Posts Categorized: fantasy

Introducing: Stray with Elissa Sussman + Giveaway

Introducing: Stray with Elissa Sussman + Giveaway

There’s something so exciting about seeing a friend realize a lifelong dream. I’ve known my friend Elissa for five years, and she has always been passionate about smart entertainment for young people (she worked on Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, you guys!), so when I heard that her first YA novel, Stray, was going to be published by HarperCollins (it hits stores October 7), I lost my freaking mind. As one does. I’ve been able to see the fascinating process of what a first-time novelist goes through unfold in front of me at our weekly coffee dates, and one of the things Elissa was most excited about was the cover, because that’s the part that’s completely out of the writer’s hands. Every week I’d ask her if she’d seen the design, and every week the answer was no. Until last week. And you guys, it was worth the… Read more »

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Half Bad: Review

Half Bad: Review

Well, I guess I can be excited because Half Bad taught me something new: I’m not a fan of second person present tense narration. The first 20 pages are written as such and I found myself incredibly distanced. I had to quickly skim ahead a bit to check that this did not continue throughout and, whew! Bullet dodged! We switch to first person present but, sadly, I didn’t find that much better. There is a lot of “I do this. Nothing happens. I feel this. Character appears. She performs action. I perform action.” No, literally. Just substitute in the sparse verbs and adjectives and that is how it reads. The writing style is very choppy and disjointed and only further served the distancing I initially felt. Also, I think that you should be aware that the first 40% of this book is flashback filling in on Nathan’s backstory leading up… Read more »

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Royal Tea with Melissa de la Cruz + The Ring and the Crown giveaway

Royal Tea with Melissa de la Cruz + The Ring and the Crown giveaway

It’s not everyday that you get an invitation to a Royal Tea! Disney Hyperion celebrated the publication of Melissa de la Cruz’s new book The Ring and the Crown today at the beautiful Peninsula Hotel, and I was lucky enough to receive an invitation. Look, I even had my deer dress up in anticipation of the occasion. She got fancy and is wearing a flower crown like the girl on the gorgeous cover. You’ll notice that Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl are also wearing flower crowns in the photo below, and the centerpieces also match the cover! Disney thought of every detail. Doesn’t Melissa look pretty? Her dress was the most perfect shade of pink.   The book is set in an alternate history world where the fate of the Franco-British Empire rests on two girls, Princess Marie-Victoria and her friend Aelwyn Myrddn, so it was very appropriate to… Read more »

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Crown of Midnight: Review

Crown of Midnight: Review

Help. I’m drowning in a river of feels. If you enjoyed Throne of Glass, prepare to be completely bowled over by Crown of Midnight. For me, Throne of Glass was “just” a 3.5, but this installment blew me away. Everything about CoM is more. More action, more badassery from Celaena, more world building, more villains, more mystery, more magic, and more romance. The plot ascends to the next level. There are so many twists and turns. There’s magic, romance, betrayal, adventure, absolute heartbreak, and death. I can’t believe one book contains so much awesome. And even though the two biggest twists can be seen from miles ahead, the story is so engrossing, the plot so intricate, and the characters so easy to care for that I didn’t even mind. This book took me on an emotional thrill ride. My heart went from soaring to absolutely devastated. No, really. Devastated. There… Read more »

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The Winner’s Curse: review

The Winner’s Curse: review

In the coming months, you’re going to be hearing a lot of people talking about The Winner’s Curse. The story of Kestrel, a general’s daughter who impulsively buys a slave from an auction, has the feel of a historical fantasy without slotting neatly into either category; it’s not directly inspired by any particular period, nor does it contain any magic. Rather, it is a perfectly self-contained, handsomely realized world of its own, and one that I found incredibly imaginative and thrilling. If you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy or Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars series, you must get your hands on this as soon as it’s available! I loved so many of the memorable characters that live in this world. Kestrel must enlist in the military or be engaged by the age of eighteen; while she’s headstrong, her willingness to keep an open mind, her concern… Read more »

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Cruel Beauty: review

Cruel Beauty: review

Retellings of classic myths and stories with well-known mythological figures as characters have been really popular lately. They can be resonant and deep, using the comfort of the familiar to comment on society and human nature, or they can be cheesy and superficial, with that “Here’s a quirky thing about me that history got wrong, wink wink fart!” attitude, and it can be hard sometimes to tell which of those you’re dealing with until you really get into the story. I am happy to report that this book is very much one of the former. Cruel Beauty is an exquisitely crafted retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche. I am in awe of Rosamund Hodge and her ability to strip that classic story down to its most basic narrative skeleton and build on top of it a brand new, complex world with rich, original mythology and characters. There’s also… Read more »

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Dress the Part: Cress

Dress the Part: Cress

In Marissa Meyer’s Cress, sixteen-year-old Crescent Moon is a computer genius trapped in a satellite orbiting Earth. Her only companion is a computer program modeled on herself at ten years old. Her only visitor is the witch who imprisoned her seven years ago, and even the witch only stops by to deliver food and water and the latest computer hacking assignment from the Lunar Queen. Cress’s life basically sucks, and things are especially bleak for her, fashion-wise. She owns two dresses, and her favorite is three years old.  It has holes in it. She doesn’t have any shoes at all, so when she escapes her heavenly prison she has to make them herself–out of towels and her own braided hair. I know. Gross. So, so gross. BUT. Cress’s satellite lands in Africa, and she gets to see camels and desert and mountains and trees, and a million other things that… Read more »

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