Review of ‘Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)’ by Tahereh Mafi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What started off as a slow read for me (I was at 16%, saying how boring this book was) turned out to be surprisingly more interesting!

**Please do not continue if you haven’t already read the previous trilogy. I won’t be writing any spoilers for this book, but I do mention some things from book 2 and 3. So please, continue at your own risk.**


That being said, in Restore Me, it’s only been a little over two weeks since the fall of Sector 45, and of Juliette crowning herself ‘Supreme Commander’ of it. For now, the fight against The Reestablishment seems to be on pause, and none of the other Supreme Commanders appear to be taking action against her, so for a good 25% of the book, NOTHING seemed to be happening. Juliette and Warner were being annoying, not really talking about the different things that were plaguing them about each other, so there was all this unnecessary back and forth between them until the real plot comes around.

We now have conflict! New characters! As well as new issues on the romantic front!

I mean, you had to have seen the latter coming, because we can’t have perfect romances in YA, can we?

But, back to the other two subjects!

Let’s first address the conflict:
As much as Juliette seemed to be enjoying her mundane days, there was always that knowledge that the other Supreme Commanders could choose to go to war with Juliette’s sector/region (North America in its entirety), so she had to be a bit on edge, wondering when something – anything – could happen, risking the safety of not only Juliette’s group of friends, but the soldiers and the families that make up Sector 45.
And then, Boom! Letters – that would eventually bring with them the senders themselves – arrive and Juliette learns that there is actually more to being a commander than just her strength. There’s politics, and all the other boring that comes with being in charge. But with arrival of an important letter, Juliette is introduced to a young man who is only the beginning of what is yet to come.

Now, for new characters:
I’m not sure how much I should still say about these new additions, so I’ll say that I’m definitely intrigued. I’m curious about their thoughts when it comes to The Reestablishment, and I look forward to seeing what roles they play – whether it’s ‘with’ or ‘against’ Juliette and her ideals. Should definitely be interesting…

Okay, so bypassing all this other stuff I began to vaguely run on about, the last quarter of this book was pretty intense! Juliette learns things about herself that she never could have imagined, and with these new discoveries comes the angst you come to expect from Juliette.
Oh well, I was starting to miss her nonsensical ramblings and the flowery descriptions of her feelings…

No, not really.

Anyway, as I’d stated earlier, this read ended up being much more interesting than I’d initially thought, and now I regrettably have to wait till next year to continue on from that cliffhanger of an ending! 😦

I’ll definitely recommend this to those who enjoyed the Shatter Me trilogy!

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Mini Review of ‘Julia Vanishes’ by Catherine Egan

Julia Vanishes (Witch's Child, #1)Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Mini Review Time.

I really hate to say this, but this book really wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped it would be. I’m not sure what I was expecting, maybe something along the lines of Witch Hunter, because of the whole ‘magic being outlawed, witches will be killed’ theme they both shared, but unfortunately, Julia Vanishes just didn’t interest me as much as the former had.

Because the character of Julia has the ability to go “unseen” by those around her, I was kind of assuming there’d be some life or death situations that would really highlight that ability. Sure, there were some instances when she had to go “unseen”, they just weren’t really all that exciting to me. I’m personally a sucker for characters with cool abilities, and seeing them use these abilities in really cool, epic ways, but Julia just fell flat for me, and just plain annoyed me. She also annoyed me because of her infatuation with a boy (whose name I can’t even remember right now) who never seemed to give 100% to their relationship–or even 50%. The guy was just lousy when you have so many better guys to compare him to in YA books.

Moving on from Señor Douche-face
(Okay, so he wasn’t that bad, I just happen to use the term ‘douche’ pretty freely when it comes to people (or characters) I do not care for.)

I feel like there was an attempt to make the world in Julia Vanishes unique, which was good on the author, but I feel like there was just too much info dumping going on. The information given just bored me, and when it went into the history of some magical beings and their crazy, fantastical names–I was ready to toss this book aside. The only reason I finished it is because I’d come too far to back out, and kept secretly hoping it’d get better for me. Nope. It didn’t.

I think at this point it’s safe to say I’m not personally going to recommend this one.

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Review of ‘Seeking Mansfield’ by Kate Watson

Seeking Mansfield (Seeking Mansfield, #1)Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute, modern-day take on Mansfield Park, Jane Austen‘s classic novel of one girl’s struggles in dealing with the rich, who may or may not have her best interests at heart.

In Seeking Mansfield, Finley Price (the modern-day counterpart of the original Fanny Price) is satisfied with her life. She lives in Chicago with the Bertrams, who had taken her when she was younger, because of some horrible, past experiences. Finley, though, manages to occupy her time by working on whatever may help her attain her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater, and all with the help of her best friend, Oliver Bertram (Edmund).
But then comes the arrival of Emma and Harlan Crawford (Mary and Henry Crawford), famous teen movie stars, and the Bertram’s new next-door neighbors. With their arrival comes the beginnings of new relationships – like that of Oliver and Emma, and Harlan and Juliette Bertram (Maria Bertram).
While this all puts a strain on Finley’s friendship with Oliver, his and Emma’s relationship only seems to be growing for the better.
But then there’s the matter of Harlan and Juliette. It doesn’t take long for his attention to turn to the quiet Finely, who is not at all interested in him, and he decides to challenge himself being having her fall in love with him. Of course, with her continued disinterest in him, he ends up falling in love with her for real, and does manage to eventually win her over.
As time goes on, Finley’s relationship with Harlan reveals part of him that Finley finds herself uncomfortable with, thus leading her to wonder if maybe he’s not the right one for her…no, that person just might be closer to home.

Though Mansfield Park is not the most popular of Austen’s books, I always held a special place in my heart for Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram, both the bearers of quiet, kind, and caring demeanors.

But when it comes to Finely and Oliver being their modern-day counterparts…I had a bit of a hard time with them.
I liked Finely, since she seemed to play her role as the virtuous, sensible heroine well enough; but when it comes to Oliver…I just couldn’t find myself liking him all that much. Honestly, he is very similarly written to Edmund, that it stands to reason, if I liked Edmund, I’d like Oliver, right?


Somehow, Edmund’s traits didn’t seem to translate well in this modern representation of him. While Edmund’s romance seemed so innocent and sweet, Oliver’s romance with Emma just seemed to come across as a lustful teenager, who never really seemed to see Emma and her annoying, shallow nature.

If you hadn’t already figured, I wasn’t a fan of Emma, nor Harlan, and nothing the two did could change my mind.

Actually, I’ll admit that I disliked most of the characters in this book, but that could really just be a testament to to how well Kate Watson has written them, so that they really invoke the mannerisms of a snobbish upper caste. So in that sense, they’re written so well, that I really disliked them.

I’ll say that I did like the idea of Finley’s parentage being written differently than that of Fanny’s, and felt it did give the story some added intensity that did make for a more interesting turn of events when they were drawn upon.

Finally – super late, I know – I figure I should say that if you’ve never read Mansfield Park, then you might really like this book and all of it’s cute, romantic feelings. You’d also be able to look at this with fresh eyes. In my case, I had read the original, so I couldn’t help but do a lot of comparing, which didn’t really work out in this books favor, in my case.

In conclusion, though this wasn’t exactly my favorite book, I won’t not recommend it, because as I’d previously said, this is a cute book, so you just might ending up liking it more than I did.

Thank you to Flux via NetGalley for giving me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)’ by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful wording and lovely imagery both show that Laini Taylor knew just how to engage this reader!

In the Kingdom of Zosma lives a boy named Lazlo Strange. A war orphan, Strange is not only the predicament he was found in as a baby, but the name given to label the orphan children without names of their own.

Since he was five years old, Lazlo has been obsessed with stories about Weep, lost city or myth, depending on who you asked. But it’s while he is on the path to becoming a full-fledged librarian, that Eril-Fane, the legendary Godslayer of Weep, arrives with his band of warriors to Zosma, and Lazlo is given the opportunity to go to Weep.

In Weep, new mysteries abound for Lazlo, as well as strange dreams. Dreams that feature a lovely, blue-skinned goddess…but in a city where gods and goddesses should no longer exist–hence the title ‘Godslayer’–why is Lazlo dreaming of one, and why does she seem so real?

Lazlo is determined to find answers, but when he does, will they be too shocking to accept?

I have only read one other Laini Taylor book, Daughter of Smoke & Bone–though I will likely have to reread it because I just can’t remember anything about it–but I have the feeling that I will not be forgetting Strange the Dreamer though, because I couldn’t help but be fascinated by Taylor’s writing, it’s beautiful, and not in a way that felt at all pretentious to me.

I’ll admit that in the beginning (for maybe a good 25% of this book), I wasn’t quite sure what exactly was going on, because all of the beautiful, complex writing went right over my head (the reason I also had to dock a star), but I kept on with it, and ending up loving this book!

The characters were all so interesting, and I really enjoyed delving more deeply into their lives. Lazlo, of course, was by far the most interesting of all, and I found myself very intrigued by the mysteries that surrounded him. Like, where did he come from? Who were his parents? How did he become an orphan, and why is Weep so important to him?
I wish I could say more, but I really don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that I can’t wait to learn more about him!!

I won’t go at all into the subject of the blue-skinned goddess, instead choosing to raise your curiosity for this book, though the goddess does prove to be pivotal to the story, and another aspect I’d love to learn more about.

Finally, Weep itself, was interesting as well. The mystery behind its disappearance from the rest of the world, leading to its essentially becoming forgotten, is definitely a key plot point, and I seriously cannot wait for the next book!!!

I feel like I can go on and on, gushing about this book, but I think by now it’s pretty obvious I loved it!

So on that note, I will end this review with this little bit that I absolutely loved from this book:

‘And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.’

Yes, I totally recommend this book!!!

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Review of ‘Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, #2)’ by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As if this series couldn’t get any more thrilling; somehow Traitor to the Throne manages to do so!

(Not the most detailed synopsis, for fear of book 1 spoilers.)
In book 2, Amani is kidnapped and brought to the Sultan’s place, where she ends up having to play the part of a regular girl in an effort to survive.
It’s while she’s in the palace that she realizes she has an advantage the others in the rebellion do not-the opportunity to spy on the sultan and relay her findings. But of course, nothing ever is quite that simple, so Amani will have to use her desert-smart instincts in order to keep one step ahead and make sure the rebellion is able to continue their fight.

Okay, so I’ll admit that my interest did start to lag about a quarter of the way through this book. It was starting to feel a bit Throne of Glass-like, what with Amani being a somewhat privileged captive in the Sultan’s place making me think of Celaena and her time in the King’s castle. In both cases, the girls are given fantastic clothing to wear, and they both pretty much contribute nothing really substantial to their stories…bor-ing.

But the good thing is that this book did pick up, and boy did it!!

Along those lines of the book picking up: I have to add that there tends to be more than a few of those moments where you really do feel frustrated with all the horrible things that seem to be happening to Amani and the rebellion…but then they do make for a much more interesting story, and that definitely helps the book progress.

We also have the introduction of new characters with some being more interesting than others-like Sam and his playboy charm-and leading to some new plot points as well. Of course, once I got over the initial idea that Amani herself was starting to get boring, I fell in love with her all over again!

I will say that the romance aspect in this book is actually pretty minimal, but that’s all I’m going to give you; you’ll just have to read this book to find out why.

So, hopefully my review didn’t end up confusing you in the end, I just really didn’t want to give anything away. I really loved this book and can’t wait for the conclusion to this story in book 3, cause seriously, the cliffhanger on this one??? Ahhhh!!!

Do I recommend this? Can it be any more obvious???

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