For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund: review

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: June 12th 2012

Synopsis: It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PersuasionFor Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My Thoughts:

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.”

Jane Austen (Persuasion)

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a beautiful book. It really is. I imagine that if Jane Austen was going to be proud of any Young Adult retelling of one of her books, it would be this one. Peterfreund has managed to perfectly handle romance, sadness, love, and the charm that always seem to radiate off of Jane Austen’s works.

The story can be described as a sci-fi Persuasion. Please don’t let the major change in the original story’s genetic makeup make you run away from this book. Peterfreund makes a fascinating dystopian world and also creates a serious, developed romance that will make one’s heart flutter at times.

The dystopian world plays a big part in the stories framework so I believe I should focus on that first, in this review. I have already said that Peterfreund’s unique world is fascinating. But I could also describe it as smart, wonderfully created, and even believable. The theory of what caused the Reduction is based on the Christian religion, but trust me when I say the story is never what could be called preachy, and I even took something from it.

This novel features a tough protagonist, called Elliot. She did seem a bit flat to me in the beginning, but halfway through her characterization was amazing and almost flawless! I was greatly invested in her story and I enthusiastically cheered her on–sometimes out loud. I felt conflicted when she did, I felt joy when she did, I felt harrowing sadness when she did. I was completely in-tune with her character.

Kai, the male lead of this tale, doesn’t leave a good impression when first introduced. In fact, I was quite angry with him. But as the pages turned and I started to get farther into the story, I began to understand Kai, his anger, confusion, and heartbreak.

And the romance between these two characters is magnificently written. Peterfreund writes the star-crossed lovers scenario with flourish. There was never a moment between Kai and Elliot that made me roll my eyes or smirk to myself. No, the romance in this story is enrapturing, as any romance inspired by a Jane Austen novel should be.

The ending is tied up very neatly and beautifully–I admit to swooning a little bit to much. But I can tell that there are many great adventures coming Elliot and Kai’s way so I am very excited for the upcoming sequel, Across a Star-Swept Sea, which is apparently inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, a classic I haven’t even heard of!

As you can see, I am in awe of this book. For Darkness Shows the Stars is an fantastic novel–with an amazing title– that resonated with my very soul. And I thank Teepee, for gifting me with this wonderful book and letting me know of its existence. I am giving you all my hugs and kisses ♥

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The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: review

The Summer PrinceThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Stand Alone

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Romance

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine

Release Date: March 1st 2013

Synopsis: A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

My Thoughts:

Wow. This book was goodThe Summer Prince is an absolutely stunning and terribly unique novel. It is simply breathtaking. I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading this book, and I will definitely set my sights out for more of Johnson’s works. With The Summer Prince this woman has proved that she has ideas. Great ones.

The Summer Prince is about many things. The fate of the person chosen as the Summer Prince. A girl who has a passion for art and a want for fame. A rebellion. A love triangle. And it is all woven together quite well.

One of the first things that made me love this book was the setting. Johnson chose a futuristic Brazil as her setting. Now what can get better than that? Nothing that’s what. The world building is done very well for the most part. The reader is pushed into world suddenly which can cause some confusion, but Johnson does develop her world. She describes the world of Palmares Tres exquisitely. And the way Johnson combines many different cultures is amazing. There should have been more information added about how the years worked in my opinion but that is a minor flaw. Overall, Johnson has created a gorgeous, lush world.

The Summer Prince should be shelved in the mature section of the YA genre. Sexuality plays a big part of this novel. There is even an instance where it is implied that a character is masturbating. (I thought that this element of the book was dealt with well.) The fact that this novel has a world that crumbled to the ground because of men and is only thriving again because of woman might even make it controversial. So think about that if you are planning to read this.

The pacing of The Summer Prince is never slow. I thought it was perfect. I do think that the transitioning between scenes can be a bit rough so that definitely needs work. The prose… well, the prose is quite lovely. I loved the way the words flowed together. Johnson is able to write the image of the lush city of Palmares Tres vividly and beautifully.

I feel that June’s character was hard to connect to. I loved that she had a strong passion for art (she even embeds a light-tree into her arm) and her own desires. I really did. But sometimes she let her desires consume her and she did some really selfish things. I know this is a character flaw, but it made June hard to spend time with. She really got on my nerves sometimes. She does start to grow as a person and that was when I was able to connect with her, but I believe that I should have been able to connect with her earlier in the book than later.

Enki is a complex character, I believe. And a incredibly sad one. His love for art was so strong that it became an obsession that started to destroy him. I just felt so sorry for him. I willed him to start putting art after himself but he doesn’t. Enki also had an unpredictable quality to him that always made me wonder what in the world was he going to do next.

Gil isn’t given as much development as June or Enki as a character but I still found him pleasant to read about. He is probably the most level-headed character in the book.

The love triangle between Enki, June, and Gil has a big role in the story. It was good and bad. The good is that it was done sensitively and without any bias. You could also tell that the characters all loved each other greatly. It wasn’t developed in a rush, and June and Gil are understandably unsure of what their relationship is with Enki. The bad is that it sometimes annoyed me. I wanted there to be more focus on the world and events happening.

The Summer Prince is definitely one of my favorite dystopian novels thus far. It is a unique novel that should be recognized. I highly recommend it!

*An advanced copy was provided for review by the publisher via Netgalley

Masque of the Red Death By Bethany Griffin: review

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club–in the depths of her own despair–Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for–no matter what it costs her.

I really enjoyed reading this! Masque of the Red death had some very uncommon stuff for the YA genre: Drug use, self-destructive characters, a suicidal main character, and LOTS of death. This was the reason I picked up this book in the first place-the book was so unique I just had to buy it!

The characters were all very real. They all reacted to all the death and disease in different ways and were very interesting and unique. Most of the characters did a great amount of growing throughout the story.

The world building was just PERFECT!!!! I could imagine this really happen if a deadly disease really struck. The rich are able to survive and try to remain oblivious to all the chaos around them and the poor are just struggling to not get the disease. I really thought the idea of the Debauchery Club being a safe haven for the rich was really clever. I think the author did a really good job building the world and the characters.

The plot was great to! A revolution to help the struggling people and their city-count me in! The love triangle in the story was pretty good to. There was actually competition between the two men. I did not know who Araby was going to pick until the very end. The pacing was perfect! I did not feel like the story was being rushed or going to slow just to fill up some more pages. The reason I am only giving it 4 Stars is because the book did not exactly make me feel like I would explode if I put the book down for a couple of days.

I really enjoyed reading this book! The ending was pretty open-ended but I was pretty satisfied with it but I am definitely going to get the next book when it comes out!

I give Masque of the Red Death 4 out of 5 Stars

What’s Left of Me By Kat Zhang: review

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

I love love love this book all the way down to the scratches on the cover! The book was so awesome my mind was blown to smithereens. I LOVED the characters in this book, they are probably 90% of the reason I love this story so much. They are very well crafted into very real, unique characters. I wouldn’t be surprised to bump into them on the street because they seem so real. If this book had no names mentioned when a character was saying something I would STILL know who was talking! I think the author did very well with the personalities of Addie and Eva expecially. I was afraid I would get the two mixed up but Addie and Eva have very distinct personalities. Addie is reserved and reluctant but still cares very much for the people around her and Eva is sad, quiet and determined. All the other characters are also masterpieces.

The plot and writing was great. At first the writing confused because the story is from the point of view from Eva, the girl trapped inside her own body. She narrated by saying our hands, our legs, and we. It kind of put me off at first but I got used to it quickly. The way the author describes the way the two souls of a body connect was really beautiful. The plot was very good to. The pacing was perfect and I was always eager to know what would happen next.

I REALLY enjoyed this book and I am sure you will to! I am now awaiting for the next book in the series. I am tearing my hair out in anticipation BUT the loss of hair is worth it.

I give What’s Left of Me 4.5 out of 5 Stars