Friday, December 27, 2013

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

There's something to be said for a book that exceeds your expectations, when the bar was set pretty high to begin with. I went into reading Shadow and Bone with the hope that I would love it, and the comfort that I had heard amazing things about the book before I had picked it up. One of the things I had enjoyed most about the book was the fact that it was unlike any other book I had read thus far. In a world where ideas are so often repeated for the lack of new creativity, it is very refreshing to come across something purely original. There are so many things I want to say about this book, that my mind is tumbling around like a dryer trying to figure out where to start. I guess there's no better place than with the characters. The main character of the book is a girl named Alina, and I can't begin to express how much I love her so. I loved the fact that she was unsure, she had regrets, and she hadn't really found the niche to where she belonged. She felt normal, somehow relatable in such vastly different worlds. Sure she had Mal, her handsome best friend from childhood, but even though he was the person who knew her the best out of anyone, there was still a barrier between them. One that had grown over time as they grew up whilst he blossomed and she stayed emotionally closed off. It's apparent that Alina does have feelings for Mal, but they are not the front and center conflict in the book. There were many points in the story where the author could have turned off down a road long traveled by many authors before her, but she surprised me and stayed away from the cliches. So much so, that I truly believed anything could happen. In some books you think, no the author won't kill off this character, because they are vital to the story and readers would revolt, but with Leigh Bardugo, I didn't have this certainty. I was truly in her world and she was going to take me where this story was meant to go, whether I liked the outcome or not. Shadow and Bone has to be one of the most eloquently written books I have read in some time, and one that has really gotten me to think about the choices we make in life. I've come out of reading this book with a somewhat different way of looking at things. I can picture myself as Alina in the fold, and ask myself whether or not I would make the same decisions she had. Alina is stronger than most people, whether they be in real life or fictional. She has the center of mind to really believe in something, to really believe in someone. As for what those things are, you'll just have to read the book to find out. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, and I am considering rereading it before my copy of the sequel arrives!!

Content: 5 stars
Writing Quality: 5 stars

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Legend by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for quite sometime now. One of the people who works at my local bookstore actually recommended it to me whilst I was just browsing endlessly looking for more books I didn't really need to buy. Overall I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but for some reason I just don't have that feeling that I NEED to read the next book in the series. I did read the book in one day though, so that has to count for something! The book kept me entertained overall and I would recommend it to almost anyone, but for me it just wasn't one of those books I'm going to start obsessing over. The book has a great storyline, and if you read the authors autobiography on the back page, you will find out she was inspired by Les Mis to write the story, which I think is really cool. Marie Lu has a great writing style and puts together an enjoyable story. Will I read the next book? Yes. Will it probably be a few weeks? Yes. In the end though, I would recommend this book to people who happen to be a fan of The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. You will not regret reading this book, and I'm sure that at least a few of you will grow to obsess over this series just as much as I do over The Hunger Games :)

Content: 3 Stars
Writing Quality: 4 Stars

Thanks for reading!!!