Reviews, YA Paranormal

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

GoodReads Summary:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

My Review:

Truthwitch is such a refreshing read in the YA Fantasy genre. There are a ton of different novels written about witches, but this felt completely original. A witch whose only power is to discern truth from lie. A witch who can smell the blood of a person- specifically what that blood represents. A witch who can see the colorful life threads around her.

The story revolves around a friendship between Safiya and Iseult. I think it’s important to emphasize that because you have a lot of novels that would use a F/M love relationship to drive the plot, but Dennard doesn’t do this. This friendship is everything to these two girls and they would do anything to save the other. And you see this constantly happening throughout the book.

There is also the theme of personal growth and the realization that selfishness can cause a lot more harm than people realize. At the start, Safi is quite a selfish character, only thinking about herself, and Iseult. She doesn’t think about how her actions impact the lives around her- her uncle’s, her teachers, etc. And because of this thought process, Safi and Iseult are launched down a path they never would’ve chosen given the choice.

Merik is a great character and doesn’t put up with Safi’s crap. ❤ Character development over the course of the book is steady and marks the important decisions each character is faced with.

I do think Dennard’s world building could’ve been better. If it weren’t for the map in the front of the book I wouldn’t have understood where all these countries were located in respect to each other. She does give great attention to clothing detail.

Also, I wish there was an index so that I could have the proper pronunciations of the different words Dennard uses, as well as, the definition of them because while in the real world they mean one thing, in this fictitious world they mean something else entirely. But these few items don’t take away from the the story.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary:

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

My Initial Thoughts:

All I knew was that Colleen Hoover is an author loved by many and that a few of my book tumblr friends were going crazy about it. So I bought it and thought to my self “My Body is Ready!”

Review:

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Oh My Freaking Gosh. This Book. I just can’t. Dead.

Those are my fangirling thoughts of the book. Yes, it is as good as everyone says it is. Yes, it will leave you in a puddle of feels. Yes, it brings up a lot of issues that you are dealing with or makes you deal with them. This book is a music lovers dream come true.

First off, let me just say that I FREAKING loved that this was an interactive book and that every single one of the songs that was is in the book EXISTS. The songs were made especially for the BOOK. I have been spoiled and I want every book to be an interactive experience because it just made everything ten times better.

Secondly, two of the characters in the story had disabilities and they were not seen as less or inferior. They were portrayed as normal. NORMAL. I absolutely loved that Ms. Hoover addressed the fact that people who are deaf or that have any other disability are NORMAL. They are not different. They are human too. The social activist in me was just bursting with joy.

Third, I want to address the fact that the main female character, Sydney, is written as a strong female character. She finds out her boyfriend cheats on her and she breaks up with him and is all like GOODBYE WE AINT NEVAH EVAH GONNA BE TOGETHER AGAIN. When things get complicated between her and someone else (cough*my new secret lover*cough), she takes control of the situation and says BACK OFF I NEED SPACE and not only do we see a FEMALE character that says it, but we see a MALE character that LISTENS to what she wants.

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Fourth, I want to say that I LOVED that this didn’t have sexy times (well except for that one scene towards the end, but it’s not really described soooo I don’t count it). Not everyone that is in college is having sex all the time or with a person they just met. I was so happy that this book was not “teens + lots of sex” like a lot of NA books out there that I shall not name. This was Young Adults in College + life issues = NA. THANK YOU COLLEEN HOOVER THANK YOU!

(Honestly, I have nothing against NA when it’s done right. I personally don’t like reading sexy times, but when people use the NA genre as an excuse to write a million sex scenes and hardly any plot lines, it pisses me off. Isn’t the erotica genre for that? Why do you have to go and RUIN a genre for me. Sigh. Okay, Rant over.)

The plot of the book was great. The plot lines were all believable. We had a ton of character development not just in the main characters, but in the secondary characters as well throughout the entire novel. There was also a good balance between the heavy moments and the lighter moments. Really I can’t say one bad thing about this book.

So my last suggestion to you is…

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Rating: 5/5