Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

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Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

review

How do I even begin to write a review to such a wonderful, magical, and completely relatable book? I have to say I don’t know if I’ve ever read something so relatable in my life. “Every Heart A Doorway” is a book for us readers and us dreamers, it’s for those of us who have always wanted to live in the fantasy worlds we read about and maybe even feel like we may belong there more than where we are.

You know what I’m talking about: waiting for your Hogwarts letter, opening every wardrobe and closet door looking for Narnia, or even waiting by your window in the hope that Peter Pan will come to whisk you away to Neverland.

If you understand exactly what I mean then drop everything you’re doing and read this book!

PLOT

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place where parents send their troubled children who claim to have been to other worlds. Eleanor helps these children learn to cope with the fact that they are back in the real world and may not be able to return to their fantasy worlds again but offers a safe place for them where they can be believed. However, when the new girl, Nancy, shows up from a trip to an Underworld things start taking a sinister turn at the Home and she finds herself amidst a murder mystery.

Not only is this story very relatable to me as a reader it’s also very original in it’s acknowledgement of many different children visiting many different fantasy worlds and then going back home afterwards and having to deal with the aftermath. I absolutely fell in love with this concept, it’s never really been done before! It’s also almost heartbreaking how much I understand how the characters feel having to come back from these worlds and realizing they may not ever go back.

The world building was incredible I find it so amazing that Seanan McGuire managed to develop a world so quickly considering this is only a 173 page book! I loved learning more about all of the different worlds and how they intersect there are Underworlds, Nonsense Worlds, and Logic Worlds and all have their own unique twists. I could not get enough details about the worlds the characters all visited!

And the writing was fantastic as well it was magical, dark, and light-hearted all at once! The atmosphere the writing created was, for lack of any other words, hauntingly beautiful which is the best way for me to describe it. This book is strange, magical, and has a lot of humor as well and honestly it’s just perfection.

The only part of the plot that bothered me a little bit was that the murder mystery was a little predictable, but honestly that’s all!

characters

I really, really loved the characters in the story not only because I found them all to be very complex and well-developed in such a short amount of pages but also because of how diverse they are as well. We have an asexual main character as well as a transgender boy character and I honestly loved how well both were handled in this story, I felt it was respectful and even a little informative too. There is also racial diversity with a girl of Asian descent and a Latino boy, it was fantastic to see diversity with gender identities and races!

Almost all of the characters that are mentioned have their own worlds and backstories and it was fascinating learning about the worlds they visited and how they impacted them.

in conclusion

Overall I was incredibly impressed with every aspect of this book and I NEED more!

What I Loved:

  • The unique and amazing story
  • The world building with all of the fantastic worlds
  • The writing and eerie atmosphere
  • The well-developed and diverse caste of characters

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Only that it was too short and I want more!
  • The murder mystery aspect was a little predictable

RECOMMEND

I don’t think I can recommend this book enough! Like I said in the beginning this is perfect for those of you who always wanted to fall into a magical world.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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description

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

review

“This life is not always what we think it will be,” Cain says. “You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

I have to say I was a little worried about this one since it’s a pretty hyped up book but it was definitely worth the hype in my opinion! This book is very intense and just all around amazing!

PLOT

As I said this book is intense that’s honestly the best word to describe it! It’s very fast-paced and action-packed with a plot that grows more and more complex as the story progresses. I actually really enjoyed reading both perspectives, Elias and Laia, because it added a lot of depth to both “sides” of the story even though I preferred Elias’ a bit more since it was more eventful. There’s plot twists, betrayals, secrets and even a little politics as well which all adds to the excitement.

I also really like the world building, I like the Roman inspired bits and pieces as well as a bit of the mythical and magical being tossed in for good measure. It’s also a pretty dark, nasty world as well which I loved (I’m not weird, I promise). The punishments and trials the characters face are gruesome and the threat of torture, violence, and even rape are almost constantly hanging over there heads. This book was EVIL but it also kept me turning pages because I was honestly terrified for the characters and that’s exactly what all the brutality in this book wanted was to shock and infuriate us, it succeeded!

That ending killed me though, talk about a cliffhanger! I am really curious to see how the story will further develop though since we were left with many, many questions regarding a bit of the world building and just what will happen next in general!

characters

The characters were easily the best part of the book and they aren’t the usual, run of the mill YA Fantasy characters either. I loved how complex, well developed, and unique each character was even the secondary characters were interesting! I also really loved and appreciated how realistically badass all of the women in the story were, not always with weaponry or fighting either but with their wits and compassion as well.

Laia isn’t the secretly badass heroine we always seem to see, she’s “weak” and “cowardly” and constantly thinks these things of herself as well. I feel like Laia’s trials were a lot more challenging for her because nothing came surprisingly natural for her, she wasn’t a “special snowflake” in disguise at all which was very refreshing! Overall I loved how her character felt very real she wasn’t weak or cowardly she was normal, I think it’s safe to say most of us would act the same way if we were put into similar, horrifying positions!

Elias was also a very likable protagonist and really differed from the usual YA male characters we see. Like most YA characters we see he’s trying to get away from his “fate/destiny/what’s expected of him” but what makes Elias’s story a little different is that he actually has really good reasons to feel this way that also makes him feel very real and relatable.

Like I said earlier, the secondary characters were really great as well but two that are well worth mentioning are Helene and the Commandant. Helene is a badass and I adored her ferociousness and skills, she’s just an all around great female character! As for the Commandant she is the head of Blackcliff Academy and she is a vicious bitch that I loved to hate, honestly she’s one of the most cold-hearted characters I’ve ever read about. Just so many great characters!

romance

First off I’d like to say that the romance in this book is some sort of weird love square? It’s odd but honestly I didn’t mind it at all, which is really saying something! I actually like all of the potential couples in the story and thought they’d all be great together which really kills me because if certain characters are together they break the other’s hearts, awwwww feelings!!!!!

I also like the fact that there weren’t really any other tropes concerning the romance, there was a case of instant attraction but NOT insta-love. The romance didn’t ever really feel like it was over-taking the main plot line either, it felt like a bigger part of the story after a while but never actually overshadowed anything else which I LOVED!

in conclusion

I actually really enjoyed this book and am eagerly waiting to get my hands on the next book because I need more of this world! Overall I think this was a wonderful, unique YA fantasy book.

What I Loved:

  • The characters, all of them!
  • Female representation
  • All of the action, fast-pacing, and brutality of the plot
  • The world building
  • The romance didn’t really take precedence over the plot
  • I like all of the potential romantic couples!

What I Didn’t Love:

  • I don’t really have anything to complain about!

RECOMMEND

Yes! I highly recommend checking this book out, especially if you’re a YA fantasy lover! It’s a very actio-packed, fast, unique book!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

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Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

review

“You’re used to knowing what’s what. You think like the rest of them. Things are set in stone. Things are well ordered. Reds at the bottom, everyone else standing on our backs. Now you’re looking at me and you’re realizing that we don’t bloodydamn like it down there. Red is rising.”

Where do I even start with this book? It was absolute perfection and simply amazing! Basically I could sit and fangirl over it all day instead of actually writing a coherent review! It’s super hard to write a review for a book that I found to be so utterly brilliant but I’ll try.

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PLOT

First of all I’d like to say this book is very much a blend of genres, it’s not JUST sci-fi and it’s not JUST a dystopian either. “Red Rising” has a little bit of everything because it’s got both sci-fi, dystopian, and even a little bit of high fantasy elements as well. Now being the big lover of both sci-fi and fantasy that I am, I was completely blown away by having these all combined into the “perfect book” for me! I think the blend of genres would make it a book that’s easy for every type of book lover to enjoy!

I absolutely loved the world building as well, Pierce Brown did a magnificent job of being original in my opinion. There is a caste system where people are placed according to Color and do jobs according to that Color, it’s also set on Mars (which we learn more about that as well!), and there’s a lot of Roman mythology in it as well! There’s also just so much unique slang and culture in the world too. It blew me away honestly, I just thought everything was so creative and compelling.

The plot was just overall amazing I love stories about rebellion, rising above oppressors, and rooting for the underdog! This story is all of those things! I was hooked immediately and could NOT put this book down to save my life once I started it. There’s constant action, plot twists, and is very complex overall. While the pacing could be considered more on the slow side I still felt there was enough going on not to be bored. It’s so VICIOUS! There is a lot of violence but it’s awesome (I’m horribly like that), I thought it helped this book break the mold of the usual YA.

Also, the writing? Just as amazing as everything else, of course! I loved how the writing made me FEEL what the characters were feeling and honestly I cried more than once. For me, crying because of a book is always a sign of it’s perfection. I love when a book’s writing is so wonderful it actually brings out emotions in the reader.

This book is VERY reminiscent  of “The Hunger Games”. It bothered me only a little bit that it was so similar but I got over it easily because it’s still a very different book. The arena the Golds compete in is similar to THG as well as the factions since they’re very reminiscent of the Districts in THG. But like I said it’s different too, for example “Red Rising” is by far more violent and gory and I LOVED it for that. There’s also a lot more strategy to it as well, which once again I loved.

characters

Let’s see here……hm…..the characters? Were as freaking awesome as everything else in this book! They’re ruthless, savage, and will do ANYTHING to further their own agendas. I love characters that are this complex and developed, seriously, ALL of them! I was amazed with Brown’s skill to take so many secondary characters and develop them in a few sentences!

Darrow is a great narrator, I loved how fiery he is but yet he knows he has flaws and weaknesses. He has his moments where he’d have his moral lines blur but overall he never forgot his purpose in doing all of this. I’ve seen people complain that Darrow is a “Gary Stu” because he’s chosen and perfect which I can understand but overall I saw that Darrow did have his flaws and I adored him.

The secondary characters were all fantastic as well, honestly it was like having a bunch of other main characters alongside Darrow. I loved how Pierce Brown could make you go from hating a character to loving one in a matter of sentences and vice versa! Everyone was so full of surprises.

I’d also like to take a moment and share my love for both Pax and Sevro who were both the most vicious and adorable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. That is all.

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romance

The romance definitely isn’t the central focus of the plot but it is important as Darrow’s love for his wife, Eo, is his main driving force. I thought those two were very adorable and Darrow is just so sweet and loves his wife so much, ugh, feels!

There is a bit of another romance in the story that I also was  a big fan of but I won’t get into details because….spoilers!

in conclusion

I am concluding that “Red Rising” is an amazingly perfect book and I, personally, found nothing wrong with it. I just had so many emotions and so much FUN reading this book!

Hopefully this review was at least moderately helpful….and not just me gushing too much!

What I Loved:

  • The unique setting
  • The world building
  • The writing
  • The characters, who were wonderfully complex
  • Literally, everything

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Nothing!

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend this book, seriously, especially for those of you who enjoy dystopians, sci-fi, or fantasy! I pretty much just recommend it anyways though…it’s perfection!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

review

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Let me just start off by saying I’m usually not a big contemporary reader so when I rate a contemporary 5 stars it’s just through the roof amazing! “The Hate U Give” is probably one of the most hyped books out there and it is 100% worthy of all of it, not only is it just an overall incredible read but it’s also a very important book. It focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and speaking up for equality and against racism and police brutality.

I wish I could go into more depth on the subject matter of this book but I am not one to talk about important issues such as these that I don’t know anything about personally (not saying I’m completely ignorant I just don’t know enough to go giving you all the information you need). All I can do is try and give “The Hate U Give” a review that will do it at least some justice and convince you all just how much you need to get your hands on a copy.

PLOT

First things first, I cannot believe this is Angie Thomas’s debut novel! Her writing is phenomenal and she writes like a pro, it was easy to follow, entertaining, and very emotional. Trust me when I say that books have to be VERY well written for me to get so immersed in the characters and story that I’ll be crying and I did more than once throughout this book!

As I mentioned above this book focuses mainly on racial inequality, our corrupt justice system, police brutality, and racism and in my opinion it really nails all of these things and sheds light on the truth of the way our society works. While this is some pretty heavy stuff that doesn’t mean “The Hate U Give” is that way the whole time, in fact there is a lot of humor in the otherwise somber plot. I loved how many light-hearted moments were included even though what Starr was going through is very tragic and scary.

The story is very character driven and that being said almost every single character has their own storyline that interconnects with everyone else’s as well. So the plot is very complex and there is never, NEVER a dull moment. You will be hooked from page one and will be 100% invested in these character’s stories.

Remember when I said the writing is very emotional? That’s probably one of the things that stuck out the most with me, just how emotional this story gets in so many different ways. There were times when my heart was absolutely broken, other times when I was over-joyed, and times where I was legitimately terrified for the characters.

This last thing I want to say involving the plot is kind of a side note but I wanted to mention it because it pissed me off so much! The white kids at Starr’s private school decide to hold a protest for Justice for Khalil which is awesome….except the only reason they did anything was to get out of class and they didn’t actually care. How about NOOOOOO? I did really appreciate the fact though that some of the other white characters refused to do it once they found out it was just a gimmick.

characters

If I was going to be honest and tell you what my absolute favorite part of this book was I’d have to say all of the characters! There wasn’t a single character who didn’t have a personality and a story all their own.

Starr is an extremely down-to-Earth and relatable character, I was rooting for her the entire time! Not to mention she’s also sassy, smart, and brave but she also isn’t without her flaws as well. Overall she’s very complex and has earned a spot in my favorite bookish heroines!

I also absolutely adored the family dynamic in “The Hate U Give”, literally loved it to little bits and pieces! It’s definitely a nice change to see a loving, supportive family in YA with children/teens who respect their parents and elders. I mean how many times do we see YA heroes/heroines that blow their parents off? Too many is the answer and it drives me nuts to see kids be so disrespectful.

The secondary characters were amazing as well and it was almost mind-blowing to see so many complex and developed characters all at once!

romance

So this is going to be very brief because while there is romance in the story it definitely does not take over the plot, THANK GOD! While I do love the way Starr’s interracial relationship is handled by themselves and outside parties I just didn’t like it overall, I felt that Starr and Chris just didn’t really have any chemistry. I think that Starr’s friendships and family relationships were handled a lot better with much more depth.

in conclusion

This is usually where I state the things I did like and didn’t like in the book and honestly there just isn’t anything I disliked that strongly, it is a 5 star book after all! I loved the story, the writing, and most of all the characters and I have zero complaints.

RECOMMEND

If I could give every single one of you a copy I would that’s how much I wish everyone would read “The Hate U Give” because as I said not only is it just a plain amazing book it’s also an extremely important one that handles some very serious and all too real issues.

GO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!!!!!!!!!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Graphic Novel Series Review *SPOILER FREE*: Amulet #1-7 by Kazu Kibuishi

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****This is only the description for Amulet Volume 1!****

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

review

So this is a review of all the volumes that are currently out #1-7, the series is going to have 2 more volumes that will finish it out. I’m not sure on a release date for either of them though.

These are mini reviews that I’m going to keep SPOILER FREE and very short since I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone planning on reading the entire series! I’ll provide an overall review of what I thought of the series as a whole at the end of this post.

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Amulet: The Stonekeeper (#1)

This is a wonderful start to such a magical, enchanting adventure full of mysteries and action both! It pulls you headfirst into the story immediately capturing your attention with the mystery of Em and Navin’s great grandfather’s house and their mother suddenly being kidnapped by a strange creature. They then follow her down into a new, mysterious other world and from there the story really takes off!

Plenty is explained as you read through this with the right amount of information being provided and left out, making you want to read on. My only complaint is this first volume felt a little rushed since it takes a little bit for the the plot to unfold.


Amulet: The Stonekeeper’s Curse (#2)

With the second volume we finally start to see a little more character development in Em and Navin since the first one was more so setting up the plot.

We also see some new characters added into the mix that are fierce and endearing (Leon, anyone?) and of course the plot develops more as well!


Amulet: The Cloud Searchers (#3)

The journey continues with once again some new found companions that I LOVED (*cough* Trellis *cough*) and lots of little mysteries that I NEED answers for.

We also see exponential growth in Em’s character, I really enjoy watching her come into her power as a Stonekeeper.


Amulet: The Last Council (#4)

New Stonekeeper characters that are awesome and badass! More plot twists!


Amulet: Escape From Lucien (#5)

New enemies, locations, friends, and creatures! Woohoo!


Amulet: Prince of the Elves (#6)

We finally get some backstory on some very important characters and that’s really the main focus in this volume.


Amulet: Firelight (#7)

All I need to say about this volume is: THAT CLIFFHANGER DESTROYED ME!

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I absolutely LOVE this graphic novel series and honestly have no complaints about them except I wish they were longer!

This is technically Middle Grade but I still found it enjoyable and I think all ages would enjoy it too since the story is just so engaging. It actually gets a little dark at times too, surprisingly.

The art is absolutely stunning, colorful, and simplistic.

It’s like fantasy mixed with science fiction since there are elves, magic, flying ships, and robots! It makes for a very interesting and imaginative combination.

Overall there’s just plenty of action and the world with it’s mysteries is very intriguing and I highly recommend this series!

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Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

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The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

review

I just have to rate this book a full five stars! I don’t usually enjoy historical fiction or romance but the way these ladies wrote it I couldn’t help but love it. It’s hysterical, fun, light-hearted and so very unique and I want you all to go read it ASAP!

PLOT

The story in “My Lady Jane” is essentially a twist and sort of retelling of English history involving the Lady Jane Gray, King Edward VI, and Lord Guildford Dudley who are our POV narrators. So if you love the history of this time period then I’d say you’ll probably have a lot of fun making comparisons between this book’s re-written history and the real history, I know I did!

A large part of deciding whether you’ll love this book or not really depends on what kind of mood you’re in and what your sense of humor is like. DO NOT go into this book expecting something tense and dramatic because it most definitely is not any of those things. “My Lady Jane” is silly, light, and charming and full of hilarious lines and references to Monty Python and The Princess Bride (although on the latter I cannot specify too much as I haven’t seen the entire movie, don’t kill me). So if all of those things sound appealing to you then you’ll  with no doubt love this book if you don’t take it too seriously because the book itself certainly doesn’t.

While I don’t necessarily consider this YA Fantasy since it’s mostly a historical retelling it does contain some elements of fantasy such as magic. Basically we have Edians who have the ability to shape-shift into a certain animal and live among the rest of us normal humans. I very much loved how this magic was incorporated within the “real” history and plot both while also adding to the overall cuteness and fun of the story.

The pacing was great too, I thought there was never a dull moment with “My Lady Jane” and couldn’t put it down. Another great feature was the writing I thought it was just brilliant, fun, and blended everything together nicely making the book a joy to read through.

Overall I think the plot has plenty of cute romance, action, and adventure all seamlessly melded together in very clever ways. It’s not too dramatic or serious and just a very fun, entertaining story.

characters

The characters were all absolutely fantastic and I adored them, they were clever, witty, and interesting. Each of our protagonists developed in their own way throughout the story and had vivid personalities of their own making for some fun and three dimensional characters. I don’t have any issues with the main characters whatsoever and even the villains were fun to hate….because no one can hurt my precious characters! No one!

Jane is a girl after my own heart, honestly probably one of the most relatable characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. She’s bookish, a bit silly, and quite spunky.

Edward was one of the more funny protagonists I thought his narration was hilarious. He’s also a big softy and generally I thought he was adorable and precious and needed to be protected at all costs.

Gifford, while a great character in his own right, was my least favorite just because I personally thought his personality didn’t shine as brightly as Jane’s and Edward’s. He was the more boring one for me while reading although I must say I DID love his perspective during certain parts that I shall not specify because spoilers!

romance

This romance was a winner and I will say when I am convinced to love a romance in a YA book then it is usually a five star read for me. It did not necessarily have me swooning but it was a well done, slow-burn, trope-free romance and really that’s all I’m really looking for. Even thought the romance is a big part of the plot it doesn’t ever take over completely and over shadow all of the other things going on, which is always appreciated by me.

Gifford and Jane were very cute and I felt that their romance was realistic because at first they don’t care for each other in the least bit and slowly fall in love. Realistic romance folks! That’s all I want! No tropes here!

in conclusion

I LOVED this book plain and simple and had zero issues with any of the aspects of it. I NEED these authors to write another book together STAT!

What I Liked Loved:

  • The romance was sweet, trope-free, and not the sole focus
  • The protagonists were all wonderful, funny, and developed
  • The plot is clever, unique, and hilarious
  • The magic is interesting and adds a lot to the plot

What I Disliked:

  • Nothing. I rated it 5 stars for a reason!

RECOMMEND

YES! A BILLION TIMES YES! This book is perfection and I highly recommend reading it! Although like I said earlier if you want something more serious and dramatic steer clear but if you want a light, silly book that’s tons of fun then “My Lady Jane” is for you!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

ARC Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) by Jay Kristoff

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description

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

review

**** Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!****

It’s official….Jay Kristoff cannot disappoint me.

This book has everything! Deadly assassins, a badass heroine, plot twists galore, magical shadow creatures, and some fantastic world building! Plus it’s a story all about revenge and who doesn’t love that? Honestly, “Nevernight” is perfection.

PLOT

 Getting into “Nevernight” took me a while and it took me longer still to actually finish it, I felt like I was flung into Kristoff’s world without any information whatsoever and therefore it took some time for me to get a handle on the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys. Don’t worry though we do get provided with plenty of information after a bit and after that  it was smooth sailing! So I will say that “Nevernight” takes some patience at first but is ultimately very worth it!

There also seems to have been a lot of debate about what genre this book actually is, some say it’s YA but others say it’s Adult because of the graphic violence and sex scenes. I, however, think it’s a hybrid of both. The main character, Mia, is very much a young adult but the plot has elements that most people would consider adult. So I will say if you’re not comfortable with detailed scenes of sex and violence as well as plenty of profanity then maybe this isn’t for you!

“Nevernight”, to put it simply, is all about revenge. Mia wants revenge against the people who killed her family and becoming a deadly assassin is how she plans on doing it. I love a good revenge tale and this book nails it, you can really get behind Mia’s motives and root her on. I wanted Mia to succeed in her schemes to destroy her enemies so desperately, I really felt her loss and wanted her to get her vengeance.

Another aspect of the plot I really enjoyed was the “school” setting, Jay Kristoff really meant it when he said it’s like Hogwarts but instead of being filled with witches and wizards it’s full of vicious killers. Here they learn how to become more skilled with weaponry, poisons, theft, and even secrets. Mia and her peers are tested constantly with their instructors actually trying to kill them to see who has the necessary skills to make it as an assassin. It is intense!

The plot is also filled with insane twists and turns, I did NOT see that ending coming whatsoever! The entire story is action-packed but that ending went at break neck speed, in my opinion, I was screaming in rage and loved every second of it and I absolutely adored Kristoff’s shock factor there!

I also noticed a lot of people have mentioned in their reviews that they hated the writing style in this book and while it is very different from what most of us normally read, I really enjoyed it. Kristoff’s writing is loaded with metaphors and similes making it very lyrical and fun to read. I didn’t find it too elaborate in the least bit. I also really loved the inclusion of footnotes throughout the story they added so much humor as well as background to the world Kristoff built.

Speaking of the world building…..definitely no disappointment there. The world in which “Nevernight” is set is based a lot on Ancient Rome as well as Venice which is apparent from the titles given to certain characters such as Consul Scaeva and Justicus Remus and the many canals that run through the city, a lot of the character names are Italian as well. There is also quite a bit of information provided on the gods and religions of this world as well as bits of magic and “mythical” beasts. Fantasy at it’s finest.

characters

Mia Corvere is a badass to put it simply and the kind of heroine I wish were in every book I read. She’s flawed, strong, fierce, clever, and absolutely unwavering in her determination to take down the people who destroyed her family. She also has a really cool ability – she’s able to manipulate and even speak with shadows. Mia is also the opposite of all talk and no action, she’s a deadly killer and will do whatever it takes to get her revenge. I loved how we got a heroine who actually kills people and is great at it, unlike the very popular Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series.

We also see quite a few flashbacks to Mia’s past which slowly reveal what really drives her down this path of vengeance. I loved getting this background and insight into her character.

There’s also Tric, who is a sort of secondary protagonist as well as Mia’s love interest. I really enjoyed his character as well, he comes off as being sort of goofy and humorous but don’t make the mistake of underestimating him because he’s one of the most determined and deadliest people in the bunch.

The romance (if you can even really call it that) is definitely not overwhelming at all and very much secondary to both the plot and Mia. It was definitely enjoyable for what it was though, which is mostly sex with some confused feelings thrown in. Remember when I mentioned those very graphic sex scenes? Yep.

The secondary characters are all fantastic as well, they’re very well developed, complex, and add a lot more depth to the story. From the other students to the instructors to the corrupted men in charge of the Republic, I loved so many of them and loved to hate some others. If there’s anything I love in a fantasy book it’s well done secondary characters and “Nevernight” definitely has them!

in conclusion

“Nevernight” is an amazing book full of action, twists and turns, fantastic world building, great writing, and even greater characters. I definitely was not disappointed and very much look forward to the next book in the series or anything else Jay Kristoff writes for that matter!

RECOMMEND

Do you want to read an amazing book? Then yes I highly recommend “Nevernight”! If you want a deadly assassin as a heroine who actually kills people or a story fueled by revenge and betrayals then this is for you! However, I will once again warn any of you who are not fans of graphic violence, graphic sex scenes, or large amounts of profanity may want to steer clear!

Also if you’re interested in reading something by Jay Kristoff but may not necessarily want to read “Nevernight” or you’ve already read “Nevernight” and are looking for more of this author’s amazing work then definitely check out  “Stormdancer” and “Illuminae” which I will provide links to my reviews for!

Get your copy of “Nevernight” now!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy