Book Review – The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publication: May 2nd, 2017

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Hardcover, 414 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Read: June 2017

Rick RiordanGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?
After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
As always with Rick Riordan, this book was funny and entertaining. It was action packed and intense, full of ups and downs and fast paced. I loved the adventure aspect and how there is always something new that the characters have to overcome, it keeps the story exciting. It’s complex and fun and I have a great time while reading.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, really fun and entertaining writing style as always. It’s simple, easy to read and full of information on Greek mythology that I really enjoy learning about. However, I’m still struggling with Apollo’s POV. He’s not as laugh out loud funny as I was expecting. He’s self-confident bordering on egotistic and can be annoying sometimes.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Like I said above, I’m struggling with Apollo’s POV. I feel like he sounds much older than I’m used to reading from YA books yet at the same time, his personality sometimes grates on my nerves.
Apollo is getting better but because he’s a god, he’s still self-centered and vain. He’s definitely growing through the series but it’s not as much as I would want though I understand why. He can be annoying sometimes specially when he’s constantly scared of everything that’s happening to him. I like the moments when he pushes through his fear and is brave and caring. I want that to happen more often.
One of my favorite parts of this series is being able to see where some of my favorite older characters are. This one has a few more characters that were prominent in the Heroes of Olympus that I loved and it’s just great to see them kick ass and take names still.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Publication: September 29th, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 308 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: June 2017

Sarina BowenGoodreads

 

Synopsis
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.
Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.
So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.
John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.
And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.
Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.
Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This story was a lot more emotional than I was expecting going into it. There’s a lot of drama, there’s a lot of angst as well as violence, and some scenes that include bigotry. I liked that sports were still included as well as the themes of acceptance and honestly. The ending was abrupt but overall I liked the book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I like the author’s writing style. It’s very simple, very easy to read and fast paced, just how I like my New Adult books. There are multiple POVs and each one has it’s own distinct voice. The writing is intense, emotional, dramatic and entertaining.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is probably my least favorite part of this book in particular. I struggled with connection with one of the two main characters which made his parts of the narrative harder to read.
John Rikker was definitely my favorite of the two. He’s the one who’s more confident in himself and open with people. He’s charming, honest and kind. He has a lot of pressures as he’s going into a new college, a new hockey team and there’s a lot about this change that he wants to keep quiet. But that doesn’t stop him from confronting challenges and from being honest with people which I loved.
Michael Graham, on the other hand, frustrated me a lot. He has a lot of insecurities and is downright scared of a lot of things. He’s very vulnerable emotionally and he’s harming himself emotionally as well. I found his point of view to be frustrating and intense but I loved how much he grew throughout the story.
I loveddd seeing all the old characters from the first two books in the series. They’re not all around as much as I wanted but they definitely played a bigger part in this book than they did in the second one so I love it! I liked the new side characters a lot and I know the next book focuses on one of my faves from this book and I’m excited.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Publication: June 1st, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 274 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: May 2017

Sarina BowenGoodreads

 

Synopsis
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.
It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.
Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.
The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This story was really dramatic, but not in the way that New Adult books usually are. I kind of felt like this one was more real even with some of the angst and emotional scenes. It was really entertaining though and I liked the themes of family and friendship. I felt like the romance was really supportive and I like that hockey is still a big part of the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s really easy to read and fast paced. The writing style is simple and entertaining, with some drama obviously. There are multiple POV’s, each with its own distinct voice. I liked the difference between the two characters and their thoughts process.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked the characters in this book. I was very happy to get to know Bridger a bit more because I really liked him in the first book and the new female lead was interesting as well.
Scarlet is a strong and smart character. I found her to be really resilient and persistent. She kind of took a chance, changed her identity and went off into the unknown to be able to be happy. That takes a lot of courage to me. She’s quiet and sweet and kind.
Bridger is determined. I liked seeing more of his personality because he’s really sweet. He has a really strong attitude even when there’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He’s a character that I feel proud of as I read, he takes on so much on his own that he shouldn’t have to deal with but it’s so impressive.
There’s a younger character within this book whom I loved and I really liked seeing the characters from the first book even though they weren’t on page enough for me. I would’ve liked to see more complex character within the narrative.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Publication: March 20th, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 270 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: April 2017

Sarina BowenGoodreads

 

Synopsis
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?
She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.
Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.
Also, he’s taken.
Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.
They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.
But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I found this story to be really entertaining. I liked that there was some drama and some angst, but neither of them were incredibly overpowering which I appreciate. The romance developed slowly and the book was really emotional. It talked about the struggles of college, hockey and disability.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style was fast paced and easy to read. There were multiple POVs and each one had a distinct voice which I appreciated. I would’ve liked it to be much more emotional and intense but it was entertaining and kind of serious at times.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked getting to know the characters in this series. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about it for a long time and I’m glad to say that I liked them overall.
Corey was a tough chick. She’s really smart and determined. However, at the same time, she was sometimes insecure with herself. She’s really strong and I loved her tenacity. I would’ve liked to see her be more open but I loved her growth throughout the story.
Hartley got on my nerves a little bit. He’s really charming and fun loving. But also kind of oblivious to what he does and how he’s acting and how that’s hurting people. However, he’s vulnerable and insecure at times. His stubborn streak makes it hard for him to get his act together but I’m glad it happened.
I really loved the great side characters in this book. They were such sweet and supportive friends to the main characters though I would’ve liked to have seen more of their development as individuals.

Emotionally

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Book Review – A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publication: February 21st, 2017

Publisher: Tor Books

Format: Hardcover, 624 pages

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Read: May 2017

V.E. SchwabGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
This should be a surprised to no one, I loved this book! The plot was action packed and intense. It had its slow moments but it didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment. It had death, violence and sacrifice. There was mystery and we learned more about the history of some of the characters. There was love, magic, family and friendship. IT WAS SO GOOD!

Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
Schwab is one of my favorite authors of all time so I absolutely adore her writing style. It’s fast paced with multiple and complex points of views throughout. It’s emotional and intense. It explores the past as well as shows the present using descriptive and detailed scenes. It can be slow sometimes but it’s so addicting!

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
MY BABIES! I can’t believe that this is my last book with my babies, that is so heartbreaking. Every single character that has crossed the pages of this series made me feel something and that’s priceless for me.
Kell is a little cinnamon roll to me! He’s grown so much and yet he is still the same. He’s determined to save everyone he loves but he also knows the stakes they’re up against and he’s torn and worried. I love how he managed his fears and the need to be brave, it was really inspiring to me. He was also super kind and I love him.
Lila is one of my favorite female characters of all time. She’s brave to the point of being reckless. But I love her passion and her tenacity. She charges head on into any obstacle, no matter what and while it freaks me out because I want her alive, I kind of look up to that kind of fearlessness.
I was really excited and happy to see that we got Rhy and Alucard’s points of views in this book. We got so much more background on Alucard and how he got into the situation when we first met him. It was also very important to see how Rhy was handling all the changes he was going through and everything that was happening to his capital and it all squeezed my heart to its smallest size (in a good way haha).

Emotionally

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Book Review – Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven

Wicked Heart (Starcrossed #3)

Author: Leisa Rayven

Publication: May 3rd, 2016

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Format: Kindle Edition, 320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: April 2017

Leisa RayvenGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.
After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that echoes around the world.
Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Obviously considering the genre, there’s romance and drama (both in life and in theater production). The story line was kind of predictable. There was a lot more lying and cheating than I was expecting and that I wanted. I was hoping this book would be similar to the earlier stories but it wasn’t. However, the ending was really sweet.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I always find New Adult books to be really easy to read and easy to get addicted to and this one is no exception. This book is fast paced, fun and sexy. There are some angsty parts and lots of drama, both on and off stage. Even though I didn’t like the direction the story took at times, I still liked the writing.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I didn’t really like the main characters of this book as much as the ones from the first two books. Those grabbed my heart and wrenched it out of my chest but this relationship in this one wasn’t as emotionally impactful or as swoon worthy.
Elissa had a side character role in the first two books and I was really interested in seeing more of her personality in this book. She’s strong, smart and determined. I really liked her work ethic and how well and comfortable she is at her job. I felt bad for her in some moments. She was heartbroken and reluctant to open herself up to everything that was happening. However, she was still swept away by feelings and romance and stuff. I kind of wanted her to be tougher but it was okay.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Liam. He was charming but also kind of an ass. He has a jealous streak and he’s aggressive. He also doesn’t make the best decisions and I had a lot of trouble understanding where he was coming from. As for the side characters, I was really happy to be able to see some of the old side characters and I quite liked the new characters introduced in this book as well.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Publication: September 20th, 2016

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Kindle Edtion, 341 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

Read: April 2017

Mindy McGinnisGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is a punch in the gut and there’s no way around it. It’s a brutal look at humanity and rape culture and how it’s become so common within society today. We follow the day to day lives of the characters and it’s not a linear plot line. It’s dark, gritty, violent and intense. I won’t be able to forget this story for a really long time.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style lent really well to the way the narrative is told. There’s three different POVs and each has it’s own distinct voice. It was easy to read and fast paced and engaging. It was intense, powerful and honest. It was lyrical, brutal and violent. Another punch to the gut to be quite honest.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
The characters in this book are so real and complex. From the main characters, to the side characters, they all feel like complete people and we’re just getting a little glimpse of their lives.
Alex is really intense. She doesn’t really understand social interactions and her point of view is almost robotic and factual in the way that she speaks and thinks. But she is also very kind and protective. She understands herself better than anyone and knows her limitations. I ended up being a huge fan of her which wasn’t something that I expected when I first started reading.
Then there’s Jack who is a douche. Honestly, there’s no other way to describe him, he’s a very typical asshole boy who has the world at the tip of his fingers and doesn’t really think about why. He’s kind of annoying but I appreciated how much he grew throughout the story. He’s really torn and confused.
And the last protagonist is Peekay, who definitely should not go by that name because she represents something so much better. She’s really sweet and kind and loving. But she’s also really accustomed to the way life is and unaware of how bad things actually are. However, she’s determined to improve and I really enjoyed reading from her point of view.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

Take the Key and Lock Her Up (Embassy Row #3)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 27th, 2016

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: April 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
The princess is dead. Long live the princess.
Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.
There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.
If she wins, she will inherit a throne.
And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Sadly, I’m still disappointed. The plot of this book is full of mystery and suspense. There’s action, it’s dramatic, full of death and violence. But it was still kind of boring. Honestly, I just think this series tries too hard to be intense and it doesn’t pull it off as well as it thinks it does. This book was not as entertaining as I wanted and the ending wasn’t that surprising.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Part of me feels like I should complain more about the writing style considering that most of my issues with this series comes down to execution but I just can’t help flying through these books. The writing is set a medium place but it’s simple and easy to read. It’s a bit intense, kind of emotional but unfortunately, those things didn’t really translate well. It was confusing sometimes and it could get repetitive.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is definitely my least favorite part of this series which is so sad because I’ve really loved this author’s characters in the past. I just wasn’t feeling the main character and the side characters barely show up enough throughout the story to be considered a part of it.
Grace gets on my nerves. I tried, I swear I really tried to understand where she’s coming from but she’s just really dramatic and pessimistic to the point where reading from her point of view was draining for me. She’s reckless and angry and she gets pulled into crappy situations because she’s just not clearheaded at all. She’s depressed, worried and just totally and completely frustrating for me.
There’s not enough page time for the side characters. From the friendships, to the romance, even to the familial relationships portrayed in this book, they all just show up when they’re needed and there’s never any actual development to back up everything the dialogue is trying to say. I don’t know the side characters well at all and it’s another one of the things that made this series disappointing overall.

Emotionally

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Book Review – See How They Run by Ally Carter

See How They Run (Embassy Row #2)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 22nd, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: February 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Digging up lost secrets is always dangerous.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.
But the truth has only made her a target.
And the past?
The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.
On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep. Trust is a luxury. Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was very similar to the first one. It had mystery, suspense, drama and violence. There’s a lot of dark themes and twists and turns throughout the whole story. I loved learning more about the history of the world in this book and I think it was more entertaining than the first book. When I first finished this, I thought I’d liked it more but thinking on it, it was pretty much the same as the first book in regards to the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s simple and easy to read. The medium pace feels kind of weird with everything that happens and some things can get confusing enough for me to need to re-read passages sometimes. It was descriptive and detailed, but still had a lot of repetitive elements within the narrative.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m still not the biggest fan of this cast of characters. The main character is still hard for me to connect to and while there’s more side character page time, I still don’t think they have enough interaction within the story overall.
Grace is kind of melodramatic to me. She’s an unreliable narrator and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma before and during this series. I feel for her and all but sometimes it’s just a little bit too much. I don’t connect with her because she isolates herself from other people and the book is basically her internal paranoid monologue. I try to be conscious of her mental health and what that entails for her but it kind of took away from what I could’ve enjoyed of the story. She’s angry, confused, depressed and kind of rude to the people around her. Her character is still frustrating but getting better slowly.
Like I said above, there’s definitely much more interaction between the side characters and the main character but not enough for my liking. There’s also no character development for the side characters themselves. I feel like they’re just kind of there to help Grace out and I haven’t learned anything new about them from the first book to this one and that’s really disappointing.

Emotionally

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Book Review – All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: January 20th, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 325 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: November 2016

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.
As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.
Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book was really mysterious and intense. It was really slow and sometimes it was kind of boring to be honest. The setting was really unique and there were lots of twists and turns throughout the story. I feel like this whole book was just set up for something bigger to come. There were a lot of positives but I just didn’t end up enjoying it as much as this author’s other books.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s very simple and easy to read. This particular book has a slow to medium pace but also really intense writing style. It got kind of confusing at times since it had the tendency to get repetitive a lot. Some of the narrative felt light and kind of young for YA, but at the same time, it was really emotional too.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I think this is the part that I enjoyed the least in the book. I have a lot of issues with the main character and the side characters and their development and it’s really disappointing since the characters have always been my favorite part of these author’s series.
Grace is one of the most unreliable narrators that I’ve ever come across in YA. She’s very paranoid and angry. She’s dealt with a lot of trauma and mental health issues in the last three years. She’s suffering from a lot of emotional wounds and she pushes people away because of that. She can be kind of rude and she really frustrated me because I felt like she purposely dragged her feet through what could’ve been really great and supportive relationships around her.
I was really disappointed with the side characters. There was a really big cast involved in this book but I felt like they weren’t fleshed out enough. They were only there like 10% of the time and they wasn’t enough interaction between them and the side characters. They should’ve been instrumental for Grace, but they didn’t even spend that much time together on page.

Emotionally

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