Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Mist & Fury – Audiobook

Review:

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Ikeda

Audience – Young Adult

Maybe I’d always been broken and dark inside.

– first sentence

Feyre is now High Fae, but she still has her human heart and she cannot forget all she did to save Tamlin and his court. She is depressed, but Tamlin is too busy trying to protect and save her to notice. She still has the deal with Rhysand, new powers that she doesn’t understand, and Prythian is still in danger.

I loved this book for so many reasons. Mass takes us on an emotional journey as Feyre learns to control and develop her powers and to respect herself and understand what she needs to be happy. She leaves a controlling relationship for herself, not for another guy.  She is an amazing character and so strong.

Again Mass makes us love the characters, despite or maybe because of their flaws. So many characters turned out to be different than I expected. The story is emotional, sexy, serious, sad sometimes and funny at others. I loved Rhys’s team and the way he respects and loves them. I loved Feyre’s strength and her gradual acceptance that she is worthwhile and deserving of happiness.

And then, the end. WOW – what a twist. I was so angry along with Feyre and so sad at what happened. And then after that crazy, unfortunate twist, Feyre made a decision that broke my heart…

And I’m immediately on to the next book.

P.S. This book was 23 hours, the next is 25 hours.

 

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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Thorns & Roses – audio

AGE: Young Adult

Review:

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Ikeda

The forest had become a labrynith of snow and ice.

first sentence

Feyre is a nineteen-year-old girl who supports her family by hunting. When she kills a wolf, she violates a centuries-old treaty. As punishment, she must live with Tamlin, a powerful, immortal faerie in the land of Prythian. Feyre goes from hating Tamlin to falling in love with him, but there is a darkness over the land and Feyre may be their only hope.

This is a robust story with unexpected twists and turns. Feyre taught herself how to hunt in order to keep her family alive. She is a powerful girl and definitely not a typical fairy tale heroine – who needs a strong male to save her. I loved Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and even Rhys and I hated Amarantha and her evil court. I loved the derisive tone the narrator gave to Feyre’s thoughts about certain characters and the emotion she infused into the story.

The end of this book was fabulous and I immediately started listening to book 2 (thank goodness for audible credits). The narrator did an excellent job, and I hope she continues with the next two books.

 

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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Young Adult

The Darkest Corners – audiobook

Review:

At nine years old, Tessa and Callie were the prime witnesses in the trial of a serial killer (the Ohio River Monster). Now a teenager, Tessa returns to her hometown to confront her past and find out the truth.

This book was just okay for me. I didn’t care for any of the characters and I didn’t enjoy the narration. The main plot was okay, but the end felt contrived and unbelievable. The subplot involving Tessa’s mother and sister was unnecessary and distracting.

Bottom line: Take out the subplot, make the characters a bit likable or relatable, and this story would be better. As it is, there are better thrillers to spend your time on.

 

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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Review:

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This is book 3 in the Young Elites series. Beware of spoilers if you haven’t read The Young Elites and The Rose Society.

Is being Queen worth losing everything and everyone you ever loved?

Adelina supposedly now has everything she wanted. She is Queen and she’s as ruthless and as cruel as ever. Even though she is now queen, she can never have enough power. Her darkness feeds on the power and it’s taking over. Adelina has lost so much, but now it seems the whole world is at risk. Her Rose Society must join with the Daggers and make an unforgettable journey to the realm of the gods. If they can’t work together, there is no hope.

This was an amazing series and Marie Lu is an impressive and talented writer. I also loved the Legend series. Adelina’s journey is heartbreaking and difficult, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Favorite, Young Adult

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Review:

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If you haven’t read The Young Elites, this review may contain spoilers related to the original story.

How can you be good when everything within you is dragging you into darkness??

After losing Enzo and being rejected by the Dagger Society, Adelina is on a path of vengeance and violence. Her powers are fueled by hate and fear, and they’re growing beyond her ability to control. She has found a new group of Elites, but she has difficulty trusting them, and she is constantly doubting who she is and questioning her own decisions. She is now known as the White Wolf, a symbol of power, violence, and death.

This book is even better than the first. As the reader watches Adelina’s descent into darkness, we feel for her and in a way even understand the decisions she makes. She has spent most of her life living in fear; who can blame her for wanting to feel powerful and safe. This doesn’t take away from the horror of her actions; she is no hero.The real question is, will Adelina ever find happiness or even recognize it if she does.

A great addition to the trilogy. On to book 3: The Midnight Star

 

 

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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Fantasy, Favorite, Young Adult

Everfound – Audiobook

Review:

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“We can lie to ourselves, saying we believe one thing, and sometimes we convince others it’s true, with the hope that by convincing others, we can convince ourselves. Wars are often waged not because of what we believe, but because of the things we want others to believe.”

Book 3 in the Skinjacker series. I love the series, the characters, the ups & downs, basically everything about it. I am now a huge fan of Neal Shusterman. This is the second series I’m reading by him and I’m now ready for the next one.

This book is amazing. It takes the characters on surprising and unexpected paths that end up in quite unusual ways. No characters are just plain evil or good. They all take personal journeys and look at the world in different ways. I felt for all of them at different points in the book and I cringed at their actions at other points.

 Recommended: Grades 7 & up. Fans of fantasy or dystopian novels.

 

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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Everwild by Neal Shusterman – Audiobook

Review:

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If you haven’t read Everlost, then you probably shouldn’t read this review. But more importantly, don’t read the synopsis of this book (Everwild) on Amazon as it gives away an important plot point that the book doesn’t reveal until at least the 65% mark.

Everlost is populated by children who died and didn’t find their way to the light. They are basically ghosts, who can’t be seen or interact with the living world (with one interesting exception). Places (dead spots) and things also cross to Everlost, but only those that are truly loved by someone. The children in Everlost are called Afterlights, because they have a glow about them. Afterlights will sink to the center of the earth if they stand in one place for too long, unless they are on a dead spot. In the first book, we learn that large dead spots are rare, but can be found in places that were considered important to a lot of people, such as the Twin Towers in NYC. In Everwild, Allie, Nick, Mary, and Mikey continue their journeys, although their paths have changed. Some secrets have already been discovered about Everlost, but still more questions remain unanswered.

Shusterman is a magnificent writer and I love losing myself in his worlds. There is no black or white, no flat good and evil. The “good” characters make mistakes or wrong choices, and the “evil” characters have motives that might have started out as good. There is a constant struggle within each character to understand their own feelings and deal with all the craziness Everlost throws at them. Over the course of this novel, all of the characters (even the secondary ones) develop, grow, and change. There is an overarching theme of “how do we stop the evil trying to destroy the world” and yet each character has their own feelings, hopes, and dreams to deal with.

The instant I finished listening to this book, I began the next (and final) book in the series. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering my similar reaction to the first Shusterman series I read (Unwind).

I’m recommending this book to grades 7 and up. Some of the actions of the characters are a bit callous in their disregard for the living world, but there are also beautiful parts that stuck with me. Fans of the Delirium or Divergent series will enjoy this one.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Fantasy, Young Adult

Everlost by Neal Shusterman – review

Review:

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Nick & Allie were in a fatal car accident and ended up caught in Everlost, a sort of limbo for kids who don’t make it where they are going when they die. Everlost is a magical place for things and places that no longer survive in the living world (ex. the Twin Towers). But Everlost is also full of dangers (if the kids stay in one place for too long, they sink to the center of the earth), and monsters (the Magill, the Haunter). When Nick and Allie make it to the Twin Towers, they find Mary, who calls herself the queen of lost children. But while Nick feels at home with Mary, Allie suspects Mary is hiding something.

This is a fun young adult story with plenty of excitement and danger. The narrator did an excellent job and didn’t distract from the story at all. This is an interesting look at what could happen to souls whose journey is interrupted. Many of the kids have been around for hundreds of years, including Mary, who has written books on how to survive in Everlost. The kids all cross over in whatever they were wearing, which makes for some interesting wardrobes and nicknames for those who may have died on Halloween or during a day at the beach (think Speedo). Nick even dies with chocolate on his face. However, if the kids don’t think about things, they tend to forget them, such as their name and their physical appearance.

Bottom line: This is an engrossing start to the trilogy, that I will be happily continuing. The world building is remarkable and the ending suggests more peril and exploits for the characters that survive. Recommended to grades 6 & up. No serious violence and no sex, only cute crushes. Most of the kids we meet are under 16.

 

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