'Shadow and Bone' by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review: Shadow and Bone

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Synopsis:

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.

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Review

I’d never heard of this series until I entered the bookstagram world. Even though I own Six of Crows (a spur of the moment Target purchase, in case you were wondering) and people told me I didn’t have to read the Grisha trilogy before I read Six of Crows I still wanted to start at the beginning of Leigh Bardugo’s writing. So I requested Shadow and Bone from the library and after what felt like forever I finally got it and I really liked it. I believe I read the whole book in one day because I just couldn’t put it down.

I really liked Alina’s character and I loved the Darkling, as so many people warned me I would. I thought Alina’s friend, Mal, was okay overall but he did have some very swoon-worthy lines that I definitely enjoyed. Still I don’t think Mal makes it to my favorite book boyfriends list but there are still two more books in the trilogy so he has time to grow on me.

The hardest part of this novel for me was keeping track of the world. I started doing that thing where I would just skim over words I couldn’t pronounce in my head, which is fine because that tends to happen with fantasy books, it’s just something I felt like noting. I think when I read the next book I’ll look at the map in more detail because I definitely didn’t understand some things but I think that was also because I read the book so quickly that I missed some details. What can I say, when it comes to plot I sometimes skim. I’m a sucker for dialogue. So sue me. Anyway, overall I did enjoy this book and I definitely want to keep reading but I didn’t absolutely love it.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”

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'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt

Book Review: The Secret History

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Synopsis:

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

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Review

The Secret History isn’t what I typically read but the Classics minor in me was desperate to read this book so I did and I’m glad I did. Like I said, it’s not what I typically read but Donna Tartt has an amazing way with words. The writing of this book was phenomenal. Usually I prefer dialogue to plot but the way Tartt wrote this novel I absolutely loved all the descriptions and I didn’t skim. I couldn’t skim because if I did I would miss something.

The novel is told in the point of view of Richard, who recently transferred to a New England college from California. He’s not rich like his classmates and he’s seemingly an outsider. However, it’s his gift for the ancient Greek language that get’s him in with the Classics kids. Made up of a group of five students and a professor the Classics students are seen as an elitist group on the campus that can’t be bothered with anyone else. They’re kind of like the popular kids except not really because everyone thinks they’re kind of weird.

The group consists of Henry, the quasi-leader, the twins, Camilla and Charles, Francis, Bunny, and their professor, Julian. Thrust into this world that he doesn’t fully understand Richard soon discovers himself tangled up in a web of crazy that leads to murder, something that could’ve come straight out of a Greek tragedy. And don’t worry, the murder isn’t a spoiler; you find out about it in the prologue. What’s interesting about this book is discovering the how and why it happens.

This book was full of twists that surprised me and I never knew what to expect from this group. My favorite part about this novel was definitely the characters and how they viewed the world. Although at times I did see some of them (mainly Henry) as pretentious there was also some humor to be found in how they carried themselves.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book and I’m glad I picked it up. I’m not sure if I’d read it again but it’s still one I’m glad I have on my shelf, if for no other reason then I want to give it to everyone to read so we can discuss it.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

Love doesn’t conquer everything. And whoever thinks that it does is a fool.

Other Reviews

 Crazy for YA

A Case for Books

Of Books

POLL: Do you reread books?

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I really enjoy rereading some books. Especially if it’s been a long time since I read it and I don’t remember specifics about the book I love going back and reading it again. However, I know there are some people that are a once and done type of reader and that’s fine too.

So which are you. Only one good read or do you enjoy the occasionally reread? Vote in the poll and comment below whey you like rereading or not.

 

Results of last week’s poll:

YA or Adult Novels?

Although winning by only 10% more than just YA, both was the winner. I guess most of us just can’t choose.

Who Will Win Eadlyn’s Heart?

Alright so now that a good lot of you have read The Heir, I think it’s time we talked about what’s most important: who will win the Selection? It seems the general consensus is between Erik and Kile but of course there’s still other options. To see just where everywhere stands on the issue let’s vote on it. Who do you think will win Eadlyn’s heart in the next book? Feel free to say why your choice is the right choice in the comments below.

Book Review: The Boyfriend App

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After I met Katie Sise at a YA Book Panel, I found myself asking how I’d never heard of her before and why I hadn’t picked up her book yet.

Therefore I quickly went on a library quest to find this book and lucky for me it was available on my library’s digital site. After being put on a wait list I finally got it and read it within a day. It was that good.

The novel centers around Audrey McCarthy, a computer whiz, who enters an app making contest in an effort to win a college scholarship that she desperately needs if she has any chance of going to a good school.

Based on her lack of a love life, Audrey comes up with “The Boyfriend App”, an app that originally was just to match girls up with their perfect guy and tell them when said guy was nearby. However, after seeing her friend dissed by her so-called match Audrey realizes she needs to think of an even better idea if she wants to win the contest.

Discovering a secret in Public, the big name company that makes everyone’s technology (very similar to Apple) and is running the contest, Audrey is able to make an even better app that turns her world upside down.

I loved this novel. The chemistry between Audrey and one of her best friends, Aidan, is fantastic. They obviously like each other but they’re just too chicken to realize it and although it drove me crazy throughout the novel it was great when *spoiler alert* they finally get together.

Also, what made me happy about this book was although Audrey is definitely presented as an underdog type character, she’s not pushed around. From the beginning of the novel she stands up for herself against her ex-best friend turned bully/diva, Blake. Audrey is a determined, head strong, and funny character.

From the start she knows what she wants for herself and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get it without losing herself or changing her morals to do so. Additionally, what I loved about Audrey is she’s really dealing with some heavy stuff. Her father past away a few years back and now she and her mom are on their own, trying to get by. The reason the competition is so important to Audrey is because she knows how smart she is and all she wants is to better her education at a great school and get out of her town but she doesn’t have the money to do so.

That’s what I loved most about this book. Audrey didn’t want to become the most popular girl in school or something ridiculous. She just wants to go to a good college. It’s an admirable goal and I loved her more for it. Plus she was just this awesome cute little nerd that wanted to win. I supported her the whole way.

If you haven’t already, definitely check out this book. It’s a cute, fun read that’s perfect for summer reading by the pool. Also, Sise plans on writing a sequel/companion to the novel which I am now impatiently waiting for.

Favorite Line: “When somebody gets taken away from you, people try to say all kinds of things to make you feel better. Like how time heals (it doesn’t) or how sorry they are (who cares?) or how God has a plan (if He does, why is it crappy so far?). This was the first time someone said something that helped a little bit. I was grateful for it.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. Although it has many of the same qualities of many cliched teen romance novels, there were so many great characters in this novel that I became instantly obsessed with it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Totally worth buying. I will probably buy it at some point because I’ve been rereading parts of it since I finished it last week. I even considered renewing it for that reason. Then I figured that would be selfish. Definitely worth adding to your library.

Other Reviews:

Good Books, Good Wine

Chapter by Chapter

A Pondering Moose