Saturday, May 26, 2012

BR: Insurgent

by Veronica Roth
Divergent trilogy; book II

ABOUT TIME I read this, eh?

Summary (goodreads)

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

**
My Expectations: extraordinarily high, and while I expressed my distaste for the pre-publication internet buzz creation thing, I still expected to love this book like pretty much everyone else.
Delivery: gah, a crushing disappointment. The worst type.
Put-down-ability: Roth still has the ability to keep me engaged, 2/10
**

My Thoughts

I really expected to like this. I really really did!

Insurgent. Very much hyped about, but it failed to live up to my expectations for numerous reasons—which I’ll touch on before singing it some praises that it also deserves.

The plot was messy. Too messy, in my mind. Not in the complex, over-layered way but more in the choppy, jumpy way in which scenes are all over the place and there is far too much movement for me to want to care about. I swear the book consisted of Tris going to different places and doing something, then going somewhere else, and on and on and on, almost tediously. It’s understandable that you want to keep the plot moving, but I personally felt it was excessive and unnecessary.

In addition, I wasn’t a fan of some of the writing. Roth takes the liberty to make the environment more realistic, but she doles out way too much detail at times to a point where I’m like “is this supposed to make sense?” A vague example is of a bridge in which she describes the entire structure in a way that I just found really hard to picture in my head and also kind of unnecessary. It overcomplicated a scene that could have been so much simpler. In addition, I was caught off guard with some inconsistencies (one second she doesn’t have a gun, the next, she’s pulling out her gun and shooting a lock. What?)

I want to add that while descriptions weren’t to my taste, I admired the way the story kept its flow and kept me flipping the pages. Dialogue was smooth and I enjoyed the immediate-ness of the first person present POV.

Unfortunately, I do feel Insurgent fell to the second-book syndrome; there was a lot of info-dumping and almost like what feels like its gathering ammunition and recon information for a grand finale (despite having multiple action scenes). I liked how Roth did explain her world a bit better (something I had a problem with in book one). There was some character development, though I was kind of frustrated by how flat some of the secondary characters were. I questioned Tris’s motives constantly and I was thoroughly unimpressed by Four (sorry!)—it wasn’t that he was a bad character, I just didn't like him as much. Like with Divergent, I didn’t really care enough about this characters in Insurgent, it’s probably just me though.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: I think most people who enjoyed Divergent will really like its sequel.
Acknowledgements: great stuff, 4.5/5

7.9/10 – because I was disappointed. It was a generally enjoyable read and I was kept interested throughout, but I thought the plot was overcomplicated and sometimes the descriptions in the writing would put me off as well. I never really connected with the characters and while I appreciated the character growth and development they undoubtedly underwent, I just.. well, didn’t really care. Insurgent makes for a fast, high-flying read which I did like, however, I feel it is ultimately a forgettable one.








source: bought
author twitter / website / blog
Divergent on Facebook

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

randomsauce May

You didn't think you'd be getting an entire month without one of my required updates, did you??


Some things:

-I'm going to Taiwan/Shanghai/Hong Kong for a month! That's kind of really all I wanted to share in this post, actually. I'm actually leaving tonight (packing progress: 0%) and coming back June 22. It's going to be a trip mostly to see family, but I'll be traveling Hong Kong any way I want to because that's my own thing I'm excited for. If you've been there, I'd LOVE to know anything about places to go, places to eat, etc :) Email me, last time I went to Shanghai a few of you were life-SAVERS and gave me the best tips (bring your own toilet paper!)

-I have quite a few reviews to write: This is Not A Test, Unspoken, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Pink.. hopefully I can get something written on the plane ride :)

-VERONICA MARS. I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THIS SHOW. Yes, there are flaws with the characters but I'm just too invested to care. It's not like the most amazing, epic show out there (and it's quite dated) but it is freaking awesome. I watched the entire season one in 2 days, and I'm about 7 episodes into season two. NO SPOILERS!

-On Sunday, Stacy at A Novel Source interviewed me for her "Sunday Serenade"!! Read it here :) there are pictures.

-Insurgent! I ordered it and it arrived yesterday.. I can't wait to see if the hype has been true. I haven't read too many reviews so I'm going into it without many expectations.

-I'm very much enjoying this schoolwork-free time. And a slightly early CONGRATS to the all the grads of 2012, it's exciting, eh? :)

-so yeah, expect some posts, some absence, and here's to summer weather!


audrey

Thursday, May 17, 2012

BR: Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein

I snatched up this book on netgalley after Steph Su's tweet about it, so yeah, thanks Steph. And I went into it not knowing anything (didn't even know it was historical fiction!)

Summary (goodreads)

I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

**
My Expectations: uhm.. what expectations? I'm not kidding when I say I went into this blind.
Delivery: duuuuude. DUUUUDE how did I not know of this book before?! Amazing!
Put-down-ability: there is quite a bit of technical talk (well, to me) but second half was un-put-down-able. 2/10
**

My Thoughts

This is the type of book that when I open a word doc to write my review, all that is running through my head is “how do I explain all the feelings I have? ALL THE FEELS.”

I really did love this book. Like, I fell hard for it maybe a third of the way in, we had a flirty little on-and-off affair throughout the middle chunk, and by the end of it I was completely committed and head over heels. Code Name Verity is a historical fiction YA that I hope will get much more buzz from here on out (I must have missed all those starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, PW, NY Times, etc…) because it deserves it completely.

It’s essentially a story of a friendship between two girls, 'Queenie' and Maddie, and it’s told in such a unique format where small anecdotes colour in a greater tapestry of their friendship and their story and sufferings are explained through written documents. I honestly didn’t know anything going in to this book, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.

I initially didn’t like Queenie. Okay, I said it. I mean, she’s writing a confessional in which she’s doing a tell-all and I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Sure, I’m not the biggest fan of rats and betrayal, but then again, this girl’s life is ticking away, who’s to say she isn’t allowed to bargain for more time? I thought the beginning was kind of clipped, there were scenes jumping around between the present and the past so it was jarring when I was trying to get a feel of the book. However, Queenie really comes into her own and grows into a strong, vibrant, beautiful character.

Kiss me, Hardy.

You should read the book to see what I’m referencing.

Halfway through, something happens (and since I suck at predicting anything, I was completely surprised) and then everything I had originally thought came undone. My jaw-dropped multiple times as the full picture gradually became revealed, and I don’t really want to spoil anything else, just know that it was like boom boom boom no way dude tears whaaaa wait what noooo ahhh omg tears.

Yeah.

There are so many things that make this novel stand out, one is how authentic it felt. The author put a tremendous amount of research to making the novel as historically accurate as possible, and while I’m not familiar with most things RAF etc, I thought small details just added to the overall richness of the story. There is a fair large amount of talk about piloting and things related to it, and I’ll be first to admit I really zilch about this topic (apart from the Battle of Britain, but that’s for another time) but I’m kind of fascinated by it—which might be why I liked it more than others. I have read how other people didn’t care for these details but enjoyed the book nevertheless, so I guess it goes both ways.

There are beautiful themes in this book too: the tragedies of war, the strength of a friendship, the brutal truths of life, survival, hope, love. Give this book a shot, it may just leave your mind reeling.

Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding!!
Recommended for: all historical fiction fans (like seriously) and everyone else too, because I think everyone should read good books
Acknowledgements: actually a debriefing! 4.5/5

9.2/10 – because well, I did give this 5 stars on goodreads. I loved it. It caught me by surprise and it was the very best type of surprise, I actually feel it deserves a second, closer reading, or maybe just to savour the story another time. The characters are remarkable, the setting is superb, the whole tone of the novel gets under your skin. It’ll shock you, it’ll play with your heart, and it’ll be a helluva ride. They really are a sensational team.








source: netgalley
author website

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

weepy kids Books

Today's post is inspired by YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday, the topic was "what book brings back memories" and I'm never one to skip a case of nostalgia, plus I had a super-rough draft of this post already...

I think I had a heart of stone as a kid, I pretty much never cried over things I probably should cry about, but instead wasted away my tears arguing with a typical older brother. And yeah, it's been done before countless times, but I'm in a list mode.




BOOKS THAT MADE ME CRY AS A KID (as in, before I was 12) which of course, brings back so much nostalgia and also brings back memories.


Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

  • I just want to go duuuuuude and shake this book in the air. Who hasn't read it? I was totally not expecting the ending and then the tears were falling. Good thing I was reading this at home, not sitting in my seventh grade classroom.







Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

  • Seriously, does this need an explanation? It will always be the very first book that pops into my head when I think "tearjerker" and it's pretty much a childhood classic.






The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

  • *sniff* this is still one of my absolute favourite books, I read this when I was 12 but I still adore it and get sad when I remember certain things



.. And that's it. That's all I can think of, at the moment. I'd love to know what books made you cry as a kid :) And that's right, I actually didn't cry during Charlottes Web.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

what I want to Read Right now

*It's odd to think that when I look back at this post, I'll be looking back at a certain frame of mind I had when I was 18, but anyway, here it goes.


   


At 14, I think I wanted the next Twilight. I wanted to read about the knight in shining armour and the boy who held doors open for the girls. I wanted to read about the Mary Sues whom I could pretend to take the place of, and I wanted to read about first love and kisses and butterflies.


At 16, I think I wanted more of what I didn't have in real life (2010 in my blog archives, if you're interested). I desperately wanted to be older, I wanted to read about older teens who weren't obsessed with freshman boys-- I wanted books with more intense relationships and family and something that felt more insightful and profound than the mundane routine of high school. I still wanted the swoony boy, but I wanted a complex, moody swoony boy. Oh how I look back fondly at those years, I feel a part of me is still 16.


At 18, which is how old I am now, I know want a different type of book. I've found a niche in contemporary YA fiction, but I'm looking more and more for upper YA books, for the New Adult titles I have yet to really immerse myself in. I'm looking for real relationships-- I'm admittedly getting sick of the "one true love" type thing, I want to read about break-ups and people's lives moving on and leaving people who were once important behind. I'm no longer the biggest fan of the protagonist finding the guy in high school. I want to read about how bad timing sometimes sucks and how sometimes you can't get the guy you want or the best things out of life. I want to read about the tougher, harder-to-swallow truths of life and the unfairness of our world and how sometimes you can be as optimistic and idealistic as you want but things won't go your way. I know, it sounds kind of morbid and depressing but it just feels as if it's been too long since I read a book that really got my frame of mind-- don't get me wrong, I'm reading fabulous books about very interesting topics, it's just that there hasn't been a book that's dug deep into my brain and felt like it was putting my thoughts onto paper. It's always something that I'm not too unfamiliar with-- the tragic past, the grief, the boy, the best friend.. give me something new. I'd like to read some of that.

And I guess we'll see what I want at 20.

-

And of course, I'd love to know the perfect 'you' type of book you'd like to read right now. Leave it in the comments!









*don't worry, I find it exceedingly bizarre that I'm writing a discussion post too. but it's late and I just posted it so whatevs.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

All the Books

I originally saw this meme on Khy's blog, Frenetic Reader, and it's hosted by Jordyn at Ten Cent Notes! It's very bookish fun in general and I'll try and put some effort into formatting it nicely ;) Plus I really did want to put this picture here:



BOOKS READ THIS WEEK



 
(look at all the white space for those covers..)


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (oh god, you may drown in my gushing)

Pink by Lili Wilkinson (so much fun!)

Beautiful by Amy Read (not as fun)


WHAT I'M READING

I'm probably going to pick up Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg next :)



BOOKS I GOT RECENTLY IN VLOG FORMAT YAY!




Books mentioned:

The Starboard Sea - Amber Dermont
Changeling - Philappa Gregory
Take a Bow - Elizabeth Eulberg
The List - Siobhan Vivian
Girl Out Loud - Emily Gale
The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry - edited by Rita Dove
Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden
The Way We Fall - Megan Crewe


And to copy Khy, A SONG:


-yeah, I heard it on Grey's, sue me. AND THE FINALE FOR GREY'S LOOKS INSANE.

Happy reading, lovelies! What did you get this lovely week?

And Happy Mother's Day too :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

BR: Beautiful

by Amy Reed

I really only read it because Courtney Summers raved about it and I love Courtney Summers and think she’s insanely awesome.

***Also, I turned into a bit of a potty mouth in this review, so if you're easily offended, might as well skip it :p

Summary (goodreads)


When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie’s chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who’s worth noticing.

Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined…one moment, one choice, changes everything.

Cassie’s new existence both thrills and terrifies her. Swept into a world of illicit parties and social landmines, she sheds her virginity, embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, and floats through it all, knowing that she is now called beautiful. She ignores the dangers of her fast-paced life…but she can’t sidestep the secrets and the cruelty.

Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.

**
My Expectations: pretty high, I was expecting Courtney Summers-esque brilliance
Delivery: big disappointment
Put-down-ability: 8/10
**

My Thoughts

My huge, glaring issue with this book is that I found it incredibly unrealistic. Sure, I must be the most sheltered girl out there but I think at age 13-- seventh grade, (SEVENTH!!) there aren’t girls smoking pot, having sex, taking pills… it just.. no. It’s my own personal opinion and it hurt my appreciation of this book because our main character, Cassie, is thirteen and she just goes through a whole shitload of shit, and I’m just sitting here going “why are you so stupid” every single page for the first 100 pages (because I gave up on her after 100 pages and just read about her doing stupid shit). I’m surprised I finished it but I would have been perfectly okay DNF-ing it.

Here’s the thing though: people are out there saying how dark and gritty and realistic this book is, and how you don’t have to like Cassie’s decisions if she’s just another ‘realistic character’ who experiences the pitfalls of peer pressure and bad choices. But here I’m sitting thinking, okay, you can keep saying she’s such a realistic character, but personally, I think she’s a stupid character. STUPID. I said it. And I think I am allowed to say I do not enjoy reading about stupid characters who make stupid decisions, regardless of how impressionable she might be. Like seriously. It actually pisses me off just thinking about it because I can barely even comprehend some of her shitty life decisions and maybe it’s my normal, safe childhood speaking but I just GAHHHHH *rips out hair*

And where the hell were her parents? I absolutely loathe her parents. TAKE CARE OF YOUR FRIGGIN KIDS.

And if I’m ignoring Cassie’s stupidity, I can comment on her character development, which I found highly unrealistic too. I thought she changed way too fast from her good girl image to the whatever-the-eff she became, the F-bombs just dropped in too quickly and it was like her whole attitude changed way too fast to be believable.

I can’t really think of a single redeeming character, I found the supporting cast to be one-dimensional and predictable. However, I want to add that if the age of the characters had been older, I probably would have liked this book, seriously. It was that big of an issue for me, too bad.

Rating in HP Terms: Poor
Recommended for: uhm.. not reccing this one, I’m allowed to dislike books once in a while.
Acknowledgements: 3.5/5

6.5/10 – because I just really didn’t like the main character and found the book wholly unrealistic. Compared to many other dark, gritty books, this one doesn’t compare. Or I just hate Cassie a lot. Because the writing isn’t that bad, but plot and characters just didn’t work for me at all. It did get better towards the end though.


Friday, May 11, 2012

BR: The List

by Siobhan Vivian

I was a huuuge fan of Siobhan Vivian’s Not That Kind of Girl (I even interviewed her! My first interview either!) and I was sooo excited when I heard about her latest book. I also wanted to add that despite my reluctance to like full-face pictures of girls on covers, I really love this one because her expression is perfect.

Summary (goodreads)

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them. It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two

**
My Expectations: really high, NTKoG really surprised me by how good it was, and I wasn't about the make the same mistake twice
Delivery: really, really well done :)
Put-down-ability: despite 8 narrators, the plot still flowed very well, 3/10
**

My Thoughts


The List isn’t your typical multiple narrator story, I mean, stemming from the fact that it’s following eight different girls and spans about a week.. I felt that these two core components of the book did not work as well as I hoped. As with all books featuring different POVs, I greatly enjoyed seeing how the same incident (the reveal of the List) affected their lives. Even though I was intrigued by who came up with the list, I was more interested with the girls’ lives—which was a good thing. I found all the narrations to be compelling though I'll admit sometimes I had trouble juggling all the names.

If you ask me which author writes high school settings the best, my answer is Siobhan Vivian. She writes a high school with realistic dialogue and what feels like real people. Real people. It’s not made up of stereotypes and one dimensional characters, she has fleshed out, authentic people making up the school, from the groups of school friends to the various pitfalls and social make-up of the different grades and ages.

I had a problem with the short time frame though, I felt that given the novel takes place over a week, it felt like some of the larger, overall character arcs/development were less believable. That said, the story caught its rhythm early on as everything flowed without a hitch.

I really liked how the plot unfolded in the end, and I felt that served as a triumph for the novel because it reveals the complexities of people—there is no martyr or evil queen, there is no ending with a bow on it, there are no perfectly redeemed characters. I liked the plot reveal and how it showed that even though I wanted that one character to point to and say “she’s awesome, I want her to win at life!” life doesn’t work like that and people aren’t perfectly good or perfectly bad.

This isn’t really a book about high school, it’s a book about all sorts of dynamics between friends, families, and relationships. It's about beauty and perception, and what's beneath the surface. The List ambitiously approaches many different themes and I think using all the different voices, the author created a grander novel that encompasses many aspects of teenage life.


Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: high school girls, all contemporary fans!
Acknowledgements: very nice, 3.5/5

8.4/10- because The List is a compelling, smart novel that paints a complex, contemporary high school setting. The characters' voices are believable and the plot is unpredictable, you’ll definitely want to know how the story ends. I had a few issues with character development over the time frame, but I loved how Vivian thoughtfully tackled the broad themes of young adulthood.








source: library (though I found out later the pub had sent me a copy)
author twitter / website

Thursday, May 3, 2012

BR: Bitterblue

by Kristin Cashore
sequel to Graceling, companion to Fire, book III in Graceling Realm trilogy

Was it just me, or did the 3 years between the release of Fire and Bitterblue just stretch into an agonizingly long time in which I slowly and steadily fell into a Cashore-withdrawal and reread Graceling an absurd amount of times?

**This review is pretty much spoiler free**


Summary (Goodreads)

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

**
My Expectations: exceedingly high, I mean, I've only been lusting for this for like.. 3 years.
Delivery: oh my god, what a ride. I loved it.
Put-down-ability: so low! 1.5/10
**

My Thoughts

Kristin Cashore, in my honest opinion, is the reigning YA fantasy queen. THE. QUEEN.* And Bitterblue is so fracking good, it’s like I’m waving my hands as I’m trying to type this review trying to gesticulate my feelings and emotions after this 500+ page beast.

I loved it. I loved it and I loved reading it, and it’s a book in which I remember why I love reading. I haven’t had the chance to read too many YA books this year, but this book just swept me off my feet and easily stuck me into world Cashore created that’s vivid, treacherous and beautiful. It reminded me of the power of words and the impact and magic that words on a page and weave at the hands of a person who is a master of the craft.

I wanted to start with the plot, because I do feel that was the most conflicting part of the book for me. I liked its general concept but I did feel it was lacking at parts. To tell the truth, I felt the book was too long. And let me first say that I am not at all intimidated by a long book—it was just that the length caused the plot to drag as one too many subplots were developed. One thing I definitely noticed was that despite the page count, Cashore went for quality over quantity. This is important, I promise you, because it felt that each subplot, each character was deserved and earned. I was able to understand and come to love characters (some might surprise you). However, as each story ran its course, the story felt bogged down with too many details about too many things, and sometimes I was wishing the it would just move along. One example was The Council—no spoiler here, I just want to say I disliked its role in the story as more as a device than a subplot, yet so much time was put into it being a subplot.

I seriously loved the twists and turns in this installment, I knew from the beginning to expect some mind-bending turns of events, so I was kept guessing throughout the book. I wasn’t exactly mind-blown but I appreciated the fact that I was kept on my toes and second-guessing and even triple-guessing every character encountered. I really liked the somewhat surprising last 100 pages too!

I know a ton of people were excited to see the beloved Katsa and Po to return (I sure was) and I kind of liked the way Cashore described them. I’m not going to elaborate further, I’ll just said that I was slightly surprised but ultimately happy with the way their characters were handled—they were simultaneously true to their core characters yet allowed to develop off-screen over the years into wholesome people as well. But let’s face it, this story was Bitterblue’s and she was a hell of a character.

Put into a position of queen at the age of 10, Bitterblue is now 18 and surrounded by her most trusted advisors, yet somewhat shielded and oblivious to her country at the beginning. A few midnight escapades and eye-opening experiences later.. well.. the story starts rolling. She starts actively seeking for the truth and that really is what the story is about, the truth and the tragic history behind Monsea and the people. Her character growth was truly phenomenal. Comparing where she began the story and the person she was at the end was just a gift, and I thought that Cashore really put Bitterblue in so many different devastating or crazy situations that forced her to use her wits or prove her worth as opposed to being saved by a knight in shining armour. And Saf? Uhmm, he was okay. Not Po-esque, but decent. I really want to mention another character that I came to love, but I don’t want to spoil it! Starts with G.

And Leck. Damn, what a villain. I’m both repelled and impressed by the level of Creepy (capital C) and how evil and twisted he was. Despite his death, the stench of his rule lingers over the country and acts as a huge hurdle for Bitterblue.

And oh my friggen god, can I just fall over at the gorgeousness of the writing? I feel that Cashore has really matured as a writer and despite a more fast-paced Graceling debut, Bitterblue’s prose is luscious without being purple. It’s actually quite simplistic at times but somehow, in terms of ‘bigger picture’ it just works and I loved the third person POV. I felt the novel was also extremely visual in almost a subtle way, because despite no long trekking journeys, Cashore made the castle come to life with apt descriptions of both architecture and art.

Lastly, I’ll add that Bitterblue has a different feel to it compared to Graceling and Fire. It might be because well, Bitterblue is refreshingly human, but I’ll still say that the vibe in Bitterblue really does feel like the series, despite it having a different ‘tone’.

ASDLKFJLKJ I NEED TO STOP GUSHING.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations/Outstanding
Recommended for: ALL YA readers, I feel like Cashore is a must-read author for any voracious fan of YA
Acknowledgements: this lady understands that sometimes people read acknowledgements before the book, and kindly included a spoiler warning! Hahaha, seriously! So just for that, and for a lovely one in general, 5/5

9.1/10 – because it’s one of my favourite reads so far of the year. The writing is breathtaking, the world-building is downright magical and the whole essence and feel of the novel was amazing. I loved the returning and new characters, and I loved Bitterblue’s character growth. The only thing stopping me from giving it like, a 9.6, is the fact that despite a wonderfully direct and imaginative plot, the story dragged because of too many subplots that were developed maybe too thoroughly. However, this won’t stop me from declaring my love for this book and encouraging every single YA fantasy fan to pick this up. If you liked Graceling or Fire, you don’t’ want to miss this.









*because Melina Marchetta is pretty much my fave contemporary author, despite her ridiculous talent in the fantasy department, and that I actually never finished Megan Whalen Turner’s series..


source: borrowed from Rachel at Reading Timbits, thank you SO much!!!! :D
author blog / twitter
series website