Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

This was a bit of a cover buy, but that the same time, it was more because of another book by the same author called Tess of the Road. That was the book that kept drawing my attention over and over again at the bookstore, but when I did a little research, I learned that Tess of the Road had to do with the world created in another series, with Seraphina as the first book.

This is a young adult fantasy book. I read this one pretty quickly, all in one sitting. It dragged me in and kept me reading, although I ended up with some mixed feelings at the end.

This book is about a girl who lives in a world with dragons who just so happen to be able to take on a human like form. There has been a treaty for 40 years, and right when she beings to work for royalty with her music, there is a murder and she gets drawn into the investigation.

The dragons in this book are pretty interesting. I really liked them. The idea they are a mathematically, thoughtful species was really cool. I loved them and the dynamic in this book.

It's very medieval fantasy, and it's pretty good. I liked so much about it, but there's another part to the story that I was very interested in, but I'm not sure how it stuck in the story. I think I do need to read the next one in the series because I'd like to know more, and see if those parts reoccur.

The only thing was, I was left feeling a little bit like something was missing. I'm not sure what, exactly, but the detailing and the world building was so interesting that perhaps it was over too soon. I've taken quite a while to write this review because I wanted to think about the book some more. So much about it was great. Truly. There was just something that didn't feel complete, or like I didn't get what I was looking for out of the story.

Honestly, though, I enjoyed this and I think if you like YA Fantasy, you'll like it too!

Recommendation: For the lovers of fantasy, dragons, YA reads, interesting stories, then this is a book for you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

This one was twisted. It was pretty clear going in what was going on in this book so I knew what to expect.

It's a thriller, one that tells you right off the bat about the crazy things happening, but still takes you along for an even crazier ride.

This book is about the perfect couple. His works, she stays at home. They throw perfect dinner parties, they are together all the time, and they look to have the absolutely perfect marriage that anyone can ask for! Their friends would like to get to know her better, but they can't. She doesn't come to the phone, and when they see her, she's always with her husband. True love. But why are there bars on the windows?

Of course, this is a thriller, so you know that things are not at all what they seem.

This book is so hard to review because I don't want to spoil anything, but I have feelings about things and I want to talk about them!

There was definitely intrigue and thrill in this one. A lot of what was going on I couldn't predict. After all, you find out very quickly a whole lot of the details, but you don't really know the extent of the story until you finish it.

Because you know so much, it's more of a thriller that keeps you reading and makes you want to know what happens next because you really don't understand how things could get worse or better. It's that kind of intense.

I will say I was hoping for more of a rescue in the end, but I did like the very, very end. That was well done in my opinion.

Recommendation: For those who enjoy twisted thrillers, this one is for you. It's not the typical one, but its still as messed up as can be!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

This book was sent to me ever so kindly by Kelsey from Book Publicity Services so that I could enjoy it and share it with all of you wonderful people!

First of all, I love the cover. It's purple, which is my favourite colour and it's reminiscent of the imagery from Aladdin. 

Here's the synopsis:

In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth, a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University, travels to Damascus to immerse herself in the Syrian language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always as they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and a murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.

Now, this book was largely based on the author's real life experiences, which I found to be so cool and so crazy all at the same time. Going to another country alone without any real concrete plans beyond attending a school while you are there fills me with crazy amounts of anxiety! I'm so glad others live exciting lives so I can sit at home and read all about them!

I'm not usually one to jump into a coming of age type of story like this one, but I enjoyed it. I was glued to the page, and I read it over two days. 

The growth that the main character Elizabeth experienced was very transformative. We follow Elizabeth as she just gets on a plane and goes to Syria to learn without anything else planned. She is just going to go out there and do the thing. We watch her face new experiences, meet new people, and fall into trouble. This book brings you back to a time when you might have thought you had everything all figured out, but later on you look back and realize you really didn't, but you lived through it. 

Before this book, I didn't know all that much about Syria. It was iwonderful to experience it through Michelle's eyes. I could almost see the landscape, the homes, the buildings, and the people. It was a descriptive journey that I won't soon forget.

As far as the intrigue, the secrets, the lies, and the betrayals... I was not disappointed! I had an idea of what was going to happen but how all the pieces fitted in together was a bit of a surprise, which is great! I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil anything!

Recommendation: For the lovers of coming of age stories, for those interested in Syria, for those who like stories about travel and peril in another country. This is the book for you!