Tag: fantasy

Fairest – Levana’s Story (The Lunar Chronicles, Book 3.5)

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Fairest - Levana's StoryAs a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, Fairest – Levana’s Story, written by Marissa Meyer, is a roller coaster of crazy incidents that will have you sitting on the edge of your chair with shock and anticipation. Join Levana throughout her painful childhood and the ugly truth of her adulthood. Her sister became Queen after their parents died and Levana suffered even more at her hands. Then, in some of the darkest times of her life, Levana finds someone who shines through the veil of despair – someone she had loved since a child. What starts off as innocent pining and muffled envy soon turns into a maniacal, desperate grab at his affections. Levana changes – becomes darker and more manipulative, deceiving herself the most. You will discover why she uses her glamour – why she values it so much – and why mirrors or any reflective objects will send her into a frenzy. It will shock you to the core, but whether it will change your view is yet to be determined.

Warning: it is not advisable to read this before reading the rest of the Lunar Chronicles, or you won’t really understand anything.

This book is a roller coaster. It starts off by explaining Levana’s situation – her family, her status, the Lunar community. Her situation isn’t all that different from ours and she had to deal with many of the problems we face today, including but not limited to being second best to a sibling.

The reason I say it’s a roller coaster is because it makes you feel so many different things throughout the book. See, Levana is the villain in the Lunar Chronicles, so when I first began reading, I was edging into the story cautiously. I start off with this negative image of Levana in my head and I’m expecting some sob story about a sad childhood or something.

And I got it.

I couldn’t help but sympathize with Levana when the author showed what her childhood was really like. But then Levana would do something crazy and I would be appalled once again. Then something tragic would happen and I would feel sorry. It just kept going like this. In the end, I came to a conclusion.

Some say that this story redeems Levana because it showed her motives. But personally, I do not feel that her motives justify her actions or make her any nicer. Sure we understand why she did the things she did and why she behaves the way she does. However, ultimately she’s deranged and some of the things she did were too extreme. No amount of sob stories and pathetic childhoods will ever excuse that.

The book was so action-packed and filled with plots and schemes. It was also slightly dark in the sense that a lot of terrible things happened – not so much that it would be considered a horror story, though. Everyone should read this book when they’re done the Lunar Chronicles. Brace yourselves for this worthy, riveting masterpiece.

The Name of this Book is Secret (The Secret Series, Book 1)

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The Name of this Book is SecretIn the first book – The Name of this Book is Secret – of this thrilling series written by the mysterious author, Pseudonymous Bosch, the story is told from the interesting perspective of an omniscient, omnipresent author with an unknown identity. Our eleven-year-old protagonists, Cassandra and Max-Ernest, are unalike in every way yet they form a dynamic duo and soon embark on a load of adventures.

In the beginning of the book, Cass’s mother goes on a vacation and leaves Cass with her substitute grandfathers. When a real estate agent brings some junk to the old fire station where Cass is living for the meantime, a strange box filled with vials of catches her attention. After hearing that it belonged to a magician who suddenly disappeared, Cass and Max-Ernest go to the house to secretly explore it.

Along the way, they almost get caught doing so by the story’s antagonists – the suspicious Ms. Mauvais (which literally means Ms. Bad!) and Dr. L. This rich, beautiful, but creepy couple always wear white gloves on their hands and they want something from Cass and Max. Throughout the story, they face the abduction of an unusual classmate, a horrifying discovery, and uncover a secret that will change their lives forever.

This is one of my all-time favourite books because it’s an easy yet interesting read. It’s very light-hearted, as the author leaves funny and quirky footnotes that sometimes give you more information. The author tells the story in a way that makes it seem like the author is a friend, instead of a detached lecturer, which gives the books a friendly, relatable element. The author’s real name is unknown – the name given is obviously a pseudonym (haha) – making everything more mysterious and enthralling.

The whole theme of ‘secrets’ is absolutely wonderful and captures the reader entirely. Set a good pace, the book will make you laugh and maybe even cry (perhaps more so later on in the series). Although anyone can read it, I would highly recommend this for a younger audience as there is a pretty bubbly, almost childish vibe. Perfect for grade 5-7.

Don’t miss out on this phenomenal book (and it’s sequels too) that will leave an astonishing impression in your heart and memory.

Forbidden Sea

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In a small, superstitious island community, fourteen-year-old Adrianne Keynnman struggles to make ends meet for her family after losing her father to a tragic accident. Living a miserable life with an aunt who hates her, a passive mother who doesn’t do anything, and a younger sister that she constantly needs to take care of, Adrianne suffers both physical and emotional duress at home. In the town, she faces the judgment of the other inhabitants for being poor and is often picked on by kids her age.

One stormy night, Cecily – her sister – almost drowns but Adrianne saves her. While doing so, she has an encounter with a mermaid – a terrifying creature of the myths. Its eerie singing appears in Adrianne’s dreams, haunting her day and night, and Adrianne realizes that the mermaid wants her and not her sister. In the midst of a hard life on land and the frightening unknown of the waters, Adrianne and her story deliver an incredible tale of strength and perspective through the book Forbidden Sea by Sheila Nielson.

This book is extremely interesting in the sense that viewpoint plays a vital part in the plot. For instance, mermaids are portrayed as evil, dangerous monsters and it’s a huge taboo to say, do, or have anything related to mermaids on Windwaithe Island. But as you keep reading, you discover that perhaps that is not quite the case.

Another powerful theme is inner strength and beauty. The protagonist is a poor, insignificant girl with short, choppy hair, and clothes that are constantly dirty and soiled in one way or another. The people of Windwaithe Island look down upon her (and her family) for she is considered neither worthy nor beautiful. But throughout the story, the reader will glimpse the true extent of the radiance of Adrianne’s heart. This concept in further explored towards the end of the book – this is about as much I can say without spoiling the ending.

All in all, this book is actually so good and definitely worth giving a shot.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Book 1)

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The Lightning ThiefMeet Percy Jackson. A dyslexic, trouble-making, twelve-year-old with ADHD, few friends, poor grades, little money, and the worst step-father ever. Ever since he was a kid, Percy has been plagued by freakish, inexplicable accidents. Just when he thinks his life can’t get any worse, he discovers a startling truth – the reason for those accidents: he’s a Greek demigod – half mortal, half deity. Thrown into a world where myth becomes reality, Percy must adapt and learn how to fight off the monsters that want to claim his life. He goes to Camp Half-Blood, a camp designed to train modern-day demigods. On the way, he sees a loved one dissolve in a “shimmering golden form” in the hands of an enemy.

With no other choice, Percy joins the camp and trains, while being pushed around by some of the campers. When he is falsely accused of committing a large-scale crime – one that could start a war between the gods – Percy is forced to embark on an adventure with two companions to clear his name and fix the situation. On the way, he discovers more about the gods, new powers he never knew he had, and hope. In Rick Riordan’s endearing spin on Greek mythology in The Lightning Thief, the gods no longer seem like distant beings and the characters will cast a spell over the readers until this book remains a constant favourite.

Having read so many books in my life, it’s incredibly difficult for me to choose a favourite book when asked. However, in those situations, my thoughts always stray to The Lightning Thief. Even though I am slightly past the age for reading a book of this level, I still recall the story with nostalgic fondness.

The Lightning Thief is almost perfect in every aspect. I say ‘almost’ is not because there is a problem, but because I am cautious in calling any literary work perfect. Personally, I find it hard to discover flaws in this masterpiece. From the plot to the character developments to the conflicts, everything is set up cleanly enough so that there are no holes, but not so much that everything is laid out before you. The reader still has to interpret, infer, and piece together meanings themselves.

There is a shocking yet sensible plot twist that makes the story all the more exciting. You didn’t expect that it would happen, but now that it did, you think back to the clues the author left and it suddenly makes sense.

Riordan writes in an extremely humorous way that is suitable for all ages (although more suitable to younger audiences). I read this when I was in grade 4 or so, and I believe that it’s perfect for kids ages 10 to 14. But this is a story that never gets old.

Take a chance and enter this fantastic world that will tug at your heart strings, tickle your funny bone, and bring you on a mythical roller coaster. You won’t regret it.

Gone (The Gone Series, Book 1)

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GoneOne day, in the small town of Perdido Beach, everyone above the age of 15 disappears. Poof. Vanished into thin air. Why? No one knows. All that’s left are kids 0-14 years old. Confusion and panic ensue but the kids see that a world without adults can be fun and exhilarating. The kids in the town are soon joined by another group – the “troublemaker” kids from a nearby private boarding school. Together, they discover that some of them have mutations – super powers like telekinesis, healing, and shooting laser beams out of their hands. However, when supplies start running out and order begins to crumble without the adults, they begin to realize the dangers of living in such a world. The two leaders in the story clash in the struggle for power and survival. In the thrilling novel, Gone, by Michael Grant, a terrifying and ruthless world comes to life.

I’m going to tell you guys straight off the bat: this book is absolutely phenomenal. In fact, the whole series is just as riveting. Often compared to Golding’s masterpiece, Lord of the Flies, the book Gone contains the same darkness that added a thrilling element to the plot. It’s super intense, action-packed, and elaborately gives each character a part to play. But it is so much more than just a modern version of Lord of the Flies. It’s better, in my opinion.

One thing that made the book and series really stand out was the morbid aspect. It made the story so shocking and memorable in a way that personally, made me want to read it again and again. When you take into consideration the ages of the characters, you realize the gravity of the situation and how terrifying it actually is to be in their shoes. This is also a bit of a warning: the level of violence and scary things in this book is appropriate for most audiences. However, later in the series, things will become even more gruesome.

This book made me laugh and cry and I ranted about it to whoever I could whenever I could. Grant’s writing is simply outstanding and Gone is definitely a must-read.