River’s Quickie Reviews! #1

River has been super busy with her new job (MIT, baby!), so she’s allowed me to share with you guys a few quickie reviews she’s written for a few books she’s read recently. Enjoy! – Sam

20877228Title: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White (Release Date: September 9th, Harper Teen)

Synopsis: Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

River’s Review: Over all I really enjoyed this. I love White’s writing, I loved the setting and the characters. I even loved Sir Bird! Everything was wonderful and witty and the dialogue was spot on.

But the ‘be a strong/smart/educated/curious/passionate woman’ message was a bit too strong for me. I hate it when the “message” of the book is SCREAMING at me. I also hated how EVERYONE had to point out how clever Jessa was every five seconds. We got that too. I’m all for girl power, but I don’t like it when it takes me out of the story. Also for all of her ‘DON’T JUDGE ME’-ness, Jessa sure did do a lot of judging (tho she did realize it and admit it and grow from it eventually).

I also wish that some of the conflict would have been fleshed out more. At times I was so caught up in the pretty parts that when the conflict came back around I was like ‘the bad guy is doing this why for the what now?’ – 4/5 Stars


20759444Title: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (September 25th, Simon Pulse)

Synopsis: Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled.

River’s Review: I literally do not know what to give this book star-wise. It’s freaking Westerfeld! This should have been a million star rating! But omfg what the hell WAS this?!

I also feel like I should get credit for two books after reading this monster. jfc. I just don’t even know what to think about this. Was it a joke? If it was, well played! If this is for real then why. Just why.

‘Darcey writes the words, Lizzie lives them’. This led me to believe that the two stories were going to bleed together and cross and have SOMETHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER. But they didn’t and that drove me insane! I would have been happy with one story or the other. I don’t understand why they were mashed together. And they were both kinda lame.

It makes my head hurt. – N/A Star Rating.


18225019Title: Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Brigette Barrager (August 26th, Random House Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: In this clever twist on the age-old belief that there’s no such thing as unicorns, Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! No matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are real. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her. This refreshing and sweet story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.

River’s Review: Adorable! Thank you so much for letting me read this. I was crazy about unicorns when I was a child and when I saw this book I knew I had to read it for nostalgia’s sake alone. I love the art, it’s SO beautiful. Very cute story, will totally buy this for my niece! – 5/5 Stars

 Huge thank you to all the above publishers for allowing me to read these ARCs!


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