Book Review: Poison Princess by Kersley Cole

Summary: Despite the nightmares and hallucinations, sixteen-year-old Evie lives a pretty charmed life until the apocalypse decimates the world. She soon finds herself fighting alongside her “bad boy” classmate to survive, while journeying across the country to find her grandmother – who may or may not be alive – since she had once prophesied the apocalypse and Evie’s role in saving the world.

Thoughts: I really wanted to DNF after the first couple of chapters. The story wasn’t the kind of story I usually enjoyed reading, and Evie wasn’t my kind of heroine and I was very thrown off by the many cliches, mainly that of the “good girl crushes on bad boy” romance thing that was about to go down. Until the apocalypse hit, and I was so glad I didn’t DNF! I really ended up enjoying the story way more than I expected. So much so that Evie started to grow on me by the end and I was really sorry when the story ended the way it ended. Poor Evie, but excellent character development. As for Jackson, the bad boy love interest – what I loved most about him was that he was Cajun French. Not something I find a lot in YA. What I didn’t enjoy was the way that the Cajun French students were stereotyped in the book as poor, uneducated and rude. I understand they’re coming from the other side of the bayou, but really??? I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Gambit from the X-Men animated series at some points. Which I loved when it worked, not so much when Jackson fell short of the mark. He read like Gambit but without the charm and with extra spoonfuls of useless violence and anger. Despite all these things, the story has solid world-building and excellent pacing. If you make it past the first 30% of the book, and bear in mind that Evie will at some point stop sounding like an annoying spoiled brat, you will get to enjoy this book because the ending is worth it and the premise is actually very interesting despite the fact that some scenes made me laugh and roll my eyes.

Stars: 3/5

Book Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Summary: Princess Sepora escapes her kingdom and her cruel father only to find herself in the court of a rival kingdom and falling in love with the young king. She tries to hide the secret that could save his people from a fatal plague, but the cost will come at the price of her own kingdom.

Thoughts: Let me start by saying that I really really like Anna Banks as a writer and a person who I’ve never met, and her twitter account is one of my favorites. And I hate it when I end up not loving books by authors that I like and admire. I was expecting so much more action and much higher stakes from this story. Be prepared, because this is a statement I will be repeating a lot throughout this review. I read Banks’ previous series – Of Poseidon – and I really liked it. Awesome setting, original take on an old myth, swoon-worthy romance. Nemesis, however, started off at a very slow pace and then it fell steady without increasing. The writing was clear and to the point, but at the same time, some descriptions were lacking. The story took place in a vibrant and very intriguing world, but because the setting wasn’t fully described, I found it hard to visualize some places. Basically, while it was informative and packed with emotions, it was lacking in sensory detail. I felt Banks went easy on her characters, which is one of the reasons why the story wasn’t as action packed as I’d hoped. And the ending of the story was too easy for my liking. While I did enjoy reading this book at times, I’m not quiet sure I’d be picking up the next one unless the pacing really increases and the stakes become much much higher. If you liked Graceling or the Wrath and the Dawn, you might enjoy this book if you keep in mind that this isn’t a story with high stakes and perilous adventure with an added mix of dangerous court politics and a looming war. It’s more of a simple love story between a King and a Princess of rival kingdoms and the slow work they do to ensure that both their kingdoms don’t go to war against one another.

Stars: 2/5

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Summary: The world is divided between Reds and Silvers, the latter are an elite who are in possession of god-like powers. When Mare Barrow, a Red, accidentally displays a set of stunning Silver powers in front of the King and Queen and their court, they have no choice but to proclaim her as a long lost Silver heiress. Mare accepts this role and uses her newly gained position to spy for the Scarlet Guard, a Red rebel organization working on overthrowing the monarchy. Mare is thrust into a world of power and jealousy where anyone can betray anyone.

Thoughts: I really loved this book, YA cliches and all. The one thing that really ruined this whole experience for me was that the MAJOR plot twist in this book was spoiled for me before I read the book. Basically, I read this book knowing what was going to happen, but hoping it wouldn’t and tricking myself into thinking that I read that spoiler wrong. I didn’t. The less you know, the better your experience will be. Half the time I was reading the book, knowing what was going to happen, all I could think was WTH MARE!! You were warned so many times, why didn’t you listen????? But even though I really enjoyed this book, I can’t say that it’s unlike anything I’ve read  before because I’ve read many similar books that if they were meshed together would result in Red Queen. The social structure of Red and Silver reminded me of the social structure in Red Rising though much less complex. At the same time, it also read like Divergent and The Hunger Games but set in a world like Mistborn’s but not. I do recommend you read this. The writing is excellent and Mare is a very relatable character. The story will be slow at the start, but the plot twist is worth it because it will blow your mind (if it hadn’t been spoiled for you). I’m still bitter over that!

Stars: 4/5