| BOOK REVIEW | WITHOUT MERIT BY COLLEEN HOOVER

Without MeritWithout Merit
Author : Colleen Hoover
Genres : Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication : October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books

Synopsis : Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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You all know by now that Colleen Hoover is an autobuy author for me. This one was not my favorite but I still enjoyed it !
She still deals with heavy topics into this book, especially abuse.
I read it many years ago so it’s gonna be a short review !

Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.

Plot

We follow Merit, who doesn’t fit entirely into her family. I liked her dark sense of humor.

The story is about the Voss family, it’s not focused on the romance at all ! Slowly, CoHo unravels the tangles of strife between the members of the Voss family.

In this book, CoHo differs from her usual genre that is romance. She has taken a great risk by doing so but the result is a powerful, raw and true story. Merit and her posse are feeling more humans than I thought possible.

In this book she deals with mental health, depression. These are heavy and important topics but there’s always a dim of hope.
While the first part of the book seems totally unrealistic, you have to reach the second part of the book to fully understand the whole story.

Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.

This book also shows us how important and crucial discussion is. If I had to describe this book in just one sentence it would be : talk to your loved ones so unsaid things won’t poison your life.

All families have issues, have flaws because perfection doesn’t exist. All you have to do is communicate.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. As always with Colleen Hoover, she manages to write something different than her previous books.

4 stars

No matter how hard you try, things don’t always turn out the way you wish they could.

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About the author

Colleen Hoover 2.International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA and Women’s Fiction.

Still doesn’t know the difference between affect/effect, further/farther, or if the oxford comma is in or out.

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| BOOK REVIEW | THE CRUEL PRINCE BY HOLLY BLACK

The Cruel PrinceThe Cruel Prince
Author : Holly Black
Series : The Folk Of The Air
Genres : Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young adult
Publication : January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books

Synopsis : Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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It’s one of my most anticipated releases for 2018 and there is so much hype surrounding this book ! So let’s say that I was a little frightened to start this book ! But it lived up to its reputation !

Trigger warning : abuse, violence

Plot

We follow Jude, her twin sister Taryn and their older sister Vivienne. Vivienne’s father is a Fey, called Madoc.
The book starts abruptly, violently ! It gives us the tone for the rest of the book. Madoc is not an average fey, he is a noble fey, Gentry. He took the three sisters with him and they’re treated as Gentry too. Well, at least it’s supposed to be that way.

Jude and Taryn go to the school with the other Fey but they are bullied, especially by the Prince Cardan and his posse.
The twin sisters couldn’t be any different : Taryn desperately wants to fit in while Jude is always defying Cardan.

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.

This book is fantastic ! It’s the first time I read a Holly’s book and it didn’t disappoint. There’s something magical about her writing style. She really manages to capture the dark and dangerous beauty that is the Faery’s signature.

The world-building is amazing ! I especially love how the faeries are describded. There’s no sugar coat, just the bare truth.
The beginning was a bit slow, but once the real action starts, OMG it’s really compelling !

There’s also the political aspects. The game of thrones. (Ooops, sorry, wrong reference !) It has been a long time since I read a political centered plot and I missed it !

To be honest, this book has all the ingredients of a 5 stars read : action, betrayal, plot twists, diversity and twisted characters.

What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.

I also enjoyed how the characters weren’t just good or bad but in between. All of them. Even the humans. Because let’s be honest, Jude is deviously cunning too ! I found no character totally likeable, and I think that’s something the author wanted.

The spying part was also exciting. Seeing Jude becoming as deadly as the Feys, getting stronger and more cruel.

No, really, this book is excellent ! It’s dark, twisted and so compelling ! The ending nearly killed me and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel !

Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.

Characters

  • Jude is really interesting. She doesn’t want to fit in with the Gentry and yet she is as cruel and as cunning ! She is reckless, and badass in her own way. Yet, she is truely protective of her family.
  • Taryn is a character I disliked from the beginning. She was not loyal to her sister.
  • Locke I had doubts from the beginning about his demeanor with Jude.
  • Cardan is a character I despised from the beginning. But, as the story goes on, we get to learn him a little more and somehow I came to pity him.
  • Madoc was quite interesting too. For a Fey, he is very fair !
  • Vivi is the most normal acting of them all.

 

I really LOVED this book !

5 stars

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About the author

Holly BlackHolly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

 

| BOOK REVIEW | READY PLAYER ONE BY ERNEST CLINE

Ready Player OneReady Player One
author : Ernest Cline
series : Ready Player One
Genres : Dystopia, Science-fiction, Young Adult
Publication : August 16th 2011 by Crown Publishers

Synopsis : In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

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I really enjoyed this book. It has been sleeping on my TBR shelf for 2 years ! I can’t believe it !

Going outside is highly overrated.

Plot

We follow Wade aka Parzival in the OASIS. He lives in a very poor neighborhood with his aunt and her stupid boyfriend. During the day, he hides in a car in the middle of a garbage dump. He keeps all his most precious goods in it : his eletronical equipment he requires to log into the OASIS every day. He goes to school on Ludus and tries to earn credits whenever he can. It’s his only way to improve his search for the Halliday’s egg. The Copper Key mystery is onlythe beginning of an epic quest !

I had a hard time getting into the story, to be honest. It took me a little more than a hundred pages actually.
The beginning was  so slow paced but it was mandatory. The world building is so complex, it takes a lot of time to explain us how it works, to show us the tiniest parts of this huge virtual world !

One I was hooked, I was totally in ! The story is addicting. First, the Easter egg quest. You want to solve every enigma as much as Wade craves it ! You also want to know more about who’s behind the High Five. We don’t get to actually meet them in person (and not via their avatars) until the last part of the book !

I enjoyed the geeky and 80’s references even though I didn’t get all of them. This world is so amazing, really ! You want to dive into the OASIS too, trust me ! This book is tha good ! Everything’s possible, full of possibilites, more you can ever imagine !

That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.

Characters

  • Wade is a nice main character. He is your average teenager, all things considered. Except he is living in a post apocalyptic world.  A thing did disturbe me though : his way of stalking Art3mis.  But he changed so much during the book ! He learns to take his responsabilities, to stay focused on his mission and that this quest is way more meaningful than he ever thought.
  • Aech is such a great sidekick ! I was a little sad when his friendship with Wade was put aside for a little while. His story touched me !
  • Art3mis kicks ass in a wonderful way. She is badass, fierce and really smart ! She is a fierce ghunter fighting for a noble cause !
  • Nolan Sorrento is pure evil. I think he is a great bad guy to be honest. The kind you love to hate !
  • James Halliday is such an interesting character. His way of thinking is so complex. We don’t get to read about characters like him often enough ! He is a pure genius, with difficulties to interact in the real world.

Overall I really enjoyed this book ! I highly recommend it !

5 stars

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About the author

Ernest Cline
ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists, and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg. His second novel, ARMADA, debuted at #4 on the NYT Bestseller list and is being made into a film by Universal Pictures. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

| ARC TOUR | ALL OF THIS IS TRUE BY LYGIA DAY PEÑAFLOR

ARC TOUR - AOTIT

Marie from drizzleandhurricanebooks invited to join this ARC tour ! Thank you so much sweetie ! Also, huge thanks to the author who provided us a copy of her book !
The book will be released on May 15th which means … tomorrow !

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All Of This Is TrueAll Of This Is True
Author : Lygia Day Peñaflor
Genres : Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication : May 15th 2018 by HarperTeen

Synopsis : Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .

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I really enjoyed this book ! It was such a unique read, I’ve never read anything like this ! We follow a bunch of teenagers living a sort of dream : they get to interact with their favorite author and become close friends with her !

This book is INSANE ! First, it’s pretty amazing because the story is told from different points of view. The story is told through Jounal entries, e mails, interviews and book excerpts.
It made it so easy to fly through this book ! It’s so original, really !

If you knew these kids the way you claim to have known them, then you should’ve realized that when they admire you there’s a responsibility in that.

Now for the story … The topic is not an easy one, far from it. At some point, I felt uncomfortable. It makes you question what you believe.

It talks about so many interesting topics. First, about the unhealthy fascination around Fatima Ro.
I mean, I get it, it musts be nice to become friend with someone you admire. I also admire my friends for many reasons. But the other way around, I truly think it can be dangerous. The friendship can only be biased. There is a limit that shouldn’t be crossed and they clearly did !

Another thing that disturbed me is how Fatima used these kids, making them her little puppets to creater the story of her next book. She is so manipulative !

There’s also the issue of what Jonah did. It’s awful and disgusting !! But people can change, at least I hope so !

You can’t hug a lion and be surprised when it bites you.

I have to be honest with you guys. I was totally hooked by the book, yeah, because the story was totally gripping.  But I guessed every plot twist or revelation.
I wished we had Fatima’s point of view, at least toward the end of the book. It would have been enlightening to get why she acted that way !

The ending kind of disappointed me, Fatima decided to twist it in her book. In my opinion, it’s her way to make penance but it’s not that easy, girl !

4 stars

Overall I really enjoyed this book ! Trigger warning though : there’s violence and abuse in it. I totally recommend this book though !

 

 

 

 

| BOOK REVIEW | EMPIRE OF STORMS BY SARAH J. MAAS

Empire Of StormsEmpire Of Storms
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Series : Throne Of Glass
Genres : Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication : September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Synopsis : The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

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It’s the fifth book in the Throne Of Glass series. I really LOVED this book !! It’s the fifth book in the Throne Of Glass series. If you haven’t read the previous books, this review will spoil you.

Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will always love you.

Plot

We follow Aelin and her friends weeks after Queen Of Shadow’s ending. She is trying to find people to help her rebuild Terrasen’s court. But obviously, things won’t be easy ! Moreover, Erawen is more threatening than ever.

I LOVED this book ! But let me tell you why.
First, the plot. The story is so intricate and interesting. Sarah J. Maas crafted an amazing world and plot. She still manages to surprise me. I guessed some minor events but there are so many plot twists ! I was totally hooked !

Remember who you are. Every step of the way down, and every step of the way back. Remember who you are. And that you’re mine.

Now let’s talk about the characters. Aelin is surrounded by so many hot tempered people ! Lysandra is becoming more and more important, she is a key character.

Rowan, Aedion, Dorian, Manon, their fates are not entwined.  We also got Elide’s POV. SHe is still on her own, trying to find her queen. She is sort of accompanied by Lorcan. This lonely fae warrior is slowly getting fond of her. She is crumpled but knows how to survive, forcing his admiration.

Some mysteries are now explained. We now can see the big scheme and everything is becoming clear.

I really enjoyed this installment. It’s different from the previous books but as addicting as intense !
Another thing I enjoyed and was more than happy to find once more was the banter, the wits ! Aaah, Aelin’s sarcasm is everything.

Strangely (not at all !), I didn’t miss Chaol. He really got on my nerves in the previous book.

Aelin was no savior to rally behind, but a cataclysm to be weathered.

Characters

  •  Aelin is definitively more cunning than ever, always a step ahead in order to be clever than Erawan. She is keeping things from her friends. And yet she has a fragility when it comes to Rowan.
    She is such a strong character but also a drama queen hahaha !
  • Rowan is so cute in this book ! He slowly opens up and that’s wonderful to witness ! And his relationship with Aelin is goal !
  • Aedion is taking his role seriously ! And now he also deeply cares for Lysandra. He tries his best to protect her without seeming to haha !
  • Lysandra is a key character, I really admire her ! She is way less powerful than Aelin but she takes a lot of risks nonetheless ! SHe is so different from the Lysandra we got to meet in The Assassin’s Blade.
  • Manon, ah Manon ! She is such an amazing character ! And I love love love her banters with Dorian ! Fierce, cruel, cunning and totally loyal to her thirteen and her legacy. She wants to get their land back. We learned a lot more about her in this book !
  • Dorian is becoming stronger and stronger. He seems more on his guard, sometimes icy. He is harder than he used to be. I’m sure he will be very important for the series’ ending.

To put it in a nutshell, this book has all the ingredients to be a wonderful YA fantasy book. I was hooked and it was difficult to put it down !

5 stars

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About the author

Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

 

| BOOK REVIEW | OUR DARK DUET BY VICTORIA SCHWAB

Our Dark Duet

Our Dark Duet
Author : Victoria Schwab
Duology : Monsters Of Verity
Genres : Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication : June 13th 2017 by Greenwillow Books

Synopsis : THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within ?

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It’s the sequel and ending to a duology called Monsters Of Verity. If you haven’t read the first book, called This Savage Song, you may want to stop here, in order to avoid spoilers.
PlotIt picks up a few weeks adter This Savage Song’s ending. Kate is now living in Prosperity under a false identity. She is fighting monsters helped by some kids. On his side, August is trying to be the monster he is supposed to be. In a city where Hell is upon the citizens, chaos is the law. Monsters are feasting. The FTF is trying to clean the city and shelter all the volunteers.

I know it hurts,” she said. “So make it worth the pain.”

But Kate meets a new and different threat. And this time, she could be the monster. So she decides to seek help and goes back to Verity to see August.

This book is so captivating ! It starts slowly, as always with a Schwab book. But once the action begins, well, fasten your belt because you’re in for a hellish ride !

There are new characters, bringing more depth to this amazing story. New threats, new characters, how things will end ?

I really enjoyed ODD. The plot is so intricate and gripping, I was on the edge of my seat during the whole read !
This book is also darker than This Savage Song and raises some very interesting questions : what makes a monster a monster ? And can people change ?

As I said, the plot is very intricate. The situation with Verity is just a part of the story. This book also deals with inner struggles.
August is trying to choke is human side so he can fulfill his mission. Meanwhile, Kate is trying to get control over the demon living within her.

The ending didn’t really take me by surprise, to be honest. I didn’t guess the whole ending, though. But I was expecting something like this !

Though I’m still not over it, and I read this book months ago !

I’m willing to walk in darkness if it keeps humans in the light.

CharactersAugust is my sweety, I deeply care about him. He struggles with who and what he is. He is trying his best to help his father secure the city.

  • Kate has all my admiration. She is strong, knows how to fight but she is too fierce when it comes to her weakness. Which is why she ends up in such a crappy situation.
  • Ilsa is deeply changed in this book, because of what happened in the previous book.
  • Sloan is even more cunning. He wants to control the whole city and has a very sick and strange obsession about Kate.

5 stars

Mourning was its own kind of music—the sound of so many hearts, of so many breaths, of so many standing together.

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About the author

V.e. Schwab
Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

| BOOK REVIEW | MORTAL HEART BY ROBIN LAFEVERS

Mortal HeartMortal Heart
Author : Robin LaFevers
Series : His Fair Assassin
Genres : Historical, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication : February 2nd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published November 4th 2014)

Synopsis : In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever’s New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

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I really enjoyed this book ! I was hooked which wasn’t the case with the two previous books !

We are all of us, gods and mortals, made up of many pieces, some of them broken, some of them scarred, but none of them the total sum of who we are.

Plot

This time we follow Annith who doesn’t want to become a seeress.  She has always trained in order to become the best trained killer and achieve Mortain’s will outside the convent.

She decides to leave the convent and find out what’s hiding behind the Reverend Mother’s decision.

It is rarely a lack of love that forces two hearts apart, but other obstacles.

On her journey she crosses path with the Hellequins, and more specifically with Balthazaar.
The hellequins are a really interesting bunch of characters ! I was so happy to learn more about each of them ! They all seek redemption and are very touching !
Balthazaar is also very interesting though more secretive. He sometimes acts very strangely but we get to know why.

Annith wasn’t a character I was very eager to follow to be honest. I found her too smooth and without a real personality in the previous books. Oh, how wrong I was ! She is fierce and really knows what she wants ! In fact, she is the most relatable one. Her story is unique. I wasn’t expecting this at all and neither was our main character when she decided to investigate about the reverend Mother.

I really enjoyed this installment ! We get back to the historic side of the story and I was really glad about it !

The plot is really good and there were some plot twists I didn’t see coming at all !! I also really enjoyed the romance. Once again, it’s relatable ! She fell in love slowly, despite her apprehension for him. It’s such a cute and touching romance !

I think this book wrapped things nicely ! I was hooked, much much more than for the two previous books !

Don’t you see? Your mortal heart shines like a candle flame and I, like one of those hapless black moths you used to leave as an offering, am helpless before its lure.

Characters

  • Annith, the ever perfect student decides to rebel. She doesn’t want to become a seeress and is sure that’s not Mortain’s will.
    She is more determined to find out why the reverend mother is doing this to her.
  • Balthazaar is full of secrets ! He truly cares about Annith and really wants to protect her and be here whenever she needs him !
    The plot twist about him left me speechless hahaha !
  • The reverend Mother always seemed cunning throughout this trilogy. I thought she was plotting something huge. She did bad things in her past. But once we get to know why, we understand why she decided to act like this.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this book !

4 stars

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About the author

Robin LaFeversR.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren’t there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction. She is the author of over fourteen books for young readers, including THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS, (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) which received starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Booksense Summer Pick, and nominated for the Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award, and the NATHANIEL FLUDD, BEASTOLOGIST series. Her first young adult novel, GRAVE MERCY, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring of 2012. She currently lives with her husband and a demonic cat in Southern California and spends her days gazing longingly at ancient artifacts or wallowing in old forgotten texts.