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Category / Young Adult


Reviewsday: Joelle Charbonneau’s Dividing Eden

Having read Joelle Charbonneau's Testing series (which has a Hunger Games-esque vibe to it for all of you dystopian novel lovers!), I think I can safely say I was jumping up and down out of excitement when Dividing Eden popped up on my radar.

Reminiscent of The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, Dividing Eden tells the tale of twin royals, Carys and Andreus, pitted against each other in a battle for the crown after a disastrous accident leaves them with equal claim to the throne. Faced with a power hungry council watching their every move and faceless enemies stirring up trouble, the twins can only do what they've been doing their entire lives – stick together, watch each other's backs and, above all, protect the secret that's been haunting them since birth.

The novel was intriguing from the get go but I felt that Carys definitely emerges as the stronger lead throughout the book with Andreus' story taking a surprising turn that, whilst being beneficial to the plot line, was still a little tough to read through (if you find yourself shaking the book in frustration and wailing “Noooo!”, don't say I didn't warn you!). There a quite a few shady characters that appear in and around the castle which left me questioning almost everyone's motives. Even after finishing the book, I'm still suspicious as to who is really on which side.

Dividing Eden is truly an engrossing read – clear your calendar because you won't want to put it down until you've worked your way through all of the secrets, lies and manipulative madness that await you.

Reviewsday: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

I've been waiting with bated breath to read this book ever since the shock ending of Glass Sword! (For those who haven't read it, avert your eyes and finish it quickly so you know what's going on) I knew it would have to be amazing, thanks to the incredible plot set up by its predecessors, but what I didn't expect was how heavy and intense of a story line it would be.

Mare's captivity under Maven's tyrannous thumb was always going to be hard to read but I felt like it took me forever to get through this book because I had to take frequent breaks - there's a lot of strong emotions bubbling at the surface of this novel, for Mare, her friends and her foes and at times it just got to be too much. It was very cleverly written in that I wanted to keep turning pages to find out what was going to happen next but I personally felt there was little to no relief from the constant turmoil our brave hero experiences.

That being said, the plot overall was rich and engrossing. As well as combing through Mare's struggles as Maven's prisoner, we're given also given insight into the Scarlet Guard's activities during her captivity and boy, oh boy was that an interesting ride as well! If you haven't read this amazing novel yet, pick up a copy ASAP!

 

Book-A-Like: If I Stay & Before I Fall


Heart-rending stories about life and the choices we make feature in today's QBD Book-a-like.

 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman:

Just listen,' Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.‘Stay,' he says.

Everybody has to make choices.Some might break you.For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope. But life can change in an instant. A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one.
As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver:

They say 'live every day as if it's your last' - but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't.
The thing is, you don't get to know when it happens. You don't remember to tell your family that you love them or - in my case - remember to say goodbye to them at all.
But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you'd want to change...?

Just What I Needed…Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

I finished this in a matter of hours, though I spread my reading out over a day and a bit.
Filled with illustrations and diagrams and IM logs, this was a good read that I absolutely powered through. It had a lot of positives but also a bunch of negatives.

PLUS:
* I felt like the development of Olly and Maddy's relationship was normal, and relatable considering their almost unrelatable situation.
* Maddy is a great bookish character and I feel like YA books need more bookish girls
* Maddy's nurse is AWESOME.

MINUS:
* Maddy says she isn't reckless: gets a credit card, buys 2 lots of flights, a hotel room and I assume a whole bunch of other practical stuff like food and taxi fare, as well as clothes and nearly $300 worth of clothes on her mother's credit card... not reckless?
* Olly seems to give up pretty easily
* The whole running off to Hawaii thing was a bit much for me.

I disliked Maddy's mum from the start, but I loved pretty much everyone else. Olly is a complex character and a great romantic interest.

Though this was an incredibly easy read, it has reignited my passion for reading. It wasn't a substantial book, but it definitely gave me those butterflies that a good YA romance does.

I am looking forward to reading Nicola Yoon's other book The Sun Is Also a Star as it sounds just as interesting and light as this one does. Normally, that would be something that I would put a book back on the shelf for, but I guess it was just what I needed right now.

~Sam

Happy Release Day To The Cruelty!

Scott Bergstrom's much-anticipated YA thriller, The Cruelty, is released today!

From the back of the book:  When Gwendolyn Bloom realizes that her father has been kidnapped, she has to take matters into her own hands. She traces him from New York City across the dark underbelly of Europe, taking on a new identity to survive in a world of brutal criminal masterminds. As she slowly leaves behind her schoolgirl self, she realizes that she must learn the terrifying truth about herself. To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.

Action-packed, the pages will burn through your fingers as read this!
Get your copy here.