Kevin comes out with some hilarious one-liner references:
‘With his long white beard and dark eyes, he looked like a textbook example of a wizard; all he needed was the hat. Less than five minutes into the meeting, I’d met Fabio and Dumbledore—the day was getting better and better.’
Perilous Light makes me want to have my own Guard, go fight the bad guys and help save Energo! This series is truly awesome and I can't wait to see how it all ends in the final book, Enduring Light!...more
It was ages ago when I first added The Selection to my To-Read list on Goodreads. The synopsis completely intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to read it! It’s safe to say that The Selection did not disappoint.
The Selection is a dystopian novel but not in the way most people think. I’d like to call is a sort of ‘Disney Dystopian’ if you catch my drift. It’s not all battles to the death, more like battles to the crown and the hot Prince. I think it's great to read a slightly lighter novel sometimes to have a break from all the serious and more murderous stories!
The love triangle in The Selection is fabulous! At the start of the book I was like:
“You need to be with Aspen. I love Aspen.”
Then halfway through the book I was like:
“Forget Aspen, you need to be with Maxon. I love Maxon.”
Then at the end of the book like:
“Oh I just don’t know anymore!”
The plot is genius. It really is like a royal version of The Bachelor – I’ve never read anything like it!
This is a fun read with hints of something darker being about to take place. I can’t wait to see where the story goes in the sequel, The Elite, due out next year. ...more
I’ve owned Angel for ages now but I just never seemed to get round to reading it sooner… I really wish I had! Angel follows Willow and Alex on the battle to save society from the Angels on earth who are feeding of humans.
The pace of the story if perfect and I adored how the point of view changed from Willow and Alex. Angel changes from first person to third person throughout the story and it totally adds an extra level of awesomeness to it. It gives you a chance to read about small things other characters are doing away from Willow and Alex. It really kept the story fresh.
The relationship between Willow and Alex developed throughout the book at a great pace. I loved the two of them going through the conflicting love/hate emotion stages. As far as guys in books go, Alex is up there with the best! The one thing that I didn’t like about their relationship was that some of the things they said to each other were just a bit cheesy and cliché at times.
The plotline itself is fantastic. It’s full of action and cliff-hanger moments that make you need to continue to the next chapter (even at 2am when I had to awake at 6am the next day).
I am so going to be reading the sequel, Angel Fire. ...more
Oh. My. Gosh. I actually couldn’t put this book down. I am not joking. I think it was surgically attached to my hand. Underworld was well worth the agonizing one year wait.
So, I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Underworld from one of Meg’s fabulous competitions. I was so excited to read it! This second instalment in the Abandon trilogy did not disappoint. The twists and turns throughout the book kept me up into all hours of the night trying to find out what was going to happen next.
Underworld gives a much better insight to the characters of John and Peirce. I loved getting to know more about John *swoon* because he was such a mysterious character in book one. We also get to see Peirce grow as a character. I loved how strong she became and how she was willing to stop at nothing to help her cousin Alex, who ends up in danger.
I loved the additional characters that we meet in this book. They add more excitement to life in the Underworld and they defiantly add to the overall story. I was also happy to see more of Mr Smith again because he’s such a sweet character!
The thing I adored most about this book was the progression of John and Peirce’s relationship. You get to see so much more of their feelings for each other throughout the story and how they overcome the issues they face. Some scenes made me need to go and open a window ‘cause they were, you know, HOT. And I love how Meg manages to keep some humour in all of her books, Underworld is no exception.
The ending is a bitch. Simply because it makes you need to read what happens next immediately! But, unfortunately, it’s going to be long wait! I’m so excited to see how this awesome story concludes next year. Be sure to grab a copy of Underworld when it hits bookshelves May 8th and if you haven’t read Abandon yet (how could you not???) then go read it! ...more
Beckoning Light is an epic adventure story. By the end of the first chapter I was completely hooked!
This novel sees siblings, Charlotte and Kevin, moving back to their childhood home in Charleston, where they discover a whole different world, literally! The story is told from both Kevin and Charlotte’s point of view. I was a bit unsure about the dual narrative at first but I completely grew to love both characters point of view.
Charlotte is a very relatable character. I loved how well she coped with being taken from the world she knew and just thrown head first into a totally different situation. She grows throughout the story and we see her change from being a quiet, shy fifteen year old into a confident and strong character.
I loved Kevin’s typical, protective big brother ways. The relationship between him and Charlotte was great and I found it really refreshing to get to read his point of view. I especially loved it when he was outraged by the fact that guys find his sister attractive!
I loved the relationship between Charlotte and Calvin – I just wished there was more of it! I found myself rooting more for Liam (the family friend) relationship wise simply because I felt like I knew more about him. It would be interesting to know more about Calvin and his background.
I need to mention Energo – I love the place! I adore novels with completely different worlds in them and I was totally sucked into Energo. I think it reminded me of Narnia in a way; it has the same magical feel to it. I can’t wait to re-enter Energo in the next book.
Beckoning Light is full of adventure, action and romance and I’m highly anticipating the sequel due out in spring next year! ...more
The Haunted picks up a little while after The Hollow ends. Abbey has been spending her summer at her Aunt's farm house where she has been getting psychological help from a doctor about her 'hallucinations'. Abbey is horrified to find out that she must return home early in order to give a speech at the opening of the new bridge that has been built in Kristen's memory. Abbey is terrified by the possibility of seeing Caspian again after she has spent weeks trying to convince herself that he does not exist.
When Abbey returns back home to Sleepy Hollow, she does indeed she Caspian once again. After a brief meeting outside her house, she lets herself decided that he is real and that this is not her imagination. Whilst learning to accept the fact that she is in love with a ghost, Abbey also has to be tutored in Chemistry by Ben due to her missing so much of school and has to work for her Uncle in his ice cream shop. With all of this going on, Abbey doesn't have much time to think about the mystery behind Kristen's secret boyfriend, D.
Abbey visits Caspian at the cemetery frequently and he starts to tell her more about his life as a ghost. When Abbey questions him about the fact that he was able to touch her once, Caspian tells her that he has discovered he can touch people on the date of his death, for 24 hours. Abbey makes Caspian accept the fact that she wants to be with him no matter what.
But of course, life isn't just that simple. When mysterious strangers with musical voices and freakish smells start appearing in Abbey's life, she discovers that there is more to her and Caspian's relationship and that she may be about to discover who was behind Kristen's death.
I loved The Haunted! I felt like the character personalities really shone through in this more than they did in The Hollow and Abbey really steps up as the Heroin. I really enjoyed Caspian's comical jealousy of Ben throughout the book and you really sense how desperately Abbey and Caspian want to be able to touch.
With a mega cliffhanger of an ending, I really can't wait to find out how it all ends in The Hidden (which is currently being shipped to my door courtesy of Amazon as we speak - hurray!). ...more
Okay, now that’s out of my system, let me review the book.
Nothing comes close to the awesomeness of The Mortal Instruments. I loved having the gang back in my life again and I almost cried my leg of when I had to leave them at the end of it. I can’t really put into words a review of City of Lost Soul because I just can’t stress enough how fantastic it is. So let’s just say that this is going to be more of a fan-girlish love-fest than an actual review!
City of Lost Souls picks up just after the ending of CoFA, in which Jace was taken by Sebastian. Clary and the others are determined to find him so they all go to some pretty extreme methods that even include Demons and Angels.
The plot of this book does not disappoint. It’s full of epic moments which will keep you reading until well into the night. There is never a dull moment in the world of the Shadowhunters.
The characters are as awesome as ever. I’ve got to admit, I love what Sebastian has brought to the story! He makes everything more exciting and creates a lot of tension filled moments. I felt so sad for Clary throughout the books in the moments when it hit home that the Jace she was with wasn’t really her Jace. I also loved the building of the relationship between Simon and Isabelle. I adore them together and it was great to read more scenes with the two of them.
I can’t gush enough about how much I love Magnus. He has to be one of the best book characters of all time – he’s just fabulous! The moments between him and Alec in City of Lost Souls were totally heart wrenching. I’m rooting for them all the way!
Then, of course, we get to Jace and Clary. Their story in this book completely broke my heart at times. There were so many emotional moments!
One of the many great things about City of Lost Souls is all the different perspectives we get to see the story from. There is more about the other characters like Jordan and Maia and it’s great to follow their side of the story for a bit.
I loved every page of this book and didn’t want it to end! It was even worse for me when I found out that book 6 won’t be released until 2014! Really? 2014??
I’m so excited to see how this series ends in City of Heavenly Fire but I also don’t want it to end! It will be a very bittersweet time when I finally get to read that book. ...more
Flawless is a modern and fun re-telling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story thats full of humour. The friendship between Sarah and Kristen is great and itFlawless is a modern and fun re-telling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story thats full of humour. The friendship between Sarah and Kristen is great and its a really feel-good story.
Another thing I loved about this book was the quotes about beauty at the start of each chapter. They are uplifting quotes that fit the story perfectly. This is a great summer read....more