Living for the Books

Living for the Books

A book review blog dedicated to giving honest reviews on YA books.

Review
3.5 Stars
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
The Best Kind of Magic - Crystal Cestari

I really struggled to rate this book and went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for awhile because I enjoyed the book, but it did have a few things that I didn't really enjoy.

I really liked the idea of the book. There are so many witch books where the main character descends from a long line of powerful witches, but not that many about the main character having that and not being a witch. I don't think I have ever read a book about a matchmaker, so I was instantly intrigued by this and definitely think that the author did a good job at describing Amber's ability and also giving the character dimension with the dilemmas relating to her matchmaking power that she faces. 

For the most part I enjoyed Amber as a character. At first the dialogue of the teenage characters was a little overkill, but that seemed to work itself out as the book progressed. As I mentioned before, Amber is faced with some matchmaking dilemmas throughout the story. I thought they were handled very well and in a believable way, even if it sometimes got a tad bit cheesy. 

I was not fond of how Amber treated her mother. She expected her mother to treat her like an adult and with respect, but she didn't really give her mother any reason to treat her that way. She acted like her mother owed her an explanation for everything that was going on and would get upset if she was left out of matters that really didn't concern her. It's probably a pretty realistic portrayal of a teenager, but I just found it so annoying.

I did enjoy the relationship between Amber and Charlie because it really built up over the book and it seemed to help Amber come to terms with being a matchmaker and a teenager. They were very cute and it was the typical popular guy and loser girl pairing, but I didn't really mind it. I did think that adding in Ivy into the mess was very cliche and was entirely only to create drama where there didn't need to be.

This book would probably appeal more to younger teens, since the characters all seemed to be sophomores in high school (or around there) and it was a light, fun read. 

*I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Review
1 Stars
Arms from the Sea by Rich Shapero
Arms from the Sea - Rich Shapero

This book is a perfect example of why I tend to avoid strangers, especially strangers that really seem to be pushing stuff in your face. I was on my way to class when some random guy essentially shoved this book into my hands while shouting something that I don't remember because all I wanted to do was make it to class on time. As I've seen on other reviews it seems to be that most people got their hands on this book because it seems to be distributed at college campuses. The one good thing about that is that at least I didn't pay for this.

To put it lightly, this book is a mess. After almost 200 pages, I still have no idea what was happening. I don't think there was much of a plot and if there was it didn't make sense. The writing was hard to follow, making the story even more difficult to get into and actually figure out what was going on. There were two different story lines going on throughout the book and for most of it I thought one of them was in the past, but based off the ending I have no idea. When I was about halfway through I described what I had read to my boyfriend and his response was yikes because I couldn't make sense of it and what I was saying didn't make sense. It essentially sounded like I was describing a really weird dream.

The main character, Lyle, was nothing special. I felt no connection to him or any of the other characters. I found the scenes with Lyle and the Polyp weird and slightly disturbing mainly because there seemed to be sexual, especially because in the description it says that the Polyp is seductive. Now, you're probably wondering why that would be disturbing. It's because the Polyp is literally a jellyfish and Lyle doesn't seem to always be on board with everything that happens to him. Also during the interactions with the Polyp, the god would narrate what he was doing and it seemed so weird and honestly shouldn't have been part of the dialogue. 

I really don't know what I just read and would recommend steering clear, if only because the writing makes the story extremely difficult to grasp and understand.

Review
4 Stars
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

Full disclaimer I bought this on a whim because I thought the cover was pretty. I honestly didn't know much about it, but I had seen it a lot online. This was a couple of years ago so when I decided to pick it up the other day I went in remembering really nothing about it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was a good way to really get back into reading. I finished it in nearly a day because I was just so intrigued by the story. 

I really loved the entire premise of the book because it was so different from anything else I've read from what I remember. I immediately wanted to know what exactly was going on with Khalid. It was just so fascinating. I enjoyed the depth the character had and I really enjoyed how Shazi didn't immediately think that everything was ok after she unlocked his Tragic Backstory. 

Truthfully I didn't like Shazi at the beginning. I understood her motives, but I don't get why she started telling Khalid a story her first night. I feel like it was risky and how could she have known that it would work. It just seemed odd to me even though I enjoyed the stories. After awhile her character did grow on me because she's very headstrong and people respect her for that. 

I really loved the story and the characters, but the book wasn't without flaws. The romance between Shazi and Khalid was classic insta love. Honestly I'm surprised I didn't have an issue with it. I usually can't stand it when books have this, but I was able to look past it because after it happened the story was just so good. It kept me wanting more to the point where I didn't want to put it down. 

I can't wait to read the next book in the series because the end of this one left me wanting more.

Review
4 Stars
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

I feel like it would be hard to find someone that doesn't rave about this series or any of the author's other books. I do really enjoy Throne of Glass, although it has been awhile since I've picked up the series and I definitely plan on going back to it even though I believe I'm multiple books behind by now.

I've always really loved faerie books and I definitely own quite a few series focusing entirely on them. It had been awhile since I read a book about them though and I'm really glad I ended up reading this book. With the combination of faeries, a well crafted world, and some Beauty & the Beast I knew I was really going to enjoy this book.

The beginning of the story was a little difficult to get into though. It was slow and uneventful for the most part until probably halfway through, which is why I didn't give this book five stars. I also wasn't entirely sold on the romance, possibly because I was too preoccupied with trying to figure out why Tamlin would bother bringing her to his world. It seemed a tiny bit too easy of a romance, especially considering the fact that Feyre hated faeries so much she killed one that wasn't bothering her.

Aside from the start of romance, I did like the relationship that developed between Tamlin and Feyre, even if at first I didn't really enjoy it. There were some sweet moments and clearly there was some chemistry between the two of them. I also really enjoyed the interactions that Feyre had with Lucian. I especially loved any kind of scene that showed the darker side of the faeries. The descriptions were creepy and I would need to know how Feyre was going to make it out of the situation alive.

I'm not entirely sure what to think about Rhysand other than that I hope in future books there isn't a love triangle. I did feel sorry for him because of his position in the court and it kind of made me wonder why the queen didn't just do the same thing to Tamlin, it would have been a lot easier for her. It was also pretty amazing that every character in this book that I disliked at one point, I ended up liking because there was always motive for actions, even if it's not entirely clear what that is at first.

I really did enjoy this book and will definitely be picking up the next one. I just hope it's as good as this one, if not better.

Review
3 Stars
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

Wow it took me nearly two years to finish this book and I'm actually not entirely sure why. It probably had a lot to do with the pace of the plot, but the rest of the book was very well crafted.

The plot for this could not have been slower. From the beginning to about the middle of the book every time I picked the book up I would become bored pretty quickly. I began to procrastinate reading it and genuinely uninterested in everyone but Celia and Marco. There seemed to be quite a lot of characters, they could be hard to keep track of, and their purpose wasn't entirely clear throughout the novel. Did it add to the depth of the story? Yeah, probably but honestly I could have done without the majority of the stories about the unimportant characters. It just wasn't exciting.

I really did enjoy the writing for this book. The descriptions were rich and vivid. Everything about the circus was easy to imagine and beautiful. It reminds me of Laini Taylor's writing. Both authors seem very into every little detail and describing the scene as much as possible. If you're into that I would highly recommend this book.

As mentioned before the characters were really real in a way that most books don't seem to have. All the characters seemed to have a story and in a way all of them seemed to be connected to the main plot. The two main characters Celia and Marco were really the only ones I cared about despite the fact that the other characters weren't flat. They just had the most exciting story and I ended up really enjoying their relationship.

This book took me way too long to finish, but in my defense the pacing was incredibly slow. In the end I really did enjoy it, especially when things started to get a little faster and more interesting.

Review
2 Stars
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

After reading many glowing reviews of this book I was really looking forward to being blown away. Unfortunately, <i>Red Queen</i> fell short of my expectations.

Mare Barrow is a lowly Red and she's a lot like so many other heroines that you could probably interchange them and there wouldn't be much of difference personality wise. She's ruff, unladylike, hates makeup, fancy clothing, and everything that would make her seem feminine because heaven forbid we have a badass character that likes feminine things. The world would probably implode. Enough with the heroines that aren't pretty and judge other girls for wanting to wear dresses and makeup. It seems like most of the books I read have characters like this and normally it doesn't bother me if a character doesn't want to be feminine, but it was especially annoying in this book. It was just another way to set Mare apart for the other girls in the court and create more of a divide between her and Evangeline.

Evangeline is character that I could have done without. From the moment the two girls meet, they hate each other. Evangeline is portrayed as this stuck up bitch with a whole group of girls just like her and it's a constant battle between her and Mare. There is no depth to Evangeline's character and it's widely accepted by many characters that she's a bitch.

There's also a sort of love square going on and I was never really hoping that Mare would end up with anyone. I was leaning towards Maven, but that quickly went south, although I think he might be my favorite character. I wasn't overly fond of Cal, mostly because I didn't understand why he liked Mare. They didn't know each other and they barely spent time together. I'm actually satisfied with how the events at the end of the book played out because it wouldn't have been realistic if Mare's plan actually worked. I don't have much of an opinion on Kilorn, mostly because he's hardly even in the book.

The thing that saved this book was that I felt compelled to keep reading. The plot was engaging, even though it wasn't the most original. I loved the diversity of abilities and I really enjoyed reading about Mare's ability because it isn't very common in books that I've read. I'll probably end up reading the next one because I kind of like the villain and it will be interesting to see where the story goes.

Review
3 Stars
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. It was difficult to get into it in the beginning, but a little less than halfway through I found myself enjoying it.

The beginning is mainly Tarver and Lilac traveling on the planet that they crashed on. I rarely read survival books, mostly because they can be extremely boring. It also didn't help that I had no sympathy for the characters at this point, so Lilac and Tarver's attitudes towards each other and in general were less than appealing to me. Lilac is the spoiled daughter of the most powerful man in the galaxy, while Tarver is a war hero. They were raised in completely different worlds and obviously Tarver is more prepared for surviving on an unknown planet than Lilac, but that doesn't stop her from being horrible to him.

Even though I wasn't particularly enjoying the story at this point, I kept reading anyway and my persistence was rewarded when the characters started to change and develop. Lilac seems to grasp the situation better after a near death experience and she starts to change from the rich girl that just wants to wait around for rescue to someone that is capable of saving herself. Tarver also starts to be more sympathetic towards Lilac and realizes that she's not as useless as he thought she was. Eventually they come to respect and trust each other, which was huge development for both of the characters since they basically started out hating each other. The best part was that none of their development seemed forced or rushed, it felt natural. Obviously, Tarver and Lilac fall in love. I actually liked their relationship because it made sense. They had to trust each other in order to survive on the planet, so of course they're going to form a strong relationship.

There was also a sort of paranormal aspect to the book that seemed a little weird and out of place, but by the end it starts to make a little more sense. It's easy to see why there is such a wide range of ratings for the book because while it does have some flaws, it also has so really great aspects as well. It mostly comes down to how much a person enjoys survival and romance stories.

Review
5 Stars
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) - Maggie Stiefvater

I don't think there has ever been a series quite like this one. It always seemed so unique and I guess that's why I love it so much. This was exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump.

I think that part of the reason why this book just works so well is because the characters are so very real and unforgettable. It's been over a year since the last book and I haven't forgotten a single thing about the characters, maybe a few minor details here and there, but honestly it didn't feel like I should have reread any of the other books before starting this one. The characters are like real people and while reading you can feel that. And the friendship that the characters share doesn't feel forced or fake, it's like real friends.

You'd think that a series that basically starts off warning that Blue would kill her true love would be all about that and feature a lot of romance, but shockingly it doesn't. This book probably has the most romance out of the four, but it doesn't take over the plot. Instead it feels natural and like it belongs. I love Blue and Gansey's relationship because it evolves from friendship and they just seem so perfect together. I've been shipping Adam and Ronan since the last book because they also just seem to be perfect for each other.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with how this book and how the story ended. It had the perfect amount of intrigue to keep me reading and it ended in a way that seems very fitting for this series. There is a fairly large cast of characters, but it wasn't hard to keep track of them all and somehow none of them were flat. They were all interesting and when it switched point of view to one of the more minor characters I wasn't hoping that it would go back to the main crew because the side characters were just as interesting.

It has been a long time since I have felt this satisfied with an entire series and I could go on and on about how much I love these characters and how much I'm going to miss them. I would say more but I don't want to spoil anything by accident, so all I have left to say is that everyone should give this series a shot.

Review
3 Stars
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer

This series has always been surrounded by hype and for the most part I think it deserves it. It is unique, interesting, funny, and just fun to read. I remember I absolutely adored the first three books in the series and I don't ever regret picking up the book. However, I think the way I read Winter and the large gap between books may have caused me to be less invested in the story and to be more critical of it.

I think my one complaint throughout the series was that it was predictable. You can pretty much guess what's going to happen and there was never really any twists that had me shocked. If you can get past the predictability then you'd probably enjoy it, but if you're looking for something to wow you with twists and turns you never saw coming I would skip this series. 

As I said before I think the fact that it has basically been four years since I read the first book in this series caused me to forget why I originally liked the characters and why I was rooting for them. I think that taking so long to read the book too also might have had something to do with it because while I really love Cress and Thorne, I was kind of neutral about Cinder and the rest of the gang. But ven though I was kind of neutral about some of the characters I really enjoyed the intimate scenes between Cinder and Kai, as well as the ones with Scarlet and Wolf and of course I loved the ones with Cress and Thorne. Those passages were heartwarming, cute, and earned a smile or an internal aw.

While I liked some of the more romantic moments, this book tended to drag for me. It probably didn't help that since I'd been reading it for so long I kind of just wanted to finish so I'd get a little frustrated when they would get close to succeeding only to end up basically right back where they started. There was a fair amount of unnecessary events in the book that definitely could have been cut out to make it a bit more fast paced. By the end of it I was mostly like let's just get this thing with Levana over with. Also I kind of thought that their plan to just make Cinder queen wasn't really that great because she really had no idea how to be queen, but my issues with that thankfully got resolved. And what exactly are they planning on doing with the wolf soldiers? Especially if some of them don't want to stop fighting their war.

In the end though, this book was a satisfying conclusion to a series that I have really enjoyed. It's a fun read even though some of the stuff that happens throughout the series and in this book is the very opposite of fun, somehow I still don't think of it as a very serious book probably because of the humor and the romance.

Review
5 Stars
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Like so many of the people that have read this book, I absolutely loved it. Even though I'm not a huge mythology nerd, I found myself immersed in this world and completely in love with the story. I knew enough about Greek mythology to recognize most of the characters and know the important characters' stories, but even without that knowledge I feel like I still would have enjoyed it.


I knew going into this book, that it is primarily a love story. There is war and other elements, but don't be fooled. If you go into this book thinking that it's a fast paced war story, you will be disappointed. The writing is beautiful and poetic, but the pace is extremely slow. It begins with Patroclus as a young boy. Years go by before the start of the Trojan war and I believe they are around 27 when the book ends.

 

I never read much about Achilles, or if I did I don't remember it, but I love how he was portrayed with all of his qualities, not just as how Patroclus would like to see him. He's proud, egotistical, and lethal, but his softer side comes out when he's with Patroclus and he's shown as gentle and loving. There's more to him than his reputation on the battlefield and I think this book will forever change the way I see him.


No book is without its faults and I can definitely see why some people may not enjoy this book. Patroclus is the narrator, but he spends most of his time describing Achilles and thinking about how great he is once they become friends. It seems like Achilles is everything to Patroclus and for most of the book he is, but by the end he grows to become someone that loves Achilles, but he no longer hero worships him, like he once did.


It's not a surprise that Patroclus and Achilles will die. Near the beginning of the book, Thetis outright tells Patroclus that he's going to die. Later Achilles learns that he will also die, but only after he has killed Hector. This begins a sort of joke between them because Achilles likes to say that Hector has done nothing to him, so he has no reason to kill him. The foreshadowing was very obvious to me (possibly because I knew most of the story anyway), but that didn't take away from the ending at all. It almost made it even more sad because the reader could see all the pieces fall into place for the tragic ending. 


The way all the characters were written felt true to their stories, especially Odysseus. If Madeline Miller ever writes a book about Odysseus, I won't hesitate to read it.

Review
2 Stars
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Let's Get Lost - Adi Alsaid

Honestly, I don't see why so many people love this book. Yes there's some intrigue, but it was just so cheesy and cliché. It was very fast paced and I definitely got a John Green vibe from it, but the five different stories failed to deliver. I came out of this book feeling like I could have gone the rest of my life without reading this book and I wouldn't have been any different.

 

The first part of the book is told from Hudson's point of view. He's a mechanic and his father wants him to become a doctor. He has an interview with a college to get a scholarship so that he can get into a good college. Cue manic pixie dream girl (aka Leila), add some insta love and you can probably guess most of Hudson's story. From the very beginning I knew where this was heading and I kept thinking that maybe there will be a twist, but unfortunately I was wrong.


Bree's story was a little more interesting, but it still didn't do it for me. She's been traveling around by herself since she had a falling out with her sister. Leila meets her randomly and they end up doing all sorts of illegal things. After finding out a little about Bree's past, it also wasn't that hard to see where her story was going.


The next story was probably my least favorite. Elliot is in love with his best friend Maribel and he confessed his love for her, but she rejected him. His solution is to get drunk and that's when Leila runs into him. They spend the entire night trying to figure out how to win Maribel over. While I was reading I kept thinking that it isn't the end of the world if she doesn't like him, so Elliot needs to stop behaving that way.


I think that Sonia was my favorite character, but her story was ridiculous. When she meets Leila, she's trying to get away from Jeremiah for awhile and they end up driving out of Canada. Little does she know, the rings for her dead boyfriend's sister's wedding are in the jacket she took from Jeremiah. When she realizes this, they try to get back into Canada, but Sonia lost her passport and they won't let Leila back in since she just crossed the boarder. The things they do to try and get back would have been funny, if they had been slightly more realistic.

 

Finally, Leila's reasons for going on this trip are revealed and honestly they weren't that shocking. Definitely sad, but I didn't think that anything good would have caused her to go on this trip. It was very difficult to connect with Leila throughout the stories, mostly because she didn't seem real. She would have this great insight into other people's lives that made her seem way older than she actually was and it wasn't realistic at all because no one her age would have the experience to know how to solve other people's problems or give advice like she did.

 

I think the fact that each character's story was about 100 pages or less, made it really difficult to develop them and for me to become invested in each one's story. It wasn't a horrible story, but it also wasn't what I was hoping it would be.

Review
5 Stars
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater

*May contain spoilers from previous books

I swear this series just keeps getting better and better. I've been saying this a lot, but this time I really can't believe that I waited months before getting around to this book. I'm pretty sure I bought this book on the day it was released or close to that and I just started it this month. Once I started reading I didn't want to stop, so when I realized that I was only a few pages from the end I put the book down for a little bit because I didn't want it to be over. It was just that good.

I'm pretty certain that I say this in all of my reviews of Maggie Stiefvater's books, but I need to say it again. Stiefvater has a gift with words. I always look forward to reading her latest books and I doubt I'll ever get tired of her writing style. It's so easy to picture all the scenes in the book and the descriptions don't slow the pace down, it only adds to the story. At some points I went from laughing to intense shipping to wanting to cry. I'm looking at you, Chapter 26.

I love how flushed out all the characters are. The dynamic between Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and even Noah is just so real and I can't help but love all of them. I love the scenes with Blue and Gansey because they're so cute, but it's also really heartbreaking since he's supposed to die at some point, probably soon. I also really enjoy the scenes with Adam and Ronan. Ronan's wild and completely unpredictable and Adam is this honest, hardworking, reliable guy and I feel like the two characters compliment each other so well because neither of them will ever admit it, but they kind of need each other, especially Ronan.

As expected, the romance has been pushed to the side for most of the book, but in the next book we'll probably get a lot more and I'm really hoping that something will happen between Adam and Ronan. I don't think I'm ready for something more to happen between Blue and Gansey, but at the same time I really want it to happen. I can't wait for the next one and my guess is that I'm going to need a lot of tissues when I read it.

Review
4 Stars
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon

It has taken me way too long to read the second installment in this series. I could give you so many excuses for why I didn't read it sooner, but no one wants to hear about that. The important thing is that I finished it and I'm ready for the next one.

The Mime Order is vastly different from what I remember of The Bone Season. Not only does it focus on the organized crime groups, but the Rephaim are kind of pushed to the side while Paige is trying to figure out how to make it look like she has returned to her old life. I love the complexity of the syndicate and the relationship between mimelord and mollisher.

I love the dynamic between Jaxon and Paige because there are layers upon layers of history that influence their interactions. How often does that happen in YA? Not often enough in my opinion. Obviously Jaxon isn't the best role model, but he also gave his employees a family, instead of a life of poverty. Paige and all the others have a feeling of loyalty towards their mimelord because unlike all the others he isn't unjustly harsh, instead they have a home and I feel like Jaxon planned for them to feel that way and it really shows that he's actually quite brilliant. There's just so many layers to this character and I love that he's not quite a villain, but he also isn't a hero because that's what real people are like.

The pacing after the murder of an important character in the syndicate slowed down drastically. It felt like nothing was happening from that part of the book until the scrimmage near the very end of the book. It was mostly planning for how to continue the rebellion against Nashira. I wish that the scrimmage was more important part of the book because it was the most exciting to read about and for something so important I feel like it should have played a larger role than it did.

I'm still not entirely sold on Paige and Warden's relationship. Thankfully, their relationship is pushed to the side because there are obviously more pressing matters for Paige to be worrying about other than her love life, especially since having a relationship with Warden is forbidden and could ruin her chances of saving all the voyants.

I had high hopes for this book after really enjoying the first one and while the book has its faults, it was still very enjoyable to read. I will definitely be reading the third book.

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review
3 Stars
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
The Infinite Sea (5th Wave) - Rick Yancey

Unfortunately I'm pretty disappointed by  this book, especially after the awesomeness of the first book. It isn't awful, but it also isn't what I was hoping for.

 

I have discovered that I can't stand Cassie's point of view. I remember liking in in the previous book, but in this one I always got extremely bored and sometimes uncomfortable while reading from her points of view. For a good portion of the book Cassie constantly insists that Evan will find her and that he's not dead, even though there's mounting evidence pointing to his death. She refuses to accept that he's dead and maybe that wouldn't be so bad if I actually liked their relationship. Even in the first book their relationship bugged me. To me Evan feels like a creeper and to be honest I like Ben and Cassie way more than Evan and Cassie because Ben's relationship with Cassie actually develops, while there wasn't much development with her relationship with Evan.

 

The thing that bothered me the most about Cassie was how she talked about Grace. She doesn't know anything about her and she immediately dislikes her because she's extremely attractive and she used to be with Evan before he knew Cassie. It bugged me so much because Cassie has absolutely no right to say anything derogatory about this person that she doesn't even know.

 

The character that saved the book is definitely Ringer. I absolutely love her point of view and I am really glad that her story became more important in this book. I also love that the book went more in depth into Poundcake's tragic past and uncovers the reason for why he doesn't talk.

 

Overall this book isn't what I was hoping for, but I will probably end up reading the next one anyway.

Review
4 Stars
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Unmade - Sarah Rees Brennan

I don't think I could have wished for a more perfect ending to this fantastic series.Unmade has all the humor and fun that the previous books have and the ending is very satisfying.


Like in the previous books, the characters are a major focus. The plot does have more precedence than in Untold, but it is clear that the characters are the most important and where Brennan's talent can shine the most. Every single character, major, minor, or villain is three dimensional. Even Rob shows some development though not nearly as much as everyone else. Holly has show some of the most character development throughout the series. She goes from completely rejecting Angela and the entire idea of being a lesbian, to being confused by her feelings for most of Untold, until she finally seems to accept her sexuality in this book.

 

The whole relationship with Kami and Jared is still being worked out for the majority of this book and that is understandable. It's obvious that they both love each other, but Kami's link with Ash makes everything awkward for them because he feels everything that Kami feels and always knows what's happening with her. So that makes their relationship practically impossible because it's like they can never be alone and since they both care about Ash, they respect that he probably doesn't want to be a part of their romantic relationship.

 

The main reason that this book didn't get five stars is because part of the ending seemed a little too convenient. I'll try to avoid spoiling to much, but I think I need to say that not that many major characters die, even though it's clear that their plan should have resulted in at least two more deaths than there actually were. It almost didn't feel right, even though I was happy that they survived.


I'm sad that this is the last book in this series because these characters have really grown on me, but at the same time the ending is tied up nicely and for the most part it ends on a happy note.

 

Review
4 Stars
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
Untold - Sarah Rees Brennan

After the heartbreaking ending of Unspoken I thought that I was ready for Untold over a year after I read the first book. In the beginning of the book I barely remembered what happened in the last book. I only really remembered the major stuff, like Kami breaking the link with Jared, but aside from that I was kind of lost and a little worried that I wouldn't enjoy this book as much as the first one. Thankfully in the beginning there were little reminders of the events that took place in the previous book that were extremely helpful and perfectly timed.

 

I completely adore the characters and I went through this book with a smile on my face (for the most part) because the characters are extremely witty and sarcastic. Yes there were a few cringe worthy lines because they were really cheesy, but those were overshadowed by the brilliant remarks of Kami and her friends.


The major complaint I have about this book is that it takes forever for the plot to get going. Most of the book focuses on the characters and while I love the characters and how they developed, I feel like there was too much emphasis on them and not enough on the actual plot. Until over halfway through the book, it is mostly Kami calling meetings with her friends where practically nothing gets done combined with an overload of angst. Character development is extremely important to me, but there is also only so much angst I can take and that is why this book did not get five stars.

 

While there was definitely a lot of teenager angst, it is also kind of understandable. Both Kami and Jared are learning how to deal with losing their link. Neither of them have ever lived without the other constantly in each other's minds. The way Jared tries to explain this link to Ash is perfect:

 

"Every dark moment you ever had in your life," Jared said. "Every time you were a kid hiding under the covers convinced that nobody in the world existed, that it was just you and the nightmares. Every time you felt alone in a crowd, alone by yourself, forever and essentially alone, and don't pretend there weren't moments like that. Every time you felt worthless, every time you thought there was no purpose to existing, no center to the world and no peace to be found. I never had a single moment like that, I was never lonely a day in my life, until now."

 

That quote perfectly explains Jared and even Kami's behavior. They now will have these feelings and doubt themselves because they don't have each other to tell them that they shouldn't be doubting themselves and feeling so alone. Most people learn to deal with feeling alone because they have to, but Kami and Jared never learned this essential skill because they didn't have to. There was another quote that I can't find, but I believe Jared said while trying to explain the feeling to Ash and he said that it was like asking a fish about water (or something like that).


There was also a love triangle, but it wasn't all that bad because all the characters involved are three dimensional and not just there to create drama. It's also really obvious how the characters actually feel even if they won't admit it. Probably the best side character is Angela because I feel like she really developed as character. Angela is dealing with her fallout with Holly after she tried to kiss her friend because she thought that Holly also liked her. Throughout the book, Angela is trying to work out how to come out as a lesbian and fix her relationship with Holly. It's a really great addition to the story because the way it is handled is believable.


I already bought the next book, so I'll be starting that as soon as I have the time.