ARC Review – How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

How to Make a Wish

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Publication: May 2nd, 2017

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Format: e-ARC, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

Read: May 2017

Ashley Herring BlakeGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from HMH Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Synopsis
All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This is a really great coming of age story about grief and family. A few of the themes involved were friendship, sexuality, love, acceptance and letting go. I probably would’ve read it in one sitting if I’d had a physical copy of this book because while it’s super emotional and powerful, it’s so easy to get lost in.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style of this book is definitely one of its selling points. It’s powerful and emotional and intense. It’s poetic and raw. There’s a few instances of explicit content but it was so tastefully done that it flowed easily through the story. The narrative was just so honest and real, it was so great to read.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
The characters of this book are just so amazing. There’s nothing I love more than a character driven story and this is exactly what the kind of book that does it extremely well. All the characters are complex and complicated, they’re all dealing with so many different things and I loved seeing their individual growth.
Grace is such a strong character. She’s had to deal with so many things because of her mom that most people don’t have to that it’s made her kind of closed off. She’s tired of having to pick up the pieces after her Mom. She feels very self-conscious and vulnerable. I connected a lot with her and the responsibilities she felt she had toward her Mom.
The side characters in this series are stellar. They each have their own role within the story, but they don’t feel like they’re there just for that. Each one is complex and real. They’re relationships with each other felt so honest. I can’t stop saying the word real because I just felt like I had the privilege to sneak a peek into the lives of such amazing individuals and there’s nothing better than to find a book that gives you that.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura Silverman

Publication: May 2nd, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Format: e-ARC, 320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Read: February 2017

Laura SilvermanGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Synopsis
Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.
Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves
.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book just feels like a warm hug to my heart. It was just so beautiful. It’s all about loss, friendship, family and abandonment. It’s a coming of age novel focused on what it means to accept change and learning to understand that life isn’t stagnant. I was entertaining through the whole thing specially since I was buddy reading with my best friend, Fadwa @ Word Wonders.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this book was really simple and easy to read. It was descriptive and detailed and emotional, there were a lot of powerful scenes within the novel. It was funny and entertaining. It was addicting with a steady paced and it made the story feel real and honest.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The characters in this book are so amazing guys! They feel so genuine and honest and just like real people. It was so easy to get lost into their lives and to feel like I was living it through them while reading.
Anise kind of annoyed me haha. She is a very passionate and determined person. She was very kind and open. However, she’s very competitive and she kind of stubborned herself into mind sets that tended to hinder her more than help her. She’s really torn and also vulnerable in this book. My favorite part of her was the way she interacted with her family and the people she loved. She was so sweet and understanding that it made those relationships so heartwarming.
I lovedddd her love interest. I think he was incredibly charming and sweet and funny. He’s so smart and adventurous and I think he pulled out a part of Anise that she didn’t realize she had. He challenged in her healthy way. There were so many amazing side characters in this series but I don’t think the majority of them had enough page time. I would’ve loved to see more from Anise’s friends from home because they seemed like they had such great friendships but it wasn’t actually on page that much.

Emotionally

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Series Review – Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson

Book Review - Fire and Thorns Trilogy

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Rae Carson

Publication: September 20th 2011, September 18th 2012 and August 27th 2013

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Format: Kindle Edition 448 pages, Kindle Edition 416 pages and Kindle Edition 449 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: October 2016 and February 2017

Rae CarsonGoodreads

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Synopsis
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king–a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot is medium paced but it doesn’t really seem like it. There’s a lot of adventure and travel. This book sets up the world which is Catholic/Hispanic and Latinx inspired which is amazing and it also sets up the conflict for the future books. It’s all about magic, religion and so much mystery. I loved getting swept up in this story since it hadn’t happened in a long time. There’s also very little romance which was refreshing for the first book in a YA fantasy series.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This author’s writing style is really simple, but also descriptive and detailed. However, it’s also really intense and powerful. It’s emotionally heavy but the narrator has kind of a dry narrative. In this book, she’s very unsure about everything that’s happening with her but it’s still entertaining and engaging to read.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I feel like this group of characters is going to take over my heart very quickly. There’s so much for me to connect to, not only with the main characters but with the culture and the world in this book. I’m slowly drowning in the depths of these dynamics.
Elisa is a very shy and quiet main character. Usually, main characters in fantasy are tough and ready to take on the world and it was a nice change of pace to see someone much more unsure and lost. She’s been kept in the dark about things pertaining to her and she spends a lot of time trying to get on the same playing field as everyone else which was a very interesting point of view to see. But we learn that she’s really smart and a great strategist. I love how she becomes more confident, honest and strong throughout the book.
There are quite a big number of side characters in this series which tends to happen in high fantasy. Each one is complex and interesting on their own and kept me guessing and wondering how they were going to shift the plot. I’m a shipper so I like to mention the romance but it’s very unclear in this first book. I know there is one because of what I’ve heard people talk about from this series but there’s practically nothing in this book.

The Crown of Embers

Synopsis
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.
Elisa is a hero.
She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.
To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.
If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am falling in love with this series, really and truly. This book is full of adventure and travel (again). There’s much more information on the world and the background of it, like how it was created and what led to the setting we see here. It deals with magic, religion, action, drama, politics, war and death. And just to sweeten things up a bit, we have a bit more romance in this one haha.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is descriptive and detailed. It’s simple but at the same time, really powerful and intense. There’s a lot of emotion that pours out of the page through the writing style. It’s medium paced but intricate and entertaining, I could’ve read this book in one sitting honestly. There’s some drama in here but it’s such an enjoyable read.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’m so obsessed guys! I am officially in love with every single character in this series. They all have a place in my heart, they are my babies and I will protect them with my life!
Elisa astounds me. I loved her character development in the first book, but I’m also super glad that it wasn’t that she had an “easy fix” to the personality she had. She was still unsure and worried about the things happening around her but she’s determined to be the best Queen she can possibly be to this kingdom she now has control of. She’s defiant and selfless. She’s a really strong, smart and honest leader and I think she’s a total badass to be quite honest.
The side characters also continue to grow and astound me. They’re each complex and intricate individuals and the relationships they create between them are just as real and powerful. They feel like real people while reading. The romance also makes a more obvious appearance and I loved it! I’m a huge shipper and this romance gave me the most wondrous feels!

The Bitter Kingdom

Synopsis
The epic conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion – a champion to those who have hated her most.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
IT’S SO GOOD, GUYS! This was the epic finale to end all the finales for me. It was action packed, full of even more adventure and more travel. We see even more of the world and it continues to astound me how big this creation is. There’s politics, magic, religion and so much more romance that just made me ecstatic! There’s a war going on but it’s almost Cold, it deals with stealth and strategies first which was super interesting.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is powerful and intense, it packs an emotional punch and took me through the wrenches haha. It’s detailed, descriptive yet simple. There’s drama, there’s entertainment and everything is intricately woven together. Though it has a medium pace, the writing flies by and the book can be easily finished in one sitting.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! These characters give me life and happiness more than the majority of the characters that I’ve encountered lately. They are all so amazing and beautiful and just so awesome!
Elisa is my Queen! I absolutely adore her. She’s confident and determined. She’s facing upheaval and mutiny within her advisors and she’s going into extreme enemy territory as well. She’s smart and strong and has such a resilient spirit. I liked being able to see much more of her compassionate side in this book. I consider her such a badass that even though that has a “tough only” connotation, it just reminds me of how complex she is as a character. She’s a defiant individual but also in tune with her emotions and her faith. She’s grown so much throughout the series that it’s kind of mind blowing. It makes me so proud of her which sounds kind of weird but that’s the kind of feeling she brings up in me.
Just like the side characters who are complex and intricate individuals. One of my favorite things about this series is the slow build of relationships. From friendships to romances to alliances, every thing is done with care and each one grows exponentially as the stories continue.

 Emotionally

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Series Review – Age of Legends by Kelley Armstrong

book-review-age-of-legends

Sea of Shadows, Empire of Night and Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Publication: April 8th 2014, April 7th 2015 and April 5th 2016

Publisher: HarperCollings

Format: Kindle Edition 406 pages, Kindle Edition 432 pages and Kindle Edition 448 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

Read: October 2016 and February 2017

Kelley ArmstrongGoodreads

Sea of Shadows Cover

Sea of Shadows

3-stars1

Synopsis
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book is really slow paced and there was some action that kept me entertained but it wasn’t what I was expecting. The world building was really confusing and it took me awhile to really get into the story and to grasp everything that was going on. This book deals with death, monsters, religion and rituals. There’s a lot of play on legends and magic which was everything interesting.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This particular writing style is really verbose and old fashioned. It’s at a slow but steady pace and it’s descriptive and detailed. However, the world building is really confusing and messy. I didn’t understand it at all and it kept me from automatically getting lost into the story. In general, it took me awhile to get into the story because of the older style writing.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is probably my least favorite part of this book. I felt like the majority of the characters fit into certain boxes or stereotypes and it didn’t help me connect to any of them. The two main characters are twins, Moria and Ashyn. First thing first, it took me a really long time to get comfortable with the names. They are much more complicated than they need to be. I kept reading Moria as Moira and it drove me nuts honestly.
Both of them are stereotypically completely different. Moria has a really strong personality. She’s kind of defensive and temperamental. She’s definitely more of a warrior type and spends a lot of time investigating and practicing fighting. She’s really protective of her sister but not overly emotional. She tends to be seen as the tougher one, with a kind of coldness and practicality to her personality.
Ashyn on the other hand is really shy, meek and quiet. She’s much more book smart and the more romantic of the twins. She’s really naive and almost overprotected in a way. She feels very much out of her depth and completely unsure of how to stay safe and stay alive. She knows more about medicine and tending to wounds but is kind of useless in a battle.
There are also a lot of side characters in this book, each with their own complex personalities. It took me awhile to keep everyone straight in my head because there’s a lot of different players in this complicated story. Because of that, it was harder for me to connect to them and I wish I could’ve seen them grow more then they did in this book.

empire-of-night-cover

Empire of Night

4-stars1

Synopsis
Sisters Moira and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood.
or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.
But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children – accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men – the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book picked up the pace a bit more and it’s much more action packed as well. Thankfully, there’s much more information on the world and how the empire they live in actually works. It’s still a bit confusing though with this second book, I’m definitely getting the hang of things. There’s more romance in this one, lots of twists and turns and monsters. It was definitely a lot more exciting than the first book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is, luckily, really easy to read and has a steady pace to go along with the plot. It’s really descriptive and detailed though it can still get kind of confusing sometimes. It’s really verbose and old fashioned. The characters voices sound much older than they are because of the way their empire is. However, the world building has definitely improved in this one and things make much more sense.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is still the section in which I’m struggling with the most in this series which sucks because characters are my favorite parts of books. Though it’s definitely improved from the first book as well.
Moria is really freaking angry in this book. The ending of the last book kind of shook her and she’s now questioning the things she thought were right. She’s hurt and she feels betrayed. However, she’s still smart and confident in who she is and the plot of this book pushes her to become much more open and honest.
While I’m not the biggest fan of Ashyn, I really like the development she had in this book. She’s much more confident and much more outgoing but without losing her personality and the person that she is. She’s still smart and is becoming much more aware of her surroundings but still can’t really fight and is overprotected by some of the male characters.
There are more side characters added in this book, much more than I was expecting, but at the same time, they’re all fleshed out much more than in the first book. I enjoyed that there was much more development for all of the characters.

Forest of Ruin Cover

Forest of Ruin

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor.
But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances are. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them…
In this breathtaking final book in her trilogy the Age of Legends, author Kelley Armstrong blends fantasy, action, and romance to give readers the unforgettable ending they’ve been waiting for.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book is set at a steady, medium pace but the action keeps going. There’s also some mystery in this one, revolving around dragons which is pretty cool. There’s a lot more focus on romance in this one as well and it’s so much easier to understand than the rest of the books have been. There’s twists and turns and lots of violence (it can get graphic) but I feel like the ending was very solid and conclusive.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style as always is descriptive and detailed. There’s a steady pace that flows with the plot and I really enjoy that the POV’s are very distinct. The characters speak with big words and it’s all very old fashioned in style. It’s easy to read and I ended up enjoying it much more as the series continued.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Finally, one of these books where I don’t have some huge complain about the characters. They will never become favorites of mine but I have to say that they definitely improved as the series went on.
Moria is a freaking badass lady. She’s so logical, smart and crafty. She’s gotten better at working through her emotions but it doesn’t stop her from continuing to be brave and fiercely protective and strong. She’s super blunt and is always looking at things in a different perspective than other people. Though she had a lot of development, I think it was more of building on who she already was and making her even better.
Ashyn on the other hand had the most extensive development out of everyone in the series. She started out really shy and timid and pretty much scared of a bunch of things. But as things progressed and she started to become more confident, she blossomed. She’s passionate, determined and smart. She’s kind as always but much more blunt and honest with herself and others. I love how self-confidence helped her become a much more well rounded person and someone that can kick ass in her own way.
All the side characters now feel much more three dimensional and fleshed out. They’ve always been complex but since there were so many, I never felt like I got to know them as much as I wanted to but that was definitely fixed in this book.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

book-review-the-lies-of-locke-lamora

the-lies-of-lock-lamora-cover

The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentlemen Bastard #1)

Author: Scott Lynch

Publication: September 18th, 2008

Publisher: Orion

Format: Kindle Edition, 573 pages

Genre: Adult, High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Read: January 2016

Scott LynchGoodreads

 

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora . . .

Trigger warning for graphic violence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot  is really intricate and super intense. It was so much more complicated than I was expecting it to be but it was exciting all the same. There’s violence, blood and stealing but also friendship, love and intelligence and personal growth. Honestly, there were like various different plot lines going on that managed to intertwined in the coolest of ways and I was really impressed.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my biggest issue in this book because of one thing: the world building. I was so confused the entire time I was reading and it was a huge bummer. There wasn’t enough explanation though it still managed to be detailed, descriptive, intricate and thorough. The story moves between the past and the present and it’s really intense and also really graphic, so watch out if you’re squeamish.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Never in my life did I think I would get so incredibly attached to the characters in this book but here we are. They are so precious to me in their little deceitful and crass way. Locke is such a shit but in the best way possible. We get to know him as an adult and as a kid and we see how he grows up. He’s street smart, cunning and kind of cocky. He’s really good at what he does and he’s kind of the brains of the operation. But he’s also a really sucky fighter and he gets caught in this worst situations ever. He’s kind of desperate towards the end of the books and really hurt and torn over what to do. I liked seeing his progression as a person and also how he interacted with the rest of the crew. They are amazing as well! Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this series is seeing the dynamic of these gentlemen bastards. Their friendship is so honest and real and they care about each other, but in that dude way where you like give each other shit for stupid stuff that you do, it’s so awesome. They’re hilarious and loyal and one of them is the most adorable thing to live on the page and it just made my reading experience so much better. Jean is Locke’s closest, maybe even best friend, and their bromance was amazing. They look out for each other, they care for each other and they just want to steal and live life to the fullest together and gosh, I love them.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

book-review-the-last-of-august

The Last of August Cover

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)

Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Publication: February 14th, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: e-ARC, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Retellings

Read: January 2016

Brittany CavallaroGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Harper Collins Children’s via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.
So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

Trigger warning for mentions of rape, drugs and violence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
I always feel like these books are over saturated because there is so much going on with the plot at all times. There’s mystery and suspense. It’s really dark and intense and sometimes very confusing as well. There are always a lot of twists and turns and I didn’t see anything coming which is both good and really bad. The ending was really abrupt and kind of cliffhanging and that’s probably my biggest complaint. It left me with a giant question mark.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like the author’s writing style. It’s very vivid as well as detailed and descriptive. It’s so fast paced but at the same time very confusing. The main character, Jamie, is left out of a lot of information and so that affects the overall narrative of the story, the reader tends to be just as lost and confused and angry as him throughout the story which is both good and band. When we get a bit of a switch up in the POV, I like how both voices are very distinct and unique.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m becoming a huge fan of this cast of characters. However, they are all extremely flawed and extremely complex and maybe not the best people. I don’t think I’d be their friends in real life though I love reading about their craziness. Jamie is getting a lot more reckless and brave in this book. He tagged along and was kind of like the sidekick in the first book but now he’s kind of tired of that role and wants to be a lot more involved in solving the mysteries that are going on though he sometimes pushes it way too far for his safety. He’s a lot angrier and desperate than he was in the first book but he’s also just as loyal and open and kind. I liked seeing how he’s developing as a character though I want more from him as well. Charlotte kind of drives me crazy. She’s reckless and destructive to herself but also really smart and cunning. She opens up a lot more in this books so I feel like the reader gets to know her more in this one but I also feel like there’s still more to learn! I want to know every nook and cranny of her personality because she’s such a complex character but we’re not there yet. The actual relationships between the characters (including the side characters) are my biggest issues with this series. The relationship between the two main characters is problematic and sometimes even toxic in a way that puts me off sometimes. There are also no great familial relationships or relationships between parent and kid that are really healthy. All of them are kind of wrong and weird and uncomfortable and though it makes a lot of sense for the plot and the kind of characters they are, I don’t think its the best theme to explore.

Emotionally

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Series Review – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

book-review-the-lunar-chronicles

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: January 3rd 2012, February 5th 2013, February 4th 2014 and November 10th 2015

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 464 pages, Kindle Edition 560 pages and Kindle Edition 833 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Retellings

Read: December 2015, October and December 2016

Marissa MeyerGoodreads

Cinder Cover

Cinder

3.5-stars2

Synopsis
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is really interesting and entertaining but oh my goodness, it was so predictable. I’m pretty sure I figured out everything that was going to happen in this book in the first quarter of it. That was disappointing because I expected so much more considering how much hype this book has. However, I liked the mystery involved (even if I figured it out) and how the author incorporated the original story line with her world.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s really simple and straight to the point. There’s a lot of detail and description and it was engaging enough to keep me interested in the story although I knew where it was going. It was captivating enough but there wasn’t much distinction between character perspectives.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters are what make books for me. If I’m not feeling the characters, its a sure fire way to make me lose interest in a book which was what happened here. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characters, but they didn’t really captivate me much. They were all just… there.Cinder is cool. She’s really jaded and kind of has a rude/sassy attitude. Some of her lines were kind of funny and I like how she tried not to take shit from other people around her. She’s really strong, specially after the life she’s had. I liked her determination and how independent she was. While she’s kind of a closed off person, she’s also really kind. I think all the things she had to deal with in her family and as a cyborg really made her conscious of how she should treat people and thinking beyond herself, even when that wasn’t reciprocated to her. However, there wasn’t anything about her that stood out to me and made me her fan or to want to root for her as I read.
There are also quite a few side characters. Kai, the prince in this story, was okay. He’s really young and inexperienced and the poor guy has the whole world on his shoulders. However, he’s determined to do the best job he can to keep his people safe and I admired that. I want to also mention that I love Iko, she’s amazing haha. There’s a lot of great changes with the characters and what they represent but they are still close to the original.

Scarlet Cover

Scarlet

4-stars1

Synopsis
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Plot wise this book definitely stepped it up in the series. The various story lines as well as the original stories are starting to intertwine which makes it much better for me because this one didn’t feel as predictable as the first. It was interesting and entertaining. It was action packed, fast paced and much more gruesome than I expected. I definitely enjoyed this particular story much more.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style is really simple and straight forward. I think the author does a great job with connecting the existing stories together as well as with the original ones. It’s detailed, descriptive and engaging. I think the distinction between POVs was much better than the first book, I felt like I was reading about and from different people.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters from the first book, there was nothing that really captivated me about them. However, this book got so much better! Not only did I feel like they were more distinct in their voices and personalities, but I think the fast paced plot helped make me care more about what was happening to the characters.Scarlet became an instant favorite. She’s just so fierce! She’s determined and stubborn. I love how caring she is and how she doesn’t back down. She listens to her gut and follows it no matter what, that’s so inspiring to me. She’s loving to the people she cares about and takes awhile to warm up to others. I think she’s badass and I want to read more from her point of view.
There are also many more side characters introduced in this book. Wolf is one of them and he’s pretty great in my opinion. He has such a powerful presence and he’s fierce and apologetic. But you still get the sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. However, there was one character that was introduced in this book that blew everyone else out of the water and that is Thorne. I absolutely loved him, he stole the show for me. He’s hilarious, a bit self-centered and just a great character overall. I’m a big fan of him.

Cress Cover

Cress

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m really glad to say that these books keep getting better and better as the series continues. This one was entertaining, action packed and intense. It was definitely much more unique than I was expecting since the ones before were predictable in some ways. This one deviates from the original story a whole lot more and I loved it! This original science fiction, revolution story is taking over the series and it’s pretty great. The plot of this book was also so much more emotional. It’s getting down to the wire and you can definitely feel it as you read.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really enjoy Meyer’s writing style. It’s simple and engaging, it’s easy to slip back into the world and the story because of that. It’s very detailed and descriptive, specially this book because there is so much traveling. These books are very fast paced and the author has gotten much better at creating distinction between all the POVs she’s working with which I really appreciate.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This part of the books just keeps on improving which each one. When I read the first book, I wasn’t really feeling most of the characters, but now that there’s more of a crew and the cast has gotten larger, I’ve warmed up to and am rooting for them much more. I was really interested in meeting Cress since I heard about this series, I really wanted to know how the author was going to work with the Rapunzel story and I really enjoyed her. She has such a sweet disposition despite all that she’s gone through. I found her naivety to be really endearing and cute. She’s so amazed by everything around her and even when she’s terrified of something, she does the best she can and is determined to push through no matter what.
I already knew I loved Thorne and that feeling just grew tenfold in this book. He’s charming, funny, smart and strong. I also like that he has character development in this book, he goes beyond just comic relief.
A lot of the side characters make appearances together as a group and I’m really loving their dynamic now. Shit got complicated but they did their best to stick together and to make it work with each other. I still love Iko and Wolf and Scarlet. I liked how Kai and Cinder were reunited in this book, it definitely got me to like them a bit more individually and together than I had in the past.

Winter Cover

Winter

5-stars1

Synopsis
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite book in the series by far. I don’t know if its just because its the finale and the culmination of everything the gang has been trying to do for so long but I loved it. It was action packed, intense and powerful. There was a lot more blood shed and violence than the previous books but it was just as exciting and emotional as I wanted. The books have shifted so much from the original stories but there are so many correlations and intricate connections. However, this book was really, really long.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style really works with making the story shine. It’s simple yet engaging and easy to read. It’s really descriptive and detailed. I love how there’s so much more distinction between the different POVs now and I can tell who’s telling the story just by the first few lines. It was intense and action packed and really fast paced, though this book was definitely a bit too long for me.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve definitely become a fan of this cast of characters as the series went on. The group as a whole has a really great dynamic and they bring out the best in each other. I loved seeing how they all worked together and how they watched each other’s back through this crazy finale.
I really, really wanted to meet Winter. She sounded like such an interesting character but I was not prepared to being inside of her head. She’s really sweet and kind, an all around good person. However, she has delusions which affect how she sees the world which makes her very vulnerable. I just wanted to put her in a little bubble and protect her but at the same time, I wanted her to leave her comfort zone and kick butt haha.
Jacin is a character that annoyed me since coming onto the page, I couldn’t really understand him and his motivation… until I read this book. His relationship with Winter is so pure and open and just ride or die (I don’t know how else to say it haha). His personality, however, gets on my nerves. He has such a singular focus that his protective nature and his determination can rub me the wrong way. But I can’t fault him for being so dedicated.
SO MUCH HAPPENED TO THE CREW. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything the characters went through. I can say though that I really liked seeing them all together as a team and getting shit done together. Their fierce protectiveness of each other is just amazing.

Emotionally

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Series Review – Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

book-review-hex-hall-trilogy

Hex Hall, Demonglass and Spell Bound (Hex Hall #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Publication: May 28th 2010, March 1st 2011 and March 13th 2012

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition 337 pages, Kindle Edition 365 pages and Kindle Edition 233 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Read: November and December 2016

Rachel HawkinsGoodreads

Hex Hall Cover

Hex Hall

4-stars1

Synopsis
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus.
Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This whole book is just pure fun and entertainment. It’s a really simple concept and a simple plot but it’s fast paced with some action. This is a re-read for me and I have to say that it was just as fun the second time around. The world and the paranormal elements are really interesting. However, this is more on the younger side of YA.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is really simple and easy to read. It’s fast paced and entertaining. The main character’s narration is really funny, she’s really sarcastic which is fun to read but at the same time she can get a bit juvenile and immature. She is a teenager so I can’t really fault her that much though it gets kind of annoying after awhile.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is probably my biggest problem with the book. I liked the majority of the characters, specially the main character, but there are also others that felt like stereotypical, card board cuts outs of the kind of people you’d usually find in a high school somewhere. Also the majority of the relationship feel flimsy, they appear to have no real basis in companionship. And there’s girl hate which I really don’t appreciate because you can dislike someone for various reasons, but not just because they are a girl and they have a cute boyfriend. It’s not necessary. And the boy aint that cute anyway.
Sophie is a really young protagonist so like I said above, she can act immature, but yeah, it’s understandable. She’s really naive about the world she’s walking into which causes a lot of sucky situations for her and bullying opportunities for other people which was really upsetting. She’s really confused but she’s also really spunky and sarcastic, she rolls with the punches really easily which makes for an entertaining story.
Like I said above I feel like the side characters were kind of stereotypical and too simple. There wasn’t much to them and their relationships. I wanted more substance, more depth to them that I just did not find while reading. This is a book that’s just fun and entertaining to read but not really there to make you think deeply about anything and the characters reflect that.

demonglass-cover

Demonglass

4-5-stars1

Synopsis
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father.
What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Acher to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, another book that’s just fun and entertaining. This one however is a lot more intense and mature. There’s so much more information about the Prodigium world and their laws, how everything is meant to work. It’s still fast paced and is super easy to read. My biggest complaint in this series is the romance. It bothers me so much, so cliche and just like the stereotypical paranormal romances that I’m just not a fan of. Would enjoy it more without it but that will never happen haha.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Really enjoy the writing style, specially because it’s just a fun book. The writing is fast paced, easy to read, simple and funny. The narrative goes through some growth because the main character does as well. It’s a lot more emotional and intense thought it doesn’t lose the entertainment value. The main character is still really sarcastic though also indecisive as she’s struggling with some tough decisions in this book.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This section got a lot better in this book. I think the author added a lot more layers to the characters’ personalities which added a lot of needed complexity and depth. There are also adult presences which are hard to find in YA books so I really appreciated not only adults, though not all of them are very nice, but also parents and parental relationships with their children and the importance of them. That was awesome.
Sophie has definitely grown. The events of the first book have made her more mature though she’s done something that I tend to do as well which is go from one extreme to the other, using her magic and trying to perfect it to now wanting nothing to do with it. She’s really torn about what she should do and really scared about what’s going on. She’s much more powerful than she realized and just as stubborn as she showed in the first book which might not be the best combination. Though I really like that she’s kept her sass and spunky personality.
The side characters are improving. There are a few that I really enjoy reading about and some that I’m still not a fan of. There’s a lot of new faces in this book as well which change the dynamics of the story and that was interesting to read about. There should still be more development with them in my opinion, but it’s improving.

spell-bound-cover

Spell Bound

4-5-stars1

Synopsis
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book, like the ones before, is really entertaining though this one is also much more serious. It’s fast paced and intense. There’s a lot more focus on family and Sophie’s relationship with all the people that make up her family. This one also focuses a lot on her friendships and her little squad that are trying to help her save the Prodigium world, as always haha. I think the conclusion was really satisfying but I am very angry at one particular thing that happened and I’ll never get over it.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s really funny, sarcastic and easy to read. It’s fast paced and simple. This one in particular is a lot more intense and emotional. There’s a lot more action and the culmination of the series makes the writing a lot more powerful.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
By this time this book rolled around, I became a huge fan of this cast of characters. I’ve really enjoyed their dynamics as a group though I can still find a lot of problems or things I can complain about in regards to the characters in particular, but I really enjoy the group.
Sophie is a ball of nerves in this book. She’s worried and scared out of her mind, she’s got a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and no idea how to pull it off. However, she’s determined to save her friends and her family and she’s hoping to use her ultimate powers to make it happen. Her stubborn nature is alive and well and I like how that pushes her beyond what she thinks she can do.
I’m am such a mess over the side characters! There’s one that I love more than any of them and I am just emotional over him. I really like the majority of them and like I said above, their dynamics as a group are great. Something I haven’t mentioned in awhile is the romance, which I don’t like. This is one of the only books where I ship the guy in the love triangle that doesn’t win haha. And he is so much better than the actual guy she picks and he has the worst fate handed to him and it makes me so much! This book’s emotional section might be spoilery so beware.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Imprudence by Gail Carriger

book-review-imprudence

Imprudence Cover

Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2)

Author: Gail Carriger

Publication: July 19th, 2016

Publisher: Orbit

Format: Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Genre: Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal, Historical Fiction

Read: December 2016

Gail CarrigerGoodreads

 

4-5-stars1

Synopsis
London is in chaos.
Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.
Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.
When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book picks up right where the first one left off. My biggest issue with this series in particular is that the pacing is really slow, when I’m used to Carriger’s books being constantly fast paced and entertaining. This one has specific scenes that are action packed and some that are full of crazy and unexpected situations but its definitely not the entire time. This book in particular deals with a lot more romance and familial relations, from the main character’s perspective as well as others. I definitely liked the story line in this one a lot more than the first book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This is the part that I can always count on when it comes to these books. The writing style is done really well in my opinion. It’s always really descriptive and detailed, though it can get a bit much for some people. While it’s historically accurate and really verbose, it’s easy to read and really freaking funny. As for the narration, there’s a lot more growth in the character from the first to the second book and that is shown in the way she speaks to the reader. It’s still quirky and entertaining but you can see how the adventures she’s had and her current struggles have affected the main character’s thought process and personality.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m happy to say that this part has improved, yay! I was not the biggest fan of this cast of characters in the first book but they’ve definitely improved in this one. There’s a lot more character development, a lot more background on most of them and some new editions that I really enjoyed learning about. Rue as a main character has also improved for me. She got on my nerves really easily in the first book and while she’s still kind of arrogant and spoiler, she’s also a lot more mature. She’s not as annoying though still kind of clueless about some things though very smart about others. She’s struggles a bit emotionally in this book, considering the family issues she has, and I enjoyed seeing more depth to her. She’s honest and bold though very guarded with her heart. I really loved the views on sexuality that this book had, specially considering the time this book is set in. Rue is very clear on her wants and desires as a woman, and has a very forward thinking approach to sex. I loved to see a historical romance starting in such an unconventional way for them. The side characters are definitely more developed in this book as well. Each one has their own little things going on as part of the whole plot process. There are always so many different pieces to Carriger’s book and it’s always plausible to expect to see characters from the earlier series show up again. This one has a lot more new and old character show up and I have to say that in this entire cast my favorite is Tasherit.
She’s badass as hell.

Emotionally

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Series Review – Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray

book-review-firebird-trilogy

A Thousand Pieces of You, Ten Thousand Skies Above You and A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Claudia Gray

Publication: November 4th 2014, November 3rd 2015 and November 1st 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Kindle Edition 373 pages, Kindle Edition 424 pages and Kindle Edition 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction and Travel

Read: March, April and November 2016

Claudia GrayGoodreads

A Thousand Pieces of You Cover

A Thousand Pieces of You

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

A friend of mine opened my eyes to a problematic scene in the first book. Check out this post for more information.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This story jumps right into the premise. That was kind of disorienting and the beginning of the story was slow in the beginning. It’s filled with mystery, suspense and action. There’s a lot of history and science weaved throughout the story because it deals with dimensional travel which makes it very entertaining.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the writing style because it’s visually rich and engaging. It’s detailed and descriptive though it can be cheesy at times. I found the writing to be very imaginative and the science aspect wasn’t as hard to understand as I expected it to be.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked meeting the cast of characters in this series and seeing how their relationships with each other develop.Marguerite is our main character and narrator. I liked her in a general sense. She told the story very well and was likeable. However, she’s impulsive and indecisive which had me frustrated with her at times. She’s also determined and smart and full of tenacity which made her a force to be reckoned with when she had her goals in mind. I hope to see more growth in her character.
There are also a few side characters and they are all very different in personalities and ambitions. There are two that have a more in depth look in this book which I found very interesting. Again they both have different personalities but my favorite part was seeing their interactions and how their relationships change and develop, not only with the main character but also with each other. I hope to be able to learn more about them in the upcoming books.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You Cover

Ten Thousand Skies Above You

5 Stars

Synopsis
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.
The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Again, the story in this book is slow in the beginning. It includes a lot of catching up with what happened after the events of the first book. It’s action packed and full of conspiracy theories. It deals with death, love and ethics and personal morals. The ending is incredibly heart wrenching but I loved how beautiful and intricate the different dimensions are.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this series is great. It’s visually rich with its descriptions and details, it’s so easy to imagine all the different settings. It’s intense, engaging and really emotional. The author has a really big imagination and she’s really creative to come up with all these different scenarios that work scientifically yet work with a normal reader to be easily understandable.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The relationships between the cast of characters is definitely getting much more intense and much more complicated.
Marguerite is awesome. I’ve really loved seeing her development in these books. She’s determined and headstrong, she has a single minded focus to get things right. In this book in particular, she’s really emotional and vulnerable. So many different things change in this book and she tries her best to deal with them.
The rest of the cast goes through so much as individuals as well as together. This book in particular is really tough on everyone. Each character has so much growth and development and it was enjoyable to read.

A Million Worlds With You Cover

A Million Worlds with You

5 Stars

Synopsis
A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.
The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.
Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.
So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.
In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am beyond in love with this book. The plot of this one was filled with mystery, action, suspense, adventure, violence and just a lot of freaking twists and turns that I did not see coming. There’s a steady pace throughout the whole book that kept me hooked and reading. The ending was both simple and yet unexpected.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve fallen in love with the way these books are written. It’s so imaginative, intense, powerful and emotional. There’s an intricate way to how the story and the different dimensions are weaved together that is really fun to read. It’s descriptive, detailed, and engaging. I think the author is very creative and imaginative to have come up with such a great series arc.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I am now totally in love with this cast of characters, they’re my little babies and I just want them safe okay?!
Marguerite is a great main character and narrator. I’ve really come to enjoy both her personality and her perspective in this story. In this book, she’s absolutely petrified but pushes forward with her determination to save the people she loves. I love how she’s not cocky or overconfident, she really understands what is at stake and how she fits into all of it. She’s so smart and emotional though hopeful. I loved seeing her growth throughout the series.
The rest of the cast also goes through some extensive character development, from the smallest side characters to the bigger ones. I think it’s a very interesting dynamic considering how the characters encounter their friends’, parents’, enemies’, etc other selves from different dimensions and it’s intriguing to see how that gives them each a separate sort of insight into the people they love.

Emotionally

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