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Tell the Wind and Fire

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In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

360 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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About the author

Sarah Rees Brennan

71 books5,077 followers
Sarah Rees Brennan is Irish and currently lives in Dublin. She's been writing YA books for more than ten years, which is terrifying to contemplate! She hopes you (yes you!) find at least one of them to be the kind of book you remember.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,963 reviews294k followers
April 6, 2016
“When the power of Light and Dark was discovered, the world was transformed. There was no going back: the shine and shadow of magic swallowed the old world up.”

And poof! A whole magical world and system bursts into existence. How did they discover it? Why wasn’t it obvious that magic was around before? Does anyone know these answers? Because the book sure isn't giving them up.

Khanh and I have had comically different reactions to our 2016 reads. Every book I love, Khanh hates, and vice versa. So much so that she commented on it in her review of this book, challenging me to finally agree with her. I giggled to myself and prepared to continue the pattern - after all, unlike Khanh, I actually kind of love Dickens.


Let me be clear: my dislike for this book has nothing to do with Dickens. I like Great Expectations and Oliver Twist and, though it's not my favourite, A Tale of Two Cities (which this book is based on). In fact, this book might have been a lot better if it felt anything like a Dickens book.

Instead, it's yet another standard paranormal dystopian world that portrays simplistic societal divisions, a chaotic story line, and bland, forgettable characters. The story and pacing is so uneven and confusing, literally feeling like the author tried to cram a dense and complex classic into an extremely simplified outline. The result is a series of random events, lacking any cohesion.

It's a shame the novel doesn't live up to its exciting premise. It promises an alternate New York City, divided into two - the Dark City and the Light City. Lucie was born in the Dark half, but ended up earning herself a ticket out of there and into the Light City, along with fame and a hot boyfriend. But the people in the Dark City haven't forgotten her and a revolution is brewing among them.

I'm actually getting a little tired of this "societies in two opposing groups" trope. I keep reading it all the time. Red Queen is split into Reds and Silvers, Red Rising is split into Reds and Golds, Half Bad is split into Blacks and Whites (witches), and now this book is split into Dark and Light magicians. This singular division defines each society and, in every case, one group is the ruling class and the other is the prisoner and/or slave class - with a revolution on the way, obviously.

Living in a society that sees clashes based upon race, religion, colour, class, gender and sexuality, why would this kind of story be interesting? In reality, societies are built up of complex webs and intersecting lines of different people, with conflicting beliefs. "Group one" versus "Group two" seems incredibly boring in comparison.

I also have some issues with the writing, which reminds me of Lauren Oliver's later works. When it comes to books, the first things I care about are story and characters; pretty writing is a bonus, but not essential. In fact, most of the time I don't notice the writing quality unless it is a) particularly pretty, or b) particularly annoying. This one is the latter.

It's these forced, awkward, weird similes that do it:
“...his polite smile looked stretched at the edges, like rationed butter scraped over bread, as if he had only so much diplomacy in him.”

“It was as if time was a suitcase filled too full, about to burst and break."

Clearly this won't bother everyone, but it pulled me right out of the story.

But let me talk some more about the storytelling because it just staggers all over the place. The plot moves from the characters almost getting arrested to discovering the doppelgänger to Lucie and Ethan fighting to Lucie running around eating cupcakes with the doppelgänger to a drugs raid to Ethan being gone to revolution to... did you get lost? I did.

I spent a lot of the novel being unsure of just how the hell we got to where we were. I didn't understand the characters motivations for anything and suspect the author didn't really think about them. There's no build, no fluidity - just this happens, then this happens, then this happens.

And our first-person narrator is so in love with Ethan who is perfect, gorgeous, wonderful, amazing... and whose only visible personality resembles a wet mop.

I gave it an extra star for some interesting ideas and the character of Carwyn, who offers personality and comical scenes, but ultimately serves to add another cliche to the novel. Shame.

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February 12, 2016
I had Great Expectations going into this book, but unfortunately, I feel readers will have Hard Times finishing it, and Our Mutual Friend Emily May might agree with me. I'm sorry for the Charles Dickens puns. Who am I kidding lol? I'm totally not.

Confession time: I hate Dickens. I'm sure there are people who thinks Dickens is awesome. I'm sure that there are people who list his books among the greatest literary classics of all time. I ain't one of them.

I read his books when forced to, in high school. Or rather, I took a look at the book, said "fuck that shit" (I had a foul mouth back then, too) and read the Cliff Notes version. Had I kept any of them, I wouldn't be using them as doorstops because my door isn't big enough to need a doorstop of that size. I have no love for Dickens.

Ok, enough ranting, and onto this book. Sarah Rees Brennan is a great writer. I enjoyed her previous series, I loved her humor, I didn't like the love triangle, so her books have been a solid 3 for me. This book is vastly different from the Lynburn Legacy series, and that's not a good thing.

Oh my god, it was so boring. It was so confusing. I have no idea wtf I just read. It somehow managed to condense Dicken's convoluted plot into a tenth of the pages. That is no mean feat.

Sarah Rees Brennan's writing sparkled, that's the only saving grace in this book. The effervescent humor that was so prevalent in Lynburn is nowhere to be found here. Understandable, since this book is vastly different from that series, but the humor was what made Lynburn bearable despite its weaknesses, and there is no such salvation here.

A advanced copy of this book was given by the publisher for review.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,908 followers
February 1, 2016
A Tale of Two Cities re-told? So that sounded interesting. Through in some magic and I'm in.

New York is a very different town now. Magic has divided it. You have the Dark side, where Dark magic rules and the people are suppressed and watched. You have the Light side, where privilege and opulence rules.
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Lucie is a girl that now lives in the Light and practices Light magic with the help of her magic rings. She was born over on the Dark side so she has always been torn between the two sides. *gag* Lucie is a complete Vanilla girl and she happens to be all in lurve with one of the most powerful of all families descendants. They are coming back from somewhere one night when her boyfriend Ethan is accused of a crime. Someone steps in to save him and the truth comes out. Ethan has a doppelganger.
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Doppelganger's are illegal to make though since they are made from dark magic and they have no souls. Usually they are killed when they are created but Ethan's mom had stepped in to save his.
They take the 'evil twin' home with them to reward him for saving Ethan and realize that Ethan's powerful family is not too happy to see him.

So what does Lucie do? She sneaks him out and ends up being stupid. I have to admit. I found these characters pretty dang dull. Lucie just whines on and on about her past life and being caught between the light and dark. Her wonderful boyfriend Ethan...dull as shit.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Even the so called 'evil' doppelganger couldn't save the day.
We do head into one of the dreaded young adult territories in the book but I'm thinking I can sorta look over it since it was the whole "Tale of Two Cities" thing but I still am not a fan.
Palm Springs commercial photography

The book didn't end up as a one star because that last 20% of the book is actually pretty decent.
Now would I continue with a series of this? Heck no. I'm kinda done. The writing was good so I'll give this author another go but this one I could have missed out on and not been sad about.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review

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I like This review for this book. Go check it out. :D
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
Want to read
January 29, 2016
I actually don't understand the synopsis. Like at all...
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 71 books5,077 followers
May 3, 2016
All of Charles Dickens' parts were REALLY GOOD, but I'm not sure about that lady... I don't think people should trust her.
Profile Image for bibliophile (Romance Addict) .
170 reviews154 followers
April 1, 2016

4.5 "Tell the wind and fire to stop, but don't tell me." Stars!

I have noticed the bad ratings. The DNF reviews and status's. I was scared of going into this honestly. I mean who should blame me? I strengthened my heart and went into this expecting the worst. A book that would bore me to sleep. A heroine worth punching. And a story so cliched, it's not worth reading. As I started reading this, I noticed how much I was enjoying this book. The writing was good, and the story interesting. I can proudly say, this book has exceeded my expectations, and I loved every chapter of it. Except the last few pages because I couldn't help myself but sob.

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The story: This is a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities. It is very fair to the original story, but it has its own uniqueness. A very different setting, characters, twists, and hardships that only made this a book of its own. And as the original story, this book follows two cities. Dark and Light New York. The light city is full of twinkly fancy buildings. The Dark City is the shadow.

The story starts as Lucie and her boyfriend are stopped by the light guards while traveling back home. Ethan is accused of helping the rebels and charged with instant beheading. Carwyn, Ethan's doppelgänger steps out to save him. The story follows these three characters as they try to survive.

Happiness is self sabotage, a mean trick that your own mind plays on you. It makes you careless, makes you lose your grip, and once you lose your grip, you lose everything.

Characters: Lucie. She should be strong and a legend, but she isn't either. She's scared and reckless. I must admit, I liked her at times, and hated her at others. She wasn't like other heroine's in dystopian novel. She isn't fearless and has a set goal. She's lost, which made her feel real even though I hated her for being that way.

As for Ethan, I didn't like him that much.

But Carwyn? He's the one I rooted for. If you know me well enough, I love me some bad boys. And Carwyn was as bad as they could get. He was the bad boy you love to love because he's sarcastic, cute, honest at times, hides his feelings, and secretly cares. I just wish there was more of him in the book. *sigh*

"Carwyn, at this point, was smirking. "I like you. Can I put you on my list of demands?""


""I meant," I said, "where are you going on this train?"
"Same place you are," Carwyn said. "The Light City."
"What are you going to do when you get there?"
"Are you asking me out on a date?" asked Carwyn."Because your boyfriend's right here. Awkward.""

What I loved: Aside from
, I loved the magic part of the story. I really wanted the writer to go into more details about it, but it was a small part of the story.

The writing was excellent. Sarah Rees Brennan made me cry few times while reading this. I'm not talking about eye moist because that happens often with me. I mean full on crying with runny eyes and nose.

I also enjoyed the dystopian parts. The revolution. The bad government.

The strong relationships between the characters. I enjoyed this the most because there were no betraying and endless insignificant drama. It was all important problems that left an effect on the general plot.

What didn't work? The fast pace. By the end of the book, I felt like the book was too fast pace. I wanted it to slow down a bit, to describe in more details what happened to the two cities in more details. Afterward, I wanted to read more after the ending. I wanted to know what happened to the characters, to the cities.

In general, this was a great fast read. One of my favorite books, and Carwyn....

No seriously, I recommend everyone to read this book!! A mix of fantasy and dystopian in an awesome retelling. Definitely worth it!!

*An arc was provided generously in exchange of an honest review.*
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews987 followers
July 7, 2016
The problem of this book is that it has an amazing concept but poor development. I mean, come on, the idea of two cities - The Light city and The Dark city - relying on each other in order to survive is pretty awesome, and especially when human nature is involved and war between these cities is raging. How can anyone win when you need both cities to survive? That is a hint for us to prepare for a dark story full of suffering and hard decisions, where there's no heroes or villains and every side is the right one.
Light magic commands all things on this earth. So long as the sun burns in the sky, we rule the world.
All we need is the sun . . . and to be drained. The use of Light builds up in our blood, begins to be painful. It feels like burning in our veins, in the same way muscles burn when overstrained, but it does not stop there. If a Light magician is not drained, the pain gets worse. Eventually the magician will burn away from the inside out, bones turning to ash, and blood to flame.
Long ago, people used to drain patients’ blood with leeches to restore them to health, a barbaric ancient practice that did not work at all. Now the ancient lie has become truth. A practicing Light magician has to have their blood drained by a Dark magician. The more often we use magic, the more often we have to be drained. If we do not get drained regularly, we die.
They use our blood for power. But we need them in order to live.
That is why Dark magicians and all those whose families have produced Dark magicians live in Dark cities, rounded up and kept close to centers of Light, confined and controlled. We cannot afford to be without them.
We need them. That is the truth everybody knows and nobody speaks. That’s why we resent them and fear them and tell stories describing how they are evil, how they deserve all they get and we deserve all that we have.
People always hate those they rely on.

And add to this an existence of doppelgangers - creatures of dark magic, strongly feared by other people and banished to live in darkness or be destroyed for just existing. The moral question is in order as one of the main character is the doppelganger.
I’ve heard the process of making a doppelganger explained like this: Human souls are made of light. It is what makes people able to feel, to love and pity each other, and if there is an excess of light, it is what enables people to do Light magic. If a soul is slipping into the dark, the dark will give the light back . . . if the light gives the darkness form.
One goes into the shadow of death, but two come back: the real person, and the other, a creature made in the person’s image, but out of darkness.

And the book's gorgeous title; the story it comes from is heart-breaking:
“Do you remember the story of how they almost beat your grandfather to death when they found out he was practicing Dark magic in the Light city?” she asked.<...>
“That Grandma got in the way. She threw herself in front of him,” I answered, my voice a thread, barely hanging on. “Yes.”
“The mob caught him before he got to his house, and she saw him being beaten and went to run out into the road. Her family tried to stop her. They said, He broke the law, you mustn’t, there’s nothing you can do, think of your baby, stop, you can’t do it, please stop. And she said . . .” Aunt Leila prompted.
“Tell the wind and fire where to stop,” I answered. “But don’t tell me.”
“Would you stop?” Aunt Leila asked. “Or would you do what needs to be done?”

The complexity of the world-building is what made me continue reading it even when explanations stopped and angst began, I still believed all this hard work author did will somehow pay out. It didn't. The large part of the book we have whining and then some more whining. The MC Lucie who is the voice of this book just couldn't shut up and stop complaining how bad her life is, how good her pussy boyfriend is, how much she suffered, and how she failed others... I get it, girl, you fucked up, but I don't need to hear it over and over again. Give me action, give me this amazing world I was introduced to in the beginning. Where the hell it went? Dow the rabbit hole? We are supposed to have a story of revolution where none of the sides can win. How complex can it get? I think pretty high on the level of complexity. But Lucie and her drama totally destroyed anything precious this story had.
“Okay, Uncle Mark. So I have fairly liberal views, right? Me and my girlfriend from the Dark town, me and my whining about fair treatment and justice and free tiny pink unicorns for all. This military ball is going forward, even though we have blood, broken cages, and whispers in the streets. I talk and talk, but I don’t really do a damn thing, do I?

I think this quote can sum up all the action, or the lack of it. Not even promised unicorns were delivered.

As for the characters: we have Lucie, her rich boyfriend Ethan and his doppelganger Carwyn. Carwyn, oh dear boy, so sad you were used in this book and didn't get all the honor you deserved. You see, Lucie's boyfriend is dumb as fuck. He is sweet, gentle, caring and absolutely spineless. Lucie is in charge of everything. She loves her Ethan but practically calls him stupid, because he had some kind of a genteel upbringing and it's okay to be dumb, but gentle. No. We, readers, do not like such characters. We want complex. Lucie was running the whole time, confession over and over again how much she loves her Ethan and how she will never let anyone hurt him. Agh, boring!

“Anyone would love him, but I do not know if anyone could love him as much as I do.”

Special snowflake Ethan alert!

But, thank god, I had Carwyn to save me from breaking my jaw from extreme yawing. He is complex, he is dark, he has dubious morals, excellent sense of humor, self-irony and hot looks. Any day of the week I will prefer him to thousands of boring Ethans.

“You’re here to express your appreciation by proposing a kinky doppelganger ménage à trois? In which case, I’m going to have to turn you down. I’m sad to say it, but Ethan gives me the impression he’d be about as exciting in the sack as an eggplant.”

“Why did you do it?” Ethan asked suddenly. “Why save my life?”
Carwyn looked at me. I had to admit, I was curious to know the answer as well. It didn’t seem like the kind of thing a doppelganger would do. “It was a whim. It was that or buy the weird cheese-and-crackers package off the food cart.”
I had honestly not expected a doppelganger to be sassy.”

I couldn't stop LOLing every time Carwyn called Lucie some perky pet name to spite her:
Don’t you agree, my strawberry of delight?”
Coming, my love panther?
I'll leave you here, tulip.

Give him some credit, the guy is inventive.

Well, funny part aside Carwyn was the only character that made me feel something. And you know what the author did to him? I mean, it was quite a good move in the end of the day, and I am not angry at why, I am angry at how

The ending was mostly disappointing, because we didn't get desired answers or resolution. We were stuck in the beginning. I don't see how a promise of future action can make us satisfied when we won't be witnessing those actions (it's a stand-alone as far as I am aware).

I wouldn't call this book bad, just underdeveloped. First 20% were amazing, the last 5% were good but not enough to make me appreciate the whole story. The language was simple but easily flowing. Again, I think that this book could've been brilliant if author decided to not go into Lucie's angst and concentrated instead on the world and what was happening in it.

Verdict: not the brightest book I've read, but it still has its positive sides and I am inclined to recommend it if you want an interesting world, beautiful language and complex character (Carwyn, that is). As for the rest, maybe some things will be more to your taste than it was to mine.

Profile Image for Selene.
596 reviews134 followers
February 8, 2017
3.5 Stars

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you NetGalley and Clarion Books for the advanced reading copy of Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan. I can't wait to start this book!

After receiving this as an ARC I did go out and purchase the book! I was too excited and needed to own the physical copy.

Tell the Wind and Fire follows the story of a Light half and Dark half New York. The Light city is full of luxury and white magic while the Dark city is forced into poverty and dark magic. Both cities need one another to survive.

The story is told from Lucie Manette's perspective. She was a girl born in the Dark half of the city but was able to manipulate her way into being a representative for the Light city. She gains a celebrity status and rich boyfriend from a political family.

Lucy was famous in the Light city for being a young child from the Dark city. As she gets older she tries her best to blend in with everyone else. She is unable to hide in the Light city for long when she finds out her boyfriend has been keeping a secret that threatens both of them.

I decided half way through to put down this book and pick up A Tale of Two Cities. Sara Rees Brennan has said there are similarities between her novel and Charles Dickens but that she has her own plot line. The differences from what I know about A Tale of Two Cities is that it follows the French Revolution and Tell the Wind and Fire is set in a modern day New York with magical realism. The similarities are that Brennan's characters are based off of Dickens.

The ending was absolutely crushing! Ultimately, the ending is why I gave this 3.5 Stars instead of 3 Stars.

The problems that I have with this book was that at times it was hard to follow. Also, there was no in depth explanation of the Light city and Dark city. I feel like if there had been more world building I would have enjoyed this better and it would have solved both my problems with the book.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews838 followers
February 23, 2016

Well it was a two-star rating, but now it's one.

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Celebrated author Sarah Rees Brennan weaves a magical tale of romance and revolution, love and loss.

What I Liked:

Unfortunately, this book was not for me, as is evident by my rating. It's not for me but it could very well be a book that you might enjoy. It was definitely not something I liked. I originally gave this book two stars, but I bumped it down to one star, after a few days of pondering what the heck happened in the story.

I'm not even going to bother summarizing this book. I literally have no idea how to summarize it - the official summary makes no sense, and neither did the book. So I'll just move on the next section.

What I Did Not Like:

Gosh this book was such a huge waste of my time. Like I said above, it might be a book for you - this review is entirely my opinion - but for me, it was a colossal waste of time.

The synopsis is confusing, and the story is confusing. The first two or three chapters were huge info-dumps, chapter after chapter. You get to experience ALL of the world-building by Lucie telling you (in narration), and all in the first three chapters. I kid you not. It's like fifteen pages of paragraph after paragraph of narration about the history, the setting, etc. Snooze.

I have not read Dickens' book (which this is loosely based on), but had I known there would be some weirdo love triangle, I would have stayed FAR away from this book as possible. Lucie has always been in love with her boyfriend Ethan, and she's very devoted to him (literally every other sentence is about how perfect Ethan is).

But enter Ethan's (illegal) doppelganger , who isn't supposed to exist. He looks the same as Ethan (a little skinnier), but his personality is totally different (indifferent, moody, does not care at all). As soon as Carwyn is introduced to the story, Lucie practically latches on and adopts him. Seems weird for a girlfriend who is obsessed with her boyfriend, right? I suppose she gets subconsciously confused because Carwyn is basically a physical carbon copy of Ethan... but she knows the difference, physically. Honestly I don't understand her reasoning for wanting to mother Carywn, for pretty much abandoning and everything to make sure Carwyn is well and truly bothered by her annoying presence.

I'll be straight with you guys - Lucie has feelings for one guy, and that is Ethan. But Carwyn falls for Lucie (duuuhhh, of course), and he kisses her several times. And while she isn't the one initiating, she's also not fighting him. In a weird way (because of the plot), it makes sense that she wouldn't fight him (she can't), but she does have a choice, and she can, but she doesn't.

So, love triangle. In a physical sense. Still obnoxious.

Did I already mention how I literally could not follow this story? It's more than just the insane info-dump in the very beginning - this book is hella confusing. I've read it in its entirety and I'm still confused about 60% of what happened. The beginning is especially bad - it's boring, it doesn't hook you, and you have no idea what's happening (this is both before and after the massive info-dump).

And did I mention that this book (the entire book) was crushingly boring? No? Well, there's that too.

Ethan was so "perfect" and golden and a model son, and it kind of made me want to vomit a little. Don't get me wrong - theoretically I like this type, and by the end of the book, I really liked him - but he's so one-dimensional, at least for 75% of the book. We learn a pretty big twist towards the climax, and I was like FINALLY! Here is the depth I needed from him! But the way Lucie describes him... so wooden and one-dimensional.

I do not like Lucie. She cheats on her boyfriend (hello, accepting kisses from someone who is not your boyfriend is totally cheating on some level), she's revered as this angel from the Dark side of the city, and she's incredibly pathetic, in my opinion. Not to mention a little on the slow side? Slow as in she should have seen XYZ coming but didn't. I did not like her at all.

The ending was, well, weird. Depending on what "team" you find yourself on (I was apathetic and could not care less), you'll either be cheering, or heartbroken. I was quite pleased with the ending (I did not like that character), but it was still a terrible ending, and nothing was resolved, in terms of the two halves of the city.

I could probably go on and on but I'd rather forget I read this book.

Would I Recommend It:

Nope. I mean, obviously there are will be people that will see this review and remain undeterred - and that is great! I've only read one book by this author (Team Human) and I didn't like it or hate it. But I'm sure her regular fans will be clamoring for this one. It... it's not great. But please, experience it for yourselves if you were already looking forward to it, you may love it!


1 star. Like I said, not for me. Clearly. But it could be one for you. This book had everything going for it - gorgeous cover, prolific author, Dickens retelling (NOT a clear synopsis, I'll tell you that), but it fell so flat for me. I wish I felt differently but I'm just going to forget that I read this one!
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
February 1, 2016
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Sarah Rees Brennan novels are always a breath of fresh air for me, but SRB retelling A Tale of Two Cities? Brilliant. I loved it from start to finish, and even knowing how it would end, I still feel as heartbroken as the first time I read the original story. Which I now want to pick up again since it's been ages. (And since Audible recently had it on sale and I may have picked it up on a whim.) My love for Sydney Carton's character has been renewed and seems even more justified to me as an adult, sobbing for a similar character imbued with his sense of self-sacrifice.

So far as retellings go, this one was pretty great. It bore just enough resemblance to the original tale to call itself a retelling, but it was also vividly different and very much its own story when all was said and done. The underlying message is still present and the need for revenge is still very much ingrained in the story. But while the characters do mirror their counterparts from A Tale of Two Cities to some extent, I feel that the author explored their hidden depths and growth as characters in a way that made them wholly unique to this story.

As with SRB's Lynburn Legacy series, the magic took a back seat to the battle between good and evil at times in this story. Even so, it doesn't take magic to make Lucie Manette a force to be reckoned with. When the story begins, Lucie seems to be a meek slip of a girl, but as the story progresses, we see hints of what she's done to get to this point and how far she'll go to protect those she loves. Her life thus far has been tragic and full of loss, especially compared to that of her boyfriend Ethan who's lived a charmed life. But just as Lucie isn't what she seems, neither is Ethan. His own secret is about to change everything.

I always expect some level of predictability when it comes to retellings, but there were times when I was reading and I'd forget that this story was based on another. It felt uniquely SRB...I don't know any other way to say it. If you've read her books before, you'll probably understand that sentiment. (Otherwise, you should rectify that immediately.) This book was a little less sassy and sarcastic than the author's previous works, but it was no less witty or well-written.

I'm glad I hadn't re-read A Tale of Two Cities prior to picking this up because I would have inevitably spent too much time comparing the two stories and not enough time just enjoying this beautiful book for what it was. That said, I do hope that reading this story might entice those who are hesitant to read the classics to give the original story a chance. It's one of my favorites, even though it's one of those they forced us to read in school. But even having a general idea of the story because of the book that inspired it didn't prepare me for how much this novel was going to hurt. Heartbroken doesn't even begin to describe it.

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
June 23, 2016
"People come up with a hundred thousand reasons why other people do not count as human, but that does not mean anyone has to listen."

When I heard this would be a retelling of A TALE OF TWO CITIES, I knew I had to give it a try. I went into it with no expectations and I'm glad I did because I would have been too busy comparing it to the classic novel, and that's not fair to Brennan. She made this her own, created a world where Light and Dark magic exist. Where evil doppelgängers are born when their original soul needs them. They're usually hunted and murdered. The Light rules and governs all from the wealthiest families and our main character's boyfriend is one of them. When Lucie encounters her beloved's doppelgänger, she saves him and thrusts herself into a tale of love and loss.

Lucie at first hand tells the story about how she comes into the Light city when she's really born from the Dark. I was all sorts of confused and tried to understand how the world was made up of. And then when Lucie makes the snap decision and does so many reckless actions afterwards, I wasn't surprised. Because I didn't understand why she did it. He was a stranger and she automatically wanted to save him? Whha!!?? And she does make a few other mistakes as well that had me thinking "Uh oh, she is so not thinking things through." But I guess that's okay since she's a young teenager and apparently they make a billion mistakes before they ever learn their lesson right? So yes, I gave her a free pass until I realized she's just going to stand idly by while she has the power and influence to change the world. That was not the way I thought this main character would be. But again I made excuses for her, "Oh maybe it's just her character arc and she'll realize it sooner." So she does but again it's too late. Carwyn was all sorts of annoying and I didn't understand his role except he was used as a scapegoat. Ethan who was the hero I would rather have Lucie become was doing all sorts of wonderful things. And I wanted their roles to be switched. Lucid was too passive and by the end, I didn't really care what happened even though it was emotional.

Parts magical, parts dystopian, the pacing had me troubled because it was just so slow. There was hardly anything to go on? Except wait for the sans-merci to do something? I was still confused as to how magic came to be and I was still confused when the sucking of Light magicians blood came about. What I did enjoy were how these Dark magicians were treated because you can compare it to our society where being born somewhere else is considered being bad and soulless.

Overall, I enjoyed bits and pieces like the world building, but the whole story lacked focus. I believe this will either be a love or hate for most people. It did make me want to read the classic though!



Happiness is self-sabotage, a mean truck that your own mind plays on you. (9)

I like you. Can I put you on my list of demands. (21)

People always hate those they rely on. (25)

The Light did not think people like them should suffer—only people who were different. (39)

Love is when you save someone no matter what the cost. (41)
If you knew me more, you'd like me less. (84)

You were just getting your PDA all over the good sofa. (86)

People performed the acts of love without meaning love. Love was the mystery nobody could solve, the fairy tale everyone loved to listen to and not quite believe in. (92)

These people need help, not punishment. (118)

When you pretend hard enough, for long enough, you can convince yourself. (120)

When you want to feel like a big strong man consoling a weak, weeping woman, things are different. Then you act as if I am something to be protected, like I'm a piece of china to be kept in a glass case. Maybe you want me to be breakable, so you can shield me. But I'm not. How can I be fragile and do everything I have to do? (112)

Do nothing, because someone hurt you once? Let other people be hurt and killed, let the cities burn, and keep smiling and doing absolutely nothing? (113)

Love is what counts, no matter what world we're in. (154)

The faceless are as good as voiceless: nobody would listen if any one one of us called for help. (186)

I felt that sometime while I was trying to shield others and trying to shied myself, I had become all that I ever needed to be. (212)

People come up with a hundred thousand reasons why other people do not count as human, but that does not mean anyone has to listen. (200)

Profile Image for Rose.
417 reviews589 followers
April 6, 2016
I'm sorry, but... just no.

This book just wasn't for me. From start to finish, I just couldn't connect with the characters, care for the plot, or like the writing. I feel like I rarely give out 1 star reviews, but this book gave me almost nothing. I couldn't even hate it: it's that bad.

I'm making this review more like a Q&A because I think it's easier to talk about the book like this and because why not? Also, just a heads up that literally all the gifs in this review are completely random and don't make sense lmao.

What’s the background info on this book?

» It takes place in New York City or, future New York City, I think (not really explained). The city is split by barriers into a Light side and a Dark side. The Light side is where Light-born magicians live and is safe because the people are considered “good" since their magic comes from the Sun. Clear logic there...


» The Dark side is where dark-born magicians live. They consider themselves “buried,” because that’s what it feels like to live in such a dangerous, cruel place. Their magic comes from blood and the dead, so it’s considered “bad.” Although, they are used on the Light side to help drain Light people so they don’t explode (read the book for further explanation lmao.)

And the characters?

» Lucie is the narrator and main character of the story. She is a Light magician who was born into the Dark-side and has seen all the horror in it, but was able to get her way into the Light city (in a really weird way, which I think was actually supposed to be cool).

» Evan is her boyfriend from the Light city and he’s pretty much perfect. He loves her endlessly, and proves that he will do anything for her. He’s also rich, sort-of famous, part of a powerful family who dislikes Lucie (not cliche at all), kind, and smart.

» Carwyn is from the Dark city: and that’s pretty much all I can give you without spoiling anything. He is easily my favorite character from the book because of his arrogant personality, and funny comments. He's the only one with a personality, at all lmao.

Why the 1-star rating?

» I personally didn’t like the writing style and couldn’t connect with the character(s). The writing felt very simple and bland, to the point where I started feeling tired just getting through it. Lucie was also a bland character, who I felt was meant to be “badass” or even “dark” but was just completely average. The side characters like Evan were even more bland because of his utter perfection, and I actually felt like Carwyn was the most interesting (even though I think we’re supposed to hate him).

The plot was also all over the place with a million things happening at once as well as major plot holes and information dumps. So, overall, just a very bland and boring read (and sometimes irritating).

Thank you Clarion Books for the ARC.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews369 followers
April 4, 2016
This novel is almost quiet in its intensity, tackling tough subject matters that still sadly plaque our culture and world today.

A very subtle nonthreatening look into diversity and prejudice that doesn't immediately stand out and grab you but rather over time, works its way into your sub-conscience and finally, after filling it out, shining through with clarity, understanding, and knowledge.

This was a fun and interesting world with subtle messages woven throughout and I couldn't of been happier with the whole light and dark, good versus evil feel to it.

It was entertaining, interesting, and most importantly, fun. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something that is different with wonderful and heartfelt messages throughout without those messages being overbearing or too heavy.

*ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Sandra.
378 reviews16 followers
February 24, 2016
I see your one and two star ratings, people... But I cannot agree.


The things you do to me, woman....
Profile Image for Sarah.
820 reviews150 followers
Want to read
February 6, 2016
Update: this is on my kindle but I'm terrified to read it.

I am pre-mad at SRB for what I assume is another stressful, hard-to-put-down book. She is very evil.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,133 reviews309 followers
May 27, 2016
I do feel bad about this rating because I wanted to like this book. I'm actually a fan of A Tale of Two Cities, and I was looking forward to reading a fantasy story based on it. That said, I know it's been getting quite poor reviews, so I even went in with appropriately lowered expectations, but to no avail.

The main problem was that for most of the book I actually didn't really understand all that clearly what was going on. I mean, I read the words about Light New York and the Dark and Light Guards and sans-merci and revolution but honestly, I just didn't get it.

My next problem was, since the world building was so vague and I didn't really get the story based on the vague world building, I had a hard time caring what happened to the characters. Again, lots of sentences about once being in the dark and now in the light, then all of a sudden there is an uprising and everyone is being killed, but still in kind of a vague yet also weirdly dramatic and unemotional way.

So that really sums up my biggest problem with this book right there. Tell the Wind and Fire is supposed to be based on A Tale of Two Cities. If a story is supposed to be about love, secrets, betrayal, and redemption set against a backdrop of violent revolution against an unjust government, then I want to feel it please. If I don't, then reading the book is actually pretty pointless.
Profile Image for Aila.
911 reviews32 followers
February 10, 2016
Check out more reviews on One Way Or An Author!


First YA DNF of the year! So why, you may ask, did I not fall in love with this magical retelling of A Tale of Two Cities? Why did I go up to 38% of the book - not even halfway through, and end up with the unsatisfied swell in my chest that you get when you're not enjoying the words on a page (or in this case, screen)? Simple.

- It made me yawnn by the first one-fifths because of all the information it shoved down my throat.

The infodump made me annoyed since 2%. It goes on until TWENTY PERCENT. If I couldn't handle it in the first pages, how do you expect me to handle it in the next CHAPTERS?! We get a glorious monologue by the golden girl, Lucie, who can't seem to shut up. The world is nothing new: Dark side (the evillllll people) versus the Light side. You can tell immediately that Dark magic = bad and Light magic = good. There is nothing new here.

"When someone young was dying, a Dark magic ritual could save them, but the ritual created an exact double. I had heard the horror stories, heard people say that the ritual gave Death itself a young, sweet face and let it walk among us.
(On the topic of doppelgangers)

- Lucie isn't a Mockingjay! Or Divergent! Or a Survivor! She's... The Golden Thread in the Dark.

Aka another symbol of rebellion, because we're never tired of those! She was the one who single-handedly stepped into the cages, healed people, and saved her father. But you won't hear that from her mouth, oh no. She only did it for her own selfish reasons, and now she's famous. Now there's a rebellion fighting for her name, and now she has perfected her camera smile.

"I looked like the symbol of what all Light magic should be. I looked right, and my image was captured on dozens of cameras. The Light Council could not get rid of me, not when the world was watching."

- The romance made me want to back away slowly and erase my memory of it.

I stopped reading before the potential love triangle developed further. Okay, a love triangle between brothers is already quite cringe-worthy, but one between a guy and his doppelganger? No thank you. Lucie is between both Light and Dark magic, and one guy is in the Light and the doppelganger is in the Dark. Who will she choose to save? *cue dramatic music*
Even if that weren't annoying enough, Lucie's constant declarations of her love for Ethan (the Light guy) became quite tiring after the, oh I don't know, fifth one.

"I loved him because he was the best and sweetest thing in my life, because being with him was always something I could look forward to, and because he made a new life for me and gave it to me as a gift, for no reason other than that he loved me back.
Anyone would love him, but I do not know if anyone could love him as much as I do."

- Wait, was there even a plot?

Well, there sure wasn't one by the time I stopped! It seems as if things were getting a bit exciting though, what with a rebellion group of Dark siders rising up against the Light. And then we have the age-old question of: Can the dark really be good? Yawn. Been there, done that, too many times to count.

I skimmed the last 10% of the story and saw that yeah, some exciting things happened. After reading the ending and the Author's Note, I thought that the book left a poignant message - that is, after you get past the massively boring beginning. I can see why readers would appreciate it, but WOW reading my history textbook was more interesting than the first fifth of this book.

"'Oh, right. You're the Golden Thread in the Dark, but it's nothing to do with you. The buried ones use you as a rallying cry, but that doesn't matter to you.'"

- The narration tried too hard to be dramatic and ended up making me roll my eyes instead.

Just the way the narration was told grated on my nerves. It's told from Lucie's first person POV and felt like she was trying to teach me a lesson.

"Happiness is self-sabotage, a mean trick that your own mind plays on you. It makes you careless, makes you lose your grip, and once you lose your grip, you lose everything."

Is this supposed to be suspenseful?? Dramatic?

"Good people are always ready to die for a good reason."

ANDDD THE REWARD FOR DRAMA QUEEN OF THE YEAR GOES TO LUCIE. I found her character also very, VERY repetitive (always repeating the same points over and over again) and tiring to read about. Ethan could be a bag of rice for all I care about and there were some snarky and witty moments with his doppelganger, Carlwyn, but the name itself put me off. The underlying message for what he represented (Dark side) just sealed the deal.

- What in the world is even the world in this.

You know this takes place in New York, in an alternate future. But in a scene we have the characters thrusting out... swords? There's a Council and there are Guards. Magical weapons like rings and swords. Supposedly Light was discovered. I was very confused, unwilling to learn about it because of the info-dumps, and at that point I was like "byeee."

"When the French scientist Louis de Breteuil discovered Light, he lit the world, changing and illuminating everything. Light replaced old and crude technologies with power that transformed a world."

Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,263 reviews223 followers
May 12, 2016
A (very) YA novel about a teenage Light Mage caught between the Dark City of her origins and the Light City of her present.

Lucie (groan, I assume the name was deliberate) is a Light Mage born in a family that also has Dark Mages in the Dark City. The Light City and Light Mages brutally control and repress the Dark City and Dark Mages even though there is a mutual need for each other. Lucie's mother is disappeared early in her life, and her father is tortured horribly when he tries to protest this. Due to a brave action when she was much younger Lucie becomes the Golden Thread in the Dark and gets herself and her mentally shattered father out of the Dark City. Now, years later, Lucie is in a relationship with the son of one of the Light City's ruling council, Ethan Stryker. Almost immediately in this book we find out that Ethan Stryker has a doppelganger, a creature of Dark Magic that means the Stryker's have involvement in things they really shouldn't have.

I can see an outline of a really good novel here. Lucie could be a great character, and there's nods to that throughout. She seems to understand that her whole existence and that of the cities is on a knife-edge, and that there's an obvious need for subtlety if she wants to protect the people she loves. Unfortunately for her, they're all idiots. That's fair, because she herself falls pretty squarely into Too Dumb To Live territory. That subtlety that she seems to see is required? None of that here.

As to this being very YA. Well, we have missing parents, there's a love triangle, we have a heroine caught between two worlds, the heroine is critical to the political elite of both sides, we have villains that make one-dimensional characters seem fully fleshed out.

I'm not entirely sure went wrong here. Maybe it needed another draft or two, or perhaps just better everything, but by the time that any of the characters are in serious peril I was kind of rooting for the peril.
Profile Image for Susana.
988 reviews243 followers
April 18, 2016

2.5 Stars

Arc provided by Clarion Books through Netgalley
Release Date: April, 5 th

When I requested this, I knew this was going to be tricky: a retelling of Dickens?
I would either love or hate it... as what tends to happen with all Dickens things (although I do tend to like the BBC adaptations)

So yes, I admit it, the only reason why I requested this was because of the author. I loved her first Lynburn book, and even though I wasn't a fan of the conclusion of the series (don't even get me started on Rusty and special snowflake Jared), I knew what the author was able to pull through.

This one?
Unfortunately for most of seventy percent of it, the book is dull and boring as hell.

In the beginning, there's constant repetitions of dark this, bright that... blah, blah, that by the ten percent mark I was ready to DNF this.

The setting: a dystopian world divided between Light and Dark magic practitioners doesn't make any sense at all: there's this part in which Light practitioners have to be drained by Dark ones when they reach high levels of bright magic in the blood... however this only happens when they use their magic way too much, and therefore became drained of bright magic... and this is when they have to be drained? Haven't you read any sparkling vampire books? -_-
This makes even less sense!!

Dark magic and what creates doppelgängers is so poorly developed, that a doppelgänger himself says, that not even he knows what it means to be one of them.
WTH? -_-

The romance between Lucy and Ethan that ends up being main subject in the book (portrayed amongst a vague French Revolution setting) is so DULL and CHEESY.

Oh my God, the two of them were boring as hell: they're both special snowflake characters, so uninteresting that they are prone to put us to sleep.
This was the first time that I was actually cheering for the love triangle plot to actually come to live: Carwyn was the only one who actually had a spark of life to him, so of course I wanted him to have more presence in the book....
Hey, now that I think about it, Carwyn is this book's Rusty!

The worst thing, is that the author really knows how to write ( were it not for that, I wouldn't have been able to finish this), and the last thirty percent of the story, is actually good: Lucy comes out less of a puppet and more as someone who knows that she has to be manipulative in order to get what she wants.

Unfortunately that wasn't enough to save this story.
Not for me.
Profile Image for Drew.
449 reviews504 followers
December 29, 2016
“It was the best of times until it was the worst of times.”

2 1/2 stars. I just… can't give this a higher rating. I wish I could. Because I honestly did enjoy this fast paced, entertaining retelling of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities at first. But then the story turned into too much of a "who should she choose?"

Lucie Manette is stuck between two choices: a) Her old familiar, safe boyfriend or b) the new mysterious, sarcastic bad boy.

This was much less retelling and much more angsty teen romance - which we've never read before, right? Usually that would annoy the heck out of me, but surprisingly, the love triangle was actually pretty fun. Yes, it was totally cheesy and Lucie shouldn't have been running around behind her boyfriend's back, but it felt like an exciting soap opera where I couldn't wait to reach the ending.

The plot is set in a fantasy version of New York where there is a Light city and a Dark city. Lucie was born in the poverty-stricken Dark city but escapes to the Light city, full of the wealthy, luxurious, and famous. People also have magical rings and there are doppelgängers, shadow versions of humans born to be either killed or shunned.

When Lucie's boyfriend, Ethan, is in trouble, she is shocked when his doppelgänger shows up and rescues him. Carwyn is the spitting image of Ethan, but acts totally different. Born in the Dark city, Carwyn has been forced to wear a metal collar and hood his whole life. Lucie, who takes pity on him, decides to show him around the Light city.

And so the love triangle ensues…

“Why did you do it?” Ethan asked suddenly. “Why save my life?”
Carwyn looked at me. I had to admit, I was curious to know the answer as well. It didn’t seem like the kind of thing a doppelgänger would do.
“It was a whim. It was that or buy the weird cheese-and-crackers package off the food cart.”
I had honestly not expected a doppelgänger to be sassy.

The first half of this book was really entertaining, but the second half fell short. The cover advertised a huge, dramatic ending with the tagline: Who will you save when the cities burn? But the ending felt really rushed for all the build up and disappointed me.

I know my rating looks harsh, but the beginning of this book actually wasn't bad. It didn't stand out from the numerous other YA dystopian/fantasy, but it was enjoyable, harmless brain candy - and I liked the creative plot that held similarities to Dickens' famous novel.
Profile Image for Deyse .
290 reviews26 followers
May 4, 2016
Coherent thoughts closer to the release date.
Ps.: about the similarities to "A tale of two cities" I can't say if it's really similar and/or if makes justice to it BUT I thought the revolution on this one was really similar to the build up for and the Reign of Terror that occurred on the French Revolution.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,710 reviews702 followers
March 3, 2016
1.5 stars?

I loved Sarah's other series, so I was thrilled to get my greedy hands on this one. It breaks my heart to rate it this low.

I struggled with this book. Hard. I was immediately confused after the first chapter, but I kept going, certain that some sort of explanation was just a page away. But no.

Lucie and Ethan and Carwyn were interesting characters, it was just everything else. There were a lot of info dumps and each layer just made it all worse. Nothing ever became clear for me. I found myself skimming the lengthy paragraphs hunting for the dialogue.

There was a peak of interest at the end, but by then it was too little to late. I can definitely see how people will like it , but ultimately it just wasn't for me.

**Huge thanks to Clarion Books and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 168 books37.5k followers
March 8, 2016
Copy received courtesy of NetGalley

This story follows the basic plot line of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Brennan states in the afterword that she read the book at age eleven. For someone whose stories seem to require the good-bad boy and a bad-bad boy love triangle as substrate, she must have found the Dickens formative, as A Tale of Two Cities is the ultimate love triangle tragedy/romance.

Brennan has built a phenomenally successful career around angsty love-triangle stories, and here she gives her audience what they crave. Lucie Manette, Dickens’ heroine, keeps her name but gets a backbone (and typical teen emotional logic), Charles Darnay becomes her beloved Ethan Stryker, and Sydney Carton becomes his doppelganger Carwyn.

Tell the Wind and Fire is told in set-pieces, some of them described with cinematic detail. Here Brennan was at her best—her evocations of light—especially of a city at night, illuminated by magical light-giving rings—were stunning.

The downside is that though the story is set in New York (a magical New York) I never got the breathtaking feeling of so many cultural overlays in so small a space that I get when I visit New York. This New York seemed to have about five locales, the main action being in a magical version of Trump Towers.

But I’ve got to remember the audience. I think if I’d read this as the teen it was written for, I would have been fine with that, especially as a kid reader whose only experience of New York was through the movies that also boil the city down to a few recognizable sets.

As a teen I certainly would have loved Carwyn’s snark and the UST between him and Lucie so much I might not have noticed that for a seventeen year old schoolgirl, Lucie seemed to be free of school’s academic obligations. . . but I might have noticed the total lack of social obligations.

This was probably the second weakest point for me. We’re introduced to Nadiya at the underground nightclub, we are told that this is Lucie’s close friend with whom they share everything, but there was no thought of Nadiya before, and none afterward until she is once again needed for the plot. After Lucie is nearly killed at the train station, she isn’t frantic to text or call her bestie to “OMG you’ll never believe what just happened!” As a teen, I found female friendships vital—no cell phones in those days, so we’d be in constant trouble at home for tying up the phone line talking after school, standing in the kitchen where everyone can overhear. Lucie seems to be all about her boys—good Ethan, with whom she is in love, and bad boy Carwyn, Ethan’s doppelganger.

Bringing me to the worldbuilding, my number one downside, because it never really made sense. But then again, at fifteen I wouldn’t need it to make sense; as a teen I wanted instantly recognizable villains and heroes, pretty much as I understood the French Revolution through the novels of Geoffrey Trease: evil sans-culottes making public entertainment of guillotining innocent aristocratic families.

The sudden discovery of magic that has to work with half the population (light) suppressing the other half (dark) because they need them for a fuzzily described vampiric “draining” probably would have worked for me as a teen because the instance of it we see with Lucie and Carwyn jacked up the UST content 1000%. Who cares if it is a head-scratcher logically or biologically?

Likewise, I think at fifteen the plot twist three quarters of the way through would have surprised me, whereas old me saw it coming as soon as the character was carefully described in a flashback datadump, then dropped.

Finally, at fifteen, I would have been sold on Carwyn’s abrupt transformation before the inexorable ending. Lucie’s and his UST would have effectively done all the explaining for me, but the adult me saw it coming and found the abruptness unconvincing—another signpost along the plot trail.

So this is one of those YAs that I’m sure would have thrilled me at fifteen, but fifty-years-older me, except for enjoying the spark of snark and some of the beautiful descriptions, found the characters standard, the world-building haphazard, and the story predictable even outside of the expected ending.

I believe that the audience it’s intended for will love it—from teens to older readers who want to reclaim those angsty, impassioned, UST feelings of their younger days. I also think it would make a hands-down terrific screenplay, which needs just enough world building for mood. The banter would make terrific dialogue, and the set-piece settings would translate naturally to the screen.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
626 reviews302 followers
September 27, 2018
I’m not usually one to say a character is ever outright stupid, but Lucie must be the stupidest of any heroine I’ve ever read, and that includes Bella ‘my life revolves around a vampire who wants to kill me’ Swan and Nora ‘sexual assault is sexy’ Grey.

There’s heat of the moment act-first-think-later bad decisions, then there’s contemplated ‘this could actually kill us because it’s dangerously illegal but screw it it’ll make for a good plot nothing else’ bad decisions.

I mean, one after another, Lucie makes bad decisions, and for no particular reason. Not because she’s not thinking straight, or is distracted, or her life is threatened. Just because she’s a bad decision maker. She visits the doppelganger for absolutely no reason at all, decides to take him out socialising just because, takes off his hood even though they wear them for legal reasons, then in the middle of an alleged drug raid (I say ‘alleged’ because no guards were seen and no one else in the club responded AT ALL even though guard cars were seen outside? Maybe everyone was too high to care?) unbinds the magical handcuffs connecting them which allows him to push her off the bridge she was standing too close to the edge of, knowing all the while this boy was not to be trusted, that he was evil, I mean for god’s sake he warned her himself he wasn’t to be trusted.

And not once did she think about her actions, or perhaps regret anything. Nope, just pure, kind-hearted Lucie being nice to a creature who continues to be rude and outright mean to her. Lucie pushing her way into business that is not hers to invade. Lucie poke poke poking the dangerous wild creature until it bites her and then not even wondering why it behaved that way, just kind of expecting that it would but she goes on poking it anyway. For the sake of plot, perhaps.

I have read other unfavourable reviews from trusted fellow reviewers Emily May and Khanh that show me the book is not going to improve.

I just can’t. DNF at 32%.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Nicola.
86 reviews59 followers
January 11, 2016
Did not finish. Simply could not wade through it and the multiple problems that I had with it. I gave it a good shot, but alas, when I reached page 100 I was still incredibly bored. Very disappointed, was a highly anticipated read!
Profile Image for Anna (Enchanted by YA).
360 reviews350 followers
April 2, 2016
***I received the ARC ebook from the publisher Clarion Books through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

What can I say about this book that will do the excellence justice and make you read it? Because I want you to read it. Now. If only to cry on your shoulder – now that I’m thinking and looking over quotes the tears that I was holding back have come full force. Plus you’ll love it! Sarah Rees Brennan has delivered another heart-stoppingly brilliant book (and just plain heart-stopping because that ending…) which has shot straight to my favourites list.

I’m not familiar with A Tale of Two Cities which this story retells and while I’m already biased and can’t see it being as good as Brennan’s unique story, I am intrigued enough to have a look. Within Tell the Wind and Fire is a city divided between the Light and Dark, with Lucie having a foot in both after being born with Light magic in the Dark city. As a character Lucie was interesting in that she was never the person people wanted her to be – the revolutionary, symbol or obedient girl etc. Even as a reader expecting a dystopian type heroine who wants change, who then sees a girl giving in to injustice in order to survive under pressure. Ethan on the other hand was ‘too perfect’ and I was continuously waiting for the ball to drop. However Carwyn stole the show and my heart, with the snark that I’ve come to love from Brennan’s books. If only there was more… *curses the existence of standalones*


Posted on Enchanted by YA
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