Book Review

Book Review: The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopia Romance
Length: 412 pages
Author: Kortney Keisel
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He’s promised to another. She’s promised to forget him.
Eighteen-year-old Renna Degray is hopeful about love and her future after a chance encounter with a handsome stranger. Until she discovers who the mysterious man is—the Prince of Albion, betrothed to Renna’s stepsister. Now Renna must try to keep her feelings for the prince in check. But he’s not making it easy. The prince is charming, funny, and impossible not to fall for.

Trev has no room for mistakes. He must marry the princess of New Hope and secure the marriage alliance along with his future as king. The safety of his kingdom depends on it. Duty and honor never bothered Trev before, but love has a way of changing everything.

In this post-Desolation world, the Council of Essentials controls everything, including the prince. Is love more than a negotiation?

Is love essential?

HELLOOOO DRAMA.

I found this book simultaneously over dramatic and hard to put down. I guess I’m really into the dramatics sometimes.

This is an older YA cast, with a younger YA vibe. I believe the male lead is 24, and acts like he’s 17. I found a lot of the inner dialogue and thoughts to be rather naïve and occasionally annoying. I enjoyed the overall interactions between Trev and Renna at least.

Plenty happened throughout. I didn’t find the pacing slow until near the end. Some interesting villains who tried to hard to be villains. And I was desperate for some world-building. I understood it was a post-world scenario. That’s about it. No thought given to why their were kingdoms now, how they were run. What everything kind of looked like, nada. I had to make a lot of assumptions to understand everything.

Yet, I enjoyed reading this. There were some good nuggets. I was invested enough to keep going and see how it all played out (which was rather whoa on its own).

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: murder, physical, gun violence, attempted assassination
  • Content Warning: loss of a sibling/loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult dystopia + sci-fi
Length: 384 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Ember
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

David wants Steelheart — one of the Epics said to be invincible, who killed David’s father. For ten years, David has studied and planned for revenge. He wants to join the Reckoners. These rebels assassinate the Epics, super-powered tyrants. He has seen Steelheart bleed.

ALWAYS ON EDGE.

Does anyone else feel that way reading a Sanderson book? No? Just ME?

I feel like every time I read his books (and this is my…10th? book) he keeps me on edge constantly. No matter the genre, characters, setting, etc. I never know quite what’s going to happen, and when it appears a touch cliche, I am then TOTALLY caught off guard by the reveals. And this is why I keep coming back.

I absolutely loved David. Oh my goodness, so cute and adorable. I laughed out loud so many times reading this because his attempts at being smooth were undeniably precious. He was a gem of a main character who really grew up and took in the world around him to survive in the post-apocalyptic waste land.

My feelings towards dystopian books dropped off after reading The Hunger Games and Divergent so I haven’t picked up many (if any) since. I kept putting Steelheart off for this reason. But no longer! I must finish this series. The world building around these Epics and all of their powers is completely fascinating. Sanderson knows how to create a masterpiece in regards to magic/power systems so I can’t wait to know the final details for this one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi / dystopia
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: murder, gun violence, magical powers (energy blasts, control of elements, etc.), physical altercations, car wrecks
  • Content warnings: witnessing the loss of a loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: Majesty (American Royals #2) by Katharine McGee

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Dystopian / Contemporary
Length: 370 pages
Author: Katharine McGee
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Is America ready for its first queen?

Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.

As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.

A new reign has begun.

THIRD BOOK PLEASE?

That’s what I need after seeing how this one ended. Book three. THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE.

I thought this was a good follow-up to American Royals. The drama is wild as ever and so many things continually happen that keep you turning pages. Not to mention, I love the shorter chapters and quick pace.

I adored Beatrice’s story line. Without a doubt the best story in here. Beatrice came into her own as a queen. I loved that she got to say a proper good-bye to those who deserved it and made a true love connection with Teddy. They were precious and I absolutely ship them. Both of them together are such a match. I would have loved a longer book just to get more of their (and other’s) relationships.

Daphne Deighton. I can’t even talk about her. I hated the way her story ended. I got the vibe of it and why it was written that way, but it still screwed over too many people and I just want her to get her due. She just drags down this book.

Sam’s story was positive and I’m grateful for her character arc because whoa, I was struggling with her attitude. I love that she really grew up and fought for what she wanted. Sam worked things out well and I love her relationship with Marhsall.

Nina’s POV fell by the wayside here. She kinda fit into everything, kinda didn’t. I did like the way things ended up for her and that she took time to figure out what she wanted before making a decision. I think if there’s more to the story we’ll get even better insight for Nina.

This installment was shorter than the first when I think it needed to be longer. There was good stuff here, just needed some longer stories to really connect with everything rather than flying by.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia / contemporary
  • Language: some light
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a closed door scene
  • Content warnings: grief from losing a parent

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Book Review

Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult dystopia + romance
Length: 416 pages
Author: Kim Liggett
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

WELL THAT WAS INTERESTING.

What a unique book y’all. And yet…not? I did a buddy read for this book and we both were finding so many tidbits from other books in here that combined to form a whole new novel. It was definitely something different.

I liked how quick it was to read. I would look down and be astonished at how many pages had already flown by. The Grace Year keeps you involved and wanting to know what happens next. I had so many questions throughout it that kept me on my toes. Who was going to die? Why did this happen? Wait, is that what I think it is? Ah, I love a book that makes me question.

This was also a very odd world-system. I would have loved to know if this county’s system was more broad than just this small area, but I was creeped out by the system anyways. Sending the girls off because they have “magic,” was so barbaric I could barely handle it.

One aspect I really didn’t like that caused the 4 star rating was the love story. For someone SO INCREDIBLY ADAMANT they didn’t want to be married or committed in anyway to fall for someone else was a bit unbelievable. The way it was written made it seem like a shorter time period than it really was which also rushed the process. Tierney’s relationship could have used a lot more development, or flat out cutting this piece out.

I liked how everything ended. Michael was a saint and I can’t believe the compassion and forgiveness he had for what Tierney did (which was another piece of the book I didn’t love). Michael did everything for her and I was grateful to see them begin to work things out. I also loved that the usurper was close to home. It made the theme of this book clear, women need to support women and not tear each other down.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: very little detail fade to black scene, some kisses
  • Violence: murder, lightning strikes, punishments in the form of removing fingers/ear/toes/hair, poison, knives

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