Review: The Shadow Cipher (York, #1) by Laura Ruby

The Shadow Cipher (York, #1)The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘The Shadow Cipher’ was a wonderfully written novel which I thought had great potential but seemed to lack just a little bit of something which would really give it that “umph” and rocket the 4 star rating to 5.
The initial opening of the novel was just FANTASTIC. We had a strong female character who really knew how to defend herself against anything and everything. She seemed smart, witty, tough, resilient, intelligent, beautiful and simply amazing. Everything you could ever wish from a protagonist. In one word: Femme Fatale. And she was just mesmerizingly mysterious. I love enigmatic characters simply because there is SO much to find out about them. They keep the plot going and the reader – me – hooked. Alas, this character was NOT who this novel was meant to follow the perspective of. A great tragedy in my opinion, since she would have made even the pickiest reader interested.
The rest of the characters themselves were slightly lacking. They were just your average, stereotypical, archetypical characters who were spiced up with different nationalities and the fact that the two lead characters were twins. Seriously, the use of twins to make a novel exciting is a little outdated and in need of reconsideration. If twins are REALLY what you need to convey the story to all of its glory, then twins are a great choice. However, the novel seemed to be riding a lot of its merit on the fact that there were twins. And I am a twin. Which obviously makes me love anything twinish.
The pace was well set, however the novel lost its interest around the middle part of the plot. All these characters seemed to be running around doing something and it was just not gripping enough. I wanted more action, more ingenuity. It seemed like our bright and brilliant children couldn’t seem to show that off as well as they ought to have. The rest of the characters were in need of something to make them more interesting. I have to admit, some were most decidedly BIZARE – like the angsty/raging/goth/scary little girl who rode around everywhere on a tricycle with a small, rodent like pet hybrid.
I loved the idea explored in the novel, and it seemed absolutely enchanting on reading the blurb. I love all novels that explore intellect, wisdom and genius however it takes a lot to execute one. The ending did make up for it, however I wanted something just a little bit bigger.
World-building was great. I loved this mix of Victorian-England and New York. Absolutely enchanting and would make me spend my entire days within it. Plus the automaton that filled the pages were enchanting – they made me want to take them apart, learn how to build them and put them back together again.
This would make an amazing read for ages 10-14.
Congratulations to Laura Ruby on publishing a promising start to a new series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

WindfallWindfall by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Windfall’ by the lovely Jennifer E. Smith was a gorgeous tale of sweeping romance and an enormous amount of luck. 
Winning the lottery is no small feat, winning at the lottery of love is perhaps even bigger. I felt like this novel just had little something which made it completely irresistible and absolutely un-put-downable. Winning the lottery, let alone the big jackpot, is a fantasy which a lot of people harbour and it becomes so much more relevant when it could be just the thing which pulls you out of the bad luck the universe had dealt you. 
There was something about the story that gripped you and wouldn’t let you go from the very first page. It extended its claws of words and latched on to you so tightly that moving away from it would literally become painful. 
I spent my entire reading experience wishing for some alone time JUST so I could read the book. 
FOUR hundred and SIXTEEN pages of writing was not enough. 
When I finished it… I agonised over the fact that I had too much time and that I finished it too early. Because I wanted more. And as sadistic as this sounds, I wanted the exquisite torture of reading to last just a little bit longer. 
To satisfy my literary cravings I had to go back and reread the final chapter. And then rinse and repeat. I promise on pen and paper that I reread the last chapter at LEAST four times. This novel seemed absolutely determined to make the finale equal to – or even better! – than the entire novel. There was this cliffhanger that STRONGLY alluded to the ending that I wanted but WOULD NOT put it into words. And I wanted it in words, signed and stamped so I could make a contract out of it. Argh! It was as if the one thing I so much wanted was JUST THERE but CENTIMETRES out of reach. However, upon reflection, I do have to admit that this is also what made the ending to horribly good. 
If you want something that’s sweet, light-hearted yet beautiful and captivating I’d highly recommend ‘Windfall’.
On to characters:
Alone, I felt like each needed a little but more of that unnameable quality which would rocket my opinion of them. Most seemed slightly generic and I felt like I didn’t really know any of them truly well. Their fears and flaws were expressed but in a somewhat rose-tinted and sweetened version. I wanted a little bit more darkness. Something that would make me weep/cry at their pain as I would share it with them. 
Altogether… Now that is a completely different story. I’ve met one of the best ensemble of characters which MOVED the story to where it is now.
Additional note: ‘Windfall’ was subtlety and intricately sexually diverse. Not only was there the normal heterosexual relationship,  it also included homosexuality. 
There were a couple of cliches such as the forbidden best-friend romance and the stereotypical popular bad boy, yet this didn’t draw from the novel. Ultimately, this was an exploration of LUCK and FORTUNE. And that is what mattered. 
Congratulations to Jennifer E. Smith on the publication of her CHARMING novel! Can’t wait to read more of you!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘The Girl at Midnight’ is the FIRST spectacular instalment in the series and one that hooked me from page one. I honestly had no reservations about picking up this novel and launching straight into it. The main reason? The unique and piquing blurb that graced the beautiful cover of this novel!

I honestly loved EVERYTHING about this novel (except one thing which I will go I to detail a bit later on). I loved the vibrancy and the originality of the novel and the ideas that flew from the pages. I was transported into a captivating world where firebirds existed, dragons could no longer shapeshift back into their draconic form and birds of paradise in human form. Of all these, what captured me the most was the beautiful, gorgeous and exotic bird-like magical creatures. Mostly human, the Avicen sported eyes that ranges the colour of the rainbow and plumage to match. Plumage for them was like hair for humans. Most Avicen also mimicked the colouring of specific species of birds, such as magpies, peacocks, doves, etc. I was in awe of that I’ve never actually had the chance to appreciate avian creatures. I’ve hardly come across these fantastical creatures in ALL the novels I’ve read, so this was a definite adventure into the unknown.

The dragons being unable to transform from their human bodies to their dragon form was also an interesting twist. I admired the contrast created by Melissa Grey. She put the dragons (the Drakharin) next to the Avicen and made them cooperate.

If I could compare this novel to any others out there, it would be definitely be a wild and fabulous clash of worlds between the following:

‘Talon’ series by Julie Kagawa &

‘Magonia’ series by Maria Dahvana Headley.

If you’re looking for something between these two, or very similar too, I would highly recommend ‘The Girl at Midnight’!

The one thing I found a bit of a letdown was the complete obviousness of what/who the Firebird was. The realisation of what/who the Firebird actually was came to me a third of the way into the novel which made reading the rest a little futile. I diligently tried to ignore this epiphany however, in hopes that I would be proven wrong. Any reader should be able to pick up on the hints as soon as they start appearing, and this upset me the most. Which is why this novel ended up being a solid 4 star for me.

My forced ignorance of the truth may be why I enjoyed the novel until the very end. I was able to just enjoy the characters and the personalities they brought with them, as well as their stories, thoughts, feelings and romances. The fact that this novel explored not only heterosexual attraction but homosexual romances too was wonderful. And cross-race love was also a great hidden message in the story.

Congratulations to Melissa Grey on publishing an exotic first instalment in a new series! Can’t wait for ‘The Shadow Hour’!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Midsummer at Eyre Hall (Eyre Hall Trilogy, #3) Luccia Gray

Midsummer at Eyre Hall (Eyre Hall Trilogy #3)Midsummer at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Luccia Gray in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Midsummer at Eyre Hall’ is the third and FINAL instalment in the ‘Eyre Hall’ trilogy! I can’t believe that everything has finally come to a close and Jane and her friends and family can now finish this chapter in their lives.

What I love most about this series is the beautiful prose which has started in the first novel and has lasted until this very last one. It is not unusual for authors to sometimes stray from their original styles and ideas for a series. I’ve also encountered LOTS of novels where second book syndrome has suddenly struck down a series. Or even more worse, the series just lost that original flare. This has not been so with ‘Midsummer at Eyre Hall’! It’s grasp on me remained true and steady!

I’m quite amazed at the amount that has happened just in the course of THIS novel! There were betrayals and deaths and births and new loves. Honestly, listing all that had happened would take me a mighty long while and you would get more pleasure out of picking up this series (or instalment) and reading it. I loved the wild adventure that the author had put ALL her readers on! There was this constant an quick pace that continued on relentlessly until the very last page. And even then it promised for more! I loved that it kept me gripped and reading without an ounce of boredom. I really can’t remember even one moment where I would yawn with boredom: tiredness and lack of sleep definitely! But never, ever boredom!

I especially loved how the events remained real and true. There wasn’t anything that would make me doubt the authenticity and poignancy of ANY moment! The characters really pulled through in this department. I very much admired the creativity and originality of some of these events. They weren’t limited in any way and I really enjoyed that!

The characters, as I’ve mentioned above, were spectacular! The wide array and number of them was a definite part of what made this novel a solid four star. I’ve had the pleasure of reading from the points of view of the most fascinating and in-depth personalities which brought so much flavour and intrigue to its readers. I loved the introduction of some of the new characters and their subsequent role in Jane Eyre’s life. I also loved the way they presented themselves, how we readers were sometimes influence to misjudge their true characters. They were rich and vibrant! Amongst my most favourite was the sin-eater. I really couldn’t get over his fantastic creation and the fact that he played such an interesting role in the novel. He has left a definite imprint on my mind! I would love to see a short story or novella about him!

I felt like this series was a great expansion and addition to the original ‘Jane Eyre’. I had nothing to critique about its development and the progression of Jane’s life. It was a fantastic “what-could-have-been”! I felt like it remained true to Jane Eyre in every way. It had that deep, sorrowful and powerful atmosphere which permeated most of ‘Jane Eyre’ as well as the hardships that Jane faced. The era was painted gorgeously and brought to life some of its hardships.

Congratulations to Luccia Gray on publishing a wonderful conclusion in the ‘Eyre Hall’ trilogy!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Reflection – Thorn of the White Rose (Records of the Ohanzee, #3) by Rachel R. Smith

Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose (Records of the Ohanzee, #3)Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose by Rachel R. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Rachel R. Thompson in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose’ is the fourth and final instalment in the ‘Records of the Ohanzee’ series, and one I enjoyed very much. I really admired how easy it was to pick the novel up and just read. And read. And read. It was also one of the quickest reads AND one of the most well written I’ve come across from YA self-published/indie-published authors. If you’re looking for something similar to ‘And I Darken’ or ‘Ranger’s Apprentice’, then this series will definitely make your day.

Rachel R. Smith continues to deliver in her writing. Not one sentence sounded unpolished nor were there any awkward turns of phrases which seem to fill most self-published novels. Everything in the prose was of high quality and the experience the author has in writing definitely makes itself known. Not one typo did I spot! (I sound like Yoda!!) And reading ‘Reflection: Thorn of the White Rose’ was like gently immersing yourself into a warm bath, or drinking a delicious hot cocoa. Just right.

Talking of immersing oneself. I could easily and shocking quickly attach myself to Nerissa (Caenas) and all the supporting characters. Never did I feel like there was any barrier which prevented me from doing so. My only wish was that the characters had a bit more originality to them. They seemed a little too perfect for my liking, and they fit the standard mold for fantasy characters too readily. I wanted Nerissa to be just a little bit different. Just a little bit more unique. However, I have no other qualms other than that. The history and backgrounds of these characters were fairly well developed. They seemed vibrant and alive if maybe not the richest on the shelf.

This instalment continues to development of a certain love-triangle. I’m…okay…with it so far, mainly because I love my romance, and will usually put up with a lot just to see it followed through. I don’t have anything about it to nit-pick at, however, I do want it to be just a little more believable. I get the feeling that Nerissa is just falling into the whole lovey-dovey thing to easily. It would have been nice to see SOME sort of resistance to the idea of a romance, or at least some explanation for it – like a more idepth look into the inner thoughts of Nerissa. I felt like Nerissa’s reasoning for her attraction to her partners in crime was just a little feeble. I wanted more tension! Anticipation! Suspense! And a little bit more chemistry please!

Great plot movement in this instalment! Lots of action and heap of progress towards the finale, though I’m still not quite sure where the author is leading me. There is definitely more world-building happening here and I can’t see how it all goes down in ‘Reflection: Dragon’s Bane’.

Congratulations to Rachel R. Smith on publishing her third instalment in the ‘Records of the Ohanzee’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Reflection – Harbinger of the Pheonix (Records of the Ohanzee, #2) by Rachel R. Smith

Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix (Records of the Ohanzee, #2)Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix by Rachel R. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Rachel R. Thompson in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix’ was certainly amongst the BEST self-published/independently-published fantasy novels which I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’ve really enjoyed the first instalment in the series and I can guarantee any reader that this series (and novel) will be one of the MOST pleasantly surprising novels they’ll have read in a while!

This has probably been the most fastest yet one of the best YA reads I’ve picked up in a LOOOONG time. If you’ve read the blurb and remember it, you may have noticed that it mentions a “serialised style with a storyline that flows continuously between books.” This means that this instalment read unlike many novels. There wasn’t the usual introduction, then the complication and resolution sort of structure. In fact, the novel appeared to be more of an expansion of the story in book 1. I get the feeling the entire series is more like one giant book which is ENTIRELY to large to publish as one novel, and it has been split exactly into quarters for easier readability.

One of the perks was how quickly I read the instalment. It’s 200+ pages were read in less than 3 hours. Of course, the credit goes not only to its length but to its plot as well.

Every moment had some unique pearl in it that managed to keep me reading with a fairly constant intrigue. Despite the lack of an official “complication” and the somewhat…calm…storyline of the novel, (by calm I mean there wasn’t anything that could be deemed as MOMENTOUS in the plot and that it wasn’t heavy on the reader) I really enjoyed the read. It was a little bit of a confusion returning to the world after being introduced to it so long ago in book one, but I caught on fairly quickly and this didn’t really diminish from the reading experience.

I absolutely loved the romances and couples in this series. I felt like the author made them believable and every moment was tense with chemistry and the possibility of the unknown.

This leads me to the author’s writing. I loved the flow and the professionalism which oozed from every word on the page. Reading the first few pages was like savouring a favourite candy. It was sweet and held the promise of more. I loved how liberal imagery was something the author didn’t fail to neglect. Every word appeared clearly in my minds eye and this really made itself know during moments like battle scenes which involve intensely packed, high-action.

And I loved the world-building. I feel that the author has done a great job creating a world where everything about it has been slowly revealed – bit by bit – and will astound and astonish all it’s readers in the final instalments. Already I’m looking forward to reading books three and four! I can’t wait to see how it all goes down!

Congratulations to Rachel R. Smith on publishing the second instalment in the ‘Records of the Ohanzee’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Destiney Risen (Starbright, #3) by Hilary Thompson

Destiny Risen (Starbright series Book 3)Destiny Risen by Hilary Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hilary Thompson in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Destiny Risen’ is the third and FINAL instalment in the wild and magical ‘Starbright’ series by Hilary Thompson. When I first picked up this series, I just knew that it was going to leave me enchanted and reeling. I loved the exploration of a dystopian society where astrology became the central faith and religion as a way to overcome the dark times that had fallen upon humanity. The past two instalments had taken me on an a crazy and hectic journey that left me eager for the series finale.

‘Destiny Risen’ definitely shone in the “characters” department. There was such a vast array of personalities that there was never a moment were I would feel like the novel was lacking. I loved how in-depth and complex they were, mainly because their richness allowed for the plot to always remain interesting and their contributions towards it varies as much as their personalities.

For every antagonist, there was an equally powerful protagonist, and vice versa. So many novels written have extremely powerful protagonists that dominate the story. Their power is unmatched and they are risen to such power and…perfection…that any antagonist just doesn’t create enough resistance to make the story believable. This was not so in ‘Destiny Risen’ and I am so glad of that.

There was a GREAT plot. It was a solid roller-coaster of an adventure that took me from one place to another and then back again. I enjoyed the constant movement and the quick yet steady pace that the author created. Looking back, I can’t recall ever skipping a page or two. And that’s a big deal to me. The author managed to keep me reading even the slightly “boring” parts and the parts where action needed to be a tiny bit slower in order for a better progress of events later on.

However, the one thing I regretted most was that it had been such a long time since I had read books one and two. I felt like the significance of Astrea’s and Lexan’s journey to the Garden was lost to me, partially. I had a bit of a hard time recalling all the events and the intricacies of the previous instalments. I would highly recommend rereading those novels before venturing into ‘Destiny Risen’!

Hilary Thompson beautifully wove tension and anticipation into each chapter of her novel. There was always a constant on-edge feeling that permeated the novel. Any and all surprises had me shocked even though I should have expected them.

I also loved, loved, loved the little snippets of the world’s history at the beginning of each chapter. I felt that they gave the novel tangibility and really took the world-building to another level.

An epic conclusion to the novel. It had me crying and laughing and just generally loving every moment of it. I did not expect it and was very happy with it!
Congratulations to Hilary Thompson on publishing the epic finale to the ‘Starbright’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘Great Expectations’ isn’t my favourite of all the classics I’ve read. Why? The characters just didn’t appeal to me.
For the majority of the novel, I felt like I was following Pip as he fell under one influence, then under another. First under the influence of the escaped prisoner, then the crazy Miss Havisham, then the seduction of Estella. Pip was like a Ping-Pong ball. Bouncing around from one place to another. He didn’t for himself know what he really wanted and needed to be happy and he left his family behind too easily.
There were only a couple of things that he did right in the novel. That was helping people. He helped those who needed it.
Congratulations to Charles Dicken for his interesting exploration of Bildungsroman.

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Review: Lola Berry’s Summer Food by Lola Berry

Lola Berry's Summer FoodLola Berry’s Summer Food by Lola Berry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Lola Berry’s Summer Food’ was a fun, summer recipe-book read that I am fairly glad to have received as a Christmas present.
I really enjoyed the range of dishes that the little book included, ranging from meals, to snacks and to deserts and drinks. All of these recipes were presented neatly and without those overused step-by-step instructions. Rather, they were written as one would speak them, and read like Lola was writing them with extra little notes.
I loved that the novel included a list of ingredients used throughout the recipes as it makes preparing a shopping list easier.
There were also some sneaky little yoga poses included which I absolutely adored as the novel combined not only the importance of a good diet, but also the importance of an active lifestyle.
Congratulations to Lola Berry on the publication of her latest book!

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Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

A List of CagesA List of Cages by Robin Roe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘A List of Cages’ was emotionally destructive. I honestly don’t know how I’m functioning right now, except that I probably won’t be able to cry for another MONTH because my tear ducts have been overused and dried up and on the verge of falling off because they have been put through so much stress. I usually keep away from novels I know are going to emotionally wreck me (mainly because I like to enjoy my books and experience happiness rather than pain and hurt). And I REALLY don’t know why I did what I did and requested this novel for review. However, there is one thing that I definitely know and that is the decision was right one.

And I have one announcement to make which I would like to broadcast to EVERY reader out there:

BE PREPARED TO SOB AND WAIL; YET BE PREPARED TO LAUGH UNTIL YOUR SIDES SPLINTER!

What I loved the absolute most about ‘A List of Cages’ is that it made me laugh and snort shamelessly in public. This is one of those book that can’t help but bring a grin and a smile to your face because it is both so humorous and the character’s goodness shines through in their actions and antics. Adam Blake and his friends are one good group, that I can promise to you, despite all their mistakes as they fumble through life and adolescence.

Yet this novel had me gasping and choking on my own breaths. As I read the not so happy parts – ones that were often so very dark they had me in mental turmoil so deep I had to leave the novel for a little and focus on something uplifting – I found myself emotionally investing myself ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. There was not an ounce of me that wasn’t giving all of myself as a reader into breathing life into the story within my mind’s eye. And that was purely for one reason…

THE WRITING WAS PHENOMENAL. Full stop. Capital letters. I’s dashed and t’s crossed.

One of my greatest fears was that the novel would read and sound poorly DESPITE the depth and beauty of the concept that forged this story. I really dislike stereotypically high-school set novels because it is such an overused setting and it just doesn’t bring out the best in most novels. I also dislike contemporary novels which are based on real-life teens. The teens often seem to dramatise the very smallest and struggle through struggles that seem mediocre. As soon as I was a chapter into ‘A List of Cages’ I considered all my previous worries smashed. Vanquished. Completely and utterly obliterated. Not only because Robin Roe did nothing of what I listed above, but because she worked the entirety of the novel to her complete advantage until she had wrung out only the best and the highest of quality from her masterpiece.

I honestly can’t convey how much this novel had touched my heart and my soul. If I could convey just 10% of the depth of my satisfaction and joy with reading ‘A List of Cages’, I hope it would make its presence know in this review.

Please, go pick this novel up! Then pick a spot to sit and read. I promise you, you will not be able to leave.

Congratulations to Robin Roe on the publishing an astonishingly gripping debut! I CANNOT wait for more from her!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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