Book Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

a title here(72)

description

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

review

As excited as I was for this book I was hoping to enjoy it more than I did, this was a pretty big disappointment. It wasn’t a terrible book but it was just very unimpressive to me, I expected a lot more from it.

PLOT

First of all this is supposed to be a mystery/thriller where you were suspicious of every character, I mean they’re potential murder suspects! However, I didn’t feel really at all throughout my reading that these characters were murderers, nobody seemed sneaky enough or vengeful enough to have actually done it. In a murder mystery/whodunnit you need to sell me on all of these suspects and I just wasn’t sold. I wasn’t second-guessing anyone, I wasn’t thrilled, and I wasn’t stumped about the mystery.

This was pretty fast-paced and did keep me interested enough in the story as it was told in four different POVs, however, I felt that the POVs really blended together. I would be deep into a chapter told from Cooper’s perspective and still think I was reading Bronwyn’s. That shouldn’t be happening, kind of hard to get into everyone’s inner monologues when I forget whose I’m reading.

I thought many of the twists were predictable or when they weren’t they didn’t pack much of a punch. Which is probably why this book was so disappointing for me, because mystery/thriller’s should be a lot more…..thrilling.

I really liked that this set up was a nod to The Breakfast Club but really the only similarity was that there was detention for a few pages and each character fits into a stereotype. That’s as far as the similarities go though which was a little disappointing. But I still really enjoyed the reference overall.

Also that ending and the reveal at the end was a little ridiculous and actually made the entire book sort of pointless. I was just….”Really? That was it? Why?” It did make sense but it was all really odd and not at all what I thought I was signing up for when I started the book.

Overall, it was a great and very interesting IDEA but just really failed on execution.

characters

The characters were the only point in the story that kept me reading. They each developed a lot throughout the story and had a decent amount of complexity. However, as I already mentioned it was a little hard to tell at times whose POV I was reading. Yes, it does start each POV switch with the name and date but I STILL got lost and had a hard time trying to remember whose POV I was reading. The characters were all a little too similar at times.

Each character fits directly into a stereotype or cliche which in any other case would have been annoying but with this book it worked. This is supposed to be a nod towards The Breakfast Club since each character is a Brain, Beauty, Criminal, Athlete, and an Outcast. I loved how each character owned up to their labels and “rebelled” against them in their own ways by the end of the story.

There is a tiny bit of diversity with a Latino character and a LGBT character, although it is kind of skated over which was disappointing.

However, I didn’t really click with any of the characters and none of them were all that memorable for me.

romance

There’s a couple of different romances scattered throughout the book but the main romance is between Bronwyn and Nate. It was just sort of okay and I was kind of bored with it. The only nice thing about their romance is that it was slow-burn, no insta-love or other YA romance tropes here!

in conclusion

Overall this was an okay read and it seems to be a case of “It’s not you, it’s me” for me with this book. It could definitely be a good read for others especially for those of you who may not necessarily read a ton of YA mystery/thrillers, it will make this one less predictable for you!

What I Loved:

  • It was pretty fast-paced
  • The characters were alright
  • The romance wasn’t filled with tropes
  • A bit of diversity
  • The Breakfast Club reference (because it’s awesome)

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Fairly predictable
  • The ending/reveal was a bit ridiculous
  • I didn’t FEEL anything during the story or for the characters
  • POVs blended together

RECOMMEND

Meh. I can’t say I personally would go around recommending this to anyone because I found it to be really boring and predictable for the most part, However, like I said this could still be enjoyable for you if you haven’t read a ton of  otherYA mystery/thrillers.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

a title here(70)

description

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.

review

I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about Megan Abbott’s books, it seems people either love them or hate them……I loved it! I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of her books now!

This will be a shorter review than normal because I’m not really sure what to expand on in a book like this without revealing too much!

PLOT

I’d like to call this book a thriller but it really isn’t it’s more of a family drama that has some murder mystery/thriller vibes. It’s just so suspenseful and addictive I could not put this book down once I got into it, it was almost hard to remember this was the story of one family at times. There definitely isn’t a lack of drama here!

The writing in this book, as I said, is just so addictive it was amazing how Abbott could take something potentially tedious such as a family’s every day routine and make it so suspenseful! Everything from Katie’s marriage concerns to the viciousness of gymnastics and the rumors that accompany both was made to feel way more terrifying. The pacing almost goes at break-neck speed, there was rarely a dull moment in this book.

There was also a fair share of plot twists that I honestly did not see coming, sure I saw some of them coming but definitely not all of them. So many secrets and lies, there are characters manipulating at every turn! However, there was so much more to it than a simple murder. Abbott really delves into the characterizations and into how the messy minds of teenage girls work and that’s honestly what drives the story the most. I would say this book is really about people politics.

Also just on a side note I really enjoyed the gymnastics aspect of the story and loved how big of a role it played throughout.

characters

While I did think the characters were pretty good in this book I also didn’t really LIKE any of them which I feel like Abbott was actually going for. They fight dirty, keep secrets, manipulate, and even refuse to see what’s right in front of them, this book really showed that there’s bad in everyone.

I think the characters with the most personality would have to be Katie and her son Drew, they were more interesting to read about since they usually had other things going on. Whereas, Eric and Devon were almost fully focused on gymnastics. I have to say though that Drew was the smartest person in the entire story, he knew EXACTLY what was going on but without full knowing what it was. The child knew and all of the adults didn’t. Just saying.

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • The strong plot with plenty of drama, twists, and turns
  • The writing was downright addictive
  • Fast pacing and never a dull moment

What I Didn’t Love

  • Some of the plot twists were predictable
  • I didn’t really care a whole lot for the characters

RECOMMEND

I definitely recommend checking this book out especially if you’re into mystery/thrillers or family dramas because it’s a bit of both.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

ARC Review: The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1) by Emily R. King

a title here(69)description

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

review

****Big thank you to Skyscape and Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review****

Wow, let me just say I am pleasantly surprised with how much I ended up enjoying this book! It has every element I love in a YA fantasy and I honestly cannot wait for the rest of the series now!

PLOT

Of course it’s easy to think with the description of this book that it would be something similar to “The Wrath & The Dawn” or even “The Star-Touched Queen” and while there are some similarities it’s still very unique. I would still say that if you were a fan of either you will probably enjoy “The Hundredth Queen” as well!

I really enjoyed the world building a lot, I liked how every aspect of the lore we were introduced to was incorporated into the plot. I also never felt overwhelmed or confused when information on the world was provided, no info-dumps here! The mythology was probably my favorite part about this story since it ended up playing a major part and was just so fascinating to learn about.

I found the magic system to be pretty unique and actually reminded me a lot of Avatar: The Last Airbender since each element is represented, that’s probably why I loved it so much……

While the pacing wasn’t necessarily slow in the beginning it was a little bit harder for me to get into since there was a bit of insta-love that really put me off. However, once I got a little bit further in I was completely engrossed in this story! There were many twists and turns that I honestly did not see coming and I felt like there was definitely plenty of action and fast pacing to keep me turning pages.

The rank tournaments themselves were actually pretty brutal too, there definitely wasn’t any sugar-coating this aspect of the story which I liked since I feel YA authors always try to get out of or gloss over any sort of violence in their novels. Not that I’m some blood-thirsty, horrible person! It’s just I get tired of books promising fights to the death and then not delivering.

I also liked the way females were represented in the story as well as female relationships. There is a bit of girl-on-girl hate at the beginning of the story but I promise you it isn’t what it seems as it changes as the story progresses. I appreciated how the author would point out the wrongness of the way women were treated and how they sometimes treated each other in this world as well and how our heroine, Kalinda, also frowned upon any negative treatment of women and would intervene. The women in this story are honestly total badasses and I loved it! Although I will say I wish the few positive relationships between females would have been shown a lot more.

I was also really impressed with the writing and it was hard to believe this was a debut novel, everything flowed so well! Simple and easy to read overall, which sometimes is just perfect.

characters

The characters in this book were actually very enjoyable, all of them! Once again, I was pretty surprised by how well I thought a lot of them developed and the levels of complexity a few of them had. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with these characters but I love to be proved wrong in this case!

Kalinda was the perfect protagonist, in my opinion. She was brave and loyal but also had her moments where her courage would fail her, she wasn’t perfect. I also really liked how she wasn’t some “super skilled special snowflake” (that’s a bit of a tongue twister, huh?), she had skill but she definitely wasn’t as skilled as lot of the other characters. I think maybe the best word to describe how I felt about Kalinda’s character was “heart-warming” because everything she did, said, or felt just gave me tingles because she was just so realistic and down to earth!

The secondary characters were all well done too, I felt like I knew so many of them even though they were only around for a few sentences! I loved how many were also not just by-standers and we got to see so many of them grow and develop throughout the story.

As I mentioned earlier I really liked all of the female relationships in this book but especially the friendship between Kalinda and Jaya. Honestly, I wished there was more shown between those two because I feel YA could really use more positive female friendships like this one!

romance

The only real problem I had with the romance was that there was some heavy insta-love at the beginning but overall I did like it and felt that Kalinda and Deven made a great couple. Was it anything super special or impressive? No, not really but like I said I did enjoy it so that’s all that really matters.

Plus it doesn’t hurt that Deven is a pretty swoon-worthy love interest. He treated Kalinda right and I’m all for a good guy love interest!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • The world building and mythology
  • Kalinda was a great female protagonist
  • The writing flowed well and was easy to follow
  • The plot was fast-paced, action-packed, with plenty of twists
  • Kalinda and Jaya’s friendship

What I Didn’t Love:

  • There was some girl-on-girl hate (which is never okay although in this story it was overcome)
  • Insta-love relationship (even though I did come to like them together)
  • I wish Kalinda and Jaya’s friendship would have been shown a lot more and maybe some more of the female relationships as well

RECOMMEND

I definitely recommend checking this book out especially if you’re looking for something a little similar to “The Wrath & The Dawn”!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

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

a title here(67)description

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

ARC Review: Alice (The Wanderland Chronicles #1) by J.M. Sullivan

a title here(66)

description

Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.

Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.

review

****Big thank you to Pen Name Publishing for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!****

I’d also just like to quickly say the only reason I picked this book up was because of my blogger buddy Ariana @ The Quirk Book Nerd’s review! Please go check it out because it’s much more convincing than mine!

So this is a horror/dystopian/zombie-filled Alice in Wonderland retelling, did that grab your attention? If you like any of those things than seriously check this book out because it has all of those things and more! I know I personally love all of those things and I definitely thought this book was such a fun, entertaining read.

PLOT

As I said this is an Alice in Wonderland retelling that is combined with a post apocalyptic world filled with zombie-esque plague victims. It’s sort of a wide variety of genres all mashed together and it WORKS! The pacing is very fast and there is a ton of action, it’s practically non-stop action and it sucks you in completely!

Another factor that helped contribute to the immersive-ness of the story was the writing, I was actually really impressed with this considering it’s Sullivan’s debut novel. Her writing is very descriptive and just gave you such a REAL feel of the action, suspense, and terror of things happening throughout the book. However, I did have some moments where I felt it was TOO descriptive since I’m the type of person that relies heavily on dialogue, but I did still like all of the action scenes!

I also really loved the unique twist on the “zombies” which are called Momeraths and are sort of a combination between zombies and mutated humans (very reminiscent of the Fallout video game series actually). What the plague and Momeraths reminded me of a lot though was the Resident Evil franchise, I could not help but think of that series the entire time while reading plus it helps that both heroines are named Alice…… So if you’re a fan then you’ll definitely enjoy this story!

The world building was also really great and unique while also still retaining elements of the original Wonderland story. It was a TON of fun finding all of the allusions to the original and getting to journey through this darker, grittier version! I would have maybe liked a bit more world building overall but I’m hoping I’ll get that in the sequel.

characters

I did enjoy a lot of the characters and they actually had quite a bit of personality and development throughout the book. I was definitely impressed with them! I wasn’t fully convinced by Alice’s character immediately but by the end of the book I was fully persuaded to LOVE her! I loved watching her grow from being a more fearful girl to this total badass, which like I said really shows the great character development. She felt very real as well with fears and weaknesses, it made her more relatable in my opinion.

Some of my other favorite characters would have to be Dr. Abbot, Chess, and the Red Queen they also played really true to their Wonderland characters and were just so much fun to read about! I really love when secondary characters have this much personality!

romance

I was actually very surprised that there wasn’t a super prominent romance in this book, and it was a PLEASANT surprise! While there is a bit of a love triangle feel to it since there are two potential suitors for Alice I really liked how she never really let any feelings distract her from her main goal: saving her sister. Seriously, what a relief that we have a YA heroine not letting boys get in the way of the main plot-line!

I also really enjoy both love interests too…..

in conclusion

I was overall VERY impressed with how thrilling, fun, unique, and interesting “Alice” was! I’m such a sucker for darker retellings though so it’s not too much of a surprsie that I really liked this one.

What I Loved:

  • The setting/world building with dark “Wonderland” and zombies
  • The writing was very descriptive
  • Lots of fast pacing and action scenes!
  • Loved the characters and how well they developed throughout
  • Very fun to pick out the allusions to the original Alice in Wonderland

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Felt a little too descriptive at times, could have used more dialogue
  • The world could have been a little more developed

I definitely recommend giving this book a try especially if you’re a fan of retellings with dark, gritty twists and anything reminiscent of the Resident Evil franchise!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon 

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

a title here(65)

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

a title here(64)description

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.

Image result for fangirl gif

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.

Image result for too precious for this world gif

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