Victor Vale has waited ten years to elicit his revenge on his old college friend Eli Ever; and he is going to savor every minute of it. Once, they had been inseparable friends, both startlingly intelligent in school and filled with passion for the study of adrenaline research. When Eli begins his thesis on methods of obtaining extraordinary powers, both him and Victor work to discover the recipe to become extraordinary. As an experiment for their research, Victor and Eli endure traumatic near-death experiences that leave them very different than who they were before, with two completely different views on their new powers.
Victor has been in prison for ten years because of Eli, and now, with a rag-tag team of misfits, he will take down his old friend, even if it costs him his life.
I absolutely adore this book, but then again, what has Schwab written that I haven’t absolutely loved. Vicious is a great twist on superheros and supervillians, and raises the great question of “can you really only be either, or”. Victor is sardonic and sensual, a sharp character with multiple dimensions to him. I spent many moments cheering for him while I whispered internally to myself, “I don’t think that is a very ‘heroic’ thing to be doing Victor”. But that is what made his character so real and cool. In fact, the whole cast in this book are perfect; sitting on the fence of hero and villain.
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas is a whirlwind adventure about a prince and a mage who have to team together in order to attempt destroying the evil ruling power Atlantis. Iolanthe Seabourne has always known that she was a good elemental mage, but she didn’t know that she was the greatest mage alive until she called down lightning from the sky. When Prince Titus shows up to warn her that she is in danger of Atlantis, Iolanthe finds herself swept into a new realm and posing as a close school chum of the prince. And while she was very close to falling in love with Titus almost instantly, she discovers that he has bound her to him for his own purposes without her fully understanding the terms.
I fell in love with everything about this book. The main characters are clever and colorful but full of dark secrets and doomed futures, the evil villain is shrouded in mystery, and there is a beautiful mix of a Victorian atmosphere and magic. I basically read this in one sitting (and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it) and I can’t wait to go get the second book immediately.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas is the third book in the Throne of Glass series which is centered around the young , female assassin, Celaena Sardothien. Celaena has been sent to Wendlyn to kill the royal family there, but instead of obeying her tyrant king, she goes in search of a way to avenge her murdered friend. But Wendlyn holds magic, which Celaena has not dealt with in ten years, and mysteries that make her question her own fate. It isn’t too long until she falls into some terrifying trouble and discovers some new ways to get out of it.
After this book, I’m convinced that Maas can do no wrong. Her writing is intense and constantly keeps the reader on edge. I also love all the new characters introduced into the book and their relationships with each other. Mass can definitely balance multiple story lines at once and I am eager to see how they all tie into one another. Now we just have to wait at least a year until book four comes out.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a book that actively captivates the life of a nerd girl in her first year of college. Cath and her twin sister Wren have always been extremely close, especially when it came to writing fanfiction for the famous character of Simon Snow. But when the girls go to college, Wren decides that she wants to branch out into her own college world. This leaves the unsociable Cath with the only option of hiding out in her dorm room while writing fanfiction and snacking on granola bars (because she refuses to venture out to the cafeteria). Cath soon finds herself adopted by her intense roommate, Reagan. But where there is Reagan, there is also the ever cheerful, and cute, Levi who finds Cath’s fanfiction to be intriguing. Is her writing something she needs to keep up? Or is it time to let go of, like so many other things in her life?
I was not disappointed in this book at all, in fact I was really surprised by how much I loved it (which is stupid because I loved Eleanor and Park and should have had higher expectations than I did). Rowell really captures main characters that people can relate to. Cath, for instance, is extremely relate-able to me on so many levels that it isn’t even funny. The characters also have rich backgrounds full of real life situations that aren’t always pretty and they are dealt with realistically. I don’t think this book is over-hyped, and if it is, I’m glad, because it is so good!
Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith is an edifying first novel about a young woman named Alex who joins a scientific field study of botany in Yellow Stone National Park. Women scientists are not easily accepted in the late 1800’s, but through her passion and drive she impresses the other scientists. The story is told through letters written by the characters and expresses their different adventures and studies within the beloved Yellow Stone.
This book is such a lovely surprise in that I have not read many books like it. Smith was able to write an intriguing tale about scientists that was pleasantly informative but not overly didactic. Through the different letters the reader is able to experience all the characters and their voices as well as their excitement for their scientific findings. I definitely would suggest this book to any plant lovers or Victorian era enthusiasts.
A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer is a witty novel about a young duchess named Faris who’s uncle has sent her off to Greenlaw College to study magic, in the hopes that she will return a proper lady and ruler. During her time at Greenlaw College, Faris makes both friends and enemies. One enemy seems determined get rid of Faris all together, even after Fairs has left the college. In the midst of all her adventuring in order to get back home to her beloved dukedom and escape the assassins, Faris discovers something very surprising about herself.
This book was absolutely nothing like what I thought it was going to be and I was shocked that only one third of the book took place at the college since it is called A College of Magics. I will say though, that the surprise was not a bad one. Faris’ adventures are exciting, humorous, and fun to read. It also provided the reader a chance to watch Faris grow as a character and get better acquainted with her friends.
The Wizard’s Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke is a story about young Hanna who is a future witch, fisherman’s apprentice, and desperately desires adventure like her mother experienced when she was young. One day, on a normal fishing trip a magic storm suddenly appears sending the ship off farther than expected. What follows next is a wild adventure that Hanna never thought she would have the chance to experience and learns more about herself than she knew existed.
I love Clarke’s writing, she always provides the perfect mixture or adventure, comedy, and honesty in her stories. Her characters are always full of personality and very likely to surprise you in what they do and what they become. The adventures she takes you on are always ridiculous, fun, and magical. I highly recommend you buy her books especially since the publisher Strange Chemistry has gone out of business, it will help the author out tremendously .
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King is melancholy, yet charming story of a girl named Vera who is being haunted by her dead best friend, Charlie. Vera and Charlie grew up together, finding ways to deal with their dysfunctional families and survive their somewhat lonely school lives. After high school started and the other kids at school start noticing Chralie’s devil-may-care attitude he started to hang out with new friends and, much to Vera’s dismay, a multitude of girlfriends. When Charlie dies and is blamed for a horrific crime, Vera is still too angry from his betrayal to tell the truth of what happened. So now, Charlie is haunting her.
This story was beautiful and perfect in so many ways. Vera and Charlie are such dynamic characters; complete train wrecks. But no matter what horrible things they did or said to each other, they still share a special love for one another. It took me a long time to read this fairly short book because I just found it so sad. I still recommend it though.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo is the riveting last installment of the Grisha trilogy. This book starts off with Alina, still recovering from her last encounter with the Darkling. Together with Mal and her friends she must find a way to break free of the oppressive sanctuary and find Nikolai and the last amplifier: the phoenix. With all three amplifiers the world has hope that Alina can once and for all defeat the Darlking.
While I enjoyed this book a lot, the story didn’t have the physical or mental impact I was hoping for. I wish I had more time with Nikolai and I wish things ended differently with the Darkling. On a different note the book was still good and gave a solid ending to the story.
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick is an esoteric novel that follows seven different stories that take place over hundreds of years on a small island called Blessed. When the souls of two lovers continue to find each other over time through different relationships, the reader is enraptured with how the original relationship ended and what led their souls to search for each other for lifetimes afterwards.
I loved this book because Sedgwick constantly keeps the reader wondering what the relationship between the two characters will look like in the next life and how they will have to sacrifice for each other. I found that I loved how different each relationship was for the characters. One time they are mother and son, complete strangers, and even a picture of a young girl seen through a father’s eyes. The idea behind the book is wonderful, I definitely suggest adding it to your TBR pile.