Posts Categorized: 5 star books

Quintana of Charyn: review + giveaway

Quintana of Charyn: review + giveaway

I keep to myself, but I find they are watching. I clench both my fists; I’ll kill them in a beat. Your words pound my brain, Froi; if they dare try to touch me, a knife to the side and a slit ear to ear. Those in my cave, they grab and they drag me. They want me to bathe, but they’ll soon know the truth. And the fear in their faces speaks loud of their awe, and I capture the crying and tell them what’s true. …and the women, they stare with fear in their hope, but it’s a hope drenched in tears, and it smothers me whole. Every time I set out to review something by Melina Marchetta, I end up staring at a blank screen wondering what I could say that could possibly do what I’ve read any justice. Quintana of Charyn is my fifth Marchetta book,… Read more »

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Our Favorite Books Published in 2012

Our Favorite Books Published in 2012

Between the three of us here at The Midnight Garden, we read nearly 500 books in 2012. That is a lot of books to plow through! But the hunt for YA book gems is always a fun one, and here are the ones we thought were the most exquisite published this year. Most of the links below lead to our reviews or to GoodReads. K.’s Favorite 2012 Books I didn’t read as many books as I would’ve liked this year but I was still lucky enough to have found those precious few — the ones that tear at you, the ones that slice pieces off of your layers until you’re left raw and quivering and strangely renewed. Let me preface by saying that this is in no particular order (well, not really). Each book has so much to offer that to measure one’s brilliance against the other is both difficult… Read more »

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Days of Blood and Starlight; review

Days of Blood and Starlight; review

Days of Blood and Starlight may well have been my most anticipated release this year. I was captivated by the lush and layered world Laini Taylor built in its predecessor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and rendered absolutely in love with both Karou and Akiva. The thrill of the tension in their discovery of one another, the sweet ache of their romance as it unfolded, and the crush of sorrow for them both at the end stayed with me the many months I waited for the release of its sequel. So, to say I had high hopes is an understatement. I couldn’t wait to dive back into Karou and Akiva’s world, and see just how they would mend the rift between them–BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO MEND IT, RIGHT?–and save their world together. What I got was nothing close to what I expected, but everything the sequel to Daughter of Smoke… Read more »

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Unspoken: review

Unspoken: review

Unspokenby Sarah Rees Brennan Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken is unequivocally one of the best young adult books I’ve ever read. I don’t even know where to begin. Is it enough to tell you to read it? Synopsis aside, this is as colourful, as unique, as moving and absorbing as a book can get. The plot involves a strange family, a old-town legend, murder, love and magic. Brennan envisions an original premise that holds your attention from the very first page. Her idea is fully developed, never giving too much while holding nothing back; the details rather come as they may. The pace is a leisure walk through Kami’s everyday life, with curious bursts of the real mystery surrounding the return of the infamous Lynburn family, feared and revered as local gods. It is arguably slow, but readers are not left impatient because Brennan never fails to deliver quality. The air… Read more »

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The Lost Girl: review

The Lost Girl: review

The Lost Girlby Sangu Mandanna “Can we be certain of anyone’s soul, human or otherwise?” Fiction is often most meaningful when it explores questions we find too disturbing to ask in the everyday world. Through one girl’s struggle to claim her own identity, The Lost Girl addresses some fascinating ethical questions, all the while presenting a measured, powerful essay on the value of human life. Fifteen-year-old Eva lives, sleeps, and breathes someone else’s existence. As an echo, a carbon copy of a girl halfway across the world, she learns everything that Amarra learns and is even nearly forced to suffer the same physical injuries as her other. There have been various books that explore cloning, but what’s so unusual about this one is the psychological element, since it’s not just Eva’s organs that are being harvested, it’s her entire entity and identity. One of the things I liked best about… Read more »

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Monstrous Beauty: review

Monstrous Beauty: review

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama It was a woman–as pale and luminescent as a ghost, with swirling white hair. Ezra startled, dropping his pencil into the water. Her face snapped toward him. Her eyes were too large, clear green, and had horizontal, slit-shaped pupils, reminiscent of an octopus. Did your pulse quicken when you read that paragraph? Mine did! I had a feeling I was going to love this book, because it blends several different things that I love: mermaids, the nineteenth century, and ghosts. What I wasn’t prepared for was an unconventionally striking story that will definitely not appeal to someone looking for a typical YA paranormal book. I found this dark fairy tale to be wildly exciting and utterly gorgeous, however, and I think it will find its audience in readers who enjoy literary fiction or more mature YA. In the late 1800s, a mermaid named Syrenka makes… Read more »

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Blackout (Newsflesh #3): review

Blackout (Newsflesh #3): review

Blackout (Newsflesh #3)by Mira Grant This review is spoiler-free, and safe even for those who haven’t read the first two books in the series. Forget everything you ever assumed about science fiction novels or zombie thrillers: the Newsflesh trilogy defies all expectations. The story that began with a turbulent political campaign in a post-apocalyptic Feed escalates here as the blogger journalists from After the End of Times continue their quest to uncover the truth behind the deadly Kellis-Amberlee virus that has decimated civilization–one that is now mutating and spreading faster than ever before. The breakneck action and intrigue in Blackout is intense as a dangerous rescue mission, disease-carrying mosquitoes, zombie bears, tangled family drama, and a mysterious patient known as Subject 7B all complicate what is already hell on earth. It’s funny that my favorite zombie series actually has the least amount of zombie action in it, but Newsflesh hasn’t… Read more »

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