Book Review | Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

Authour:
Tara Sim
Format:
ARC
Publication date:
January 7th 2020
Publisher:
Disney Hyperion
Source:
Received from publisher

Review:
In this gender bent retelling of the classic novel, The Count of Monte Cristo the “Count” is now a fierce and cunning young girl named Amaya Chandra who goes infiltrates the wealthy circles of Moray as the Countess Yamaa to get revenge

Scavenge the Stars was a compelling take on both the “girl gets revenge” trope and The Count of Monte Cristo. However, while I can appreciate the fact that Amaya was unskilled as she was still just a teen, I wish her motivation for revenge was more personal as it would have made for a more compelling story. Still, I did love her character’s journey. The same can’t be said about Cayo, I’m not sure what other characters saw in him, other than his family name and him supposedly being attractive but I was not a fan. Although, I did find his devotion to his sister admirable. As for the rest of the cast of characters, I liked the children who helped Amaya on her revenge request, though I felt like they weren’t truly fleshed out. Same with the villains in the book, they seemed like straight forward “scoundrels” which is unfortunate as I wish the conflict was more “grey” and Boon and Kamon Mercado had more redeeming qualities since the “heroes” in Scavenge the Stars definitely had their flaws.

While the plot, pacing and writing were solid for the majority of the novel, I felt that towards the end the story began to lose momentum and it did not pick up again until the last pages of the book. That being said, the ending did slightly redeem the story as the new twists introduced that are connected to the larger geography and politics in book’s world has me looking forward to the next book in this duology. So, if you’re looking for a well written, more diverse revenge story and do not mind the lack of romance or somewhat messy world building then consider picking up Scavenge the Stars.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Authour:
Ashley Elston
Format:
ARC
Publication date:
October 1st 2019
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Source:
Received from publisher.

Review:
Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates may be the perfect read for you if you’re a fan of those Hallmark Christmas movies about family and love! Taking place over the winter holiday break, 10 Blind Dates follows Sophie tries to get over a recent heartbreak by letting the members of her large, Italian family set her up on ten blind dates. What follows is an entertaining concept with some crazy competitiveness and bets and of course a bit of chaos and hijinks.

Given the premise and title, boys and romance are a major part of Sophie’s story. However, I loved that the core of the book was about Sophie reconnecting with her cousins and her extended family. As a person who growing up was incredibly close with her cousins and who is not as close with them now, it made me nostalgic for my childhood. Furthermore, I also enjoyed seeing Sophie’s relationship with her sister, Margot and it was obvious how their close bond was even if they mostly interacted through texting.

As for the actual romance subplot of the book, I’m satisfied with where we leave Sophie though the romance wasn’t necessary in my opinion. 10 Blind Dates is mainly about Sophie going out and having fun, and forgetting about her heartbreak. And this works all too well, especially as all her adventures are documented online, catching the attention of her ex. I’m just glad that there was no backsliding on Sophie’s end when it came to her ex.

A light, and incredibly fluffy read 10 Blind Dates did not stand out as a particularly unique or special read for me. However, it does have a great deal of heart and if you like stories with large, close-knit families then you’ll probably enjoy this one.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Authour:stitch
R.C. Lewis
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 328 pages
Publication date:
October 14th 2014
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
These days there is an endless amount of fairy tale retellings in the young adult fiction genre. For almost every myth, fairy tale and even classic novel, there is at one YA retelling for it. In this case, R.C. Lewis is a futuristic, science fiction retelling of the story of Snow White. The story starts of which an extremely exciting introduction to our protagonist, Essie. Essie is a girl living on a mining settlement on the planet of Thanda, to earn a living for herself, she engages in paid fights with various of the other miners. One of my favourite things with reference to this book was how brawny Essie was in addition to her stubborn streak and her independent nature. As we get to learn additional information regarding her past and how she came to live in the settlement, and follow her as she decides to seize control of her life it only makes me adore her even greater. I also love the drones who were her first friends as they were just adorable.

One of the things that Stitching Snow does well is the world building in this book. I love how the elements of the Snow White fairy tale were woven into the world and mythology of Stitching Snow. The conflicts were intriguing and the background of Windsong and Candara and their connection to Essie was handled in an excellent manner. That being understood there was one thing that I was not a fan of in this book, and that was the romance that develops. I supposed that it’s for the reason that the whole thing resembled insta-love and even though they don’t act on their “feelings” until later in the book, I just could not fathom the attraction that Essie felt for Dane. Sure they had a few cute moments however overall it felt like it was done since it was convenient and assisted with the resolution in the book. Fortunately the romance was not a major factor in this book and we get to witness more of Essie taking charge to get things done and rescuing herself and others rather than another story with a damsel in distress.

Stitching Snow is a solid, quick paced, adventure filled read. And while I did enjoy it, I was not obsessed with it probably because I had read the Lunar Chronicles books by Marissa Meyer way before reading Stitching Snow which made it hard for me not to compare the two. Still if you are fond of YA fairy tale retellings, then you should give this book a try.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Authour:ringcrown
Melissa de la Cruz
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 362 pages
Publication date:
April 1st 2014
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
While I’m not usually a fan of the fantasy genre in fiction, I do love historical fiction especially ones with strong female characters. In her latest book, The Ring & the Crown, Melissa de la Cruz has done an amazing job of mixing historical fiction with magical elements. The Ring & the Crown was such a captivating read from start to finish.

One of the things I loved about this book was that the story was that it was mostly told from the point of view of the female characters. This allowed me to feel sympathy for characters that I otherwise would hate such as Ronan, the social climbing American and Isabelle of Orleans who is willing to do anything to get back her lover who has become betrothed to Princess Marie-Victoria. As you can imagine there are a lot of characters in this book but surprisingly, it worked well for the story. Each of the characters’ voices were so distinct that there were never any confusion or mix up. I ended up loving all of the narrators, and couldn’t help but root for each and every one of them. Melissa de la Cruz does an excellent job of connecting each of her characters with one another; in particular, I truly enjoyed the relationship between Princess Marie-Victoria and Aelwyn Myrddyn who are the main players in this book as well as the friendship between Marie-Victoria and Wolfgang.

Although The Ring & the Crown is part fantasy, I felt it was especially accurate in how it portrayed the harsh realities and the fact that in real life there is no perfect happy ending for princes and princesses back then unlike the princes and princesses in fairy tales. This was the only thing I disliked about this book for the reason that I was starting to care so much for all the characters and I wanted them all to be happy. In the end it was extremely heartbreaking how almost all the characters just couldn’t seem to catch a break no matter what they did. I did however like the ending because it symbolized hope and optimism and signaled that there are more great things to come in the series. The Ring & the Crown is a novel filled with gorgeous prose and breath taking world building and descriptions. And while there was a lot of (mostly forbidden and tragic) romance in the book, I actually found it enjoyable since some of the pairings were actually sweet and there was more than enough magic, political intrigue and history in the plot to keep me hooked. The Ring & the Crown was my first book by Melissa de la Cruz and it won’t be my last. Overall I think this book has elements that would appeal to both fans of historical fiction and fantasy.

If you like this book, you’ll love: The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.