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text 2014-08-04 23:21
July Wrap Up & August TBR

Name, Date Finished, Rating, & Mini Review

So I read six books this month, which wasn't as many as I had hoped but it was still a fair amount seeing as I have a lot going on like working and spending time with family.  But I really enjoyed all of the books that I read, so I don't consider it a failed month for reading.


July Wrap Up


READ: Monday 7th

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige {4/5 Stars}

~This is the first novel in the Dorothy Must Die Trilogy...? Is it going to be a trilogy? I'm not really sure.  Anyway, it was a fast paced novel. A great start to the series.  Though it was slow at times through the middle when the world was developing which I understand was needed to show the contrast between the old Oz and the new.  Which was extremely interesting to read about


READ: Friday 11th

The Elite by Kiera Cass {3/5 Stars}

~ The second novel in the Selection Trilogy.  I usually don't agree with the general public when it comes to books.  I have to agree with everyone when they say that America is infuriating in this novel.  She seemed almost bipolar in this novel.  As well, I've never really enjoyed the idea of a love triangle, and it was sort of there in the first book, but I could ignore it.  In this novel it's a main aspect, and I find that the love triangle makes American another typical whinny YA character.


READ: Monday 14th

Head Over Heels created by Francine Pascal written by Kate Williams {3/5 Stars}

~ This is book eighteen in the Sweet Valley High series.  This follows Regina Marrow and Bruce Patman two side characters, along with the usual two main characters the Wakefield twins.  I enjoyed reading about Regina and Bruce.  I overall enjoy the Sweet Valley High series because of books like this where they tell the story of different characters throughout the town, so i really gives you the feeling that you're in Sweet Valley.  You get to see the entire community, which you don't often get to see in novels.


READ: Wednesday 16th

Tomorrow's Kingdom by Maureen Fergus {5/5 Stars}

An amazing conclusion to the Gypsy King Trilogy.  It was face paced throughout the entire book.  All loose ends were tied up very nicely and practically.  I absolutely loved the ending, it was extremely satisfying, in my opinion.  Just an overall great book.


Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles {5/5 Stars}

The second novel in the Leaving Paradise Duology.  I have nothing but amazing things to say about this novel and the first novel.  I absolutely love the characters Maggie and Caleb.  Simone Elkeles always has the most amazing book boys who are ever so swoon-worthy! I love the change of scenery, and how different it is from the first book, and how it still seems to work.


READ Thursday 24th

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell {5/5 Stars}

A stand alone contemporary, although Rowell is reportedly working on or contemplating a squeal.  Everything about this book was phenomenal!  Eleanor and Park's relationship was adorable.  The novel was nicely paced.  Events and situations were real and relatable.  Eleanor was refreshing because plainness, she isn't the typical pretty, thin and bubbly character.  She's just a regular girl.  Definitely a work of art!


August TBR



1. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout (& maybe the rest of the series...?)

2. The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks

3. Crash Into You- Katie McGarry

4. A Walk to Remember by Nicolas Sparks

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review 2014-07-19 02:33
A Fool's Errand by Maureen Fergus
A Fool's Errand - Maureen Fergus

          The quest to find the legendary gypsy healing Pool of Genezing is on.  Persephone, Azriel, their gypsy friends Tiny and Fayla, and Persephone’s “doppelganger” Rachel, set out on their quest to save the king.

          I didn’t absolutely love A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus but I did like it as much as I was expecting.  So it did meet my expectations.  Like the last book, The Gypsy King, the book had slight pacing problems and irritating prospective changes.  All of the annoying aspects were a crucial part of the story telling, and they all make sense when it comes together at the end but I do think there could have been a more effective way that Fergus did this while still keeping the action rolling.

          The plot was a lot different than The Gypsy King’s, which is a good thing.  Often the second book in a trilogy is like the middle child and doesn’t get as much attention as it should.  In reality that book could have been the introduction for the third book— reduced to thirty or forty pages instead of being a three hundred to four hundred full length novel.  It’s essentially an appeal for more money.  That is not what this is!  This novel is required.

          We really get to know Azriel more and in my case, fall in love with him more.  The relationship between Azriel and Persephone is more settling than in the last book and Persephone is considerably less annoying.  I can even say that I really do like her in this novel.

          Rachel though…  She is another story.  I wanted to like her but she is just so nosey and to quick to involve herself in the affairs of others.  She is one of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy this story more.  Last novel I could somewhat ignore her because she wasn’t a reoccurring character, but in this book she was.

          I didn’t like the unknown perspective that we followed.  It wasn’t very interesting and I didn’t find it super extremely necessary.  Sometimes it was, but he didn’t require as many chapters as he got.

          It’s good to finally get to see the world because in the last book the story solely existed inside the castle (we did get to see a small portion of the gypsy camp and Persephone’s master’s home).  But you wonder if the kingdom is big, small, are they inland, by the ocean; it just doesn’t have enough world building.  With all the travelling in this book those questions are answered, not directly of course, but through the places that they travel to.

          The ending was slightly unsettling.  It wasn’t a “Bam!  It’s going to take a minute to let that all settle in!” ending.  It was more of a “That’s it?  Is a chapter ripped out or something because that can’t be the end…”  I do see where it is beneficial; it leaves open so many window of opportunity for the next book.  Which is what makes Fergus a clever and enjoyable author.  She is always one step ahead of you.  I can’t wait for the release of the third and final book in the Gypsy King trilogy, Tomorrow’s Kingdom, set to be released July 8th, 2014.

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review 2014-07-19 02:24
The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus
The Gypsy King - Maureen Fergus

        I realized from the beginning that The Gypsy King, by Maureen Fergus, is a quirky action packed novel, with pacing trouble.  The idea for the novel about sixteen year old Persephone’s attempts at escaping enslavement, were all there but often became lost in Fergus’s need to make the novel 434 pages long.  Causing it to be dull at times and when action arose, the chapter often ended and the perspective changed, making you wait even longer for the action.

            Fergus sets the medieval era scene by narrating in old English that is still understandable.  The novel’s young adult characters also fit the setting— and are refreshing— because of their lack of using the word “like” in unnecessary places, as many YA characters do.

            Persephone’s desire to escape is one of the driving forces of the story and is how Fergus displays Persephone’s independence and determination.  Though, her attempts at escaping get old the second time when she just makes more trouble for herself and the people trying to help her, which makes her infuriating to read about.  She becomes more likable when she discovers that her own freedom could mean the end of other’s.  Yet, she remains naïve in believing that everything will work out, making her seem more real in her refusal to change; which turns into an admirable quality of hers.

            Azriel; Persephone’s side kick; her polar opposite; the humour of the story.  He isn’t the typical tall, dark and everything-always-goes-my-way type, just a charming misfit that ends up with the unfortunate job of trying to protect Persephone.  He’s the nothing-ever-goes-my-way type, which makes him more desirable in an underdog sort of way.  He was the character you couldn’t wait to read about because of his wit and unpredictability.

            But my favorite character was the infamous Regent Mordecai.  Cold to the core; Mordecai is manipulative and conniving.  His body is crippled, in an Igor like manner, giving him the perfect villainous appearance.  The way that Fergus portrays him is phenomenal!  You want to hate him because he is so evil— killing the Gypsies and scalping people— but you read his perspective and the more you learn about him the more you begin to pity him and root for him subconsciously.

            Though it was slow at times and somewhat underdeveloped, The Gypsy King was enjoyable overall and thought provoking.  It would be A Fool’s Errand not to pick up the second book.

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review 2013-01-04 00:00
The Gypsy King
The Gypsy King - Maureen Fergus I’ve been more interested in fantasy as of late, so The Gypsy King by author Maureen Fergus was exactly what I have been looking for. A fantasy about a slave girl falling in love with a handsome thief and having to discover her destiny that is bound to leave readers with their jaws dropped? Doesn’t that just spell out the epitome of awesome? Right from the opening chapter that literally left me at a loss for words, I enjoyed every single moment that I spent reading The Gypsy King and I’ll just say right now that after the cliff-hanger ending, I’d do anything to start reading what happens to Persephone next.The Gypsy King takes place in a fantasy land where our main character Persephone has lived her entire life as a slave. When she finds herself face to face with a thief attempting to steal her owner’s chickens and allows him to get away, Persephone thinks that that’s the last she’ll ever see of the chicken thief. It isn’t until the very next day that he arrives and buys her for nothing more than a bag of coins, that Persephone finds herself swept up into a world full of danger. While Persephone believes that things can’t get any worse and that she will eventually manage to escape the gypsy thief and gain her freedom—a darker plot is taking place amongst the nobles.The Regent Mordecai murdered the king years ago and the queen had died shortly after, that left their young heir as King. But the Regent, a malformed and wicked man, has plans to rule the entire kingdom. A man who finds death entertaining and is unable to find a woman who would actually love him, the Regent is a seriously evil antagonist in the story. When Persephone finds herself involved in a gypsy quest to save a little gypsy boy from death, she is introduced to the idea of having to assist the Gypsy King (whoever that may be) in basically creating peace throughout the land. It’s by chance that Persephone finds herself under the guise of a distant noblewoman and three things happen: The Regent and the King both begin to lust over Persephone and Persephone slowly begins to fall for the gypsy thief, Azriel.I’ll admit that I’m a bit surprised by just how much I liked The Gypsy King. Tthe premise sounded interesting, but what really got me was Azriel’s dialogue. Right from the first chapter we have with Persephone, we are introduced to how often he quips and makes snarky remarks. Since Azriel is in most of the chapters, I found myself laughing constantly by the funny things he would say and after dark chapters, the funny things that he says always took my mind off of the more dark subjects. Out of the cast of characters, I’ll admit that I enjoyed Azriel and Persephone, but only as a pair because together they not only caused comedic scenes, but also had me shouting at the novel to have them fall in love already.Most of the novel surprisingly takes place while Persephone usurps as a noblewoman within the Palace and acts a bit like a tease considering how quickly men were falling in love with her and how she’d string them along, however Persephone doesn’t really notice it for the most part. The novel does change POVs (point of views) and when we do get chapters in the Regent Mordecai’s POV we see just how obsessed he grows with who Persephone is pretending to be. His thought process consists of him constantly mistaking Persephone’s actions for signs of interest, instead of her just not wanting to be caught as an imposter.Throughout The Gypsy King I was dying to find out just who the Gypsy King would actually be. I had a few guesses who and by the end of the novel, I was happy to figure out that not only was my main guess correct (score!) but I hadn’t expected Persephone to be who she is revealed to be at the very end of the novel. The Gypsy King is a novel that’s highly detailed and so the reader should be able to create the world Fergus made, while reading. With it having a high amount of details, there is also the fact that you literally cannot miss a sentence, or parts of the plot will stop making sense. (Just a forewarning for any readers who tend to skim over highly detailed portions of a novel and assume that there is nothing to gather from those parts.) The only thing that I think should be mentioned is that the novel does mention and hint at a lot of sex and sexual assault, I didn’t put much thought into it, but to readers who do get a bit irked by those things, might want to mind it.I’d recommend The Gypsy King to readers who are fans of YA fantasy as well as the YA romance scene. Readers who also want a story that they can easily get lost in, will adore The Gypsy King.
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review 2012-12-27 00:00
The Gypsy King
The Gypsy King - Maureen Fergus So I just wrote a shorter version of this review for reasons I will reveal later. And while I was writing that, I remembered just how much I love this novel. I think I may love this one as much as I loved Seraphina. And you know what that means? I’m going to have to buy a hardcover copy and get Maureen Fergus to sign it for me. Now, I don’t even know whether she’ll be making any appearances in Vancouver but if she is, I’m going.Anyway, let’s talk about this book because it is the reason I am holding on to your attention. If you like strong heroines who are flawed and behave in flawed ways sometimes, then you will like Persephone. Persephone is nothing like the Greek goddess (of Spring) she shares a name with. She is a slave and her thoughts are naturally preoccupied with a desire for freedom in the true sense of the word. I cannot pretend to know what it means to not own one’s own person but I can empathize with her feelings. Fergus creates a vibrant world where Gypsies are hunted and killed simply because of who they are. This genocide is a contemporary issue and Fergus does not dress it up prettily or try to excuse it. She portrays the horror of a people who are being eradicated through no fault of their own. Azriel is a gypsy who, with all his charm, buys Persephone from her owner. Not that she thanks him for it, of course.Their relationship is engaging, fun and complex. The romance is present but it doesn’t take over the narrative. In fact, Persephone’s feelings are deliciously ambiguous and I get the feeling that if she had to choose between Azriel and her freedom, she would choose the latter. There is a prophecy (that Persephone snorts rudely at) and there are animals who are blindly devoted to Persephone. Her eccentricities and flaws make her into a likeable character despite some of her more dubious decisions. (Keep in mind, these decisions are not stupid and nothing damning.)All the characters present in the novel are individuated and have their own personalities. The courtly intrigues and the young king who is very interested in Persephone spice of the narrative significantly. The villain of the piece is a most intriguing character. He is deformed but for he has a beautiful face and it is his desire to be whole again that motivates his actions. He is one of the creepiest and yet saddest villains I have come across in literature recently. He is dangerous because he doesn’t seem to have a conscience that separates good and bad, and his greed for power at any cost, but at the same time, he is completely vulnerable due to his deformity. I have a feeling that he may not be the villain in the end because he is a bit too easily deceived. No, I think it is the captain of the guards who will become most dangerous for the protagonists of the piece.The novel is gorgeous written, the pacing is quick and keeps the reader’s interest and the plot turns and twists in the most unpredictable ways. I was literally shocked at the end because I did not expect the novel to go where it did. And it went there in a good way. It takes all expectations and shakes it around and presents to you in a shape you didn’t think it came in. There is friendship between girls, a sisterhood of sorts, and a positive portrayal of women. Themes of identity, physical beauty and perhaps even love are present in the novel. Fergus has created a complex world peopled with complex characters that battle both inner demons and physical enemies in their attempt to right so many wrongs. Questions of duty versus desire will have to be answered. What is freedom? Can a person ever be totally free? I don’t know but I am looking forward to finding out how Persephone’s story unfolds. Do I recommend this? Really, I have to spell it out?Okay fine. I recommend this strong. Go read it.
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