Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3.75/5
Goodreads rating: 4.14/5

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Summary (Goodreads):
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

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Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

My rating: 4.75

Goodreads rating: 4.21

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Summary (Goodreads):

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

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Review: Maus: A Survivors Tale by Art Spiegelman

Title: Maus: A Survivors Tale

Author/Creator: Art Spiegelman

My rating: 4.75

Goodreads rating: 4.34

Genre: Historical (Memoir)


Cover: 4/5

This is a strong, eye catching cover which kept me glancing back at it while I was at the library looking for some graphic novels.



Review: 

This is a brilliant graphic novel. Even though I finished this about a week and a half ago (I know this review was overdue), I still remember the emotions that this memoir evoked in me. Disgust, anger, confusion. All very bold emotions and I can honestly say is what the memoir wants us to feel. It is a completely naked account of the war which is gripping and full of detail throughout. I love how the characters are mice or other animals, so you can kind of pursue the story even through all of the horrific stuff which gets told in the novel.

It’s a little hard to seperate this review into different separate parts so I will just group all of my thoughts and feelings together instead.

“To die, it’s easy. But you have to struggle for life.”

Firstly I am going to talk about what actually happens in this graphic novel. The memoir follows Art trying to note down the horrid memories of the holocaust through, Vladek, his father ; a cranky, depressed old man who seems to still be wrecked with the nightmares of the second world war. How Art described the relationship between himself and his father was exquisite. you can really sense the tension between them and it is weaved in through all of the beautifully drawn pictures. Seriously, the pictures awesome.

Both Art and his father are complicated in a humanly sort of way. They both have inner conflicts which most likely come from the suicide of Art’s mother and Vladek’s first wife which happened only a couple of years before the the graphical novel takes place. This leads to many interesting family dynamics which really lead you to carry on through the whole novel.

The majority of the memoir is told through the memories of Vladek from where he meets his first love to where he ends up in a concentration camp and so on. Some parts where seriously hard to read through especially when the images are so harshly drawn (does that make sense? I’m no artist) and vivid that it really just takes your breath away. I did get through it though because Vladek’s journey is just too good not to read. It’s full of many of many ups, but many more downs and so much luck! Sometimes you forget you are reading about a real person’s life.

“Disaster is my muse.”

When reading something in a Jew’s perspecitive in World War II, it is almost certain that you will find out some really horrific realisations about what went down. When I was younger I was so interested in world war two. Call it something of a fascination on how people can be so horrid to each other. But now, if just find the whole topic rather depressing and even the quote at the start of the book ‘The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human’ by Adolf Hitler just sends a shiver down my spine. The book has a load of depressive tones to it and a load of sad moments which makes me want to rip the heart out of Hitler Regina style (OUAT reference, sorry).

The only downfall of this brilliant, beautiful graphic novel? The lack of a ending, but I guess I should just pick up the second part because I really need to know how this memoir completes.

What I liked:

  • The artwork is stunning.
  • The writing is stunning.
  • The story which is told is stunning.

What I disliked:

  • Where did that ending go?

Verdict: This graphic novel has everything I love in a story. Interesting characters, drama, a twisting and turning plot. But this isn’t a story. This is- well was real life for many Jews during World War II and this is a graphic novel everyone should be racing to read, think about and enjoy.

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

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Review: More Than This by Patrick Ness

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Title: More Than This

Author: Patrick Ness

My Rating: 4.5

Goodreads Rating: 4.05

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Summary (Goodreads): 

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?


Cover: 3/5

I love this quirky design of this cover and how it doesn’t give anything away to the reader.  


Review: WOW. This book was really good! I feel so happy that 1) I have read this book, so I can gush about it with everyone else 2) I can recommend this brilliant book to people and 3) this book has restored my faith in Patrick Ness.

I have to admit, I was rather cautious with reading this book as well as excited. After reading The Rest Of Us Just Live Here and being disappointed by it (you can read my review on it here), I was worried that the writing style wouldn’t gel with me and even though I could see how dense the pages were with words, I still thought that I wouldn’t become completely immersed in the book.

My worries were for absolute nothing.

Plot: 

First of all, I WAS SO SURPRISED ABOUT THE SCI-FI ELEMENT ABOUT THIS BOOK. It came as such a surprise to me! At first I thought it would be more or less contemporary, but then it became dystopian and then a Sci-Fi and then a jumble of all of those genres! I loved it and it kept the plot exciting, intriguing and captivating.

This story follows a boy called Seth who after committing suicide wakes up in a quiet abandoned neighborhood which is actually his own neighborhood. He thinks this is hell, but after some twists and turns he realises there is more to this ‘hell’ than the eye can see. Just everything was so seamless and as soon as it hits the 100 page mark, don’t quote me on that, the plot just gets a mind of it’s own and Ness takes the reader on an adventure that puts us right by Seth throughout the whole novel. Enthralling, Ness did a great job of encoperating so many themes in this enjoyable plot.

Writing:

 Let me tell you this. The first two pages were just so nvfdkjvnkfrmoifkmglkfmodkc I just knew the book was going to be amazing. How Ness just changes the POV for those first few pages like he is a God looking down on ‘the boy’ and it was just ugh so good. One of my favourite first pages I have to say.

After that we get a realistic teenager point of view from Seth as he explores abandoned neighborhood and I love how he writes the thoughts and feelings of Seth and his depressive and suicidal thoughts. You can tell they are written with care and thought and it immersed me deeply into the book. So basically throughout the whole book was just written superbly and the pacing was excellent! And those cliffhangers!

Characters: 

Seth is an excellent character to be following. He is inquisitive, witty, brave but also a damaged soul you wish you could hug to death. I loved how he also thought so deeply into things making me question the story, the setting, the characters. Seth was like how many people would be waking up in a strange place- very very curious and his curiosity lead the reader into so many dangerous situations which kept me on the edge of my seat. His character is so devastating sad and Ness handles this fragile character beautifully. And a high five to a LGBTQ+ main protagonist!

Tomasz and Regine are great great characters; totally fleshed out and developed. First of all, is Tommy the cutest 10-11 polish boy ever? Because I think I should adopt him right now. I won’t spoil you on his backstory, but it is so sad and I wanted to cry for him. His character is so funny and brings so light into the dull grey situation. Regine on the other hand is straight talking, hard skinned black girl (diveristy, you gotta love it!) who underneath it all has a huge heart. I loved finding out her backstory and finding out why she is so protective and hard, but throughout the novel you see her grow and by the end I would become best friends with Regine any day.

What I liked:

  • The characters, I can’t stop thinking about them!
  • The plot was so compelling and a page turner.
  • The writing was so beautiful at points and never jarring throughout the story.

What I disliked:

  • The amount of questions I am left with after reading this!

Verdict: As John Green says at the front of my copy; read it. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or what you are going to do just reading this beautifully written, engaging character driver, roller-coaster simulating story. It is just superb.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

My Rating: 3.5- 4.0

Goodreads Rating: 3.81

Summary (Goodreads): 

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


Cover: 4/5

The cover really has some big quirky factor and what initially drew me to this book at the book store.


Review:

This book was totally different from what I expected it to be. I guess that’s what the book should do- surprise you, but I don’t really know if I was feeling the surprise really.

I think I am recognising this feeling as disappointment again, but I don’t think this was a bad book at all, but I did certainly have some issues with this book. The start was so fantastic and then it turned into a muddy mess a a bit.

Plot:

There’s not much I can say without giving away the story, but really this story is about Jacob and discovering his grandfather’s past which turns out to be more dangerous and magical than Jacob could of ever realised. I feel like the summary of this book was a little misguiding in some aspects, so when I started reading this book and kind of got midway I just had to stop and think what the hell is this book about?

Jacob had one real solid goal and then after he reached that goal, it was like he was dilly dallying for a good number of pages. The big reveal about the Home was introduced to early I feel which kind of funked up the pacing which made it weird.

The plot was interesting and intriguing enough for me to be hooked but the later half of the book just seemed like another plot was thrown in there in a rushed way. This book could of easily been one nice book wrapped up with a nice ending, but the second element of the book just really disjointed the story altogether.

Writing:

The writing was very nice and smooth. The words flowed seamlessly most of the time and it was in a very sophisticated fashion (maybe a little too sophisticated for a seventeen year old from time to time). Also Riggs descriptions were very atmospheric as well, I could see all of the locations he described like a had a picture of all of these places.The more adventurous scenes at the end of the book were written with complete clarity, meaning that the scene didn’t read as rushed blur. Everything was in detail though you could sense the urgency and pressure of all things

One thing the writing did lack though was feeling. I felt kind of disconnected to the story, like I could see everything from a bird’s eye view but not right beside Jacob.

Characters:

I’m in two minds about Jacob. On one hand he is a witty, courageous and on the other he is annoying and some sort of naivety about him. In the first half the novel I really like his character and how he was written, but then slowly he got caught up by love (I’ll get to that later) and the excitement of the Perculiar children that his character almost seemed to dull a bit.

Now Emma. I strongly dislike the Jacob and Emma romance. It felt a little insta lovey for me and very predictable. It was not needed for the development of the story and it’s creepy on many levels. Emma on her own was a is rounded character I think and I look forward to reading more of her development in Hollow City.

The rest of the perculiar children in generally are likeable character and I like how they are mature, but have very childish tendencies. Hopefully we get to meet them more in depth in the next installment.

BONUS- Photos:

Now we all know this story is a bit different because it includes black and white pictures. I think I enjoyed this element in the story more than I disliked it. I liked it because we got to see some of the characters as what the authors sees and wants us to see them as and it added a sense of anticipation and creepiness to the book which it boosted from. Why I didn’t like it was because that we as the reader couldn’t really see the characters as WE want to see them. I have a set image of the characters in my head and then you turn the page and go oh that’s what they are suppose to look like. Secondly, sometimes I felt the photos were just written in their to show the picture not because it added any extra value to the plot.

What I liked:

  • The descriptive pieces of writing
  • The first half of the book
  • A handful of photos which helped the story in a unique way
  • Some of the plot twists got me gasping.

What I disliked:

  • The second half of the book was pretty meh
  • The romance definitely!
  • Some random unnecessary photos
  • The sometimes disjointed plot

Verdict: Though this book had a really great idea in it’s hands, the execution went a little askew in the end. The writing was a joy yo read and even though I disliked the romance it wasn’t a big part in the book and when the plot wasn’t disjointed it was a pleasure to read. A recommend if you like plot twisty books and black and white pictures with your book and tea 🙂

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

Review- The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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Title: The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

Author: Patrick Ness

My Rating: 4.0

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Summary (Goodreads): 

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.


Cover: 4/5 

I really like the cover for this book, it’s simple but really beautiful. And the bright bold yellow makes it 100x better!




Review:

Hmm…is this is what it feels like to be disappointed because it feels weird. Normally I keep my expectations in check when I hear a good book. I don’t watch any reviews on booktube, I skim through book reviews just encase I find out that a jerk character turns out to be good. I want to find out everything via the book. But I don’t know why but, I felt really excited for the book. Really excited and that was just the summary that got me hyped up! But sadly, even though I enjoyed the story it still felt a little hollow.

Plot:

The number one issue I had with this book- the plot, or lack of a plot really. The plot was not even a existent for the best part of the book. It just followed Mikey’s life with odd bursts of action. I have to say that page 200 mark it picked up considerably.The book was, I was reading it, screaming CONTEMPORARY but it had this flimsy fantasy case which made the plot feel really odd. It didn’t know where it was going or who it was taking with.

But even after saying that, I loved how Ness wove mental illness into his story. It was really refreshing his take on it and it made me build a connection with the characters. I liked how it wasn’t said as well in the plot as well just ‘boom mental illness deal with it’.

The more fantastical parts of the plot were not to my taste really. I mean the world building was really weak anyway, I felt really lost in the world, and it almost felt like it was thrown in there because there need to be more action. What this story would of really benefited from was dual perspectives. One POV Mikey, the other POV a chosen one. This would of really balanced out the contemporary and fantasy genres.

The ending was a little bit too neat for my longing and failed to make a lasting impression on me.

Writing:

When I opened this book and started reading all I kept on thinking was simple, simple SIMPLE! The random short sentences didn’t do enough to break the barrage of simple sentences for me and though I can admire Ness for his wonderful talent on writing teenagers, this side of the writing was limp.

As the story got on I got used to his writing style and the simplicity of the writing did make my fly through  the pages and kept the story light and airy.

One chapter that literally helped bumped this book up half a star was Chapter Sixteen and I won’t say anything else, but that chapter was written really really awesomely.

Characters:

Oh now the reason why this book was more than a 3.5 stars.

I love Mikey. He is such a blast of fresh angsty air. Myself being a teenager means  most of the books I read have teen characters in them. Even though many of the characters have many relatable teenager-y mannerisms and thoughts, Mikey is a living breathing teenager. Down to his understandable mood swings to his feelings on acceptance among his group of friends. This character really carried the book along I feel.

On the other hand, I didn’t feel connected to to Henna at all. I thought she was playing with people’s feelings in the first half of the novel. Also by the end, her character was not really fleshed out a lot and her story was tied up a bit to cleanly.

I liked Mel and Jared. They were likable enough and I enjoyed finding out the little pieces of information about them during the book.

Overall, I feel like the characters in the book were incredibly realistic- well as realistic you can get with kids being murdered around ya.

What I liked:

  • The main protagonist (along with most of his friends) were real and a joy to read
  • Surprisingly fast paced
  • Story line nice and light
  • Wonderfully woven mental health sub plots within the context

What I disliked:

  • Non existent world building
  • Unbalanced genre elements
  • Too simplistic writing

Verdict: This book was not what I expected. There I said it. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy Mikey’s story as it was engaging to read and the characters were whole and greatly realistic. Though the over arching plot was lacking and this book didn’t know it wanted to be a solid contemporary half the time, Mickey really brought this book home with his teenage awkwardness making me recommend this to people looking for a nice contemporary.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

My Rating: 4.45/ 5 stars

Goodreads rating: 4.08/5 stars

Summary: 

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Cover: 4/5

I have the beautiful paperback cover which has the one of the coolest  fonts I have seen on a book.
  

  
Review:

So a lot of you guys will know that I finished Six Of Crows and I loved it so much! The Grisha world is so interesting and intriguing, Bardugo did a brilliant of building up the countries and cultures and so on and so forth in SoC and this was my first time reading any of her novels. 

I was having a bit of of book withdrawal and I needed to pick up a book quickly which followed a story similar or a familiar scene. Shadow and Bone was the first thing that sprung into me mind. Yes! A trilogy set in the world that was intriguing and fresh and based on Russia! 

I know that I probably did the unwise thing and read SoC before the Grisha trilogy, but I couldn’t care less and I picked up the book the day after I finished SoC.
Though you can tell that Bardugo’s writing has improved since the trilogy, Shadow and Bone is still a great book and her are my thoughts broken down.

Plot: 

I thought the plot was very Red Queen-esque or should I say that Red Queen was inspired by the novel loads.

The story follows a girl called Alinea who discover she has Grisha powers and she gets swept up in Grisha court life and the dark and seductive Darkling who has taken a keen interest in his ‘Sun Summoner’. 

I really enjoyed following the story through Alina’s eyes and I was surprisingly comfortable in the first person POV. Sometimes I did wish that why had the Darkling’s POV or Mal’s POV because that would add another dimension to the story. I mean imagine being in the dark and merciless mind of the Darkling…*gains composure * anyway…

The plot was really fast and such a page turner, I read this book in two sittings and I have no regrets.The story I feel was broken down into two parts and I have enjoyed the the second part my than the first. The second part of the story was just quick and always moving and I think developed the characters more. 

And before I forget, the plot twists were so bloody shocking and executed brilliantly!

Writing:

The writing was rather simple and standard of a good YA author. Nothing felt jarring, but smooth each scene moving on without any stop starts.

My one complaint I think I have about the writing is that the descriptions weren’t as engaging as I hoped it would be. I felt myself skipping over passages of description because it said things that could probably be summed up in one word.

Characters: 

I had very strong feelings towards the cast of characters in this novel which I guess is a good thing. Alina was a solid protagonist. Sometimes you were cheering her on and other times you wanted to throttle her. Overall she was pretty likeable and I can’t wait to read on about her story  in the Storn and Siege.

The next character I want to talk about is Mal who was your typical I-grew-up-with-main-character love interest which was fine because his charming character and unwavering loyalty was great to read. Though he did have an angst couple of pages which was kind of explained but I still wanted a better apology for it.

I would talk about the Darkling but I think it would unleash too many spoilers so I will just say I LOVED HIM, BUT I HATED IT TOO.

What I liked:

  • The different aray of characters 
  • Gripping plot 
  • Lovely world building
  • The plot twists!

What I disliked:

  • The sometimes lengthy descriptions

Verdict: This was a brilliant first book for a trilogy that I have a big interest in reading on. I recommend this book to people who have or haven’t read Six Of Crows because it does an amazing job in building up the Grisha world loads and the plot twists and characters were more than intriguing to hold up such a big storyline.

I’ll write soon.

-Astra




Review: Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Six Of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.45/5

Summary:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


Cover: 4/5

This cover is so beautiful, I was showing it off to my friends so much that they threatened to scribble on it when I left the table. I have the paperback edition, so I have the gorgeous scarlet writing on the front which is…well GORGEOUS!



Review: 

Do you know how hyped up this book was? SERIOUSLY hyped up. All that everyone was talking about was Queen Of Shadows and Six Of Crows and it feels so good to say I read the latter and loved it!

Even though it took me a good week to finish this book, I am really happy that I didn’t rush this read because I could reflect back all that was happening in the book.

But basically THIS BOOK IS SO AMAZING AND I’M GOING TO TRY AND MAKE THIS REVIEW COHERENT BUT IT’S GOING TO BE HARD!

Plot: This plot was sow amazingly fast paced even though the book is 500 hundred pages, but compared to Carry On (my review is here) it didn’t leave me hollow. The book basically follows these six street rats and their backstories and ambitions all while they are trying to steal a valuable prisoner out of a very high security prison. And when I say my heart was in my throat for at least the the last half of this book I’m not kidding.

There was literally like 50 pages in succession where on one side of the page everything was rosy and the next side of the page all hell broke loose and it was back and forth like that for 50 pages. It made everything so exciting and you could not put the book down. Normally when reading stories like this, there could inevitable be some dull moments, but Bardugo made it so there was no dull parts or chapters. Every POV, there were five main ones, was welcomed and lovely and UGH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

Writing:

I can’t really fault the writing in this book. Leigh Bardugo has a natural flaire to writing tenseful scenes which there is plenty of here and her world building was mostly flawless. At the start I was slightly confused with some things because many names of characters and places but after I got into the book I felt myself going with the flow and just enjoying the great writing. I knew what Ketterdam looked like by the end of this novel, I slept, worked and breathed in the Ketterdam air. I just felt so engrossed in the world, it was hard to snap out of it. When writing out a heist things are obviously going to be fast paced, but nothing was a blur- if that makes sense. Everything was going quickly but attention to detail was still key throughout the whole novel.

“You love trickery.”
“I love puzzles. Trickery is just my native tongue.”

Characters: So the book is called Six Of Crows so there isn’t much surprised that we are getting six main protagonists.

I loved all of them.

There wasn’t one character that I though meh. Everyone was important, everyone had a story and thank God all of these stories were so deliciously awesome.

Kaz was just so badass it was unbelievable. It’s a guy would hate to have as an enemy, but love to have as a friend. I am still in two minds about whether he is a completely trustworthy character, but I think it’s fun not knowing whether or not he will be there to help the other Crows or leave them to die. His backstory is so tragically sad, but I loved learning about it piece and piece.  I can’t wait to read about his character next year in the Empire Of Crows, I’m already missing his dark personality.

Inej; sharp, witty and such a silent badass. I loved her whole demure and personality. She was like the calm, older sister of the group. I know you shouldn’t feel sorry for these people because they are a-class criminals but how can you not fell sorry for Inej? Even though for most of the book she is mature and level headed, sometimes you get sneak peaks of the scared teen she is and it’s really heart warming.

Nina and Matthias…I was shipping these too hard it was too much. I don’t think it is such a spoiller to be talking about these two because you can tell straight away from the first few scenes they have together that they have some long lost feelings. I wish there were most scenes of them two together to be honest even though we did get a lot already. They were just such a cute couple and ARRRG GIVE ME MORE! You can tell that their personalities are just so different but they match together perfectly and I think I need to name this ship right away.


And do you know what song really suits Matthias’ angsty feelings at the start? Mayday Parade- If You Wanted A Song Written About You All You Had To Do Was Ask (I love long titles) I am begging anybody who is reading this book or has read this book to listen to the song because it fits his character (at the start) so well!

The the last two crows Jesper and Wylan…the banter was too much. These two characters added some well needed lightheartedness to the story I feel and (maybe this is a spoiler?) did I sense some romantic feelings? I’m pretty sure I did, so these two are getting shipped too.

I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.

What I liked:

  • The Characters and how detailed all their stories were.
  • The World Building
  • The Plot was fast paced and engaging
  • The Plot twists! There were so many!

What I disliked:

  • That it wasn’t longer!

Verdict: What ever you do read this book. You become invested in the characters and the whole world to be honest. Bardugo takes you on a nail biting journey which leaves you wanting more and more…just like those Jurda Parem sufferers…. Just brilliant!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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Title:Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating: 4.25 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.35

Summary (Goodreads): Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.


Cover: 4/5

It’s really eye catching and lovely to look at. And when you take of the jacket *giggles* it gets so much better.



Review: When people say that they flew through the pages of a book I think yeah yeah course you did, but Crowley, when I was reading this book I was on page 109 one minute and 259 the next. It felt like magic, how could of have only been reading for an hour and made such progress? So when I say this is a fast paced book- I seriously mean it. I had to make a conscious effort to not read for long periods of time just so I stretched out this novel a bit. I could of easily finished this on Tuesday, but a hung on a bit longer and I am very glad I did. This book was highly amusing and fun to read! I was smiling stupid while reading it!

Plot: If I said the chosen one, a smart best friend, a sworn nemesis, a ‘wise’ mentor, a magical school, wands and a magical war you would probably think Harry Potter. And you would be right to think that, but now two names are going to pop up into my head: Harry Potter and Simon Snow. These are only a few similarities with Harry Potter that I pointed out. It’s like Harry Potter with a fresh in cast and a new adventure to follow. Sometimes I felt myself rolling my eyes in a half joking matter and other times gasping in shock because I thought they were going to take the simple and predictable route, but took a different turn. So to put it simply- Carry On isn’t a carbon copy of Harry Potter, but more like a heavily Harry Potter inspired story.

I will stop talking about Harry Potter now because it wouldn’t be fair- this is a new novel in its own right.

There are many POV changes during the book (seriously, one line then another POV) but they are never really infuriating (maybe Agatha’s towards the end) and I loved getting inside other characters brains so quickly and then leave a moment later, which made the book very quick to read. The book is definitely character driven and I could tell this because whenever someone asked me what the book was about, I felt that I had to tell them all about the characters to explain the plot (does that makes sense?). Nothing really wrong with that but after I finished the book it did make me wonder what the hell I read for 517 pages. All of the action seemed to happen in the last 100 pages so what happened to the other 417 pages? But it did feel like a lot of stuff was happening- it now feels like an illusion.

Even though all of the ‘action’ was taking place I felt hollow. I don’t know what that means because I did really enjoy reading the book, it’s just that the story didn’t hold my head under water, like other stories do. But because it is a character driven story I will talk about this more on the character section of this book.

Lastly, I loved how they cast spells in this book and all of the British and pop culture references, those were appreciated!

Characters: Simon Snow is a typical chosen one, brave, naive, too trusting and rather special in everyone’s eyes. Simon was a pretty likable character overall, I never felt his character was annoying and I rather enjoyed reading his POV chapters because those chapters had bucket loads of world-building unlike some (cough cough Lucy cough cough).

Penelope was pretty likable and 5 points to Rowell because she was half Indian and English and not just a full on English gal she could of easily been. Her witty comments were really appreciated! I wish I could of learned more about her and her life because she did seen genuinely interesting.

Baz. Oh how I loved Baz’s character! He was funny, smart and dark and yes yes YES! The whole vampire part was not roadkill in my opinion but nicely written for his character. His and Simon’s conversations were entertaining to read and I don’t think you can’t help but like Baz though he can be a bit rude and lovey dovey and angsty.

HOWEVER, even though I am saying all of these nice things, I didn’t feel connected to any of these characters. I wish there was much more deep character development. They stayed flat and I hate flat! And with this being a largely character driven story I feel that I should of felt more for these characters.

What I liked:

  • How fast paced the book was
  • The writing was on point! Smooth and enjoyable.
  • The twists and turns of the plot
  • British and pop culture references

What I disliked:

  • That the characters didn’t have many layers to them
  • How the plot seemed missing sometimes
  • (Too many Harry Potter-like things?)

Verdict: A great, quick read with some light hearted and dark moments mixed in together, though the flat characters and missing plot sometimes let it down slightly. But I still recommend this novel to fans of romance, fantasy and maybe Harry Potter!

-Astra