For those of you who don’t know the acronym “ATPOY,” it stands for A Thousand Pieces of You, the book written by Claudia Gray, whose cover was Screenshot 2015-11-17 20.33.12designed by the utterly talented Alison Klapthor–she gets two thumbs up for her work! I read this some time ago, and the second one came out recently (by recently I mean this year.)

Synopsis: Marguerite’s genius parents have invented the Firebird, a device that can send a person to alternate universes! After her father is killed–by a close friend–Marguerite takes it upon herself to travel to other universes to find him. But finding her father’s killer is not as easy as she would have hoped.

So, now that you’ve been properly filled in on what to expect. I can dish on the coolest parts of the book (by my standards).

I love Marguerite’s name. It’s so adorable. She’s adorable herself (and fierce). She paints, travels through alternate universes, and loves her family so much that she would travel to other “worlds” for them.

I have to say that the settings are the best. My favorite place was the one where most of her time was spent: Russia. The detail of the palace and the wardrobe and the cute egg-art-thiniges was just… *sigh* breathtaking.

Though I enjoyed jumping through other universes with Marguerite (and the unforeseeable twist(s) at the end), I just couldn’t get into the romance of the book. I think that the guys here were just not my type. I felt a little let down because I really look forward to the bits of romance scenes in YA, and these didn’t really do it for me. (I did like a certain romantic scene, but I for spoiler-y reasons, I can’t go into why it didn’t do me justice. It’s mostly because of Marguerite trying to connect in a different universe, but I can’t get into more detail than that.)

As much as I liked the protagonist, I didn’t connect very well with her; and though the setting(s) proved awesome every time, that shouldn’t really be the focus point in a story–no one asks if a book is setting-driven, plot- and character-driven books get the audience engaged.

I will have to give ATPOY 3.5 out of 5 stars.


“A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room” Reviewed

I’m very much aware that this series is not YA, but I have NEVER read any of these books before now (as unbelievable as that sounds). But these books are still a staple in the youth reading world, like stepping stones to YA.image

Synopsis: The Baudelaire orphans have escaped from the evil clutches of Count Olaf. They find solace with their Uncle Monty, reptilian expert. But the troubles of these orphans is not over yet.

I still approve of the defining of some big words because, honestly, I don’t always know the meanings and it’s useful for the younger audience. I know some people hate it and feel as if it’s condescending, but… agree to disagree.

Uncle Monty is adorable. And I love that the orphans get some love. He treats them wonderfully.

The only part I absolutely hated was Snicket’s spoiler in the beginning, which I’ll just say it since he does. He basically says, “By the way, don’t get too fond of Uncle Monty. He’ll be dead in no time.” I mean I understand Snicket likes to make it clear that awful things happen to these children, but he doesn’t need to outright say it. I like a bit of guessing, even if it’s obvious and I see it coming. Can you imagine JK Rowling writing at the beginning of her last book, “Heads up. Harry wins and Voldy dies.” Sure we all expect that to happen or else everyone’s childhood is ruined, but you don’t say it in the book for crying out loud!

Now that my rant is over, everything else was splendid. I especially liked the Deadly Viper and all the irony.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Add Some ADSOM to Your Life

After joining the Goodreads’s Ford Audiobook Club, I received an Audible code for A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM) by V.E. Schwab to get the book for free. This was my first audiobook, so it was an interesting experience. I listened while washing dishes and on road trips, so it took me a while to finish it. (I prefer reading the words myself.)

Synopsis: Kell has the power to travel through worlds: Red London, White imageLondon, and Grey London. Kell delivers correspondence for the royals between the Londons, but he also takes souvenirs and sells them to the other worlds, something that is forbidden. Kell finally meets the consequences of his actions and is joined by the fierce Delilah “Lila” Bard to right his wrongs. The fate of the worlds depends on them.

At first, I was a little distracted with the audiobook narrator and surprised with all his different voices, but I soon got into it. (Though Lila’s voice didn’t sound right to me the whole time–I think he tried too hard with her.)

The plot is very cool. We learn about the different worlds and their level of magic. And there are minor (well minor compared to the BIG problem) conflicts dealing with Kell and Lila that I liked.

I wasn’t swooning over Kell, and I wonder if others reading ADSOM loved him. I thought he was cool, but not my type of book boyfriend. I feel like my indifference has to do with the audiobook narrator because he read Kell in a very harsh tone that put me off. Kell’s history is still a mystery and I’m excited to learn about that in the next book (hopefully I won’t have to wait until the third).

A word on Lila Bard: Amazing. She has some rough edges, but they make her even more likable. She’s just as much a main character as Kell. She is a female character that all girls/women should strive to be. A very take-action character who does what she wants and gets what she wants. Lila is my hero(ine)!

This audiobook gets 4 out 5 stars!