Genevieve Angelique

Love, Books, & More


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Book Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA (Fantasy)

In a Snapshot: After Alina Starkov saves her best friend’s life by releasing a coveted power, she trains as a magical Grisha and becomes the favorite of the mysterious Darkling. But a dangerous secret is waiting in the shadows–threatening to control Alina.

Why I picked it up and couldn’t put it down:

I ran across this title when looking for comparables to the YA novel Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. I really enjoyed the prologue told in 3rd person and was surprised when the narration switched at chapter one. But like the many YA novels told in 1st person, it served to heighten the main character’s emotions when dealing with self-doubt, love-unrequited, and temptation. Otherwise, the novel was well conceived with a compelling hook, an intriguing middle, and a fast paced third act. It also has an interesting love triangle–complete with an atypical spin at the end.

Who will like this? 

Fans of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Fans of darker or medium fantasy.

A Favorite Passage: 

“She’s an ugly little thing. No child should look like that. Pale and sour, like a glass of milk that’s turned.”

“And so skinny!” the cook replied. “Never finishes her supper.”

Crouched besides the girl, the boy turned to her and whispered, “Why don’t you eat?”

“Because everything she cooks tastes like mud.”

“Tastes fine to me.”

“You’ll eat anything.”

They bent their ears back to the crack in the cupboard doors. 

A moment later the boy whispered, “I don’t think you’re ugly.”

“Shhhh!” the girl hissed. But hidden by the deep shadows of the cupboard, she smiled.


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TBT Book Review: Twilight (Series)

Twilight Book by Stephanie Meyer

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: YA (Paranormal) 

In a Snapshot: When Bella moves to Forks, she falls for the beautiful Edward Cullen. But a happy ending isn’t guaranteed. Their love must survive the ultimate test. That being, Edward wants to kill her. 

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down:

This was the first book I picked up after my baby started sleeping through the night. And oh, what a perfect YA novel to choose. I became obsessed! 

First, Bella’s teenage persona–soft bodied, clumsy, a bit socially awkward–was totally me some odd years ago. Second, I am a complete sucker for Victorian-minded gentlemen (like Edward). Third, theirs is a forbidden love story that sweeps you off your feet and leaves you breathless for more–ok, that’s a bit cliché, but I really mean it.

Fun Fact: This is the book that motivated me to (finally) start writing toward publication. Seven years later, I’m still at it. 

Who will like this? 

Paranormal fans. Romantics.

A Favorite Passage: 

About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.”

twilight-series books


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Book Review: Shiver

Shiver

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA (Paranormal) (Fantasy)

In a Snapshot: Grace has always had an affinity for wolves–especially the yellow-eyed werewolf who saved her as a child and still watches her every winter.

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down:

This trilogy promised to do for werewolves what Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series did for vampires. As I am a huge Twilight fan (seriously, loved that series), I gave it a try. 

I began reading this book in its audio format. Since the novel is written in dual (boy/girl) point-of-view perspectives, I found myself with the same problem I experienced with Across the Universe–namely, I couldn’t handle listening to Sam’s male voice as he impersonated Grace. So I ended up checking out the book at the library and finishing from there.

I’m glad I did. Stiefvater has a knack at folding paranormal wrinkles into an otherwise normal teenage life. She also surprises the reader with some beautiful lines and lyrical language. I especially liked the poetic songs Sam creates in his human-form mind.

Who will like this? 

Twilight fans. Werewolf fans. Romantics.

A Favorite Passage: 

“I could still smell her on my fur. It clung to me, a memory of another world. I was drunk with it, with the scent of her. I’d got too close. The smell of summer on her skin, the half-recalled cadence of her voice, the sensation of her fingers on my fur. Every bit of me sang with the memory of her closeness. Too close. I couldn’t stay away.” 


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Book Review: Seraphina

officialcover

Author: Rachel Hartman

Genre: YA, Fantasy

In a Snapshot: Seraphina is a gifted court musician from the medieval Kingdom of Goredd. When she joins Prince Kiggs to investigate the death of a royal family member, peace between humans and mathematical, shapeshifting dragons is threatened–as is the terrible secret Seraphina must keep hidden from both humans and dragons alike.

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down:

I was intrigued by the premise of dragons loosely passing as humans in shapeshifted forms. It was also awarded the 2013 William C. Morris Award for the best young adult work by a debut author.

Hartman’s beautiful, thought-provoking language and rich world-building elements is compelling. A diverse set of characters also adds depth. The heroine is intelligent and witty, also brave despite her physical limitations. And a love story fits nicely within this mystery-based plot.

Who will like this? High concept readers who appreciate literary books. Harry Potter fans. Robin McKinley fans. 

Some Favorite Quotes: 

“For future reference: do not underestimate the seductive power of math.” 

“He did not know the truth of me, yet he had perceived something true about me that no one else had ever noticed. And in spite of that—or perhaps because of it—he believed me good, believed me worth taking seriously, and his belief, for one vertigi-nous moment, made me want to be better than I was.”

“I cannot perch among those who think that I am broken.” 


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Book Review: Cinder

Cinder-Book-Cover
Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA, SciFi, Fairytale, Fantasy

In a Snapshot: In this futuristic Cinderella tale, a cyborg mechanic named Cinder uncovers her second-class status in New Bejing is not her true destiny when she falls for the prince of the Eastern Commonwealth and becomes the fatal target of the evil lunar queen. 

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down: I’ve always enjoyed fairytale retellings, and I kept hearing positive reviews about this book. Plus, well, the cover is crazy awesome. I loved the SF spin on Cinderella and am very excited to see how Meyer will introduce and intertwine the futuristic versions of Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White in this Lunar Chronicles series.

Who will like this? YA readers of all ages. Fairy tale lovers. Star Wars fans.

A Favorite Quote:

“But if there was one thing she knew from years as a mechanic, it was that some stains never came out.”