Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You
Emery Lord
Bloomsbury USA
[March 31, 2015]
Borrowed ARC/ARC from publisher

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
I think I've continuously called Emery Lord's first book, OPEN ROAD SUMMER, the book of my heart that someone else wrote on my behalf, and then I read THE START OF ME AND YOU.And man guys. It's like Emery Lord can see into my soul and pull out exactly the books I need. 

I should've known it would happen as soon as she started talking about Max when I went on fangirling raves about OPEN ROAD SUMMER. Because Max. Oh Lordy Max. I can't even talk about him without getting a little swoony.

One of my favorite things is that Emery Lord rights first and foremost about friendships. The romance is incredibly sweet and swoony and sexy, but she just builds these incredible relationships between people, that either are friendships or are based in friendships. They're so interesting and realistic and soul-touching. Emery is a master of relationships of all kinds and the ones in Paige's life are remarkable.

And Paige. Oh Paige. This girl. I've never been in a situation like hers, but guys, I FELT her. She was so vivid and lifelike and beautiful and wonderful. I want to be her best friend and I want to hug her and I want her to tell me how to live my life. 

I just read Emery Lord books and I'm so blown away. Emery gets being a teenager. She gets being a girl. She gets being me, despite having had maybe two conversations ever. It's amazing and it makes me want to reread her books over and over again. I've been aching to reread it since I put it down months ago. 

If you care about yourself and your soul, you should pick this up. And if you care about the other women in your life, you should also buy copies for them. This is easily one of my top books and I will forever be buying all of Emery Lord's books and getting them signed ASAP and keeping them as treasured parts of my book collection. 

--Julie

Monday, 30 March 2015

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Note: this is the UK cover (I wish the UK used the same one as the US - the US one is beautiful).

I'll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson


Summary: Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
Jandy Nelson's first book, The Sky is Everywhere, is one of my all time favourite books and I've been looking forward to reading her next book since before it even had a title so I pretty much had sky high expectations for this book. Because of that, it was kind of disappointing but at the same time it wasn't?

Trying to review it without the comparisons is difficult. Probably because reading it without the comparisons was difficult... It was an excellent book in general, but the problem I had was that it didn't quite measure up to her first book even though it should have because it had all the same elements that made me love The Sky is Everywhere.

The writing was distinctive and beautiful. Jandy Nelson writes in a way that demands her words be noticed, and I noticed and they'll stick with me -- the book was riddled with little pieces of paper to mark pages with quotes I liked. I'm still haunted by quotes from her first book and this one will probably be no different.

And the characters...the characters were flawed and interesting and I adored them all, and their relationships were complex and beautiful. I think they were my favourite thing about the book.

I think maybe the story was where the problems were for me. On one hand, it was a great story and I loved it. But two of the big twists was predictable pretty soon after one of the characters was introduced but we had to wait ages for it to happen in the book. And for some reason, it was easy for me to put the book down and not go back to for days (even weeks at one point) -- I loved it, but it lacked that quality that makes me not want to put the book down (until the last third of the book, it hooked me when I got to that point).

See what I mean about it being difficult to review without comparisons? This review isn't really accurately conveying just how much I loved the book because my disappointment hinged purely on my expectations, it wasn't a problem with the book itself.

I genuinely think Jandy Nelson is one of the best authors of YA books out there, and I will read any book she writes and would go into it knowing nothing about it except that she's the author because that's all I need to know -- this book confirmed that for me.

It was fantastic. Did I love it as much as her first book? No. But I did love it--really, really love it--and I'd rate it 5 stars out of 5.

Later

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Weekly Wrap Up (32)

On the Blog:


Lanna:
Even though I've not been posting much I have actually been reading more these past few weeks, it's just that I can't review post reviews for all of them for three reasons:

1) Some are ARC's that need to be reviewed closer to their release dates
2) Some I've been saving to group together in one post (more on that below)
3) and one of them was a free e-book that I read without realising who the author was but now that I do know, I will not be reviewing it (author is a bully who has done some dodgy sneaky stuff, so not only do I not want to promote someone like that but it wouldn't feel safe to review honestly either).

So...yeah. Been reading, you should see the reviews up over the next few months. Now, onto the new books.

Book haul

For review:


Girl at War by Sara Novic (netgalley) - I started this one late last night and will try to finish it tonight. It's about a girl who was living in Yugoslavia when the civil war broke out - I wanted to read it as soon as I found that out, because I've been looking for more books about that for years.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - This is the 150th anniversary edition and it's lovely (picture doesn't do it justice -- the white bit is matte, the picture is pretty foil). I'm aiming to review it next week? We'll see.

Bought:


These are the Penguin Little Black Classics (numbers: 1, 18, 24, 44, and 77). There's 80 of them (released for the 80th anniversary of Penguin Books, 80p each), I got these five to start with. They're adorable. These are the ones I'm saving to do a post on.


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
To the Lighthouse and The Waves by Virginia Woolf

Because every so often I go through a phase of "MUST READ ALL THE CLASSICS!!!" and these were the ones that sparked my interest this time. I need to read these this year and not do my usual thing with classics where I have every intention of reading them but just keep putting it off.

And I think that's all?

Later.

Julie:                                                                                                                                                         

Book Haul
 
It's been...a while since I've done one of these. I'm definitely going to miss books, but hopefully not too many? I'm also not going to link/explain them because...it's a lot.

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Jessie's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Loop by Karen Akins
The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalf
The Book of Speculation by Erica Swyler
How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo
Second Position by Katherine Locke
Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall
Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca
When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Two of Hearts by Christina Lee
The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn

I think that covers most of them that aren't school related, if not all of them.

Books Read
 
On the other hand, I haven't been reading much lately - or, I guess not finishing much. I have quite a bit of school reading this semester and I'll get enough of the way into the titles to talk about them, run out of time before my class, then the class passes and I stop, even the YA ones, because there's no reason to continue. I'm hoping to work on that in the next two weeks when I'm finally on spring break (it starts late this week and goes into next week. I don't get 2 whole weeks off).

She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath
Loop by Karen Akins
The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands
Written in the Stars in Aisha Saeed
Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Holes by Lois Sachar

And that's all that I have 100% finished in the past month. And then...

Upcoming Reads/Currently Reading

Oi...this list.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Book of Speculation by Erica Swyler
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Deadly Design by Debra Dockter

I'm most of the way through Book of Speculation and Aristotle & Dante, so I shouldn't have an issue finishing at least one of those. I'm also 1/4 of the way through Simon, which is helpful, and Eleanor & Park is a reread for my class tomorrow night. I'm probably not going to make it all the way through, but at least this time, it is a reread and I know what happens anyway. So, I'm only *really* trying to read one book this week, because the three I'm already most of the way through probably add up to the equivalent of one book and E&P I've read.

I have a goal of reading a book a week over my break this semester. We'll see how that goes. 

Odds and Ends

It's been an extremely busy/exhausting few weeks here! I got a rather nasty cold, I was smack in the middle of midterms, and as of this past week, I'm trying to get in extra work because I'll be out for 3 days because of spring break. In fact, on Friday, I went from class to a linguistics lecture to my apartment for a quick lunch, to my internship, to dinner, to working an event for McNally Jackson. But I think that's the end of the worst of the crazy busy! I have one exam (where we get a cheat sheet and have the questions already) and I have one oral exam (3 straight minutes of Spanish with no notes!), but then I'm free for a week and a half! And then final crunch time/finishing study abroad applications/planning the next year of my life commence. Also, moving out of my apartment and BEA. That's all coming up too. I'm trying to pretend it's all imaginary. Why must everything happen at once, though?

How's everyone else doing?

--Julie

Monday, 23 March 2015

Made for You by Melissa Marr

Made for You
by Melissa Marr


Summary: Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital to discover an attempt has been made on her life. But who in her sleepy town could have hit her with their car? And why? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people's deaths when they touch her.

While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old friend, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva's power to keep her friends - and themselves – alive. But the killer is obsessed and will stop at nothing to get to Eva…
So I had this problem with books by Melissa Marr in the past, where I liked them but always felt like I wanted something more from them than what I got... I had written off her books as being good but just not my cup of tea. But this book, it sounded too good not to try and I'm so glad I did because it thoroughly proved my previous judgements wrong.

Basically, I loved it. Really loved it. Would-now-read-any-book-she-writes kind of loved it.

It was kind of like someone threw The Body Finder into a blender with an E. Lockhart book (big compliment coming from me) and it was awesome.

One of my favourite things about it is that it's one of those paranormal books that has a more gritty contemporary feel to it so the paranormal stuff feels more convincing and grounded in reality (which makes a nice change from the ones that require massive suspension of disbelief).

And the murder plot line was great too--the killers chapters made me so angry and creeped out (a good thing) and even though I had my suspicions about who it was, it still kept me guessing and looking for clues right up until it was confirmed.

The characters in the book were awesome too. The friendships were flawed, but I liked that--it was realistic. And I really, really loved the female relationships in the book...Eva never really got catty or blamed female characters for things that a lot of girls would have, and I loved that and the way she looked out for her female friends (all of her friends really, but particularly the girls). I really liked her best friend, Grace, for that same reason.

I even enjoyed the alternating POV's, which is generally something I don't like much in a book, but it was done really well here.

That's all I can say really without giving spoilers. It had me hooked right from the start and I'd rate it 4.5 stars out of 5.

Later.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Weekly Wrap Up (31)

On the Blog:
So since it's actually been a few weeks since we've done one of these, I'm just going to include everything since then:






Lanna:
Again, these are all from whenever we last did a wrap up post, not just this week. :)

Book Haul

For review:


Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten - I hadn't heard of this before but it sounds good (and I love it when publishers do fun publicity stuff - the matchsticks were like little shortbread biscuits with icing tips and the notebook and pen is cute).


As White As Snow by Salla Simukka - I read the first book last year and really enjoyed it, so I hope this one will be equally awesome. And, I think this one is set in Prague, which is awesome.


My Smoky Bacon Crisp Obsession by J. A. Buckle - Not really my kind of thing, but the title did make me laugh. And the fact that it showed up with a bag of crisps.

What She Left by T. R. Richmond (netgalley) - I've been wanting to read more mystery/crime type books and this one sounded interesting.

The Belly Burn Plan by Traci D. Mitchell (netgalley) - It was on my auto-approvals list so I got it out of curiosity. I've never read this sort of book before but now seemed like a good time seeing as I've been trying to be more healthy recently (which is going pretty well so far, I feel better and have actually lost 16 pounds).

Bought:


The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski - Which I had an e-ARC of and have already read and loved (and reviewed), I needed it on my shelf.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins - This is one I've been wanting to read since it came out, but the hardcover was always expensive any time I looked for it online, so I waited for the paperback.


All Fall Down by Ally Carter - Another one that I read an e-ARC of and really enjoyed. I hate the UK cover, I wish they'd used the same as the US edition...but, it did come with free mascara?


Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Because Lux has made a fangirl out of me (even though I'm only 2 books into the series). I need all of her books, basically.

Sustain by Tijan (e-book) - I've been wanting to read this one ever since she posted a teaser of it on facebook last year, I'm so glad it's finally out.

Audiobooks:


Outlander and the second book in the Mara Dyer trilogy. I had a free trial of Audible, and then 3 months half price, so I've got these two so far. One of my goals for this year is to listen to 2 audiobooks -- so far, I've listened to Code Name Verity, so one of these can be my second. I've never listened to an audiobook that I hadn't already read the physical book of before, so this will be new for me. 

And I think that's everything... What've you all been reading? :)

Later.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Finding Mr. Brightside
Jay Clark
Henry Holt & Co.
[March 24, 2015]
ARC from publisher

Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

I was so intrigued by the premise of this book because I mean...come on. But it was really disappointing. I probably would have DNFed it if it wasn't such a quick read. There will be some spoilers in this, so beware!

One of the issues for me was the writing/voice. It wasn't bad, but it was really quirky and stylized to fit the characters, which is usually great, but the characters just kinda bugged me, so their voices did too. And I think one of the reasons they bugged me is because the voice and what was said about the characters were how we got to know their personalities, rather than through the character's talking themselves. It was told in alternating perspectives, but there was no set timeline for when we'd see one character or clear way of it being divided, so we'd just get these random snippets sometimes of one character explaining the other.

I was also kind of wary about the direction it took. Both characters are mentally scarred from what happened with their parents and both are taking medications to deal with it. Initially, I was worried the plot was going to have the whole love-saves-all thing and...it kind of did, but in a way that wasn't as irritating as it often is. Instead of love being the cure, it was more that they both cared and acted on that. Which...is better and a real alternative, but it still made love the central factor when these characters really should be figuring out for themselves what it'll take to get better.

The pacing was kind of all over the place as well. It seems to take place over a couple of weeks in the first half, then all in one weekend until the last two or three chapters. For me, the book felt imbalanced because of that. I either needed smoother pacing or more book.

Overall, this wasn't a memorable read. I wouldn't say it's bad because there were aspects to like about it! The side characters were good and Juliette was wonderfully snarky at times. They both kind of reminded me of more neurotic versions of April and Andy's relationship on Parks and Rec (at least, based on the gifs I've seen on tumblr) so it had some great moments. But it just...could've been so much more. And I wish it was. I'd recommend this as a library check out, personally.

--Julie

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Black Dove, White Raven
by Elizabeth Wein


Summary: Rhoda and Delia are American stunt pilots who perform daring aerobatics to appreciative audiences. But while the sight of two girls wingwalking – one white, one black – is a welcome novelty in some parts of the USA, it’s an anathema in others. Rhoda and Delia dream of living in a world where neither gender nor ethnicity determines their life. When Delia is killed in a tragic accident, Rhoda is determined to make that dream come true. She moves to Ethiopia with her daughter, Em, and Delia’s son, Teo.

Em and Teo have adapted to scratching a living in a strange land, and feel at home here; but their parents’ legacy of flight and the ability to pilot a plane places them in an elite circle of people watched carefully by the Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, who dreams of creating an air force for his fledgling nation. As Italy prepares for its invasion of Ethiopia, Em and Teo find themselves inextricably entangled in the crisis — and they are called on to help.
I absolutely loved the other two Elizabeth Wein books that I've read (Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire), Code Name Verity is actually probably one of my all time favourite books. This book...while it didn't quite top Code Name Verity, I loved it and it firmly cemented her spot on my I'll-Read-Anything-This-Author-Writes list.

I adored the characters -- Teo and Em were great and I loved their relationship. They were family and they were best friends and they were soulmates and that connection they had really leapt off the pages. All of the other characters were awesome too, even the ones we didn't see much of were bursting with personality.

And the writing...I love her writing. Elizabeth Wein is one of those authors that writes so well that little quotes from the book stick with you (one of my favourites).

I think what I loved most though was getting a glimpse into a country and culture I was pretty ignorant about before. I don't know much about Ethiopia or its history and this book opened my eyes a little and made me want to know more -- I think a book is definitely doing something right if it inspires you to read more about its subject matter.

It showed the gender politics at that time really well, and issues with race and war in a way I hadn't really read before. And I loved the subtle way it dealt with identity and what it is to belong -- to a place, to a family, to a people.

Basically, I loved the book. It made me wish I knew how to fly (considering its something I'm terrified of, that's no easy feat). There was nothing about it that I didn't like really. I'd rate it 5 stars out of 5.

Later.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Note: This is the second book in the series, so there'll be spoilers for the first book.

The Winner's Crime
by Marie Rutkoski


Summary: Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.
I loved the first book in the series, didn't think this one could top it. It did. I was wrecked by the first book, didn't think this one could hurt more. It did. So, basically, I enjoyed it so much that I'd rate it more stars than I'm even allowed to give.

The first book was like...being put through a shredder -- this one was like being put through a shredder again, and again, and again, then being tossed in a bath of vinegar for good measure. And I loved it, it was an emotional roller coaster and you can't see a way it could end happily but spend every page hoping it does.

Kestral might actually be my favourite protagonist right now. She's awesome -- she can be impressively cunning and she's strong in a way that's rare to find in these types of books because her strength is in her intelligence and the difficult choices she makes where there are no good options, some characters fight with weapons, she fights with her words and her mind.

And Arin...he frustrated me a lot in this book, but I still adore him and his relationship with Kestral. I actually love how complicated their relationship is, because even if they overcome everything standing in their way, there will still be all these challenges they face, things they'll have to forgive each other for over and over again. A lot of forbidden romances seem really contrived and the things keeping them apart kind of silly, but this is one of the ones that gets it right.

I just -- I loved the book. The plot was great, the characters (old and new) were great, and I loved that we got to see more of their world and how it works. The only thing I didn't love about the book was that a lot of the Arin/Kestral stuff hinged on lies and miscommunication but even that, it's not "the book is bad for this reason" it's just frustrating and adds to the whole emotional shredder thing the book had going on. 

I'd rate the book 5 stars out of 5 (more if I could). I enjoyed it so much that I stopped reading halfway through just so I could pre-order a physical copy before finishing the story (I was reading an e-galley) because I knew I needed a copy for my shelves. I really, really wish I didn't have to wait for the next book because that ending was torture.

Later.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

The One That I Want
by Jennifer Echols


Summary: Gemma can't believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma's heartbroken.

Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max's friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can't help thinking that Max likes her back, it's just too bad he's already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend's boyfriend?
I used to really, really loved Jennifer Echols books but over the past few years I kind of fell behind with her new releases, then I stumbled across this one that I'd forgotten about and ended up reading it in one sitting last night. The book wasn't amazing, but it did remind me of all the reasons I love her books.

The story is predictable and it's full of rom-com cliches, but I always kind of loved these type of books for that reason, not in spite of it, and Jennifer always manages to write them well and add more original spins to them. They're the perfect books if you just want something cute to read for a few hours.

The characters in this one...I was so irritated by them a lot of the time but by the end, I really loved them (well, most of them). Gemma was likeable but also kind of frustrating because she was maintaining toxic relationships with people knowing the relationships were toxic, it wasn't like she was oblivious to it, she even comments on it quite a bit in the book. I really liked the way her weight issues were written too, showing that even after she lost weight, the body image issues she had and the way she was made to feel about it did leave a mark on her.

As for the other characters, Delilah, her friend, was adorable and I wish there was more of her in the book (I'd actually enjoy reading a story all about her, probably). I really liked Max too, he could be an ass at times, but then that made me like him more because he was flawed instead of being portrayed as perfect.

The thing I like most about Jennifer's books is how she can write romances that are so adorable. Seriously, I loved Max and Gemma together and even though I wanted to scream "USE YOUR WORDS!" at the book many times (because the whole plot hinges on terrible communication and it's obvious to the reader what's going on), it was really fun to read about and made me smile a lot.

The only thing about the book that I didn't like much was that it did that catty thing where it makes the best friend seem awful to justify the whole going after her boyfriend thing. And it pulls another one of the cliche (and obvious) twists that's meant to make the situation seem less wrong too. It didn't make me enjoy the book any less, it's just not something I particularly liked about it.

Anyway...I really enjoyed the book and while it's not my favourite book of hers, it did remind me why I'm a fan of Jennifer's work and made me want to go back and read all the books of hers that I've missed.

I'd rate the book 3.5 stars out of 5. It was cute and fun and exactly what I needed to cheer me up when I was having a bad week.

Later.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina
Rachel Hartman
Random House Books for Young Readers
[July 10, 2012]
Finished copy provided for review

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

I tried reading Seraphina when it first came out and it didn't work out so well for us. It's beautifully written, but the beginning is rather unclear and cloudy. At the time, I didn't have the patience for me. This time around, I pushed through because everyone said the beginning was slow.

So. Incredibly. Slow.

What was happening was important and there was a rather large cast of characters and a number of intricate pieces to introduce to the story. It all just happens over a rather long period of time and didn't become a page turner for me until nearly half way through - not exactly something to be thrilled about in a 450 page book.

But I didn't put it down either. Like I said, there was a lot of set up going on and it was enjoyable to read. Rachel Hartman is an incredibly skilled writer so it was technically lovely. And because she has a large cast of characters, there are a number of really interesting character relationship dynamics running even during this set up and they're rather complex and keep changing even before the action starts to pick up. 

And you guys know I'm a sucker for character. Seraphina is a fascinating character with all her internal complexities and differences and needs. Not to mention how she changes. Even within a short amount of time, she develops in rather drastic leaps and bounds. Inside her head is where a good deal of the early action is.

There were still some elements missing for me and I don't think I can call Seraphina a favorite, mostly for what it's lacking in the beginning. But I was quite intrigued by the whole book and enjoyed it overall. I certainly hope to be checking out the sequel sooner rather than later.

--Julie

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up (30)

On the Blog



Lanna

I'm actually having a pretty good reading week this week, I've read three books and will probably finish a fourth one before the weekend is over too, so hopefully I'm out of my reading slump now and will be posting more reviews...but yeah, onto the new books I've gotten:
Book Haul

For review:


Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein - I can't wait to read this, I loved her other two books.


Made For You by Melissa Marr (netgalley) - I started this one last night, I'm not far in but I love it so far.


Bought:




Cress and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I think that's all...I did get another book, but it hasn't arrived yet so I'll add it next week instead. What've you all been reading? :)


Later.

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