Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 128)

BOOK REVIEW: We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott

BOOK REVIEW: We Told Six Lies by Victoria ScottWe Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone.

But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names.

The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly.

And that’s yours truly.

Thank you to NetGalley, Victoria Scott and Entangled Publishing for my free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5

Did you know it, then, that I already belonged to you? Because I did, you beautiful, wicked girl.

“We Told Six Lies” is a captivating and well written YA thriller from Victoria Scott. However, there were a few things that held the story back from being great.

As with many thrillers, this book is told from varying perspectives and time jumps. The main players in this book are Cobain and Molly. Yes, you read that right, Cobain is a character’s first name. This book has a number of questionable first name choices, but I digress.

Molly is new to the high school and area, but quickly finds friends and becomes interested in shy and socially awkward Cobain. Cobain’s chapters often reminded me of Joe from Caroline Kepner’s YOU books, as he was truly smitten with Molly, even to his own detriment. Thus, when Molly goes missing, it’s not a surprise the police are most interested in Cobain, who also has a well-known anger management problem.

“Follow me,” you said, and I recognized that you were about to do something you shouldn’t. It was your favorite pastime, and you knew I’d do it beside you without question.

Cobain was an OK main character. He has a lot of issues, both with himself and with his family. I truly did feel badly for him many times, but I never quite loved him. On the other hand, I really liked Molly, even as flawed as she is. We unfortunately only get Molly’s perspective in present day and not in the flashbacks, as opposed to how we get Cobain’s. Molly has a lot of layers and is smart and determined. She also uses people to get what she wants, just like her father taught her.

Molly wanted freedom. But he wanted Molly. And love always triumphed in the end.

Without giving away much more of the plot, I was slightly surprised at the “twist.” I think part of it becomes fairly clear as the story goes on, but not all of it is easy to guess. The last couple chapters are wild and thrilling, but then it fairly abruptly ends. I would have liked to see more of the aftermath and a hint at the future, as opposed to ending it where it did. Also, it was never clear what exactly those specific six lies were referenced in the title. It’s not a big deal, but it was just weird to have the book titled something that wasn’t explicitly explained within the book.

So many lies. More than any of us can count. And with every lie, we had a chance to make things right. How could we have been so stupid?

BOOK REVIEW: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard

BOOK REVIEW: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan DennardWindwitch (The Witchlands #2)
by Susan Dennard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Review:


“The holiest always have the farthest to fall.”
 

Want to hear something funny? At about 45% of the way through this I was convinced that this was just going to be a four star. I literally texted Chelsea that. It seemed to just be one of those typical middle books that really just had a lot of travelling going on. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just not completely an EPIC thing….Ahhhhahahaha. Boy was I SO VERY WRONG. The entire last half made me eat my words. 

She was broken. She was useless. She was the pointless half of a friendship. The one who would live forever in shadows, no matter what she did. No matter whom she fought.

While each book has featured everyone, each one is more focused around a specific character. Obviously this one is about Merik. At the beginning of the book the Jana is attacked and burned by seafire. Many die and all but one of Merik’s sailors believe he is dead. Basically, he is. He was very severely burned and if hadn’t of been for Cam, I’m not sure what would have happened. 

Honestly Merik’s story was pretty frustrating to read about in this book. After what’s happened with Kullen, with his ship, his burns, Vivia….just everything, really…Merik is pissed. He’s pissed at himself, pissed at the world—just a lot different from the Merik I knew and loved from the first book. And I got it, really I did. But that didn’t make reading about it any easier. I absolutely LOVE the quote that I’m putting below this because it marked a point where he basically started to get his head out of his ass about everything. Realizing Vivia was. Not. The. Enemy. Realizing Cam wanted to identify as a boy (like good lord took him way too long to get that through his thick skull, haha). Realizing that sometimes, you just have to save that one, instead of saving many. THAT PART WAS SO EPIC, TOO, AHHHH.

For weeks he had wanted that evidence, so he could prove once and for all that her approach to leadership was wrong—and Merik’s approach was right. 
That was the truth of it right there, wasn’t it? He’d seen what he’d wanted to see, even though, in the deepest furrows of his mind, he’d known Vivia was not the enemy. He had simply needed someone to blame for his own failings.

Speaking of Viva, I was SOOOOO pleasantly surprised with her character. She’s made out to be HORRIBLE in the first book and even for most of this one it’s easy to see how much of a stubborn ass she is. When she finally dropped that façade for the self that she truly was—she shone. So brightly. I can only hope the siblings can mend more together, later.

And there it was—that was who she was. Split right down the middle, she bore her father’s strength, her father’s drive. She carried her mother’s compassion, her mother’s love for Nubrevna. 
As that certainty settled over Vivia’s heart, she knew exactly what she had to do. It was time to be the person she should have been all along.

Other things that I loved in this book:
-Iseult journeying with Aeduan
-Aeudan interacting with Owl
-Vaness
-Every single thing about Safi (but I’m praying she finds out Merik is still alive ASAP)
-Learning more about Hell Bards 
-The impending doom of the upcoming war?????? Can only lead to epic-ness
-A lot of other things, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers

ALSO, can I just say how AMAZING Dennard’s writing is? There were SEVERAL parts towards the end where I got literal goosebumps reading about certain things happening or certain things being said. I am so happy I still have two more that I have instant access too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Initiate, complete.

BOOK REVIEW: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

BOOK REVIEW: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan DennardTruthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
by Susan Dennard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Review:

“It wasn’t freedom she wanted. It was belief in something—a prize big enough to run for and to fight for and to keep on reaching toward no matter what.” 

AaaaaahhhHHHHH. <–this is a telltale sign that I loved a book if you haven’t noticed. I don’t even want to know how many reviews I’ve started like that ahahaha. Anyway, what the hell? Why didn’t I read this book YEARS ago?! I am obsessed right now. I went on a Tumblr stalking spree last night and kind of regret it, just like I always do because I’ve already spoiled a few things for myself. I can’t help it. It’s really a problem. So yeah, I am FIRMLY in the camp of people that LOVE this book and while it saddens me to know that a lot of people just felt “meh” about it, I think I get why.

“I’ll be fine, Safi. You forget that I taught you the art of evisceration.”
Safi scoffed, but her Threads flared with with amused pink. “Is that so, dear Threadsister? Have you already forgotten that it was me they called The Great Eviscerator back in Veñaza City?”Safi flung a dramatic hand high as she twirled toward Ryber. 
Now Iseult didn’t have to fake a grin. “Is that what you thought they said?” she called. “It was actually The Great Vociferator, Safi, because that mouth of yours is so big.”

It’s no secret that this series is super heavy on complex world building and even has a complex magic structure. In YA, when a lot of the books are read for quick pleasure, that can obviously throw people off guard. For me, though, I grew up reading high fantasy and happen to love those complex worlds. I mean, I don’t know how you can love those same aspects of LOTR if you don’t love this series. Tolkien even created an ENTIRELY new language based on the world of LOTR. If that isn’t intense and complex, I don’t know what is. Normally as long as there is a map that I can use to visualize the different places, I’m good to go. Did it take me a few chapters to get to know the characters and their powers and try to figure out which country they kept mentioning? Yes. Did that bother me or take away from the story? No. I was much too entranced by the story line and the characters and in the back of my mind I knew that eventually my questions would be answered.

Speaking of characters, I also really need to talk about how much I love both Safi and Iseult..and Merrik, and Ryber, and Aeduan, and literally everyone else. But ESP my gals. Safi was freakin hilarious. Not only was she a BA fighter, she cares about the people she loves so deeply AND she has hilarious sayings, usually reserved for when she’s in trouble (I might have to steal goat tits for myself, lol). Iseult is obviously also a BA fighter too and had some pretty great dry humor. The main thing I loved about them was how they loved each other. This is best friend GOALS. They would literally die for one another and I just loved the concept of them being Threadsisters because I have always thought that family doesn’t just have to be those who are blood related to you but those you choose to have as your family.   Neither one of them were perfect and they both recognized that and also knew that being together made both of them better.

And the ships! Oh the ships! I mean I guess I should technically only say ship for now but you better believe I know what’s coming for Iseult and a certain someone. SAFI AND MERRIK FOR LIFE THO. Like wtf wow. I don’t know if you’d exactly say there is a hate-to-love kind of a situation but..kind of? Basically they had no trouble butting heads throughout the entire book and still Safi came through for him in the end, BIG TIME. Oh my heart. And then when Iseult was witnessing their threads interact. I loved every second.

The ending was so intriguing and intense and I am SO GLAD I had the foresight to snatch up the entire rest of the series while they were all miraculously checked in at my library. I will be starting Windwitch ASAP and I cannot wait to see where the rest of this series goes!

“Yes,” Safi breathed, swaying into one of the men holding her up. She flashed a grin at him and said, “I’m Safiya fon Hasstrel, and I can do anything.”

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly BlackThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

“Carda—” I remember myself and sink into a bow. “Your Infernal Majesty.”

I honestly feel like I am one of the last people on GR to have read this book. I want to commend all of you, though, because even though I did skim a lot of reviews and saw a million different versions of the sentence “WTF THAT ENDING, THO” I never once was spoiled! Do you know how rare that is?!?!? I think you all probably do. So great job, everyone. I really appreciate it because even though I was dreading/terrified of finding out what the ending was, I really thought I might have figured it out before I did. Hahahahahah nope. What a sucker punch. You better believe I have loads to say about it under a spoiler tag later on…

Cardan gives me a look up through his lashes that I find hard to interpret and then rises, too. He takes my hand. “Nothing is sweeter,” he says, kissing the back of it, “but that which is scarce.”

Soooo basically this book was WAY better than the first. I liked the first, I liked the characters, but looking back I hadn’t connected like I should have. I was sucked into this one immediately. It seemed like we hit the ground running with Jude, right on the very first page. She already had so many schemes going on and I was so nervous for her. Honestly even though Cardan is the appeal factor in this series, Jude makes the entire thing. SHE IS SO BAD ASS. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now and I think Black went above and beyond with her character. There were points in both books where I would…get annoyed (?) whenever she mentioned being frightened when she was around a certain character or her life was being threatened. I kept thinking, ‘Jude, you’ve lived in this place all your life and look how far you’ve made it! Why are you scared??’ BUT. YOU GUYS. That is so dumb of me because she’s human! And mortal! And her body is relatively so fragile. And…I honestly think that all of those facts make it that much more impressive that she tricked Cardan into taking the crown and became his seneschal and literally every other plot she’s put into movement. And the fact that she’s tricked faeries that have been alive for probably centuries is just….it’s so good. I love her. And I also love that even though she’s accomplished all of those things, she’s completely clueless when it comes to feelings involving Cardan. I’m leaving that subject alone though haha. That’s for the reader to enjoy alllll on their own.

“You made me the High King, Jude. Let me be the High King.”

AND SPEAKING OF CARDAN. I fell so much deeper in this book. My interest was certainly piqued in the last 25% of CP but in this one we get to know him so much better and find out that he has so much more to him than you initially would think. He’s funny AF. SO FUNNY. He *cares* about Jude. He has what it takes to truly be a really great king. I mean, wow. I was glued to very single interaction between him and Jude. Like she just didn’t get it and that can’t be more funny to me (while also wanting to hug her and then let her know) hahaha. How could he have been more clear??!?! 

Now it is time for me to spew spoilers under a tag below this SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW, DON’T LOOK!

Maybe I wouldn’t have to be afraid to love him. Maybe it would be okay. Maybe I wouldn’t have to be scared of all the things I’ve been scared of my whole life, of being diminished and weak and lesser. Maybe I would become a little bit magic.

View Spoiler »

BOOK REVIEW: Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

BOOK REVIEW: Sherwood by Meagan SpoonerSherwood by Meagan Spooner
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When news comes that he's fallen in battle at the King's side in the Holy Land, Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on. Betrothed to Robin, she was free to be herself, to flout the stifling rules of traditional society and share an equal voice with her beloved when it came to caring for the people of her land.

Now Marian is alone, with no voice of her own. The people of Locksley, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, are doomed to live in poverty or else face death by hanging. The dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sherriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley, and Marian’s fiancé. Society demands that she accept her fate, and watch helplessly as her people starve.

When Marian dons Robin's green cloak, and takes up his sword and bow, she never intended that anyone should mistake her for Robin, returned from the Holy Land as a vigilante. She never intended that the masked, cloaked figure she created should stand as a beacon of hope and justice to peasant and noble alike. She never intended to become a legend.

But all of Nottingham is crying out for a savior. So Marian must choose to make her own fate and become her own hero...

Robin Hood.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for my ARC. Sherwood will be released on March 19, 2019.

I am the Lady Marian. I am a free woman and I am loved by Robin of Locksley. I don’t shatter for someone like Guy of Gisborne.

Sherwood was another very good book from Meagan Spooner. I previously enjoyed Hunted, Spooner’s take on “Beauty and the Beast.” This time it is the legend of Robin Hood, with Marian stepping up to take Robin of Locksley’s place after he is killed in battle.

Marian is an excellent main character. She takes her grief and sorrow over losing Robin and channels it into doing good for the people of Sherwood. Along the way, a fantastic cast of side characters help her steal from the rich to help the poor. She is strong and unwavering in her belief in right and wrong, yet is not immune from pain and sadness for those she cares for. She constantly goes out of her way to spare anyone unnecessary and pain and even when it is necessary, she feels guilty for what she has done. Marian is not morally grey–she does what she believes is right and doesn’t second guess herself.

Madness, then, she thought with a grin. And then, missing the feel of wool on her fingertips, she thought, Robin would have loved it.

We are introduced to Robin with a series of flashbacks and his voice in her heard. I loved Robin’s character. He is funny and sweet and charming. View Spoiler » Robin’s voice is constantly in Marian’s head, guiding her through her foray into becoming Robin Hood.

Robin’s voice in her thoughts was gentle. Will you take away their hope because you have none?

As I mentioned before, I thought the side characters of Alan, Will, John and Elana were all quite likeable and well-written. And in usual Meagan Spooner fashion, it was written quite beautifully and the world building was excellent.

You must be wondering, if all of this is good, why only 4 stars, Cassie? Well, unfortunately for me, I didn’t love the romance angle of this. Spoilers hidden for those who haven’t read/don’t want to know:

View Spoiler »

Overall, this was another wonderful book by Spooner. I really enjoyed it and if you were a fan of Hunted or the Scarlet series, you will likely enjoy this as well. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with me regarding the romance, but I’m ok with that. I’m looking forward to whatever Spooner writes next.

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