I speak *pretty fluent* French, and I read Le Petit Prince in French foThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I speak *pretty fluent* French, and I read Le Petit Prince in French for my class, but I am an incredibly lazy person who just had to write a huge French paper so... I'm just going to write this review in English for time's sake. And for your understanding's sake. Before anything, Y'ALL NEED TO LEARN THE FRENCH LANGUAGE. It's beautiful and I can imagine that the diction and language used in the French version of this exceptional novel is much better and more deep than the English version. BEFORE EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING POSSIBLE, let's get this straight: every single soul on this planet needs to head to their library, online, Kindle, local bookstore—whatever, and pick up a copy of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince. All of our hearts and minds depend on this kind of feel-good story that is so much more than what is literally written.
You can read The Little Prince in two ways: a literal way and a contextual way. Both of these methods of reading are just SO SO SO enjoyable. And that's the reason why this glorious 87-paged novel is studied by both children and adults. I looked at the novel both ways and it was phenomenal. Once you reach the ending you'll discover that there is more to the book than what us readers can even imagine. And then comes in the concept of adults versus children, which was explained amazingly.
This is a story that will always stay with me. I feel that the Little Prince is somewhere up in the stars, watching his readers and guiding them through life. I guess you can now tell that I have some sort of spiritual connection to him and it's true. Saint-Exupery created this story wonderfully, but I can't happen to wonder if this is a true story, if there really was a little prince. (I understand that Antoine's plane crashed during World War Two, but there must have been more to that story. This is not a hallucination).
I read this over a course of a few weeks because we spent a lot of time in class analyzing everything, doing projects and doing short quizzes to test our knowledge, which I despised.
Le Petit Prince is unlike any classic you'll ever read. It is easy to read, though it holds a meaning that will stun you for days or even months to the point that you'll feel eager to read it all over again to discover a whole other meaning....more
A Million Worlds With You has been marked as currently-reading on my GoThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
A Million Worlds With You has been marked as currently-reading on my Goodreads account forEVER. Why, you ask? Because I began reading it months ago and found that it was boring, and so much was happening at once that I needed to slow down and wait to read it during a time where I would be able to concentrate. Whenever I kept peeking at its (gorgeous) cover, I would shiver, reminding myself of the boredom it provided me. However, I recently produced the guts to read it (and remove it from my currently-reading list), and I was thoroughly disappointed. This was supposed to be amazing, just as the first two books in this trilogy were. Unfortunately, it was not amazing.
Don't get me wrong: I love this series and still would recommend it to all interested readers. This book just proved itself to be unpromising. While reading, I felt like too much was happening at once, and our main character, Marguerite, was switching between too many worlds (or 'verses') too quickly. I wasn't able to determine what her role in this story was. Apparently it was to save the other versions of herself, but too much was happening and I was unable to really feel that. Instead, I just felt Claudia Gray attempting to ramble on and on, taking up 'space' in the book, instead of entertaining readers in a slow, blissful manner.
This series is really all about its gorgeous romance between Marguerite and Paul. In this novel, their romance felt very flawed (which is normal), but to the point that I stopped being interested because they faced TOO many problems. It seemed as if the characters were getting tired of each other (even though Marguerite attempted to tell herself that she is in love with Paul), and I myself got tired.
There were pros and positives in this story; I really liked the conclusion, and it really made me feel sad, knowing that this was the last time I would be able to read about these characters. I liked how we were able to see a relationship boost amongst Marguerite and her parents, especially in the other verses. I will truly miss this series, despite the lows of this finale.
A Million Worlds With You was disappointing in comparison to the other two novels in this series. It lacked depth and a faster pace that would keep me entertained for my entire reading experience. I constantly longed for more. Goodbye, Firebird series, I loved you....more
It has literally been ages since the last time I have picked up somethiThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
It has literally been ages since the last time I have picked up something written by the fabulous Richelle Mead. That depresses me. It makes me feel like I have no more connection to fantasy/romance novels, and that the memories I have of reading Vampire Academy, falling in love with Dimitri and Rose, and believing that fantasy, mythical creatures and forces do exist are all gone. Away. Flooded. When I discovered that I had the chance to read and review Richelle's newest stellar story, The Glittering Court, which did sound like Kiera Cass' The Selection if I do say so myself, I JUMPED OFF A CLIFF. No seriously. Do you want to know what I really did? I jumped off the last step in my house like it was a cliff or Mount Everest or something in that context. This book made me so happy.
Before I get to anything, you must prepare yourself a survival kit for this story. This survival kit will consist of kleenexes, awake-pills and your phone/computer so you could update your Goodreads. Why? Kleenexes are for the feels that hit you in the end when we read two soulful letters from Adelaide's friends: Tamsin and Mira. LETTERS ARE BEAUTIFUL. WHEREFORE DO LADS AND GALS NOT SEEK TO WRITE THEM ANYMORE? The awakening pills are for the boredom that strikes around the beginning half of the story, around the first hundred pages when readers really try to see what this is actually about, and the phone because you'll be shocked with the plot twists and romance. I needed to regurgitate this story to the world. I need to. Now.
The Glittering Court is basically the opposite of what a typical fantasy novel written by the fantasy-author-goddesses like Richelle Mead and Leigh Bardugo would normally be like. THIS WAS RICH, VERY LUXURIOUS AND MOVING. I'm moved by Adelaide's character and the world that Mead created for her characters to live and move around in. THIS IS THE KIND OF FANTASY I ADORE.
Listen: I am not the kind of readers who goes for books about dragons or ogres. I love fantasy with a twist, particularly romance without all of the heirs and bloodlines. (What a funny pun, if you Richelle Mead fans know what I mean!)
"I couldn't even say who started the kissing then. Maybe there was no true start. Maybe it was just a continuation of what we'd begun that night among the stars. Wrapped in his arms, wrapped in him, I couldn't believe I'd somehow gone the last week without touching him. Really touching him—not those stolen brushes of fingertips and legs. I had danced with dozens of men in this month and never felt a flicker of what I felt when Cedric simply looked at me." (240)
Aw. Cedric and Adelaide are the most adorable couple ever. THEY ARE MY OTP. This is definitely like your Bachelor kind of plot. We have many men who are just dying to get engaged with a pretty, peppy young woman like Adelaide, and of course, there are heirs and those kinds of things mixed in within, but the romance definitely is the key part for me.
The Glittering Court kind of made my life so much better. I mean—hey. There were boring parts, but everything made so much sense and was so entertaining. I love this one, and I am so excited to continue the series and see Adelaide's adventures with Cedric next. *winks* Girl power between friendships, romance and a gorgeous plot—what else do we possibly need?
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Now this is strangely awkward. When I give a book a two star rating (whThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Now this is strangely awkward. When I give a book a two star rating (which honestly does not happen often), I feel dislike. I feel hate. I feel some kind of anger towards the novel because (a) something annoyed me or (b) it was really badly written. Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend was not necessarily annoying or horribly written—it just was really, really dumb. If you enjoy weird books, which I understand that many people do, THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU WILL EVER READ. I promise you that. Alan Cumyn knows how to attract readers with a wicked concept that has never been written about before. The thing is, this concept does not have a purpose or real plot that I could even write a review about. This was a book that came out of the author's "hallucination" after hearing Libba Bray mention something about pterodactyls at some conference. HOW. How can an idea stem from that? I just do not know.
I have issues with this book. It is plain fiction, the most fiction-y book that I have ever read. Some ugly dinosaur on Earth, falling "in love" with the main character who has better things to do? Falls in love with her shoes? WHAT THE HECK WAS THIS. There's so sense to books like this. I understand that it is contemporary, featuring the high school life of a teenage girl. But the pterodactyl concept just ruined it, so so badly. I cannot imagine what else the author had in mind while writing this. I honestly laughed at how bad it was. The ending especially. *barfs* Imagine that unicorn scene that you have always imagined, people running into the sunset. That is what it basically was.
Sheils is our main character (that is a weird name, I think it stands for Sheila?) who basically knows what she is planning to do with her life. She is student body chair (I will get to this later UGH) and has a boyfriend, Sheldon. A pterodactyl "moves?" to their school and she becomes obsessed with this creature. No joke. She dances with him in this weird way and gets a purple nose from him. It's utterly absurd.
"He pulsed with heat. She walked toward the commotion. Everywhere he went, commotion! She was changing, because of him, she wanted him to know. She wanted to run her hand along the length of his beak, his spear, just to feel it." (191)
I advise you to not ask me about that quote. It shows Sheils' obsession with Pyke. Yuck. You should see how difficult it was to relate to the characters. At first, before the obsession spun around, I liked Sheils. She (or the author) constantly was noting that she was student body chair. Why should readers care? Mention it once and we are good, we see Sheils' real reputation. Don't even get me started on uptight Sheldon.
Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend was mostly unsatisfying, with a few perks, but not enough to recommend to readers. I thought it would be an interesting, fun read, but I was totally wrong. Get ready for the characters to get on your nerves and freak our over the concept. This is not recommended... at all.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
My fellow Caliphs and Caliphas, the story of Shahrzad and Khalid is actThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
My fellow Caliphs and Caliphas, the story of Shahrzad and Khalid is actually over. Thinking about the fact that I will never be able to see a new cover being released for this series, or that I will never be able to hold the two books in the duology as if they were new and as if I never heard of them before just cracks my heart in half. All in all, The Rose and the Dagger is beautiful, electrifying and gives me the feels once more. I've been waiting a year (or so) to read this sequel, and I actually just discovered that it's a duology (well, before I read this) so I had so much rage in me. Looking back at the ending and how Ahdieh, as always, unfolded everything and answered all of us readers' questions, I am truly satisfied. This couldn't have ended in a better way.
I loved this; don't get me wrong, but it wasn't as good as the first book. I initially predicted that I would rate this five stars, because the first book changed me in more ways than I would ever expect (especially with how I look at the high fantasy genre), but this book was weaker in a few ways. Listen, I have always loved the characters, romance and ideas/themes that Ahdieh presented. My love for those book characteristics never changed or diminished. Shazi and Khalid are still my favourite couple in the entire universe, their characters/personalities as a whole are so fearless and strong, more strong than most books' characters have, and I have always loved the setting of the desert and Khorasan and basically... everything.
Before I get to the positives, I feel that it is best to speak about the issues. This book didn't feel as put-together or as wholly as the previous novel, or how I would like a book to feel. Yes, our questions were answered and it turned out pretty great, but the book felt so (it's hard to describe honestly) stiff. There were parts where I was bored (especially through the middle) and I constantly felt this tension that a random war would pop up in the midst of the story (which it kind of did/didn't) and I was waiting for that. Also, I would have appreciated more Khalid/Shazi moments, but it is completely understandable how they had to part ways for a huge portion of the story because of the events/curse that got in their way. Also, what happened with that curse?
"You continue to wound me, you awful girl. Because I know. Had I spent a single night with you, I would never have wished for us to be parted from that day forward" (66).
As you may have known, Khalid's curse is a large theme of book one because this affects his relationship between him and Shazi, and how the world around him looks at him, his reputation. I can't really pinpoint what the goal of this book was. Question-answering, absolutely, romantic development, sure, but the curse was rarely mentioned and there was hardly any fantasy magical things occurring. Listen, I am not your diehard fan of spells and whatnot, but I love the way Renée approaches it, and that barely occurred. Yeah, we see Shazi experimenting with her magic carpet, but that was only a short instant. Those were the issues I spotted.
Now, to the positives, because there were a ton. I loved how Ahdieh reminded readers of who was who, what meant what, and where the characters were in terms of time and setting. I didn't feel like re-reading the first novel because (A) my TBR pile is huge and (B) I had no time to prepare myself for the sequel so I just bought it. Thank you, Renée! I seriously needed that recap. This novel takes place right from where the first left us off. Each character is basically in a different place, and we feel this tension when Shazi and Khalid are trying to find each other.
As always, Ahdieh has handled the perspectives well. I've enjoyed her writing of this series because it's written in third-person perspectives. Therefore, we could easily discover who Ahdieh is writing about because their names are mentioned. (See my review for Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave. That one sucked because of perspectives). I loved every character, their rivals and their relationships.
Shahrzad is as fearless, strong and kick-ass as always. Since the time I read The Wrath and the Dawn, Shazi has resided as my favourite heroine in all of YA and in all of every single book I have ever read. I love her independence, how she doesn't need someone by her side to get the job done. There are many scenes where she goes to find something/someone, and she goes on her own, secretly.
"When I was in the desert, I woke each day and carried on with my life, but it wasn't living; it was merely existing. I want to live. You are where I live" (173).
BUT GUYS WE HAVE A NEW STAR CHARACTER. Irsa, Shazi's younger sister! I adore sister relationships because they can only remind me of my relationship with my own sister. Ahdieh introduces Shazi's character in the first chapter, and she remains an important part of this sequel because she is always by her sister and would do anything to save her, even though she is younger. We even see her fall in love, confess her deepest worries to people that we would never expect her to, and most importantly, we see a huge character development. She's amazing.
KHALID AND TARIQ, MY FRIENDS. These are the hottest YA guys in all of the universe. Some people may disagree with me, but I actually liked their feud, because it made sense. They had reasons to hate each other. It's a love triangle, people, what else do you expect?
The Rose and the Dagger was just absolute joy and greatness. I adore Renée Ahdieh's writing so much that she is an instant-buy for me and I would sell all of my books to get a new book by her (okay, that is nuts and I don't think I'd do that haha). This was just a perfect ending to the story and there were so many shocking moments, plot twists and the amount of suspense at the end of every chapter was astonishing. YOU'LL EXPERIENCE EVERY FEELING; I ALMOST FELL APART AT THE END because of something shocking and sad. Goodbye, Shazi and Khalid. I love you! (I'll reread this series eventually because it's too good)...more
Magic is shady. Magic is crazy. And I'm pretty surThis review could also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*3.5 star rating*
Magic is shady. Magic is crazy. And I'm pretty sure that you and I both agree that we don't want to associate ourselves with any kind of magic whatsoever. V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic was unpredictable, filled with a fun plot that will get your insides excited and time traveling... something we see a different look at usually in fantasy novels. It's a great book if you would enjoy a flair of fantasy from an adult book's perspective with an easier blast of info at one's face, and I find that everyone would adore it somehow.
I expected to hate this book a thousand more than I ever imagined. I read Schwab's book in the past, The Near Witch, and DNFed it without ever looking back... paranormal romance with witches was never my thing. And then when this came around and the crowds seriously went wild, I decided to get my fantasy flair excited and actually go for this. Thankfully, I wasn't too disappointed. Schwab delivers a heart-racing story—it really is heart racing and I still can't get it out of my head. She formed remarkable characters, a nice twist on romance and THE BEST ROMANCE EVER. I cannot be more excited than I am at the moment.
"And Antari could speak to blood. To life. To magic itself. The first and final element, the one that lived in all and was of none. He could feel the magic stir against his palm, the brick wall warming and cooling at the same time with it, and Kell hesitated, waiting to see if it would answer without being asked." (34)
Kell and Lila had chemistry. Schwab hadn't produced some weird, random romance that didn't make sense—it fit perfectly with the nice world making and plot overall, and I just couldn't get enough of the Kell/Lila talk. Their kisses didn't make me squirm, instead they made me cheer and giggle, and I fell in love with their story. The plot formed well with everything else and I just was head over heels for it all. Remember that this is also a very quick read, the time you'll spend reading it will go by in a jiffy. *snaps quickly*
This is a great book, once again. There are a few flaws, like disappointment in the ending and all of that unnecessary stuff... but the most important thing is that it was a great story overall. I recommend it sincerely to lovers of Sarah J. Maas's writing, as well as to those who are looking for a new look at romance in a different culture, where everything is "London-ized." It's great to see how life changes and how it's completely different for a person in the future.
I really, really enjoyed this book. There's not much I could say about it other than that it could be for you, or that it could not exactly be for you. Kell and Lila will be your ultimate ship ever, and you will just fall in love with the whole story and everything it provides. Being the type of read to read beside a windowsill on a winter day, or at the beach, Schwab will just take you on the adventure with the characters and make YOU part of the story. Fall in love, devour, whatever you call it....more
Have you ever tried to classify a book as vicious? What about overwhThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Have you ever tried to classify a book as vicious? What about overwhelming, but in a good way? Victoria Aveyard's truly acclaimed and popular Red Queen does fit itself under those two adjectives and words, and it's one of the only sole books that I have found that is like it. No, it's not a retelling of some sort and do not expect "Alice in Wonderland." This is something of its own kind, a start of a racing trilogy that I just can't wait to continue reading. It really was a magical story that was so kick-ass and interesting that I can't get myself together. Reading this is like drinking a Shirley Temple—sweet, fizzy with all of the feels, but raging after you've finished it because the author just knows how to keep her readers entertained, even after Mare's story is done for a little while.
Are you wondering if the hype is real, or if there's too much hype for what this story is worth? I can answer yes to both questions. People are going mad for this series, and I can see why, but it's not like I cannot go on without The Glass Sword. Plus, I know that it's going to be released soon because, well, duh, ARCs are out and so is the cover/summary. I didn't even read the summary yet because I don't even know what the story is going to contain and I'll just get fed up with it all. This story really is vicious, fierce but crazy in a matter of practically four hundred pages. It's a wild ride, that's for sure.
Here Are Five Reasons Why Red Queen Will Appeal to You:
1) It's one of a kind: I can tell you that you won't find yourself on the street, or at a bookstore and could pick up another book like this. It's written in a different style that gives every reader a different experience. Some readers may find this absolute dystopian, while others won't and could question the real message that Aveyard has behind the scenes. It's not everyday when we're stuck with a character like Mare (who I'll get more into below), but I promise you that it is different and that's why the hype is going around. The general public wants a refresher, a new read that is for all ages and that could appeal to any teenager, even if you're not a fan of reading.
2) Mare is simply so kick-butt and I adore her: For once in a high fantasy novel, we're not stuck with a crew of characters who think they're better than everyone else. Mare has qualities that remind me of Katniss (do I even have to state what book she's from?) and Tris, from Divergent. A little bit of Celaena from Throne of Glass, too. But Mare is her own person who just wants to make her family happy and proud, and she'd take those sacrifices without thinking about the consequences. I loved her from the start, and her character kept on developing into the point where I just wanted to be her best friend. Now that's something I really do call attachment.
"You believe you are the masters of the world, but your reign as kings and gods is at an end. Until you recognize us as human, as equal, the fight will be at your door. Not on a battlefield but in your cities. In your streets. In your homes. You don't see us, and so we are everywhere. [...] And we will rise up, Red as the dawn." (36)
Okay, so I know that Mare didn't say this (Farley did), but yay for women. Aveyard's villains of the novel aren't the terrorist group known as the Scarlet Guard, but the kings and queens of the Silvers, and the wonderful woman who gave that speech was totally rebellious. I LOVE IT.
3) The plot is just... enjoyable: This novel is just all fast-paced within and you can't stop reading. The messages that lie behind the actual story are there for readers to discover, and if you don't discover them, then you really didn't enjoy the story. I think that there's something for everyone all in the bundle of awesomeness that Aveyard handed us in February. I just wish that I would have given this the chance earlier, to feel like I read this as a hipster, before the hype went out. Is it just me or a movie is coming out, too? This would be utter fabulous if it did.
4) ROMANCEEEEEEE OF COURSE: So since we all know by the title that this focuses on some kind of royalty and fantasy, there has to be a romance. Mare is like Maas' Celaena, who doesn't understand her feelings at first but then realizes that there is some kind of attraction. Although there kind of was some sort of a love triangle at points, since Mare cared for a lot of people, it was pure. It was real. No instant romance that made our kickass character fall head over heels for some weird guy who is basically the opposite of her. This was great.
5) The world building, because who could forget that?: The story focused on a variety of things that Aveyard's fictional world was built on—like some kind of racism between different types of blood and people: Red and Silver. There was war, action, but of course those slow moments that made you ponder about what it's like to have so much power and how one could go out of control with their emotions. I LOVED JULIAN BY THE WAY. HE'S ADORABLE, AS WELL AS CAL. Agh, the characters are fab in general.
As this novel may seem light and cheery to you, it is dark and gloomy. I just picture the dark grey skies of this interesting world that Victoria Aveyard imagines through Mare's eyes. Red Queen is powerful, and I bet that it'll end up on the favourites-of-2015 lists of many, many people, bloggers, reviewers, or not. It doesn't matter what age you are to fall in love with something this enchanting, because it just somehow automatically occurs. Nothing petty about this all, it's more like royalty in the YA world today....more
I WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS, MY FELLOW LIONS, SCARECROWS AND TIN MEN/WOMEN.This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS, MY FELLOW LIONS, SCARECROWS AND TIN MEN/WOMEN. I was SO fortunate to meet Danielle Paige (SQUEAL!) at BookExpo America this year, where she was signing her upcoming gorgeous novel, Stealing Snow. Of course, I fangirled, and I remember our conversation clearly: I kept telling her how much I admire her and how I adore her Dorothy Must Die series. And then I also said how I love this series much more than the original Wizard of Oz film. She was shocked, but of course in a good way, because duh, that was a compliment. I JUST ADORE THIS SERIES, OKAY? I actually rewatched the original film a few months ago and I found that I was bored out of my mind, and not because I read something similar with Danielle's writing. I just find that the retellings and twists (like this) are better than the real thing. Yellow Brick War was just as powerful and intriguing as the other books in this series and I just cannot stop recommending this series out to everyone I know. Trust me: most of my friends have actually read this series after hearing my endless recommendations. Although I expected a little more from this third novel, I was completely satisfied.
I am also satisfied, in this case, that the series is not over. At the end of this one, we readers are left with a cliff-hanger that we just cannot stop thinking about. As usual, Danielle Paige writes an action-packed fantasy novel with beautiful characters that we know from the original literary classic or film, and I just cannot stop fangirling over this new fandom that I feel that I have joined after reading the first novel in this electrifying series.
Yellow Brick War, my dear friends, is all about Amy getting pissed off and trying to kill Dorothy, once again. This time, she succeeds. FINALLY. YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW ECSTATIC I WAS TO DISCOVER THAT THE B**CH WAS FINALLY DEAD. Years ago, when I was a kid, who would have thought that Dorothy would be evil and one of the worst characters to be included in YA literature? And by worst characters, I mean antagonists. Honestly, I love Amy's character development throughout the whole series, but in this third book, it is where it really shines. We see her confidence, and her ability to know what to do in scary situations. I know that I would never know what to do in her case, living in this world that she always thought was a fantasy, being torn apart by love and witches. This is the real thing.
As many other reviewers have mentioned in their own reviews, there wasn't really a war in this one. To be honest, I hardly pay attention to titles these days. Yeah, I look at them when I decide to read a book or not, but to me, the synopsis is what counts, and is what really has me deciding whether I should purchase/borrow a book. And of course, the cover definitely counts, too. There is a war in this third instalment, but it is minor. I don't want some huge war where I couldn't care less. To me, I rather see Amy destroy Oz on her own, without some kind of major war where everyone heads onto different sides and try to rip the other people's heads off.
You will go crazy because you won't be able to wait for the fourth instalment. I know I can't. And watch me forget about everything that occurred in this book and well, I will be disappointed. Danielle Paige's only issue here is reminding readers of what occurred in the past books. This is what happens: I have to wait a year for the sequel to the previous book, and I read books afterwards. I AM NOT GOING TO SPEND A YEAR THINKING ABOUT DOROTHY AND AMY GUMM. I would go mad. And then the next book comes, and I forget everything. *cries* Thank goodness for the reviewers who actually summarize everything. I do not know how you do that, my friends.
The ships are real here, too. Amy cannot just stop creating ROMANCE TROUBLE AND MY HEART KEEPS EXPLODING. I am seriously curious to see how Stealing Snow will cause craziness with my heart when I read it soon. This book seriously just has it all, I must say.
Danielle Paige has done it for the third time. She is such a brilliant writer and I wish that I read this one prior to BEA so I could have asked her for a minor spoiler of the next book. BUT, ALL IN ALL, THIS WAS SPLENDID. If you just read my review with that ONE BIG SPOILER, and you haven't picked up any books of this series yet, then I would sprint right now. What are you still doing here? Buy all of the books, all of the novellas, or else, I will really start a yellow brick war with someone. ...more
Back when I read Morgan Rhodes' stellar Falling Kingdoms, I fell in lovThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Back when I read Morgan Rhodes' stellar Falling Kingdoms, I fell in love and added all of her books onto my TBR list on Goodreads. And at that time, I already had a copy of A Book of Spirits and Thieves ready in hand so I could fall in love with her writing all over again. I should've read it right away because I keep falling in love with the fictional, beautiful world of Mytica where everything is fantasy and just speaks to me. This series can probably one day be classified as just as good as the other series that I've come to love, that's for sure.
A Book of Spirits and Thieves is more magical and special than any other fantasy book I've read about in a while. It's interesting, definitely more real than the usual in writing, and just as powerful as Morgan Rhodes' writing usually is. I really enjoyed it, and there's nothing I can possibly complain about or regret reading about. Agh. Fangirl alert, I tell you.
"It had been just over two years since Daniel Hatcher left. Her father. Her hero. Her friend. Her mentor. The man who'd shared with her his love for animals and photography."
Even though this dealt with magic and the astonishing world of Mytica, there were real-life concepts that many readers could relate to. Sisterhood, losing someone who you love, divorce. It's set in a contemporary-fantasy reality and world where two out of the three protagonists and main characters which Rhodes introduces live in modern day downtown Toronto. The atmosphere is so relatable. For once, I could read a book where I finally am able to understand the street names and tourist attractions found nearby. It's certainly magical for a Canadian.
I must say that I fell in love with this story from page one. We were introduced to Crystal and her sister, Becca, who are obsessed readers. They help their mother out at their bookstore downtown and when a large package comes in the mail, they open it and discover an old book with weird scriptures and writing. This immediately sends Becca to the hospital where it's like she's been transformed into another world. In fact, she has—Mytica. Crystal strives to help her sister and bring her back, alongside some help from a rich, "snobby" teenager named Farrell, who I fell in love with. Then, there's Maddox, who is extra adorable as well. Again, Morgan Rhodes creates a cast of characters who certainly deserve a bookish Oscar for the best crew. *grins*
Crystal Hatcher: She's kickass and totally reminds me of myself, in a way. She's shy, quiet but rebellious at the same time and I loved her personality at all times. She made the best decisions at the best time. I think she's exactly like Cleo, in Morgan's other rocking series. Pretty similar, if you ask me.
Farrell Grayson: HOT is the only word that I could use to describe him. Other reviews have noted that he doesn't know what he's doing and we're all meant to hate him and all, but I do think otherwise. He's hot, sexy, and interesting. I don't know if I could even possibly ship him with Crystal or anything, because he's certainly all mine.
Maddox Corso: A male witch? We don't usually see this in YA fiction, and I grant another large applause to Morgan for that. She did a fantastic job shaping his character, showing his powers and how strong of an attitude he has at all times. I loved the person who he became by the end, and he helped Becca in so many ways, including some romantically. *wiggles eyebrows*
"One sees a snake, and one is afraid. But snakes are no more frightening than any other beast. A rabbit's bite might lack lethal poison, but it can be every bit as deep and dangerous as Aegus's. But one sees something pleasant to the eye, and the fear vanishes, the guard drops. Appearances can be deceiving."
That's just one of the many beautiful samples and snippets of Morgan's writing. The plot was just about perfect, and I would definitely rate it five freaking awesome stars. My heart raced alongside the characters's, and my mind couldn't stop fidgeting with everything—I was in love, and that rarely has happened lately. Mixing fantasy with a contemporary, realistic world is one of the best ideas I've read in a book in ages. And it came together so smoothly. This was a complete pleasure to read.
Reading this is something that every lover of any genre will adore: You don't have to be a hardcore high fantasy fan. To tell you the truth, I never was until I came across of Sarah J. Maas and Morgan's writing. This lightly touches some genre and hints of romance, but I bet that it wasn't meant to had. It's interesting, compelling, and will throw you into a room full of these characters from the first page—that's how real it feels. I just wish I could take a time portol to Mytica, because I'd rise up on my tippy toes and give a big kiss to Farrell and Maddox, your two new book boyfriends. SEQUEL, I DON'T KNOW IF I COULD WAIT MUCH LONGER. PLEASE ARRIVE BY FEDEX IN TWO DAYS AND I WILL NEVER LEAVE MY HOUSE AGAIN....more
I always find myself attracted to books that involve the wonderful, butThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I always find myself attracted to books that involve the wonderful, but perhaps childish concept called the circus. I have been to a circus twice, and I really see a lot of amazement when looking at the way the show is actually prepared. Menagerie gave me that experience, amazingly, but in a way that no audience would ever expect to see in a modern, contemporary society. Who would expect people to go watch... monsters and mythological creatures?
Yes, you heard me correctly. Rachel Vincent writes about monsters living in this "world" we call the menagerie, and there's basically every kind you have been afraid of or have heard of. Yes, mermaids and werewolves are present, and they're all held in cages, where people in this novel go out and see them, seeing what they are capable of and how they look, because some definitely have human distinct physical features. It's a brilliant concept that is really difficult to come up with and broaden... and I'm not so sure if the author did the best job ever with the broadening part, but I'll let you know now that the concept is my most favourite part of the whole book.
This book was pretty well written, and I definitely enjoy reading Vincent's writing style. She writes like she's part of the audience of this circus, not like she's pretending for it to be real or something of that sort. Yes, there are many different protagonists and perspectives which she is writing from, but everyone is distinct, not only with their physical features but their issues that they are dealing with as they are in the menagerie. This is absolutely messed up.
And the author also makes it sound extra real because she adds in quotes that have supposedly taken place in the 1980s, not some wild dystopian time like the 2300s or whatever. You could seriously imagine this taking place in society today, or in the past. You feel like you could turn on the news and see headlines about the characters, Delilah or Rudolph escaping or creating some chaos. It is rare to read a novel with such depth and realism to it, and I am grateful to have given this start to an extraordinary series a try.
So with these kinds of books, and with any other kind that deals with a bunch of unreal characters, there's always the one soul who is different from the rest. In this case, she is supposed to be a human. Delilah heads to the menagerie with her family, striving to see something new and see the different ways that some creatures live. And then she discovers that she's just like them, and next thing you know, she's put in a cage and is ready to say goodbye to the life that she once had.
"Fear is a powerful, often irrational emotion, and mass fear on the scale of what followed the reaping has the power to shake any society to its core. As long as the world remembered, they would live in fear of all cryptids—regardless of whether or not any individual among us was truly dangerous." (186)
No, there's no romance. And I guess that this is partially adult as the characters are not the age of teenagers, but there isn't anything that really breaks apart the two. If you enjoy adult novels, go for this and vice versa for YA. This is seriously a book for everyone.
Menagerie really made me feel like I was living in a cage. It's a brilliant novel that was fast-paced at first, and then kind of bored me after, but I enjoyed it either way. I do not know if I will end up picking up the sequel, but I am glad for this experience and the ability that I got to read Rachel Vincent's newest story. Plus, the cover is stunning and I'm pretty sure it's calling out to you....more
That was honestly a beautiful retelling that I could never have imagineThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
That was honestly a beautiful retelling that I could never have imagined that I would end up reading. Jessica Khoury's novels have stayed with me since the start of the my blogging career and when I began reading YA. Her novels, Origin and Vitro both stuck with me since the start with their unique, dystopian flairs. THIS BOOK HAD ALL OF THE GENIE THINGS THAT I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO READ ABOUT AGAIN SINCE I LET GO OF ALADDIN BACK IN THE DAY. As you may have already figured out, I am the BIGGEST fan of Disney flicks. Without them, I cannot imagine what kind of person I would have turned into. Minus Jasmine (for whatever reason), the fabulous Jessica Khoury placed together a new romance and story to tell from the perspective of the hottest fictional character I have read about in a long time.
"'This,' I say, gesturing at myself, 'this isn't me. This isn't what I look like. This body you see belonged to someone else, long, long ago, and like the monster I am, I stole it. It is a mask. A lie." (189)
50 Reasons Why You'll Adore The Forbidden Wish (and why it is calling out to you):
This cannot be fifty reasons or you all would have left after reason number five. So, in that sense, let us just keep it at five.
•The cover, duh. I think that it is self-explanatory, but I am sure that you see the beauty in it from first sight. My ARC has the different, more pastel cover that has not been published, which I also love, but the colours and design on this one have that extra touch that just conveys readers.
•The nice take on Aladdin. I always dreamt of Aladdin flying up to my balcony or doorstep with his magical carpet and making me be Jasmine. I honestly think that was every little girl's dream. Now, for the first time ever, I suppose, readers are brought into the world of Aladdin once more. THIS STORY HAS A TWIST AND IT IS PRACTICALLY THE BEST RETELLING EVER. Aladdin actually falls in love with a genie named Zahra who gives Aladdin three wishes, and the novel is about him deciding what to do with the wishes and realizes what is happening with his life as he falls in love with Zahra, possibly making him choose the forbidden wish, letting her free of her being a genie. Instead of the blue genie we watched in the animated feature, readers gain a deep, mystical love story that shines. It is different from the rest and in those kind of books, that's what readers remember the most later on. It is nothing like the movie, which charms me even more.
"Part of me feels shriveled and rejected. I am the weed cast out of the rose garden. I am the crow chased out of the dovecote. I am where I belong, and shouldn't that be enough? Doesn't that merit some sense of happiness or at least, fulfillment? Haven't I won the more important prize—freedom?" (237)
•How fast-paced this became. This is not your average retelling. Readers are honestly taken on their dream magic carpet ride through the streets of Agrabah. This time around, Aladdin is basically treated as royalty. It is an interesting twist, though we do see the accusations of him being a thief, which is really noted in the movie and makes his romance with Jasmine really shine. Anywho, I would say that this is extremely worth it to read. The plot moves quickly for the most part, and I expected that, coming from Jessica Khoury. Her books always have and I bet always will have that dash action-movie-like feeling that makes readers' hearts beat extra quicker.
•Zahra. She's a jinni, and not the blue guy who somehow fits his way through the magical gold lamp. Zahra takes different figures and is very self-conscious about herself and her identity. I like her unsure-personality. If we had a confident jinni who overused her powers, I do not suspect that this novel would have been as good as it was. Zahra struggled with who she was and I somehow felt like she had the most best personality that I have read about in a while. She was fabulous.
•The wishes and ending. Aladdin continued to make good choices throughout the whole book... and all of this basically made the ending great too, since his decisions affected his fate with Zahra and all of that. I especially loved the take on the ultra-glamorous wedding at the end of the novel that Aladdin is interestingly part of. One thing I forgot to mention—Jessica Khoury added rivalry and evil characters who made the story ten times better.
So my point here is that this book is unforgettable. Y'all need to pick it up as soon as possible or as soon as your car moves you to the bookstore. YES....more
Macbeth by the great William Shakespeare is such a stupid book, when yoThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Macbeth by the great William Shakespeare is such a stupid book, when you really think about it. I remember being young, asking my parents who Shakespeare is, and later asking if his plays were interesting, in their opinions. My dad liked Hamlet, but no one ever said anything about Macbeth. And then I discovered that I would be reading it for English class in tenth grade, and they both admitted that it's dumb. I didn't believe them, because Shakespeare is one of my favourite writers and I love the way he plays with words. And then I actually read this interesting story about greed and pride, and I discovered that they were completely right. Being a tragedy and all, we readers could immediately understand what to expect with this story: Macbeth is a tragic hero, therefore he dies, and others will die too, because of his great tragic flaw. It couldn't have been more dumber—but I was intrigued by this stupidity and the predictability of this great play. In the end, I must say that it was seriously great.
Many people have issues enjoying/reading books that are required for them to read because of school. I rarely have had that issue, because I find that my English teachers are doing a good job with choosing books for the curriculum that people my age would actually enjoy/relate to. Macbeth isn't totally relatable, as we don't live in a period of time where Canada/America has a king or queen, but we always do undergo these phases of greed or jealousy. This tragic play by Shakespeare explores supernatural aspects in the midst of a time setting of royalty and power in Scotland.
"See, see, our honour'd hostess.—The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you how you shall bid God yield us for your pains and thank us for your trouble."
It's a simple yet complex plot. Macbeth is a Thane of Glamis in Scotland, being successful in battle and being known as the courageous man in their land. He has a high reputation, and is admired by King Duncan. After three witches approach Macbeth and his friend Banquo and tell him that he will become Thane of Cawdor, and later King, Macbeth strives to make these prophecies come true. Banquo thinks that the witches were all in their heads, being hallucinations, but Macbeth is naïve enough to know that this is no joke. He murders Duncan, and becomes King, of course, keeping a hidden identity as a murderer/assassin.
Of course, that's the climax moment. As every Shakespearean tragedy, the protagonist (or antagonist, as Macbeth is) undergoes this downfall or deterioration. That was the most interesting part of the play, in my opinion. Although I hated Macbeth's character so much as well as his utter stupidity compared to his kick-ass wife, Lady Macbeth, he was the highlight of the play and I felt that it was very important to pay close attention to his character. I was correct. Throughout the play, even though Shakespeare's use of language is very complex and nuts, compared to your average authors of modern day, or even other playwrights, I was so interested. Thank goodness my teacher did not give my class a pop quiz on who said what line. I would've died of fear.
"What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's abed. He hath been in unusual pleasure and sent forth great largess to your offices. This diamond he greets your wife withal, by the name of most kind hostess, and shut up in measureless content."
Macbeth is not as good as Romeo and Juliet, as I always look forward for some romance in the novels/plays I read, though I really enjoyed it. I felt a tight connection to the characters, and as soon as I realize how much I liked their character, they die. This kind of had the Game of Thrones vibe, I must say. From the start of the play, I had a feeling that I would rate this five stars, but that deteriorated a little in the middle where I couldn't stand Macbeth and his actions. Yes, that was supposed to occur, but it kind of got on my nerves, as intended.
William Shakespeare always knows how to derive his stories from a perfect setting, well mostly because he was fortunate to have been living in that particular time period as well. No author could mix up a perfect play like this and mould such a good setting into it as Shakespeare has. With the ghosts, witches, royalty and different themes, I was in love.
Macbeth has always been known as a classic, but I definitely see why. I ended up writing a comparative essay on this lovely story and you will find inspiration through this, too, even though it is quite predictable. All in all, there are no other stories like this in the whole world, and even if one does pop up, we will know what the original is. Get ready to love-and-hate this as well as one of the most popular antagonists in all of literary history, Lord Macbeth. ...more
Here we go again. Rin Chupeco's The Suffering was a repeat of her firstThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Here we go again. Rin Chupeco's The Suffering was a repeat of her first book in this series, The Girl From the Well. I would rather not complain or anything, but this was a serious hit and run for me. It was confusing, slow and ugly. Three-star books are the worst thing to eve give out, and when they hit me, I just get frustrated and want to run around the world, searching for another perfect horror-thriller story. This was not it. Instead, it was just another slow-paced book, some parts set in America, but some parts also in Japan, just like another vacation disaster as the first one turned out to be. Not for me.
Tark and his cool cousin, Callie (I had to go back and look her name up) are back again to fight... ghosts? I am still not sure what this series is going to eventually become or anything. There is no point that is flying up in front of my face. You know how every book has its own message.... right? And you know how every book is pretty great when it comes to world-building? There is no sight of Japan in this. The texture and setting of the story seemed to be in some weird forest in Virginia or something. There is no cultural relation whatsoever between the setting, and what it is actually like in Japan. I see nothing special this time, just like the first.
It's been... a week? since I read this and I honestly do not remember a thing. Sure, the beginning and commencing part of the book was fabulous, with Tark in America and Okiku sitting around, acting like a doll and not saying anything. But then I suddenly remembered that she is a doll. WHAT? She is creepy but not in a horror-like way but in an eerie way that does not make sense... do you know what I mean? She barely ever says anything and acts completely monotone throughout the story. How does Tark even see anything in her to actually enjoy, you ask me. My flat answer is: Go see for yourself. Because in my perspective, there is nothing creepy or nice about this chick.
"She taught me to face my inner demons, that their presence did not mean I was broken. She loved my darkness, and I loved her light." (303)
This novel essentially comprises of everything I would have liked to enjoy or could have enjoyed in Young Adult horror, fantasy fiction. The characters were there, the somewhat-interesting romance was there, and so was the folklore. But a sequel or second book in this sense is not essential, in fact. It is just the same as the first, inserted with the same complexity and same plot as the time before. I gave it the same rating, too, anyways.
Tark was my favourite part of this novel. I adore his quirky, nerdy and shy personality, but when he wants something, he has game and passion to get what he would like. I never really paid attention to the fighting or action or whatnot that was here... because that does not interest me. And I promise you, I would have never picked this one up if it was not for BEA's generosity. I had an ARC, borrowed the first one from the library, did not fall in love with it as I expected to, and then decided to binge read this one. Both were equal and dissatisfying, except for the beginnings and Tark's character. This shows that if Rin Chupeco wrote contemporary, I might have really enjoyed it. Hmm... I'll wait and see for future, upcoming novels from her.
The Suffering was not everything I expected it to be and wanted. Second book syndrome has struck, and it will probably stay with me if Rin ever decides to add more books to this series. I had high hopes, there were stunning reviews out there that recommended this to all, even if you do not enjoy folklore tales, and I fell in the ditch. Read this if you are lurking for a strong protagonist who will make your inner book-nerd fangirl sides churn. Other than that, this is just a weak "horror" story that could never make it to the movies. It was okay, ugh.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America. Thank you so much!*...more
As the summary states, this middle-grade debut surely is evocative. I cThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
As the summary states, this middle-grade debut surely is evocative. I can't continue that note even further until you all go out and pick up this gothic read. DeStefano's mind and world created is so dark and steampunk-ish. All I picture is grey skies, characters dressed up in bonnets and pretty dresses and did I mention grey skies? It's such a gloomy read filled with grief and discovering who you are, but at the same time it gives readers all of the feels. Any kid would enjoy this book somehow and it's absolutely recommended by me, myself, and I.
In her foreword, Lauren DeStefano describes her state of grief and what inspired her to write this novel. After her latest teen novel, she will have written 6 YA books and I completely understand her reason of switching into middle-grade. Like YA, middle-grade's a pretty new genre that has formed just for children who are still too young to understand/enjoy more mature subject matter. We all need that comfort read to turn to when times are rough, and I firmly believe that this book will become that for many kids. Our heroine, Pram, is eleven years old and she sees ghosts—what else can a kid want to relate to in a story? (Not that many children see ghosts these days...)
"'Don't be in any hurry,' Felix said. "I like you alive. I like the way you see things. It makes you who you are, the way the spirit world makes me who I am." (ARC, page 15)
These characters are eleven years old and they're already so inspirational. That's really cute, if you ask me. And also to mention, this isn't scary by any means. It does have that spooky feel, but you won't be hiding under your covers in case any gorilla-monster will come up and take you away. Lauren did that aspect perfectly—you're in for a wild ride—and it brings us into a mystery of finding your family and discovering how it's okay to be different. NO, this isn't a cheesy concept whatsoever and if you think it is, something's wrong with your taste of books, just saying. *winks*
This story is about Pram Bellamy, short for Pragmatic, an attribute that Pram's mother didn't have at all. Pram's an orphan, as her mother died while giving birth and her father's completely out of the picture as he doesn't even know that Pram exists. Did I mention that she sees ghosts? Her closest friend is Felix, who's a ghost and is the only one who she can talk to. She lives with her two aunts and when it's time for her to actually start attending school (her aunts taught her for a while), she meets Clarence, who also has lost his mom in an accident and together they head off to discover answers from a spiritualist.
Things like this can surely happen to people. That's one of the reasons why I enjoyed this so much, even though it contains lots and lots of fantasy. A ghost killing someone and chasing you? That obviously isn't bound to happen in reality, but some of the book's events seems so real. FRIENDSHIP? Check. A NICE FAMILY? Check. It's complete beauty.
"Clarence. Pram thought of his blue eyes and his sad smile, and the tickets to Lady Savant's Spirit Show in his hand, and then the feel of his hand in hers. She could taste the chocolate-raspberry ice cream he'd bought her, and the haze trimmed." (ARC, page 134)
Pram and Clarence were so freaking adorable. I bet that they'll end up being boyfriend-and-girlfriend one day, or as the series continues. *hopes* I am in full support of boy-girl friendships, especially in literature because we NEVER see enough of that. Fighting in the spirit world and helping each other out? That's cuter than watching two brown bears play fighting. They were always there for each other and now I'm squealing. Damn.
I didn't like Pram's character, sadly. I bet that you now know what's the special ingredient that brought my rating down, and it was that. I usually never have issues with middle-grade heroines/heroes, but in this case, she was disappointing. Too naïve, too gullible, I don't know. She fought for her answers, which was nice, but we didn't get to see that special something coming out of her, you know? But in that case, I'm letting you know that the writing is so descriptive, slow but imaginative. No fantasy author has ever done it that way, I can tell you.
The title of this book makes so much sense now that I've read the story. It speaks to readers, actually. This certainly is the best middle-grade read I've read this year, next to Fuzzy Mud and The Isle of the Lost, and I just can't wait for the next book in the Pram series. I'll fight a ghost to grab a copy of the sequel. I'M JOKING, I'd never do what the brave characters had to go through now that I think about it. Let me go read a cutesy contemporary because I just can't go without thinking about this spooky read. CHILDREN, GO AND LINE UP FOR THIS BOOK WHEN SEPTEMBER 1ST COMES.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Disney has always been part of my life, whetThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!
*3.5 star rating*
Disney has always been part of my life, whether it's the movies, stories or morals related. Since Beauty and the Beast as well as The Lion King, my two favourite movies to this day, I’ve bene obsessed and I won’t ever forget or set aside the stories that brought my childhood together and taught me so many things. After discovering that Melissa de la Cruz, one of my all-time favourite authors, will be releasing a prequel to a coming Disney movie that’s all about the children of the villains that every kid knows about today, I WAS STOKED. I still am stoked, feeling excited and so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to read such a fabulous novel.
Before reading, or in your *points to review reader* situation, I recommend thinking about your likings of books. This is middle-grade, by the way, but I firmly believe that anyone will like this, young or old. ANY DISNEY LOVER will become obsessed, just saying. *giggles* Do you enjoy some fantasy associated with goblins, dwarves and plain spells and magic? If you’re okay with that (because I know I am) then you'll totally love this. Get ready for a true enjoyable read.
“This was the Isle of the Lost. Evil lived, breathed, and ruled the island, and King Beast and his sickly sweet billboards cajoling the former villains of the world to do good had no place in it. Who wanted to make lemonade from lemons, when you could make perfectly good lemon grenades?” (Hardcover, page 21)
No one knows Disney better than Melissa over here. Just saying. I can imagine the amount of research and awesomeness needed to be put to make such a complex novel like this! And really, the storyline may seem simplistic and all, but there’s so much to it. Kids have to be interested and have weak attention spans these days, so shouldn’t this be full of details? *nods* AND THERE WAS. Where can I simply begin on the subject of plot and all? This was fabulous.
But before I get head of myself, let’s talk about my personal synopsis for you. :) It all begins with the story of each child, Cruella de Vil’s son, Carlos, Maleficent’s daughter, Mal, Jafar’s son, Jay and the Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie. They’re all thrown into each other’s life somehow, and at first, things don’t work well, but as their island and home is put at stake, they realize that they have to work together for peace, and to maintain their reputations, as well as discovering who they really are. And finding the Dragon’s Eye, of course. But, that’s an adventure that you’re going to have to take this time around, heh.
I feel that the Descendants movie that’ll be premiering on Disney Channel this summer’s going to be a hit. Think of Camp Rock, but for this generation of kids. *thinks of my sister* And of course, there’s all of the Disney live-action retelling films that are releasing now, like Maleficent and Cinderella. Everyone wants to see the children of the villains that we were grown to be scared of, no? It’s a new way to see Disney, and this was a perfect retelling. I mean, I bet not every kid’s going to pick this up and read it since it’s what happens before the main events of the movie, but it’ll always be there to hand a background story over to readers and give them a twist on the usual Disney that comes to mind. Right? Right.
This was the ultimate twist on Disney. ALL OF THE CHARACTERS THAT WE FELL IN LOVE WITH WHEN WE WERE KIDS ARE BACK. You’ll see flashbacks and moments with Ariel, Cinderella, Belle and the Beast, just to name a few. And you know how the princesses were all teenagers when their main story occurred? This is after the ever-after, and then you’ll get to read about what they’re up to now, and more on where they live and their kingdom. How did I not know anything about their USA? *lets everyone know that it’s not America* WOOT. The world setting was unlike anything I’ve read of before, filled with evilness and classes that are made according to your EQ (like your IQ, though all about how much evil you have inside of you). It’s a magical isle, I must say.
Evie had to be my ultimate favourite character. She had to deal with so much, and her mother’s manipulation and her forcing of Evie having to be the fairest literally broke my heart, but it made it so much better because there was an outside issue that the characters had to deal with. And just to let you know, things did get better for her and her self-esteem. CONFIDENCE IS THE BEST REPUTATION TO HAVE. And she grew stronger, not letting some stupid evil girl get in her way out of jealousy. *coughMALcough*
And then we obviously had the other three main people: Jay, Mal and Carlos. (By the way, Belle and Beast’s son, BEN also makes appearances!) They pissed me off, just saying. I’m not sure if they were supposed to be really annoying and snobby, or it was just me and THE EVILNESS that they portrayed. Ugh. That sure was an issue for me, and I kind of dreaded when Mal’s POV and perspective came along because she annoyed me to the full extent. Huh. *sits grumpily in the corner* That could possibly be JUST me, just saying.
Was there romance? No, this is a middle-grade. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t ask me that question. Hah. But there was some crushy-cutesy related stuff happening with Evie and Carlos, possibly. Thankfully this wasn’t one of those unrealistic middle-grade fantasies where anything can happen, even though this is pure Disney. IT WASN’T PREDICTABLE, SO THAT’S A GOOD START.
All in all, I was really REALLY impressed with this pretty. It’s actually unlike anything I’ve ever read, and I normally don’t ever read middle grade unless I’m sure of it and know that I’ll like it and that it’ll be perfectly okay and fine for me. In this case, it certainly was and I ended up being the proudest person alive. Since I borrowed this from the library, I’LL HAVE TO grab myself a copy and get my little sister to read it, if she’s okay with goblins serving coffee. Hah. I want to live on the creepy island, the Isle of the Lost!...more
Amy Alward's Madly was like a never-ending cycle ofThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*3.5 star rating*
Amy Alward's Madly was like a never-ending cycle of doubt. I had high hopes, I had low hopes, I had high hopes again, it went downhill once more. I honestly just based my rating off how I felt with the ending, because I did, and still do not know what to expect with this great author's writing, after all. Madly was not the best book out there, and it certainly does not look to be the worst, either. I'm playing with words here, and depending on your intake with magic and potion-related events, then this could turn out pretty great for you. It seems very scientific, in fact. Mixing the potions and learning about how an author living in a contemporary world sees another world with love potions and all of the mythical things we as children learned about through fairy tales was an absolute new experience that I could never throw out of my mind.
Madly is about destiny and revenge. And did I mention that there are also sparks of envy here and there? We have a kick-ass protagonist who basically is placed in her situation to ruin the day for the royal Princess Evelyn, and snatch her boy-toy (ew, that word is hideous), Zain, because she always watched him from afar and knew that she had to get him. Put it all into perspective, and you could picture another contemporary romance, with bits of fantasy and potion mixing here and there. No biggie. *sarcastic voice plays in your mind* Samantha is a character to remember, there is parts of her in every girl who ever wanted to get a guy when she knew there was no possible chance to.
I could say that this was cliché, but then I keep slamming myself, reminding me of the fact that there is no YA book out there that deals with alchemy in such a wicked environment. This could be modern day, in fact, where the characters are in some parallel universe that is fractured with kingdoms and text messages. In parallel universes, anything is possible. Now I have come to realize that I am getting too ahead of myself. Moving on... it is a distinct, unique story that has never been created before. It hasn't. I usually could state in my reviews books that are similar—"If you liked so and so, this book is for you!"—and in this case, I cannot. Sorry that I am sounding blunt, but this is a wicked, positive thing that Alward established.
I praise this story. Even if it was weak here and there (and it was), I have so much respect for it, as well as all of the characters who were in it. It was so intelligent and smart, and seems so real, even though it was absolute fantasy and Zain could never, ever come into my life and rescue me. I really enjoyed the ending especially—which blew my mind and kind of broke my heart to pieces—and I would never regret giving this a chance, even if it was not my favourite.
Samantha kicked everyone's butts and made sure she still did the right thing at the right time. People say that she is annoying, that she is stuck-up and selfish. But aside from that (because everyone has those moments), I loved her intelligence and hope. She had her reasons for everything, like for her doing what she did so she could be heard because she realizes her future. She does not want to change her fictional kingdom—no. She just wants to add a little bit of action into her life so she could remember it when things get tough. This was mega, mega interesting.
Zain was freaking adorable and I just wish—no I won't say it. Let us just say that the author blew me away and did give in a few surprises here and there. Never mind—she gave in millions of surprises. Everything made sense and I just loved the way everything turned out for all of the characters, even though some had not turned out as happy as they were supposed to, in a way. I adore Sam and Zain's feelings towards each other, even though—AGH I CANNOT SAY IT. Even though it seemed hesitant all the time. And okay, maybe it was only Sam who felt it for the most part. *winks*
Madly made me feel mad, but of course only in that crazy "Mad Hatter" way. I adored the ending, and saw so many surprises added by the author that my head was ready to explode. This book is seriously for everyone, and I recommend it truly if you have a thing for alchemy and magic. This was entertaining and special—a memorable read for sure....more
Every year, the YA book community is lucky to discovThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*3.5 star rating*
Every year, the YA book community is lucky to discover many new reads that will end up on many of our "Top 10" lists. In 2015, although it took me more than a year to actually get to, the world discovered and was lucky to receive a book by a lovely fantasy author that will change the way we look at high fantasy literature and retellings: Eleanor Herman. With this gorgeous Legacy of Kings, readers are thrown into a story that features many perspectives in the first person (my favourite!), a love square (or something like that—trust me, everyone's connected and in love with each other), retelling aspects, and story about Alexander the Great, something that has never been done before and carries on with George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass vibes. I am not saying this simply because of the fact that the two are high fantasy novels with assassins and all of that cool gear, but because I feel this historical fantasy vibe while I did read this lovely thing.
I was hesitant, trust me. Reviews are kind of slamming back and forth with this one, and I felt this sure thing that I wouldn't enjoy it. I had a review copy from BEA, so why not take the risk? But you should imagine when I took the risk. I took the risk in May, deciding to lug this one with me on my trip to Chicago, where Eleanor Herman was signing the sequel to this. THANK GOODNESS I GRABBED A COPY. High fantasy either becomes a hit or a miss for me, and I find myself frequently disliking books with magic and hierarchies, and then there are the times where I go on this high fantasy stroll and try to add every book that exists like this to my bookshelf.
Legacy of Kings is such a great read. Every single fantasy lover out there needs to grab their wallets, hitch a ride to the bookstore (or log onto Amazon) and just pick this up. I love the family ties and how every character is connected to one another, and I loved the fact that this takes away from our ordinary Mary Sue books about war. Hell yeah, there was fighting and action, but Herman knows exactly what she was doing to make sure that her debut YA book would stem in the opposite direction from others.
In order to summarize this huge 428-paged bundle of madness into a paragraph, I will require a good mood. Check. Okay, so... We readers get to sit in the perspectives of three lovely people who are featured in this love square, as I like to call it. Alexander, Katerina and Jacob all live in this Roman period of time or whatever the correct terms seem to be, but this is kind of a prequel prior to Alexander's greatness and so on. Katerina likes Alexander, who likes Zofia, who likes Jacob, who likes Katerina. You see what I mean? At least these characters have a lover somewhere, someone who loves them, even though they may not realize that they love that person instead. YOU SEE MY FRIENDS? THIS IS COMPLICATED. This book is complicated by itself, without the romance, and I strongly recommend buying book one and two together and binge reading them. I feel like I am experiencing some kind of great loss without Empire of Dust in my hands right now. See above: I do own it. I also recommend reading this without any distractions: it is amazingly important to cherish Eleanor's writing with its details and the captivation that she writes with without any distractions. All of fantasy is like that: no distractions needed.
I keep blabbing the positives here, my fellow kings and queens. THIS WAS BORING IN THE BEGINNING. Everyone was and still is saying that, and I seriously agree. This book is really difficult to get into, because there is so much destined to happen but there's nothing occurring at the same time, you know what I mean? I was bored out of my mind for the first hundred pages, and expected that I would DNF this. Once the romance picked up and the real drama (psstt.... OLYMPIA) arrived, I knew that this would be my kind of read.
The character relationships are so complex and yet so interesting that I feel that they are the stars of this novel. Not the idea. Not the plot. THEM. And the amount of plot twists that Eleanor adds in to keep us reading? MAGNIFICENT.
Legacy of Kings was a plus for me, but it could surely be a minus for you, depending on your patience. I JUST NEED TO READ THE SEQUEL NOW. That's what's bothering me, poking at me whenever I decide to add a different book onto my currently reading shelf on Goodreads. Alex's voice is just stuck with readers from start to finish, and definitely way after. I just cannot get this twisted story out of my head and can only wish that I was part of this fictional world somehow.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
If I was offered the chance to sigh for eternitThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!
DNF @ 35 pages
If I was offered the chance to sigh for eternity, I bet that I would've taken that chance. After DNFing Shadow and Bone back in the day, I do admit that I've gotten regrets that I did. Over the past year, I've become a huge fan of high fantasy novels, and some of my most favourite novels lie in that genre. When I heard that Leigh was going to be releasing a new series, I decided that I'd give it a chance since everyone's talking positive things about it. I swear that for now, I'm the only one who has DNFed it.
Six of Crows could be that perfect, amazing book for you. I am not going to sit here, raging and ranting, trying to get you to not purchase or read this novel. No. It's just not the kind of fantasy fiction novel that interests me, and I'm glad that I've given it a chance or I would've spent my whole life regretting the fact that I never gave it and Leigh's writing a chance again.
It focuses on too much. There are a huge bunch of characters with so many perspectives, and like Rick Yancey's highly hyped 5th Wave series, it's not for me. It's more of a fantasy that deals with an endless amount of magic, weird language and weird names. I can't picture it being realistic or ever coming true in some kind of parallel universe, which is pretty disgruntling.
After the tenth page, I already knew that this wouldn't be for me. I bet that once it's released, there will be individuals willing to agree with me and this review, but everyone's raving now and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't enjoy it. Having to read more than four hundred pages of this? I don't think it's my kind of thing, I'd just be wasting time on something unenjoyable.
This greatly reminds me of this other high fantasy read that I didn't enjoy, which took more of a historical-fantasy spin on your average tale, very similar to this, Seraphina. Bardugo may be a fabulous writer, I didn't deny that, but I couldn't care less to even look for that because I was disinterested and bored out of my mind for thirty five pages. I didn't want to give it a bigger chance because I knew it's not me. KAZ MUST BE WONDERFUL THOUGH.
*An e-review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Disney is honestly the best franchise in the entire world. Everything aThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Disney is honestly the best franchise in the entire world. Everything about the movies and the theme parks just makes me smile like a little girl, and even adults love the stories that make it up. Aladdin has always been one of my favourite stories of them all, and it carries the best characters: Genie, Jasmine, Abu, even Jafar. The world setting is extraordinary, and I love that Liz Braswell has twisted the original tale with her own retelling that readers will adore, especially as we move on closer to the release date. You'll all be obsessed, I promise.
What if an evil villain won it all? What if the whole tale was completely changed to make evil things happen? What if... What if... those are the possibilities that people keep in their minds after watching a great fairytale film. Evidently, the original ones are made for kids originally and they can't just let Jafar ruin it all and get it all because yet again, Aladdin wouldn't be the hero of the story. Aladdin and Jasmine (the best power couple ever) still are main characters and they actually have to fight for freedom and for the people of Agrabah, who are in jeopardy when Jafar finds the magical lamp first. This isn't too similar to the original story as some have noted. Instead, it's its own glorious differentiated plot.
"Whatever happens next—whether we save the city or it falls into a pit in the earth and is lost forever—I would never, ever change a moment of our time together. You are the best—the only good thing that has happened in my life." (ARC, page 256)
The romance, the action, the social status and politics... everything had its own importance that played throughout the whole story and to be honest, I wouldn't change a thing to make it different. Braswell throws readers into a magical world that's very different from our own, but it's not a simplistic world to create. It's like we're stuck on our own personal magic carpet, going back and forth until the resolution is present.
The plot is basically what you can think of: a twisted tale. What's the worst possible turnaround of the original story? The villain getting the lamp and wishing to be king and rule Agrabah—Jafar. With tweaks and hints of what we once knew, Braswell must've had tons of research needed to get the things right and to know what she was writing about. We obviously cannot have a whole new storyline where the characters' personalities and attributes are messed around with, Aladdin needs to be a Street Rat and Jasmine needs to be royal in her turquoise adorable outfit. Abu was there, too. All of the facts that needed to stay as facts were complete and present.
What honestly made everything wonderful was the new characters. There were a bunch, too, and I guess you can say that they all helped Jasmine and Aladdin solve the issue that Jafar created. At first, these bunch of new roles seemed a little too far off from the story and I disliked them, but boy was I wrong. It's great to be introduced to another female character who could relate to Jasmine and help her out with her newly-improved social status—a thief. Because hey, who can deny that she wasn't one with the whole apple incident? Readers grow to understand her situation and life. But where does her one mistake of running away from home lead her to? Hell. Her dad dies and well... Agrabah turns to the worst possible situation of its standing. The gorgeous Arabian city we once knew about has violence and poorness occurring. Of course our two heroes want to help!
"He didn't call us traitors or revolutionaries or insurrectionists. He said, 'Death is my friend in the war for Agrabah.' He thinks it's a fair fight. He thinks we're at war. As equals." (ARC, page 235)
Would I have changed my experience with the actual story? That's a sure "no." Readers are able to tell that Braswell is an experienced author who writes retellings. She actually has written The Nine Lives of Chloe King, which a humungous set of paranormal novels that I read back a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. I actually never recognized her name until I searched Braswell up in Goodreads, and my expectations just blew over the top. I expected this awesomeness, coming from my past experience of enjoying her previous work. She's such a talented writer who makes it so easy to feel like you've indulged in her writing from page one. At least, that's what it felt like for me.
We are so fortunate to have a great group of characters as well. Aladdin was the person who brightened up the story (and who I had tons of sympathy for) where I almost died of pity. The thing is, these Disney characters are so happy with their lives, even if they live in poverty or have to beg and steal things, like Aladdin was raised with. It makes a happily ever after even more likely to produce because you know that from the great achievements that they make, they'll have to be even happier by the end of their story. Jasmine was kick-butt and the life-changer person. Although her personality seemed to be off from the original (she was kind of mad all of the time), the relationships that she created with others is significant to the whole story.
THE ROMANCE? THE LOVE? THE ATTRACTION? Yeah, the story would've been horrible without it. I can't even imagine this moving story without Jasdin. (Ship name alert!) It's insta-love, I'm warning you, but for some reason it works in this book, although it doesn't click every time. How are you not supposed to fall in love when it's meant to be? If you are so against insta-romance, then I recommend leaving right now because you're not allowed here. Jokes. I'm kidding, heh. But really, I just want to cry when people choose not to read a book because the characters have a nice relationship. It's a fast-paced story, what are Aladdin and Jasmine supposed to do when they meet each other? Smirk and leave? No, the initial meeting is a crazily awesome moment that brings the whole story together. Okay? Okay.
What about the ending? Well that made me cry and feel like an idiot because I thought that it'd be some kind of suspense. Thank goodness the Genie did... you know. *doesn't spoil* But overall, I NEED THE NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES. DISNEY PRESS, YOU GUYS RULE AND YOU NEED TO HAND IT TO ME RIGHT NOW. Please please please let it be The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast and I'll hug you guys for the rest of eternity. I'll even walk from my house all the way to New York if I could get it. I guess from these few statements, you can tell I'm some obsessed Disney fangirl. It's life, and Aladdin and Jasmine created a well-known story into something twisted, but one that does end with a happy ending. If you don't like those, then you don't like Disney.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so so much!*...more
I've officially almost read all of Richelle Mead's books, guys! SoundleThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I've officially almost read all of Richelle Mead's books, guys! Soundless is a very interesting take on a diverse fantasy novel taken place a mystery faraway kingdom called Beiguo, which features Chinese (supposed) characters who live in this kingdom and they're all basically suffering. I never got why. Or understood why. Anyways, Richelle Mead for the first time (from what I have read) has created a standalone novel that features myths, creatures and searing noises. *laughs* I didn't really enjoy this one, and I must say that it's one of Richelle's worst books, in my opinion. WHERE WAS THE EXPLANATION BEHIND ALL OF THE DIVERSITY AND THE COOL FIGHTS? This was just hideously boring and I almost DNFed it because I was bored out of my mind and didn't have the patience to read more about Fei.
Richelle Mead never has created a snoozefest for me in the past. I'm surprised, because she is one of the only fantasy authors who I could read, and actually enjoy. Vampire Academy and The Glittering Court were both great. Hmmph. Khanh explained her worries about this book perfectly in her review. I totally agree with her, though I saw a tiny bit more light than she did. I liked Fei and her wicked Mulan-like mentality. I read this a few weeks ago, and I cannot remember anything about this book, though. I am pretty sure that's a bad sign. I won't change the rating of this, because I have no classified information into why I didn't like it so much. Oh, well.
I've never read anything like this before, so that was a highlight for me. I unfortunately missed out on a copy of this at BEA in 2015, and my life was ruined from that moment on. I didn't purchase a copy of this because (a) hardcovers are too expensive, and this is only 266 pages, really short compared to Richelle's other big, chunky books. Thank goodness I didn't buy it. I did want to meet Richelle last year, though. *cries* Soundless seems to be a hit or miss for many reviewers out there, especially on Goodreads. I see a mixed of positive and negative reviews, and I'm more in the negative crowd, I feel. I wanted action, I wanted explanations, though not too many explanations that I would call "info dumping." I just wanted to know the reason why behind the starvation of the citizens of Beiguo, and why Fei herself is put in the situation she was.
Richelle Mead always writes with passion in her books. It always seems that she researches a whole lot before she actually writes a particular story. Soundless had that rich culture in it, but it was too boring and eventless for my liking.
AND GUYS. This book was about deaf villagers. THAT'S NEW, RIGHT? But it was just a minor thing, and Richelle confused us a whole lot because there was a mix of weird dialogue. I'm still confused. That was a weird addition to the plot, for sure.
Soundless is a weak telling of a diverse fantasy that has such an unique interesting twist: a community of deaf people, but it turned out to disappoint than please. I liked our protagonist, Fei, but this was a snoozefest as well. Thank goodness I liked the idea, though, or the fact that I was initially interested, but would I reread this ever? Nah. Thanks fate, for not making me waste my time for a review copy when someone else could enjoy this more....more
When you wish upon a star... Jodi Picoult anThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!
*4.5 star rating*
When you wish upon a star... Jodi Picoult and her daughter will grant you this... Even if you're upset and dislike the prince. *sings it in the Pinocchio tune* Ew. Sorry for my gross rhyming skills, but I feel that this is the only best way to start off this dazzling review. I FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BEAUTY FOR FOREVER AND NOW I FINALLY HAVE IT IN MY HANDS... and will have to return it back to the library. Ugh.
Please excuse my drowsiness, but if you actually see the size of this beauty and realize how long it's actually going to take you to read, you'll feel exhausted as well. It's almost 400 pages of whirlwinds, romance and fantasy all mixed in together with a twist, a storybook tale. I mean, if you haven't read the first book already by now, then you're seriously missing out on a ton and I bet that your life has just flashed from your eyes. But you obviously have that feeling in your heart, knowing that this book was written for you pleasantly and most awesomely.
"But without a reader, a story is only half complete. It's like blueprints that never get built; like a swimming pool without water. The foundation's there, but it's useless. Without a reader, the words just sit on the page, waiting to come alive in someone's imagination." (Hardcover, page 38)
Bam. If I actually knew how good this would continue to be, and how much I would enjoy it by the end, then I would've waited to read this. I ONLY HAVE SEVEN DAYS TO READ IT FROM THE LIBRARY WITHOUT A RENEWAL AND I'M LEAVING IN TWO DAYS, SO I HAD TO READ IT QUICKLY WITHOUT ANY QUESTIONS ASKED. Ugh. Don't you hate being forced to read something in a matter of time? I get you if you're thinking the same thing as me. Haha.
So what does this beauty turn to afterwards? A gracious thing. It all starts off from where Jodi and Samantha left us off with. Now, Delilah and Oliver are finally together without any issues... for now. But the happiness is all put to an end when they realize that Oliver will need to learn how to act like a regular teenage boy, and all falls out when their relationship is put at stake. But hey, they may have a fairytale ending, right?
But the thing is, our two fabulous co-authors are so awesome at making sure that we are convinced to read this. Firstly, it came out of nowhere and I literally cried when I spotted it at the library, and the COVER IS PERFECT. It matches (unlike the first book), the book itself has three multiple points of view and are all written in different font colours. AGH. YES. WOOT. What more can readers seriously ask for other than pretty fonts? *dreams a nice dream of rainbows and unicorns* There's so much to this whole book, and I want to include each and every single reader as part of this wonderful way of reading young adult literature.
You know, I'm a firm believer in duologies. I'm thinking that this series will be one, (obviously) since all of our questions and answered now, and it's a cute, happy ending. What more can we possibly ask for? Not much. Something was missing from the whole plot in the first book, and all of the bits and pieces that were needed there were in here, though there were some strange sightings coming from me.
"I'm scared, Oliver. I'm scared the sun is going to go down and you're going to realize you want to go home.' I frame her face in my hands, looking into her eyes. "I am home," I tell her." (Hardcover, page 55)
I'll get to the weaknesses in a little while, kay? *nods head* Off the Page's cast and characters were as dazzling as ever. The authors added the same touch and perfection into them as they had in the first book, which made your Momma Reader over here slash judger *points to self* very happy and excited. Delilah had that inner-confidence and independence that she had in the first book, while Oliver was charming and full of humour. Seeing a zipper zip up and down was the funniest and utterly strangest thing for him, alongside the many other moments and events that left me thinking about how our society is known to understand so many things while some (like him) may not. Aww times ten.
And then how can we possibly forget about Edgar and his wonderful author-mother? They're the soul and key of this series, and without them, there'd be no Between the Lines. Did I mention that Picoult and van Leer added real-life scenarios and tragedies into the plot that seem to strike thousands of individuals daily? As well as the obvious themes of love, family and belonging, there are many sparks found that give me the chills when I think about them. It was just so cute.
What did give me the feeling to deduct .5 of a rating was that this certainly isn't a favourite. It was fantastic, but the authors hadn't given me the chance to build up all of that love inside of me and squeal a million times. Maybe it was the emotions and thoughts put into this? Maybe it was the romance and love between Delilah and Oliver that somehow scarred me? Maybe I'm just some ordinary jealous fangirl? There's a ton of possibilities, and I'm just letting you know that every single individual is going to gain another thought process and opinion differently. I'm just saying this.
From the start to finish, I feel that this was a complex story that actually and most definitely grew in my heart. Even after closing the spine, hearing the crackling sound, my heart still longs for Delilah and Oliver, two wondrous characters who resemble so many different personalities of people I know today, that I can just relate to them instantly. Get ready for: drama, love, forbidden romance, magic and dogs making wishes. I'M SERIOUS. You will love Off the Page, I know it!...more
When I close my eyes, I see a thousand and one stars shining right in fThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
When I close my eyes, I see a thousand and one stars shining right in front of me. Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn was mesmerizing and my head is full of illusions... I just can't stop thinking about it and my life is now complete with yet another retelling, the first of A Thousand and One Nights that's hit me. Arabian Nights? Horses? Daggers and awesome weapons? This book honestly has it all and it killed me of perfection, I'd read it for another thousand and one nights just to be with Khalid and Shazi.
Can we just talk about the hype and what everyone's talking about that has to do with this book? I was so afraid that I'd hate it and it'd all be over-hyped and exaggerated. And that's the kind of thing that was hitting me from the start—I was confused. But let's just forget about that for now and speak of the wise writing which Ahdieh presents to readers. This surely can be classified as the best book I've read this year, and although I know I say that in every 5-star review that gets handed to me, this is something else, and a new experience for me coming from fantasy. A year ago I probably wouldn't enjoy it all, though my horizons have now expanded to see the dawns ahead of me. I apologize for my olden-days talk... I just can't let this one go.
"Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable... and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power." (Hardcover, page 77)
I've never read A Thousand and One Nights or really heard of its premise... so I barely even had an idea of what this book is about. I bet that this is completely different from the real story, to be honest. From the first moment when I saw the cover, I was in love. And then I wanted an ARC so badly because I couldn't wait to read it, and that evidently didn't happen or else a review would've been out in the wild a long while before. When I finally got a copy of this book, I decided to read An Ember in the Ashes first because it reminded me so much of this book and I kind of wanted to save the one I was more excited for last. The whole idea of Shazi choosing to stick up for Shiva, her best friend who Khalid had killed (one of his brides) was absolutely amazing and one of the first reasons and things that led me to adore this book even more.
Shahrzad is a sixteen year old whose best friend gets killed by Khalid, the eighteen year old Caliph who kills every bride with a silk rope wrapped around their throats. When Shazi volunteers to be Khalid's next bride, she wants to kill him and show justice and faith to all of the other families who lost their daughters in the past. But when Shazi gets to know the Caliph, she falls in love with him and can't try to do anything as she discovers the truth behind the whole cursed story.
WOW. Okay. So beforehand, I'm letting you wonderful individuals know that there's a glossary in the back of the book. Honestly, I wish that publishers actually let everyone know this on the cover or the first few pages or something. If I hadn't gone and checked the extra excerpts and acknowledgments in the back when I had just begun reading, I would've died and got super confused. I already was so confused in the beginning, and that saved my life. Thank you Penguin and Renee for adding that there. You're life-savers.
RENEE'S WRITING IS SO SHARP AND SPECTACULAR. Everything is so descriptive and imaginative, and I want to gobble up the whole setting and everything it has to give to readers. When Ahdieh describes food, colour, just about anything, I get this perfect clear picture in my head and I fall in love instantly with it all. There weren't any issues with her writing or with anything, for that matter, and I totally get why everyone's obsessing over some lyrical quotes and all, I totally get it.
"How can I desire him? After he killed Shiva? After he killed so many young girls, without explanation? What's wrong with me?" (Hardcover, page 170)
Nothing's wrong with you, Shazi. You're the utter-most kick-ass protagonist that I've read about in a loooooonnnnngggg time, and I praise you for being a great Calipha. The characters ended up being like friends to me, and they each had such stellar distinctive attributes that made them "them." Readers usually suspect someone like Shazi to always do the right thing, but she actually always had the right thing to say back. Her playful attitude with Khalid was so freaking adorable, and her fearlessness played to so much of the novel and its events. She had so much common sense in her mind, my my. She's a fucking queen bee of all YA heroines. THANK GOODNESS SHE STOOD UP TO TARIQ, THAT LOSER. I can relate to her struggles so damn much, her emotions are so conflicting but the empathy is real.
So when reading, I suspected that I was the only one who shipped Shazi and Khalid together so much. And then I read reviews (I didn't want to spoil anything beforehand!) and found that everyone's with the Shalid OTP anyways. They're a couple who have so much passion and hate for their actions, but when they love each other, nothing matters anyways besides that. Their kissing scenes got me so teary and gushy that I had to basically fan myself of pride for their affection. AND THE SACRIFICES THAT THEY MADE FOR EACH OTHER! *passes out* Brace yourself for running into the sunset all the way to dawn searching for Khalid. If someone thinks that he's a villain, they are so wrong. Wow. I love bad guys, but Khalid has a reason for everything and that shocked me.
"She was a dangerous, dangerous girl. A plague. A Mountain of Adamant who tore the iron from ships, sinking them to their watery graves without a second thought. With a mere smile and a wrinkle of her nose." (Hardcover, page 328)
Again with the descriptions. *fawns* Okay, so there's a love triangle present, but it's an annoying one and there's a couple that obviously rules. (I hate Tariq so much, ugh.) Which reminds me that Tarazi might become a thing in the sequel, WHICH I NEED RIGHT NOW. RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT NOW. And I'll go hunt down a signed copy of this book too, because I'm afraid that I'll need every single edition in my bookshelf. I'm not an obsessed freak, I promise, I'm an obsessed freak, I know.
So the truth is that this book prohibited me from getting more beauty sleep to make me as gorgeous as Shazi, but I didn't give a Tariq. (You know what that name stands for!) I DIDN'T CARE, because I would've stayed up all night, every night (I didn't, I had to finish it this morning) to get another chance to be with my ultimate boyfriend and OTP, seeing more action, more perfection, more of this epic read continuously. >b>Coming from a beautiful world set with imaginative details, characters who are like my close friends and action, Ahdieh writes like she's witnessing this on the street. How I WISH I could live in the Arabian Nights... Give me a time machine, and that's where I'd head first. The Rose and the Dagger is going to change lives, including mine. ...more
Since midway through last year, An Ember in the Ashes probablyThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!
Since midway through last year, An Ember in the Ashes probably was the only fantasy book that intrigued me so much that I'd pay $100 for a copy at the moment. (Maybe not.) The cover is so gorgeous and you can't deny that, but it's absolutely more than just the beauty on the outside. I apologize for my cheesy saying, by the way. And after finally reading it a little less than 2 months after its initial release, I am so impressed. Now, we're going to get a sequel NEXT YEAR!
I'm one of those people who hates hype. John Green, my favourite author, is all over Tumblr and the hype is certainly on him, and I can't stand it. This book is hyped up in the book fandom atmosphere, and I do admit that I was a little hesitant before picking it up. Fantasy taken place in a Romanesque world? That may actually go either one way or another, I feared. Thankfully this went to my standards and I highly recommend it for lovers of all fantasy, whether it's Sarah J. Maas or Rae Carson. Everyone will love this, whether you're a contemporary romance reader or a pure fantasy chick.
"But why am I counting the days? The days don't matter. I'm in hell. A hell I've made myself, because I am evil. As evil as my mother. As evil as any Mask who spends a lifetime relishing the blood and tears of his victims."
Compared to many books because of the issues that it speaks of, politics and world building is a major subject that readers often focus on in their reviews of this book, and I agree with their sayings. This world is brutal, period. If you only enjoy happy settings that doesn't include racism, sexism and slavery, then I'd suggest leaving because this ultimately has it all. Of course, I find myself standing against these issues, but the message that our four main characters: Laia, Elias, Helene and Commandant all share have to do with this and their viewpoints on each. Some are complete idiots and think it's fair (COUGHcommandantCOUGH) while others are trying to fight against it and for survival.
That's what Tahir is trying to prove. Although we have two perspectives, there are similar and distinct views onto those characters: a slave and a soldier. Yes, there is magic and fantasied objects and events that occur, though that has nothing to do with an ember in the ashes, and by that phrase, I do not mean the title. You know how some books have such useless titles that do not describe the book at all or vaguely? That's the total opposite situation of this, because I cannot imagine a better way to state Laia's standing in all of this. She's constantly victimized of her social status and Tahir's research is very much needed in this subject. I love the author's story of the inspiration for this novel, as she's always been a huge fan of fantasy and the fact that issues are effecting many people in this world. A lot of this sounds like the horrendous situations like child slavery and child soldiers that we hear of frequently. INSPIRATION IS MAGIC, as I continuously believe and never will stop doing so.
As for social statuses, there are a few but the Martial rule the setting. In this case, we meet Laia and her grandparents and brother, who she lives with after being orphaned. When her brother gets arrested for treason unexpectedly, Laia decides to go out and find him. Then she meets the rebels behind her family's history who actually knew her parents, and she exchanges a deal with them: they'll find her brother while Laia will go to Blackcliff Academy, a military academy, to spy on the Commandant and her doings, a ruler, basically. Then she meets Elias, the son of the Commandant and...
No, they don't fall in love. What basically intrigued me to read this book from the start was that there's no romance. At least, there isn't instalove or kissing or any of that. A girl or a guy can dream and fawn over an attractive person (like Elias did in the beginning of Helene), but I'd say that this wasn't Tahir's goal to satisfy readers. Instead, they gain a friendship that they can actually agree upon things with. Although Elias is his mother's son, the magical thing is that he stands against everything that she believes in and all that she does to her slaves. He immediately can recognize who Laia is but she doesn't say anything, all for the part that his mother annoys him. Friendship? I'd call that a sibling-like relationship. It's adorable, but not in the lovey-dovey way that we'd all expect. I'm actually not hoping for anything to brew in the sequel. *takes a deep breath*
"Tomorrow you must make a choice. Between deserting and doing your duty. Between running from your destiny and facing it. If you desert, the Augurs will not stop you. You will escape. You will leave the Empire. You will live. But you will find no solace in doing so. Your enemies will hurt you. Shadows will bloom in your heart, and you will become everything you hate—evil, merciless, cruel."
Sabaa's writing is unlike any other author's, I HAVE TO SAY AND FANGIRL ABOUT. She's obviously talented, and the way she bonds her characters with readers illustrates that she put tons of hard work into making them just like us, only living in a crashing world that ours can eventually turn into. She's so imaginative, and I bet that after even spending an hour with the fabulous writer, we'll all sound so brilliant quoting her. She knows what she's doing, and I'd like to give her a huge hug for writing such a beautiful novel. I can't get enough of it, and my mind is jumping all over the place as I think of theories onto what'll come next.
The only downer is the pacing, but let's just forget about that. I won't mention anything about the pacing because I don't want to spoil my positive mood, but let's just say that it got too slow at times, showing all of the details without readers having to even guess what it means or what's yet to come. It just ended up being such a racing novel that I had to grip on my seat. (No joke.)
At the same time, this isn't your average, typical straight-forward fantasy story that has hints of dystopia where you can't depict what the author's message is. Tahir's imaginative characters and building, such as the Masks and weapons used, is so descriptive and unique that I can't get a hold of anything else quite better. This absolutely has to do with the Roman Empire and I love that about the setting. We get to see hints of history that actually is the future, which has us guessing on what we will become. History always repeats itself, is another theme, especially by looking onto the slavery conveyed. It's such a dark novel that splits readers onto the good side or the bad, and we fall in love with all of the characters... even Commandant. (Rosamund Pike would be a good her, now that I think about it.)
This book was horribly disgusting and brutal. But in that sense, you do know what I mean. It's NOT BAD AT ALL (I'd die if someone thought that's what I meant) and it actually shattered my heart so many times that I'm going to take some time off of my life and find an ember in the ashes. Yes, I'm that inspired. Tahir's viewpoint on fantasy is so much bigger and better than what your typical fantasy novel consists of, and I'm sure that we all end up seeing this as a comfortable read that doesn't make us barf because of guts and all of that. I'm sure that I'll be dreaming about Elias tonight, he makes me giggle....more
Frostfire is not a book readers come across with often. Amanda HockingThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Frostfire is not a book readers come across with often. Amanda Hocking presents an idea that is original, says her name (literally) and has its own flair. Although I was not the biggest fan of it by the end, I must say that it is just what I expected. I probably have found supernatural stories to not be as good as it was before, though this is perfect for those who have read those in the past. This story contains revenge, friendships and dark concepts that only fall in fantasy novels. This was not Hocking's best for me, but I had seen great things about it either way. The cover is stunning, my judgmental skills were going out of control when I realized how good this might be and so on.
This was rather simple. It is a simple story about a simple girl who lives a simple life where there are trackers and guards and kings that walk around the face of the fictional Earth. It may be fictional, unless the amazing Amanda Hocking knows something that we do not about fantasy. Whoa. Things just got more crazier and interesting. *raises eyebrows* This is about trolls, actually. But do not picture hideous Furby-like creatures that walk around with wacky hair colours. The main character, Bryn, is part of a troll tribe... though she actually is not one after all. She wants to protect the Royal Family, and that basically is her main goal of the book, with of course, some outrageous situations in between.
This kind of reminds me of Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass, where the main character there, Celaena Sardothien, was becoming a guard of the Royal Family as well. For a fantasy novel that has battles and magic and that cool stuff, this makes absolute sense. From the moment the cover was released and I found out the title, I could not help but guess what this book would be about. Even though I yawned too many times, this was a beautiful story that I partially have the capability to let go of. Partially. Not yes, not no. I wish I did enjoy it more, though, since I am pretty sure that I will not read the sequel.
I found that I REALLY liked Bryn's character. Hocking always knows how to create and establish a relatable, absurd (in a good way) main character. Bryn knew her troll vocab, taught readers about the world that she lives in, and made less things seem molasses-like (a horrible comparison, I know) and more fast-paced. But something went off. I just cannot discern what it was exactly.
There was an abundant amount of just about all of the factors that could make a novel great, as Amanda Hocking always creates with her writing. I loved the characters, and the idea that stemmed from this story was fabulous. I wish more happened and I wish that I was more intrigued during the time that I read this. I cannot help but continue to shrug until my shoulders break. I just do not know how to compare this to Hocking's other works....more
Ilsa J. Bick is one of the authors that is so raved about that I knew that I am going to have to begin reading a book of hers sooner or later. When I Ilsa J. Bick is one of the authors that is so raved about that I knew that I am going to have to begin reading a book of hers sooner or later. When I spotted this in the bookstore a few weeks after it was released, I knew that I had to read it. Sadly, I DNFed it at 107 pages and I don't regret it at all.
"Something has bled into this world, all right. Something is storming after them. Something is running them down. Not an aurora. Not clouds. What is coming for them is the fog."
So for once, I'm not the black sheep in this situation. Most of the times, I actually am and it frustrates me because I can basically agree with my own opinion and that's about it. For this book, I've read so many negative and DNF reviews before reading, and I kind of expected it even though I still wanted to give it a try. So I did—and it was okay for like two chapters, and then I just let go of happiness.
You see, the thing is I feel confused and mentally abused. I didn't even really understand the plot and the formation of POVs or anything of that sort. All I did catch to understand was that there's a Mirror and something happened that got Lizzie and Emma's dad nuts and no one believes him so the family moves to a remote place far away from London. That's just about it. When the author introduced a new character, the event was never memorable and I didn't seem to even know who was who or who was telling the story at the time since it was confusing. And whenever I'm reading a POV in a book, I always feel like I need a sense of direction of who's reading. This was a total The 5th Wave situation again.
Why waste my time being confused by reading an almost 600-paged book? That's horror of readers. Lately I've been finding that I've been DNF-ing a lot of books, and that kind of frightens me for the future of YA.
"People are always dying for him to hurry up and write the next book already. They love that feeling of being lost somewhere and somewhen else. Sometimes Lizzie doesn't want to pull herself out of a book-world at all, just like kids who pretend to be superheroes and run around in costumes."
Probably the only thing that was positive in this book was the actual writing. No, I don't mean the plot or characters, but the actual words. We can all tell that Bick is very talented at it, but doesn't do a really good job at actually capturing the reader's attention greatly.
You see, if the book wasn't as confusing or improbable, then maybe I would've enjoyed the plot and actual story. But since that was out of the story, why just keep on going to read some random mumbo-jumbo that doesn't mean anything to you? Aren't words supposed to mean something and possibly inspire you? So, the plot was out of the question. Don't even ask about my experience, because I'm as frustrated as a scared cat.
I probably had to like Lizzie better than Emma, but I think Emma was telling the story more often? I'm actually not even sure of what was happening more than half of the time, haha. If you're like me and get easily confused with POVs then I'd suggest to run away as fast as you can. This book wasn't even worth a dollar. I wouldn't even take it if someone gave it to me for free, honestly.'
As most books that I DNF, this had a total potential to become something great. In ways, this definitely reminded me of Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfield with the whole book aspect. Don't you just love it when authors write about characters who actually write books themselves? Of course I do, but this was a blur. I can't seem to barely get anything out of it. Not recommended—stay away and trust the reviews.
Cassandra Clare is the master of literature. I don’t care if she keeps on writing about Shadowhunters for the rest of her life, and I’m totally againsCassandra Clare is the master of literature. I don’t care if she keeps on writing about Shadowhunters for the rest of her life, and I’m totally against all of the hate that she’s getting lately. But I do have to say that The Iron Trial was totally against my wishes and what I wish it could’ve been. This was a middle-grade book that was pretty much of a recap of Harry Potter, but with a little more mage and witchy stuff.
I’ve always felt embarrassed to admit that I haven’t ever read Harry Potter, and that I haven’t ever felt the need to. Some people may classify one as not a “real bookworm” if they haven’t given it the chance before, but hey—it’s not my type of good read. Mages and wizardry is against my liking, to be honest. I’m a diehard fan of fantasy, but I guess that this is icky to me.
“Don’t listen to it!” Tamara cried. “It’s a thing, not human—“Who would desire to be human? Human hearts break. Human bones shatter. Human skin can tear.”
I do have to say that this was a very delicate and well-formed story. The characters made decisions that I agree with, and what I’d do the same. At the same time, this was the impossible, but it also wasn’t at the same time. For people who enjoyed Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, then you guys are going to either love this or hate this, depending on your likes of a knockoff read. For me, this just gave me a first taste on this subject, and I was mildly impressed. The story focused on a magical-school type of setting. Most people would say that J.K. Rowling began it all, but of course there were even more signs of it in the past, before the literature master came along. I’ve seen different opinions on this subject, but with the fact that it was very similar to the popular novella series didn’t really bother me as I never had the chance to experience it. That, that was my opinion on the fact.
Shit, but the thing that did bother me was that I couldn’t see Clare’s usually sarcastic and passionate-fantasized ways in this book. I didn’t really see where her writing was getting picked up. But obviously, she did put tons of credit into the book—I’m not saying she didn’t. It’s either that her writing was very bland on this type of subject, or she wasn’t good at it. Never mind, this book was like a ‘tiny burp’ into the past.
To be honest, the only reason why I did decide to read this book was because of Clare, as she is my favourite author of all time. Without her say into it, my copy would’ve been sitting back at the bookshelf, waiting for another preteen or HP-fanatic to come around. As I never have had a look into Black’s writing in the past, I didn’t really have any expectations for her side of this story.
I guess I’m too much of a fangirl, or some obsessed THG freak, but the whole ceremony where the mages were chosen when the parents were there did give me a tiny ‘Hunger Games’ moment. Obviously it was nothing like that, but I had a flashback. That whole ceremony did really piss me off, though. I was literally raging at the authors for making it so easy and unfair for them to just take Call like that. But then at the same time, where would this book be if the staff weren’t all rude and overtaking of everything, including preteens. I just felt a lot of guilt for Call’s father, as Call was all he had left. After the first few days when Call was at the Magisterium, I lost the ‘feeling’ of this book.
Basically, the idea’s straight and at the corner of your eye. Call is destined to become a mage, as the magic is found in his family, through his mother’s side, who is dead and was possibly killed at the time when she was also at the Magisterium, a magical school that is supposedly ‘safe and sound,’ especially for the mages who are destined to become strong and save the world. It’s your simple aspect of superheroes, but in a witchy sort of way. His father tells him to be afraid of magic, as he is worried that Call will get killed as his mother did, because of magic. He has to take The Iron Trial, a test that will see if Call is destined to have a future with magic. He tries so hard to fail, and they take him in, still, knowing that his power is the strongest amongst them all.
"Buried under the earth where no one can find it," his father told him grimly. "There's no light down there. No windows. The place is a maze. You could get lost in the caverns and die and no one would ever know."
You know how the first books in a trilogy are usually those where the ‘learning and knowing’ aspect of everything happens? Like where the protagonist is a newbie and where the world-development comes at its fastest pace? This was exactly it, except in the tinier minimum. For half of the book, Call and the other two choices, Aaron and Tamara, are destined to work as a team for the next five years that they will be at the school. Obviously at first, things are difficult and he tries his best to get himself into trouble. But as he learns that his power is so strong, he realizes that it’s his job to learn more.
Besides, who doesn’t want to learn to fly? The actual learning of spells and action was so interesting, as I’ve never had to deal with a book with these aspects before. The plot may have been simple and we didn’t really find out a past behind most of the characters, but there were some action scenes that shocked me, including the ending.
YES, THE ENDING. Just look at the back cover of the hardcover edition of the book:
“Fire wants to burn. Water wants to flow. Air wants to rise. Earth wants to bind. Chaos want to devour.”
Chaos and good and bad certainly changed the whole book like hell. But to be honest, I'm not 100% sure if I'm even planning on reading the sequel. I guess I'll have to see the summary and the reviews before I give it a chance.
This was freaking middle-grade, people. I normally would’ve never read this book, but then again, remember that it’s Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. I hate middle grade, as the characters are usually so immature. Like I’m 14, and I probably wouldn’t want to read about 9 year olds. How old was Harry Potter when his first book came out? The writing was simple, and totally lacked depth and past. I didn’t really know anything about these characters except their current personalities.
Callum: He was the hero of the book, obviously. Everything had to go perfectly perfect for him in his little world of magic. I liked him, but he wasn’t any hero to me. He was powerful and everything, but I didn’t see anything special about him except his moodiness and his all-so-gracious magical skills. The ending really showed what he really wants to be as a mage. *says it sarcastically*
Tamara: This girl totally kicked ass. She wanted what she wanted, and because she was so cool, she got it. In her own way, she was mysterious but present at the same time. To be honest, she was my favourite character.
Aaron: He was a little dweeb, haha. He was likeable, and friendly, and I felt like he got pushed around a lot and didn't get too much attention from the people. Call basically ignored him half of the time.
For the most part, a lot of this book was focused on the world-development and the magical theories and ways of things. The plot lacked what I expected, and this was a total bore and misunderstanding compared to the other fantasies I’ve picked up on lately. Will I read the sequel? I’m not sure, but at least it was Cassandra Clare.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*...more
I was sure that this would somewhat be like Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass.This review can also be found on Key to Book City, check it out for more!
I was sure that this would somewhat be like Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass. And because I'm the biggest fan of fantasy, I had high hopes that it would turn out to be similar to a brilliant concept that I first read about two years ago. But, no. The Girl of Fire and Thorns was unique and interesting, yes, but it just didn't have that spark that I would have preferred to devour and fall in love with. If you enjoy kick-ass female heroines who are just battling everything on their own with no romance or action whatsoever, then I do seriously recommend borrowing/purchasing this novel and fall in love with it.
TGOFATwasn't my cup of tea. To me, it was completely boring, unentertaining and more trying-to-be-based-on-plot than anything else. It was just so weak compared to anything else I've dealt with for a long time. Rae Carson is a good writer, and I still do have high hopes for Walk on Earth a Stranger, but not as high as I would have enjoyed if I read this and adored it.
It has been a few weeks after I finished reading this and I must say that I barely remember what this book was even about. The main character, Elisa, is struggling with her identity as she is being forced to marry a King she barely knows and is a piece of royalty herself, alongside her sisters. Everything that her modern life is consisted of is a lie and she just wants to find a way and path to relax. Of course, this involves fighting, minor action and boring stuff that reminds me of why I didn't enjoy reading fantasy back then.
I couldn't even find any quotes that really made me whirl and cry out of pleasure. I saw an equal amount of negativity and positivity here, though. So let's just state the good things, because you know that everything else would be negative anyways.
What I Enjoyed About TGOFAT:
1. The Side Characters: Elisa's sisters, Alejandro, Humberto, I loved them all. If it weren't for them, my hate for Elisa would've been much stronger. Is this a weird situation because I hated Elisa while others adored her?
2. The Pacing: It was boring, yes, but the story moved on swiftly and before we knew it, we were in another descriptive scene. I adored Carson's descriptive writing, too. There were good things, okay?
3. How It Was One of the First of Its Kind: This is a pretty old high fantasy compared to the others that have been released. By old, I mean that it is old, published in 2011 when there weren't too many fantasies out there. Now, fantasies are like an epidemic in YA but this was new, fresh, and of course, unexperienced in my opinion. I somehow don't get what everyone's going crazy about.
Rae Carson's first novel in this magical series was pretty disturbing in terms of how much I liked it. I wanted better, I wanted more from this whole fiasco that Elisa put herself in, and I wanted an extra dose of romance to spice things up. You know how some authors add in too much to make it extra entertaining? This needed to have an extra pop, and I didn't end up seeing any of that by the end. I'm pretty picky with fantasy, but since this is very popular, I decided to take the risk and go for it. Will you?...more
I am usually not the type of reader to go with the fThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
I am usually not the type of reader to go with the flow and read comic books. But when I do, I trust the fellow bookish public and read the ones that are (A) YA and (B) those with amazing concepts. Through the Woods was amazingly written, illustrated and retold, as there were many beautiful stories that are so creepy and moving that I just can't stop thinking about it all.
Through the Woods will touch your heart and make you ponder about what lies in the woods. I just really hope that you give it the chance and fall in love with it all. You just might not be able to fall asleep at night anymore......more
Beware of contemporary aspects mixed in with the wonderful stufThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!
Beware of contemporary aspects mixed in with the wonderful stuff of paranormal. For real. Belzhar surprised me, threw me upside down, and left me longing for more. What the hell did I just read? I just read a story that I never expected to like this much. The ending will leave you shocked and you'll sincerely wonder as I did, if this was an illusion.
"Books light the fire—whether it's a book that's already written, or an empty journal that needs to be filled in. You all know what I'm talking about I think."
Belzhar... Belzhar... Belzhar... Since mid-2014, I've been wondering what that eerie word means or what it's supposed to mean in this case. It's a mythological world, my friends, and it's felt by the chosen ones. Now don't get all sassy and begin to roll your dazzling eyes at me, because I know that deep-down inside of you do you feel the same way as me, and you feel that it's something that you'd like to be a part of. I want to go back, back to see and be with some people who I'm not friends with at the moment and enjoy the spare and happy moments that I once had with them. This is what the setting that Wolitzer created, and at first, our wonderful protagonist, Jam, wasn't sure of the world either.
This all began with the coming of Jam Gallahue into a boarding school after the death of her boyfriend, Reeve. This isn't your typical boarding school in Vermont, though. This one is therapeutic, and everyone in Jam's English Special Topics class has gone through some tragic event that they want to go back to to figure out the secrets behind. This class is strange, and at first, no one knows why the past students have been obsessed and feel like their lives have changed, but as soon as they get handed red journals, they get to go back into the past back to events with people that they loved, or who may not be with them anymore.
Expectations, expectations... every review that I've read about this book talks about how blew their minds, and I have to absolutely agree with this. I started off thinking that I would be throughly impressed by the contemporary-loss tragedy kind of plot that the author seemed to have presented to us before, but as we speedily moved on (I finished this in one sitting, guys!) I realized that this had a mix of themes and concepts. Yes, loss was a big part of it, but it was also mental illness and depression. Jam's character was so loss into her own little tragedy that grew in her head that she didn't realize the real meaning of everything. I can't even imagine what her parents were thinking about this all. They knew the truth, but thought that their daughter was going crazy, period. Who would've thought that a magical world would help her realize the truth instead of some random therapy that most people were getting at her school?
Does one honestly think that Jam really needed that bulls---? She didn't. And hey—that was one big chunk of the diversity that I saw all throughout the book. And by diversity, I mean uniqueness in the book that most don't hold. And I'm telling you, if I knew beforehand that this book held an alternate-world-society theme, I might've not picked it up in the first place. The summary of this book didn't share anything—no clues, no nada. You can call me a big supporter of this book—I'll do whatever it takes to make sure that it's getting popular, since it deserves it all.
"On the line where it says "Reason student is applying to The Wooden Barn," your parents can't write "Because of a boy." But it's the truth."
When I began reading, I would've never thought that it would end up to be this amazing. It started off as most suspense novels do—with a mysterious beginning where readers are left to repeatedly ask questions and try to solve the wondrous mystery that the author is cluing in on. But once we got to the middle and Jam's character development sprung up and out of control, where she really began to make friends and show her real side, I became obsessed and I couldn't let myself put the book down until it was over, where I didn't want to let it be over, either. I sat up until midnight, scurrying through the pages and letting the emotions run over me. By run over, I mean car run-over.
This point now brings us to the subject of THE ENDING. THE ENDING THAT I NEVER SAW COMING AND WHICH WAS CONFUSING BUT UNDERSTANDABLE AT THE SAME TIME AND I CANNOT ACTUALLY BELIEVE MY EYES ON WHAT I HAD JUST READ. Can I actually soulfully admit that I was such a loser to not see this coming? Since books are usually believable, where we actually nod our heads and feel like the author/protagonist is stating the truth, I never thought that the events would be a lie, in a way. I'm not spoiling anything here, but it all was a lie and Jam even fooled herself, when you think about it. Who'd think that some journal would spark up the real stuff and make it clear?
"This turned out to be the night we fell in love. We'd known each other for sixteen days. We'd have only twenty-five days left."
It became clear—crystal clear, in fact. Meg answered all of our questions, including everything behind the teacher's choice on Sylvia Plath, whose books I now intend to read, where The Bell Jar is now on my TBR on Goodreads. We ended off on a happy but strange ending, and it's not like I had to figure out the ending for myself. That would just suck, and it wouldn't work out well for this novel. Instead, it was everything I would've ever asked for and more. If I was in a public area while reading and I came up to this point, I would've yelled and ripped everyone's hair out of surprise and astonished behaviour.
Jam was a leading main character. Do you get what I'm saying? She's not (at least for me) what most people describe her as—whiny and monotone. I felt all of the depth in her, and I just understood her. She's a teenager, and I'm sorry but—what can you possibly expect from her? Tragedy and heartbreak is honestly like a sickness, and you won't see the sunshine until it's all clear to you and until people stop bothering you. And guess who taught me that? My wonderful friend, Sierra. Or in this case, Jam's wonderful friend as well. And man, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO HER. I swear that I thought something else was going to happen to her.
The romance? You can hardly say that there was any. Jam was so mixed up with her feelings in the middle of the book that she just did whatever seemed right to her at the moment. So what if she kissed Griffin? You can't call that instalove. They weren't in love, and Jam even noted that it was a mistake since she can't get over Reeve. (Who I always saw as a douchebag anyway.) They just had a tiny fling, and since they both understood each other with Belzhar and all, it was merrier and better. I giving Meg another thumbs-up for that aspect, too.
What can I say about this book? I can really go on forever. This definitely was one of the best books I've read this year, and thankfully my school library had it or I probably would've never taken the chance for it until maybe two years later. I loved all of it: the beautiful writing, the spectacular ending, the references to amazing poets, the characters and themes. The whole book itself was like a book inside of a book, and I understood and felt all of the emotions that Wolitzer was throwing at me. This was unlike anything I've read before, and I'm encouraging you to join in on this because you won't be disappointed. No weak points, I promise. And I keep promises too, just like all of the characters did to me, to give me a memorable Saturday-night read. Those don't come along often. ...more