Category Archives: favorite

Review: THE FALSE PRINCE

   Stars: 5/5

 Format: Hardback

 Read: April 10, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the first sentence, I fell in love with Sage. It’s unusual to have a strong male lead that has spunk in young adult literature, and Sage is definitely it. I was immediately drawn to him like a magnet and he held me captivated the entire story. He is strong, cunning, stubborn, and honorable to a fault (all on his own terms, of course).

The entire book was enjoyable to read in every aspect I could have hoped for. There are plenty of books that I like well enough, mostly for a certain background character or for superior writing. To be honest, sometimes it’s a struggle to continue reading, as opposed to voraciously devouring it and willingly sacrificing sleepless nights as you are craving more. Unfortunately, I valued my grades more than sating my curiosity, so I did not stay up nights, but did find myself reading more than one chapter whilst waiting for, say, my computer to load and looking up forty-five minutes later to find that I had no memory of what I had meant to do.

Nielsen incorporated everything I love about medieval times: no useless technology complicating a good story, chivalry, and the will to survive. I suppose not all of those are exclusive to the medieval period, but that is of little concern. The plot didn’t drag too much, mostly due to Sage and his incorrigible personality, and there was such a stark realness to every character that captivated me (though not too real as to remind me of the world I am currently occupying by no choice of my own). I was, however, a bit baffled with the plot twist. I’m sure other readers caught on quicker than I did, but it slapped me in the face and knocked me for a bit before I could follow the story again. This wasn’t a huge detraction and I might just have horrible reading comprehension skills, but I didn’t see it coming.

After that point, the story felt ever so slightly forced. That might be because, as I already mentioned, I am apparently not the most observant reader in the world, but I felt like Nielsen ran out of things to say in the allotted pages that wouldn’t leave a huge cliff hanger. Possibly my mind was still reeling, but I felt the transition could have been a little smoother.

Overall, if you liked GRACELING or FIRE by Kristin Cashore, I highly suggest you read this book. There aren’t huge similarities other than superficial plot comparisons and characters that are, well, characters, but I got the same vibe from that series as I do from THE FALSE PRINCE. I cannot wait for the next one!

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Review: SHATTERED SOULS

 Stars: 5/5

 Format: Hardback 

 Read: January 24, 2012

There are hardly words to describe how much I adore this book. I am just at a loss.

First, I’m fairly certain it’s a stand-alone, which actually works out very well. This is the way the story needed to be; it just feels so right. But just in case you were wondering, I have now dispelled that curiosity.

Second, I LOVE every single character in this book. Every one. I am not kidding. Is it a lyrical masterpiece that will go down in history as a “classic”? Probably not. But it’s real. The characters had depth (although I didn’t pay much attention to Zak, the original boyfriend person, so I suppose I could be wrong about him) and personality and REALNESS to them. Lenzi was a “typical” girl by being slightly “atypical” and aptly side-stepping stereotypes at the last minute instead of making large swerves around them. Something about that “oh I know who she’ll be… wait no. Oh but it could go this way…. oh. I guess not.” It was just a fascinating take on how to make a heroine.

And Alden. Oh Alden. He is the kind of boy that is perfect right where he is. I have no impulse to “re-imagine” him in a different setting with a different character, nor do I have any “crush” on him in the same regard that one would not desire a married man (metaphorically and all). He fit so seemlessly, so absolutely perfectly, but in a toned down “breath of cool air after you’ve endured a long winter” sort of way.

There were parental figures (that actually were present and normal), families, friends, and even the ghosts had personalities. Lindsey definitely did something right when she wrote this book. I am seriously SO in love. I devoured this book and can see myself re-reading it over and over again (whereas some of the books I loved I felt I had found all the mysteries in their pages reading them only once and they sit, untouched, on my bookshelf) with an insatiable appetite every time.

I will now read anything Mary Lindsey writes, no matter what it might be.

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