Book Review

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

One Dark Throne by Kendare BlakeOne Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 21st September 2017
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, the elemental sister once thought to be the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must confront the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

So I didn’t like One Dark Throne as much as Three Dark Crowns, but it was a really fun read. I think compared to the first book there is more action and less world building, which is a shame because I want to know more about this world. I’m crossing my fingers in the hope that we’ll get more of that in the third book.

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare BlakeThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 22nd September 2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose . . . it's life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

I don’t know what I was expecting from Three Dark Crowns, but I didn’t like Blake’s debut novel, and so my hopes weren’t set too high for this fantasy series. I think having low expectations really helped me enjoy the book, because it’s by no means the best fantasy story I have ever read, but it was certainly entertaining.

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American Panda by Gloria Chao

American Panda by Gloria ChaoAmerican Panda by Gloria Chao
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 6th February 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Borrowed
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

American Panda was a pretty solid debut. It was high on everyone’s most anticipated lists because it’s about a Taiwanese-American teenager who goes to college and tries to balance life, family, and two different cultures. I really enjoyed it, and I’d be interested in seeing what Chao comes out with next.

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Missing at 17 by Christine Conradt

Missing at 17 by Christine ConradtMissing at 17 by Christine Conradt
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 1st May 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

For most of Candace’s life she never felt like she completely belonged. But nothing could prepare her for the shocking discovery that her parents have been concealing the truth about who she is and where she came from her entire life.

Feeling like her world has been turned upside down, and unable to trust the people she’s closest to, Candace runs away...right into the arms of an alluring stranger.

But while Candace and Toby have an undeniable connection, it's less certain what the future holds for them as Candace’s family and Toby’s less-than-legal lifestyle threaten to rip them apart.

As things start to spiral out of control, Candace must fight to understand her own identity...and who she can truly rely on.

Missing At 17 really wasn’t the right book for me. First of all, I was expecting an intense thriller, but the story was more of a relaxed contemporary. That would be fine if a) I had been expecting it, and b) it was written well. But it wasn’t.

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Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Out of the Blue by Sophie CameronOut of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
Genre: Magical Realism
Release Date: 22nd March 2018
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.

When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.

Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Out of the Blue considering paranormal books aren’t typically my thing. I picked this book up because I’d heard some amazing things from early reviewers, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint!

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