Tag Archives: YA Fantasy

Quick Take: Windwitch

Windwitch (#2) by Susan Dennard
four-star-rating-black-hi

windwitchI decided to do a “Quick Take” style review on this recent read of mine because it’s the second book in the series and I don’t want to risk spoiling it for anyone. I think this started as a duology, but is now expanded into a larger series which is very exciting based on this second book!

Overall, I really liked this. I thought it was leaps and bounds better than the first book, as the first book was a lot of world building. This one delved deeper into building each of the character arches and I think Susan Dennard did an incredible job balancing all of it. There were 5 main POVs that we switched around throughout the book and not once did I feel that one character’s POV was not as built out as the rest. Susan Dennard clearly took the time to give each character their due time and I am so glad that she did! I found myself connecting with characters that I wouldn’t have connected with, had I not had the background contextual information that this book gave me. Like the first book, I loved Iseult in this book and if anything, my love for her only grew!! Her character is so complex and I think she takes a very important turn in her character. I am so excited to see what she does moving forward!

The other thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the political intrigue/plot line woven through the book. Even more interesting, the politics circulated around female leaders, which was so refreshing!! It was incredible to read about strong female leaders and the double-standards that they find themselves facing in their courts of all men. I enjoyed reading about the different types of female characters as well; some more dominant than others, but all have these incredibly unique personalities that make them beautiful. I loved it!!

Overall, I really enjoyed this installation to this series. I cannot wait to continue on!! 😀

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Quick Take: Legend

Legend (#1) by Marie Lu
four-star-rating-black-hi

legendThis will be another “Quick Take” review style, as this was a quick read for me and I don’t have a whole lot to say, other than the fact that I very much enjoyed this book! 🙂

I have heard so much about Marie Lu and her two trilogies and needless to say, I’ve always been quite intrigued. I got this on the cheap at the Amazon Bookstore in Seattle (which is now my favorite thing in the entire world!), so I thought that this was a great time to be able to read this! 🙂 And I am definitely happy that I did! This was super fast-paced and I read this in two sittings! 🙂

The first thing that I really loved about this book and was really intrigued by was the very interesting typography in this book. The typography alternated between both Day’s and June’s perspectives, which I thought was so interesting and definitely added to the overall reading experience.

My two critiques about this book were the lack of world building and the convenience-ness of part of the plot. I have heard that the next two books in this trilogy do get better and fix some of the world building issues in this first book, so I’m keeping an open mind. I also do wish that there was a little bit more work to the plot line, rather than it feeling a bit too convenient in how it all worked out.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this and will definitely be continuing with this trilogy. I will also be checking out Marie Lu’s other trilogy, as it also sounds very interesting and definitely right up my alley! 🙂

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Welcome to the Witchlands

Truthwitch (#1) by Susan Dennard
three-star-rating-black-hi (3.5)

I was definitely pretty excited to pick this up – this has been a highly anticipated book for me, Itruthwitch just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Then I was able to pick it up for $3.99 on BookOutlet.com, so
I had to jump on it. I’ve also been reading a slew of contemporary novels, so I thought it was time for a much-needed fantasy.

When I read the description, I knew that I needed to read this book. The aspect of people’s “witcheries” in this book totally brought me back to my earlier days of reading fantasy. People have “witcheries” which are different powers that manifest in them. Safi, one of our main characters, is a Truthwitch which means she can tell when people are telling the truth or telling lies. Iseult, our other main character, is a Threadwitch which means she can see the threads that connect people. After a pretty rough altercation, the two have to flee their home and then they find themselves on the run from a Bloodwitch. Sounds really cool, right? 🙂

All in all, a solid fantasy read. I will definitely be continuing with the series, which by the way…I just realized that this was going to be a 4-book series. You know I’m all about those longer fantasy series’, so hopefully this is one of those series that just keeps getting better and better. Keep reading for some more spoiler-y details 🙂

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Yes, The Hype Is Still Real (Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom)

We’re going to do a little something different with this review, it will be a dual review from both myself (Mina) and Amelia! 🙂 Amelia has already read “Six of Crows” and you can find her review here! So, here is my short and sweet review of “Six of Crows“!!

Six of Crows (#1) by Leigh Bardugo Six-of-Crows
four-star-rating-black-hi (4.5)

Oh. My. Goodness!!! I am so mad at myself for waiting this long to FINALLY pick this up!! I was nervous going in because I’ve heard such mixed reviews of Leigh Bardugo’s first trilogy, set in the same world, AND this book was so hyped! But, let me tell you…this book DEFINITELY lives up to the hype. My short and non-spoiler review for this book is: GREAT CHARACTERS, a fast-paced heist that leaves you guessing page to page and a world so immersive that you can’t help but feel like you’re running alongside the characters. I do believe the strong point of this book was the characters and their depth. You knew just enough about their backstories to make you feel for them, but not enough to still leave you guessing if any of them are going to turn to their criminal ways. I loved it – I loved the heist plot, I thought it was so engaging and so different from your typical heist plot. And…that ending though!!! So good! So good! PICK THIS UP NOW!!

Now, if y’all are ready – we will be heading onto a spoiler-y review from myself and Amelia for “Crooked Kingdom“. It will inherently be spoiler-y because it is a sequel. So, go pick up “Six of Crows” and then come back! 🙂

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Top 5 Books of 2016

2016-eoy

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! 

We hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season and a great ringing in of the New Year! What better way to start a new year of reading than to look back on our favorite reads of the last year!! So without further ado, here is what made each of our lists!

Christina

This list is in no particular order 🙂

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to read this book, but I finally did and I am so happy that I did! This book was captivating and heartbreaking in the best way possible.
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: This was such a fun read! This was super action packed, full of geeky wonderfulness and the world that was created was so immersive!
  3. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: This was the year that I finally read The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Device trilogy by Cassandra Clare and I am quite happy that I did! I absolutely favored The Infernal Devices trilogy – the writing, the characters and the story – all of it was definitely so much fun to read!
  4. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur: By far, the best book that I’ve read this year. Everyone needs to read this incredibly beautiful piece of work. This is the most authentic and vulnerable piece that I’ve read in a very long time.
  5. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Who knew that two historical fiction books would end up on my top 5 list? 🙂 Another heartbreaking account built beautifully through different POVs and a beautiful story.

Rachel

Also in no particular order!

  1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: if this sequel ended up being just as good as Six of Crows, I would have been happy. Somehow it was even better than the first! Hang tight for a double review in the coming weeks from Mina and I!
  2. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: Another great sequel! Thankfully, it doesn’t suffer from middle book syndrome. Although the plot felt a little more predictable, that didn’t take away from the great storyline!
  3. Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon: a man writes of his travels throughout the United States. He takes only the small, blue-colored roads found on his map. What follows are unique stories that could only come from the smallest of towns.
  4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: I listened to an incredible podcast on racism in America (multiple times), which led me to this book.  I can’t explain how mind-blowing this was. My jaw was literally dropping. Read to get #woke.
  5. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt: A heart-warming/wrenching story you can (and should!) read in one sitting. Marketed for younger ages, but it’s a story all could enjoy.

Hoping to write out some actual reviews for the first four soon!! Going to throw out my tried and true excuse of Grad school ruining my life and keeping me from this blog!

 

What a great year of reading we had here in our little blog community! Now, we want to hear from you all! What were some of your top reads of the past year? Leave them in the comments for us! 🙂

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QoS (ToG #4)

Queen of Shadows (#4) by Sarah J. Maas
four-star-rating-black-hi

My…oh…my… I thought “Heir of Fire” was good…but Sarah J. Maas definitely topped queen-of-shadowsherself with this one!! This was SO GOOD!!!! The series is definitely taking a very different turn – and this book is where the turn definitely happens. I have so much to say and as this is the fourth book in the series, there isn’t a ton that I can say without spoiling those of you who haven’t read the series yet…which I can’t imagine is many people? Haha! I definitely feel like I’m a bit behind on the Throne of Glass series bandwagon…haha!! My quick thoughts on my review, though: way more action-packed, way bloodier and so much more character development – just when you didn’t think more character development could happen!! There is a very solid reason as to why I gave this a 4-star rating – I was debating between a 4 and 4.5 for a while, and finally settled for a 4. Let’s just say, there’s a ship that I refuse to get aboard in this next book of the series…le sigh… Last thing I’ll say is that I highly recommend that you read “Assassin’s Blade” BEFORE you read this!!! Now SPOILERS AHEAD for those who haven’t read this yet! 🙂

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HoF (ToG #3)

Heir of Fire (#3) by Sarah J. Maas
four-star-rating-black-hi

heir-of-fireOh boy…these Throne of Glass books just keep getting better AND better!! This was fantastic!! This book and series are reminding me of why I love high fantasy books, so it’s been really fun to get into these books to feed that love of high fantasy again.

I definitely cannot get much deeper into this review without spoiling this series for y’all, so my readers digest version of my review is: Like I said, this series definitely gets better and better, so keep reading! The world keeps getting bigger and more built out, which was so much fun to read – not super overwhelming which was nice. There was so much more character development and context building. Super action-packed and even built some political intrigue, which was another fun layer to be added into this story. I definitely recommend! Now onto the spoiler-y bits!! 🙂

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