Book Review

Book Review: Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic Fantasy
Length: 1087 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance, Book Two of the Stormlight Archive, continues the immersive fantasy epic that The Way of Kings began.

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.

I LOVE THIS SERIES.

This is one of those books where yes, 1087 pages is a lot, but 1087 is necessary to make this book the amazing story it is. Every dang page, every dang word, is WORTH IT. I read this slowly over a month taking my time to savor the story. There is so much here and everything is woven together intricately to create the Cosmere.

It’s hard for me to put into words a review because SO MUCH HAPPENED. And also it’s one of those trust me and read this if you love fantasy books type of situations. It’s better not having all the details. These characters will swarm your heart leaving you with no option other than to love them (and hate a few, but they meet some good endings).

Kaladin is my cinnamon roll that I CAN NOT HANDLE. This guy has been through hell and back and watching his transformation just from book one to book two is fantastic. I’m praying he survives all 10 books because I need him too.

The Kholin family is also getting some top marks. Dalinar, Adolin, Jasnah, Renarin. They are allllll stunners. I love how there is a wide expanse of age groups here and each character holds their own space in the story. Nobody is wasted by being thrown in casually.

Also, Shallan guys. In Way of Kings, we got flashbacks of Kaladin’s life. In Words of Radiance, we got Shallan’s backstory. If it’s a theme to have a character backstory woven into each book, then I AM HERE FOR IT. I loved getting to know her more and really started to appreciate her as a character.

THIS WORLD BUILDING IS INSANE. I can’t say that enough. I’ve heard it takes him years to write these books and I wouldn’t doubt that for a second. I can only imagine the thought and process it takes to make this elaborate of a world.

If you love fantasy books and want to take a chance on reading something big, try these. Trust me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: ass used once
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: war, battle, swords, assassination attempts, magic, elemental magic, storms

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Book Review

Book Review: If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary + Romance + Retellings
Length: 362 pages
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Expected Release Date: April 23rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good.

In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice…

But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

READ IN ONE SITTING. YES IT’S THAT GOOD.

Ahhhhh, I absolutely loved this y’all.

First though, I know nothing about The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare. I know as much as the novel told me about and so I can’t really comment on how well this retellings went. I loved it though, so hopefully others thought it was great from the retellings perspective.

Cameron. Oh, bless her heart. Boy did she make me want to shake her sometimes. As she started off being completely terrible, I knew we were in for a great character arc. I was not let done. This was more than just a romance book. Watching Cameron learn about herself and what it means to be a true friend and being kind to others was almost more than my heart could take. She learned so much over this book and I felt I could really relate to these kind of struggles from high school. Working through who your true friends are, being with the guy you deserve to be with, dealing with iffy parents, the whole thing. I connected with novel y’all.

The romance though, was ABSOLUTELY JUST YAAAAAS. Oh it was SO CUTE. And the BANTER and the MOMENTS. ALL THE CAPS BECAUSE I AM OBSESSED. Cameron and Brendan forever. High school sweethearts PLEASE. Their romance was filled with forgiveness and tenderness that made it impossible to put this down because I needed to watch it unfold. I love the way it was done and seriously can’t stop gushing about it. This is the way a young adult contemporary romance should be written and I can easily say it’s one of (if not THE) top YA Contemporary I’ve read in 2019. I also adore that Brendan was a nerdy gamer and YOUNGER than Cameron because I feel like I haven’t seen that much in contemporaries and I was HERE FOR IT. All the heart eyes.

There is a much deeper message in this book. That it’s about second chances and how it’s not too late to decide the type of person you want to be. This bumpy road that Cameron went on was filled with hard choices that ultimately brought her to a state of peace.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary retelling + romance
  • Language: some throughout (occasionally strong)
  • Romance: a few kisses (it’s clean y’all, YAY!)
  • Violence/Trigger warnings: emotional and verbally abusive parenting, talks of cheating on someone

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