THE HOLLOW GIRL was written by a Romani to honor her grandmother and their shared Romani heritage. I was drawn in by that fact, excited to learn more about the Romani culture from the point-of-view of a young woman learning magic from her grandmother. However, I feel I must start this review by acknowledging that THE HOLLOW GIRL deals with a trigger warning for sexual harassment, abuse, and rape.
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THE FIRE QUEEN takes the battle royal concept to a fictional and fantastical desert empire whose people worship gods based on Sumerian deities. This time, the teenagers involved are all women and capable of great feats of both magic and strength, which is what drew me to the book initially. The second in The Hundredth Queen series, it does not stray far from the original conceit, as Kalinda is again thrust into a tournament that puts her life and her people at risk. The stakes are raised with the introduction of a love triangle and with multiple people vying for control of the empire.
THE CITYBORN is fueled by its dystopian society. In a place only known as ‘The City’, there are clear lines between the rich and the poor. There can so much intrigue to a class-ruled dystopia. It’s always fun learn about how these strange societies are built ,and it’s even better to watch them fall. Unfortunately, the City was a cipher for too much of the book.
THE SUFFERING TREE has themes teens will identify with but the plot holes and writing style overwhelm and distract from the overall novel. Tori Burns and her family move to Chaptico when they are bequeathed a house and plot of land in a will. After her father’s death, Tori is depressed and angry. She’s a cutter who already feels like she doesn’t fit in, and living in the close-knit town just isolates her further.
While BREAKING certainly met its goal of being a thriller, I was mostly disappointed with the book. The hints of the supernatural were disappointing and though it kept my interest, there were too many questions left unanswered for me to be completely satisfied with the read.
BORROWED SOULS started out really strong! Promising characters were surrounded in a richly developed world with an awesome magic system… That’s all there ever was though. I wanted to love this book, but the great start fell flat as nothing happened throughout the rest of BORROWED SOULS.
I will read nearly any story set in Chicago. This has led to great discoveries, such as the Chicagoland Vampires series. Unfortunately, THE FAIRYTALE CHICAGO OF FRANCESCA FINNEGAN was not one of the great discoveries.
IMMORTAL UNCHAINED is the twenty-fifth book in the Argeneau series, and I’m sad to say it is the last one I will read. It wasn’t so much that it was bad, but it was so similar to so many other things that have happened in previous books that I felt I was reading the same passages over and over again. Although the 23rd book had me excited for the new direction the series was taking, when we got there, it wasn’t worth it.
ICE WOLF suffers from having both too much information and not enough. It’s rare to want a book to cut back on the world building and just focus on the love story.
ROSEBLOOD is, for lack of a better word, a bit weird. Billed as a young adult retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, it reads more like a sequel to its inspiration, rather than a retelling. Dark and mysterious, ROSEBLOOD has a lot going for it, but it just didn’t live up to what I felt it could have been.