I have seen this book everywhere since it came out this year and there has been a lot of hype surrounding it so I thought why not give it a try. For some reason I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to like it and I was a little hesitant going into it. I think I’m like that with all super hyped books but once I actually started reading I was pleasantly surprised!
Elisabeth was orphaned and has grown up in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries. Her dream is become a warden of the library who protects the magical grimoires that are housed there and stops them from transforming into grotesque monsters of ink and leather.
I loved Elisabeth’s character. I thought she was very driven, inquisitive and unable to accept the narrative she has been given after the incident that drove her out of the library. She is absolutely loyal to the libraries and her relationship she has with the books was really respectful and loving. She is a true daughter of the library and I like that ultimately that relationship was a integral in saving the day.
Nathaniel I wasn’t sure about at the start. I didn’t know where his loyalties lie and sometime the things he said were a little cringey to be honest. But he really grew on me over the course of the story. Once we really got into his family history and the relationship between him and Silas and how they are connected was really unique and interesting and I started to develop a connection to him.
I actually think I liked Silas the most of all the characters. He has always reinforced the fact that he isn’t a good person and if he was released he won’t help/save them and the only reason he sacrificed himself was to negotiate a better contract. The fact that he remained constant throughout the story and exhibited moments of good even though me maintains he’s not was intriguing to me. I knew based on how much we learn about him and his connection to the Thorn family that he would play an integral role in the plot and I was correct.
The whole premise and concept of the book was really refreshing and original to me. I liked the build up of mystery and the many twists and turns the plot goes through. I world was rich with culture and I just loved that it’s based around these great libraries. The magical element I thought was nicely defined and there were limitations to what certain families were capable of because of the demons that they were tied to.
All in all I thought this was a solid, interesting, fantastical tale based around magical books and sorcery. The pacing was pretty good, there a section in the middle that I found a little slow and then I felt the last 100 or so pages were a little rushed but overall I highly enjoyed my read.
⭐️4/5 stars fantastical, adventurous, demonic!
I’ve done it! I’ve been picking up and putting down this book for over half a year now and I have finally completed it!
The Bear and the Nightingale follows the tale of a girl called Vasilisa who lives in the Russian wilderness. She was a peculiar girl who was wild and untamed and liked to while away her hours in the forest talking to sprites and horses. Her family doesn’t understand her and the village folk whispered that she was a witch.
I actually ended up really enjoying the read. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I picked it up but I knew there were great reviews for it and I was intrigued. It really reminded me of the old Hans Christening Anderson fairy tales and it almost felt nostalgic in a way, like I’ve heard the story before but had forgotten it.
I absolutely loved Vasilisa’s character. I loved how stubborn and set she is in her ways, and how she rejects the traditional path of being a woman. She doesn’t want to be some man’s mare and get ridden out to pasture in some great house bequeathing children. She is wild and free and loved her family dearly. She will stop at absolutely nothing to ensure that they will survive the winter!
I thought the pacing was a little too slow for my personal tastes. The start especially when Pyotr goes to Russia I felt wasn’t really necessary for me to know. I was more interested in learning more about the Morovoi and what kind of magic Vasilisa inherited from her grandmother. I suppose there was a lot of context learnt that would probably spring up in the next two book but it kind of bored me a little to be honest.
I kind of liked how macabre it was. Katherine Arden didn’t shy away from actually killing people off and showing the consequences of a harsh winter/dry summer. There was a lot of death in this book and it made the stakes a lot higher knowing that there was the possibility that these characters would be susceptible to dying.
I just have so many questions coming away after finishing this book. Who was Vasilisa’s grandmother before she came to Russia? Why does the Winter King help Vasilisa? What will happen to Father Konstantin, will he be held accountable? I’m sure all of my questions will hopefully be answered in the rest of the series and I am excited to continue on and see where the books will go next!
⭐️4/5 stars Whimsical, compelling and frosty!
*A COUPLE OF SPOILERS*
I really enjoyed this book!
With the Fire on High follows the story of Emoni who absolutely loves to cook and ever since she got pregnant in freshman year it has become a way to escape the harsh realities of her life. Having to make so many tough decisions and being on the verge of so many changes has started to take a toll on her and she uses the kitchen to let all of that go.
I really loved Emoni’s character. She truly felt like a 17 year old who has had to grow up at such a young age but still hasn’t fully matured. I thought her character was very realistic and the challenges and obstacles that she has to overcome throughout the book I thought was a great representation of what teen mothers have to endure in the real world. I could only imagine how tough that sort of situation would be and I really thought she handled it as best she could. I like that she made mistakes and spread herself too thin and wasn’t a perfect model character. She doubted herself constantly but overall it was the health and well-being of Emma that took precedent over everything.
I loved Abuela’s character as well. It was nice that Emoni touched on many times throughout the book how much she appreciated and loved her grandmother and the sacrifice she has had to make in order to raise Emoni and Emma. I liked that she took a stand and she gave herself that time at ‘the doctors’ to have to herself even though she had to deceive Emoni. And I appreciated that Emoni respected her enough to not dig into her grandmothers business and just accepted that she needed space from them.
Overall I thought this was a very well balanced book. There was definitely times when Emoni was at her absolute lowest point and then we see her at bounce back and make it to graduation and decide how she is going to live her life. I thought the book was very diverse and had a variety of characters that were all very multicultural and multifaceted. The addition of the recipes I thought was a fantastic touch. It really showed how little Emoni actually stuck with a traditional recipe and just went with her gut.
This was a highly anticipated read for me and I didn’t look too much into it before I started reading and I was very surprised with the direction the book went with
⭐️4/5 stars fresh, fast paced, realistic and touching!
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
This was amazing!
Tyler is the best cadet at the Aurora Academy and he is about to recruit the best squad the academy has ever seen. That is until an incident occurs that forces him to miss the draft and he ends up with the dregs that nobody wanted.
I liked that the story was told in multiple perspectives; it really gave me the chance to get to know each of these highly distinctive characters individually. Granted at times I was a little confused as to whose perspective I was reading from but as I got a feel for each of the characters that went away pretty quickly.
I really enjoyed the whole premise and concept of the story, it felt really unique and original. I had qualms before reading this that it would remind me a lot of the Illuminae Files but I really didn’t get that at all. This is a completely fresh and creative plot that had me highly engaged throughout.
Aurora felt a little soft spoken and passive at the start of the book, but granted she had just woken out of being in cryo for 200 years in the fold so I wasn’t expecting her to come out guns blazing. I could really feel how lost and lonely she was, and how she was trying to come to terms with the fact that everyone she has ever known is dead basically. I like how she almost subtly evolves over the course of the story and she starts to get a feel for who she truly is.
Also the fact that even though Tyler is the one that saves Aurora they aren’t going to end up together. I thought for sure that these two are going to fall in love as they are the main male and female protagonists, but I don’t think that is going to happen, which was a nice twist I didn’t see coming. I like that the history between Tyler and Cat is valued and isn’t immediately dismissed because Aurora came into the picture.
I liked learning about the different species of Aliens and how they each have their own look and customs. I really took a shine to Kal; his broodiness and angst really captured my attention. I am a sucker for a bad boy! Finding out about his history and the different clans of the Syldrathi and how their whole species was nearly eradicated and how he bonded with Aurora was touching!
I for some reason didn’t think I was going to like this book. I thought maybe since Illuminae was so good they wouldn’t be able to top it, but I love me a ragtag group of misfits who somehow fit together and have to save the world. The whole dynamic between Tyler and Scarlett and how everyone else seems to fit in so well despite being so different really pulls me in and has me wanting to see them succeed!
⭐️5/5 stars blew me away!!!
This was wonderful!
The Poet X follows the story of Xiomara (X) who has had her guard up her entire life. Ever since she developed curves living in her Harlem neighborhood she has had to literally use her fists and fight for her right to be heard.
I loved the concept of this book and the way it was formatted. I think this was the first time that I read a book that was written entirely in verse and even though there wasn’t as many words on the page I feel that I got more of a grasp of the story and X’s feelings through the way she expressed herself in her poems. It really painted a picture in my mind of what X had to deal with on a daily basis and how through her passion for writing and poems she was finally able to find her voice.
X is such a relatable character. I can see so many young girls picking this book up and seeing themselves reflected in the words being written. There is a real feeling of isolation for many young girls out there that X evoked so well throughout the course of the book. It honestly brought me back to my own teenage years and had me reflecting on how I felt at that time of my life.
Even though it was a relatively short book there was a lot of growth shown in all of the characters. At the start X seems really angry with the world and almost resents being a girl and is jealous of her brother even though she is the strong one who always fights for him. She subtly softens throughout the course of the plot line and even though she has to endure so much through her mother and her religious beliefs she really comes out of the other side stronger and more at peace with herself.
It was really fascinating to see the way that something as innocent as writing down your innermost feelings in poems and kissing a boy on the subway could be construed as such a shameful act that literally brought Xiomara’s whole world down around her. I would have liked to see her brother stand up for her a little more seeing as how she was his protector for so many years, especially since her mother loves him so much. But I can understand why, he also had this whole other life that he was trying to protect for himself and he didn’t want to have that exposed like how X’s was. I just felt like she took most of the brunt of her mother’s wrath and he could of lessened it a lot more had he said something.
I adored this book, I loved the diversity of the characters, the setting, the concept, it all really come together beautifully into what I think is a compulsory read for everyone!
⭐️5/5 A MUST Read!!!