Book Review Tuesday (11/6/18)-The Looking Glass (PLUS a bonus apology!)

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of November 2018! (Dang, this year has simultaneously gone by so slowly and flown by…)

First and foremost, my apologies for not only forgetting last week’s BRT (caught up in Halloween preparation and homework.,,), and forgetting to acknowledge this before today. So, sorry about that, one less review this year. 😦

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But hey, I’ve got a great book to review today!

 

I honestly forget where I first found out about The Looking Glass. All I can remember is that I had it on hold at the library for a while, and when it was finally available, I just…flat out forgot what it was about. So my expectations were semi-low. Fast-forward to when I actually got to reading it, and I must say, The Looking Glass exceeded all expectations!

 

Enjoy the review!

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The Looking Glass

Sylvie has looked up to her older sister, Julia, for as long as she can remember. They shared a love of ballet, went to the same prestigious ballet school, and treasured a shared book of fairy tales, which Julia renamed “Girls in Trouble”. That was before Julia disappeared.

A grieving Sylvie knows that her disappearance was no coincidence, and is determined to find her and bring her back home. She begins her search with a package, sent to her by Julia, with “Girls in Trouble” inside. But written in the back of the book is a sort of map, drawn by Julia herself, with clues that will lead Sylvie to her. With the help of an unlikely ally (and a playlist of nothing but Fleetwood Mac), will Sylvie find out the truth about her missing sister?

 

I expected to be intrigued by this book, but nothing more. But man, I’m glad to say that I was AMAZED! Such a beautifully written, powerful book about the forces of love and sisterhood. Realistic fiction, imbued with a little bit of magic, combined with characters so well written that I felt as though I could meet them in real life, made for an unforgettable read. Plus, I loved all of the music refereces scatterered throughout the novel-besides Fleetwood Mac (who I’ve never really listened to, but have heard from a person or two that they’re worth it), David Bowie, St. Vincent, and a few other quality artists. I highly recommend it to all of you. 🙂

 

 

Well, that’s it for this week’s BRT! Again, sorry about the absence of a review last week, and I hope that this one made up for it. Have a great rest of your day!

 

 

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Book Review Tuesday (10/23/18)-Wildcard

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

It would be an exaggeration to say that I was excited for this book to come out.

Since I finished it in November, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a sequel, clicking the “want-to-read” button before it even had a cover, and patiently looking through Marie Lu’s Instragram stories for the quotes she put out every Wednesday for a while. And at last, all of my prayers have been answered! I managed to find a signed copy (SQUEE) of Wilcard at the bookstore over the weekend, and I cradled it in my arms (along with a paperback of Shadow and Bone) all the way home.

And I must say, my expectations were pretty high, but Wilcard exceeded them all. FANTASTIC SEQUEL, if I do say so myself!

Now, before I begin, if you want to read my review of the first book in this series, go check out 11/28/17.  🙂

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Wildcard (Warcross, #2)

After the shocking events of the Warcross championships and discovering the true intent of Hideo Tanaka’s newest invention, Emika Chen barely has time to catch her breath. But now, she’s been swept off on another mission, one with international consequences. With a massive bounty lying on her shoulders, she and her fellow Phoenix Riders team members are determined to take down Hideo and expose the truth. But the only place where they may find the answers-and protection-is from Zero, the notorious assassin who’s action affected the Warcross championship forever. Will Emika be able to send Hideo’s empire crumbling-and escape with her life?

 

 

Wildcard was just as thrilling, if not more, than its predecessor. Marie Lu’s signature  writing, paired with a vibrant world and utterly lovable characters with perfect chemistry, made for a sequel that truly packed a punch. If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you read Warcross, and immediately follow it up with this book!

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Since it only came out about a month ago, we don’t have any news about the sequel. But if Marie Lu is sticking to her usual format, we can reasonably assume that we’ll get an end to this trilogy in this coming year. And man, I really hope we do, because the end left me gaping like a fish. I’M SO EXCITED.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s review, and have a great rest of your day!

 

Book Review Tuesday (10/16/18)-Two Dark Reigns

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

And THAT’S RIGHT, FOLKS…

IT’S HERE.

AND I’M SHOOK. 

 

I recently checked this gem out at the library, and I must say, it’s a pretty shocking new installment to the Three Dark Crowns series.  (For the first two books, see 6/26/18 and 7/10/18.) I guarantee that your jaw will be slack and your eyes as wide as dinner plates by the time you finish this book.

 

Hope you enjoy the review!

 

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Two Dark Reigns

As far as Fennbirn, the monstrous poisoner queen Katharine is the one true queen, and her two sisters, Arsinoe and Mirabella, are dead. Now, Katharine’s wrath and power know no limits, and she will stop at nothing to get her way.

But on a nearby island, Arisnoe and Mirabella hide out in secret, having escaped their gruesome fates, plot their revenge on the false queen. And their friend Jules, who was recently revealed to have powers of her own, grows unsure and conflicted as she realizes her potential. As tensions rise on Fennbirn, the three sisters know that uncertain times are on the horizon. What will be the fate of Fennbirn and its throne?

 

 

HOOOOOOO BOY. Words can hardly describe how I felt throughout this book.

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aAAAaaAAaaaaAAAAAAaAAaaAaAaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

 

*panting* okay, I think I’m calm now.

 

Blake’s signature writing packs a punch once more. All of our favorite characters are back, fiercer and more spirited than ever. And, as usual, plot twists are thrown at you left and right. And man, if the end of One Dark Throne ended like a Marvel post-credits scene, this was basically Infinity War. No joke. (“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good…”)

It’s confirmed that there will be one more book to conclude the series, but I don’t think any more information other than that has been released, as Two Dark Reigns came out a little over a month ago. So fasten your seat belts, folks, we’re probably in for a rough ride in 2019 (or 2020…¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Come to think of it, 2019 is probably gonna be FULL of rough rides all around-I mean, Dark Phoenix, Avengers 4, Soul of Stars…whew, I’m gonna get me some tissue packs ASAP.

 

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Well, I hope you liked today’s review, and have a great rest of your day! 🙂

Book Review Tuesday (10/9/18)-Carve the Mark

Hi there, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

I recently joined Epicreads, and I found that there was a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) amount of hype for this book. Understandably so, given the popularity of the Divergent series. (Don’t kill me, but I thought Divergent was decent, but it didn’t really live up to much of the hype.) So I checked it out at the library, and spent around 3 days snuggled up in various blankets, my nose deep in this book. And I must say, though it didn’t quite live up to all of the hype, it absolutely lived up to some of it!

Enjoy the review!

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(sorry, there weren’t really any good images for the cover…oof)

Carve the Mark

In a galaxy steeped in war and magic, two teen’s live will collide in ways that they never imagined were possible.

Cyra has lived her life as nothing more than an object, a weapon for her tyrannical brother. Many planets over, Akos’ peaceful life is turned upside down when his family is slaughtered, and only he and his brother survive-only to be kidnapped by the enemy. Determined to save his brother, he crosses paths with Cyra. Tradition and politics should make them bitter rivals. But they soon discover that they have a common enemy, and that they must set aside their differences to secure the fate of the galaxy.

 

 

Alright, everybody, here we go…

First of all, I liked this better than Divergent. In fact, I’d probably rate it a full star above it.

Part of it is probably because, well, y’know, I’m a total sucker for anything set in space. But Carve the Mark was a truly phenomenal book, complete with rich storytelling, beautiful visuals and world-building, and characters with near-perfect chemistry. (For some reason, I imagined Akos looking like Evan Peters, but that’s not really the point. 😜) Even if you haven’t read or didn’t like Divergent, this is a must-read for anyone who loves a well-crafted tale in the depths of space. 8/10 on my scale.

 

Before I go, I’m sorry that I haven’t posted much other than book reviews lately. I’ve been a tad bit busy, what with transitioning into high school, but I promise that I’ll give you guys some more variety content-wise.

Well, I hope you have a great rest of your day, and stay warm!

Book Review Tuesday (10/2/18)-The Final Six

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of October 2018!

That’s right, OCTOBER. IT’S OFFICIALLY SPOOKY TIME, FOLKS.

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I’ve got my Halloween costume *almost* complete, and the leaves are already starting to turn yellow. Forget Christmas, this is the best time of the year.

 

Aaaaaanyway, this week’s book is a jaw-dropper. I borrowed it from the library and managed to gobble it all up in one sitting (whilst wrapped in a warm blanket and in a fuzzy hoodie). And OH MY GOD, IT WAS PHENOMENAL. A chilling, inventive look at the future of humanity, and the race to find a planet to colonize.

Enjoy the review!

 

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The Final Six

Climate change is out of control, and all over the world, cities are being swallowed by floods and shattered by earthquakes. After the mission to colonize Mars failed, humanity’s next candidate for a new home is Europa. The first to colonize it? Twenty four teens with exceptional skill and intellect, drafted from all over the globe into the International Space Training Camp. As they progress in their training, some will be eliminated through a series of tasks and tests, and in the end, only six will remain.

Naomi, a budding scientist, and Leo, a championship swimmer, are two of the draftees, and they have been placed on the same team. When peculiar events cause one of their teammates to fall fatally ill, they suspect that their mentors may not be telling them everything. But can they get to the bottom of the mystery before the six are launched to Europa?

 

Okay, I should probably stop saying this, but I’m nothing short of shook.

SHOOK.

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The Final Six was a truly exceptional book! One minute, I was on the verge of tears, and the next, my jaw had clattered to the floor. Everything about it was truly stellar (would that be considered a pun? I hope not…)-writing, world-building, characters, and those INSANE PLOT TWISTS, OH MY GOD. I would highly recommend it not only for science fiction fans, but anyone who likes getting chills while reading.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this review, and have a great rest of your day!

Book Review Tuesday (9/25/18)-Sky in the Deep

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of September 2018!

Before I begin, I have an announcement to make-this very site that you are scrolling through turned three years old last Wednesday! So, happy birthday, madelinetodd.com!

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Now, back on topic.

 

The book I’m reviewing today was actually the 200th book that I’ve read this year! (I’m taking the challenge on Goodreads, I’m now at 220 books.) According to the blurb on the back, its “part Wonder Woman, part Vikings, all heart”. So, as you can *probably* guess, the whole Wonder Woman part had me hooked.

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And I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. An intense, action-packed novel, brimming with rich storytelling and fervor.

Enjoy the review!

 

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Sky in the Deep

Eelyn lives a life of grief and war. Day in and day out, she fights with her fellow warriors of the Aska clan to drive back their rivals, the Riki. The lines between good and evil seem to be as clear as day, until Eelyn finds her brother, who was thought to be dead for five years, fighting with the rival clan. Captured by her enemies and forced to spend the winter under surveillance by the Riki, she discovers that a threat even bigger than the Riki could shatter the lives of both clans forever, and the only way to stop it in its tracks is to unite with one another. Will she return to Aska in time to warn them of the coming storm?

 

 

This book almost borders on historical fiction, in a way. Though the world, clans, and people are all works of fiction, the author has clearly borrowed from Viking lore, among other things, to fabricate a rich and lifelike world. That, along with the incredible writing, realistic characters, and vivid descriptions, made for a fantastic book. I’d say that it would land a 7.5 to an 8 on my rating scale.

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Thus concludes this week’s review! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and stay tuned for more next week!

 

Book Review Tuesday (9/18/18)-Reign of the Fallen

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

This book was released in January of this year, and I just finished it a few days ago. I recently checked it out at the library, got to read a little in English class (all hail Free Reading Friday), and finished it the following weekend. My expectations, truth be told, were a bit higher than they should have been (I mean, why wouldn’t they after Fear the Drowning Deep?*), but nonetheless, Reign of the Fallen was fantastic! Paranormal fantasy, action, and so much more! ❤

Well, without further ado, enjoy today’s review!

 

 

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Reign of the Fallen

In Karthia, the color of your eyes determines what magic you can wield. Those with blue eyes are necromancers, most working for the royal family, raising their dead so that they can rule beyond the grave. Young Odessa is a necromancer, and already has a heavy burden on her shoulders. After a venture into the Deadlands-where the souls of the dead live-one of her necromancy Masters and one of her best friends are killed by a Shade, a vicious monster preying for the souls of the living and dead. But Odessa knows that this Shade didn’t act alone. Together with her remaning Master, fellow Necromancers, and some unlikely allies from all over Karthia, she must risk her life to set things right in Karthia.

 

First of all, so creative! The approach to magic, the layout of the deadlands, the different types of magic, yes! I was almost swooning at the amount of creativity…no joke…

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Second, I love a good amount of creepiness in my books. Necromancy? Ohhhh yeah. Zombies? Executed well. Disturbing monsters? Shut up and take my library card.

And last (but certainly not least), LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION! ALWAYS YES!!! This makes me SO HAPPY to have not just LGBTQ+ characters in realistic fiction, but in sci-fi and fantasy too! YAY! (The main character, Odessa, is bisexual, and one of the side characters is gay.) :)))))))))

All that, along with the spectacular writing, world building, and more, made this book…hmm, I’d say an 8.5 on my rating scale. Score!

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I hope you enjoyed my review, and have a great rest of your day, everyone! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you want to read that review, see 8/29/17