Cincinnati, OH, United States | Member Since 2012
I’m going to leave this review short in order to not spoil.
This book has it all... A 14 year-old girl forced to marry by an abusive father is saved and sent to join assassin nuns who train her in poison, combat, history and “the womanly arts” to serve her father Mortmain the god of death--- while an illegitimate, fiercely loyal brother fights to save his country and his sister who would be ruler of Britain. It’s historical. It’s fantasy. It’s romance. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Ismae and Duval slow boil relationship---and the mystery behind who is betraying them at every turn made the book almost impossible not to listen to. I, like the book nerd I am, did my grocery shopping last night with my headphones on in an attempt to finish the book because I was so hooked.
This is worth the credit I used for it…and, while I think it could have stood on it’s own quite well, I am so glad that there are more to come!!
Let me start first by saying that I have been nothing but pleased by Sarah Drew's performance. At the end of the book she added some personal comments---she clearly loved working on this series and it showed.
I want to be clear---I highly recommend the series, if you haven't given it a listen.
What I did not like about this book---and it's really just a matter of taste was the back and forth between the two girl's point of view. I really didn't want to (and can I just be candid--1 or two times didn't) listen to Hannah's portion of the story. I'm not sure if that would have been different if I had read this rather than listened to it... because I found myself not caring what happened with Hannah. Perhaps it's because I felt so betrayed by Hannah.
I want to say more---but I don't want to spoil---so in an attempt to be vague I felt bad for one character who I felt really got the raw end of things...
But--all is forgiven because Lauren Oliver had a really successful finish I felt. I will be looking to read her other books.
My initial reaction to this novel (a week or so after I finished listening to it) is to reflect on my connection with Seraphina. A girl with an amazing talent who actively seeks to hide her talent in order to not draw attention to herself because of a difference that could get her killed. I am surprised that in a world so fantastical it requires a great deal of careful sculpting and building that my first thoughts are of this character. Seraphina's struggle helps ground the world. Seraphina, at the beginning of the novel, has defined and viewed herself based off of an identity that she didn't choose but was born with. She is caught between two races with each not even wanting to acknowledge her existence. She has grown up with shame and without a true connection with anyone just because she is alive. In our world people often treated differently based on factors they were born with --- I'm sure I don't need to tell you--- the reality of these situations just really hit me on an emotional level.
The world building: the religion, languages, differences between cultures--are very well done. I thought it was beautifully written and well thought out.
I don't want to comment too much on the romance--but it is a slow build and felt natural. I--I read another review that said she could not remember was Lucian looked like...and neither can I. Their relationship is built on similarities and understanding--and not without it's issues---really refreshing.
And intrigue--can this fragile balance between the dragons and the humans be sustained? Who is plotting the downfall of the peace and why? Can Seraphina help the Prince with his investigations without giving up her secret?
If you like fantasy---I can't imagine a reason why you wouldn't enjoy this read.
Look at that cover... it intrigued me, I must say. Knowing nothing about this book but the cover I purchased it... Like chosing your present for Christmas based on the packaging I guess...but I digress.
Gilt, tells the story of the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, Cat, from the point of view of her friend, Kitty Tylney. The two girls were raised together from the age of six in the household of the Duchess of Norfolk. Cat is beautiful, popular and selfish, and lords over the rest of the girls at the school. Kitty is not that pretty and less outgoing... but considers being taken under Cat's wing/being Cat's best friend an honor. She is very greatful to her and considers her family----and ultimately would do anything for her.
While definitly part romance---at it's core this book is a coming-of-age story. It is about Kitty realizing who she is and wants to be. And how choices have consequences.
This is told with modern language---which didn't bother me in the least---but is definitly of note.
My annoyance with this book comes with how Cat piles onto Kitty... and Kitty just takes it. I understand that there is nothing that Kitty can do about it---since Cat is her superior in birth/rank... but, the modern language..... I can't put my finger on it. But it's annoying. Because I want Kitty so badly to defend herself.
I would read another in this series. In particular I want the author to expand on what happens to Kitty at the end.
I bought this because the cover drew me in---but I wasn't immediately hooked into the story. About 25% of the way through---I was engaged. This is an offbeat fairytale. The formula is there---Prince turned frog falls in love with a girl---convinces her to kiss him which turns him back into a Prince. This is why I was bored... but once the kiss came---I was hooked because Alethena Kontis kept me off balance as a reader. As soon as I recognized the fairtale---she switched things up...
Give this one a chance if you are a fan of a quirky family... I really enjoyed it and was sad to hear it end.
I keep changing my stars because I can't decide... 3.5/4
Full disclosure---I have not read the Immortals series by Alyson Noel at this point. Other reviews I've read about this book seem to bash Fated as being subpar... but having not read the Immortals I'm... in like with this book.
Daire, an internet schooled daughter of a hollywood makeup artist, has a life most girls dream of. She travels the world, spending her days around movie sets and hanging out with hot, young stars. When she starts experience visions of crows and heads on spikes screaming at her---and periods when time stands still while on a date with an rising star her world comes crashing in around her. Fearful of her mental health her mother rushes her back to the US to get her medical attention. The Doctors can not figure out how to help her and suggest committing her. Jennika (Daire's mom) receives a call from an estranged grandmother---who thinks she can help. Daire is sent to live with her in New mexico...
I love and am intrigued by the ties this book draws to Native American culture...I adore the twins Dace and Cade for very different reasons. Dace--because of the untapped potential---I thought that the build in their relationship went from simmer to boil a little too quickly. Cade--because who doesn't like a villian who likes to play mind tricks. I don't want to say anymore.
I am also intrigued by the secondary characters---especially Lita. (A blind seer)
While I think that I can see a definite building block here, and I enjoyed the listen--- I wouldn't buy a copy to pass along to people. I don't regret using the credit---there's something that's keeps me from being pumped about it. Whether I end up loving this book I guess completely rests on what is done in future books... and I'm not sure what that says about this book on it's own.
I bought this book because I needed something new—and thought the cover was intriguing. Who/What is she looking at?
Daisy (our narrator) is a girl who has died 5 times and been revived using a serum. She is in protective custody of a “fake parents” who are a part of a large organization that is measuring the effects on the control group for 30 years. Every time she dies---she moves and assumes a new name. At the beginning of the book Daisy is a lone wolf flippant about these deaths---and as the book progresses we get to watch Daisy bloom into an great friend who more than understands death.
I really don’t want to spoil---so, let me just say that I very much enjoyed the characters, the plot-----loved it SO much. But, almost equally so, I am disappointed by the end. It feels rushed. And, while I almost loathe to say this (since there are so many trilogies out there) this one I felt like could justify one, easily. The depth of her characters could be explored A LOT more. Also, I have questions that linger and haunt. I have theories that I will never know if I am correct about. AND, perhaps most importantly, what is going to happen with/to Daisy and Matt in the long haul?
As an author isn’t that a great problem to have though? I WANT MORE!!! PLEASE?!?
Tara Sands did well. I didn't really notice her---and I mean that in the best way possible. She facilitated the book in a way that didn't distract. I am finding more and more that is important to me.
All in all---I find myself split. I loved the characters------but man, since this is a stand alone I really wanted to finish the book on a high with all my questions answered. And, I really didn't get that.
Is it too late to reconsider a sequel?? I'd definitely read it.
In full disclosure, I’ll start off by saying that I love Divergent. I love Tris. I love Four. In my review of Divergent I raised some things that didn’t sit right with me—but, having listened to Insurgent all of my questions/issues were addressed. And while, I can’t change my initial reaction to Divergent---Insurgent has made me love it more and in our trilogy-centric YA world I think that’s a major feat. That being said, I am still reeling a bit by the reveal at the end and if I struggle to find the words I hope you will forgive.
The story picks up literally where we left Tris and gang---and follows them through several different areas. This really helped to flush out the world even more. I loved being able to see the inner workings of different factions. I do not want to give away anything but let’s just say (while I consider myself a truthful person) I do not want to EVER live in Candor.
Tris is much more vulnerable now... deeply affected by losing her parents and wading through the guilt of Will. This story is painful and contains twists and turns that I did not anticipate… betrayal and assistance where I didn’t expect it. And that end… I'm going to start listen to them both again and again... I know it.
Tris and Four… uh! Thank you Veronica Roth… for creating this relationship. Thank you for NOT (can you believe it) giving us a triangle. Thank you for your amazing and realistic dialogue. I… I really am at a loss for words to describe how satisfied I am. And anxious too.
I am in awe of Emma Galvin’s talent. The emotions she brings only enhance the super intense moments. I think her performance was amazingly spot-on.
This is a killer sequel. I am satisfied in a way that I haven’t been in awhile. I am SUPER stoked for the next one. I am also dreading the next one because that will mean the end…
I bought this audio book because it was part of the ½ price sale, and I enjoy YA. I went into this book with no expectations and really next to no idea what the book was about:
First and most impressive was Nicola Barbera… just stellar performance: Amazing Irish Accents in female and male voices and even an English accent! Her performance complemented the book so well. Stellar job!
I particularly liked the powers and details of the origins of the powers. In some ways I wish I had been physically reading rather than listening because there are some things about the origins of the powers and what they mean to the couple that I would have liked to read again.
My reading enjoyment suffered from what I think is an unavoidable Twilight comparison. (Girl with Dad moves to new place, Girl meets strange aloof devastatingly handsome boy, girl’s life is saved by boy in an unconventional way, boy is warned by family to stay away from girl etc) Actually, now that I think about it…if you were to take Twilight and marry it with Tamora Peirce’s Circle of Magic this is probably what you would end up with.
Would I listen to a sequel? (This is what I ask myself to determine how much I liked it.) Well, it would have to have Nicola Barbera... and ½ off.
I clicked on an ad—that said Hunger Games + Cinderella + The Bachelor = The Selection and totally impulse bought this audio book. I admit it, I was taken by the ad and the cover. Beautiful.
I don’t want to give away too much, but I found the main character to be charming and endearing in a “no, no… please don’t do that… oh you really did it now” kind of way. I really liked her family… in particular her youngest brother. I also felt like her relationship with her Mom really rang true for me. There were moments that made me cringe thinking about the trouble America got herself into through her impetuous responses. I am completely rooting for her—and have already picked which guy I think would be better for her. But based on how she reacted through out the book, and what my gut thought she should do—she will probably choose the other one. (So yes, triangle)
Beyond all of the romance stuff (which is front and center of the book)—is what I imagine for the author a slow build. I loved how the knowledge of this society is laid into the story.
1)I thought—especially in the very beginning that the narrator sounded almost mechanical---wooden. Maybe this was on purpose?? By the end, I didn’t notice it anymore… in fact I did love the way she did the Prince’s voice---for that she deserves credit. If you are listening--let me to encourage you to push on.
2)The ending… I have rewound and listened to the last 20 minutes… oh man, seriously painful---and I would say abrupt ending. All I can do is hope it’s not a long time for the next one. But then maybe that’s a good thing…
Over all I really enjoyed it... but if you are more a fan of Hunger Games than Cinderella or the Bachelor then I’m not sure this is the book for you. Romance is definitely the name of this game.
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