For a Muse of Fire Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Heidi Heilig

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

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Synopsis 2

“A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. The first book in a new trilogy from Heidi Heilig.

Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.

Heidi Heilig creates a world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism.”

My Review 2

Plot. It’s been a few books since I’ve had a plot suck me in completely. I absolutely adored the asian and french mash up! So unique! It was like an alternate, steam-punk history. Heck to the yeah. I’m all about that. Plus you add in a kick a** heroine who can command souls, and is bi-polar. So. Much. Awesome! It had all the adventure my readers heart could want!

Characters. Jetta had a lot of character growth. At first she was just trying to find a cure. That’s all she cared about. But Leo, mayhaps, changes her mind on fighting in a war? Which by the way, I loved the slow burn between those two. But I want more burn in the second book! I also loved that there were GOOD parents! Jetta’s parents were so sweet and so supportive! It’s rare that you see that in a YA book! I also loved that Heilig blurred the lines a bit with one character in particular, of what was good and bad. He was just trying to do the right thing in this crazy world.

World/ Magic. Heilig did a fantastic job creating this alternate history type world. I found it fascinating to watch how Jetta’s magic came to be and how she can control it! The reader learns about the magic as Jetta learns, so I hope to know more about it in the second book! The shadow player thing is really cool, and gives a nice cover for Jetta to use her magic. I really liked the late 1800 early 1900 feel. I mean, it’s steam punk and that’s generally the period I picture steam punk happening.

Writing. I actually loved the way this was written. It’s not very traditional. It’s written in first person POV, ACTs (as in a play), mini stories, and letters. I like when books are written like that, it gives the reader a unique experience.

Final Thoughts. I obviously loved this book. It was different. I liked that the main character didn’t want to fight right away. She just wanted to get her cure and be done. But she saw the injustices of the world and decided to help. So, if you are looking for something really different from your usual YA, I highly recommend this! Also, that cover is… AWOOGA!

Happy Adventuring

Beneath the Citadel Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Destiny Soria

Publisher: Amulet

Publication Date: October 09, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 3.5 

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Synopsis

“In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.”

My Review

This was a read that grabbed me right from the beginning. Almost as if I didn’t have a choice but to be transported to the world of Eldra. It literally starts off in the middle of our four main characters being sentenced to death. Yeah, if that doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.

Originally, I definitely thought this would be a solid 4 stars. Let me start off with what I liked. The story. This has been the first story in a long while that I needed to eat, sleep, and breath. I wanted to be in that world as much as possible because I had so much anxiety for what was happening. And for once, I had no idea whatsoever where we were going. I loved this adventure.

I also quite enjoyed the magic. I personally thought it was very unique, abilities differed from person to person. Some had the ability to take memories and give them back, some had the ability to read the future with all it’s possibilities, and some had the ability to read the future that would definitely happen. Plus regular people with no ability could have the option to get bonded with a metal. A painful process that could kill you. Freaking. Cool. Stuff.

Now, unfortunately, there were things I disliked. Well, really one thing. The character chemistry just wasn’t there. I liked each character individually, but when the interacted with each other I usually cringed. They were all irritated with each other ALL THE TIME! It got really annoying. And it didn’t make sense to me most of the time, why. So I had to knock it down a half rating.

Final Thoughts. I really enjoyed this book despite my irritation with it. I enjoyed the writing style. It was smooth and the perfect amount of description, without losing you. It gave me serious Six of Crows vibes! Plus, that ending was a complete surprise and aaaalllll the feels. ALL OF THEM!

Happy Adventuring

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White as Silence, Red as Song Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Alessandro D’ Avenia

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

My Rating: 4 Stars

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Synopsis

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty, Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream to win her over will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies in Italy, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered the Italian The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

Plot. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. This was pitched as the Italian version of The Fault in Our Stars. I hated that book. (Please don’t hate me!!) But let me tell you, I LOVED this book! I cried. I NEVER cry while reading. I have no idea why. I just don’t. But this had the hope that The Fault in Our Stars was missing for me. I had so many feels! And it was just a beautiful story!

Characters. Leo was actually really sweet. The way he talked about his love and the way he treated her was just unheard of in today’s time. He wrote songs and letters to her. It was seriously the cutest thing ever! And I loved how steady Silvia was there for Leo. She was always there when he fell or needed something. I also adored his teacher! What an awesome guy to get involved and to care for his students. More teachers should be like that.

Final Thoughts. This was a relatively short book, but it was beautifully written. Again, I was super surprised how much I loved this book. I normally do not go for contemporaries, I usually find them boring. But this one had some missing piece that isn’t there in other books. I loved the overall message of this book, to never give up on your dreams, but to maybe reexamine them sometimes, and make them into something better and stronger.

Happy Adventuring

*I received a finished copy from TLC book tours for an honest review! I’m on the Instagram tour for this on September 12!*

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The 48 Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Donna Hosie

Publisher: Holiday House

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction

My Rating: 3 Stars

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I received a copy of this book from Storygram Tours. My post on Instagram for this will be on September 2, and there will be a giveaway!   

Story. I was really looking forward to time traveling, teen assassins. However, this was a bit of a let down. The premise made it sound like a lot of action would take place and they would, you know, actually be assassins. I guess not. And this isn’t a spoiler by the way, it says it right in the beginning. They train to rewrite history. There was little action. The story didn’t pull me in as much as I wanted it to. I just liked it. I didn’t think about it in my free time and I kind of forgot about it after I was done reading it. Now, with that being said, it was still a likable read. I just would have written the synopsis a bit differently. It was a tad misleading, in my opinion.

Characters. Honestly, same thoughts as the story. They were likable, but I didn’t think about them. And Charles was a bit all over the place with his feeling between two women. I had to reread a couple of his paragraphs to understand what he was trying to get across. Alex sometimes too. It was as if they couldn’t decide on what to do at any given time. It got kind of annoying. I just wanted to yell at them, “Make a decision already!!”.  I really enjoyed Lady Margaret’s point of view. She was the most consistent character. The characters had good chemistry. Alex and Charlie’s twin bond was so fun to read about! I loved how they interacted with each other. And when one of them would get hurt the other would go crazy and be like, “I’m going to kill whoever did this to my brother.” I liked it.

Final Thoughts. I liked this book. It didn’t keep my attention, but I am interested enough to want to read the second book when it comes out. The writing was pretty good, but not what I wanted when reading a historical fiction. I wanted a bit more oomph from her. But if you are looking for a light read, and you like historical fiction or maybe want to branch out slowly, then I think this would be a good starting place!

Happy Adventuring

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Ignite the Stars Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Maura Milan

Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company

Publication Date: Sept. 04, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

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Story. This was one of the best sci-fi books I have ever read. I am obsessed with it and can’t stop thinking about it. I thought the story was original, fun, creative, and adventurous! And I’m just going to go ahead and add SPACE PIRATES here. If that doesn’t get your attention then I’m not sure what will. Plus space school, plus space battles. Seriously?! Freaking cool! I am having such good luck with lesser known authors lately!

Characters. Ia was my favorite character. And usually main characters are not my favorite. They usually just don’t have that much mystery to them. But Ia is different. I want to know everything about her. She’s a criminal mastermind, but retains her femininity. She can slay you where you stand, but not know how to talk to people. I just find her fascinating. I also like that she does have weaknesses and needs help from her friends. She’s not a Mary Sue. I really liked Knives too! He was such a beef cake! I liked his gripey attitude. He had one for good reason too. It was nice he could be vulnerable too at times. And then Brinn. She was probably my least favorite to read about but only because the other two characters out shone her. But I do like her and Ia’s friendship! It’s so sweet!

Final Thoughts. If you like Sci-fi, I highly suggest this read for you! It’s got everything you could want in space, slow burn romance, space battles, advanced tech, betrayals, and adventure!!! Y’all know I’m all about that! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Find out more about the author HERE. She’s so wonderfully nerdy. Love it.

Happy Adventuring

 

 

 

 

 

The Forest Queen Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Betsy Cornwell

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

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*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The Forest Queen gives me all the nostalgic feels of my childhood favorite fairy tales. It is a Robin Hood retelling with a girl named Sylvie, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. I loved the adventure to be had here!

The Story. For being a shorter book than what I usually read, the story was actually pretty well rounded. There were a few questions I had, and when I re-read through some paragraphs to see if I missed something, I didn’t find what I was looking for. But they weren’t any major plot holes, more like how did this character get from A to B.

The Writing. I liked Cornwell’s writing but it wasn’t my favorite. She is a good storyteller, but I feel as though the story could have gone to higher places if she had added more descriptions. Sometimes I was confused when Sylvie dreamed but then it turned out to be real life. Or if she was imagining something or not. I had to re-read paragraphs a few times.

The Characters: I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought that Sylvie’s character progression was actually quite good! The romance was cute but not an essential part of the story. The side characters were really likable and had personality. Especially Little Jane! And Bird is just the cutest! I also have to say that I felt as though Cornwell threw in LGBT characters at the last moment to try and give it some diversity. It just seemed random, like she was like, “Whoops, forgot to add diversity. Let’s just quickly add in some new side characters at the end here.”

Final Thoughts. I almost gave this book 3 stars but the nostalgic feel of it along with the ending bumped it up to 4 stars. I had a good time reading this retelling, and would love to read more of her work! Also, that cover is completely drool worthy.

Grim Lovelies Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Megan Shepherd

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

My Rating: 3 Stars

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*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Alright lovelies (Ha. Ha.), here’s the deal. I didn’t love this book, I just liked it. I honestly have half good things to say and the other half things I didn’t really like. 

The Story. The premise and story of this book is insanely interesting. The story itself kept me hooked until the last page. Shepherd is an excellent story teller with an eye for extravagant details. She paints Paris through the eyes of someone who has never been outside before. How incredibly beautiful. Makes me want to go to Paris more than ever now!

The Writing. I can’t say enough good things about Shepherd’s writing style. It’s descriptive yet she doesn’t lose you in it. Like when you read some paragraphs about each tiny detail about a house and four pages later you don’t remember where you were in the actual story (looking at you, Game of Thrones…). She’s not like that. She built a magical world that didn’t leave me hanging but at the same time left a little mystery to it. And y’all, she’s actually quite funny. I wrote down a few quotes and lines that actually made me laugh out loud. “Goblins take their tea very seriously.”  And they do. And it’s funny.

The Characters. This, sadly, is the part I didn’t really enjoy that much. I felt as though they weren’t developed enough. Even at the end of the book I still didn’t know who they actually were as people. I think Cricket was the best out of the five, but she just showed more personality that the others. That could change in the second book, but for now, I just didn’t really care for them that much. And the romance? Nope. Wasn’t a fan. I for once wanted the main character to remain single. Beau was too whiny and weak.

Final Thoughts. I definitely liked this book enough to continue with the series. Like I said, the story is very compelling. My best pitch for this would be if Stephanie Garber wrote a story that Cassandra Clare pitched.

 

Happy Adventuring