Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Expected Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books (St. Martin’s Press) for the e-ARC. All opinions are my own.

IT PAINS ME THAT I DIDN’T LOVE THIS.

I found myself scanning by the end. This let me down compared to Sky in the Deep (a favorite of mine last year). I’m trying to break it down so here are some bullet points:

What I did like:

  • I liked having Halvard as the protagonist. Since he’s up and coming as the next clan leader it was a good perspective. He learned and experienced a lot to help him better serve his people. I found him fierce and easy to cheer for. I wanted things to work out for him.
  • Tova. I really enjoyed her character.
  • The strong focus on family bonds. This was a highlight in SITD too. A favorite part is the fierce loyalty they feel for one another and trying to protect what sense of peace they have.
  • Realllll obsessed with the cover.
  • It’s a really quick read! Even when I started scanning (which wasn’t until after the halfway mark) I noticed how fast I was flying through it. The chapters are short and the writing has a whimsical style to it.
  • How clean the book is. I love a book that doesn’t have excessive amounts of language or romance. This hit those marks well (regardless of what I thought overall). It’s a clear YA book.

What I didn’t like:

  • That we hardly got to see Tova. She may have been a POV, but we hardly learned anything about her until the last few pages.
  • There is no romance (which I’m only noting as an issue because other reviews highlight it, but I did not see it). I stand by that sentence. Tova & Halvard don’t even have a full conversation with each other until so deep into the book there isn’t time to form chemistry. The kiss at the end came out of nowhere for me.
  • A lot of side characters (especially on the Svell’s side) who had no history. So they were supposed to be seen as bad, but I wasn’t invested in them.
  • It was missing depth and development for the plot in general. As I mentioned above, we barely know anything about the Svell (and Tova’s clan – the Kyrr). Everyone is thrown together without much of a story.

Okay, I think I have broken it down enough. While this wasn’t quite for me, it could be for you! There was definitely some highlights, I just overall had some issues.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: a lot, clans warring, arrows, knives, swords, axes, murder

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Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need A Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is here again and we’re discussing Books That Need A Sequel. Going through my books I realized just how many series I read. Do I mind? Nope, I love series. But below are some great standalones that I felt could have more to make them even better or that I loved so much I want more from their world.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I could definitely live in this world again and get more of Celia and Marco.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Based off of what the book is about, you know the ending will hurt your soul. So I’m thinking a sequel where Catherine has a much happier ending, ya know?

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I absolutely adored this book and reading about Puck. Having more of this story and these crazy water horses would be so cool.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Sirens. Pirates. Slow-burn romances. GIVE ME MORE. (Review here).

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Now, she does have The Girl the Sea Gave Back coming out, but those have different characters even though it’s the same world. I would love more Eelyn and Fiske and am happy that they will at least appear in the next book! (Review here!)

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

I think this book was too brief. I did like it, but I think with even more story and tales it would be even greater. Especially if there was a PREQUEL book. Yes, this needs a prequel book. The Wicked Deep was a clever read that left me with so many mixed emotions.

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

I LOVED this book. And wish dearly I could have more of it. Levenseller has become one of my favorite authors.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A book a few years down the line after Eleanor has conquered all of her demons, falling in love and living her best life. That would be one sweet book.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I liked this book, but didn’t love it. If things were expanded and had time to flourish I think I would be allllll over it. Because there’s fairies and I love fairies.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

This was on of my favorite books from a few years ago. So many feelings. I could use a sequel with more Atlas and Lily because y’all, they deserve it.

Have you read any of these? What books do you think need sequels? Lets talk in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: New to Me Authors I Read in 2018

Howdy!

It’s the first ever Top 10 Tuesday for my blog! One of my resolutions for this year is to add more content to GoodeyReads and I know this will be a step in the right direction.

This is a handful of New to Me authors (and I defined that by those I hadn’t read before, but maybe knew who they were) from last year!

Cinda Williams Chima

Oh y’all. This was one of my top favorite series from last year, and it is on my all time list. WHY DID I WAIT TO READ THIS? I’m super excited to start her following series, Shatter Realms, soon.

Brandon Sanderson

I held off on reading Sanderson for fear I wouldn’t love him as much as everyone else seems to. I was wrong. This series is wonderful, I’m currently in the midst of The Hero of Ages and plan to continue listening to the Cosmere.

Grace Draven

Seen on a Bookstagram post I took a leap of faith and absolutely adored this fantasy romance. It was different, passionate, and I have plans to read more of her books this year!

Rachel Caine

These are the first dystopian-based books I have read in a long time and have been completely enraptured (after the Hunger Games/Divergent era I was so over the concept). I love The Great Library series and can’t wait til the next book comes out.

Kristina Perez

My first of her books (and I believe one of her first novels too!). Totally swept away in this historical, magical romance. I was shook at the ending (because I did not know the tale it’s based off of) so I am all for the sequel this fall!!

Ron Chernow

I went through a history phase during the summer and read both of these practically back to back (these are 2,000 pages combined — yikes). I love love the way Chernow writes. It’s a history book that I’m captivated by. He tells the good, bad, and ugly of these men and I feel such a deeper understanding of American history by reading them.

Adrienne Young

VIKINGS Y’ALL. A beautiful debut standalone. She announced plans for a new book soon in the same realm (but years later with a new main character) and I squealed when I heard.

Kristin Hannah

Historical fictions are my jam. I was so engrossed in this I’m pretty sure I finished it in a day. It’s heart-breaking, soul-finding, and a strong story of a heroine I could cheer for.

Neal Shusterman

OH MY GOODNESS. THIS SERIES IS AMAZING. A librarian convinced me I would appreciate these, and she was on point (don’t we all love librarians?). Jaw dropping twists and cliff hangers galore.

Holly Black

Oh, I know at this point you’ve heard of her too. I never realized what I was missing until these cruel and wicked tales (see what I did there?). I think I’ll be looking in to her other books this year.

There ya have it! Ten authors I only read last year. Which authors are some of your fav? Did I definitely wait too long on some? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review

Happy Book Birthday to Sky in the Deep!

 

HAPPY PUBLISHING DAY!

Sky in the Deep

I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much and am so grateful to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the digital ARC!

Here is the synopsis:

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating. 

 

Ah, doesn’t that sound so enticing?! I loved that this book was Viking-esque. It is a take on historical YA that feels like a breath of fresh air to the genre. My review can be found here. Now available, so make sure to check this book out!

Happy reading.

 

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