Review + Rant: Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

Today’s review is spoiler free, but the rant is not. I manage to keep my review pretty even, but just … the ending of this book, guys. It touches on a serious pet peeve of mine too much NOT to talk about it. I love this series in general, and I think that Kresley Cole has done a fabulous job writing it but … I’m confused now. I may need to retract all these words when the next book comes out, but I also won’t be chomping at the bit to read it after this either.

Advertisements

From the Notebook: Why There’s No Love Triangle in ACoMaF

I promised you guys this video in my A Court of Mist and Fury review last week, and I actually did it! This is a really important video to me, actually, because I feel so strongly about how powerful and important the relationships in ACoMaF are–and there is no love triangle here. Fair warning, this is NOT a spoiler free video! My review is, but this is not. You’ve been warned.

Thesis Thursdays: Review – “Seeker” by Arwen Elys Dayton

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

20911450Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton

Published February 10, 2015 by Delacorte 

Goodreads | Amazon

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.

As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world.

And she’ll be with the boy she loves–who’s also her best friend. But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes.

Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought. And now it’s too late to walk away.

One star

When I added this book for my thesis, I had to write that first chapter within the week. My adviser thought I was crazy. I was, but I just had a FEELING that I needed this book in my thesis. Mostly because it was published in 2015. Well, it was perfect for my thesis alright. In all the right wrong ways.

This is going to be a spoilery review because I have a lot of things to say.

Continue reading

Worth It Wednesdays: “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads Description: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

Why it’s worth it: I cuss out tropes a lot. I hate them. I’m tired of seeing them on repeat. I didn’t pick up this book originally because I thought it sounded fairly same-same and also I’ve become extremely wary of hyped books. I added it to my “maybe get someday” list and let it sit there. Then, when I taught high school writers over the summer, one of them–who loved Throne of Glass!–suggested that I read this one because it was a lot like that. I went out a few days later and bought it.

I DID VERY MUCH LIKE.

The world hooked me straight away, and for that I was very glad. It kept me reading when the book started to tumble into some of those books I so hate. (*coughlovetrianglecough*) But I kept reading, because Aveyard writes a really good story and from the inception the plot tackled some political realities that I hadn’t really seen.

THANK GOD I DID.

This book is just a trope subverter. That’s why I like it. I mean, sure, it covers all the basic bases like a well written story, thought out world building and characters I really like spending time with. All that is there, and all that on it’s own would make it a good book. What makes it a great book is that Aveyard knowingly sets up a plot that looks very similar to something I’ve seen a million times before and then in the final act BLOWS EVERYTHING UP WITH DYNAMITE. I haven’t been this blown away by a final act trope subversion since A Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Avoid the hype and read it. It’s worth it.

Read it if you’re looking for: Strong female characters, trope subversion, swoon-worthy male characters who are also more than nice to look at, hype that’s worth it, action, adventure, fantasy, magical powers, kick assery, political realism, dystopia

Betwixt the Books: Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Michaela and I are back with more booktube videos for you! It’s a few more book tags as we get into the swing of things – this one about Unpopular Opinions! Thanks to Kat from Cuddlebuggery for showing me this awesome tag.

This is probably the most emotional and ranty Michaela and I have ever gotten together. It’s a good time!

As the pair to this video, Michaela is posting our Inside Out Tag video on her blog, so don’t miss that!

The questions for this tag are:

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.
4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Quick message from Michaela: Last week we had issues with audio, this week we have issues with the editor. I finished editing these videos and my editor wouldn’t let me export the edits, so we have this footage for you raw and unfiltered. I hope the awkward pauses weren’t too awkward for you, and we didn’t ramble too much. Some day I will get this filming and editing down to a T I swear.

Review: “The Crown of Embers” by Rae Carson

The Crown of EmbersThe Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson

Goodreads | Amazon

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

4 stars

WARNING: This review WILL have spoilers for The Girl of Fire and Thorns! Read my review of the first book HERE.

Oh Rae Carson, Rae Carson, Rae Carson – how dare you pull at my heartstrings like that? Thank God I waited to start this book until I had an ARC of The Bitter Kingdom in hand as well. Also, hip hip hooray for authors who GET characters and write REAL characters and ohmygosh guys I can’t get over these CHARACTERS. Erm, anyways, let’s get reviewing, shall we?

Continue reading

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

4 stars

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I came into this book not having very high expectations. Since I frequent Goodreads, I read up on this book quite a bit in deciding which of my 3 new books to read first. When a lot of different reviews say the same thing, I worry.

However, Matched was not as horrible as I had worried it would be. It certainly wasn’t the next Hunger Games, as it was boasted to be on the back of the book, but it was a fairly solid novel all the same.

After I had read the book, I went back to the reviews again, and I found myself amused. Many of them had to do with how unbelievable Cassia’s world is. While it is true that Condie’s word building could have been better—much better in places—I don’t believe she deserves entirely all the flak. Matched is a dystopian book. To me, the entire idea of a dystopian book is to shock the reader with how unreal it seems. We are supposed to wonder how the citizens can put up with the conditions and lies that the usually totalitarian government is forcing on the citizens. That’s the whole point of these books: the system needs to change. Sometimes it seems that the more outrageous the scenario, the better the book goes along. After all, how believable is a world in which kids as young as 12 need to be trained to play a game to the death? Not very, but don’t tell Hunger Games fans that. Condie’s fault lies not in creating an unbelievable world, but not explaining her world well.

I will give Condie props for handling her romance pretty well. The book is described to have a love triangle, which I think is rather false, because Cassia was never really in love with Xander though he was in love with her. It was always very clear that she was going to choose Ky. The romance between Ky and Cassia was very real, and didn’t happen in an instance, which gives Condie instant points from me. The romance is the definite center of this book.

All in all, I did enjoy Matched. To enjoy the book yourself, however, you have to be prepared to let go. If you are a reader who needs to understand every facet of the world around the characters, this probably isn’t for you because you will focus on all the holes, not the story. However, if you can let yourself just sink into the story and go along for the ride, I think you’ll enjoy it—especially if romance heavy books are something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy teen romance, I’ll admit you’ll want to stay far away. As I said, romance is such the center of this book that perhaps the world building wasn’t even as focused on as that. After I stopped caring about the world and the lack thereof or ineffective description of why the world is the way it is, I certainly did enjoy it myself. Despite the reviews of the second book, Crossed, I am eager to pick it up. Condie has a chance to do some great things with the world that she’s created, and Matched was good enough that I’m willing to give her the chance to win me over again.