ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

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*Thanks again to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

Nedra Brysstain is a seventeen-year-old girl from the northern territories of the Lunar Island. She likes her life up there but as a deadly plague starts spreading through the North, Nedra decides to leave her home to learn the trade of medicinal alchemy at the prestigious Yugen Academy. Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague but as the disease begins spreading faster and faster, she becomes desperate to find the needed cure and suddenly finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners and ultimately turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy.

I’d never read anything by Beth Revis prior to starting this novel but the synopsis of it sounded extremely interesting which is why I originally requested an ARC of the book. And the first 60% of “Give the Dark my Love” were indeed great and I would’ve easily given this book at least four stars if it had continued being that good which unfortunately wasn’t the case.

At first I was really interested in the story especially because I have only read about two or three books about necromancy in my life and so it was very cool to learn more about the topic. The plot during the first half was also very interesting and I pretty much flew through the chapters because I always needed to know what would happen next. But around the 60% mark, the plot became really slow and I began not really enjoying this book anymore because many scenes just really dragged on.

As for the characters, they were all pretty interesting and I actually liked all of them. Either because they were just very likable, or because they just fit the story very well. But it was the main character, Nedra, who ended up acting in a way that made me enjoy the last 40% of “Give the Dark my Love” a lot less than the beginning of it. She was very likable and interesting at first, but at some point she just began doing things that often made me roll my eyes or shake my head. Especially between the 70% and 90% mark of the novel, I felt like she was often being quite unreasonable which suddenly turned her into a character that I began disliking.

Furthermore, during the first three or four chapters, I also had a bit of a problem with Beth Revis’s writing style but thankfully, it either got better in the subsequent chapters or I just got used to it quite quickly.

Overall, this was still definitely a book I mostly enjoyed reading which is why I’m giving it three out of five stars. As I’ve said, the first half was definitely a lot better than the second half and made me want to read the entire series. But the second half just kind of “destroyed” the story for me and I unfortunately have to say that I probably won’t be picking up the sequel once it comes out next year.

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Reviews

Book Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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“If you can’t stand being with a woman who’s more successful than you, then leave her alone. She’s better off without you. If you actually love her, then know the value of that love and make it a promise. That is the only thing she needs from you.” 

Stella Lane has Asperger’s Syndrome and while she’s brilliant at her job as an econometrist, she’s struggling to handle social situations. Thus, she also doesn’t have a lot of dating experience which Stella thinks has to change in order for her to find the right man to spend the rest of her life with. And so she decides to hire Michael, a male escort who is going to teach her how to be a good girlfriend. It’s supposed to be a business relationship without any feelings involved, but just because you exclude feelings, doesn’t mean  you cannot develop them anyway.

This book was absolutely perfect and it’s definitely one of the best 2018 releases I’ve read so far. One of the most important parts of a romance book of course is the romance itself and I loved the relationship in “The Kiss Quotient”. I feel like for once this was actually a bit of a mixture of slow burn romance and insta-love. Slow burn because it took them a long time to realize they actually have feelings for each other but also a bit of insta-love because as a reader, you can tell they fall in love quite early in the book. It was a perfect mixture. The plot also had some very interesting elements and consequently, this was a pretty quick read and I think it’s a book one could also easily read in a single sitting.

As for the characters, both the main characters and the side characters were amazing and I’d protect all of them with my life. Especially Stella is someone I grew fond of quite quickly and I think it’s so important to have more representation of disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder in literature and I found it very interesting to learn more about it. Furthermore, both the autism rep and the Asian rep were own voices and Helen Hoang is also a lovely person, so GO READ THE BOOK!

Based on my review I’m sure you can already tell that this was definitely a five-star read for me. “The Kiss Quotient” is a beautifully written romance novel with important representation and I’m so obsessed with it, I can already tell I’ll probably reread it soon.

PS: This book is also being made into a movie soon and I’m so excited to see Stella and Michael on the big screen. It’s going to be amazing!

Have you already read “The Kiss Quotient” and did you enjoy it? 🙂

ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

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*Thanks again to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

When Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is murdered, she swears to get revenge. She is going to kill the man who murdered her but for that she has to find him first. And so she gets herself a car and drives through the country on the trail of the guy who took away her favorite person.

Sadie is told from two different perspectives. The one of Sadie herself and through a podcast called The Girls that was started to look into the murder of Mattie and the disappearance of Sadie and that has the goal to find answers about really happened. But that dual perspective is actually the only reason I gave this book four instead of five stars. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to it and at first it was a little confusing. It started making sense after some time though and ultimately it was actually quite interesting to see things from Sadie’s POV and then get the background information through what they discover on the podcast. Apparently, by the time the book comes out the podcast is also going to be fully available for the readers to listen to which I think will add such an interesting new dimension to this novel.

But like I said, that was the only thing that bothered me about this novel and apart from that, this was a great book. I was really invested in the story but be aware that even though this is YA, it’s a very heavy novel. It includes murder, sexual abuse, child abuse and other topics and especially if you have a sibling just like me, this book will probably hit home. If something happened to my little sister, I’d never be happy again and thus this story really moved me.

Another factor that greatly contributed to my enjoyment of this novel was the author’s writing style. Sadie was written in such a beautiful way and I’ll definitely be checking out some of her other work in the future just to get more of that writing. So all in all, this was a great read and if you’re interested in reading a beautifully written but heavy YA mystery with lgbtq+ representation, this is the book for you. I’m giving Sadiefour out of five stars and since Summers decided to leave the ending a bit open – which I actually really liked because it’s so different from how most others would’ve probably ended this book – I’m now going back to trying to decide what I think really happened at the end of the novel.

ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Seventh Born by Monica Sanz

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*Thanks again to Entangled Teen for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

Seraphina Dovetail is a witch. But not just any witch. She is a seventh-born one and in order for her to live, her mother had to die. Thus, she’s subject to a lot of hostility. All kinds of horrible names are hurled at her on a daily basis at the academy she’s training at, but Seraphina willingly puts up with all that because she has one dream. She wants to become an inspector and find her real family.  For that to happen though she needs a referral for the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy to start training there and getting a referral sounds easier than it is for someone like her. But one of her professors seems to have a solution. He needs her help with one of his projects and in return, he’ll give her the referral she needs. But will that really be as easy as it sounds?

Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me. I originally requested it because I thought the premise of “Seventh Born” sounded very promising and like something I might really enjoy but there were just so many things that ultimately resulted in me losing interest in this novel quite quickly.

My main problem with the book was definitely that there was almost zero world-building and that a lot of information and context I would’ve needed to fully understand the story was just missing. Quite early in the book, I already started feeling pretty lost and the whole plot just began being very confusing because it often just wasn’t explained what they’re doing and how things work in the magical world Sanz created. It was a little like starting a good fantasy series but deciding to skip the first few books and just reading the third or fourth part right away. Due to this, the story also dove right into action and the first half of the book was just way too rushed and the pacing was really off.

But not only the world wasn’t properly introduced, I also felt like  a proper introduction of most of the characters was missing completely and thus I just didn’t care about any of them. This also meant that the romance in this book wasn’t really that interesting to me. Also, quite early on  it is said that Seraphina is actually scared of closeness to men due to something that happened in her past and so I found it extremely weird and random that suddenly from one chapter  to the next one, she completely trusted her professor and even began fancying him. Furthermore, she also just let one of her classmates kiss her and didn’t seem to have any problem with that which I think just didn’t make sense when you keep in mind how scared she’d still been of men just a few pages earlier.

So due to all of this, I just didn’t enjoy reading the book and lost interest in it quite quickly. I actually just skimmed the last 40% of it and it’s definitely a series I unfortunately won’t be continuing. I have to say though that I actually liked the author’s writing style and that I wouldn’t be averse to reading some of her future work if she ends up publishing a new series at some point. However, “Seventh Born” ultimately just wasn’t for me and even though I always hate giving only one star to a book, I just can’t give this a higher rating.

Reviews

Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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A world without hunger, disease, war and misery. Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life – and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe – a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

This book had such an interesting premise and it was a very quick and gripping read. There were so many things that happened in “Scythe” that I just didn’t see coming which was great. While it was a very interesting story, it was also a bit scary and gross at points (e.g. the mass gleanings) but it was definitely nothing bad enough that it would keep one up at night. The only negative thing about the plot of this book was that I think there overall was just a little too much information to take in. Especially at the beginning of the book, when the whole world of Scythe was only just introduced, all the new information sometimes confused me a little and I also think there were a few scenes in Scythe that were a little too drawn out.

The book featured two very interesting main characters, Citra and Rowan, and I really enjoyed reading both their perspectives and also getting the perspective from “random” scythes in-between. One of my favorite aspects of this book was actually seeing Rowan change due to the actions of someone else which was very interesting and scary at the same time. I also think Shusterman did a really great job portraying the different ways different scythes were doing their jobs based on their character and personal preferences.

Overall, I think the idea for “Scythe” was a very unique one and I really enjoyed reading the book. It was very well-written, featured some great characters, was very gripping and the only reason I’m not giving this a full five stars is because of those few confusing passages in the first half of the novel. But I’ll definitely be continuing the series and hope I’ll enjoy “Thunderhead” at least as much as I enjoyed “Scythe”. I’m actually really interested in seeing what the sequel will be about because I personally feel like the ending of this book wasn’t actually that open for more and so I really don’t know what will happen next.

Have you already read “Scythe” and what did you think about it? 🙂