Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The March Three

Hello everyone!

Sorry about my lack of posting lately. I started medical school this month and life has been hectic (believe it or not, becoming a doctor takes a ridiculous amount of work!)

I'm getting back into the swing of things by posting a "Top 3" list. I have added a link to the Goodreads page of each book so you can read the synopsis, or check out the other books in each series.

So, without further ado, here are the 3 March YA releases that I am most looking forward to :)

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3), by Marie Rutkoski

If you read my review on the second book in this trilogy, The Winner's Crime, you will know that I adored it. And you will also know that this was somewhat unexpected, since The Winner's Curse did not resonate with me particularly. I am sincerely hoping that this novel follows the upwards trajectory that Rutkoski seems to be following, because if The Winner's Kiss is half as good as its predecessor, I will be a broken, sobbing mess by the time it's over.

I would recommend this book to... people who are sick of conventional, boring romance plots. People who enjoy angsty romance with a couple who can't/won't be together for some reason (presumably to hurt my heart). People who enjoy conflict and political intrigue with relateable characters.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1), by Cassandra Clare

I am mildly obsessed with Clare's second series, The Infernal Devices. I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments, but never found it to be as emotionally charged or intriguing as The Infernal Devices. I could take it or leave it, I guess. Between these series, Clare's writing seemed to improve in some intangible way. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for historical fiction (especially steampunk novels). The Dark Artifices will definitively show me whether I liked The Infernal Devices because of its historical elements, or because Clare's storytelling is improving with each new series!

I would recommend this book to... people who have a lot of time to commit, because if you like this novel you will probably want to go back and read all nine of her other Shadowhunter books. People who enjoy urban fantasy novels with a focus on characterisation. People who like series that are set in the same world, but in different locations and times.

Frankie, by Shivaun Plozza

Contemporary is a very "hit and miss" genre for me - so when I find a book I like, I generally won't shut up about it. I was lucky to get an ARC of this novel from Penguin Teen Australia, and I could not put it down. Aussie contemporary fiction is obviously going to be a lot more relateable for me since I've always lived here, but I think that Frankie has some truly universal themes. It's also a novel with a main character from a lower socioeconomic background, and the plot does not revolve around her suddenly become a millionaire! Hurrah!

I would recommend this book to... people who are looking for a fresh take on the contemporary genre. People who like protagonists who are actually funny. People who want better representation of people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.


Well, that's all for now! Let me know what books you are most looking forward to next March in the comments :)

-Grace Lucy

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

"Kings Rising" (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat

Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3)Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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I only very recently read 'Captive Prince', meaning I have not had to wait anywhere near as long as some people to read 'Kings RIsing'. But still, every day this book was not on the shelves felt so long because I just had to know how Damen and Laurent's story ended. Also, mad respect to those of you who have been with this series since it first came out - that kind of wait would have killed my inner fangirl!

How do I describe this book? Is completely and totally perfect in every way allowed? I loved the first two books in this series, but 'Kings Rising' was somehow even better. Pacat wrote the most beautiful ending - it answered all my questions and resolved all the problems, but it never felt too easy or unrealistic. It left me happy with where Damen and Laurent were without knowing every minute detail about their future, or the futures of Vere and Akielos. I continued to love both Damen and Laurent throughout this novel (even though, at times, you will just want to shake them until they accept the truth).

What Pacat does exceptionally well (you know, besides creating painful/beautiful sexual tension) is world building. I have never questioned whether Vere and Akielos exist, because they feel completely real. Even the other neighbouring kingdoms are described enough to make them feel real, without overdoing it with unnecessary detail.

Someone (I can't remember who, sorry!) once described this series as "genre defying", and I think that is the perfect description. It has romance, action, fantasy, political and military aspects, but none of those terms fully encompasses the beauty of this series. And for the other Aussies amongst us who, like me, do not read anywhere near enough Australian fiction, C.S. Pacat is one of us! Yay!

Overall, this was a breathtakingly beautiful and poignant ending to a wonderfully painful and amazing series. If I could recommend just one series to you this year, let it be this one!

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