Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi Review

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 342 pages
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1


Synopsis:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.


Review:

I really wanted to like this book. The beginning was promising but then as I kept reading, the characters just lacked for me.

First off, my reading experience with this book wasn’t the best. On my Goodreads, you can tell that finishing this book was a struggle for me. I kept putting the book down multiple times. Here was my reading progress:

04/20   marked as: to-read
05/01   marked as: currently-reading
05/03   marked as: to-read
05/08   marked as: currently-reading
05/09   marked as: put-down-for-now
05/10   marked as: currently-reading
05/12   marked as: put-down-for-now
06/01   marked as: read

I really liked the beginning of the book but once we were near the middle, I lost all the ability to keep reading. I had to force myself to continue and finish it.

For me, the main reason it started to drag was the characters. I did not like Maya or Amar. Usually I’m into romances and instant love doesn’t really bother me, but in this book, it did. It was all of a sudden and like it came out of nowhere. Maya, was weak and to put it nicely, very clueless and stupid. I did not relate to any of the characters and I just wished they were more developed.

I will say the writing is written beautifully and poetic. It flows and it’s lyrical but sometimes it does go out of hand. Sometimes it goes off into a tangent and it doesn’t really make any sense. Other times you just roll with it and get into all the metaphors and all that stuff.

Overall, even now I don’t know what really ended up happening with the book. I was mostly confused and wanted this book to end. This book wasn’t for me but, maybe it is for others.

Rating:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Review

Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 446 pages
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1


Synopsis:

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:

I cannot believe this book was supposed to be a standalone. How on earth can this be a standalone?!

I can’t believe it took me this long to actually pick this up and read it. I could’ve read this the day it came out but no. Heck, I could’ve read this a few months ago but I still didn’t! Long story short, I’m grateful I did now and I am so excited to see what will happen next in the series.

I could not put this book down. Granted the beginning was a little slow but overall I didn’t mind it because there had to be some world building and introductions to things since it is the first book. Then when everything is settled down, it is so fast-paced, every chapter was left as a cliffhanger, and I had to read more of it until I finished the book.

I loved the two main characters, Laia and Elias. I like how Laia’s and Elias’s relationship was a slow build up. The romance in this wasn’t too overbearing and it wasn’t the main focus of this book –which I liked. Seeing both their perspectives in this book made everything so much interesting because Laia is a slave/spy and Elias is a soldier/son to the Commandant. So they’re very different in that but in the long run, both their faiths are intertwined. Because their destinies are connected, we see they might not be that different from each other after all.

For secondary characters, I might be in the minority but I was not a huge fan of Helene. I’m not saying I don’t like her personality. I’m saying I didn’t like her morals and actions behind some things she did in this book. I did like Izzi. Her friendship with Laia was very much needed and I enjoyed every moment they had together.

Bless praise we get a sequel and I am so counting down the days for it. I don’t know what else to say other than this book met my expectations and I SO RECOMMEND IT! 

Rating:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Review

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 439 pages
Series: The Raven Cycle #4


Synopsis:

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.


Review:

I have a hard time rating this book. Back in April, I didn't know what to feel about it. Then I slept on it and I still didn't know. It's been months now and I'm still conflicted. I love this series very dearly but I can't seem to wrap my head around this book.

I'm not going into details about this book because I'm barely making my way through this review. I honestly don't know what to say about this book. It took me two months to finally write this and I just have an "eh" feeling about it.

I'm probably in the minority here, but this last and final book was something I did not expect. I was so hyped about this book since day one because this was the big reveal where everything goes down. Well, overall I was disappointed on how things ended. I didn't feel happy or sad about the ending. I just mostly felt neutral and let down.

I was honestly hoping for something heartbreaking, epic, or tears streaming down my face feeling. I didn't get any of those reactions. All I got was disappointment and dissatisfied. With three books leading up to this big finale, I was expecting more out of it. All this build up and suddenly it ends.

This book to me felt rushed and left many things hanging. There's still too many questions unanswered and I felt there wasn't a true ending. Everything like the character's fates were left unresolved in my opinion. The ending felt to easy and just there.

I wished I enjoyed this book, but I didn't.

Rating: