Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review - Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Book Review - The Darkest Part Of The Forest by Holly Black

In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives....

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Tourists drive in to see the lush wonders of Faerie and, most wonderful of all, the horned boy. But visitors fail to see the danger.

Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.

Until one day, he does....

As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be. But as she's swept up in new love, with shifting loyalties and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

The Darkest Part of the Forest, is the bestselling author Holly Black's triumphant return to the opulent, enchanting faerie tales that launched her YA career.

I read my first Holly Black book, Tithe, as a teenager. I loved it. I loved the dark atmosphere, the edgy main character, and the danger-tinged romance. To my teenaged self, it was everything I could have wanted for my own life, and I all too willingly and enthusiastically devoted an entire afternoon to it.  Now, a whole decade later, those things I loved about Black's style the first time around are what caused the most eye-rolling this time.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Review - The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Right off the bat, The Hating Game is engrossing and humorous.  Its narrator, Lucy Hutton, is such a fun and spunky young woman.  I absolutely loved being inside of her head for the all too short length of this novel.  She's so sweet and goofy, but also fierce AF when she needs to be.  When we first meet her, she's ritualistically engaging in childish little games with her nemesis, Josh Templeman, who happens to sit at the work desk directly across from her own for five miserable days a week.  It's the interractions between the two that make for such a great, addictive read.

If you didn't already know by the synopsis, it wouldn't take long to realize just how quickly their dynamic could switch from passionate hate to just plain passion.  They have that quality to them, that prickliness, that only the best love-to-hate tropes manage to capture and explore, and while it's all too easy to see why Lucy despises Josh so much in the beginning, it's equally easy to see how that could morph into sexual tension and lust.  So when it does, there's really not much to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.

Because oh, what a ride it is.

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