Genre: Young Adult

Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic James

Posted March 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic JamesGilded Cage by Vic James
Series: Dark Gifts #1
Published by Del Rey Books on February 14th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.
Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.
Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?
A boy dreams of revolution.
Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I posted on twitter that I wasn’t sure if I liked this book but that I wouldn’t forget it anytime soon. That has been true so far. I just can’t get this book out of my mind.

The Gilded cage is deeply disturbing. I loved that it didn’t pull any punches. Usually dystopian worlds look pretty on the surface and it takes a while to get into the issues. Gilded Cage is horrifying right from the start. The ruling class are Equals, capable of performing fantastic feats of magic. They live a life of luxury and ease. Everyone else is known as a commoner and are forced to serve Slave Days. Slave Days are exactly what they sound like. Commoners give up 10 years of their lives as slaves. This is one aspect that really bothers me about the book. Commoners can choose when to serve their Slave Days. It’s an awful fate but forcing people to choose when it happens makes it seem worse.

The Gilded Cage also goes into the darker and more insidious aspects of a dystopian world that other books tend to shy away from. Especially in YA. Usually young adult fiction isn’t as dark as this was. I think that this book could be upsetting to read on a lot of levels. Horrible things happen off screen or before the events of the book but they are still dealt with or touched on. This is young adult because it has a young adult main character not because the content is watered down at all.

This book is going to stay with me for a long time. It really affected me. I can’t wait for book two. Still, I’m not sure I liked it. I’m not sure this is a book you like. It is a book you remember forever.

four-half-stars

Tags:

Divider

Review: American Street

Posted March 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Review: American StreetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My favorite part of this book was the voice of the narrator, Fabiola. She’s a teenage immigrant from Haiti whose mother gets detained when they attempt to come into the country. Her mother sends her ahead to Detroit where her aunt and cousins are waiting for them. The story is of her journey to get her mother released and her first few months as an American. She had a very realistic, sincere feel about the way she told the story. It was admirable how she would do anything to get her mother back which ended up requiring tough decisions to be made.

I always enjoy own voices books because I feel like I’m truly able to gather bits and pieces of other people’s realities that are different than mine. The comparisons that she made between her life and Haiti and the acquisition to her life in Detroit was interesting to read because of the things I’ve read/heard about Detroit. While many differences existed between the two places, because of some of the lifestyle choices her aunt and cousins made, there were times when she may have been better off still in Haiti.  

I love when books include different words and phrases from different languages. In this particular book it really added to the story. I also really loved the elements of magical realism that tied back to the religion she and her mother practiced and felt protected themselves and their family members when they were still in Haiti and survived things like the massive earthquake and extreme poverty.

I can’t write a review and leave out her first love, Kasim. He was everything you want a teenage love to be and I think the contrast between the way he treated her as opposed to the way her cousin’s boyfriend, Dray, treated her was powerful. It’s never okay to accept an abusive relationship, no matter what else they do for you. I think this effectively portrayed the two relationships and the different choices each girl made when it came to them.

Overall, I rated this 4 stars. It was a really fantastic read and I highly recommend it!

four-stars

Tags:

Divider

Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Literally by Lucy Keating Published by HarperTeen on April 11th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 256 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins. Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine. It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word? The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.” I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This was such a sweet book with a really original premise behind it. Annabelle is a seemingly normal teenager living her life trying to make it through her creative writing class. When […]

Posted March 16, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: The Ship Beyond Time

Review: The Ship Beyond Time

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig Series: The Girl from Everywhere #2 Published by Greenwillow Books on February 28th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance Pages: 464 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy. Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is […]

Posted March 9, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
Divider

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadow Run

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadow Run

Unfortunately, publishers are learning how to get me. Label something “Firefly meets Dune” and I will be breaking down doors to read it. That first sentence and I’m hooked. A prince in hiding, a misfit crew, an intergalactic war and a touchy captain all sound like Firefly to me. The rest of the book description sounds great as well. It also reminds me of Starflight, which I read last year and loved. I love all the science fiction that is coming out for young adults this year and Shadow Run looks like a great start!  

Posted March 8, 2017 by Emily in Uncategorized / 4 Comments
Divider

ARC Review: Dreamland Burning

ARC Review: Dreamland Burning

Dreamland Burning is beautifully written with a contrast between present day and 1921 and the racial issues that plague the United States. It’s not always a “pleasant” read, but it the impact was enormous. As a white person, it’s painful to read how African Americans were treated in the not-so-long-ago past. To be black and to read this must be an entirely different level of anger and disgust. I liked the characters and how they were from all walks of life, past and present. I think those were really intelligent choices made by the author. For example, the present day teenage main character, Rowan, was a biracial girl living a considerably privileged life. Her family was wealthy, her father was white and from a powerful family, and she went to a private school with mostly white students who she fit in with well because of her finances. This made her somewhat out of touch when it came to situations that afflicted other black Americans who didn’t have the same lifestyle. To balance her out, she had an asexual black best friend who sometimes put her in her place, so to speak. Her job in a clinic was also eye opening for her. On the other hand, the teenage boy from 1921, Will Tillman, presented an entirely different perspective. His journey was obviously the more horrendous because it depicts the […]

Posted February 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
Divider

Irish Banana Tour: Q&A with Wintersong Authour S. Jae-Jones

Irish Banana Tour: Q&A with Wintersong Authour S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones Series: Wintersong #1 Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance, Retelling Pages: 448 Format: ebook Buy on Amazon Goodreads Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell. All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts. Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin […]

Posted February 20, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, interview / 3 Comments
Divider

Review: Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Review: Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco Series: The Bone Witch #1 Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 7th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 400 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice. Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco! I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This story is told straight from the beginning with a narrator and then flash forward interludes between every chapter told from the point of view of a bard who is writing the story. Right from the beginning we know […]

Posted February 13, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
Divider

Rockstar Tours Review: Wintersong

Rockstar Tours Review: Wintersong

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance, Retelling Pages: 448 Format: ebook Buy on Amazon Goodreads Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell. All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts. Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As […]

Posted February 10, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 1 Comment
Divider

Waiting on Wednesday: When Dimple Met Rishi

Waiting on Wednesday: When Dimple Met Rishi

The thing that really draws me to this book is the cover. I love the girl’s face on the cover. That grin!!! It’s just so joyous. I’ve never seen a cover that exudes so much happiness. Past the cover, the book sounds perfect. Enemies to loves is always my favorite trope. I love the idea that these two kids have been promised to each other in an arranged marriage. However, they don’t know it and they don’t even like each other! Can’t wait to read this one!

Posted February 8, 2017 by Emily in WoW / 1 Comment
Divider