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Book Review: Seraphina

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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.”