Paper Towns is a YA Contemporary following Quentin Jacobson a high school senior living in Florida and his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman whom he has had a crush on his entire life. Margo enlists Quentin’s help in a series of late night pranks and when she goes missing the following day Quentin finds clues he thinks Margo has left him to find her whereabouts.
Quentin’s character at times felt a little unrealistic to me. His obsession for Margo and figuring out her clues just seemed a little improbable. He seemed like the kind of student who would not let anything get in the way of his studies and school and a few times over the course of the storyline we see him missing school and even skipping his graduation ceremony in order to find Margo.
I just thought what did Margo really do to deserve this kind of spotlight? I kind of found her to be a little spiteful and vindictive right from the get go and she seemed the kind of person who would manipulate people in order to get what she wants. I think maybe Quentin is seeing her with some rose coloured glasses and is projecting his own feelings onto her personality. Even at the end when they travel all that way because they were so worried she may have killed herself only for her to tell them to wait a sec. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.
I liked the pacing of the book, it did keep me entertained and I was invested in figuring out the clues alongside Quentin. I found the characters to be quite distinct and diverse and they all complimented each other well.
It wasn’t a favourite of mine but there really wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the story either. I just found at times I was thinking what the purpose of this book is, was it about Quentin’s growth over the course of the story or the fact that sometimes his expectations don’t match the outcome?
⭐️3/5 a little unremarkable
All These Beautiful Strangers follows multiple perspectives with the main being Charlie a 17 year old girl who is attending a prestigious prep school for the elite called Knollwood Academy. She is struggling to overcome the dark legacy of her family and is trying to become a member of the school’s elite secret society called the A’s.
I liked the multiple perspectives and the way we time jumped from present day back to the summer that Grace went missing; slowly piecing together all the details really made me engaged in the story and eager to read on to find out what was going to happen. Is Grace alive, did Alistair kill her, did something else happen? Having this story woven into the present day situations that Charlie has to deal with kept the anticipation at an all time high!
I actually really liked Charlie’s character. I think her being one of the rich kids and getting that perspective was quite refreshing for me. Her not really having to worry about money and blending in so well with the other wealthy kids at the school and seeing how they function was fascinating and a point of view that really isn’t explored a whole lot in YA. I like that she is so unaware of how much she really does manipulate those around her to get what she wants and the fact that it is thrown back in her face unexpectedly was gratifying!
I liked the pace of the book, there was definitely tension built up throughout the story line. Mixing in the initiation process for the A’s and having that come full circle was really entertaining. All of the characters are very morally ambiguous and you really can’t predict what anyone is going to do next as they all have the means to be able to pretty much get away with anything!
School setting are always a favourite of mine and even though I never went to somewhere as prestigious as Knollwood it did bring around feelings of nostalgia for me.
⭐️4/5 stars Suspenseful, unexpected, tragic!
In this book we are following the perspective of Annaleigh who lives in a manor by the sea with her father the Duke and her 7 sisters. The mainlanders believe that Annaleigh and her family are cursed because four of her sisters have recently died under mysterious circumstances.
I liked Annaleigh though at times I found her to be a little naïve and I felt she read a lot younger than what her age really is. I’m guessing because they are so sheltered at Highmoor and haven’t had a lot of interaction with boys her age, the whole blushing routine whenever she has a conversation with someone of the opposite sex got a little tedious for me. We do see her evolve and take more of a stand throughout the course of the book and I liked that she showed her stepmother a little empathy even though she definitely didn’t deserve it!
I thought the atmosphere of the book was fantastic. It was definitely eerie and mysterious. I enjoyed how what I would assume the origin and the lore of the original story was woven into this adaptation. I have heard of the twelve dancing princesses before but I haven’t actually read it.
The mystery aspect at first I thought was very well done but when it actually got down to the wire about who was responsible it was pretty obvious to me. It didn’t really take any of my enjoyment out of the experience but all of the predictions I made throughout my read by and large came true.
The pacing was a little bit off at times. The beginning I thought really captured my attention and was very engaging and then there were a few sections in the middle of the story that was a little harder to get through and then the ending felt a little rushed to me. It felt like everything was kind of exposed suddenly and then wrapped up equally suddenly.
However, I really enjoyed this book. It ebbed and flowed and had me intrigued enough to finish it quite quickly!
⭐️3.5/5 Dark, trippy, twisted!
This series is starting to give me serious Game of Throne vibes but like on a YA level. There is quite a large cast of characters and we get different povs from these characters throughout the book. Also, Morgan Rhodes really isn’t afraid to kill off characters that I thought were quite integral to the overall plot and would just introduce new characters who fit in quite organically to this already established cast. It makes every scene really engaging and the stakes are at an all time high!
I like the introduction of Lysandra to the book. I thought she added a much needed feminine touch to the rebels. She is also very spirited and motivated to shut down the blood road and save her people. I thought when she first met Jonas and Brion she was a little too pushy and wanted things to be her way but she really proved herself over the course of the book how necessary she is. I like that she holds Jonas accountable and questions his decisions when she feels like he’s not doing what is right. She really established herself as quite an important factor in the rebels and I feel she has earned the right to speak up and make herself heard!
The only thing I’m not too jazzed about in the series is how insta-lovey a lot of the romance is. Take Cleo for example she was in love with Theon after 5 minutes and then she kissed Jonas after hating him and starts to feel something and then she marries Magnus who she hates as well and 5 minutes later he kisses her and suddenly she thinks there’s something there as well. Also Jonas kisses Cleo after wanting to kill her and then she goes back to the palace and suddenly its like he see’s Lysandra for the first time and how beautiful she is. I just want there to be a little more of a build up and not jumping around from person to person. Don’t get me wrong I like how all of the characters are intermingling and interacting with each other but it’s getting a little too all over the place.
Other than that I love the direction the plot is going. In this book I feel like it set the foundation for the rest of the series. Falling Kingdoms was really like the introduction and Rebel Spring really developed a lot more of the lore and established the setting and the overall goal that theses characters are moving towards!
I can forsee a lot more action and intrigue and adventure and I am just really excited to be delving into this world and figuring out what these characters are going to do next!
⭐️4/5 Highly entertaining, I’m addicted!
I really enjoyed this!
Serpent and Dove follows the story of a witch named Lou who is on the run from her coven. When she ends up in the hands of the Chasseurs (witch hunters) as a thief and known witch associate through some unforeseen circumstances she is forced to marry one of them.
I thought this book was cleverly done. I had heard it involved a witch and witch hunter being forcing to get married and I didn’t quite understand how it was going to happen, but the way the plot line played out it made sense. It wasn’t at all insta-lovey and there was definitely a period of hatred, turned to indifference, to mutual respect and then we started getting more feelings involved. It definitely progressed on the slower side of thing but I didn’t mind it.
I absolutely loved Lou’s character, especially how crass she is in the presence of the Chasseurs and how uncomfortable she makes them. I like that she acknowledges how prudish they are and goes out of her way to make them horrified or embarrassed by her behavior. It definitely kept me entertained throughout the plot.
Reid’s character was at first a little boring and too rigid for me but I like that we gradually see him thaw and actually get to know Lou and accept her for who she is. I thought his blind reverence for the Archbishop a little stale to be honest but it did play a key role in how the story played out. He was a lot more of an integral character than just Lou’s love interest and I like that he was a strong presence in the book. He is quite staunch and firm in his beliefs that all witches should be burned and to see how his perception of what he thought was right get drastically changed because of his feelings was a moment!
The pacing like I said was a little on the slower side but I was so invested in the plot that I honestly didn’t care, I just wanted more. I thought the premise was highly original and the whole dichotomy between the witches and the different covens was fascinating to get into. Hopefully after that ending and the witches being the main focus at the moment we get a deeper insight into that world in the next book!
⭐️4/5 Witchy, dark, high stakes!