Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication Date:  April 5th, 2016
Publisher: Clarion Books
Source: ARC from Publisher
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?
“I know there is nothing between us and there never could be. But I would do whatever you asked. I would do anything you want. If I had anything worth giving to you, I would give it. If I had anything to sacrifice, I would sacrifice it for you.”
I'm so in love with this book. I loved the writing, the characters, and the story. A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books of all time and Sarah Rees Brennan has crafted this amazing retelling of the classic story. She definitely made it her own with amazing characters, doppelgangers, and magic.

Even though I knew how this was going to end and I knew I was in for a world of hurt, I still was not prepared for just how horrible the ending was going to be. And I say that in a completely positive way. This story still managed to shock me in every way and I truly felt for the characters as they went through their own Revolution.

This story really gets at who you are and what you are willing to do both for your beliefs and the people you care about. Lucie, Ethan, and Carwyn each had complex backstories and situations that lead them to this story and how everything unfolded. There were so many choices that led to what unfolded and how it unfolded. 

That being said, while I knew how the general story was going to go, there were still many twists and turns that kept me guessing as to how exactly things were going to unfold. I'm so lucky that I got an ARC of this book and I cannot recommend it enough to people. Especially fans of A Tale of Two cities and fantasy books. Plus this book has amazing writing and so many gorgeous quotes throughout. I have so many post-it notes lining my ARC in places where I loved the writing.

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

Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffins
Source: Bought It
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can't carry on at all.”
Wow! I don’t even know where to start with this book. This was definitely one of my most anticipated books (especially in terms of standalones and not continuing a series). I feel in love with the characters in Fangirl. I obviously loved Cath and Levi, but I also loved the bits we got of Simon and Baz. So a whole 500+ page book about Simon and Baz was super exciting.

I loved that this book starts during their last year at Watford where they have already faced many challenges and overcome them. Instead we get as much information as we need as the story goes instead of a crazy summary of the previous years. Rainbow Rowell did a fantastic job of weaving in the past experiences. I also loved the pace of this book. We got straight to the point without a bunch of world building and explanations.

As soon as I started the book, I already felt like I knew the world. I do not think this was because I was already introduced to the world in Fangirl, I think it was just written well enough to not have a learning curve. There are many similarities to HP but I think that is part of The Chosen One trope and the fan fiction meta aspect of this book. I really loved how Rainbow Rowell did her own thing with the Chosen One arc. She had her own ideas on how Simon and his friends would deal with the evil and how everything would turn out.

I will admit my one concern going into this book was the fact that this was a book about fanfiction of a fictional book from a different fictional book (and yes it is that complex). So I was worried it was going to be too much meta but I did not feel that way at all. There was really nothing relating to the original fanfiction from Fangirl other than character names.
I already want to reread this book and I really want to read Fangirl now. Both will probably happen by the end of the year so I can revisit these characters. This book is very different than Rainbow Rowell’s other contemporary books, but she did a great job with this fantasy story!