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Teen Book Review – The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

The Unwanteds

In Lisa McMann‘s fascinating fantasy series, The Unwanteds, twins Aaron and Alexander Stowe are forced to be separated, in a land of unfair and unjust rules. In the land of Quill, children are separated into Wanteds, Unwanteds or Necessaries. While being an artistic is a death sentence, Aaron is treated like royalty as a Wanted and sent to university. I absolutely love Lisa’s stories because the detail and creativeness that goes into her stories is incredible. A fantasy series filled with magic, art, and wonder is just my cup of tea. With magic and creativity, Alex and his friends bring the stories to life with their special talents and unique ideas. If you love magic and fantasy, I definitely recommend this spectacular series.

Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Rowling, J.K.: 8601404281891:  Books - Amazon.ca

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

You’re probably wondering why I’m reviewing Harry Potter all of a sudden… and I can explain.

It took me almost 5 years to become a calm, hidden Harry Potter fan, and in about a month, TikTok has reversed all of that hard work. My entire FYP is Harry Potter edits and thus, I have been re-reading the books, and re-crying about how I’ll never get to go to Hogwarts. But, enough about that, let’s get on with the review.

Summary (Spoiler-Free): After another uneventful summer, Harry Potter has finally returned to Hogwarts for his third year. He has a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher: Professor Lupin, and Hagrid, his friend, has begun teaching Care of Magical Creatures. Oh, and did I mention a vicious Death Eater has escaped from Azkaban? Well, he has, and he goes by the name of Sirius Black.

Every single review I write for the Harry Potter series is going to be biased because I am in love with their world. In. Love. No other words for it. The plot lines are always amazing, full of mystery, suspense, and action. The characters are very well built as well, with Harry being an extremely likeable protagonist, and Ron and Hermione exceptional characters each on their own.

I believe though, that the true magic lies in the emotional aspect of this read. First, J.K. Rowling created a universe so real, so layered and magical and mysterious, that it’s impossible not to get lost in it. And, secondly, the characters are written so realistically that one feels they could very well pop out of the book, flesh and blood. These combine to create a story that leaves the line between fantasy and reality blurred, a feeling that I absolutely love experiencing. In addition to this, reading the series reminds me of my childhood, and I can relate to growing up, right along with the Golden Trio, which adds to the overall nostalgia, and hiraeth.

Hogwarts is my home, and I will laugh, cry, and grieve with Harry Potter, until the end of time.

I think it’s obvious what my rating is, and I’ll leave you with a quote from Dumbledore because although I talk about missing Hogwarts, you must remember that “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” So, go make the most of your life, and live it like you would as the main character of a story.

As well, here are a few songs that I recommend listening to, if you’re missing that magical feeling.

  1. Leaving Hogwarts – John Williams
  2. Welcome Home, Son – Radical Face
  3. Harry’s Wondrous World – John Williams
  4. Dragon Flight – Alexandre Desplat

Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Rowling, J.K.: 8601418346777 ...

Wow, a double post?! I haven’t done that in a looong time. Anyways, I have been devouring the Harry Potter books for literally the 7th time recently, and I have just finished this one. The ending made me feel a lot of ~emotions~ so I am going to rant about it on here, because it makes me keep my thoughts in order!

To be honest, I expect all of you guys to have read this book already, so I am going to… *gasp*… include spoilers for the first time ever! So, if you have not read up to this book yet, what are you even waiting for????? I would give my soul to live at Hogwarts, you’re missing OUT! Go on, this review isn’t going anywhere… come back when you’re ready!

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Teen SRC 2020 – Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Bone Crier's Moon - Purdie, Kathryn

Bone ​Criers have a sacred job. Them alone can keep the dead from preying the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes with a great sacrifice. The gods order a promise of dedication to their duty. And that promise includes the life of the Bone Criers’ one true love. Ailesse has been molded since her first breath to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers. But first she must successfully complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she loves. Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier which he wasn’t supposed to wittiness, and now he seeks revenge. Along with his companions’ whose family has also been taken as sacrifice by Bone Criers. But when he finally kidnapped one, his craving for vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fate has already been tied. Sabine, Ailesse’s best friend, never had the guts to take part of the Bone Crier’s work. But when Ailesse had been caught, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means breaking their traditions or acting against their matriarch just to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. And to just make circumstances even worse the matriarch seems to be harboring dark secrets and Sabine only has one year to save Ailesse, or they will all die.

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Teen SRC 2020 – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer - Taylor, Laini

Hey y’all! I’m back again, and this time I’ll be reviewing Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

I first opened this book a year ago, but I couldn’t get past the first chapter. This week, I finally gave it a second try, and what do you know? I finished it in 3 days.

The story is told from two alternating perspectives from two very different people: Lazlo Strange and Sarai.

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TeenTober 2019 – Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Legendary by Stephanie Garber is the second book in the Caraval trilogy. There will be Caraval spoilers in here so beware but none for Legendary.

While Caraval was written in Scarlett’s perspective and didn’t give us much insight into Tella’s personality, Legendary is entirely narrated by Donatella. For this reason, it took me a while to warm up to the book because obviously, I’d developed a connection to Scarlett in the last one and switching it up so drastically did not endear to me. I came around eventually though I still wasn’t as taken with it as I was Caraval.

In Legendary, Caraval is to perform at Empress Elantine’s 75th birthday and Tella plans to use this chance to find out Legend’s true name and fulfill her part of the promise she made with a “friend”. When Caraval starts though, Tella realizes that this performance is quite a bit different than the previous and that the dangers may no longer be a part of the game but as real as you and me.

I would give Legendary an 8.5/10 because I wasn’t very impressed with the ending… I was expecting a few mindblowing plot twists like Stephanie delivered in Caraval but I was VERY disappointed with the actual results. That said, I did enjoy the story and plotline overall and I’m definitely going to give the final book a read!

Teen Book Review – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Hey all! How is school life? Hope you’re not being overload

Anyways, I’ve been reading up a storm lately and one of my favourites so far is Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Caraval is the story of two sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, who have been trapped on their island with their abusive father for their whole lives. Growing up, Scarlett had always dreamt of attending Caraval, an incredible performance given once a year in which the audience participates in the games; however, given that their last attempt at escape had resulted in their father murdering the nice boy who’d been stupid enough to help them, Scarlett had long since dismissed that dream as an impossible wish. Yet, dreams have a knack for coming true, especially if you wish for them enough.

Thoughts: Caraval has been on my To-Be-Read List for so long that it was a such a relief to finally get around to it! It was the perfect blend of mystery and magic, romance and danger. I was hooked through and through. The plot twists were very, very good and the story was told in a way that made me just as confused as the characters (this may sound like a bad thing but it’s actually very good in this case, just let me explain). The audience members that participate in Caraval are thrust into a mystery they need to solve, with performers and a set that makes everything seem super realistic. Therefore, saying I was as confused as the characters means the story was so well written it was hard for me to differentiate between acting and reality. To describe Caraval in one word: Spellbinding; which is which my rating is a 9/10.

Teen SRC 2019 – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices series, a spinoff of The Mortal Instruments featuring Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn family, talented albeit very, very young shadowhunters.

A brief intro to the world of the Shadowhunters: Werewolves, vampires, faeries and warlocks live amongst the mortals in this universe. However, they’re covered by layers of “glamour”, causing them to appear normal and blend in with the humans. Only Shadowhunters (aka the Nephilim) and ones blessed by the “Sight” can see past the glamour to their true selves. Long ago, the Angel Raziel put the Nephilim on earth to protect the human race against supernatural and demonic forces and so that’s what they do and their lifelong duty. Almost every single shadowhunter is trained in combat, the demon tongues and runes since they’re old enough to walk, making them more than capable of dealing with the nefarious creatures.

In Lady Midnight, the story still takes place in the Shadowhunter realm but the focus is on entirely new characters. You’ll still get glimpses of old ones but the bulk of the story revolves around the adventure and mysteries Emma and the Blackthorns discover and go on.

All in all, it was a pretty good book with a very strong plot but I just think it would’ve been good to be introduced to a new setting instead of always staying in the Nephilim world. Other than that though, the character relationships and backstories are, as always, rock-hard solid, because this is Cassandra Clare we’re talking about… 🙂 Final rating would be an 8.5/10 because it’s an amazing story but getting a bit repetitive for me.

Teen SRC 2019 – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“No Mourners, No Funerals” is the motto of the Dregs, a gang of ragtag misfits from the slums lead by the infamous Dirtyhands, the devil himself: Kaz Brekker. This story is one of adventure, heists, romance and plotting. It’s filled with cunning, thievery, some plain, pure luck and anything else needed to capture your heart.

I actually first read Six of Crows two years ago but I don’t remember it having much of a lasting effect on me. Even back then, it was a very popular read so I was a little confused as to why I didn’t enjoy it as much as the majority of readers. That’s why I re-read it these past few days and let me tell you, do I love it now! The book follows Kaz and his crew along on an adventure that, if successfully completed (or should I say, survived), would end up with them all becoming absolutely, undeniably, filthy rich. However, it comes with a cost, as money often does. This mission is impossible, borderline suicidal and requires just about all the miracles you could possibly wring from your luck bank.

I loved this book SO, SO much the second time around which makes me wonder what kind of a person I even was back in 7th grade to not have enjoyed it. I loved the characters with their odd, dynamic relationships and tortured backstories. So, so dramatic but I soaked it all in anyway 🙂

This book gets a 9/10 from me, the last point being that the ending was way to open for my liking but that’s why there’s a sequel (which I’ll definitely be reading :)) !!

Teen Book Review – Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Image result for queen of air and darkness

I was originally going to review another book this month but then I remembered that I needed to return this book soon due to others having holds on it. Therefore, I’m writing this review now before I lose the book and can no longer skim through for the details. So, this month I read Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare; aka Book 3 of the Dark Artifices, a spinoff from the Mortal Instruments or better known as the Shadowhunters series.

To start off… This book is ENORMOUS. I couldn’t bring it to school in fear of having my shoulders fully dented by the sheer weight of this thing… I’d say the only other book I’ve read of this size would be Kingdom of Ash, from the Throne of Glass series. I cannot reveal too much of the plot since this is still a pretty recent release but I can say the Emma and Julian (the two main characters) have a lot to deal with in this book and there are actually numerous side plotlines happening throughout which revolve around the Blackthorn siblings as well as the Seelie and Unseelie faerie courts. A few new characters are introduced although not many deaths of old ones. I think I’ll stop here and give a rating: 4/5 stars. Not a perfect rating…BUT I have absolutely nothing against the plotline or characters or even the writing. I just feel as if everything was wrapped up a bit too perfectly to be realistic/believable for me. Other than that, I highly reccommend it :))