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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

My review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
The thing I love most about this book is that it's unique. Most books that I've read are normally the person-with-powers-is-the-outcast. Don't get me wrong, I love those types of books, but Blood Rose Rebellion offers something different. The person without powers is the outcast. I think this is totally knew and totally cool. AND because all the people in power have magic the author takes real history events and reshapes them to encompass magic!
The book is filled with romance (something I can't live without in a book) but oddly enough the romance was where it slightly fell short. Emphasis on slightly. The MC in this book, Anna, was wildly boy crazy (I admit I am to) but I think it went overboard a bit. Before even a third of the book she had kissed three different guys! True two of them weren't of her choosing and she pushed them away so it wasnt really her fault. Plus the first guy that she thought she was in love with made her out to be such an idiot. She would literally do whatever he asked of her. Of course I think this was all part of her character growth because she goes from loving someone who society thinks is appropriate to caring for someone out of her own heart. I can't fault it for that. My main issue was how cliche it was. I personally love cliche and I would have loved this romantic plot but with the rest of the plot being so new and refreshing I feel the romantic aspect should have been as well. (I still loved it. I'm to much of a sucker for these types of romantic plots not to.)
Keeping on the theme of romance... The romantic plot with her cousin?!?! I've read a number of reviews that totally hate it but I loved it! We don't typically marry people we are related to but back in that time period it wasn't uncommon for cousins to get married. If anyone's ever read or seen The Secret Garden the movie ends (spoiler) with Colin and Marry (cousins) getting married. So it's not that weird at all. Especially if you take a deeper look at the character reactions. The MC doesn't go 'gross, you're my cousin' when he kisses her she pushes him away because she just ended a really heartbreaking romance.  I think the author made a brilliant choice to add this in. I've never read a book with that aspect incorporated.
One last thing, I absolutely adored the MC's inability to make choices. I think a problem I have with some books is that the MC's don't take time to ponder what it is they're doing. Weighing the pro's and con's. Anna takes time to think over her decision. True she changes her mind (A LOT) but it's because she's gaining new information. She's actually taking time to ponder whats right and whats wrong. And to top it off, there is actually consequences for whichever one she chooses! I don't know about you but I think that's totally not cliche.
So despite the cliche romance the rest of the book is completely fresh and original. I think this is defiantly a must read and I would highly recommend it.   

I'm going to start using my own pictures of the books I read in posts. Hope you like them!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

I was going to have this post out a week ago but I got sick with a horrible stomach bug and today's the first day since I finished this book that I've felt better. I thought I would get this out.

Love is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

My Review:
5 out of 5

I love this book so much I don't even know where to begin.

The plot is a little cliché but luckily I love those types of books. It was cute and sweet and not generic. A little predictable but I absolutely adored it. I needed a book where everything is set right in the end.

The characters were amazing. Will is sweet and caring. He grew up blind and spent most of his time around people who are blind. Now he's decided to integrate himself into life with people with eye sight. I admire his persistence. A lot of things go wrong while at his new school, as can be expected, but he doesn't give up. He keeps going through everything that is thrown at him the entire book.

Of course he couldn't have done it without support. He has his family and even though his mom drives me nuts, she loves him and so does his father. He also has friends he made at school. Nick, Ion and Whitford. They help make the transition to the new school easier when they befriend him. Then theirs Cecily. A girl he becomes close with and eventually starts to fall in love with her.

My favorite part of the book however is the authors portrayal of seeing for the first time. I never imagined it quite like the author describes it and it's still really hard to wrap my mind around because I grew up with eye sight and it seems like something that only a person who experienced it could fully understand. And while the author grew up with eye sight he did a fantastic job explaining it in a way that made sense. He also talks about all the research he conducted for the in the Author's Note.

I overall greatly enjoyed this book and think everyone one should read it. Not only to enjoy but also to learn about blind culture and what it's like to be blind from a blind main character in a sweet, lovely and brilliant story.