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Search tags: Lauren-Destefano
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review 2018-05-02 22:51
The Glass Spare by Lauren Destefano
The Glass Spare - Lauren DeStefano

Well, I liked this! A lot, in fact. I don't know if it's because I went in with barely any expectations, or if I'm just in the mood for this kind of book, but I can tell you that I totally enjoyed this whole story. Kudos to Destefano, seriously. I've been in a weird place with YA Fantasy lately and I feel like I'm just always setting myself up to dislike books. Hahaha. This one proved me beautifully wrong.

 

Cliffhanger ending was expected, but I definitely want the next book. 

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text 2018-05-01 23:44
Reading progress update: I've read 70%.
The Glass Spare - Lauren DeStefano

Well, I have to say that I'm actually surprised at how much I'm enjoying this book. I overlooked it when it first came out, because it looked like another cardboard cutout of the YA books that are popular right now. The library had it on their "available now" section though, and I was between audio books, so here we are.

 

I'm impressed with the character building so far, and with the addition of magic. I'm even impressed with the plot line so far, so that's a plus! Let's see where this takes me.

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review 2017-12-02 01:05
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Wither - Lauren DeStefano

Before and after reading this book, I've seen a lot of mixed reviews, calling this book inappropriate for Young Adult. First off, I want to point out that the author does not get to pick where her book is marketed to, that is up to the publisher, so do not get mad at Lauren. Second of all. though there are some mature content, it never goes into graphic details. If you're 13 and over, I'm sure you've seen worse at school. (Also if you think this book is inappropriate for YA, you haven't read many YA!)

Of course, I always encourage parents to read books first if you are unsure if your child should read them. I personally think we don't give younger people enough credit.

Now onto the review. I did like this book. I liked it quite a bit, but I could not put myself in the main character's shoes, so that might have took some of my enjoyment away. I felt like the plot was unique at the time of reading it; I had not read many books similar to that. I felt like the writing style pretty great. It flowed well. I was able to read the book fast and without any trouble.

I've noticed some authors dumb down a lot of things, especially in YA (and middle grade) I felt like there was none of that in this book. I think it is clear Lauren most likely wrote this for herself because it was a story she needed to get out of her head.

There was a character that was too young to be a wife, but in this world girls got no choice in the matter if they were of child barring age, and at 13 Cecily sadly could have children. It is hard to read about a child bride. I know that it was more normal a long time ago, and in some countries and religions, there are still child brides.

That all being said, I would not call the husband in this story a pedophile; it is just the world he finds himself in. He did seem like a decent person, despite everything. He really did seem to love his former wife and seemed like he was growing fond of some of his new wives.

I have nothing against polygamy when everyone is of a consensual age. It doesn't hurt me if you want to be in love and married to a bunch of people! The more power to you.

It was just hard to read about it in a setting like this, where the girls are forced and most at such a young age.

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review 2017-11-13 18:22
Fever
Fever - Lauren DeStefano

Warning: There will be spoilers in this review for the first book in the series, Wither.

Gabriel and Rhine have escaped and they are on the run, trying to make it back to Manhattan in search of her twin brother when they are captured by the ring-mistress of a carnival of prostitution. Once again Rhine finds herself in a compromising situation, and her plan of action is to simply go along with everything, gain Madame's trust and wait for the perfect opportunity to escape. This was all too reminiscent of book 1.

I found myself cringing by Rhine's actions throughout this book. The only thing she seemed to excel at, was getting caught. Each time she was caught by someone sinister, and this happens multiple times, she does not put up much of a fight. In fact, not only does she not attempt to flee, at one point she even goes willingly. I was in disbelief.

Rhine is still wearing Linden's wedding ring. I kept wondering why she hadn't removed it, and why Gabriel didn't seem to notice or care. Why would she want to keep a reminder of the terrible situation she escaped from? That was one of the many reasons Gabriel and Rhine's relationship fell flat to me. I saw no connection, no passion. I also felt that Rhine and Gabriel spent most of the book drugged up, sleeping or hallucinating which caused the story to plod along at a snail's pace. 
 
I had a hard time liking the characters (new and old) this time around. As with the last book, I enjoyed DeStefano's writing style, and I am in no way averse to giving her other series a try. I'm afraid this particular series simply isn't for me.
 
-SW
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review 2017-10-26 02:05
Shattered: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
The Glass Spare (Seventh Spare Series, Book 1) - Lauren DeStefano

The Glass Spare tells the fascinating story of a young princess named Wil, the fourth child and only daughter of a powerful and ruthless king, who wants nothing more than to travel the world. When she is attacked she discovers she has the power to turn living things into crystals and gemstones, and she goes off on a journey to cure her curse, only to fall in with the banished prince of a rival kingdom who is determined to save his kingdom from ruin.

 

Wil was a really great character to follow around because she had an actual thought process. She thought about her situations and came up with answers to her obstacles. Although she was fierce and action-oriented, she had a clear and level head and made decisions based on observations and facts rather than simply reacting without thinking. I loved the way she responded to things, like leaping to rescue a damsel in distress, and the care and love she showed to her brothers and mother. Wil, despite being a good person who loves fiercely and genuinely cares for others, thinks she's a monster because of her curse... and then she actually meets one. I look forward to more of the monstrosity vs humanity debate being explored further in the sequel.

 

While I didn't feel distant from Wil and felt the suitable horror when the incident that banished her happened, I did feel a little distance with the supposed romance. I kind of felt like Wil wasn't really into it, and I'll go into that in just a moment. What I do want to mention is the third person narration, which is not my favourite type of narration, did lend itself to the occasional head hopping, and that's why it's not my favourite type of narration. Sometimes we were supposed to be seeing things from Wil's point of view yet we were told what Loom was thinking. That's just about my only negative criticism, though.

 

I want to address the 'romance'. Some have accused this book of being more romance than fantasy and some have accused Wil and Loom of 'insta-love'. I was 60% through when I made a status saying there was absolutely no romance so far. It's pretty much developed from about 70% onwards, so there is NO insta-love. Wil absolutely does NOT love the male character, Loom. It's explained that she is drawn to him, but she never even thinks she's in love, in fact she thinks the exact opposite, that she's NOT in love because she doesn't know what love feels like. SO THERE IS NO INSTA-LOVE. It's also NOT more romance than fantasy because although it was clear Wil and Loom would end up with some kind of feelings for each other (because that is how YA books work, nothing against the author, I think she did a really good job of it all), the book was well past the halfway mark before you even get the hint that Wil might be interested in Loom. Even then, right near the end it's explained why Wil is drawn to Loom and she acknowledges that she's not in love. You can't even tell she's developing an attraction until waaaaay in because she hates him at first: he's keeping her captive and she's literally escaping from him. It certainly isn't instant.

 

The worldbuilding has this fascinating mix of old-school fantasy and almost a steampunk-meets-digital advanced technology. There's dirigibles and solar power and data googles and it's a lovely mess of technologies: Wil's father the king is old school and archaic and won't build proper roads for electric carriages; the closed off Southern kingdom has more advanced technology yet that king's favourite method of execution is the guillotine. I don't think I've ever read a book with this kind of mix of technologies, magic and alchemy and digital and solar power and wind power and just wow, it was so interesting. I'd love to be able to go into this world and see the different technology the different islands have developed, and that obviously it's all come together because of trade and advancement.

 

I've had a really bad reading year due to personal issues and although this book was over 400 pages, when I did pick it up my reading seemed to go really quickly and I'd pass 5% of my ebook without even noticing. The pace wasn't neck-snappingly fast but it was brisk enough to keep me interested for longer periods of time including staying up til midnight to finish. It only took me a couple of weeks to read this and in comparison I've been reading another book for well over a year now. I loved it and I'm keen to receive the sequel. Thank you Lauren for writing a story about a magical princess.

 

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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