Tag Archives: Young Adult Fiction

Amy Snow | Tracy Rees

Breakdown:

  • Book: Amy Snow
  • Series: –
  • Author: Tracy Rees

Amy Snow was an absolute delight to read. FYI, here I’m referring to the name of the book not the character ^^.

Set in 1831 Victorian England, this novel follows Amy Snow, an orphan, whose late, and beloved best friend, Aurelia Vennaway, bequeaths her a treasure hunt that leads her all over England and finally to the one secret Aurelia never shared.

The main character is of course, Amy Snow. Who was given that last name because she is a bastard abandoned by her parents as an infant. The person who happened to find her was Aurelia at the young age of eight. Aurelia, being the only daughter to the aristocratic family, completely upset her parents by bringing in this infant as it ruins their family name. However, she fought her way into keeping Amy and became a sister to her. Thus, as Amy was growing up, she was hated by the household and was immediately cast away after Aurelia’s death.

AmySnow

Before I go on with my review, I would like to state first that I got this novel through a bookbox subscription. Find my Unboxing here. 

Now on with my book review. SPOILERS AHEAD. 

Historical books are usually on point with me. Therefore, I’m not very surprised at the fact that I enjoyed this thoroughly. It was a stroke of luck that Amy Snow was the surprise book in this subscription box. Tracy Rees, the author, handles the world of Amy Snow very well. The writing is so smooth and very detail-oriented (but not to the point of boredom).

We are taken through a wonderful journey of patience, understanding and steady growth.  Amy starts out as being self-loathing and with the strong sense of not deserving anything because of her lowly status. She describes herself as being miserable by saying, “…my frown became my habitual expression.” Her only beacon of hope is her sister by heart, Aurelia. However, after her death, Amy is forced to live on the streets with only ten gold coins to her name. goodreads-reading-challenge-2017-dear-amy-helen-callaghan.jpgAs well as, the looming realization that she can no longer be happy due to her losing the only family she ever truly had. Unbeknownst to her, Aurelia prepared an elaborate scheme to strengthen and evolve Amy to the woman she always believed her to be, in the form of a treasure hunt.

Through this treasure hunt, we see Amy gradually change and become more open to the different challenges and  fortunes in life. She starts to understand that the cruelty that her ‘caretakers’ put her through is not how life really is. From her trips that span all of Victorian England, she starts to see the family, friends, love and care she always longed for, was there waiting for her.

The story in a way is very self aware. In the sense that, through Amy, different situations that ‘us’ the reader would think is ridiculous is also questioned by her. Tracy repeatedly ponders through Amy the very thoughts that go through our mind. Additionally, through Amy, she shows us that even though the situation is unsuitable (constantly traveling to look for a clue that might not even be there), Amy still pushes on. This displays the strength of her character, resolve and most importantly the deep love and loyalty Amy has for her friend Aurelia.

In conclusion, we learn the value of friendship through Amy and Aurelia. As well as,  the importance of a simple kind word that can be a treasure to the person receiving it.

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Final Rating:

 ★★

For all you treasure hunters and puzzle solvers, this one is for you!

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What did you think of this book, have you read anything similar to it? Or do you have any recommendations for me to try? Lets chat, don’t worry, I don’t bite. ^^

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The Selection | Kiera Cass

Breakdown:

  • Book: The Selection #1
  • Series: The Selection Series
  • Author: Kiera Cass

I’ll be reviewing the first novel in this well loved series, The Selection by Kiera Cass. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll summarize the main points. This is a fairytale dystopian world, where everyone is divided or ranked into ‘castes’. Each caste has a specific role to play be it farmer or factory worker. The highest caste, one, is royalty and the lowest, eight, is the poorest people where some are even unemployed. Our main protagonist is America Singer, a five (artist caste). The Kingdom she lives in, Illea, is looking for a bride for the crown prince, Maxon. This is done by holding the Selection, a competition for the prince’s hand and the crown.

And there you have it. Now on with the review.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

You know when you’re the only one in your group who isn’t following the hype. Where everyone around you is nose stuck in this book, but you. And you can’t seem to understand why?  Where your friends swear to you that this is the best thing they’ve ever read and they promise, no proomise that it’ll be worth your time. So now you just have to read it. Even though you’re not totally convinced. Yup, that’s what happened to me.

So honestly, I wasn’t very into the idea of reading this. Like I’ve seen it in the bookstore in several occasions but I just never picked it up.  I had this preconceived notion that it was just a silly little chick flick for younger gals. But Oh, how I was wrong.

This is honestly one of the most entertaining novels I’ve ever read. I guarantee that who ever you might be, and whatever your tastes are, you’re going to enjoy it. Even though this plot line is played out and a little cliche, for some reason it just works. Whatever recipe they used to make this book, I WANT IT. It basically contains the most common ingredients, a royal family, a dashing prince, smart protagonist, forbidden love, sacrifice, bitchy character, looming danger and some late night rendezvous. Now, even though it seems like I might not have any complaints about this book. You are wrong. I have plenty….

First off….

I have to say. America Singer, the main character, has the worst name possible. Why on earth would you name someone after a country and then follow it by a verb? It just doesn’t work. How has no one noticed it’s utter stupidity through all those revisions before it was published. How? It’s just a mystery I will never uncover.

Secondly,

From the beginning of the book, we find out that America is already in a relationship with Aspen, who is a caste lower than her. However, after she is selected to be apart of this ‘The Bachelorette’ inspired competition, she must learn to forget him and work hard to win the prince and get a better life. All is good until I notice that it barley takes her a few days before she completely forgets about her undying love for Aspen. How forgetful this girl is. To be honest, Aspen wasn’t exactly up to my standards, he falls under the douche category for me. Notably when America shares her food with him and he gets mad saying, “…everything is wrong, I’m supposed to be the one providing for you, not the other way around.” It might seem like a nice thing to say to some of you. However, I fall in the spectrum of people who think this is utterly annoying and stereotypical.

Thirdly,

Also Aspen related. You can tell he pisses me off, right? After he gets mad over the food thing, he actually DUMPS her! Annoying. Anyway, after their break up, we move on and America moves into the castle where she has no contact with any of her family and friends for the entirety of the competition.  Things start to hit off well between her and Prince Maxon then all of a sudden, BOOM. Aspen shows up. How? Do you actually expect me to believe a poor, lower caste boy managed to find his way in a heavily guarded castle? And all for what, cause he suddenly had a change of heart and realized he was being a prick.

Anyway, last but not least, ignoring her awful name, America managed to stay true to herself and goal. She’s a very strong character and very often speaks her mind. Apart from the whole boy dilemma she’s actually not half bad.

All in all, this was a lovely read. I recommend it when you need to have something light hearted to change your mood. Maybe in a train ride?

Find my all my book reviews of this series here:

For Eedlyn’s selection:

Disclaimer: I don’t own the images in this post.

Final Rating:

 ★★

Don’t Judge a book by it’s cover, in this case…please do! ^^

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What did you think of this book, have you read anything similar to it? Or do you have any recommendations for me to try? Lets chat, don’t worry, I don’t bite. ^^

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Cinder | Marissa Meyer

Breakdown:

  • Book: Cinder
  • Series: The lunar Chronicles
  • Author: Marissa Meyer

Cinder is the subject of my post. It is the first volume of the Lunar Chronicles. The main character is Linh Cinder, who was inspired by the story Cinderella. The plot takes place in New Beijing, the Eastern Commonwealth. A new post-war world where the humans live in fear of the alien folk, Lunars. The humans are plagued by an incurable disease. Cinder is being mistreated by most people due to her condition. The Emperor Rikan falls ill to the plague and now his son, Prince Kai must take his place.

This post is being written and updated as I read and further explore the book. My opinion may or may not change as I go along. Let’s see if this story was convincing enough.

Chapter 1-15

I don’t understand the hype over this book. No offense to it’s diehard fans or the author. I appreciate your enthusiasm and encourage you’re love for it. Nevertheless, this post or ‘review’ expresses my personal opinion of the book which may or may not resonate well with some of you. Let’s get started.

I didn’t like it. Wait. Just to be clear, I spent the better part of two years looking for this book. For some reason my local bookstores didn’t have it and ordering online was not an option. So after finally getting my hands on a copy of my personal white whale, I was over the moon! Naturally, I couldn’t wait to start devouring it page by page. However, I was sorely disappointed. It’s a very hard read. For me, it was a painful beginning that took me ages to get through. I couldn’t get past the first 10 chapters, it took me a month. Sadly, I’m not even exaggerating. I feel like she used the name ‘Cinder’ to attract audiences who are fans of Disney’s Cinderella even though the story largely does not relate to her at all. Apart from the obvious step-mother situation, existence of a prince and the protagonists sad life there’s nothing much.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The ‘fresh twist’ that everyone talks about is the fact that Cinder is a half cyborg and she is more mechanically inclined. In other words, the girl ain’t dumb. Which I salute. But the progression of the story is very slow and is ‘too much’. It feels like every page is a mouthful. The world she created is very complex and very sci-fy.

So prejudice aside, If I have to review this book then I feel I must give it justice and remove a few elements that are misleading.

  • The Cinderella part

Really that’s it. The promotion itself just ruined the book, so now looking at it as if it wasn’t meant to be a retake on the Disney story, with fresh eyes I will review the book. Again.

Chapter 16 -30

It’s ok. To be honest the plot is very predictable, we all know that she’s the lost princess and she is the cure. So there’s no room for surprise. This is honestly the hardest book I’ve ever had to force myself to read. Usually I gobble them up and by midday I’m done with it. But no, not for this one. Is there something I’m missing?

Her stepmother, Linh Adri is ruthless to the point of making me want to call the cops on her and remove precious Cinder and Iko (her robot friend) away from her. Adri forces Cinder to cook, clean and work everyday in the shop fixing robots and ports. From the money that Cinder earns, Adri uses it to buy unnecessary gowns for her daughters Peony and Pearl. As the story progresses, Cinder meets Prince Kai on several occasions and falls for his charms. Honestly, can I even blame her?  Oh and just to put it out there, Queen Levana, The Lunar Queen, sucks. She is an absolute bitch.

Chapter 31-38

…Or so I thought. To be honest, I stand by everything I said so far but the ending made it for me. I was expecting that after Prince or ehm excuse me, Emperor Kai finds out that she is a half cyborg and lunar and the lost Princess Selene everything will work out. She saves the day, they get married, bla bla bla and cue the Happily Ever aAfter. But no.. there’s another book? She doesn’t wrap anything up in this one? Emperor Kai doesn’t know??! No one is saved? Why? I want saved.

Bonus:

Linh Cinder & Emperor Kai Fanart by Lostie 815

Final Rating:

 ★★☆☆☆

Don’t Judge a book by it’s cover, it might be worse..

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What did you think of this book, have you read anything similar to it? Or do you have any recommendations for me to try? Lets chat, don’t worry, I don’t bite. ^^

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM: @bookishowlette

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