Waiting on Wednesday: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

23308084Title: The Rose and the Dagger

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 432

Publication: April 26, 2016 via G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Synopsis:

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as “a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

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So, I finished The Wrath and the Dawn last Friday, and I completely fell in love with this story. The characters are freaking amazing (seriously, Khalid is legit the best/hottest/articulate character), and the story is written so well. Plus, the covers are absolutely gorgeous. The end of April seems so far away.

5 of My Recent 5 Star Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I feel like I’ve read so many good books lately. Like books that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. So, hear are my most recent 5 star reads.

  1.  The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (review coming soon!)
    • Okay guys this book is no joke. I went in with no expectations and no thoughts, and it completely blew my freaking mind. Not only are all the characters POC, but it is written so incredibly well.
  2. The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan (review)
    • I just want to forever rave about this book. Like I said in my review, I didn’t expect much from this book, but it completely surprised me. It handles heavy topics like death and grief, but also explores themes like love in an extremely believable and beautiful way.
  3. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (review)
    • LITERALLY SO FREAKING HEARTBREAKING BUT I LOVE IT ANYWAY. I’M LITERALLY MAVEN AND CAL TRASH
  4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (review)
    • There are literally not enough positive words to describe how I feel about this series. I loved Red Queen, and its sequel, Glass Sword, even more. Plus, I literally love Maven so much.
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    • I loved the movie when I was younger, and, during my English class, I finally got a chance to read it. I fell head over heels in love with every aspect of this story. 

Waiting on Wednesday: When We Collided by Emery Lord

25663637Title: When We Collided

Author: Emery Lord

Genre: Contemporary

Pages: Hardcover, 352

Publication: April 5, 2016

Synopsis:

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

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I’ve heard so much about this book, and I think it’s going to be absolutely amazing. I follow Emery Lord on Twitter, and she honestly has some of the best/funniest tweets ever. Plus, this cover is gorgeous, and that tagline has me hooked. I can’t wait to read this book.

What are you waiting for?

Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I love a lot of books. Too many to count. But I don’t really get to talk about all the books I love that often because I feel like I should always be discussing the newest books, and not series/books that I’ve loved for forever.

  • The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
    • God, guys there was a time back when I was a sophomore in high school where I was literally obsessed with this series. I loved it so much. I tried to get into the spin-off series, but I just couldn’t do it. However, I feel like this series deserves a lot of love.
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    • Another book series that I was completely in love with. While I didn’t like the conclusion of the series quite as much as the first two, I really enjoyed all of the books.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    • UGH THIS BOOK. If y’all haven’t read this heartbreaking and amazing book, you need to do it NOW.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    • Yet another series that I was obsessed with for a while when it first came out. While I don’t talk about the series much, my love for The Darkling will never fade.
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
    • This book has a special place in my heart. When I read this book, I was really just starting to get involved with the book community (thanks to Team Epic Reads!), and this book allowed me to connect with a lot of people. This book makes me cry all the ugly tears.
  • Half- Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • I haven’t finished this series yet, but it is SO FREAKING GOOD. Seriously. Go read it now.
  • Heist Society by Ally Carter
    • When I was in middle school and early high school, I fell down an Ally Carter hole that I still don’t think I’m completely out of. I really loved the Gallagher Girls series, but I think I honestly love Heist Society more. I love me some Hale.
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
    • I’m starting to notice that I haven’t finished a lot of series. This one is yet another that I haven’t finished. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, but I feel like it doesn’t get all the love that it for sure deserves.
  • Maximum Ride by James Patterson
    • I’m going to limit this to all the books in the series except the last two. I went through a huge Maximum Ride phase my freshman and sophomore year in high school, and I still really love the series. I just wish James Patterson would’ve stopped at seven books.
  • Matched by Ally Condie
    • Damn, I really loved this first book when it came out. It was such a new concept, and I fell in love with all the characters (especially Xander). While the last two books may not have been as enjoyable as the first, I still think the first one deserves some major love.

What books do you think should be talked about more?

 

ARC Review: The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan

leaving seasonTitle: The Leaving Season

Author: Cat Jordan

Genre: Contemporary

Pages: Hardcover, 352

Publication: March 1, 2016

Synopsis:

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season—the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

It happens every late August, but this year Middie’s boyfriend, Nate, is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America.

And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is…except for Nate’s best friend Lee.

Middie and Lee have never gotten along. She’s always known that she was destined for great things, and Lee acts like he’s never cared about anything a day in his life. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more.

I was given an ARC of this book by HarperTeen in trade for a fair review. All opinions in this review are mine and not influenced by others.

Review:

I’ve literally just finished reading this book. Well, when I’m writing this review I will have just finished this beautiful and amazing book. I wasn’t expecting much from this book. I thought that it would just be a quick, fun, easy contemporary read, but it became so much more than that.

This book starts off where most contemporary books end. The girl has the guy. Said guy is literally perfect. However, from the get go, The Leaving Season turns that trope on its head. Middie’s perfect guy is leaving on a gap year, and she won’t see him for a while. Middie is pretty devastated by this. For ten years of her life, Nate has been a steady constant. He’s been her rock and her crutch. In fact, she even describes her life and relationship with him as “perfect,” which for me seems pretty unrealistic. As someone who graduated high school last June, I had no concept of the word perfect. But I think this is a deliberate choice. Cat Jordan wants us to see Middie as someone who is deluded by her expectations of life.

However, everything changes when Nate goes missing. Pretty soon, he’s presumed dead. This really struck a cord with me. Middie’s reaction to the possible death of the love of her life is devastating to her. I recently lost my grandma, who has always been a constant rock in my life, so I was literally sobbing like a baby during this scene. Cat Jordan took such an emotionally harrowing scene and handled it with such grace. To be at the receiving end of Middie’s internal monologue while she is buried in such intense grief is heartbreaking.

But for both her and us, we, luckily, get a sun to break through the clouds. Lee comes in to save Middie from her devastating grief because he understands exactly how she’s feeling. With just one word, he captures both mine and Middie’s heart: Breathe.

The development of the relationship between Middie and Lee is one of my favorite things of this novel. I honestly think that I can’t quite articulate how I feel about it because I loved it so much. They go from being patronizing acquaintances to people who genuinely love and care for each other. This trope right here, ladies and gentlemen, is my weak spot. Cat Jordan does it so well. As a reader, you can sense the subtle changes in their relationship (which are brilliant and beautiful), but Middie doesn’t realize her completely changed feelings until everything else changes. Again.

After Middie and Lee sleep together, a scene that is so freaking amazing I can’t even articulate it, there’s a huge plot twist that I wasn’t expecting. Nate is alive, and it changes everything. Middie feels so guilty for everything that she’s felt/still feels for Lee because her boyfriend is still alive. This becomes a catalyst for Middie to finally realize that it’s okay to change and grow and that it’s not her fault for wanting to do so. This is such an important message.

I just really need to say something on how Cat Jordan tackles the concept of change. With her beautifully crafted words and genuine dialogue, she reminds us that change is inevitable. Things come along and make our lives different (and sometimes difficult), and we have to deal with the consequences. From Middie’s story, we learn that there are two ways that you can deal with this change. You can either sit back and let the change bury you or you can accept, embrace, and allow it to form you. This message is something that we all have trouble dealing with, and this book shows us that it’s okay to change.

The end of this book is so incredibly powerful. Not only are the relationships between Nate/Middie and Lee/Middie resolved, but I think that Middie finally finds herself. The ending tells us that life is messy, and that’s okay.

Life is messy. Plans are written and rewritten, tossed up and down and around. The only way to find out who you really are is to take a risk, a leap, a walk under a waterfall. When you stop worrying that you’ll have nothing, then you know you’re on the right path.

In short:

God, guys this book was so good. What started out as reading a contemporary book on a whim transformed into reading a book that means so much to me. It means everything to me. People leave, things change, and at the end of the day, you have to be happy with yourself because that’s all you will always have.

As Cat Jordan so poignantly quotes Walt Whitman in the last chapter, people “contain multitudes.”

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Allegiant Movie Review

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Review:

****SPOILERS****

Okay so it’s no secret that Allegiant isn’t my favorite book. I don’t like it. I don’t hate it. I’m just really bleh about the ending to the Divergent series, which, to me, is hella sad because Divergent offered so much promise for the series. It’s a known fact that the Divergent movies are very different from the Divergent books. Divergent was pretty similar up until the end, but Insurgent was pretty different from the book. Most of those differences I really didn’t mind. Allegiant was almost the same way. Almost.

The beginning of Allegiant basically picks up right where Insurgent left off. The residents of Chicago head towards the wall, only to be blocked by Evelyn’s army. Evelyn is convinced that the outside is not exactly safe for the people of Chicago, and she was pretty right. However, despite her intentions to keep her people safe, Evelyn is not exactly the best at keeping the peace. She allows “fair trials” for Jeanine’s conspirators, which always ended with a bullet in someone’s head. Not exactly the best thing for creating a peaceful society. The trials literally felt like a Donald Trump rally if I’m being completely serious.

One of the big things that I’m mad about is that they didn’t include the ferris wheel scene from Allegiant. That’s literally my favorite scene in the entire book. Other than that, there are a lot of good FourTris scenes in the movie

In order to save Caleb from his trial, Tris and Four break him out to take him to the outside. Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter, Tori, and Christina all escape to the outside wall, accompanied by a pretty amazing chase scene. I really love how this movie series films and choreographs its fight scenes. While their escape should make them super happy and excited, of course something has to come and crush their happiness. Tori dies. True to the book, her death was sudden and devastating.

Everything from here on out is very different from the book. Like majorly. The general plot points remain the same, but the way that it is accomplished is extremely different.

I really enjoyed the group meeting the Bureau. The technology and CGI that was used is so interesting and cool, and I absolutely loved it. It makes the movie so much more visually appealing than how I imagined in the books. Props to whoever thought of using this tech in the movies. I especially loved the decontamination scene. While Matthew was extremely creepy (like he was giving me some real stalker vibes), the technology used to decontaminate the group is so great. Additionally, each person in the group receives a tattoo on their wrist, which represented their genetic “purity.”

***Just a note: I’m not really going to go into the genetic pure and damaged people because it honestly isn’t that interesting to talk about.

I feel like the movie didn’t really do the book justice in this regard.After the shower type thing, the movie introduces a lot of exposition in a small amount of time. They explain how the Chicago (and other city) experiments started and why they continued. I both loved and hated the way they did this. The way they showed the information was very visually appealing. It made you want to pay attention. At the same time, the placement of this scene is odd and a little awkward. It interrupts the flow of the movie.

Once they leave their little information chamber thing, Matthew introduces the group to the people of the Bureau, and it was SO creepy how everyone knew them. It really added to the uneasiness that the a
udience is supposed to feel about the Bureau.

The David and Tris scenes felt very different from the book. They weren’t as informative and interesting as the scenes between them in the books. Also, I think the reader understands that they’re not supposed to trust David WAY earlier than in the book. However, I think that’s just because, for whatever reason, the directors, screenwriters, and producers decided to speed the plot along in the movie way faster than in the book.

In the book, Four finds out about David’s real intentions from Anita, who takes him to see rebels who want to attack the Bureau. The movie, on the other hand, makes Four go out on a “humanitarian” mission as a soldier to basically take children from their families only to raise them in the Bureau. Because of this, the audience is finally introduced to the memory serum, whereas in the book, Four finds about it from Anita. Yet again, a huge difference from the book.

The last part of the movie is Tris, Four, and the gang going back to Chicago to save its residents from the memory serum that David wants to unleash in order to reinstate the factions. I didn’t like this. Not at all. The end of this movie happened so quickly, but it felt like it lasted forever. Tris stops the memory serum from being released throughout the city, which is basically the ending of the Allegiant book. The ending left me feeling very unsatisfied and confused. I have no idea what they’re going to do in the last movie. There’s not very much left to do. The only plot point from the book that’s left is the death serum, which isn’t something that, I think, will make for an interesting last movie. I really hope that they think of something to fill the space of the last movie.

Additionally, I just have to say, I have a problem with this villain. He’s not intimidating. He’s not intriguing. He’s not evil. The only thing he is is ambiguous (because of his dedication to science), and that is not a convincing villain. To keep people interested in these movies, you need to have an interesting villain.

Also, it the thing that happens in the very end of Allegiant doesn’t happen, I will be very angry. To me, it’s basically the only redeeming quality of the Allegiant book.

In short:

The first 75% of the movie was interesting and fun. The last part, however, was not very captivating. It left me feeling very unsatisfied and unsure about the future of this movie franchise. Despite my pretty low expectations, I was pretty disappointed with the movie. So, if you’re a Divergent super fan, I would definitely recommend going into the movie with an open mind. Like don’t expect the books. At all.

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Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

23174274Title: Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 444

Publication: February 9, 2016

Synopsis:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Review:

Guys, this book gave me so many feels. Like I’m going to try to articulate all of my feelings and opinions, but it’s going to be extremely hard. (Just a warning: there are SPOILERS in this review).

So, Glass Sword picks up right where Red Queen left off– the Scarlet Guard, Mare, and Cal are trying to escape from Maven and the other Silvers. The beginning fight scene in this book, and, more generally, all of the fight scenes in this novel are amazing. I love seeing how Mare keeps developing her skills and becoming a better fighter because she’s just such a badass. Also, I LOVED how Victoria Aveyard wrote Mare and Cal’s fight scenes together. They work so well together, and it makes me so happy. They’re a fierce, well-oiled fighting machine, and it brings so much excitement and efficiency to all the fight scenes in this book.

The character development in this book is among some of the best character development that I’ve ever seen in any sequel that I’ve read. When I read Red Queen, I loved Cal, but I didn’t like him as much as I loved Maven (my love was misplaced, I know). However, throughout Glass Sword, Cal becomes one of my favorite characters because we get to see the inner workings of his mind. Mare tells us in the book that, as time goes on, Cal becomes easier to read, and I think it’s just showing us how excellent Aveyard has developed him.

While we don’t get as much Maven as we got in the last book, I loved what we did get. Maven is such an interesting character because he acts so evil, but, to me, you can see the cracks in the walls he’s built up to keep everything out. However, Mare is his weakness, and, somehow, that makes him more human. Cal said it best when he said:

“Maven lies as easily as he breathes, and his mother holds his leash, but not his heart.” -Pg. 248-249

Plus, despite everything he’s done (and he’s done a lot of shit), I still love Maven. Is there something wrong with me? Probably. This Tumblr post basically sums up my feelings.

But I think that my favorite development in this story is Mare. Because of what she goes through/knows what she has to go through, Mare hardens her heart to most everyone. In fact, though she pretends that she doesn’t have deep feelings for Cal, I think the only person she can be herself (old and new) is with him. While his blood is not red, he understands almost entirely why she does what she does. However, throughout the book, Mare does get a little annoying because she thinks that no one understands her. Sometimes she even thinks that she’s better than others (oh, the IRONY), which is really frustrating.

Another thing that I absolutely LOVED were the relationships in this book. Shade and Farley’s developments are so subtle and well written. The relationship that Mare had with Shade was beautiful and amazing and just so freaking well written. I love a good brother-sister relationship.

Cal and Mare’s scenes together are somehow both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Maven and Mare still have that connection, which I can’t wait for Victoria Aveyard to explore in the next books. My favorite quote in this book sums up the entire love triangle type thing (I honestly don’t know what to call it) between Cal, Mare, and Maven.

“Burn them, throw them away, send them back dripped in Silver blood– but not keep them. Not read them while I slept next to you.” -Pg. 394-395

UGH THE FEELS

So much plot happens in this book, it’s hard to even describe it all. However, I think it was handled very well. Victoria Aveyard obviously writes what happens through Mare’s eyes, and, as readers, we tend to agree with what she’s thinking. When Mare thinks finding New Bloods and training them to fight is the best thing for the Scarlet Guard, we kind of agree. However, Cal, the ever-present voice of reason, reminds us that this plan is flawed. It may not fix everything. In fact, it may make things worse. I can’t wait to see what Victoria Aveyard does in the next two books with the plot.

In short:

Victoria Aveyard has crafted a beautiful and heartbreaking sequel to Red Queen that kept me enthralled the entire time. It’s story and characters are captivating in a way that attracts them to you, but also repels them. Her characters are ambiguous and real. This story takes the classic good versus evil story and turns into a story about moral ambiguity. She shows that even a hero can do evil things. She makes us wonder: do the ends justify the means? And I love it.

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

26156203Title: The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 416

Publication: May 17, 2016

Synopsis:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

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So, the book trailer just recently came out, and it looked amazing. The book trailer is so unique and cool, so it really caught my eye. I’ve been on a fantasy kick for a while (thanks Victoria Aveyard), so I can’t wait to get my hands on this. The plot/setting kind of reminds of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which I loved, with the mystery and intrigue of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It looks so good, and I’m very excited.

What are y’all waiting for?

 

A Week in Review: Switch to WordPress!

Hey y’all! Welcome to another week in review! (More like two months in review) If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably noticed a difference. Like why does it look so much better than her blogger blog? Well, my friend, that’s because I finally took the time to switch fromnorthanger20abbey Blogger to WordPress, and it was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made regarding my blog. I love it so much.

Aside from switch my blog over, I’m so glad that I’ve actually been able to post a review this week. It’s such a great feeling. I haven’t had much energy/time to post lately. Recently, my grandma, who I was very close to, passed away. She had been sick for a while, but, for me, it was still a shock to receive that call from my mom while I was at school. I came home from school (Nashville –> Dallas) for about two weeks, and missed a ton of school work. So, when I finally got back to school, as you could imagine, I had a shit ton of work to make up. So, these past few weeks have been pretty loaded for me.

Hopefully, someday I will have a semi-regular blog post schedule.

Okay, recently, in
addition to my school books, I’ve been able to read a lot more. My two english classes are SO interesting (Jane Austen and Young Adulthood and Women and Power in Shakespeare), and I’ve honestly loved most everything I’ve read in them

Books Readleaving season
in January/February

  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (school)
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (reviewed and LOVED)
  • King Lear (school)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (school)
  • The Duchess of Malfi (school)

 

 

 

Currently Reading:

  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (I’m only about 100 pages in, but it’s been pretty good so far)

 

Bought/Received:

  • The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan (courtesy of HarperTeen)
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

 

Posts in January/February:

 

What has your week looked like?

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red queenTitle: Red Queen

Author:Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: Hardcover, 383
Publication: February 10, 2015

Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.


The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.


That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.


Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.


But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review:

Damn. Why did it take me so long to read this book???

Red Queen is absolutely everything that I could’ve hoped it to be. It was funny, action packed, a little bit romantic, and very fantasy filled. I LOVED it. Right before I started it, I saw a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads. It seemed that people either loved it (like I did) or thought it was just meh. Like it didn’t really meet their expectations.

But I’m on the complete opposite of that.

First of all, I love fantasy books that give me an unlikely hero/heroine with hidden, special powers. It is my weakness. So, as soon as Mare hit the forcefield at the Queenstrial and didn’t die, I knew that I was in for a great story.

Victoria Aveyard is an excellent writer– her words are eloquent and flowy but able to get to the point quickly. Additionally, her character building was fantastic. Mare, Cal, and Maven are perhaps among my favorite characters of all time (especially Maven). Victoria Aveyard somehow is able to build complex, emotional characters and make my sympathize with them– even those that I don’t like.

Another thing that I loved about this story was the fact that it did not focus solely on the romantic relationships that were developing. While she was betrothed to Maven and liked Cal, Aveyard didn’t use every single scene where Mare was alone with either Maven or Cal as a way to develop romantic relationships. She used those scenes as a way to build complex human relationships that are so incredibly realistic in a world that is built on the make believe. However, that doesn’t go to say that there was an absence of romance. Maven and Cal’s individual relationships with Mare are 100 percent swoonworthy, no matter which brother you favor. (The dancing scene gives me LIFE)

While the majority of the plot does revolve around Mare and her training, there is a sub-plot that quickly becomes the main plot that is about the underground Red rebellion. Maven and Mare join in the hopes of transforming the world that has deprived Reds of safety, happiness, and prosperity for too long. The Scarlet Guard was a great addition to the story; it added danger and intrigue.

However, personally, I think the best/most surprising/most heartbreaking part of the novel was the very end. When Mare was betrayed, I was literally HEARTBROKEN. I felt that I had been betrayed, but it was such an amazing twist because I wasn’t expected it at all.

“I told you to hide your heart once. You should have listened.” -Pg. 354

In Short: 

So, overall, Red Queen is a definite must read. If you like fantasy and excellent writing, this book is definitely for you. It was everything that I wanted it to be.

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