Review: The Cruel Prince

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Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4/5

 

Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince is an absolute stand out in the Fantasy, YA genre. Jude is a human living in a world of faeries. Her parents were murdered by the faerie (also father to one of  the sisters) that takes her and her two sisters to live in the faerie realm. Black gives us a strong female lead whose sole purpose is not wrapped up in finding love. She fights for her place in this new world that has become home. The faeries all treat her as if she shouldn’t be there. That only strengthens her resolve.

The characters are great.   Black gave them incredible depth. Cruel Prince Cardan is hard not to like.  Jude finds herself crossing over into questionable morality territory and Cardan can act in ways that are not entirely heartless. It’s exquisite. Jude uses strength and cunning to do what must be done.

The faerie realm finds itself in great danger due to far-reaching political tensions.  Jude fights to save the realm and make her home safe again. The fast-paced narrative easily held my attention. It was a quick, very enjoyable read. This genre always gets me out of any reading slump. If you generally find yourself reading these types of books, I think you will particularly enjoy this one.

That ending has me waiting on the edge of my seat. I am greatly looking forward to the next installment, The Wicked King.

Have you read this one? What did you think about it?

Where the Crawdads Sing Review

 

Where The Crawdads Sing

Book: Where the Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Rating: 5/5

 

Delia Owens created a beautiful, breathtaking debut novel.  This is one of the most wonderfully crafted mysteries I’ve ever read. Meet Kya, also referred to as the Marsh Girl. You are brought alongside Kya as she grows from a young, timid, little girl into a woman shadowed by prejudice and hardship. This book flashes back and forth from past to present time setting. In this small North Carolina town, one of its other well known residents, Chase Andrews is found dead. Delia developed magnificent character foils. Where Kya is known for being the poor outcast; Chase is the star quarterback whose family is well off and has a prominent business within the community.

This book explores prejudice, racism, love, loss, and the human condition. Reading this story was an extremely visceral experience. I could feel the magnitude of Kya’s isolation. These characters are very well developed and the plot flows expertly.

The Invisible Library Review

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Book: The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman

Rating: 4/5

      Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library is a fun, whimsical story following a librarian on a mission to collect books from different realities. The librarian, Irene, is given her first apprentice Kai. We follow them into this other world on a quest to retrieve a specific book for the library. They have to deal with several obstacles and they end up playing detective in order to find what they are looking for. This book is fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read anything quite like this, so it was refreshing to read something that hasn’t been overdone. Cogman’s influences shine in this novel. Her love for books really brings the story to life. This is a great read about a character that also enjoys the reading life. It feels very meta. Cogman makes many references to beloved characters and authors, such as Sherlock Holmes. This one will make your literary heart happy.

This Is How It Always Is

If you haven’t read This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel then I highly suggest you run to the nearest library or bookstore. This story is about a family and their struggles with feeling unaccepted because they are different. Rosie and Penn meet, fall in love, and build a family together. They have 5 boys (they kept trying for a girl) and their youngest son Claude likes to wear dresses and wants to be a girl. They struggle with how to deal with everyone’s opinions and reactions to their family. They are open, loving, and completely supportive of whatever makes Claude happy. The real struggles stem from how everyone else will treat Claude. Within their story there is a deeper story that could help foster conversations about this topic and hopefully lead to some greater understanding in the community.

 

This book is doing great things. You truly feel the love this family has for one another. It really makes you question why we have to make it so much harder for the people around us. Why is it so hard to accept everyone for who they are even if it’s outside the boundaries of what you consider normal? Why does that threaten someone else? The beauty in the world comes from our differences. I went through so much heartache right alongside this family. It makes you realize we all have differences and struggles and we need to be more compassionate and more understanding. I sincerely hope you check this out. This book grew a little bit out of Frankel’s family being able to relate to her characters. It’s not based on her family’s story specifically, but she certainly drew a lot of inspiration from elements they can relate to.

Still Life Review

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Still Life by Louise Penny takes place in a charming, little town in the middle of nowhere called Three Pines. In this small town, everyone knows everyone and no one feels compelled to lock their doors. That is until one of the residents is found dead under suspicious circumstances. We follow along as Detective Gamache unravels the mystery and reveals various secrets throughout this idyllic community. Everyone has secrets and through this investigation we get to know the townspeople.

This was the perfect, cozy mystery to transition into fall reading.  Detective Gamache is likable and doesn’t come off as overly arrogant. His tactics allowed for the citizens of Three Pines to feel like they were apart of his investigations and allowed for them to be a bit more forthcoming with information. Penny’s writing creates some great imagery. How can you not enjoy her writing with lines like, “Gamache enjoyed watching Beauvoir indulge his flamboyant side, and this was about as flamboyant as Beauvoir got. A dramatic pause.” I don’t know, but something about that dramatic pause really had me visualizing their conversation. It added depth to that character. Her verbiage had me laughing at times. It was extremely descriptive. One of my other favorite lines being, “She consulted the yellowing rolodex in her head.” I love the way she describes this characters age to her readers without outright mentioning her age. I adored her writing style.

Is it just me or does anyone else bite hard on the red herrings? They get me every time. Hook, line, and sinker. I one hundred percent have myself convinced that I know what the ending will be and I am always wrong. Flat-out wrong. Oh well, even though I was wrong I love the surprise I get when the big reveal takes place.  If you enjoy this genre you will adore this book. It was a delightful read and I can’t wait to continue the series.