Posts Tagged: YA

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
The Hazel Wood
Melissa Albert
Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Genre: Fairy Tale, Urban Fantasy, YA
Publication date: January 30th, 2018
by Flatiron Books

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
-A copy was provided by Flatiron Books for review-

I think it’s fair to say there has been some mild hype surrounded The Hazel Wood. I mean, that gorgeous cover and the synopsis are kind of hard to resist so it makes sense. BUT, is the book worth it? This is a slightly complex question to answer because I ~know~ this book won’t be for everyone. To be honest, I also kind of avoided reminding myself what the book was about before I read it because I dreaded the hype getting the better of me and my tastes. I came out pleasantly surprised.

The Hazel Wood is part urban fantasy, part fairy tale and part a book about stories. If someone had told me that before I read the book, I would be intrigued but also nervous because that seems like too much for a book to be BUT Albert manages to pull it off.

Last year, I read Vassa in the Night, which was a gorgeously written book but flew right over my head. I literally had NO idea what was going on half the time. And maybe you think my use of literally is obnoxious but I literally could not give a fuck. The Hazel Wood kind of gives me the same whimsical, lyrical vibe but it is much more easier to follow.

The Hazel Wood is a fairy tale about fairy tales. It is a dark novel about dark things but its rooted in its humanity and the humanity of its characters. Part of me just wants to read this novel as an exploration of the human psyche. Yeah I went there. I am sorry. I am really not that kind of reviewer but something about this book really made me wish it was.

Alice is on the run from something? Bad luck? She has grown up on the run but when they (and we don’t really find out who they are for quite some time) take her mother, she has to go out and figure out the secrets from her past that her mother is hiding. Obviously, there is a great character arc and Alice really comes into herself as a character.

There is not a romance in this novel in the traditional sense but I do really think that the ‘romance’ of this book is the love between a mother and daughter. Alice, is not alone though while she is hunting for her mother, she makes new friends (even though she didn’t really start out wanting to) and learns more about where she comes from.

So clearly, I adored this book so why not the 5 stars? Because I hate giving books 5 stars. But also. I think that because the book’s hyperfocus on Alice was occasionally a hinderance. The book was so much about Alice that it couldn’t really be about anything else? Does that even make sense?

I am glad that there will be sequels because there is so much more to be had of this world and I WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT IT. Overall, this book won’t be for everyone, that much is clear, but I really did enjoy it and read it in one sitting. Fantasies are HARD to read in one sitting so that should say it all.

4 Stars
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Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Posted by on 01/24/2018 • 9 Comments

Let’s Talk About Love surprised me. I went in expecting good vibes and it still blew my expectations out of the water. It is NOT a perfect book, I am nitpicky and its hard for books to be perfect for me, but Let’s Talk About Love is damn well a fantastic read that is worth your time.

Do you love a feel-good romance that will sweep you off your feet? Do you love reading about friendships that have true-to-life complexity? Do you love some angst (the good kind)? Let’s Talk About Love is an ode to not just romantic love but all kinds of love, it explores the complexities of all kinds of relationships and it’s just a GOOD BOOK.

So why am I a nit picky bastard? Well because…

An Avalanche: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

An Avalanche: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Posted by on 01/19/2018 • 4 Comments

I am behind on the times because this is my first time reading a book by this dynamic duo. To be fair, These Broken Stars has been on my tbr since 2012 and we’re just going to ignore the fact that 5 years later (or 4 years since it came out,) I still haven’t read it. BUT, I WASN’T GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN WITH Unearthed. If I remember correctly, at some point it was pitched as Indiana Jones in space. I also got serious National Treasure vibes from the synopsis and I  am garbage for anything that involves a treasure hunt and secrets.

For those wondering, yes Unearthed 110% lives up to those comparisons. Unearthed is a fantastically written book that you WILL gobble up because it is…

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on 01/17/2018 • 6 Comments

I somehow missed that Maureen Johnson had a new book coming out this month and only found out like a month or two ago. That shows you how I’ve been doing on keeping on top of all the new releases. Spoiler alert, its not good.  I actually had not read any Maureen Johnson prior to reading Truly Devious but had heard so many good things about her other books. Plus I am absolute garbage for books that have boarding schools and this one even had a fun murder mystery involved. I am going to be a spoilsport though and start off by focusing on the bad because I really enjoyed the book and would rather end on a more positive note.

Ellingham academy sounds amazing but… I felt like it…

2017 Releases You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

2017 Releases You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Posted by on 01/04/2018 • 8 Comments

It is NO LONGER 2017 but that doesn’t mean you cannot revisit the past and read some amazing books that came out last year. This list is based on what I’ve read and still isn’t entirely complete because I HAVEN’T READ SO MANY BOOKS that came out last year. I also wanted to narrow it down so as not to dump too many books on your tbr! The following is a list of some of the best books out in 2017 in my opinion. Looking for a book to make that will make you cry, or at the very least, make you FEEL? These books might have something in store for you. Just as an FYI, all of these books involve death.

Saint Death by Marcus Sedwick

What…

4 Anticipated Sequels That Will Make it Even Easier for Me to Say Bye to 2017

4 Anticipated Sequels That Will Make it Even Easier for Me to Say Bye to 2017

Posted by on 12/19/2017 • 4 Comments

2017 has been an absolute garbage year not just on a political level but like a personal level (for me at least.) Back in 2016, I was so excited to bid the year adieu and yet here we are, again. I am not particularly looking forward to 2018 because wow, what a scary path ahead of us, but there are some books coming out that I’ve been waiting for since before I was born and I just wanted to scream about them for a little bit to make myself feel a little bit more pumped to bid this year GOODBYE.

1. Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

I’ve been waiting for this book since 2016 and its unfair that I still have to waitttt. If you haven’t read this…

Cute But Not Much Else: Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky & Anissa Espinosa

Cute But Not Much Else: Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky & Anissa Espinosa

Posted by on 11/29/2017 • 1 Comment

Cast No Shadow was a surprise graphic novel I received but it looked really cute and I couldn’t help but read it right away. Of course, this was some time ago and I am only now getting around to writing the review for the book so forgive me.

Greg has no shadow and is kind of an outcast. One day, he discovers a haunted mansion and ends up falling in love with the resident ghost. Obviously, things get a little complicated and there is some good angst going on there too.

The graphic novel is as cute as it sounds but doesn’t necessarily leave a lasting impression. Not every book I read, or anyone reads, needs to be revolutionary but I think the premise is so unique that I would…

A Letter Was Found in the Pages Of Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

A Letter Was Found in the Pages Of Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Posted by on 07/28/2017 • 2 Comments

Text:

Dear person reading this,

You might be wondering why I chose this page to write in & that is for several reasons including OTP feels but really, even if you haven’t read this book, you can relate to the way words move these characters in these pages. CATH CROWLEY is easily one of my fav authors and her words never fail to move me. Words in a Deep Blue was no different. The words in this book will make you cry, will make you laugh and most likely, the words in this book will change your life. Read it.

Love, Rashika

***images used in aesthetic do not belong to me***

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