Tag: Awesomeness

The Raven King

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SPOILER FREE REVIEW!

I hate to admit it, but I used to be one of those people who scoffed at YA. Before I worked in the library, my idea of young adult fiction was vampires, werewolves, and more vampires. Let’s just say, I wasn’t into it. Until I found the one that spoke to me and changed my mind. For me, it was Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy that opened me up to a world of teen novels that can be enjoyed by adults. And now, a few years later, this is where I am: rolling in the feels of the final novel of The Raven Cycle.

My love affair with these books began innocently enough. I was at work, being bombarded by questions about the series, and decided I should probably check it out for myself. Skeptically, I picked up a copy of The Raven Boys; the protagonists’ names and the kitschy concept of True Love’s First Kiss not winning me over just yet. But then, I read. I read about the main girl and her tendency towards feminist rants. I read about the rich boy on a quest for answers and his guilt over his life of privilege. The other boy without any privilege at all, working himself to death and closing himself off. And the other boy (my favourite) who deals with grief through fast cars, bloody knuckles, and lashing out at the world.

What caught me about these books wasn’t the plot. It was the lyrical descriptions of rural Virginia and magical forests, the mysticism of Catholic churches and a house full of psychics.  But mostly it was the characters’ individual struggles that hooked me. The thing about Stiefvater’s writing is that it’s deceptive. You think you’re reading about teens on a quest to wake an ancient Welsh king, but really you’re reading about Gansey’s unswerving need to know why his life had been spared as a child, or Adam’s fight against his past abuse and sense of inferiority, or Ronan’s struggle to understand himself in the face of his father’s horrific death. The series is equally rich in dirty reality as it is in magic.

What really makes the series stand out to me, however, is the insistence on the importance of friendship. That sounds super cheesy, I know, but I promise it’s not. Stiefvater makes the friendships as messy and all-encompassing as the romantic pairings, and gives them just as much (if not more) weight than the romance. While Blue/Gansey are a given, and Ronan/Adam are a maybe, you find yourself equally mesmerized by the dynamics of the group as a whole.

For fans of the series, The Raven King will thrill you. Stiefvater takes everything we love about the first three books and ramps it up to eleven. The stakes are higher, the magic is bigger, the swooning is real. Characters come head-to-head with their nightmares (both magical and mundane) that until now have only coloured the background. If you’re a fan, you know the questions to ask: will the gang ever find Glendower? Will Adam find self-worth? Will Ronan ever learn to express himself in a healthy way? And, most importantly, will Gansey die? If you’re not yet a fan, pick up book one and you will be. The world of The Raven Cycle expands from the old halls of Aglionby Academy to the dreamy Cabeswater forest to the wild and dusty streets of Henrietta, Virginia. Time is circular and intricate, magic is friend and foe. In the final installment,  Stiefvater manages to address every question fans might have, and the result is, appropriately, magical.

 

 

 

The Sea of Tranquility

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New adults with some deep meaning to them are my remedy. The Sea of Tranquility and its beautiful cover (that I had not really noticed until I picked it up) has been on my eye for ages, ages since before it was released and after. The romance is deep, meaningful, and the whole subject matter is different than anything else I have read in a long time. I cannot get this out of my head, to be purely honest. It has truly been a while since a book has touched me like this had.

There is more to this story than readers know. Katja Millay starts us off with us getting to know Nastya, who is torn apart by some tragic event that she keeps mentioning. Readers get to figure out that she is continuously trying to overcome her demons and something that has traumatized her. We honestly did not figure this out until the very end when Josh gets to know her really well and all is revealed. This all turned out to have so much meaning to it after all! *smiles*

The Sea of Tranquility features subjects that are rough—not wanting to be mentioned greatly about in YA fiction especially. This could be classified as both YA or new adult, depending on the reader’s take. There is a mature subject matter, especially when Nastya gets her flashbacks. No twelve year old would be ready to read about what the young girl had dealt with in the past. Josh, a lovely, lovely fictional boyfriend for Nastya and I, was able to get it out of her. This seemed to be like a mystery in itself, actually. Though you may be asking, you should definitely not turn to the last page and discover the truth. Millay adds so much detail and beauty to the story that you could just not turn back and forget about this.

The drawbacks after looking back is the boringness. Things were wild, going well, and the romance was taking such a dramatic turn, and then everything fell apart at some times. It was honestly going back and forth repeatedly. I kept feeling like the story was not going anywhere, though the emotions were real. Heartfelt. Precious. Those are two words that could perfectly describe the tone of this novel. And I totally get why people are going crazy. Written with a YA flair to it, taking place in a high school from a perspective of a girl who is very insecure and sensitive with her own feelings after bearing such horrendous things in the past, we love it. I loved it. I feel that this is a much-needed story to be stuck on everyone’s shelves. Just look at the daring title. TRANQUILITY? That word just makes me feel calm all the same from when I read it.

This is a complete match made in heaven for readers who enjoy teenage angst and stories about girls who self-pity and need help. Angst is the biggest thing that I witnessed in this story, and I do like some of it to make me enjoy it more. Katja Millay created some of the most beautiful characters that I have ever read about, and the two of them—Josh and Nastya I mean—just click, like two puzzle pieces that are meant to be. I would not have this book change into something any other way. It was pretty hectic with drama, if you ask me.

The Sea of Tranquility could definitely compare to riding on a wave. You feel the adrenaline, the vibe pushing you to go further, but there are those splashes in the face that make you feel a little hesitant at times. But for the most part, you enjoy riding and feeling the rush. Nastya and Josh equal the perfect couple and seriously? The emotions could just help you give this book a positive rating. I am still jittery after reading this a few weeks ago. Take a deep breath and feel the beauty of this story.

Sky Key

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 The Endgame is here. It has begun. The characters are all rivals and things are seriously getting started. James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton provided readers with a continuation of the story of a lifetime. It was not as good as the first, though I am throughly impressed with the action, development and memorable parts of this all.The characters continue to play the game, searching for keys, in different parts of the world that puts this all together like puzzle pieces. This novel is racing, gorgeous, memorable and reminds me of why I enjoyed the first book so much and stood up for it. It was not just because of a game, or because it featured a unique dystopian experience. This series rocks my world and causes me to be so obsessed with everything about this. Including the writing.

Frey and Johnson-Shelton begin this novel off with a fresh start. As we know, the first novel ends off with quite of a cliffhanger dealing with Sarah and Jago’s relationship. I wanted the two fabulous authors to continue with that… but of course they did not, which makes the sequel more worthwhile. The authors provide readers with a continuation of the last book, with more drama, action and moments with characters who seemed to be more secondary in the first one—like Aisling. All of the good stuff is thrown into the story to show that the series is just not over yet.

I have to embrace the beauty of the different settings in the book that make this not even a speck of confusing. Normally, I am hesitant with books with multiple perspectives, but the duo writers did it fabulously. The plot was fast-paced for most of the time and I really enjoyed it all overall.

The Highlights:

Sarah and Jago. The power couple (and practically the only couple in the story) keep on doing their thing beautifully. There was constant drama between them and the game, and they all turned out to be stronger than ever by the end, even though readers had this constant doubt in our minds that something bad would happen,spoiler alert, it all went pretty well.

The Ending. I NEED MORE. MY LIFE DEPENDS ON THE ENDING AND WINNER(S)? OF THIS LEGACY/STORY/WHATEVER. If it does not get shoved into my hands soon enough, I will write a satisfying ending for myself. (I do whatever it takes honestly).

The Characters. Many pissed me off, but as a reader, that always seems to happen when I enjoy a series so much. Every character is involved with some kind of catastrophe that the authors include to keep readers in on this wild ride. It is wild, it is hectic. You can never find that safe spot when reading The Endgame, that’s for sure.

The Lowlights:

The Fact That… this journey is not going anywhere. I am pretty sure that this is a trilogy… and not many people are killed. NOT THAT I WANT CHARACTERS TO DIE. I am just waiting for more to happen, for the bloodlines to come alive and for readers to discover who is left, you know? I expected more from this story. Meh. Watch this novel fool me.
Sky Key quickly revolved around the actual key itself. A group found it, and honestly, nothing much happened after that. I, as a reader, expected more to actually come out of this story and hit me… in the feels. The writing style is so bizarre, mysterious and irregular compared to other dystopians that I just cannot function anymore. I ADORED THAT PART. I also need the final novel, just like the endless amount of other fans like myself. *cries of happiness*

Reawakened

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The funny thing is that I never expected to get this book. Yes, I had heard about this book and its concept, but I kind of was clueless at the same time. Reawakened was pure awesomeness and I need the sequel immediately. 

So I’m kind of clueless (as well) when it comes to Egyptian myths and its history. Basically all I know is: pyramids, mummies, sphinxes, Pharaohs and cats. Would you call be a history loser, my friends? I think that I would call myself that, too. This was my most anticipated read of the year and it rocked my world. With a mix of contemporary fiction through the setting of NYC, but mostly magic and spells in the Egyptian world, Colleen takes us into another world that’s completely different than that of Tiger’s Curse. Anyone who thinks that they sound awfully similar is completely wrong. Here we don’t have a love triangle, for one.

“It means a bit more than a simple thank-you. It is a term implying a deep sense of gratitude for another person. It is an expression of thankfulness for the enduring warmth and comfort one feels when in the presence of someone special. I do not thank you, Lily. I am thankful for you.” (ARC, page 111)

‘Aw’ is the complete right word to use in this situation, my fellow friends. It’s all about an Egyptian Prince and normal girl coming together to kick butt. Basically, at least. Lily is your average teenager who likes to spend time in the Met art museum, starring at the different pieces and getting inspiration, as well as people-watching. When she one day heads into the forbidden Egypt section, she meets Amon, who claims to be connected to Lily and needs her help to fight evil and get his inner organs back as he’ll continue using some of her energy to stay alive. Anyways, it’s a long story to explain. But they eventually take a plane to Egypt, using Amon’s magical powers to take over some people, and even see some kind of connection… mostly romantic between each other.
I love the length of this novel. It’s long (with so many details that can explain everything to me without leaving me asking questions like an idiot) and the writing was fantastic. What kind of left me stirring to an awkward position was the pacing in the middle of the novel. I originally had the rating at 4.5 stars but I kind of lost that towards the middle and then it picked up again when everything turned out great afterwards. It then turned into a stellar series debut.
This is going to be a series as well, just saying in case you didn’t know. WOW. It had the perfect ending to act as a standalone but things also CAN’T END LIKE THAT either. It’s a hand-in-hand 50/50 thing I guess. Either way, I’ll read whatever Colleen writes because she’s a YA master and her take on mythology and old tales rule quite often. If it isn’t tiger princes, then it’s an Egyptian prince who has so much passion and love for a regular girl who thinks he’s the hottest guy on the planet when she usually never takes love for granted, you know?

“My love for you will not diminish. During each night that passes I will bring your image to mind. You are mine—my Nehabet—a rare desert flower that blooms in the waters of the oasis. As the days and years of your life go by I will keep watch over you, and when your blossom closes its petals, finally surrendering to the night, I will meet you at the dawn of your new existence and I will be your guide in the afterlife.” (ARC, page 378)

 

I bet that you now know what I’ve been talking about for the longest time, tee hee. Lily was a perfect heroine who had so much in her and she kept showing her fullest potential, always. She added humour to a book that initially sounded like a dark fantasy with tons and tons of action. And Amon? HOLD ME BECAUSE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND THEN I CRIED AND CRIED AND CRIED WITH THE ENDING AS THE WORDS KEPT GOING. I wanted to pass out, honestly. Houck always comes up with the hottest fictional boyfriends for me, and now I just can’t get over him and his cluelessness of reality and which clothes to put on. Eeee!
I’m hoping that you can tell that I enjoyed this book SO MUCH by now. I had such a great time reading it and trust me—it’ll only take a quick sitting to actually get through it. Egyptian Princes are super hot and steamy, trust me. And trust me that the writing is fantastic and this will be on everyone’s Top Ten Favourites Lists of 2016 by December, AND STARE AT THE COVER, PEOPLE. It’s more beautiful than anything else I’ve seen, you should see the way it feels. *rubs the cover* I want to be reawakened by the gorgeous Amon and have Lily by my side as a best friend. *wiggles eyebrows*

 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Book one, The lightning thief

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Percy JacksonThe book “The lightning Thief” is written by Rick Riordan. It is a fictional novel that focuses on a young protagonist named Percy Jackson. It begins with summer when he made a discovery that he is actually half human, and half god, making him a half-blood. Now that he is grown up and able to support himself, Percy was sent away due to the rising numbers of monsters that are hunting him down. His mother brought him to camp half-blood, where his adventure begins. After entering the camp, Percy learned that Poseidon is his father and learned more about the stories of Greek. The main conflict of this story is that the lightning bolt-Zeus’s weapon- is stolen. The blame is put on Poseidon, and now the conflict between the two gods can bring disasters to the human world. Percy has taken up the quest to find the lightning bolt and return it to Zeus.

The lightning Theif brings us an adventurous and humorous storyline, with a hint of romance. In my opinion, the fist book creates a nice “hook” to capture the audience to read the next book and the one after that. They reflect on the lives of teenagers and is easy for their readers to make connections. The emotional changes and description of the novel are easily recognized and bring curiosity to the mind. During the process of reading, I found myself unable to put down the book and getting emotionally attach to their characters. Overall, this was a fantastical book for me to read, and I would definitely recommend this to others who seeks adventures.