Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
4.5 stars.

“Richard was sitting in the dark, on a ledge, on the side of a storm drain, wondering what to do, wondering how much further out of his depth he could possibly get. His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching football on the telly on the weekends, for turning on a heater if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.”

This is my first time reading a Neil Gaiman book and all I can say is . . . WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? WHY HAVE I WAITED SO LONG? Continue reading “Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman”

Hunted by Megan Spooner

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Hunted by Megan Spooner
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling, YA
4 stars.

I have not read as genuinely delightful of a fairy tale retelling in years. Hunted follows in the hallowed tradition of Robin McKinley and Juliet Marillier, and I was immediately swept into the nostalgia of Spooner’s enchanted world.

Yeva, the youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant, longs for the solitude and magic of the forest, where she is free from the confines of society and can hunt as she pleases. When her father falls into financial ruin and then madness, disappearing into the forest in search of a mysterious “cunning beast,” Yeva has no choice but to follow him. When she finds a beast of nightmares looming over her father’s body in the snow, she swears vengeance on the creature who killed her father and that has now taken her captive to complete some mysterious test. Continue reading “Hunted by Megan Spooner”

The Seventh Tower Series by Garth Nix

Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Shannon Messenger.

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The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, middle-grade
5 stars.

I cannot even BEGIN to describe how much of an impact this series has had on me. I read them for the first time when I was ten-years-old and reread them countless times in the following months. Everything I wrote between the ages of 10-12 followed some sort of theme from the Seventh Tower–whether it was bad-ass blonde warrior chicks, planets of ice, shadow magic, or mystic warrior cults (though that was also influenced by my excessive reading of the Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice novels). Even today I find my stories tinged with Garth Nix’s influence. Continue reading “The Seventh Tower Series by Garth Nix”

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Historical Fantasy
5 stars.

“The circus arrives without warning.”

I have never read nor will ever read anything like this book. Morgenstern orchestrates a masterful mixing of genres whose wheres and the whys, much like the circus itself, are deliciously difficult to pin down. The deeply human longing for magic and wonder are piqued within the dream-like realm of Morgernstern’s prose, and I couldn’t help but be enchanted by it. Continue reading “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern”

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by VE Schwab

29939230Genre: Fantasy
4 stars.

I first discovered VE Schwab through her book The Archived, under her YA name Victoria Schwab, which I reviewed here. Her style was so reminiscent of Garth Nix, who had a huge influence on my childhood and my own writing, and was unlike anything I had read since I’d devoured his series’s as an enamored ten-year-old. I didn’t think Schwab could get any better, but, of course, she DID.

I breezed through A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows when I first discovered them back in October and instantly pre-ordered a signed copy of A Conjuring of Light which I have never done before. Continue reading “A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by VE Schwab”

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Genre: fantasy, (dys)(u)topia, YA
3.5 stars.

Scythe brought up some fascinating philosophical questions, which I was not expecting from from reading the synopsis. In fact, if my friend had not recommended this book to me, I would have never picked it up because the premise sounded ridiculous. I was pleasantly surprised. While Scythe is by no means a perfect book, it is well written and thought provoking, which is something that is sorely lacking in the YA genre. Continue reading “Scythe by Neal Shusterman”

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

25614492Genre: Historical, YA
4.5 stars.

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THIS BOOK?! HOW?!

I have been a bit of a WWII buff for the past six years and I DIDN’T KNOW, so I was absolutely caught off guard by the ending. That is what blew me away more than anything. Continue reading “Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys”

Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin

51cqx6euxal-_sx350_bo1204203200_Genre: Historical, Holocaust, YA
4.5 stars.

This book sneaks up on you.

It’s quiet. So quiet. A teenage girl who doesn’t get along with her mother is stood up by her date. An older sister who dreams of working in the theater. Normal things. Life things. Continue reading “Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin”

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

the-girl-on-the-trainGenre: Thriller, mystery
3.5 stars because of the ending, otherwise I would have given this a four.

Interesting read and an excellent use of an unreliable narrator. The book was well written, well paced, so that the reveals didn’t seem to come from no where, but weren’t too expected either. However, the ending was entirely cliche and expected, and it rendered a greater part of the book and it’s exploration of certain characters pointless. And really? We get an epic bad guy monologue at the end that makes no sense? The first 3/4 of the book were riveting because of the mystery, but also because of how trapped we became in the narrators’s minds. The ending, however, did not live up to not only the hype of the “amazing twist” I’d been promised, but also the first 3/4 of the novel.

The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass

26222109Genre: Thriller, realistic fiction, YA
3 stars.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. Part of me wants to give it four stars, but most of me wants to give it three stars.

The book was generally well written, it was dark, disturbing, incestuous, and grew darker and more disturbing with every page. But I also think it did not do a believable job of dealing with how incredibly messed up the Creswell siblings would be if they really grew up the way they did. There were moments when I felt this family and their horrific story were done justice, but Castley’s revelation and sudden change of heart at the end were too fast and furious. Continue reading “The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass”