Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Title: The Falconer (The Falconer #1)
Author: Elizabeth May

Publication Date: September 19, 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 378
Add to Goodreads


One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale

She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first. 

This was my second time reading through this book as I have a nasty habit of staring a series and not finishing it.  I planned of finally finishing this series this year.  I have loved everything Scotland for as long as I can remember so I knew I was going to love this book no matter what.

At first this book was honestly a cover buy for me.  I saw the pretty little thing sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and knew I just had to have it.  I ever waited so long to pick it up which I still am questioning myself about still to this day.  How very stupid on my part!  From the first page turning I could NOT GET ENOUGH!  And still can’t after my second time through.  It physically hurt to set it down lol.  All the fight scenes and subtle romance had me craving more like a chubby kid craves cake.

Kiaran will forever be my book boyfriend.  Make way Jace and Will we have a new occupant lol.  There was a bit of what could be a love triangle in this book, but Aileana doesn’t seem to care for the one boy like she apparently did previously.  There were definitely a lot of sparks flying between Aileana and Kiaran!

I loved how this book had some steampunk elements and how those element clicked and whirred their way into how the story was written.  I really wish I had a little faery like Derrick to mend my clothes and make me laugh with his honey-drunken self.  While it did have some more language than most YA books that I have read, this book was everything that I didn't know I had been searching for in a YA Fantasy novel.  Almost as soon as I finished this book I just had to order the second one!

I would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone that likes books with fae or a touch of history or steampunk.  You won't be disappointed by this book!  I’ve also listened to a smidge of the audiobook, and if you love Scottish accents like I do then you’ll love the audiobook.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Best and Worst Love Triangles in YA

Love triangles, we all love to hate them, but is it possible that sometimes they actually (rarely) work? I'll admit, when a love triangle is extremely well-written, I actually can enjoy them. Sadly, that hardly ever happens. Most of the time love triangles are written into YA books as garbage plot devices that don't make any sense. Today I'd like to talk about the love triangles I love the most, and the ones I most despise. (Click on fan art for sources.)


THE BEST

Katniss, Peeta, and Gale


An oldie but goodie, this was one of the first triangles I ever read that felt authentic. It has been (many) years since I last read The Hunger Games, but I remember being completely torn between the two love interests! They were both so unique and made sense for Katniss in completely different ways. While I ultimately did hate the way the series ended, I did totally understand her choice. This is one love triangle that was written well enough to make me feel okay with either decision Katniss made.


Lada, Mehmed, Radu


This love triangle almost killed me, not even joking. I love this book for so many reasons and the relationships between these three people is high on the list! Everything about this book is so realistic, including the romance and the triangle. I legitimately wanted each of the sides of this romance to work out SO badly! (PS: why isn't there more fan art for this series??)


Jeb, Alyssa, and Morpheus


I really wasn't sure which side of the list this Splintered love triangle should be placed on. On the one hand, I understood Alyssa's choices and why she loved both these people. On the other hand, I have SUCH mixed feelings about how everything worked out! I am, of course, Team Morpheus until the end of my days, but I totally get the appeal of Jeb and I think either side of this triangle would have been okay (but also Morpheus is the right choice). 


THE WORST

Feyre, Tamlin, and Rhysand


While I adore the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I despise this love triangle for one reason - it was manipulative. Sarah J. Maas spent an entire book convincing the readers that we were supposed to love one side of this triangle - that it was TRUE LOVE! Then in the next book we're told it's all a lie. I hate it. If you're going to write a love triangle, at least make both sides convincing! You can't change the rules halfway through.


Alina, Mal, and the Darkling


I know I'm going to get some hate for this one, but oh well. Fans are VERY divided on where they stand with this triangle. I guess you could argue that either choice was bad, but there was one particular side of the triangle that I absolutely could not get behind. While one of the love interests was supportive of Alina in his own, messed up way, the other absolutely only cared about the parts of her that he preferred and I couldn't stand it. I hated the way the series ended, even though it remains one of my all-time favorites.


Edward, Bella, and Jacob


Another oldie, but a really-not-goodie. I'm sure people will disagree with me here too, but holy crap what even were these options? First of all, Bella desperately needed to drop both these psychos and see a therapist. Second, Edward (while the "team" I would probably choose because Jacob is even more creepy) is a major creeper! Pro tip: don't sneak into your crush's house and watch them sleep. Edward was insanely controlling (and we wonder how we ended up with 50 Shades) while Jacob had some major rage issues to work out. Neither side of this triangle works for me.



So, at the end of the day, I guess a good love triangle, to me, is one that convinces me that either option is a realistic one. Love triangles that try to emotionally manipulate me to pick one or the other, or triangles in which one option makes absolutely no sense, really don't work for me.

Now I'd like to know what you think! Which of these do you agree or disagree with? What triangle that I didn't remember should be on a best or worst list? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DNF Review: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Title: King's Cage (Red Queen #3)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Way too Many 507
Add to Goodreads

Reviews for book 1 & book 2

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

"In this breathless third installment..." Spoiler: it's "breathless" because Mare uses all her breath WHINING AND MOANING.

The Red Queen series is one of the most disappointing series I've ever read. Book one started strong for me, although I still had issues with it. In fact, I rated it FOUR stars! Then Glass Sword was one of the absolute worst sequels I've ever read, getting a one star, ranty review. But I decided to give King's Cage a try anyway, thinking maybe the series would redeem itself. Alas.

So what went wrong with this series? The number one reason I despise these books is because all Mare does is whine, especially in Glass Sword and King's Cage. Every single page that Mare appears on - whining and complaining. I get it, her life is tough. How sad. I've read a lot of books with about a lot of characters who have a lot of crappy luck, and never have I read one that made me hate a main character THIS much. 

I had forgotten how bad it was, really. I downloaded the audiobook and immediately remembered how much I hated Mare. Why did I immediately remember? The first few chapters are one long whineeee. Literally, Mare sits in a cell and whines about how badly she wants to be OUT of the cell, then when she gets out, she whines about how she wants to be back IN the cell. I. Hate. Her. I really thought I must be at least an hour into this whinefest, when I looked at my phone and saw that there were SIXTEEN AND A HALF hours left in the book! Sixteen! 

Which brings me to my next point: why is this book so long?? Red Queen, the only decent book in the series, was a respectable 383 pages long. A normal length for a YA fantasy book. Of course, Glass Sword grew to 444 pages, having to make room for all Mare's complaining. And this one? King's Cage is over 500 pages long! I'm not saying that a YA series can never be over 500 pages (ACOTAR is one of my favorite series!), but I am saying that it should definitely be under 500 pages if half of it is filler. While serious events have occurred in this series so far, the whole thing could be considerably shorter if we didn't have to spend so much time inside of Mare's head.

I didn't make it far enough into King's Cage to know if it continues the rinse and repeat formula of the previous book, but I definitely made it far enough to know that I was right to say I wouldn't continue the series at the end of my Glass Sword review. I'm not sure if I had on rose-colored glasses while reading Red Queen or if the next too books really actually declined that much, but I won't be giving the series a third chance. 




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #184: Frequently Used Words in YA Fantasy


Today's Topic: 
Frequently Used Words in YA Fantasy

Today's post actually took some digging! When I started noticing trends in the fantasy books I have shelved as read or to-read on Goodreads, I realized a common theme between them. Now I'm wondering what this says about the people who write and read these books... xD I'm excited to see the differences between these and what's common in other genres! Sorry, no links to books this week - there were just too many!

FIRE

SHADOW

DARK

NIGHT


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Weekly Recap: 4/15 - 4/21


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! This has been a busy, but fun week! My mom was here for the whole week visiting for my birthday and she watched Harry Potter all the way through for the first time (after ten years of trying to talk her into it)! On Tuesday we went to a nighttime event at Disney's Animal Kingdom with some friends and spent some time in Pandora, then on Thursday we got to go to the Tampa Zoo. I didn't get much reading in, but we did get to spend lots of quality time together! Cornerfolds Candles April Prythian Boxes have all arrived and the unboxings have started! Our May Caraval box has been selling out quickly and I'm so excited for them to go out next month! If you've never seen our candles, you can find them through the "shop" link in the nav bar!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing read this week!



CHELCIE'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hello, Everyone! This week has been utterly crazy! With the weather being crazy, I had to move my trip to Rhode Island until this weekend. So I’ve been packing and working and making sure my horse and I are prepped and ready to go. I’ll probably be on the road when y’all get the chance to read this.  I’ve got an arsenal of audiobooks ready for my drive lol. And hopefully by this time next year I’ll have a little baby horse running around my pasture :). Anyways, I did manage to read a couple books this week and I also got a few as well.


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

    


THIS WEEK I READ

 



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was covers my mom hates for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday audiobook review of The Bone Witch
On Thursday Chelcie shared some favorite childhood books
Friday ARC review of Bookish Boyfriends


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, April 20, 2018

ARC Review: Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Bookish Boyfriends (Bookish Boyfriends #1)
Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 400
Add to Goodreads


Boys are so much better in books.  At least according to Merrilee Campbell, 15, who thinks real-life chivalry is dead and there’d be nothing more romantic than having a guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories.  Then she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer to Reginald R. Hero Prep—where all the boys look like they’ve stepped off the pages of a romance novel.  Merri can hardly walk across the quad without running into someone who reminds her of Romeo.

When the brooding and complicated Monroe Stratford scales Merri’s trellis in an effort to make her his, she thinks she might be Juliet incarnate.  But as she works her way through her literature curriculum under guidance of an enigmatic teacher, Merri’s tale begins to unfold in ways she couldn’t have imagined.  Merri soon realizes that only she is in charge of her story.  And it is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions can be deceiving…

While I was at Yallfest this past year this is one of the books that my mom was able to snag for me.  It honestly wasn't something that I would've picked up on my own as I'm not the biggest fan of contemporaries, but I am so glad that she did!  This book is everything that my book-loving heart needed.

Disclaimer: I have not read Pride & Prejudice(shame on me!) so I cannot for sure say that this book has any elements from that classic, but it does have a lot of elements from other classic works such as Romeo & Juliet. I really would like to read Pride & Prejudice now to see if I can pick out where it was integrated into this book.

From the moment I read the first page I knew I was going to love this book.  Not only does it bring to light everything a book nerd thinks while reading and interacting with actual people, but it also pay homage to many well know literary works.  Each and every one of the cast of characters is relatable in some way or another.  Especially the quirky and well read main character, Merrilee.

I absolutely love Merrilee!  I swear someone watched my 15-year-old self and then wrote this book.  I would think the same things as her like how a certain interaction with a person would make a great scene in a book.  Or how a sentence said in a conversation would make a great line for a book.  And at least when I was her age, boys in books were so much better than the ones in real life.  To this day, they still can be better lol.

There was one point in the book where I was a tad concerned as the main love interest was introduced because the way they acted was a little strange.  I definitely wouldn't have gone alone with most of it, but as Merrilee is star-struck with possibly having found "the one" I can see why she did what she did.

You definitely need to read this book if you love classic literature, have any bookish boyfriends, or just love reading books with characters that are just as nerdy as yourself.  Again, I am just so thankful to my mom for picking this ARC up for me.  She really is the best ever!

Do you bookish-loving self a favor and pick up this book when it comes out!



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ten best (mostly horse-related) books from Chelcie's childhood

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember.  There was a point that I went through a stage where I would only read horse books, but thankfully I got introduced to YA novels.  While I read a ton of books as a kid here are a few that have really stuck with me since I’ve grown up. Disclaimer: I will try not to make this list all horsie, but I'm making no promises.


CLIP CLOP BY NANCY HOAG

This book is the first one that I can remember reading.  The copy that I had of this book was fairly old and tattered.  I think it used to be my uncle’s before it became mine.  Anyways, this book was about a young horse that was told he was getting his first pair of shoes.  He fantasizes about what his shoes will look like and he pictures himself wearing some shoes that the people around him wear until he is shown what his actual shoes look like.  I was obsessed with horses (and still am lol) at a young age, and this book just furthered my obsession with them.


THE MAGIC TREE HOUSE SERIES BY MARY POPE OSBORNE

This series was one of the only series I read that didn’t have much to do with horses.  I got really hooked on these books after going to the library and having the librarian recommend them to me when I was looking to step up to a chapter book.  I don’t know exactly how many of them I read, but it was a LOT.  These books transported me to a bunch of different places and times in history.  I particularly liked the books set in Ancient Egypt and Pompei


ANIMAL ARK SERIES BY LUCY DANIELS

This isn't a very well-known series, but I can always remember getting those Scholastic pamphlets from school were you could order books from and asking my parents to buy this series for me.  This series follows the daughter of veterinarians and her friend as they try to help animals.  And each book follows a different animal like cats, dogs, horses, etc.  While this series wasn't specifically about horses, there were some books that did follow them so I collected all the horse books I could find, but I did also get some of the other ones as well.


WINNIE THE HORSE GENTLER SERIES BY DANDI DALEY MACKALL

This series follows a girl named Winnie who just moved to rural Ohio and wants to get a horse.  She ends up rescuing a horse and being able to keep it and train it along with being able to train a bunch of other horses throughout the series.  These books are what seriously got me wanting to train horses just like Winnie.


THOROUGHBRED SERIES BY JOANNA CAMPBELL

In this series a girl has to move from their Thoroughbred race farm to another where she meets a foal that has everything stacked against her.  This girl takes a chance on the little filly and the series follows the both of them as they face challenges at the race track and at the farm.  I maybe read the first 10-15 books, but after that they start splitting off to other side characters and eventually the main characters daughter.  One day I would like to go back through a completely read the series.


THE SADDLE CLUB SERIES BY BONNIE BRYANT

If you loved horses and have not heard of this series you may have been living under a rock.  This series even had an amazing TV show based off of it.  These books follow a trio of girls that love horses and horseback riding at a stable called Pine Hollow.  I think there are just over a hundred books in the series plus a spin-off series about the girls in the later teen years and special editions and I own them all.  My mom found this company that sent out 4-5 of the books in the series plus a little goodie every few weeks or so until eventually you have all the books.  So I guess you could say it was my first book subscription box lol.


HEARTLAND SERIES BY LAUREN BROOKE

This is another series about a girl who trains horses.  After the tragic loss of her mother, Amy Fleming copes with her loss by continuing in her mothers footsteps and trains problem horses.  This is another book series that also has a TV show, and it's still airing to this day.  I only read about the first 7 or so of these books, but I have almost all of them.


THE RANGER'S APPRENTICE SERIES BY JOHN FLANAGAN

I was recommended this series right as I was getting out of my horse phase by my pastor.  He had read them and loved them so he thought that I may as well.  And boy was he right!  This series follows a boy named Will who is in training to be a Ranger, which is essentially a spy for the kingdom.  Will is trained in battle and surveillance, but soon he finds out that there is a deep threat to the kingdom brewing.  I loved all the action in this series.  Plus there isn't a big romance that overpowers everything.


THE PHANTOM STALLION SERIES BY TERRI FARLEY

This series was set out west and followed a girl named Samantha as she returns to her fathers cattle ranch following a bad fall of her horse Blackie.  Since that day her beloved horse Blackie has been missing.  As she fights to fit back into her father's ranch, she learns the fate of a mysterious mustang-who may or may not be Blackie-rests in her hands, she has to learn to mount up and be a real cowgirl.  This series started my love of mustangs and all things Old West.  Still to this day I want to own a ranch and save a few mustangs.


ANIMORPHS SERIES BY K.A. APPLEGATE

I'm pretty sure these were my first sci-fi books that I had ever read.  This series follows a group of kids that encounter aliens that are trying to take over the planet.  These kids have the power to morph into animals and they fight to protect the world they know.  I got the first couple books in this series from a book sale at my library, but I never ended up getting the whole series nor have I read all of them.



From this point on I started reading more and more YA books.  I wished that I had read a few more non-horse books while I was growing up, but I can't complain too much.  I'm just now realizing it, but what is up with all the series that end up having like 40+ books?  Most of the series I just listed have an outragous amount of books in them.  Either way, it ment more reading material for younger me.

I hope y'all enjoyed this little peek into my reading of my childhood.  I hope it lets you get a bit of an idea of who I am as a reader and why I love the books and things that I do today as these books really shaped me as a reader and a person.

What are some of the books that you read as a kid?  Did you read any of the books that I did?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 432
Add to Goodreads

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice. 

I've put off reading The Bone Witch despite having owned it for over a year because a friend told me I would hate it. However, after hearing how amazing it is for months, seeing the gorgeous cover for The Heart Forger, and being told by another friend that I absolutely SHOULD read it, I finally gave it a try!

Tea, not pronounced like the beverage, is the Bone Witch and she is special. She has rare, strong powers that she uses as a child with no training to bring her brother back to life. She is taken by an older bone witch to learn how to be an asha. Intertwined with Tea's narration is that of a bard who has come to find older, banished Tea and learn her story. I enjoyed the way the two storylines were told and anticipated them coming together at the end of the book. All of this sounds awesome, and the beginning had me hooked!

Unfortunately, The Bone Witch becomes incredibly boring and tedious after the first few chapters. There are countless descriptions with very little action throughout most of the story. Tea goes to class, Tea has dinner, Tea makes friends, Tea gets new clothes, Tea has a crush, and on and on and on. Buried within all this monotony is a good story, but it takes so long to get to it that I just couldn't force myself to stay interested.

I found the characters themselves to be just as boring. Honestly, I can't remember any of their names besides Tea and her brother, Fox, who was probably the most interesting character in the entire book. I wanted desperately to care about Tea, but she came off as a special snowflake (is there another word for this that we can use now?) who has amazing powers for... reasons... and she is more powerful than anyone around her for other reasons. She also knows how to use them without training, which is, of course, out of the usual. I really wish more had been explained about why Tea was so much more advanced than the other girls around her.

Something I did love about The Bone Witch was the world building. Since 92% of the book was spent on descriptions, I definitely had a good idea of the world and what it looked like. There was some interesting backstory to the magic and the city, and I thought some of the creatures and especially the daevas were really unique. But again, all this comes at the expense of a plot. There is none.

Finally, I despised the ending. In fact, I thought the audiobook hadn't downloaded the last part and double checked, then texted a friend asking if I'd missed something major. The two storylines I mentioned earlier never came together. What I'm guessing is the middle of the story is shown at the beginning of the book, then we work towards that point from Tea's perspective, but the book ends well before the two converge. It left it all feeling very unfinished.

I didn't completely despise this book, but I was left extremely underwhelmed. I prefer to read series and don't mind a cliffhanger at all, but I hated the way this one was written. I don't mind stories that aren't completely plot-driven either, but this one barely had a plot at all and the characters were forgettable. In the hands of another author, I think this is a story I really could have loved. I just don't think Rin Chupeco is the author for me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #183: Covers My Mom Hates


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Covers My Mom Hates

For today's freebie I decided to talk about things I hate instead of things I love. Then I started looking at covers and was struck with inspiration! Since my mom is visiting, I got her to look through Goodreads and find ten covers she hated with absolutely no idea what any of the books were about. Hilarity ensued and these are the ten we came up with. 


The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Nil by Lynne Matson
Parasite by Mira Grant



The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Weekly Recap: 4/8 - 4/14


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Yesterday was my birthday!! I think I might be officially old now, but I'm honestly not sure. I spent this cleaning and getting my guest room ready for my mom to visit and she'll be here for about a week. I didn't have time for much outside of that! I may have been living in my house for a year, but it is still so unfinished. One day it'll be done (maybe)! I finally completed my A.G. Howard collection this week with the Splintered/Unhinged sampler combo and my friend Erin sent me a copy of Grim Lovelies to borrow! To celebrate my birthday (and the birthday of my business partner, Christina), Cornerfolds Candles is hosting a giveaway for a set of all four House candles! You can head over to Instagram to check that out if you're interested!

My new co-blogger is also here and you'll start seeing her around this week! For today she sent along a quick message. You can find out more about her on the about page!


A NOTE FROM CHELCIE

Hello there! *waves* I am so very excited to meet y’all!  As you may know I wrote a post here once upon a time, but now I’m so glad that I can write for y’all more often.  I can’t wait to get to know everyone and fangirl and gush over books.  Here’s to many bookish adventures!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was books I might re-read for Top Ten Tuesday
On Wednesday I discussed Fantastic ARCs and Where to Find Them
Thursday blog tour ARC review of Winter Glass


UPCOMING REVIEW

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blog Tour ARC Review: Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

Title: Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Add to Goodreads
Review for book 1

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some bonds can’t be broken.

Princess Aurora, torn from the dream world, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage war against Malfleur’s army. But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice.

Devoted half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever. 

Spindle Fire was one of my favorite retellings of 2017. For those of you who don't know, retellings are my absolute favorite kinds of books to read! Spindle Fire was unique and exciting and I could not wait to get my hands on the second book. When I had the opportunity to review an early copy, of course I took it!

Winter Glass picks up shortly after Spindle Fire with Aurora and Isbe going their separate ways to do what they believe to be best for their kingdom. For Isbe that looks like a future with William, fighting Malfleur and her army. For Aurora the battle is fought in a much different way that takes her far from home. Both these characters continued to be amazing and I loved them throughout this story.

Aurora, having had such an intense experience in Spindle Fire, continues to show her strengths in surprising ways. She was constantly questioning things about herself and had some incredible character growth throughout this book. I'll admit I found her a bit irritating to read at times during Spindle Fire, but she definitely won me over completely here. I will say that Isbe is definitely my favorite and I loved all of her self discovery and relationships. She was my favorite in book one and I still love her at the end of the duology! I was so invested in her journey, I couldn't wait to see what happened next! I also really loved every second of Malfleur. Like all great fairytale evil queens, she's that kind of amazing character you hate, but also can't get enough of.

Like in Spindle Fire, the story here goes to places you might not expect. The romances, relationships, and self discoveries will keep you guessing, as will the twists and turns. One of my favorite things about this book is that it branches off from just a Sleeping Beauty retelling and also becomes a Cinderella retelling. Seriously, give me ALL the retellings in one book and I will read it! Don't get too comfortable though, because this is not Cinderella like you've read before. Like with the first book, this is an incredibly unique take on a well-known story.

Lexa Hillyer also knows how to write an amazing fairytale world. I felt like I was in the world alongside the characters. I love it when an author can make me picture such a rich, gorgeous world while I'm reading. More fairytale worlds, please! Speaking of writing, I'm usually not a fan of books written from multiple points of view, but it worked here. The only time I didn't enjoy it was when the point of view was from a random character who wasn't very important to the story, but luckily that wasn't often.

Alas, Winter Glass was not a perfect read for me. My main issue with this book was that it was a bit slow at times. This was also something I struggled with while reading the first installment. I've never loved poetic or flowery prose and Lexa Hillyer's writing is so lyrical that it's difficult to read at times. The tense the book is written in is also difficult to adjust to. Luckily, it all pays off because this book is beautiful!

Winter Glass was an incredible ending to a wonderfully unique retelling duology that I absolutely recommend to fans of the genre. The writing might take some getting used to for some readers, but it's totally worth the investment. This book was packed full of likable characters, a plot that will keep you guessing, and a beautifully written fairytale world. I'm sad to see it end, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for anything else Lexa writes in the future!








ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lexa Hillyer is the author of the young adult novels Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, as well as the poetry collection, Acquainted with the Cold (Bona Fide Books), the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry, and a recipient of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in Best New Poets 2012, and she has received various other prizes and honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, before founding the production company Glasstown Entertainment along with bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their daughter, and a very skinny orange tree.