Tag Archive | young adult

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Smoke in the Sun,” by Reneé Ahdieh

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4.5/5 Stars

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Wow, once again mind-blown by the beautiful Reneé Ahdieh and her amazing writing. Even though half of the time throughout this books I had no idea what she was saying because many of the words used to described things were in a different language–though there’s an intensive glossary in the back–I didn’t get lost, not even once.

Here we follow the story of Mariko and Okami as they were dragged to the place following immediately after the ending of the last book A Flame in the Mist. In this book, we get different perspectives from various different characters and its written in the third person. Following the ambush of the Black Clan, Mariko has to figure out a way to save Okami and has to find a way to become someone of importance for the Black Clan. There’s political turmoil from within, family’s betrayal, broken hearts, and desperate cries. But at the end, we find our joy.

Mariko is not the same girl we started with in the first book, though in the first book she always seemed full of conviction, in this book we see it being part of her core. Spending time with those men in the woods taught her to believe in herself and to become stronger than she’s ever been before. We see her beeing tested throughout this book time and time again, yet Mariko’s resolved never faultered. She believed in a cause, and one cause only, and she would go to unknown lenghts to regardless of the consequenses, to save her people, to save Okami. She make sure they followed through. That’s something I admired from her in this book, in this story she had to make a choice for herself, could’ve chosen an easier route, but yet she didn’t. She choose to fight, and I truly apprecite divergence.

Ahdieh manages to bring one more time her beautiful writing in this one, and every once in awhile throughout this book I felt like I was reading a beautifully written folklore book that a grandma from Ireland was reading to her children. You know, the kind that passes by generations and that have the kids enthralled all the way to the end of the story. I honestly think she did a great job with world-building and the fact that she used the characters native language throughout this book made the story more diverse, made the story different. The way she portrayed the characters never felt lacking of anything. Renee made you feel the way the characters felt when you read them, if that makes any sense and each of thier thoughts were easy to follow.

If I do have to complain about anything I would say that the book felt a little bit rushed. There are moments throughout this book that I think she could’ve prolonged and/or moments that she could’ve added. There’s still some questions that I need answers to. Some scenes, especially in the last fifty pages or so felt rushed, and the book itself wasn’t very long, so I wouldn’t have mind if she were to add a couple pages to end just so that it can be more solidify. The didn’t necessarily end with a cliffhanger which is why I am confused as to whether there’s going to be another book or not.

Anyways, I would recommend this book if you liked her one, A Flame in the Mist, if you like Mulan, if you like Asian characters, if you like Mulan, oh, an if you like Mulan! There are some sensored sexy scenes in this book, so I would recommend it for ages 14 and up!

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Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Legendary,” by Stephanie Garber

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I just finished reading Legendary by Stephanie Garber and OMG it was such a huge improvement from the first one. If you read my review on Caraval which I wrote about more than a year ago, you know I did not like that book at all. I felt like it lacked character and purpose and the actual main character Scarlett truly pissed me off.

In this book, we follow the story of Scarlett’s sister, Tella. Donatella decides its time for her to play the game of Caraval herself this time instead of participating because in doing so she would finally be reunited with her mom who left them a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the conniving lies, mysterious people, and treatures adventures full of pain, loss, and sacrifice, but somehow in this book there seem to be more of a purpose. In this story, the players of the Caraval tell Tella that this time Caraval is much more than a game–the game is real this time and maybe that’s why I liked it even better.

We immediately see the differences between the two sisters in this story. Where Scarlett’s decisions were all made out of fear, Tella’s were made out of finding out what came next, her fear pushed her to be more. There wasn’t one time throughout this whole book where I felt annoyed by Tella’s decisions if anything I found myself agreeing to many of the decisions she made and found myself nodding along with her statements while playing the game. Tella is a super strong character, stronger than Scarlett for sure, but after reading this book, I do have to give Scarlett some credit because she did play out of love for her sister when it was her turn in the past book.

We are introduced to more characters in this book, there are some that we already know and that we get to know more intimately, and we are introduced to the Fates in this story who are some sort of immortal beings that ruled the earth centuries ago, who are also apparently evil creatures. Oh, and you won’t believe who’s Tella’s love interest on this one, it made me laugh with her at the end so hard LOL!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that of the letter on the last page of Caraval, the one that Tella’s friend wrote to her, and Garber didn’t disappoint. I have to hand it to her, that women can write! Her world building was beautiful–the way she describes the places and buildings throughout the book made me want to read every single detail of it (because sometimes I do skip details LOL), her descriptions were life if you were able to read music without actually listening to the sounds. The story felt so alive, she made you feel as if you were in the story with the character. Hell, I found myself playing along–participating in Caraval–with Donatella trying to figure who is Legend (which we do find out who he is in this book but I won’t tell you muahaha imagine evil laugh here) trying to find a way of not dooming the whole to the hands of the fates, trying to save herself and also trying to find her mother.

There are many things going on in this book but never once did I get lost nor did I feel like I should put the book down because it got too overwhelming–if anything every chapter of the book made me want to finish it faster, hence why I finished the book at 3 a.m. (not ashamed). Congratulations Stephanie on this beautiful masterpiece, you managed to make me truly enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the next one, especially with that little teasing note that you left at the end of this one! How dare you?! LOL

I would recommend for ages 13 and up! Read if you liked Caraval, Ace of Shades, Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom! You’ll truly enjoy this one!

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Ash Princess,” by Laura Sebastian

2/5 Stars

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Hey, well guess what? Finally got around reading Ash Princess and unfortunately, this book didn’t do it for me. It felt like one of those books that I’ve read before somewhere else. I finished it and I was like, “Meh, I’ve read it before,” which sucked because I really wanted to like this book. TThe cover alone dragged me to it like a moth drawn to a flame, it’s so pretty and if you ever get to hold it in your hands you can feel the 3D feel of the cover.

Here we follow the story of Princess Theodosia, a princess whose mother was killed right before her eyes by the evil King and that now has to work to gain her kingdom back. She’s been in captivity for over 10 years given the title of Ash princess by the man who stole her kingdom. The story itself seems repetitive, there’s a damsel in distress, she has powers, she’s hopeless, defenseless, and abused. There’s promise to this story though, I feel like the author has great potential and her writing is incredible. I just wished she’d written a better story. However, Theo was incredibly strong, the things that she went through because of her people–for her people–are things that I haven’t read in any other books.

The king is as cruel as any king can be–but I’ve yet to read a fantasy book following this kind of line that had a king that was nice.  He was ruthless and mean and he took anything he wanted. He makes Theo wear an ash crown for each time there’s a reason to celebrate something, shaming her in front of her people, hence the title and the crown on the cover. Then there was Soren, the heir to the throne, which I believe has good intentions for the kingdom and for Thora but we’ll see how it develops. And then there’s Blaise, a friend from Theo’s past and he’s sure a keeper–or is he?

I do think that honestly, that true enigma in this book is her friend Crescentia, whom I think the next book is going to be about, and if my suspicions are confirmed, then I wouldn’t mind reading the next book.

I didn’t care much about the “world-building” but since her whole life was inside the palace, there wasn’t much to build. There were some words thrown here and there from her Astrean language that were hard to interpret and also, what kind of name is Kalovaxian for a group of people? But anyways, it just felt like another princess whose kingdom has been taken away and now she must battle to get it back.

I would recommend this book if you liked Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, and any other princess need to save her kingdom book out there! For ages 13 and up!

I’m also trying to be more active in my book social media, so if you guys could give me a follow that would be awesome! @deniareads is my username

Non-Spoiler Book Review |”Leah on the Offbeat,” by Becky Albertalli

4.5/5 Stars

This book was soooooo funny! From page one till the end, I was cracking tf up! Like, I promise you’ll be crying too! (Tears of joy, of course).

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From chapter one, Becky reminds us of what a great author she is. I love how she can keep up with the current teen-lingo, I love how modern her writing is. This book is focused on one of the characters from Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, the sequel to that book actually. It’s focused on Leah, in case it wasn’t obvious from the title. She’s the funniest most sarcastic, most savage teen I’ve ever met. I love her. Sometimes I did think that she was too much, but I still love her.

The gang at Creekwood Highschool is back and its now planning to go to their senior prom–and everyone is heading off to college so there’s this sort of nostalgia throughout the whole book. Leah has a crush and people don’t know she’s bi, so she’s fighting her desire and there’s a lot of drama between the friends, but in the end, everything fixes itself and everyone’s happy.

I truly enjoyed this book. It was so cute and funny. I’d never laughed so hard reading before, it was truly an awesome book. There’s mild cursing, and a lot of sex talk, just FYI, but nothing too explicit. Like a fourteen-year-old could read this.

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge | Day #2

I’ve meant to post this earlier but I’ve been incredibly busy–actually, I’m posting at work. I’m on break. LOL. This is the second day of the challenge and I’m loving it. I want to thank Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall for tagging me. It is quite a challenge to choose between which Bloggers to tag and which quote to post but here it goes:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

I read the Selection by Kiera Cass a long time ago, but a quote that stuck with me was:

“It is always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome.”

I tag the beautiful Anna @ Reading Peaches , Melanie @ Mel to the Any, and finally the amazing LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks

Thank you for reading. I’m out! XOXO.

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge | Day #1

So this is the first time I’ve been tagged to do anything, so let’s see how this goes. I want to thank Kelly for tagging me first of all, she’s such a sweet blogger and her posts are fire!

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

I just finished reading High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning and this author writes so beautifully–she has a quote that I stick to every two pages. For this day I will start with a quote that called me to this book as soon as I started reading it and it goes:

“You don’t grieve love; you celebrate that you had it.”

I tag the lovelies, Larkin @ Winderfilled Reads, Taylor @ Forever Bound By Books, and finally Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

Thank you for reading! I’m out. XOXO

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Children of Blood and Bone,” by Tomi Adeyemi

5/5 stars

OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG.

I don’t know where to start. This book was AMAZING –since the beginning to the end. From the first line,

“Pick me…”

To the cover, I mean the cover alone makes you want to pick the book up. It was quite literally an amazing trip. It was good enough to see it as a movie. This for sure is one of my favorite reads for the better part of last year and most certainly this one! I cannot wait until you guys get to read it this Tuesday the 6th when it finally comes out.

This book follows along the path of two siblings, a runaway princess and a purpose ridden Prince all across the country of Orïsha. This book is written from three points of view but the main character is still Zélie. She one of the many maji that are being mistreated by the ruthless king. The king that took the magic away from their kingdom.

The characters were strongly driven, each had their own purpose and had different distinctions between them. Zélie herself was so strong, she stood when she couldn’t do it anymore, pushing to the edge. She fought with all her might showing me and everyone in the book how strong she truly was. Even when she didn’t know it herself. She has PTSD from dealing with the memories of losing her mother at such a young age. She’s so vulnerable and yet so strong. She knows that until magic comes back they will never be treated with respect, so that’s what she’s going to do. She will rise.

“Live (…) Whatever you do, survive,”

Princess Amari is a very strong character too! She surprises me at every turn. She’s stronger than she believes she is and when she finally figured that out, she’s like a force that shouldn’t be reckoned with. Zèlie’s brother, Tzain, is a very powerful character too–not in terms of powers, but in terms of his personality. I love him. I really do. I love how determined he is to keep his sister alive, to protect her at all cost. He’s passionate, determined, very hard-driven and extremely sexy. I will marry him. There’s seriously nothing wrong with him.

The book never followed a pattern that I was expecting–which is not necessarily a bad thing. The way that Adeyemi brought everything together and tied correlations and narrations were beautifully shown throughout this book. She truly has a beautiful way with words and I cannot wait to read the next one. The tone, the context, and the message were clearly presented in this book and I’m so glad I’ve stumbled upon it.

Even though the book is supposed to be written in a different world than ours, it is clear to see some of our current situation reflected in this book. Even though every character in this book is black, there’s a lot of racism against the maji, which are noticeably distinguished by their white hair. The maji are treated like the worst of society, they are made into slaves, captured and tortured all because one day their magic might become powerful enough to eradicate the kingdom. There’s also a serious correlation with the BLM movement, which I don’t know if the author did that on purpose or not, but after I read this quote, BLM immediately came to mind, (Not Spoiler, I promise),

“Your people, your guards–they’re nothing more than killers, rapists, and thieves. The only difference between them and criminals is the uniforms they wear.”

However, I’m going to say that it is so hard to pronounce half of this book. I’m actually very surprised that she hasn’t made a YouTube video about a pronunciation guide to the words in this book. It very easy to get lost if you don’t pay close attention. So, just keep track of your reading and take notes lol.

If you enjoy dangerous adventures worked with a little bit of romance, magical superpower and torture then this is the perfect book for you. I would recommend for 15 year-olds and older.

I’m Out! xoxo

P.S. Thank you for reading!