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review 2017-07-21 13:30
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Rose Society - Marie Lu

I knew this series would be dark based off of the first book, but wow this series went farther with that than I originally expected it to. Honestly, I'm so glad this book went there. It stands out from the numerous young adult books that feature characters with special powers.

 

The main character, Adelina, is not the typical main character you'd expect. She fully embraces darkness and feeds off of others fear. She revels in the deaths that she causes and her ambition drivers her further to being a villain. It's incredible to read about because it's such a unique story and Marie Lu artfully depicts Adeline's ambition, as well as her madness. 

 

Adelina is not the only stand out character in this book. Due to events at the end of the last book, a new set of characters becomes the main cast of the story, aside from Raffaele and Teren. Teren is very clearly crazy and dangerous and I really liked the direction his character went in. It was believable, but also chilling, especially when it's clear that his mind isn't all there. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about Raffaele though. His chapters seemed the slowest, but honestly he seems like the only one in this series with his head screwed on right.

 

The main reason that I wasn't blown away by this book was because it didn't shock or wow me in any way. I enjoyed the characters and the story, but the plot played out almost exactly as I expected it would. I was hoping that this ending would surprise me like the last one did, but I had predicted how it would end before even picking up the book.

 

The romance in the book didn't overwhelm the plot, but there is somewhat of a love triangle. There also seems to be a bit of insta love with Magiano and Adelina. Honestly, I don't know why someone full of joy would be attracted to Adelina in any way, but somehow that happened. There wasn't really a build up to the attraction and I'm kind of confused by it. I quite like Magiano, but he deserves better than Adelina, especially because she still pines for Enzo.

 

As much as I enjoy the characters and where the story has gone, I was looking for a little more from this book. The beginning was fairly slow and consisted mainly of planning and setting up for the action at the end of the book. If you can get through the slower part, then the end definitely makes up for it with plenty of action.

 

Overall, I did enjoy this book though and I will be picking up the next book. However, my need for The Midnight Star is less than the need I had to read The Rose Society. I'm not sure if it's because I feel like I know how the series will end or if it's because this book didn't end nearly as dramatically as The Young Elites.

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review 2017-07-18 13:30
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity) - Victoria Schwab

I can't believe this is my first Victoria Schwab book. I've been putting off reading her books for awhile now and I honestly don't know why. This book has such rave reviews, so I knew I had to at least give it a shot. I was really hoping that I would love it because it sounds amazing. Maybe it was my high expectations, but I'm not in love with this book as much as I wanted to be. I was expecting to be wowed, to feel things, to never want to stop reading, etc., but while this is definitely above average, it wasn't the flawless masterpiece I was expecting.

 

The book really shines with the unique world that Schwab has created. Monsters that are born from violence made by humans is so original and the idea kept me engrossed in the story. I wanted to the know the the whys of everything. Throughout the book I kept thinking "how could this possibly be resolved/fixed" and that makes me want to keep reading. I loved the little song that pops up throughout the book about the monsters, it's creative and chilling.

 

I really loved August as a main character, if not only because his character plays the violin (I have a weakness for violin playing characters, don't ask me why). I did enjoy his character for more than his music though. I really liked how he's a monster dealing with the fact that he doesn't want to be one. It's not a unique idea, but I really loved how it was executed in this story. It felt fresh and out of all the characters, I think I felt for August the most.

 

The story falls a little flat in the beginning. Kate and August are both new students, they're kind of drawn to each other/keep running into each other without meaning to, and at first they don't seem to like each other much. It's not a very original start to the story if you take out the monsters, but the story redeems itself with absolutely no romance. Honestly, I didn't see that coming. I thought for sure there might be some sort of romance, so I was pleasantly surprised that a friendship developed instead. I didn't dislike Kate, but she also wasn't my favorite, but I loved her friendship with August and how it developed.

 

The second half of the book is intense and so many things start to happen. I absolutely loved it and the ending left me kind of chilled. I really need the next book and I've heard it's even better than the first.

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review 2017-07-11 12:00
No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
No Good Deed - Kara Connolly

This book immediately caught my eye because there aren't that many Robin Hood retellings and I remember a couple years ago I was really interested in reading a retelling of that story and I never got around to it. I'm so glad I got the chance to read this.

 

This story different from a lot of retellings because it involves time travel, most don't have the main character aware that they're participating in the retelling of a classic story. I actually really enjoyed the awareness Ellie has about her role as Robin Hood because it provided a bit of comic relief. I definitely enjoyed Ellie as a character because even though she was in the middle ages, she didn't let her gender allow people to boss her around or tell her that she can't do something be it's not ladylike.

 

I also enjoyed the side characters, especially Will and James, even Guilbert. I thought all of them were interesting and I enjoyed that Will and Guilbert were flawed. I don't remember James having an obvious flaws and usually that bothers me because then the character is too perfect, but I still really enjoyed his character because he was just a really good guy. I'm not really familiar with the details of the Robin Hood story, but I don't remember ever hearing about a character named James. If he is a new character, then the author did a really good job of incorporating him into the story so that it seems natural for him to be there. If he's not a new character, then I should really go back and reread the story of Robin Hood.

 

I actually really enjoyed the fact that there wasn't really any romance throughout the book. There was a little bit of romantic tension during certain parts, but it definitely didn't go further than Ellie noticing that James is attractive and her occasionally thinking about that. It's probably a good thing that nothing happened there because that would probably do something bad for the future. As is, Ellie probably messes a little too much with the past

 

There were a few parts of the book that I didn't enjoy that much, one of them being the dialogue. I'm not historian, but the characters seemed to talk a lot like Ellie or at least they used very similar language, when they weren't speaking in french. It probably made it easier to understand, but at the same time it sometimes took me out of the world. I also would have liked more descriptions of the world and the characters. The story was good enough to make up for a lack of some descriptions, but I definitely wanted a more clear picture of the time period and the people that Ellie encountered.

 

The ending of the story tied everything up really well. I thought it was really sweet, but also bittersweet. It was a nice fast paced and fun read. I'll definitely be looking forward to more books from this author. 

 

*I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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review 2017-06-27 12:00
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Young Elites - Marie Lu

I'm not really sure why I put off reading this book for so long. I loved Marie Lu's Legend series, but I never was really interested in this book. Probably because I never read a synopsis and I thought that this was about young children in high society (think The Luxe). Yeah I don't know why either.

 

I was not expecting the level of darkness that this book has. I was under the impression that this would be a lot like every other book I'd read about with main characters that have strange powers, but it was so much better. The main character, Adelina, struggles with a darkness inside her and this is very clear from the beginning of the novel. This immediately intrigued me. Usually main characters are good and don't feed upon fear. Her character felt almost like a villain, but a villain that was on the good side, if that makes sense. I also liked that even though she had imperfections, she wasn't obsessed with being beautiful or with her missing eye.

 

I really liked Enzo and Teren as side characters because you can see how their interactions with Adeline shape her. It is very clear that her actions have consequences with others and that their actions are critical in leading her down a certain path. I liked that both sides were manipulative to a certain extent, but Teren was by far the most dark and manipulative character. There was nothing really likeable about him as a character because he's so beyond saving, but I really liked him as the villain.

 

There was a tiny bit of romance between Enzo and Adelina, but it didn't overwhelm the plot. While it did affect Adeline it didn't consume her, which I definitely loved. It also felt there was a build up to it, so it didn't really feel like insta love. I actually quite liked the couple and thought there was some chemistry between them.

 

I thought that while the story itself wasn't very unique, the characters made it something different and intriguing. I also really loved the ending because it managed to surprise me, which seems to be very hard to do these days. I will definitely be looking at getting the next book as soon as I can.

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review 2017-05-26 16:05
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

Full disclaimer I bought this on a whim because I thought the cover was pretty. I honestly didn't know much about it, but I had seen it a lot online. This was a couple of years ago so when I decided to pick it up the other day I went in remembering really nothing about it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was a good way to really get back into reading. I finished it in nearly a day because I was just so intrigued by the story. 

I really loved the entire premise of the book because it was so different from anything else I've read from what I remember. I immediately wanted to know what exactly was going on with Khalid. It was just so fascinating. I enjoyed the depth the character had and I really enjoyed how Shazi didn't immediately think that everything was ok after she unlocked his Tragic Backstory. 

Truthfully I didn't like Shazi at the beginning. I understood her motives, but I don't get why she started telling Khalid a story her first night. I feel like it was risky and how could she have known that it would work. It just seemed odd to me even though I enjoyed the stories. After awhile her character did grow on me because she's very headstrong and people respect her for that. 

I really loved the story and the characters, but the book wasn't without flaws. The romance between Shazi and Khalid was classic insta love. Honestly I'm surprised I didn't have an issue with it. I usually can't stand it when books have this, but I was able to look past it because after it happened the story was just so good. It kept me wanting more to the point where I didn't want to put it down. 

I can't wait to read the next book in the series because the end of this one left me wanting more.

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