Reviews, YA Paranormal, ya romance

Book Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren

GoodReads Summary:

A girl with a secret.
The boy of her dreams.
An Ocean between them.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of.

Falling in love with a human breaks the Ocean’s rules. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

My Review:

I was so excited when this book was announced. Kiera Cass is a favorite author of mine due to her Selection series. But then I actually read the book. I should’ve known I would be let down. In the past, when I have read books about sirens, they don’t live up to the description or expectations set.

Kahlen is a whiny brat and I hated her. She has been with the Ocean for 80 years, serving her sentence for being saved from drowning, but she isn’t happy. She has “sisters” that the Ocean has also saved, but they aren’t like her- they are out-going, and one of them, Elizabeth (yes I was excited that my name was used) even goes to clubs and goes home with guys. But Kahlen sits under a tree drawing, or in the library, researched all the people she has ever killed… because you know, she’s a siren and serenades people to death.

Kahlen meets Akinli, and it’s like the sun has finally broken through the gray clouds. They meet three times and she falls in the love with him. I hate this. They have no relationship to build on, and this insta-love is an insta-hate for me. Did I mention that Kahlen can’t speak to Akinli or else he’ll die? So yeah, no relationship, little dialogue. How is it possible for them to fall in love, especially Akinli. If a girl kept running away from me… I would have given up on her and told her to get away from me.

This book is unrealistic (for a fantasy novel), in that these two characters know nothing about each other, barely speak, and only meet for a total of 4 times that span from a few minutes to  barely a single day in the matter of almost 2 years. And how the end happens, it’s insensible. This book doesn’t have enough of a plot for me to want to keep reading, though as I waded my way through, I hoped that somewhere, a plot would form. Set your expectations at zero. This book is a mess.

disgusted-miss-j

**EDIT** I just recently saw that this book is a #1 New York Times Young Adult Hardcover best seller. I am very upset by this. It does not deserve this award. There are so many better books than this. How about numbers 3. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, 4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and 5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (This is as of February 7th). I hope this books falls off the face of the planet (End rant).

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Reviews, ya romance

Book Review: The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World

GoodReads Summary:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Review:

The Love That Split The World is an enchanting read about young love and time travel. Natalie can see two different versions of her hometown, Union, and meets an intriguing guy, Beau, when she slips into the alternate town. Her grandmother, a “spirit”, tells her at the beginning of the book that she has three months to save “him”, but Natalie doesn’t know who “he” is. She spends the summer trying to discover who this guy she is supposed to save is, but also who she is and what she wants.

I found this book to be very interesting. There are stories within the overarching story itself. These stories come from old Native American tales passed down through generations, but also stories out of the bible. For Natalie, these stories have meaning because she is part Native American. Natalie is a complex character trying to find out who she is and where she fits in with the world. Since she is adopted, and one half Native American, she finds it difficult to determine where she fits in. When she meets Beau, who is an equally complex character, she is certain she has found someone who understands her circumstances because he is having a difficult time determining where he fits into the world as well.

Grandmother is a curious character. She tells stories that you don’t fully understand until the moment the Natalie understands them. She is an odd duck, only appearing to Natalie during the nighttime speaking in riddles.

Beau is my favorite character. He is chivalrous and benevolent. He is, generally,always there for Natalie when she needs him the most. And the bond that is formed between them is unbreakable.

Emily Henry’s writing is wonderful. I loved her use of the story within a narrative. As a reader, we are being told that these tales are important to the character in her quest to save a boy and discover herself. They play a major part in the plot and are a kind of foreshadowing, though at the time of reading them I didn’t know what they were foreshadowing.

I enjoyed the book, but I am not a fan of the ending. I was left with questions and wasn’t fulfilled. I need closure from my characters.

**SPOILERS** Don’t read below this point if you haven’t read! **SPOILERS**

If you have finished The Love That Split The World, great! I truly did love this book, HOWEVER, I did not love the ending. I was left with so many freaking questions and it made me angry (Veronica heard all about how angry it made me).

The second to last chapter leaves us with Natalie making the choice to try and change history, the accident’s that left both her and Beau dead in their own worlds. GREAT! I love that idea. However, the last chapter is another story, telling us how a girl had never met a boy but she had missed him. I get the continuity with the story, and metaphorically, we can draw our own conclusions- Natalie succeeded in saving them both and they live happily ever after. I am not one to assume these things. I enjoy solid closure. I like to know FOR CERTAIN that she changes their timelines and they end up together.

This is why a star was knocked off for me.

**End Spoilers***

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviews, YA Dystopian

Book Review: The Rose Society By Marie Lu

Written by Liz Brooks

good reads summary:

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

review:

I’d like to preface this review with some information.

The Rose Society is the second book in the The Young Elites series (currently listed as a trilogy). I went into The Young Elites with my eyes open and my heart ready. What I wasn’t prepared for was how I would feel when I finished the novel. Despondent is the best description I can give you. But maybe that is how Marie Lu wanted me to feel. IDK. So venturing into The Rose Society took courage.

Below is my review. If you haven’t read The Young Elites do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go read The Young Elites first.

The Rose Society has great action scenes. The plot progresses quickly. There is character development… even if it is backwards (it felt backwards). You also read multiple POVs, but are mainly told the story through Adelina Amouteru.

We meet the tall-tale Magiano, whom I love as a character. He is creative, determined, and resourceful. I don’t feel like he is using Adelina as a means to end like The Daggers did. I believe he is one of two characters who don’t want or expect anything from her other than friendship (or maybe more?). Violetta is the other character. She is a character I have come to understand and appreciate. She is pure of heart and only wants what is best for Adelina.

Thanks to Marie Lu, I have come to hate The Daggers and what they represent.

My feelings about Adelina Amouteru are complicated. She is penumbra. She is surreptitious. She is abominable. She. Is. Villainous.

Overall I feel.. flabbergasted. Hoodwinked. Thorny. My heart was ripped from my chest. I felt limp when I finished the book. I wandered around my house, lost. I felt like Adelina felt at the end of book- waiting for something to hit me… but it never does.

I will pick up the 3rd Young Elites book when it’s published.

rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Reviews, YA Fantasy

Book Review: Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Written by Liz Brooks 

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Review:

Six of Crows is the latest installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. The first installment was her Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising (all very good books).

“You don’t have to read the Grisha Trilogy to read Six of Crows. It was built for people new to the Grisha world. Yes, there are trilogy spoilers but there are also misdirects. (And if you’ve read the trilogy, lots of little Easter eggs.)”- Leigh Bardugo

Bardugo’s world building ability is probably one of my favorite things about this book (as well as the others). It’s full of thick descriptions of the different settings as well as each of the six main characters. Even the secondary characterizations are detailed. This is a pet peeve of mine. If authors are going to create a brand new world, I need details.

Six of Crows isn’t your typical single point of view narrative. The heist is told from six different POVs (Nina, Kaz, Inej, Wylan, Jesper, Matthias), which makes this book more intriguing. Bardugo shows us one situation in six different ways; each person showing the reader what they are feeling and thinking.

The characters themselves are very flawed and each goes through a transformation over the course of the book. There is also great POC and LGBTQ representation. You will learn their backgrounds. Why they came be apart of the heist group. Their relationship to one another. And what’s truly at stake. I will say that my favorite characters are Nina and Matthias. Their stories really stuck out for me. But that doesn’t mean that Kaz, Inej, Wylan, and Jesper aren’t fascinating themselves. Keep in mind those characters are not heroes.

My favorite place is the Ice Palace (when can I visit?). It’s so convoluted. It took a while to truly understand the intricacies that Bardugo was describing. And it’s not just the physical palace that is a labyrinthine but the inner-workings of the people of Fjerda (who we don’t get to know in the Grisha Trilogy).

If you like adventure, fantasy, and romance give this book a read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Also keep an eye out for the follow-up post to this. I will be attending the Magic and Mayhem Tour for Leigh Bardugo/Six of Crows on November 17.

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