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King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

King’s Cage by Victoria AveyardKing's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #3
Published by HarperTeen on February 7th, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 528
Goodreads

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

3 Stars

In comparison to Glass Sword, the third instalment King’s Cage is an improvement. The atmosphere of this book is darker, more twisted, and far more electrifying than that of the previous two instalments, which sat well with me. Though far from being an amazing read, credit shall be given where credit is due.

The infamous, hitherto insufferable Mare Barrow has somehow re-entered my life, even though I had sworn to myself that I had written this series off for the eternity of time. Well, damn.

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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi MeadowsMy Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Published by HarperTeen on June 7th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 494
Goodreads

Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

2.5 Stars

When I read the synopsis for My Lady Jane, I mentally immediately filed it under “not my thing”. I don’t really enjoy historical fiction set in the Tudor era and books about royalty are usually a miss as well. Also, all the reviewers described this book as extremely funny; again, not really what I’m normally interested in.

But then more reviews started rolling in and some of my GR friends personally recommended it to me. I got interested and decided I would pick it up whenever I needed something that would put me in a good mood.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn AndersonTiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published by HarperTeen on July 3rd 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 292
Goodreads

In this stunning re-imagining of J. M. Barrie's beloved classic Peter Pan, New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson expertly weaves a gripping tale of love, loss, and adventure.

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair… Tiger Lily. When fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan deep in the forbidden woods of Neverland, the two form a bond that's impossible to break, but also impossible to hold on to. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. However, when Wendy Darling, a girl who is everything Tiger Lily is not, arrives on the island, Tiger Lily discovers how far she is willing to go to keep Peter with her, and in Neverland.

Told from the perspective of tiny, fairy-sized Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily is the breathtaking story of budding romance, letting go and the pains of growing up.

4.5 Stars

Tiger Lily is a brilliantly imagined alternative twist to the Peter Pan tale. The novel takes you on a dazzling journey of friendship, captivating first love, and to the pits of writhing jealousy and hollowing loneliness.

This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win.

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 9th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 444
Goodreads

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

2 Stars

If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.

Unfortunately, my opinion of this series shattered like glass as well. Red Queen was far from perfect but I had been somewhat intrigued by Aveyard’s debut, enough to be at least a little bit curious as to what the sequel might hold in store. After that earth-shattering cliffhanger Red Queen delivered, I had high expectations for Glass Sword. For me, the sequel soared past my expectations by a huge margin, with only little redeeming qualities to speak of.

Beware of spoilers for the first instalment. Proceed at your own risk if you haven’t read Red Queen. You’ve been warned.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 383
Goodreads

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

3.5 Stars

Red Queen is one of those books that 1) you can enjoy in spite of its utter unoriginality, and 2) can make you look over all the little flaws because it’s a fast-paced YA fantasy full of drama, betrayal, drama, and more drama. When I first read Red Queen, I was glued to the pages. I was aware that Aveyard had been inspired by many already existing YA works and that there was a very problematic love square, but I just couldn’t care. Now that I’ve reflected on this reading experience a little more, I can still say it was enjoyable, but my rating has dropped significantly due to some of the aforementioned issues.

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A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray

A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia GrayA Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird #1
Published by HarperTeen on November 4th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi
Pages: 360
Goodreads

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

3 Stars

Oh, hello inner conflict. This is one of those books that’ll lure you closer with its pretty, colourful cover, and then smack you across the face with its content. A Thousand Pieces Of You was an okay book, but if you’re expecting a masterpiece of science-fiction then you’re on the wrong track.

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Published by HarperTeen on April 24th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 336
Goodreads

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

2.5 Stars

The Selection is one of those books I like to refer to as addictive dystopian rubbish. There was no substance here whatsoever, and yet I couldn’t put the book down or dnf it.

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