The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Synopsis: "The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut."
Review: You know one of those books where you pick it up and it NEVER GOES DOWN. Yep, that was The Bone Season for me. Let me tell you why:
Everything was amazing, but out of it all I really admire the world Samantha created. Every little piece is so detailed and thought out. They even have intricate histories and backstories that you learn along the way. She creates a gorgeous map at the start of the novel and a glossary of amazing vocabulary at the end (which you also pick up throughout the story). The magic is also INCREDIBLY UNIQUE. After a while it may seem like you understand the magic world, but let me tell you now, The Bone Season is a whole new type of magic.
The plot is also FANTABULOUS. (yes, this book requires me making up words because words can't seem to cover how great it is). There was a bit of a Hunger Games/Divergent vibe, but if you didn't like those series don't throw this series up yet! It had its own twists and I would definitely say this read was more than worth it. Although the plot didn't give me as intense emotions (as in instead of bawling I was shedding tears) as other novels, it definitely brought me throughout a huge range of feels. Samantha is definitely a talented writer and this novel had me completely gripped.
I am absolutely ecstatic about this series and I would recommend this to any young adult or fantasy lovers! (Now I'm off to read The Mime Order!)
Favorite Quote(s): "We are the minority the world does not accept. ... We look like everyone else. Sometimes we act like everyone else. In many ways we are like everyone else."
"Not all of us know what we are. Some of us die without ever knowing."
"The sky was sunset gold, the moon a smirk of white."
"In the end you'll just stop trying. She was wrong."
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Synopsis: "Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. "
Review: This novel is the SECOND book in its series to stay spoiler free check out my review of the first book: The Bone Season.
If you have read my first review then you may already realize how much I love this series. In that case, let it be no surprise that I loved this book just as much if not more!
The Mime Order absolutely blew my mind away. With a strong description of the world in the first novel, this following novel is finally able to get things happen, resulting in an AMAZING plot. Not only that, but the entire thing is an absolutely fantastic read due to the elegantly written novel.
Now that you have read The Bone Season I can include more about the romance in this series! Ahh... Warden. He is a pretty stereotypical untouchable sort of YA boyfriend, but in many ways he is also quite unique. Warden himself is a standard type of YA boyfriend. Which category? Warden would go under the bad boy with a dark past that a girl shouldn't be dating because of their status' or in this case, being different races (not like ethnicity, but more as in not the human race...). However, the relationship between Warden and Paige is unique to others. Paige is able to showcase her strength and she is definitely wise beyond her years. However, overall Paige definitely shows signs of thinking of Warden at crucial times, but, honestly, even I was distracted by Warden throughout the novel and I can't blame her!
This brings me to how much I adore Paige for all she is. She is:
- loyal (to her beliefs)
- smart (especially with last minute situations)
- naive with romance (which can be frustrating, but more hilarious to watch)
- yet flawed
Samantha created such an amazing main character and reading this through Paige's perspective is delightful (as delightful as going to a bookstore delightful).
Now let me explain my dilemma after such an amazing read. You may have heard on my instagram, but I had an ultimate fail when it came to this series... I was approved for the e-arc (The Song Rising) and I FORGOT TO DOWNLOAD IT IN TIME. (*dies a hundred times inside, yes do you feel my pain*). Not only was that a completely horrible slip up on my part, but after reading these two books I REALLY WANT THE NEXT ONE. If anyone wants any real, honest words about this novel... all I can say is learn from me and just purchase all three books (you're welcome in advance).
This book and the series in general is something I'd recommend to everyone. If you have any recommendations for me or anything else book related comment below!
Cover: ★★★★★ (gonna miss the old versions)
Favorite Quote(s): "It's rare that a story begins at the beginning."
"Some revolutions change the world in a day. Others take decades or centuries or more, and others still never come to fruition."
" 'Would you follow a backstabber?' 'I'd rather follow one than walk in front of one.' "
" Words give wings even to those who have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hope of repair."
"It was the most secret breed of rebellion I could imagine, putting words on paper."
" 'Truth looks different in every lens. History was made by liars.' "
wow lots of quotes! (told you the writing was amazing!)
Synopsis: "What if finding her means losing himself?
Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”
At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Soíia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.
But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves."
Review: This book covers a topic I know can be quite controversial and although I am no expert I thought that this novel definitely shows a side to mental illness that people like me, who are not completely aware, can learn from and possibly understand those with mental illnesses more.
At first, I found the plot, writing style, and double perspectives extremely mind-boggling. Even though it was hard for me to read, I have a feeling Beth Revis wanted the reader to go through this because often mental illness has no clear cut lines and many times it can be confusing for both the person and their family. I grew to love she put in the Bo's sister's perspective because in a way the reader was able to glimpse at the "regular" world and put Bo's thoughts to perspective.
I love Bo's perspective. I found it thrilling and surprisingly relatable. Who doesn't want to have superpowers and fall in love, and if Phoebe's thoughts were not mentioned, I doubt I would have even thought Bo had a mental illness, but instead that he was a hero of a YA novel. (Which he is but you know what I mean). It was incredibly creative seeing how Bo viewed the world and how the world was viewed by the general public. It was clear that his mind and imagination deceived him, and not unlike many of us readers, sometimes your imagination is the best place to be and ends up overpowering your common sense, but Bo never left his world. In fact, his world was his imagination which led to the problem of Sofia and all that had happened. This novel gave me the same sense of telling a child Santa Claus doesn't exist. It felt like loss of innocence and the naturally positive view many kids have of the world. Bo's innocent view of the world and his endless imagination was something I loved that I could connect to him with.
Phoebe was so similar to I wondered if I was her for a second. Although I definitely don't have the perfect grades I am also incredibly spread out, in that I have no particular subject I really want to major in because I'm still figuring out who I am and choosing something to do in the future is a large choice that I have not been able to figure out quite yet. She also has parents who have high expectations and I definitely understand that feeling as well. Phoebe really connected to me and I found her perspective to fit mine. However, her perspective was so realistic it hurt my imaginative side and I wanted to just get sucked into Bo's world and leave the sensible and practical thoughts Phoebe emitted. In a sense, I am the mixture of Bo and Phoebe and I think everyone has a bit of both in them.
I would recommend this book to EVERYONE, because even though it may not suit everyone's tastes, I think it is really important for people to be educated about mental illness, because it exists and affects many people in our world and this novel can help bring some insight to readers about the hardships of mental illnesses, but also how they are also people.
Let me know in the comments what you thought about this book! (or anything else bookish related!)
Gilded Cage by Vic James
*I received an ARC of Gilded Cage by Vic James from NetGalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.
Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.
Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?
A boy dreams of revolution.
Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy? "
Review: I didn't really have any idea of what this book was about going in, but I new it was a fantasy novel. This novel definitely did not disappoint.
The entire set up of this novel from the characters to plot to the world Vic James created is incredibly fascinating and was something I've never seen before. The way the world was set up was unique, but worked with the plot incredibly well. The world presented in Gilded Cage was presented, at first, as normal in terms of fantasy. There seemed to only exist a simple mix of magic and people, but quickly the darker side of the world is present. This dark twist quickly transforms this book into a whirlwind of adventure!
The book is written with multiple perspectives, which was slightly confusing at first, but, after I caught up with the names, was incredibly insightful to understand what those characters were feeling. It also conveniently sets up mind-blowing plot twists or at least connections that make you go, "OOHHH!". Gilded Cage is not lacking in a VARIETY of unique characters. I found that I was most similar to Ami, but that I preferred reading in Luke's perspective, which luckily was the general perspective. I would go into depth on each character, but there are far too many and I don't want to give anything away!
The plot of this novel is gripping and had me reaching to read a couple of pages, even when I was incredibly busy. I definitely thought I had the plot all worked out at a couple points along the book, but I was WRONG. Gilded Cage had my heart beating and definitely didn't always go the way I had predicted and that was amazing. The plot and characters were, without a doubt, why I can't wait for the next book. I didn't even realize this was a series until about halfway through, but I'm so grateful it is because I can't wait to see more of this unique world, its characters and the possibilities!
I'm so grateful to have gotten to read this book early on and I would recommend this to all YA readers, but especially for those who love a unique fantasy, some fast paced adventure, and those who want to new series to fall in love with! I also later found that this was first written on wattpad and won an award which only adds to the reasons of why more people need to read this book!
Cover: ★★★★★ (I don't know if this is even the finalized cover, but it's gorgeous all the same!)
Favorite Quote(s): "no one will make you play. We may have chosen you, but you have to choose the game."
"Trust lent you someone else's eyes, someone else's strong arms or quick brain. Made you bigger than just yourself."
"The severity of the man's punishment was no proof that he deserved it."
Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Synopsis:It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
Review: WARNING SPOILERS FOR SNOW LIKE ASHES MAY BE PRESENT.
To start off with, I completely forgot all of Snow Like Ashes because it took me so long to get my hands on this novel and therefore I had ZERO guesses of what might happen. Slowly I got back into this Season & Rhythm world. Meira is an interesting main character because not only is she my age, but she also has aspects of life where she is definitely more knowledgeable than me, but for a lot of things I found her quite foolish with desicion-making. Sara Raasch did a brilliant job with the characters overall and I thought that Ice Like Fire allowed me to understand the characters on a better level as well as meeting new amazing characters like Ceridwen.
The plot was twisty! I loved the new aspects Ice Like Fire brings to the story and more and more of the world is explored and I LOVED THAT. It felt like their world itself was changing and that made it harder for me to try and guess what might happen ahead of time. Although I don't personally feel there was a lot of character excitement and focus, there was a LOT of focus on the world and its history/culture. This exploration was exciting, page turning, and brilliant all at once! There was a lot of figuring out the magic and the conduits and how they worked and it was definitely a journey to go along on.
Mather vs. Theron. Who could choose? Personally I support Mather and Meira, but we'll just have to see! I actually really enjoy stereotypical romances, like love triangles etc. so I enjoyed the romance in the novel, but romance isn't the main focus of this novel, though it is still prevalent. The romance actually really reminded me of the Hunger Games romance so be warned or be excited!
I would reccomend this book to fantasy lovers but definitely go and check outSnow Like Ashes first!
Favorite Quote(s): "The idea he planted sprouts roots and unfurls wide leaves, fostering recklessness similar to that of the wild girl I used to be."
"the girl was a storm of emotions"
"No one should be forced to be something they aren't."
Beautiful Something Else by Sheila Hageman
*I received a copy of Beautiful Something Else from the author, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Beautiful Something Else is a contemporary romance with smarts and humor.
Lizbeth, an outwardly-confident but overly self-conscious thirty-year-old, is spurred on by her New Age friend, Janet, to trust the Universe and ask for what she wants in life—to land a starring role, lose five pounds and find herself naked with a man. The stars seem to be aligning for her, but not exactly in the way she meant.
A chance encounter with a film director at Grand Central Station may be her lucky break, but the New York City actress is blindsided when she is fired from her bill-paying waitress job, and she must decide where her true values lie. Should she take a position as a “pretend secretary” for a handsome, but holier-than-though chiropractor and healer with questionable morals to pay her rent?
While Chip Duncan woos a potential investor for his new healing center, he fights his romantic urges for Lizbeth. She finds herself falling in love with Chip’s caring, healing heart, but she’s equally frustrated by his greed and dishonesty.
Can Lizbeth resolve her body image issues and find a clear path to satisfaction in career and relationship? And will Chip realize in time that Lizbeth is the woman for him before he blows off her love?"
Review: This book definitely exceeded my expectations. I know that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but let's be honest, most of us do. That's why when I first looked at the cover I thought I would be reading a middle grade novel, that just happened to be quite a bit longer. What I got instead was a romance filled, new adult-ish contemporary which I found to be a really good read!
My favorite part about this novel was that this novel covered topics that can be considered taboo in our society. Although, it never goes into depth, just bringing up topics like beauty standards, religion, and feminism is a step up from ignoring these issues. I loved how characters interacted and I definitely read through this novel very quickly because of this.
The plot was interesting, but I, personally, did not find it incredibly unique and it wasn't very moving. However, I enjoyed the idea of the plot and that because of the lack of action, there was a deeper focus on the characters and what was occurring in their minds. Besides the lack of action, I also found the end of the novel to be cut short, or rushed. Although it definitely was not a horrible ending, and everything was able to come together, I just felt rushed through the last chapter.
Overall, Beautiful Something Else definitely surpassed by expectation of it. It would make a great read for anyone in search of a fun, romantic, novel to read.
Cover: ★★☆☆☆ (this cover really threw me off lol)
Favorite Quote(s): "How did you choose one religion over another?"
Oak and Mistletoe by J.Z.N. McCauley
*I received an ARC of Oak and Mistletoe from the author, J.Z.N. McCauley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "A Druid Curse, A Prophesied Love, A Consuming Vengeance…
Catherine Green, along with her twin sister and older brother, travels to Ireland on a college graduation trip. Her vacation takes a permanent turn when she lands her dream job at an art and history museum on her beloved Emerald Isle. She meets a handsome stranger named Bowen, an expert of sorts on local ancient studies. Though their first meetings are turbulent at best, Catherine finds herself drawn to him.
Unaware that she is the key to breaking a hidden curse, Catherine unleashes the evil madman Conall and his druid followers, imprisoned since ancient times. Tragedy and loss ensue, sprouting within Catherine the deep seeds of rage that thrust her onto the damaging path of vengeance. Confused by the enigma that is Bowen, his mixed signals, and her own feelings, she is swept away with him on an unexpected journey surrounded by myth and long-forgotten knowledge. In order to stop the evil plans of Conall and his reunified army, Catherine must entwine her fate with peril. Her survival is trivial to her as long as Conall dies. She’ll do whatever it takes. "
Review: There was definitely both good and bad that came with Oak and Mistletoe.
Bad news first. I found this book to be rushed and unrealistics. YES I KNOW that DOES sound strange because it is both fiction and fantasy, so how could it be "realistic"? Well, let me explain. It wasn't necessarily the magic part that threw me off, but that fact that the main character, Cathy, took everything in without emotion, even though her entire world had literally been shaken up. Something traumatic also happens within the first 50ish pages and I found that to be not only rushed, but again hard to fathom how Cathy could take in so much change with so little response. I also found the start of the book to be very rushed because there was barely any building up of the world and the characters before everything came crashing down. The romance also wasn't particularly believable, but I wouldn't say it was horrible either.
Now for the good part! I loved that Oak and Mistletoe was set in Ireland. I haven't read any books set in Ireland and it was great to see a part of a different culture. I read a lot of fantasy novels, but many are more modern and element based. I really like that this book featured a old mystic sort of magic in it and that definitely caught my attention. Many books also feature teens that seem to run off without a care in the world. Oak and Mistletoe captures the family vibe and includes the details many books leave out. For instance, Cathy doesn't disappear without making contact to others and even when they are out adventuring the book often mentions of them "relieving themselves" which I found both hilarious and realistic and something I know that many YA readers comment about.
PS: I would like to thank J.Z.N. McCauley for the bag of sweets and the signed book and bookmarks!
A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe
Synopsis: "Sora's life was full of magic--until she discovered it was all a lie.RSS Feed
Heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother's last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents' true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world's natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.
As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she's ever known."
Review: *I received a copy of A Mortal Song from Netgalley , but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
If you've been following my blog you may see that I read fantasy often, but A Mortal Song is quite a different read for me even though it falls under the category of fantasy. I saw both good and bad aspects to this book,but I'll starting with the bad.
This book was not a page turner for me. I can't read more than one book at a time, but I also couldn't seem to bother to pick this one up. The plot wasn't bad, but I never completely felt in their world and the fight scenes honestly made me skim by. I also didn't particularly like the romance or characters, neither was bad but neither were amazing. Due to this, I had to rate it a bit lower.
However, A Mortal Song also brought a lot of things that really set it apart from other books. First of all, diversity. In YA there are a LOT of strong female characters and having that in A Mortal Song was amazing, but the most unique aspect was the fact that this novel took place in Japan. I can honestly say I have never read more than one or two fantasy novels that take place in countries that aren't the US, the UK, or a completely fictional realm. This aspect was what really held my attention and kept me going. I also loved the world that was created and shamefully I don't know how much is actually a story told in Japan, but the mythology part to this novel was incredible.
Even with the fact that this book did not completely suit my tastes, I would still recommend this book because it is still a good read for those looking for a novel that branches out from what is usually seen in YA fantasy.
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
"One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale
She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.
She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.
She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.
She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.
The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read."
Review: I went into the book only knowing that it might include steampunk and that it is a historical fiction novel, but I got SO MUCH MORE. The element of fantasy and fae has introduced me to a new world of fiction! I never got into historical fiction because I have never been a fan of history in school and historical fiction never appealed to me but The Falconer may have changed me for good! As reader who hasn't really touched high fantasy, historical fiction, or steampunk this book itself was just so amazing I didn't even need much exposure to its parts to fall in love with it.
For me the book was separated into three things: romance, plot, and the world they lived in. Each provided their own unique input.
I was gripped by the first page. For many books it can take me a good chapter to finally get into the flow, but this novel had my complete attention and I couldn't stop thinking about it, which is how I knew it was good from the start. My lack of knowledge on the main parts of this novel didn't help me predict the plot line, but even with exposure to fae and historical fiction, I found that the twists and turns had my head spinning. I felt some Lunar Chronicle and Outlander vibes, but even that couldn't prepare me for some of the plot twists. The endless excitement, action, romance, and magic kept me reading and reading until my eyes were drooping and still I read on.
Love triangle? Not really. I really enjoyed the romance that was expertly weaved in and not all too strongly focused on. It was strange because this time period called for the focus on marriage, weddings, and courting, but Elizabeth May was able to turn away from that for the most part. The romantic tension was definately present throughout the novel underneath the surface, but overall the shift of focus brought more attention to an entirely different world that the characters lived in.
This brings in the world of Aileana who is not at ALL what she seems and her fiery attitude is a welcomed point of view in the novel. Her world is filled with gadgets in a time long ago, located at Edinburgh, Scotland. Her trinkets and gadgets remind me of Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles and I just happened to love that aspect of this novel. However, out of all the amazing things in their world I LOVED learning more about the fae. I have read some books with the fae mentioned here or there, but this novel has taught me more about fae than any other book and the entire subject is now something I can't wait to delve deeper into!
If it wasn't clear, I LOVED The Falconer and I am so excited to continue reading this series!
Favorite Quote(s): "It's a relief to be alone."
"It seems strange that such destructive creatures could build something so beautiful."
"Never trust the fae."
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Synopsis: " “I made the wrong choice.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more."
Review: I was completely in the mood for a good ol' contemporary romance and this was perfect. Lina was a pretty standard young adult character with a somewhat unique young adult life and plot. However, I was definitely in the mood for this type of book so that only helped.
I have never traveled to Europe, but I loved the way this novel described the atmosphere of Italy and I felt like I could understand a part of Italy even though I have never been. The setup of Lina's story was also unique in that there were multiple crazy twists in her past. The entire story is cute and romance filled, with the standard sort of contemporary action.
My two favorite parts about this novel was the romance and the characters. As a contemporary YA novel, the romance part of this book was a given, but Love & Gelato provided a romance that I was just really drawn to and I found myself knee-deep and completely in love with their love before I knew it. Jenna Evans Welch also created amazing characters. Not only were they relatable, they were also unique and definitely had characteristics that really set them apart from other contemporary characters.
The only reason I had to rate this book a bit lower was the predictability. I was able to guess a bit more than half the book which wasn't horrible, but I found myself wishing Lina could read my mind and that wasn't what I was hoping for. However, overall I still really enjoyed the plot, even though I was able to guess the ending and it wasn't as fast as I preferred.
Love & Gelato is a great read for anyone in search of a love story with unique characters and a event-filled and cute plot!
Favorite Quote: "Her sadness was smeared across the journal like paint that had never had the chance to dry."
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