DISCLAIMER: I kind of am a bit hard on Ms. Jones in this review. I don't really mean to be; I love Carrie, really I do. I think her blog entries are hilarious, and I think she has some really great ideas for her books. It's just that this is her seventh-ish book, the fourth that I've read, and I was kind of hoping for some different kind of writing from her. I'm honestly not bashing her personally--I was just so disappointed in this book and the writing in it that I may have been a bit harsher than I meant to be.
My interest in this book had been waning for some time when I received it as a Christmas present. Not about to let it go to waste, I read it. While it wasn't awful, it wasn't really what I'd been hoping for at all. I felt disappointed and kind of annoyed upon finishing. And my rating is definitely generous. I do, however, want to make on thing clear: I liked this book! It just wasn't my absolute favorite. It is true that in this review I focus more on the negatives than the positives, but I genuinely enjoy reading this book and would recommend it (though not to everyone).
Truth to be told, Aimee was kind of annoying. She has these ridiculous prejudices that make no sense. She's also kind of a hypocrite. I thought at first that she might be a strong heroine, but she seemed to get progressively weaker as the story went on, to no real avail. I didn't hate her, really--I simply don't have strong feelings about her at all. She was vapid and irritating--but harmless. Kind of like baby cousins. And, as aforementioned, I hated her stupid prejudices.
EXAMPLE OF DIALOGUE (Please note that these are not exact quotes (although they are similar) and reflect only my interpretation of the text, not necessarily the author's intentions):
BLAKE (Aimee's boyfriend at the beginning of the novel): That Indian boy beat me at racing today.
AIMEE: (to self) Ohmigod. My boyfriend is obviously a closet racist. So he obviously cannot be my boyfriend anymore.
Seriously, people, when is the last time you've heard someone identify someone else by their race and automatically assumed they're a closet racist? (This is actually what she does. I couldn't even make this up if I tried.) Probably never. Especially someone whom you've known for a long time and has always been a good person. More likely you assume they're just trying to make identifying someone easier.
And here's the character I liked even less. For one thing, I couldn't even picture him as even vaguely handsome, no matter how hard I tried. I thought he was really self-centered. He also kind of sounds like an idiot. At one point in the novel he thinks of Aimee: "Her mouth is sexy when she chews." Okay, a few things wrong here. 1) No one thinks that. 2) When is the last time you've found someone's chewing mouth sexy? (Also, this is totally in direct contrast with something she Jones writes in Need about it being awkward to watch someone you like chew. I mean, come on, you cannot have it both ways. Make up your mind.) Just…no. I thought he was one of the most boring characters I've ever come across. I've since rethought that--he might just be the most boring character.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS
He was probably the only character I felt any sort of connection to. Still, he wasn't exactly extremely likable or anything. Still, I cared what happened to him more than anyone else in the entire book. I consider this sad. He was kind of too stereotypical nice-guy-goes-bad-then-good-again--but that kind of thing I can deal with. It's an unversed plot line, but it wasn't used terribly in this novel.
Stereotypical high school girl much? I mean, come on, Carrie Jones! In the Need series you've already kind of annoyed me with your completely insane collection of high schoolers, but this is totally pushing it. I am still in high school, and I can guarantee you that, believe it or not (you may want to sit down), there are actually normal people in high school.
I know, I know, I've totally shocked you. I'm sorry. Just take some deep, deep breaths and everything will be okay.
Moving on! I don't really give a damn about the other secondary characters enough to write about them, and none of them are important enough that I feel the actual need to.
Excuse me. That was me forgetting what the plot was because it was so freaking boring.
AIMEE: Let's save Courtney! She is my OMGBFF4EVA! If we don't save her, she'll die! And since I have visions and all, that will obviously help a ton!
ALAN: You have visions? Awesome.
AIMEE: You're not freaked out like all the other kids?!?
ALAN: Nope. Because I am totally completely in love with you since you have red hair and obviously I am meant to fall in love with a girl with red hair.
AIMEE: *squeal* Okay! I love you too! Let's make out, and then save Courtney if there's time!
Um, yeah, guys, that's pretty much all I have to say about the plot. It was way, way, way too predictable. I could guess everyone long before it happened and I could tell from the beginning how it was going to end.
I have some major problems here.
First off, Aimee's breakup with Blake was completely unbelievable and had no base whatsoever. I felt like it was done simply because Aimee had to get with Alan somehow and Blake was in the way. It didn't ring true to me at all, and it was one of the reasons this book annoyed me from the beginning.
POLICE: Yo, Alan, Blake is missing. You know anything about that?
ALAN: No, why?
POLICE: Because you got in a fight with him earlier, dude. You've got reason to want him gone.
ALAN: Well, he is my girlfriend's ex-boyfriend, but…
It took me a full two minutes to realize the girlfriend Alan is referring to is Aimee. Why? BECAUSE HE NEVER FREAKING ASKS HER OUT. I don't know about you, but I don't care how much I like a guy--if he wants me to be his girlfriend, he damn well better ask me out officially. This part annoyed me immensely. It seems stupid of him to point out that this missing guy, who he's been in a fight with, is his "girlfriend's" ex-boyfriend. I mean, how stupid can you get?
And since I'm not an instalove fan, I don't like Aimee and Alan's romance. I didn't feel anything at all. I doesn't ring true with me and I cannot fathom their relationship.
I'm not a huge fan of Jones' writing in her Need series, but I was hoping to see a different style here. Unfortunately, I didn't really see that. There is another author listed, but I could barely see his writing obviously, if at all. I assumed at first that Jones wrote Aimee's POV and Wedel wrote Alan's--I questioned this as I read, but when I came to Aimee's chewing jaw being sexy, I knew that there was no way. I'm fairly certain Jones wrote most of this, or at least edited it heavily. Her writing is still largely immature--not even really high school lever. Just kind of ridiculous.
(NOTE: I was corrected on this. Wedel did indeed write Alan's chapters, and then the two authors collaborated on the editing. I apologize for my mistake, but I shall leave my original review intact, as that was my honest impression. I do apologize for any confusion this may have caused.)
Another problem with Jones' writing is that she has all these ideas she tries far too hard to get across. In Need, she really pushes Amnesty International and Greenpeace--which, okay, I try to deal with because it's not really that obnoxious. But in After Obsession, she majorly tries to push these racism issues, which completely detracts from the already questionable plot and writing, making the book, unfortunately, even worse. I thought this was such a shame. If Jones could step back from all this peace-pushing stuff she tries to do, I would probably enjoy her books much more.
It was stupid. I hate saying something so negative, but it was. It didn't make a whole lot of sense and too many strings were left untied. (But, my God, please do not let there be a sequel.) I wish that some things had been made clearer--I was left confused and had to go back to clarify a few too many things that should, if the book was better-written, been obvious.
Since I'm already so invested in Jones' Need series, I will be reading Endure, the last book of that series. Unfortunately, since I found this book to be such a disappointment, it will probably have to blow me away to convince me to spend money on another one of her books. So, whether or not I read Jones' future books remains to be seen. As for Wedel's books, I might give one a try, since even after reading this book I feel I do not know his writing style at all.
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't love it as much as I did Haunting Violet, but I still found it extremely enjoyable. It was a fun, quick read. The reason that my rating is relatively low even though I loved it so much will be explained. For one, the cover wasn't great. It was okay. For not as pretty as I'd hoped.
No, that's not a typo. This book is actually told from two different girls' P.O.V., thus making them both heroines in tis lovely story.
I didn't care too much for her. I liked her well enough, but she's not one of my favorite characters. She was kind of, um, I hate to say it, but boring. She was too serious for my taste. I prefer my heroines fun. Deep down, she was more emotional, but on the outside she was too stiff. Still, she was actually a pretty intricate character, but definitely had room for improvement.
I loved Jo! She was such a flirt! She was exciting and emotional. While on the outside she appeared flighty, inside she was more vulnerable. She had a nice, solid background. I enjoyed her part of the story immensely. Jo was, in my opinion, a better character than Eloise. I really, really liked her. Honesly, I'd like a sequel just so I read my of her story. She's fresh and exciting and moreover, alive. But, uh, she was a bit too British for an American.
THE LOVE INTERESTS
Mmmm. What can I say? I totally fell in love with Eldric. I mean, DAMN. He was hot. And totally sweet. And, um, I have a thing for bad boys :) Sometimes. He's tall. And dark. And handsome. Who doesn't love the gorgeous stranger? He was one of my favorite characters, hands down. He seemed genuinely caring but also passionate. And perfectly mysterious!
Hmm. I was okay with him. I thought he seemed pretty cute, but overall I just wasn't feeling it. He was from a different world, sure, but, um, overall I think Harvey overdid this point. He acted really weird at some points and it was just kind of not realistic or believable. Sure, he had his good points, and I love him for it, but as a general rule…not so much.
THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS
Devin was sweet and I really liked how he stayed a part of the story! A fun, layered character who I really enjoyed reading about. Not only that, but I really liked how Devin stayed a part of the story.
Eloise's mother was peppy and upbeat. I liked her a lot. She was a fun addition to the story. i didn't expect to like her so much, but there you have it. Jasmine was one of those minor characters who just draws you in.
To be honest, there's not a whole lot going for the plot. It's predictable and small, not going over a wide range of events but focusing on a climax. Still, it was nicely thought out. There wasn't too much extraneous stuff going on that detracted attention from the main focus. Honestly, it was really good. I only wish there had been a bit more depth and length to it.
I am not going to give away who ends up with who! You can read other reviews or probably even guess, but I won't be the one to tell you, because that's part of the fun!
Sweet, if a bit underwritten. There's not a whole lot that goes on with Eloise's romance, not really. It's pleasant, but a tad bit instalovey. Still, I did think it was nicely written. Once or twice it was too disgustingly father-daughter, but I got over that and it got better.
I enjoyed this so much better. Jo's romance was more fun, but again, it leaned towards instalove. The big moment was sweet, but when I was reading it I actually thought about how unbelievable it was. Anyhow, I did enjoy her romance. It was an equal romance with a bit of fairytale mixed in.
Some of the writing was…questionable. For example, this line:
"My lady Eloise. Finally, you are undressed to our eyes."
Actually, the funniest thing about this quote is that it sounds even worse out of context than in context. But still. I really didn't like some of this writing, and this is just one example. I won't launch into them all.
Oh, actually, as aforementioned, Jo is too British for an American. This includes her Brit-speak, which just sounds kind of odd and misplaced. It really wasn't necessary.
Okay, but in general, I liked this writing. I doesn't have the gorgeousness that is Haunting Violet, but overall I thought it was nice. Harvey has a pretty writing style that I really like. It was pleasant and quick to read, and I didn't have to go back to try and understand.
It took me a little bit to realize there were two different P.O.V.s going on, but once I realized this it went much more smoothly.
While a bit too predictable for my taste, it was still fine. It wasn't random or odd; it really fit and I'm sure Harvey did a fair bit of thinking before she chose to end it this way. I don't want to give this ending away, though! So all I'll say is that I liked it very well. It wasn't my favorite, perhaps, but it was still a very good choice for an ending.
My second Alyxandra Harvey book. It wasn't as good as the first I read, but it was good enough that I still want to read her other books. I will be eagerly awaiting future releases from her! I would definitely recommend this book to others, but not to everyone.
I really wanted to love this book. It hurts me that I couldn't love this book. I tried very hard, I really did. I honestly really tried to love this book. And after what I've heard, I was sure I would. But in the end, it wasn't for me. I liked it well enough, but I don't love it. And I can't. I just can't. This book made me cry for probably about an hour, and not necessarily happy tears. I can't give this book the rating I want to.
I liked Calla in Nightshade, but I grew to love her in Wolfsbane. And now in Bloodrose, I actually started to dislike her. She's become bossy and rather arrogant. One of the lines from the book was, "I was just too stubborn to fail at anything." This is not an exact quote, as I do not have the book in front of me, but it is rather close enough. It probably wasn't meant to sound so conceited and self-absorbed, but it rubbed me in the wrong way and continued to irk me even when I knew I should've been over it. Overall, I didn't find Calla very likable in this book and was quite disappointed. She also seemed so much weaker in this book, which I did not like at all.
THE LOVE INTERESTS
I really, really, really loved Ren in this book. His story was beautiful and if I loved him before, I really love him now. I loved the way he immediately accepted Adne as his sister and wanted so badly to protect her. It was so sweet! It was obvious he really cared for her, and it was so good to see that side of his personality. And, as always, Ren is gorgeous. I loved getting to know him better in this book. It was possibly my favorite part, and I grew ever-closer to his character.
God, I hate Shay. I only disliked him before, and I'm sorry to use such a harsh word, but I do. I hate him. He's so pushy and apparently has a dated brain because he believes in male dominance. He's always acting like he's the one in charge, and has such an awful attitude. I suppose I must concede that it is rather sweet that he would give everything for Calla, even up to his life. Ordinarily, I probably would have eaten this up and disliked Shay rather less. But as a girl whose boyfriend is dying, I'm having a hard time seeing anything romantic about dying for love these days. (God, I need to stop bringing personal stuff into this. I'm only using it to illustrate a point, though, I suppose.)
THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS
Ha. I love Connor. He's so funny, though rather less in Bloodrose than in Wolfsbane. Still, in Bloodrose we get to see the sweeter side of him, which is pleasant. I really adore him. He's definitely one of my favorite characters in this book. Since Calla has been removed from that list, he's actually probably second only to Ren.
I liked her a lot in this book. Far better than Calla. She seems sweet and real. As aforementioned, her interaction with Ren is very sweet and realistic. She cares for him in an entirely good way. She also gets a little bit of excitement ;)
I liked Sabine in this book. We've slowly gotten to know her better over the series, and she nows seems like the type of girl you'd like to have watching your back. She's loyal and kind, but not weak. She made a choice that I hugely respect and admire her for.
I actually found him kind of pathetic for a large part of the book, but I suppose he cleaned up nicely. And he did try a little, I suppose. Well, anyway, I though he was a bit shallower in this than in previous books.
I have no further comment on these or the other secondary characters at this time. I may add a few things later.
I'm conflicted here. For most of the book, the plot was very, very good. It kept me interested and on my toes. It was urgent and fun. I liked the characters, so it was good to read and learn more about them. I was eager to know what came next and excited for every minuscule moment. Everything that happened felt important. I could not stop reading. I thought I had never read anything so wonderful and breathtaking and perfect in my entire life. I was ready to rate the book five stars then and there.
And then it promptly fell apart.
I couldn’t stand the last 100 pages or so. I got annoyed, irritated, bored. I got angry.
I wanted to love it. But I couldn't.
WARNING: THE SPOILER TAB BENEATH THIS STATEMENT CONTAINS A MAJOR MAJOR SPOILER OR TWO. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO READ THE SPOILERS, YOU MAY SKIP AHEAD TO AFTER THE SPOILER TAB :)
To view the spoiler, check out my Goodreads review.
REN AND CALLA
I found Ren and Calla's romance to be sweet and believable. It gets hot and heavy at a few places, but there's so much chemistry between then that it does't feel forced. It was fun to read about. Ren gets a little possessive over Calla a few times, but it's not totally obnoxious and I found it to be fine. Their romance has always had sizzle and heat and, more so, love. I've always thought they felt like they worked, and I liked that I saw more of their romance in this book. Their love has always seemed genuine, and that point is enforced in Bloodrose.
SHAY AND CALLA
Hm. Shay remains his bossy, demanding self. As I've said, it is sweet that he seems to care so much for Calla at times, but more often than not he seems only to want to control her. It honestly feels like an abusive relationship to me. I say this because I've been in an abusive relationship before, and this is what it was like. (Come to think of it, no wonder I dislike Shay so much. At least partly.) But I suppose if Calla doesn't mind being abused and letting him completely control the relationship even though it's the twenty-first century, then I guess it's fine that she likes to make out with him. (Um, not.)
I don't want to give away the pairings. You can probably guess them, but just to be safe, I won't say. But they were, for the most part, very sweet and gave the story a nice romantic feeling.
I can't lie: I do love Cremer's writing. It's flowy and beautiful and descriptive. Calla is kind of annoying at times, but no writer is perfect. Overall, the writing was decent. I really love her lush descriptions and her prose is gorgeous. I especially liked the epilogue, which was not told in first person point of view. Without Calla's voice, which has grown irritating to me, Cremer's writing shone beautifully. She has improved since Wolfsbane, and even more so since Nightshade.
Well, I did enjoy the epilogue. But the ending before that? Not so much. Actually, the ending received almost none of its allotted stars. I really, really disliked it. I suppose some found it satisfying, but I found it incomplete. I wish I could've liked it, because that would have made me feel much better. But it just wasn't my type of ending.
I suppose I will be reading Rift and Rise, mostly because of the short story at the end of my edition (see below). I forget the name,but it was intriguing enough to allow me to want to read more, even after the disappointment I found in this book.
I reviewed the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition, which contained extra content. The short story was marvelous and very, very interesting. I enjoyed it immensely. The Searchers' armory is also a cute little addition with fantastic drawings. The family trees were interesting as well.
Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .
Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.
PREORDER: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
PREORDER: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
Another unusual occurrence in that I normally do not review children's books. But this book should have one, so here it is!
If I liked Ivy's Ever After well enough, I fell head over heels in love with Ivy and the Meanstalk. It was fun, and so, so cute. I read the whole of it in one sitting because I couldn't her to put it down for even a moment. It should definitely be more popular than it is.
I really like Ivy. She's funny and adorable. She's strong and has a bold determination that's admirable. She doesn't back down from a challenge and somehow manages to get past even the slimmest odds. Ivy does what she needs to get done with no fuss. She's one of the best princess characters I've ever read about.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS
He was cute and sweet, and not an annoying pansy. I genuinely enjoyed reading about him and thought he was a fun addition to this book. In Ever After he's a fairly minor character and very shy, but in Meanstalk he really comes out of his shell. He plays a significant role in the story and is entertaining without subtracting too much attention from our heroine, and yet, still remains probably my favorite character excepting Ivy.
I adore Eldridge. He's hilarious, and educational besides. Ever After impressed me with a fe facts I didn't know, and Meanstalk does this as well. Eldridge doesn't only supply information, though--he's a fun character with a great sense of humor. He's fantastic and I love the take Lairamore has on dragons.
Explaining this unusual name would probably require minor spoilers and also take a long time. So, I will skip the explaining part. One-oh-three is a fun, cute character. He's a typical shy boy, sheltered from the world but longing to see it. He takes an interest in Ivy as the foreign princess, and they become fast friends and complete a quest or two together. They each help each other and take risks in a true show of friendship.
I still don't really like her. She's kind of annoying. She struck me as really selfish and completely ignorant of the world around her. I feel like she's self-absorbed and while Ivy loves her, I do not. I don't exactly dislike her, I suppose, but I don't exactly like her, either. I'm on an okay note with her, because I do understand part of why she acted the way she did.
He seemed sweet in this book. He constantly cared for Drusilla, even when she was at her most annoying, which is something that is impossible not to admire. He was caring and loyal.
Toadstool is such a whiny little goat. (She's actually a goat, I'm not just calling her one.) Why Drusilla would care for her so much is beyond me, but maybe it's true that people who are alike get along well together. (Okay, that was kind of mean. I admit it. But they're fictional characters.) She was less annoying than in Ever After, but that's probably because she appears less.
WIN. This plot was fun and entertaining. I loved the whole concept and the cleverness of everything. Each plot point was significant and there as never a dull moment. Every moment, there was some sort of suspense or action, making it un-put-down-able. The entire idea of the story was written out beautifully. It was obviously well-thouht-out and marvelously executed.
Ever After had tiny little hints of romance, but Meanstalk has a bit more. Owen insists on accompanying Ivy on her journey, which is very sweet and completely adorable. There's definitely chemistry, but it's not too heavy for a children's book and kept very clean. The interaction between Ivy and Owen is sweet and believable. The romance between them doesn't grow all at once but is allowed time to develop and breathe.
Lairamore has such a lyrical voice. Her writing flows from page to page effortlessly. Her descriptions are lively and vivid, and I can often picture her imagery clearly in my mind. Her dialogue has improved from Ever After, and although it was never awful, it is much better now. Also, each scene in this book connected somehow to the rest of the story and the main plot, while in Ever After I felt the scenes were too scattered and that some were pointless. Her writing her improved and it fun and wonderful to read.
The ending was very, very cute. I was practically squealing because it was so adorable. I felt that everything had been resolved prettily and the romance involved was extremely pleasing to me. I felt that the ending was practically perfect in every way.
While I had a few minor issues with this book, it did not retract from my overall enjoyment. I have officially become a Dawn Lairamore fan and am keeping my fingers crossed for another Ivy book. I really, really like these characters and the whole world of it, really.
I think it's gorgeous. It is not exactly what I was expecting, but it is still absolutely breathtaking.
Here's the mini-blurb that goes with the book. I will post the full description once it is released.
The Shadowhunters struggle to piece together their shattered world after a betrayal by one of their own leaves them reeling.
PREORDER: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
I don't normally review children's books, and if I do, they are usually just little blurbs. I received an ARC of this book, expecting a fun, cutesy read. But this book was so good that it deserves an official AMV review, if I do say so myself. So here it it is, it all its gorgeous glory.
That is one heck of a mouthful of a title, isn't it?! I must have typed it at least ten times. (Yes, darlings, I know about copy-and-paste. I'm just forgetful.) But I don't even care, because it is totally worth it. I thought at first that the title was too long, and, well, I still kind of think that, but it definitely fits. Overall, TGWCFIASOHOM (which will be my abbreviation from now on for the obvious) was an amazing book. I loved pretty much every bit of it. One I really got into it, I couldn't bear to put it down for even a moment.
I love September. She's so determined and strong. She can be a bit polarizing, but then, we all have our faults. She was a genuine heroine whom I felt I could relate to. She had a nice dose of attitude but not so much that she distanced herself from the reader. She was cute in all the right ways. She had her weaknesses, but as melodramatic as this sounds, she truly emerged from them stronger than ever. I absolutely adored her. She was sensible and young, and very refreshing.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS
A-Through-L is a wyvery, or something like that. I can't remember exactly how to spell it, and anyway, it's not that important. The author explains him beautifully. I won't explain his name, because I would totally botch it and leave you absolutely confused. Ell, as he is called, is such a loyal, good friend. I liked him immensely. He even offered a few laughs from time to time, which was refreshing.
Oh, darling, dear Saturday. He was so sweet. He kind of annoyed me at times, because he was so passive, but I came to understand him better and thought him quite delightful. He provided a steady rock for September, and hints of a future romance between them are planted. He's also a Marid. I mean, you can look that up in the dictionary if you have no clue what that is, but Valente explains it so beautifully that if you're going to read TGWCFIASOHOM it's really unnecessary.
Major plot twist that I never saw coming. Way to go, Valente! The Marquess was a multi-dimensional character with many faces. She was intriguing and childish, but not overly difficult to understand, in the end.
THE GREEN WIND
He's a pretty minor character, but I liked him. He was sweet and fatherly. He was helpful and clever, too. Definitely a wonderful character, all things considered.
HELLO, GOODBYE, AND MANYTHANKS
Believe it or not, these are three witches. They were hilarious. To me, anyway. I'm not sure they were meant to be.
Oh, man, Valente knows how to write a good story. Her plot is beautiful. I was never, not for a minute, bored. One or two things I expected, but she mostly managed to keep me on my toes. So many things I never would have seen, and yet when they happened they made the most sense in the world. It was clever and not dull. The story lit up the pages and honestly, just made me really happy. It was entertaining, fun, and cute, which is everything I look for in a children's book.
Okay, so there's not exactly real romance in this book, considering our heroine is only twelve. But there are many hints at a future romance. One of the cutest of these hints and my absolute favorite part of the book comes at the end of the second-to-last chapter. It's absolutely adorable and so sweet. (If you're thinking of skipping ahead to read it, don't. I promise you, it will make no sense to you anyway.)
I actually didn't like this writing at first. I was convinced it had given me a headache, and put this book aside for over a month. Well, apparently I just happened to have a headache that day, because this writing is amazing. Valente's narrator POV is written beautifully and is absolutely lovely. I love the way she places in her own words in at some points, something that would ordinarily annoy me but works here. It's gorgeous and descriptive, and I love, love, love. (Oh, and I also adore the chapter titles.)
The illustrations in TGWCFIASOHOM are absolutely marvelous. They're quite beautiful and I spent a lot of time just admiring them. They really contribute to the story and help to provide some visuals for the story that is taking place.
OH. MY GOD. The ending was incredible. I could never have seen it coming. I knew part of it, of course, but the rest of it was completely unexpected. Valente surprised and satisfied me at once. It was probably the best way she could have ended it.
I am eagerly awaiting The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There as we speak, and will try to read The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While as soon as I may. I've become a fan of Valente and this series--I am hoping for more books to come.
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