Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Published: Greenwillow, September 20th, 2011
Pages: 423
Source: Paperback, library
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

How I Felt: I loved this book! I heard nothing but good things about it and wanted to give it a try because it sounded so unique and interesting.

This is one of those books where the writing is very slow-burn and takes a while to build up and usually I don't have the patience for that and don't enjoy it very much but for this book it really worked! Instead of losing patience, I was caught in suspense and couldn't wait to find out what happened next for the majority of the book. Of course, there were a few sections that were slow and hard to get through but I'll discuss that more later on in the review.

I really loved Elisa as a character. She was such a strong woman and I enjoyed getting to see her grow into her own and learn to love and accept herself for who she is. Her journey from the beginning of this book to the end was long and she went through some major changes and I'm so proud of her as a character. She was just so realistic and I really enjoyed getting to see from her perspective.

I found the role religion played in this book to be quite interesting since it isn't something found much in YA. Getting to see Elisa learn more about her religion and grow in faith was an interesting journey I haven't read about a character before and I definitely appreciated getting to read that. I can't wait to learn more about the mysteries behind this religion and the Godstones in the next books.

Rosario is such a precious lil boy and must be protected at all costs I love him so much pls spare my child in the rest of the books.

Okay, I gotta talk about ships here. It needs to be done. I can't not talk about my thoughts here. From the second Hector was introduced I was like SIGN ME UP SOMEONE GIVE ME A PEN DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER AND HE HAS A FUNKY MUSTACHE. I ship him with Elisa so hard and I don't know if this is going to be a thing but I don't care I immediately supported this the minute he and Elisa interacted with each other. Alejandro and Humberto were pretty cool too, and they each helped Elisa grow in their own way but THERE AIN'T NO MAN LIKE HECTOR. And I was beginning to slightly ship her with Alejandro but then his reaction when Elisa came back to court just annoyed me so much and that ship sank.

I really liked all the side characters in this. They were just so well developed and I cared about them all so much. Especially Cosme. She was such a complex character and I really enjoyed getting to know her more.

I couldn't give this book a full 5 stars because I found the middle of the book to really drag on. There was just too much wandering throughout the desert with nothing really going on and it was just boring me and I put the book down for a few days to take a break. But other than that I really enjoyed the writing.

Overall, I really loved this book. I'm so happy I picked it up and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. I can't wait to see what Elisa discovers next because that ending was amazing! Although, there wasn't much of a huge cliff-hanger, I'd say it wrapped up pretty nicely but I still NEED to know what happens next. I definitely recommend this if you're a fan of high fantasy!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
Published: Harper Collins, January 5th, 2016
Pages: 352
Source: Hardcover, library
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal
Rating: 4/5

How I Felt: This book completely took me by surprise! Going into this, I didn't expect to love it as much as I now do. The writing was just fantastic, the concept was so unique and interesting. It was just an excellent combination and I really really enjoyed this.

Before going into this, I haven't read any of the Bronte's works (I know, I know! I'm the worst!), but now that I've read this, I have such an urge to pick them up to see how Coakley's connections to sisters' books play out. Therefore, since I'm not familiar with the original books, I don't know how this measure up in terms up authenticity but she mentions in the afterword and in the acknowledgments how much research she did for this novel. Personally, I thought it was so interesting and well done how she connected the fantastical elements of her own creation with the works and lives of the family's books.

The writing in this book was just phenomenal to me. It was so atmospheric; I could completely picture everything that was happening in my mind which rarely happens when I read because there's usually a scene or two I just can't envision. I loved how this book just flowed. The writing was very descriptive and the dialogue was authentic to the time but it in no way slowed down my reading or lessened my enjoyment of the book which is another amazing thing. I flew through this book in a day and I never expected that. But I just couldn't put it down and when I had to, I was constantly thinking about what might happen next.

I thought the concept of jumping back and forth between the real world and a made up fictional world was so interesting and this book did not disappoint! I thought the chapters of getting to live in these fictional worlds and seeing the Bronte's control, write, and re-write the stories was so cool and interesting to read about. Eek! It was all just so good, I loved it!

The reason why I couldn't give this a full 5 star rating was because I thought the part when the master villain was revealed was really predictable and was foreshadowed heavily. I could tell who the mastermind was from the beginning but I was hoping to be surprised but sadly I was not.

I loved getting to read and see the relationships between the siblings and all the other characters. I thought the multiple POV structure of the story really worked. Each sibling had a distinct voice and I enjoyed being in each of their heads. On this note, I also thought Coakley did a fantastic job of developing all the characters. None of them felt one-dimensional or flat. They all had a distinct personality that made watching them all interact incredibly amusing. Rogue and Zomorna were definitely my favourites of the side characters. Especially Rogue's wit, I was smiling into my hand a lot whenever he gave a sarcastic speech. I especially loved seeing him and Emily together and I will admit I began to ship them in the end even though he's such a morally grey character. I just love their chemistry.

Overall, I'm really surprised by how much I love this book. I picked it up from the library on a whim because it looked interesting and now it's a contestant to be one of my favourite books of the year! I loved the writing so much and I'm definitely interested in reading more of Lena Coakley's books in the future. The characters and the plot were just amazing! I loved jumping back and forth between reality and fiction; it was definitely a fun adventure. I highly recommend you pick up this book if you haven't already. Even if you aren't familiar with the Bronte's work this is still a very enjoyable read filled with historically accurate facts, magic portals, imagination, and fictional worlds. Loved it!

Thanks for reading!

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