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review 2017-06-25 02:50
The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls Series) - Alys Arden

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Reading an Alys Arden book is like taking a vacation. Her books make you feel like you're an actual part of the French Quarter. Completely immersive and her love of her city shines through each and every page. You end up feeling as if you are living and breathing the city right along with the characters. I absolutely adore that about these books!



bayou a drink



I loved watching the Coven come together and getting to know some new characters as well as getting more background stories from characters we already know and love. Getting to know Niccolo better was quite endearing. I don't know what Arden is trying to do to my heart, but I don't think I could possibly be any more conflicted between Niccolo and Isaac at this point! Seeing Adele and Isaac's relationship flourish in this book was so sweet. I can plainly see that they are pretty darn wonderful together. But even with Niccolo being out of sight, he was never out of mind, and seeing him as this young determined dreamer with so many hopes of a bright future tugged at each one of my heartstrings. I don't even know what I want at this point! I am DYING to see what happens in the next book.



which one



I was really excited to see more of the witch magic throughout the story. It was a lot of fun watching Adele, Isaac and Dee building up their coven and finding their place. I am very eager to see this group grow and flourish! I am completely intrigued by their individual growing powers as well! That ending was OUT OF CONTROL. You could tell that it was building to something huge towards the end, and it did not disappoint. I have no idea what will happen next in this story, but I can't wait to find out!




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review 2017-06-14 00:00
The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls Series)
The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls Series) - Alys Arden Listened to audio
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review 2016-07-13 21:17
The Casquette Girls
The Casquette Girls - Alys Arden

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I'm not sure exactly how to rate this novel: I really liked the setting (New Orleans), but some of the characters' features sometimes made me roll my eyes. To be fair, this may be in part due to my own jaded views on similar works: I've probably read one too many YA paranormal romance stories, so the usual love triangle and annoying guy attitudes has become old for me. I regret not liking this book more, at any rate.

The setting was definitely enchanting, in a sort of twisted way—twisted because this New Orleans is one slowly getting back on its feet after one of the most devastating hurricanes it's ever seen (possibly Katrina, or at the least inspired by it). Infrastructures are in shambles, crime's on the rise, there's a curfew the police can barely enforce... And while I have no idea if this is an accurate depiction of a post-hurricane city, whether it would've been thus left to fend for itself by the government, I still liked that NOLA, for its blend of "post-ap" and people trying to go back to, and go on with, their lives there, keep smiling, keep the businesses running, and so on. Somehow, I could understand Adele's desire to stay there, and not be shipped off to Paris or somewhere else, all the more since it'd mean being in a boarding school and not with her family. It was still magic.

I also liked the parts about Adeline: a bit awkward in the way it was introduced, maybe (a journal), but her journey, the people she met, the stifling stay in a ship for weeks, knowing a threat was lurking and nobody could just walk away to escape it, those were interesting.

On the downside, the novel relies on quite a few YA tropes that I couldn't care less about—love triangles, good boy vs. bad boy love interest, female characters being talked about as if they weren't there and generally being a bit... passive, Queen Bee and Mean Girls at school, and so on. Granted, Adele was not passive for the whole story so I won't fault her too much for that, and the school part wasn't the main part; it just felt like the "mandatory YA dynamics being inserted here", when the actual plot itself could've done without that. Mysterious murders, predators waking up, Adeline's story shedding light on what happened and hinting at what to be done: all those would've been fine, no need for a romance subplot (which didn't have anything special going for it), that slowed down the pace to a crawl in places: I could do with the "slower" chapters used to describe the city and its atmosphere, I could do less with lulls caused by romantic scenes.

Some of the descriptions (told in 1st person) were a bit odd, too—on the purple prose side, and not very believable coming from a 16-year-old girl. I found this happened mostly in the beginning (darkness being described as "the obsidian", or "espresso-coloured hair"?), and less afterwards. I'm not sure either about the French words and sentences used here and there; some were alright, others sounded grammatically weird. No idea if this is how people in New Orleans do speak, but as a native French reader, it's strange.

Finally, I felt some subplots and threads were left somehow dangling. For instance, Adele's mother was thrown in here a bit at random, too close to the end. And I would've liked to know a bit more about Cosette and the native girl; did they have offspring or not, and if not, was it to keep the number of characters down? Sometimes it seemed like things happened by coincidence, as plot devices, and not naturally enough to be really believable.

Conclusion: The main plot (monsters and witchcraft, with events originating in the past) was good, even though not the most original ever—it's less about "being original" and more about "what you make of it" anyway. Yet I didn't really care about the main characters, nor about the romance.

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review 2015-12-03 03:55
Excellent Story and Characters
The Casquette Girls - Alys Arden

Adele,16, had never been away from her dad or New Orleans as long as the the 2 months she spent in boarding school in Paris because of The Storm. Adele learned a lot about herself and her ancestors. She learned a lot through the twists and turns that made this story excellent.

I actually read this without really stopping, all 500+ pages. I stayed up all night as I had to see what happened next, right until the ending. Needless to say, excellent plot, overall story and characters. I highly recommend.

**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review

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review 2015-11-13 23:19
The Casquette Girls - Alys Arden


   Now I see what so many people were raving about! This book was fantastic! So I've heard people say, in regards to advice on writing, to write what you know! And with the Casquette Girls it was clear that one thing Alys Arden knew was New Orleans, but what made it REALLY burst from the pages so vividly was the fact that you could tell that she not only knew this place, she LOVED it. And this story shinned brightly because of it. The plot was a little slow progressing, but honestly I never felt bored or uninterested. The city she took such care in detailing was a character in itself, and it enthralled me, even being so devastated after a major hurricane. This city felt alive and I couldn't help falling in love it, page by page.  


    The supernatural elements to the story kind of snuck up on you, a little at a time, and I actually quite enjoyed the way this was done. Each introduction to something new gave you time to ponder what it meant, where it came from, and all those fun, nagging questions. The mystery just kept building and building, from so many different angles! It also worked brilliantly once you started getting the glimpses into the past, and how much of it was integral to what was happening around Adele now, hundreds of years later. I really enjoyed both the happenings in the past and in the present. I thought it was funny that as Adele was reading Adeline's journal, she developed this bond with her, she couldn't help becoming invested in these people, which was much how I felt while reading this book. I enjoyed each carefully crafted character. I loved how each one of them didn't feel all good, or all bad. They felt flawed, and real, and I loved them more for it. I also loved the brew of mystical, mythical and magical here. Every supernatural thing came together in this story in the most natural feeling way. I don't want to get into specifics because I was actually quite surprised by some of things that came into play here, and I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone else who might not know about everything to expect from this book.


    I could go on and on, but really I think if you are a fan of mystery, magic, the occult/supernatural things, and just great writing in general, you should do yourself a favor and pick up this unique and fantastic book! I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next, and I'll definitely be on the look out for more from her!



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