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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 2017-07-15 02:11
The Archived
The Archived - Victoria Schwab

This is an entertaining YA fantasy. I put it on my Read Harder 2017 list for task 15: Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+. To discover author's that fit into this category, I took advice from the Goodreads group on the Read Harder challenge which has Schwab mentioned as an author who is LGBTQ+. 

I've been wanting to read her Shades of Magic series as well but I had it in my head at the time that this was a stand alone. I have no idea why. It is part of a series and the next book is The Unbound, which I will be reading to finish the series at some point down the road. My library had this one but not the next one quite yet.

Like I said above, I did enjoy it. It's quintessentially YA with an ass-kicking strong female lead and a touch of a love-triangle. Unlike some other YA, our heroine, Mackenzie Bishop, has a good head on her shoulders. She usually makes good decisions but is recently rocked by a family tragedy that contributes to setting the story in motion. She's flawed but not so much that the reader can't feel sure she'll get back on track provided nothing too drastic happens. Of course, it's a novel by a good writer, so drastic things are bound to happen, right?

The two male leads are interesting and different from each other in great ways. They may even be swoon worthy if I were close enough to my YA years to not make that super-creepy. As it is, I merely recognize that they are suitably matched for Mackenzie as love interests. Mackenzie's parents are great. They're recovering from the same tragedy that she is and are handling it in understandable ways. I love the details on fakeness of Mom's smile. Parents have a tendency to try to make things okay before they are. It's the way of the world. Still, I loved their efforts. I wish I knew more about Da, though.

Now for the really fun part. The world building was my favorite part! I love the Archive and the Narrows and the way Schwab plunges right into them. The people who work at the Archive are nuanced but only as far as Mackenzie would reasonably know them. The Coronado is a great old building with lots of stories and nooks and crannies and interesting little things about it. I loved the other residents that Mackenzie meets. Most of all, the story held layers of secrets of it's own and while some were eventually revealed, they only caused more questions about what secrets were still held. I'll be interested to see where the rest of the series goes but I also appreciate that the story had a solid ending. I could stop here and feel pretty satisfied with the story. I won't, but I could.

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review 2017-07-13 06:17
This was worth the hype
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity) - Victoria Schwab

I didn’t know what the hype was all about until I saw the second book released just recently. Took out this book and in the first day I was half way through. It was addicting and it moved at a fast pace.

 

It took me a little long to warm up to these characters and the setting. The setting is interesting, with the three different groups of monsters infesting the area. There was some sort of catastrophic event and the area was split into two. I rather like the way the world is being set up in this case. We have monsters. Not vampires, or werewolves, or some other mythical creatures we are familiar with. These are different and nothing that I have come across yet in the novels I have read in the past. I rather wish there was more history in regards to world building. Or at least, a bit more information but it doesn’t deter the reader from enjoying the novel.

 

Kate and August are both great characters and opposites. Kate, who is a complete bad ass and August who is trying to fit in and be normal. I like them because first of all, they aren’t filled with besotted love like some YA novels have out there or worse yet, they fall in love and the world crashes around them. I’m glad this book doesn’t have any of that nonsense. They both use each other as a means to an end but they end up being unspoken friends despite their differences. What I like the most about these two is, they both exposed themselves to vulnerability to each other and learnt a lot from their respective groups.

 

The plot itself is very interesting and readable. The action is good and not over the top dramatic. The twist near the end is predictable but what you didn’t see coming is the ending and you’re left with either being blown away or….well there’s no other is there? You’re just straight out blown away.

 

Definitely recommended for YA readers. I’m off to get the second one. I enjoyed this book immensely.

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review 2017-06-20 00:06
This Savage Song
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity) - Victoria Schwab

So much hype on this novel, I had to see what I had been missing. And now after reading it, I am sitting on the fence deciding whether I should continue reading this series or not. This novel was long, I didn’t feel that much occurred for all the pages that I read. It seems that I just got the story figured out and the characters were beginning to take a stand for themselves when it was over and now I need to decide it I want to continue this series or not. I liked the concept of the story, the issue of the city, how it was divided up into sections and divided further into colored segments. I liked how the citizens chose their allegiance to their ruler. I hadn’t chosen my side yet, I hadn’t gotten that attached/committed into the novel yet. I was drawn into the characters of Kate and August, the two individuals who were trying to outsmart the world that they are living in. Kate, she’s full of spunk and it seems that she is afraid of nothing. I think her father is her handicap and she feels he will be there to pick her up, if she ever falls to deep. I was glad what happened at the end of the book with Kate, her future should be interesting. August, I feel he’s been looking in the mirror too long, a mirror that is not a reflection of himself and he needs to find his own two feet and use them. What the future hold for him should be positive, if he can smash the mirror and move on.

 

The second book in the series just came out this month and it is getting better reviews this first novel. I guess I’ll let this novel settle and perhaps I’ll pick it up the second novel, Our Dark Duet next month and give it a go. If you’ve read the second novel, let me know what you think of it, I’d appreciate it.

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text 2017-06-15 07:22
Friday Reads June 16
Him - Elle Kennedy,Sarina Bowen
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments) - Cassandra Clare
A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas
A Darker Shade of Magic - Victoria Schwab
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