Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Jewel

Today is my last day as Violet Lasting.

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty, The Jewel means royalty.

But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude.

Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained to work for the royalty. And she quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel's glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life. 

When an unlikely friendship offers her an opportunity she never dreamed possible, Violet clings to the hope for a better life. But a forbidden romance changes everything. And suddenly Violet finds herself in a different kind of danger, one that may cost her more than she bargained for.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing is the first book of The Lone City trilogy. It's about a girl name Violet being trained to be a surrogate and little did she know things aren't what she thought it is. I like the concept of this book as it's in the dystopia genre. The world built is an interesting place and the people in it are awful but it makes the story good. I feel that the plot flowed really well with a good twist at good moments. This book can grab my attention well at good moments but also some chapters can be just okay, nothing exciting.

I didn't quite like the main female character as I felt she is a bit too immature and naive but I guess it fits the story well. Sadly, I did not see much character growth for her or maybe I was expecting too much. The other characters of the book are interesting people as not much has been revealed yet and I'm sure that's on purpose. I'm really curious to know more about other people instead of Violet. Sad to say she kind of annoys me. The romance of the book is insta-love style which is not acceptable for me as I prefer love that slowly blossoms. The love story seems rushed and lack of development which puts me off a little.

Overall, it is a story that has much interesting elements and many questions unanswered which intrigued me to continue reading and I'll definitely wait for the second book. The ending was also quite shocking to me and that itself earn a star on it's own. This book represents many things that I feel young people should know about society. I love the message I got from the book and I hope others who read this understands it as well. A good story to enjoy just forego the romance part and I'd like to recommend to dystopia lovers.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Trial by Fire

I remember what I must do , even if it makes me the villain of my own story.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies make it increasingly difficult to live a normal life, and after a completely humiliating incident ruins her first (and perhaps only) real party, she's ready to disappear.

"Come and be the most powerful person in the world"

Suddenly, Lily finds herself in a different Salem.One overrun with onsters and ruled by powerful women-including Lilian, this world's version of Lily.

"It will be terrifying, it was for me."

What made Lily weak at home, makes her extraordinary here. It also puts her in a terrible danger. Faced with new responsibilities she can barely understand and a love she never expected, Lily is left with one question: How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini is the first book of the worldwalker trilogy. I have yet to read anything from this author before hence this is my first time reading her book. The story is about a girl who went to another parallel world with her own world. In that other world, there is another version of her and some other people in her life. The idea of the story is really good as the other world built by the author is quite good with detail. I like that there is much mystery to what some of the characters are doing, especially the main character.

There is much growth to the characters which I love. I like the relationships that are built up along the story and felt that it suites the story really well. This was a book with a good amount of action and it was written well. I like the flow of the plots and the twist of the story was well done. The only complain I have is I felt towards the end it was a bit rushed. I would have enjoyed it if there was more action than what happened in the book. The ending is good as it will leave you hanging and wondering about the next book. I have not read many witch story type of books except for Charmed so I can't remember well enough to compare hence this book is a new experience for me. 

I quite liked the book and I'm looking forward for the next book as there are some questions that I hoped would be answered then. I recommend this book to readers who love stories of witches and parallel worlds as the book's concept is quite refreshing. I would skim through the book before reading the second book which will be out next year. Other than that, I'm not sure if I would pick it up again.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Since You've Been Gone

Emily's best friend Sloane disappears, almost without a trace - the only thing left behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that wallflower Emily wouldn't normally do, and definitely not without her best friend. But what if completing the list could bring Sloane back?
Dance until dawn? Sure why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um....
Go skinny dippy? Wait....what?
Emily only has the summer to check everything off Sloane's list. The question is, what will she find at the end of it? - excerpt from book cover.

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson is a story about a girl completing a list sent to her by her best friend who seems to be missing this summer. I did not know what to expect for this book except that it's in the summer and a girl has to complete a list. At start of the book it was like introduction to the characters which did not capture me yet. But then when the list was received, things started to be really really interesting.

I really love the characters of the book especially the female lead. She has the most character growth in the book which made the story fantastic. I like how the other characters slowly emerged in the story and took part in the plots. This book made me want a best friend just like the female lead, I really wish I could find a friend like that. I also really like the male lead in the book, he is such a great guy and his friend is such a funny dude.

The plot of this story is also so so good. There are many incidents in the book that you'll just love. There are also some situations where you'll be wanting certain things to happen between characters. This book is also hilarious in quite a number of chapters. Even though there was some parts that you could predict, it was still enjoyable to read because you would want what you predicted to happen. 

I had a hard time putting the book down because it got me hooked so bad. I just wished I was in those characters' lives. While I wanted to read faster to know more, I also didn't want the story to end at all. Alas, when I was done I was very satisfied with the book as it gave me much much laughter and warmth. I would highly recommend this book to any young adult book lovers who enjoy reading about summer. This book is funny, exciting, heartwarming, cute and many more good things. I would not hesitate to pick up another book from this author as she really did a good job. Next summer, I want to read this book again.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Iron Trial

Friends and Foe.
Danger and Magic.
Death and Life.
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt. Hw wants to fail.
All his life, Callum has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.
So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come...  -excerpt from book cover.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is about a boy who was to fail a test in order not to be admitted in the Magisterium. When I got news that two of my favourite YA writers are working on a series together, I was super excited. If you didn't know, Holly Black wrote many good series such as Spiderwick Chronicles and Cassandra Clare is the author of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. Once the book was out, I tried to get the book ASAP but it took sometime before I got my delivery.

I truly enjoyed the book and I feel it is a good start/introduction to the world in the story and also preparing the readers for more of the series. If not mistaken this would be a five book series. I cannot wait for more and I highly anticipate that it will get better and better. I could not find any parts that distinctively tell it's written by Holly or Cassandra. The writing flowed so well, it was just like one person written it instead of two. I think they both have great ideas and this book is not like Harry Potter series at all. 

When it comes to magic school, people tend to relate it to Harry Potter but I have to say besides studying magic, everything else is totally different.  Even the methods to conjure magic is totally different from Harry Potter, although the combination of mages form a group of three is similar but it's sort of a requirement for their training. The characters of the book are so so different from Harry Potter which I truly enjoyed. I really love the main character of the book, he has many struggles and thus it turned him into the person he is now. I love the growth of the main characters too because as time passed and certain things happening they changed.

The plot twist was really well done and not easy to anticipate although one element of the story was easy to guess, I think it was the intention of the authors in the first place. I think the plots were really smooth and well timed. The only complaint I have is the length of the book, how I wished it was longer and more could be written on their process of learning magic or more interactions with other students. But overall, it's a great start of the series where it contains some mystery that will slowly unfold throughout the series. I hope the next book will come soon as I cannot wait. I highly recommend this to readers who loved Harry Potter, magic and fantasy.  
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