Never Fade

October 29th, 2013 | Posted by Paola in ARC | Review | Science Fiction | YA Fiction - (3 Comments)

neverfadeTITLE: Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

RELEASE DATE: October 15, 2013; Disney Book Group

SOURCE: Digital ARC from the publisher

PRECEDED BY: The Darkest Minds & In Time (e-Novella)

Entrusted with a devastating secret, Ruby finds herself on a race to find the truth behind the disease that annihilated most of America’s children and left its survivors completely changed. She is one of those survivors, burdened with strange powers that are feared by the majority but coveted by a minority that seeks to use her for its own ends. The search for answers will lead Ruby into danger, force her to push her powers to the limits, and bring her face to face with the past she’s been trying to put behind her. The stakes are higher than ever, and Ruby will have to fight for more than just her future.

I think we all remember that time I read The Darkest Minds and it completely wrecked all my emotions. Right?? It was another of those embarrassing moments when I walked around blinking back tears over the fates of fictional characters who had somehow crushed my heart in their fictional fists. (Other examples of this phenomenon: anything by Melina Marchetta, Crown of Midnight, anything involving thunder tigers… the list goes on. I am emotionally frail apparently.) And anytime a book has me this invested in its story and the people in it, I always have this strange dread of picking up the next installment because I just can’t stand the thought of what might happen to them. I mean, I desperately want to know, but then again I desperately don’t. But finally I couldn’t take it anymore and decided it was time to be a big girl and declare myself recovered from the feels facepunching of the previous books.



Unlike my experience actually reading Finnikin of the Rock for the first time, the story behind how I discovered the book isn’t at all exciting. I devour fantasy books on a regular basis and I’m always looking for my next escape, which is what led me to Lumatere. I remember skimming through a few reviews on Goodreads and finding myself compelled by the sheer amount of people who were rendered incoherent and/or speechless by this book. This got me thinking that I should probably pick it up.

finnpost01Some 400 pages later, I realized this had been one of the best literary moments of my life. EVER. But I’d packed my bags and applied for permanent citizenship long before that. Maybe it was the first time Evanjalin rolled her eyes at Finnikin. (And all the subsequent times hahaha) Maybe it was every single time these characters kept going, never giving up on the home they’d been forced to leave behind. I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened exactly, but somewhere on that journey I decided I belonged there too.



September 11th, 2013 | Posted by Paola in Fantasy | Review | Sequel | Series - (2 Comments)

kinslayerTITLE: Kinslayer (The Lotus Wars, #2)

AUTHOR: Jay Kristoff

GENRE: Fantasy, Steampunk

PUBLISHED: September 2013; St. Martin’s Griffin

SOURCE: ARC from Publisher, 437 pages

PRECEDED BY: Stormdancer

The fate of Shima hangs in the balance, with the Imperium on the brink of civil war and people of all walks of life rising to answer the Stormdancer’s call. Yukiko and Buruu are living legends, carrying the rebellion’s hopes on their shoulders. But Yukiko, still reeling from grief and regret, must now also find a way to control her abilities before they do lasting damage. Fueled by rage, she leads the charge against the Lotus Guild and the failing Kazumitsu dynasty at the risk of completely losing herself in the process.

The sequels this year are KILLING ME. SERIOUSLY. I mean, I’m sitting here right now staring at the screen, trying to figure out how to articulate the intense experience that was Kinslayer and just utterly failing. It’s hard to write a review when you’re sort of still peeling yourself off the floor and trying to salvage what’s left of your crushed heart. I thought Stormdancer was epic, heartbreaking, GLORIOUS — but its sequel somehow found a way to be all those things and more.


Rose Under Fire

September 6th, 2013 | Posted by Paola in Historical Fiction | Review | YA Fiction - (3 Comments)

roseunderfireTITLE: Rose Under Fire

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Wein

GENRE: YA Historical Fiction

PUBLISHED: 9/10/2013, Disney Hyperion; Digital ARC, 370 pages

SOURCE: Netgalley

RELATED READ: Code Name Verity

Rose Justice is the youngest member of a small group of female pilots ferrying planes for the Alliance during the fall of 1944. Fresh from a happy, somewhat sheltered life in Pennsylvania, she finds herself caught up in the war — its many tragedies, but also its many inspiring reminders that hope continues to exist even when everything seems to be in ruins. This is something that Rose learns and holds on to when she is caught by the enemy during an unplanned landing in Germany and shipped off to a concentration camp. In Ravensbruck, she learns to withstand cruelty in all its forms, relying on the human capacity to love rather than its capacity to hate.

Don’t ask me how I’m managing to sit at my desk and actually type full sentences right now. At the rate September is going, I’m going to be a total train wreck by the time October comes around. Not only are there so many new releases this month (and late last month; ahem, Crown of Midnight), but quite a few are also loaded with the kind of high-intensity feels that leave you in a state of shock afterward. They’re good books — really, really good books — but I swear I feel like I’ve been beaten black and blue with all this emotional reading material! This is definitely the case with Rose Under Fire, a title I already expected to break my heart. After all, that’s exactly what happened with its predecessor, Code Name Verity.