Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – Spoiler Free Book Review

stealing snowRating: 1/5 stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

First published: 2016

Author: Danielle Paige

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave …
She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate

Book Depository | Goodreads


I requested this book from NetGalley way back in September 2016. And I received it way back in September 2016. And I started reading it then as well. It was so bad, it took me until now to complete.

Where do I even begin. This was advertised as a Snow Queen retelling. But it was more like a weird mongrel retelling of 5 different stories. It was just all over the place. But okay, let’s say I can live with that. It wasn’t very seamlessly done, but okay. Whatever.

But this book has the ABSOLUTE WORST love… can’t even call it a triangle. It’s a freaking polygon. And not only that, but it’s got one of the worst cases of insta love ever… twice. I just wanted to puke.

And then we have Snow. She is so annoying, and whiny, and inconsistent and stupid and I hate her. Mare Barrow from Red Queen, Scarlett from Caraval and Snow from this book…. I want to tie them all together in a nice bundle and throw them in the ocean with a stone tied to them. I hate them so much. As for the other characters… I just could not care less. They were bland and boring and had exactly one personality trait that was basically their entire identity.

I didn’t care about the story either. I didn’t find it compelling at all. I didn’t find it clever or creative or interesting. It was predictable and tried too hard to have many twists and turns and be surprising, but it just ended up sounding like a soap opera except without the paternity discussions. It was confusing and predictable at the same time.

I can sum up the worldbuilding in one word: snow. Basically, the only thing I remember vividly about the world is that there’s a lot of snow. And a tree. It was just nonexistent. So, yeah… there was nothing to redeem this book. I liked nothing about it. Not even one small detail that I enjoyed. I’m really disappointed. I’ve heard Dorothy Must Die is actually good, so I might give that a shot, but I was really disappointed by this. I’ll have a rant about it soon. If you want to know more details about exactly what I didn’t like, stay tuned for that.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – RAVE

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED, READ MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW

This series is my newest obsession. I don’t think I’ve been so absorbed by a book since I read The Name of the Wind. When I first heard about it, the magic system seemed a bit iffy to me and I wasn’t sure I would like it. BOY, WAS I WRONG! The magic system is so cool. Like, ingesting metals and then burning them for powers sounds kind of weird… but it works so well once you start reading it and it makes for the most spectacular action scenes ever. I was reading this book like:

tenor1

This is one of those books where I really loved all the characters. I really loved the dynamics of the gang, but I especially loved the dynamic of Vin and Kell. Just that father-daughter-like relationship that they developed was so cute and I loved it! And then Kell went and got himself killed and I was like NO! I was so shocked. I didn’t see it coming… well I did, but I was in denial. And Vin’s reaction to it destroyed me more than anything. Oh, and that conversation they have not long before on the roof, where she asks him to promise not to leave her and he says he can’t make that promise because he knows he’s going to sacrifice himself just akjfhaga.

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The scene with Kell in the mines gave me chills. Him remembering how it was to search for the geodes, the single, all consuming thought that he needed to find one to survive, not caring that his arms are being shredded open and his memories of his wife and…

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Let me tell you about Elend. He is the most adorable, fluffy, clueless cinnamon roll ever. Walking around with his stack of books at parties. I could relate to him so much though. That is me. When him and Vin first meet and he just reads like the giant dork he is. That is what I do at parties too. And then Vin’s all annoyed like “‘Scuse you! I am hot, pay attention to me!”.  I love them so muchhhhhhh! They’re so cute! They gave me all the feels and I was so happy at the end.

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Oh, OH! At the end, when Elend comes to ‘rescue’ Vin and she’s just like “Thanks baby. Here, hold my purse while I save everyone’s life like the BAMF that I am.” And he just takes it in stride like “Yup. My girlfriend just decimated 15 grown-ass warriors. Cool.”

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The little paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter were so cool! I thought for the longest time that they were written by the Lord Ruler and I was trying to fit all the information together and it was just not clicking and I was so frustrated. But in the good way. I love when I have to figure things out in books and I especially love it when they trick me! And now I’m so excited to find out what actually happened to the person who wrote that diary and what the hell is the Deepness.

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The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – Spoiler Free Book Review

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – Spoiler Free Book Review

6547258Rating: 5/5 stars

Genre: Adult fantasy

First published: 2006

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Synopsis: What if the prophesied hero had failed to defeat the Dark Lord?

For a thousand years the ash fell.

For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousend years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.

Yet hope survives.

An new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.

Book Depository | Goodreads


I don’t know why I put this book off for as long as I did. If you’re putting this series off as well, you are doing yourself a disservice. Go read it. I don’t even know where to begin reviewing this book.

The premise was so freaking cool and refreshing. The setting is a sort of post-apocalyptic one, a thousand years after the “chosen one” failed to defeat the Dark Lord. I thought that was so cool, because we all know that the Chosen One always wins. We’ve heard that story so many times. And it’s not a bad story. I love Chosen One stories, but still… what if? Well, if you want to find out, this is the book for you.

I loved the characters and the relationships between them so much, they didn’t so much tug as yanked at all of my heartstrings. They’re all precious and I love them. I loved the dynamics of the ‘team’, it reminded me a lot of the dynamics between Kaz and his band from Six of Crows. In fact, the whole thing reminded me of Six of Crows, what with a heist being planned and the magic system as well, where each person had a specific type of ability.

Speaking of the magic system though, it’s really cool. Basically, they draw their power from metals that they ingest and can then burn within their bodies and each metal does a specific thing. It’s really unique and cool and made for some really spectacular action scenes. They were so vivid and dynamic, it felt like I was watching them rather than reading about them. And there are a lot of action scenes. It is so gripping and captivating and it just sucks you in. It had been a long time since a book kept me up until the wee hours of the morning, because I just could not put it down.

Another thing I really enjoyed were the paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter. They’re like little snippets of a different story that add on to the experience, and it almost feels like you’re getting two stories. And the way that those fit together with the main story and how they’re like little hints. It’s really cool. I can’t really describe it any better without spoilers (I will have a spoilerific rave review of this, for those of you who are interested), but it’s awesome. Just go read it and experience it for yourself.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – Spoiler Free Book Review

caravalRating: 1/5

Genre: YA, fantasy

First published: 2017

Author: Stephanie Garber

Synopsis: Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Book Depository | Goodreads


I have not been this frustrated with a book since I read Glass Sword.

Another book with an absolutely GORGEOUS cover (especially the UK edition that I have) that is painfully disappointing. It just had so much potential and it failed to deliver on every. single. level.

Characters? What characters? They’re so one dimensional, a cardboard cutout has more depth. The only character I felt anything about was Scarlett and the only thing I felt about her was frustration. There was a ridiculous insta-romance and all the characters had the stupidest motivations ever. It was just lazy writing. Everything was just convenient, without really being explained.

The plot? It was so lame and predictable. Like I said, everything was oh, so convenient. And it ended in a stupid, lame cliffhanger and I was just like… I don’t care. I really don’t care. It was advertised as being a book about some magical circus-like performance. Nope. Nope. it felt nothing like a magical performance. It was more like a scavenger hunt on a magical island. Which would also have been a cool premise… but it’s not what the book was advertised to be.

The worldbuilding was almost nonexistent. Whenever something was convenient, it would just be there. Like oh, the main character needs something, well here it is. It’s part of the world. No explanation. Doesn’t really have any impact on anything other than that specific thing that it’s convenient for. Lazy, sloppy storytelling.

Also, the writing was just… it tried to hard. And it was weird. The descriptions were so… awkward. You could tell that the author was trying to write very beautifully and poetically, but it wasn’t. Not everyone can pull off beautiful, magical, poetical writing. And that’s okay. But they shouldn’t try to force it.

I can’t really say more than this without spoilers, so if you’re interested in my full thoughts on the book, check out my rant post about it. I will definitely not be continuing with this series.

Replica by Lauren Oliver – Book Review

28448287Rating: 4.5/5

Genre:  YA, sci-fi

First published:  2016

Author: Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: 

Lyra

Lyra has lived in the Haven Institute her whole life, The tests and experiments conducted on her and her fellow replicas are a normal, expected part of her life. But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.

Gemma

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.

But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Book Depository | Goodreads


I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this book. I put off getting it for quite a while because I was nervous that is was going to be one of those wishy-washy, dystopian-esque sci-fi books that I am very over-saturated with and I really don’t enjoy. But I was wrong. I really enjoyed this book. I finished it in one day, despite its size.

As far as the plot goes… it was really quite mediocre. Nothing too innovative, no plot-twists that I didn’t see coming from miles away. This book is not enjoyable for its plot. But I don’t think the plot was the point of this book. It almost feels like the story was secondary, just a backdrop for the characters to deal with their issues of identity and humanity and self-worth. And that’s why I didn’t mind it. And the story isn’t bad. It’s fast paced and keeps you going, it’s just nothing new.

What I really enjoyed and what was done really well in my opinion, was like I said before, the themes of humanity, identity and self-worth that were the main focus of this book. The two girls have completely different lives and yet both of them experience the same inner turmoil. And I really loved that, because it’s true. We’re all the same if you think about it. Lyra was raised basically as a lab rat her entire life, being told that she was worthless, inhuman and so on. And she believed it. She took it as fact. But despite never knowing anything else, she still had doubts. She struggled with her identity and humanity and her sense of worth as a living being.

Gemma lived a privileged life by most accounts. She was wealthy and had a family and all that. But she was sickly and overweight and felt trapped by her parents and felt that her body and the fact that she weighed more than other people meant that she was weird, or inhuman almost and that she had less inherent worth than the thin, healthy people she went to school with. And there’s such a contrast between their two lives, but those thoughts are the same. They’re human thoughts.

I also really enjoyed the format of it. I personally read it alternating between the two stories and I really enjoyed that. I thought it was really cool and made the book easier to read, somehow. I do recommend alternating between the two, although you can read them separately as well.

The most frustrating thing for me was the ending. I understand why it ended the way it did. Because as I said, the plot seemed more like a backdrop for the character development and them dealing with all those issues I spoke about, so once those were resolved, the rest of the story was irrelevant. It was not the point of the story. But I still want to know how the plot resolves. I was curious to know that ending. And I am really frustrated about that.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this book and if you enjoy stories that are character driven and that focus on these sort of issues of identity and humanity and all that, then definitely pick it up. If you’re looking for a hardcore sci-fi with a strong plot, then this is probably not the book for you.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

17370618Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy

First published: 2013

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

***SPOILER ALERT*** Second book in the series. There may be spoilers for the first book from here on. Review of the first book here

Synopsis: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Book Depository | Goodreads


I’m so glad I decided to continue with this series. I mean, I enjoyed The Raven Boys. But it was so confusing and vague and… it didn’t really blow my mind. I liked the characters and I thought the mythology was cool, but I just found it confusing and it was really not what I expected. But going into the second one, I knew what to expect. I knew that it was going to be vague and confusing and almost nonsensical at times and that allowed me to integrate the peculiarity as part of the story instead of trying to logic it and somehow, that made it better.

There was a lot of character development going on in this one. I think my main problem with the first book was that it was too complex and not well explained enough. But a lot of the loose threads in the first one were tugged on, if not tied up, so it clarified a lot of the confusion and there weren’t that many completely new elements added. Rather, the old elements were expanded on. And that was really satisfying. Which is an odd word to use, but that’s the best way I can describe it.

The writing, in my opinion, was so much better than in the first book. I really enjoyed the writing, whereas I don’t remember enjoying it as much in the first book. It’s amazing how much Maggie has grown as an author between the two. And actually, I recently read about two thirds of Shiver and that book is horrible. I don’t know whether it’s her debut, but there was almost nothing I enjoyed about that book. The writing, was bad, the story was bad, the characters were bad… just, no. And it’s fantastic to see how much she has developed as a writer. I love seeing these things, it’s great to watch an author grow and develop their skill.

Going back to the characters. I really love all the characters. They’re all quirky and unique and so themselves and I love to see that in books. Which once again shows how much Maggie’s skill has grown, because in Shiver, I could not distinguish the characters from one another. I couldn’t even distinguish the POV characters. Sometimes, I would forget whose POV I was reading. So, yeah I loved the characters. I loved them in the first book as well, but even more in this one. Ronan… I love Ronan. And we got to learn so much about him in this book and it was awesome. Some of the plot-twists, particularly regarding Ronan really took me by surprise. I really did not see them coming.

We also see Gansey and blue growing together, which wasn’t a surprise, given the first book. But it promises a lot of angst in the following books and I’m a sucker for some good angst. We also get to meet a new character, whom I really enjoyed. I didn’t think that I would enjoy him quite as much, but I really did.

I would say that this book was mainly focused on character development and sort of just clarifying the first book. It’s not that nothing happened in it, it’s just that most of the things that happened were less significant to moving the story forward than they were to character development. It was like a sort of preparation of the characters for  what’s to come. And I find that’s often the case with second books in series. And that can either make the second book the worst in the series, or really good (maybe even the best), depending on how it’s done. And I think this one has been done very well. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than the first book.

I hear the Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the best book in the series, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully, I will get to it soon. I’m really excited for it now and I wish I had bought it so I could read it straight away. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you read The Raven Boys and were kind of on the fence about whether you want to continue with the series. Just give this one a try before making your mind up.

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab – Book Review

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab – Book Review

32200595Rating: 5/5

Genre: Adult, fantasy

First published:  2017

Author: V. E. Schwab

 ***SPOILER ALERT*** THIS IS THE THIRD BOOK IN THE SERIES, SO THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS FROM HERE ON! I have spoiler free reviews for the first and second books, if you are interested.

Synopsis:

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Amazon | Goodreads


This book is so amazing! I love Victoria’s writing. I NEED to read the rest of her books. Anyway, I should be speaking about A Conjuring of Light. I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with the world(s) and the characters in the first book and I was so happy and so satisfied by the way their story ended.

Since I was talking about the characters, let’s start there. Kell, my baby, is all growed up in this one. In fact, all of have grown so much since the beginning of the series. Really good character development. I loved to see the dynamics between all the characters as they were forced to come together and work together. I loved seeing Alucard and Kell interact because they just hate each other so much, but at the same time, they understand each other very well, I feel. We also get to learn more about Rhy and Holland. Oh, Holland! I think of all the character development that went on, Holland’s was my favourite. Just to learn more about him was fascinating.

Where the second book was like the deep breath before a storm, heavy, but still in a way. Anticipatory. Like a gathering of shadows (the title is so perfect). This one is an outpouring. It’s like that first, blinding flash of lightning (a conjuring of light, eh?), followed by that ear-splitting thunder and finally, as if the skies cracked open, it begins to pour. I love this metaphor so much. This whole series was a storm, it’s so perfect for it. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that everything changed in this one. Everything  sprang into motion. Quickly and brutally. And when it was over, the world looked different. This is the best that I can do to explain intensity of this book.

What else can I say… we got to see a little bit more of the world. We learnt a bit more about White London. Even about Black London. And we even got to learn new things about magic. We also learnt quite a bit about Maxim and Emira Maresh, which I quite enjoyed.

The one thing that I am really frustrated about is that we don’t learn more about Kell. I mean… I understand why within the narrative. It makes sense. Bot goddammit, I want to know who he is! I want to know about his childhood. I want to know what he’s forgotten. Grrrr! There should be a novella that takes place in Kell’s childhood, so we can know what happened!

This is a really rambly review. I don’t really know what else to say without giving anything away. You just need to read it. It’s amazing! Just go read it!