Publisher: Harper

The Queen of the Tearling [Review]

Posted February 16, 2017 by Lizzie in Review / 1 Comment

The Queen of the Tearling [Review]The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Published by Harper on July 8th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Series Rating: five-stars
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An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.
Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.
Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.
Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch."
Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

My Thoughts

Holy crap: the political intrigue of this book! I must admit, I tried to read it years ago when it first came out and just couldn’t seem to get into it. Then, this month (after binge watching House of Cards on Netflix) I just really wanted moremoremore politics. Looking around my shelves, I found this guy and read it in one sitting. Sunday well spent folks. Kelsea is a phenomenal MC, her POV is so intricate and unique – I can’t figure out how to explain it. She’s smart and witty, stubborn and calculating – everything you want in a Queen. The story line is perfectly complex and wonderful in every way. There is no clear villain, fighting and war are waged very tongue and cheek and Kelsea is such a bad ass. Her interactions with her people and the shenanigans that she gets into to make a statement literally gave me chills. There wasn’t very much romance in this one, and I can’t really decide if I liked that or not. Either way, for young adult this was one hefty read. Magic, war tactics, suspense, tension – ITS JUST SO GOOD! So many layers and unique themes that I feel like not a lot of YA books reach to explore. I’m so so so curious to see where this series will go, after my current read I’m hopping back into this world feet first! If you like political drama and fantasy, this book will blow your mind. Plus, the third and final book just came out, go read this one so you can join in on the hype!



The Ex [Review]

Posted October 29, 2016 by Emily in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

The Ex [Review]The Ex by Alafair Burke
Published by Harper on January 26th 2016
Genres: Adult
Pages: 304
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In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train, a woman agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been framed for murder—but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated.
Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.
 Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?
 For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

My Thoughts

I suppose I should be calling this a DNF review. However, I did, technically, finish the book. But only by skipping through huge chunks of the story…just so I could see the answers to all the mysteries and questions presented in this book.

I think my main problem with this book was the characters. I couldn’t connect with any of them. Most notably the main character, our narrator. I just couldn’t find anything that made me want to know more about her. Maybe she had some redemption in the book that I missed, but it was taking her too long for my liking to get there. The rest of the characters felt like a whole host of clichés: the straightforward, harsh best friend, the father-figure lawyer, the more mature for her age teenage daughter, and, of course, the guy who’s too caring to do any wrong yet has been repeatedly dealt a bad hand. I guess I just didn’t believe any of them fully. There wasn’t anything that had me rooting for any of the characters.

Of course, this book did have one element that kept me intrigued: the mystery. Who’s the killer? Is someone being framed? Is someone lying? I had to know. The crime, and in particular its details, were unique and thought-provoking, but, ultimately, it just wasn’t enough to keep me hooked to every page. So I committed the ultimate sin and skipped to the end, which was satisfying enough and not so shocking that I felt I had to go back and read what I had missed. Overall, this book had a great concept with a less than stellar execution.