Blog Tour: The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra

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Good morning! I hope you all have had a great week. Today I’ll be participating in the blog tour for the fabulous first installment of Jennifer Ibarra’s new series, The Polaris Uprising. Take a look!


Displaying Polaris.jpgGenre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Synopsis: In less than seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will succeed her father as the president of Neress, a nation where all citizens are cared for from the moment they’re born. Fed, sheltered, even educated—every need of theirs is met.

The only price they pay is their free will.

Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.

Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.

Purchase Links:

Barnes & NobleAmazon

My Thoughts

I was sold on this from the first page, and a good chunk of my love for The Polaris Uprising has to do with the fantastically written relationship between Ryla and Alanna. They were both amazing characters and I had no trouble rooting for either of them. Ryla’s spark and strength were really refreshing, and her devotion to her sister was just wonderful to read. I loved their dynamic and the way they played off each other was so brilliantly done I couldn’t put the book down.

The plot was at first a bit slow, as there were many pieces to put into place before the action could get going, but once it picked up, by God you couldn’t drag me away from the page with a tractor. The author put a lot of care into the story’s progression, and it shows in the plot twists and the new revelations that Ryla and Alanna encounter.

I was expecting to enjoy The Polaris Uprising, and I certainly did. The sisters’ relationship was probably my favorite part of story, I’ll admit, but the romance was also lovely and felt very genuine, which in the world of YA one learns to appreciate very quickly. Overall, an exciting, well-written debut; I can’t wait for the sequel!

About the Author

Displaying headshot.pngJennifer Ibarra grew up on a steady diet of books, Star Wars, and other fantastic feats of the imagination. Her debut novel, The Polaris Uprising, is the first book in a trilogy and mixes dystopia with family drama, romance, and political intrigue.

She lives in Silicon Valley, where she does marketing for a tech company and spends her time running, cooking, baking, and keeping up with celebrity gossip.

Find Her:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Giveaway

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Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken StarsHow did I get it? Bought

Genre: YA, Romance, Science Fiction

Summary: It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

My Thoughts

To be perfectly honest I have read very little this month, and I’m not being modest. Other than reading for class, These Broken Stars is literally the only book I’ve finished thus far. And that’s mostly because it’s the only book I’ve tried out in the past few weeks that’s incredibly hard to put down.

I’ve heard so many fantastic things in the past few months about Lilac and Tarver’s story that despite my reservations about the whole space thing (which I’m not typically keen on) I bought it as soon as it was released. Because of all the praise and hype surrounding it, I tried to prepare myself to be at least a little let down, but for once that did not happen. This book was absolutely incredible in every way. Lilac and Tarver were everything I hoped for and more, and the imagery and writing were just stunning. I loved Lilac’s determination and her strength of will, and Tarver constantly made me smile. The world that I read about was incredibly well-developed, with layers upon layers of social and political issues lying just under the surface, and the setting drew me in completely.

These Broken Stars also dealt with some truly terrible things. Lilac’s confrontation with the realities of this planet, the horror of so many deaths, and her struggles with the harsh environment around her, were all really powerful moments that made me connect with her even more. Tarver’s determination to survive and go home really struck me, especially his motivation to get back to his parents.

Overall, I have no complaints with These Broken Stars. It was an amazing book that reminded me just how much a fantastic story can make you feel, and I cannot wait for the next book in the Starbound Trilogy.

Aside: Can I just say how awesome it was to read about a heroine who can kick ass at mechanics/engineering/science-y stuff? I loved that underneath this spoiled, rich-girl exterior, she’s completely BAMF and it’s wonderful.

 Rating:

Five Stars

Recommend it?

100%

Purchase Links

Barnes & NobleAmazonBook Depository

Stacking the Shelves #10

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads.


Happy New Year! This week I’ve been rather stressed, so I’ve done some stress-shopping and added a few new books to my shelves. Let’s take a look, shall we?

For Review

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Undying by Valerie Grosjean (for a blog tour in February!)

The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra (another blog tour read for February!)

A Million Little Snowflakes by Logan Byrne (thanks @ Patchwork Press)

From the Bookshop

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Crossed by Ally Condie

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Splintered by A. G. Howard

Click to Subscribe by L. M. Augustine

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


I’m so excited to read all of these! Be sure to link up your own book hauls in the comments so I can see your new goodies! Until tomorrow!

Review: Jane by April Lindner

JaneHow did I get it? Bought

Genre: YA, Romance, Retelling

Summary: Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.

But there’s a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane’s much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

My Thoughts

I really, really, really wanted to love Jane. I read Jane Eyre at the end of this past November and adored it, so I was really looking forward to this. But unfortunately, I was a little bit disappointed.

Mind you, I still enjoyed it. The author obviously knew the book well and she very rigidly stuck to the original, which I appreciate to an extent. Jane was a decent protagonist and I liked the spin on her background.

But there were definitely some things that didn’t work for me.

1.) Nico

First of all, Nico? Of all the names in the galaxy, Nico? Rathburn as a surname was fine, but whether or not Nico is fitting as a “rockstar name,” I just couldn’t see it. The name sounds fake, a teensy bit sleazy, and, in my opinion, ridiculous.

Nico’s characterization also didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t buy his personality at all, and he’s nothing at all like Rochester. It felt like Rochester’s words were simply shoved into his mouth; he has none of the passion, the rawness, the haunted edge. He’s older than Jane (30-ish, I think) but he still came off to me as very two-dimensional and with none of the jaded, gruff attitude of the original man. Rochester is NOT some “emo” artist with mood swings; I kept sticking the two side by side, picturing a broad, dark man in period clothing next to a skinny 20-year-old in black with his jeans around his knees, silver chains hanging off every appendage, jagged dyed-black hair, and thick eyeliner. And I couldn’t see it in the character.

2.) Marriage

Okay, this was really bizarre to me. Jane and Nico (God, it weirds me out every time I say his name) fall in love and are in front of a priest within 3 weeks. I’m sorry, what? Not only is it unrealistic, but Jane was very sheeplike about it. “Okay, he’s throwing marriage at me. Yeah, okay, I’ll do it, whatevs.” It really weakened her as a character for me. It felt like they’d barely had time to develop a relationship before they were whipping out rings and the L-word. But oh no, the absurdity of this whirlwind affair is totally normal apparently.

What bugged me the most was the fact that the more stretched-out timeline in the book was cut down to under a month, while Jane’s relationship with St. John is giving what adds up to about a year of development, and that was just for them to become more-than-friends and go to Haiti together, nevermind marriage.

Also, Nico is apparently offering to propose to Bianca/Blanche within a week or two of knowing her through a photoshoot, and this isn’t thought odd at all? Jane seems to think it’s perfectly normal for things like that to happen so quickly, which would explain why she’s so willing to marry a guy she doesn’t have much of a relationship with after like a month.

It all just felt very unbelievable to me and I couldn’t buy into it at all.

3.) Plot Problems

I’m really grateful to the author for doing her best to keep the plot as close to the original as possible, but in some ways that was a bit of a let-down. For one, some social situations in Jane Eyre just wouldn’t work in modern society. The issue of Jane having to leave because of her employer’s impending marriage isn’t the same problem now as it would’ve been. Originally, Jane had to leave because a new wife meant Adèle had to go away to boarding school; it would’ve been inappropriate otherwise. Obviously that would be sort of weird to basically say, “I’m the new wife, kick the stepkids out now” in today’s world, so the author chooses to say that Jane has to leave because Bianca “doesn’t like her”. And she’s really adamant about it. It felt like a very flimsy excuse to me and it also brought up the issue of Bianca’s character, which Nico fails to address.

The plot as a whole, while comfortably familiar, took very few risks and felt too much like the author was just plugging in solutions she’d come up with. Obviously I knew the original plot, so I was expecting to know the gist of it, but there were no surprises or unexpected twists that made it new and refreshing and exciting, which took some of the fun out of it for me.

In conclusion…

I did enjoy reading this, as a Jane Eyre fan, but it just didn’t work for me. Jane was the only person with any real depth, although Nico had a few moments, and it didn’t quite pull it off. Not to say that it’s a bad book, but I think it could’ve been better. I will say that I am still a fan of the idea of it, Rochester being a rockstar and Jane his nanny.

(Aside: I’m a terrible person for saying this, but I was very disappointed that Nico wasn’t blinded in the end. I loved that scene in the book; it was so bittersweet and romantic and I just wanted to hug Rochester, but instead Nico just has a messed-up hand that can be fixed with physical therapy. Laaame.)

Rating:

Three Stars

Recommend it?

Sure.

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble | AmazonBook Depository

My Realistic Resolutions for 2014

First of all…OH MY GOD IT’S 2014 WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WE WERE SUPPOSED TO DIE TWO YEARS AGO TAKE THAT MAYAN CALENDAR. (Except not really because science says that was all bullshit to begin with.)

Anyway.

Welcome to a new year, a new start, a flashy new set of resolutions to uphold. If you’re into that of course. I, gigantic holiday fanatic that I am, love celebrating the new year and thinking about ways to make it better than the last. And a big part of that is, naturally, New Year’s Resolutions.

“Sam, Sam, Sam, what are these mysterious ‘resolutions’ you speak of?”

Well, I’ve got a few. This year is going to be a year of change. High school graduation, starting college (most likely far away from where I am now), getting a job, hopefully finishing my novel, family moves, and my little sister starting her first year of high school (what, I’m not panicking AT ALL). So I’ve got quite a few resolutions, partly because I love lists and partly because with all this change going on, I want something to focus on. This year is going to be crazy enough, and I want to have something solid to think about when everything around me is going nuts. So here are my resolutions.


Res1

Develop healthy eating habits.

I’ve been making some really bad choices lately in regards to what I put in my body. My diet isn’t healthy or balanced and I’m not treating myself the way I ought to, with regular meals and veggies and fruits and some semblance of exercise. So I want to make a conscious effort to make time to eat properly this year.

Res2

Spoil myself rotten.

This year I will make some of the biggest decisions of my life, and with those decisions will come a lot of really difficult situations that will be hard to get through. So whenever I can, I want to focus on living and having fun and doing what I want to do.

Res3

2014 Jar of Memories

This year Julia and I decided to engage in a terribly romantic, terribly cheesy activity. We each bought a large jar for ourselves and for the next year we will write down good things that happened in our relationship in 2014. They can be funny things we say or do, dates we go on, movies we see, arguments we have, places we go, etc. And then at the end of year, we get together with our jars and go through them and read each memory to each other and reminisce like the sappy fools we are.

Res4

Be an awesome girlfriend to my lady-love.

This is pretty self-explanatory. But I’m making it my mission to spoil her rotten.

Res5

Call my family more often and be more involved in their lives.

My family is very scattered, and I’ll be even further away when I go off college in September. So I want to make a conscious effort to call them more, send more cards and books and presents throughout the year. I haven’t been able to be very involved in their lives, but family is extremely important to me and I want them to know how much I love them.

Res6

Complete my reading challenges.

As of now, I’m participating in 4 challenges for 2014. They are as follows (with levels in bold):

  • 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (hosted by Bookish) — Could this be love? (41-50 books)
  • A Year in Re-Reading Challenge (hosted by caffeinatedlife.net) — Occasional re-reader (1-4 books)
  • 2014 Reading Retellings Challenge (hosted by me!) — I Like A Challenge (13-19 books)
  • 2014 Reading Challenge (on Goodreads) — 100 books

Wish me luck!

Res7

Get to and maintain an 80% feedback ratio on Netgalley.

I’m at about 60% right now, which I’m happy with, but ideally I’d like to get up to 80% by summer.

Res8

Go outside my comfort zone. Try new things. Meet new people. Find out what I’m really capable of.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but as I’ve said, this year will be full of massive changes in my life. It’ll be challenging of course, but it will also allow me to stretch my limits and learn more about myself.

Res9

Keep blogging!

I’m still very new to book blogging, but I love this community so much. Blogging gives me a way to express my love for books and meet other awesome book lovers, and it’s also motivated me to keep reading, which is just brilliant. High school put me in a reading slump and I nearly forgot why I love to read, but blogging has been a way to get back into books and writing. I’m really looking forward to further growing my blog in 2014 and meeting more of you spectacular people.


I’m so excited for the new year, and I hope you are as well. Whether or not 2013 was a good year for you, 2014 is a new chance to begin afresh and explore the world and yourself. I wish you all the best for this year, including but not limited to books, family, friends, good health, and happiness!

Happy New Years!

Love, Sam

 

Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!


My Most Excellent Year

1. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

This. Book. Was. Awesome. Like, literal paperback perfection. Asdlfjkdfs.

2. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (actually the entire Gallagher Girls series, which is made of awesome)

SOMEBODY GET ME MY PAPER BAG. This book was possibly my favorite out of the series because of the intensity and suspense of it all, and the book just sucked me in and spat me back out at the end blubbering and leaking feelings all over the place.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter

3. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

This was just beautiful written and made me cry and uuuuugh.

Weather Witch

4.  Weather Witch by Shannon Delaney

I NEED THE SEQUEL LIKE YESTERDAY PLEASE

Jane Eyre

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

This is now one of my all-time favorite classics. The love story and self-discovery are amazing.

Fuck It

6. F*ck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin

This really made me think and question everything and I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to make the reader uncomfortable.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

7. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Beautiful, beautiful book that made me cry and laugh and go through every emotion under the sun.

Shattered Glass

8. Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander

Possibly one of my favorite LGBT romances. The main character is just so human and unique and complex, and the entire story is so fantastic asdfajksdlfj.

Queens Consort

9. Queens Consort: England’s Medieval Queens by Lisa Hilton

This book really got me into medieval history and introduced me to the realities of being a female monarch in medieval times.

Ash

10. Ash by Malinda Lo

Okay, so it wasn’t perfect, but Malinda is a FANTASTIC writer and it was just lovely to read. Also, Kaisa is a badass and I want to marry her. *fangirls*


Those were my picks for 2013. I can’t wait to find more fantastic reads in 2014! Here’s to a great new year filled with good books and friends and adventures and general awesomeness. Happy New Year!

ARC Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

DefyHow did I get it? Netgalley (thanks @ Scholastic Press)

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Summary: A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?

My Thoughts

I must say, I enjoyed this book. Alexa is a fantastic protagonist, and I love that she refuses to be a damsel in distress. She kicks everybody’s asses and saves everybody and she refuses to just lie back and do what the men tell her. I. Love. Her. She is my spirit animal and if I could call on a fictional character to have my back in a fight with the mafia, I would choose Alexa. Every time.

I will say it was a bit heavy on the romance, especially the love triangle situation, but that’s partly due to the fact that I would much rather see her fighting than making out with a guy, just because she’s so awesome at it. I would have found it more interesting if the animosity between her and Damian was real, or if Rylan was less of a Jacob Black clone. As it was, the love triangle annoyed me, especially because it seemed to transform Alexa into some starstruck idiot “discovering her newfound femininity.” And (slight spoiler), I was a bit bummed that there was no “OH MY GOD YOU’RE A GIRL WTF IS THIS” moment. Apparently Alexa is really shitty at pretending to be a boy. And apparently it’s not like anybody caught a glimpse of her lady bits; they just went “oh that’s a effeminate looking guy, must be a girl” and then went quietly about their business while allowing Alexa to keep believing she was the best fake boy to ever fake boy.

And when Damian is an ass (which, let’s be honest, is like once a page), Alexa takes none of it. She demands answers and is rightly furious at what he does, and although she does lose steam rather quickly, I still loved how feisty she is. By the end of that book, everybody and their mom knows not to mess with Alexa Hollen.

Also, SHE SAVES PEOPLE. There was no girl-plays-miniscule-role-in-actually-killing-bad-guy. Nope. This girl kicks the bad guy’s ass herself and becomes a national hero. It’s like Mulan except with a really not-cool king instead of an old emperor who is basically a Chinese Dumbledore.

Serious note: I was impressed with the inclusion of “breeding houses”. Rape is a really difficult and sensitive topic but I think the author approached it very well and it made me root for Alexa to succeed even more. Just the thought of what those girls were going through in that place is horrific, and it instantly made the plot so much more real and urgent for me. BUT, with that being said, I’ve heard other opinions and I know that not every reader will see it in that light. I can certainly see where it would come across as offensive, so just be aware of that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. Alexa was an great protagonist and I’m very excited for the next book in the series!

Rating:

Four Stars

Recommend it?

Absolutely!

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads.


Hello! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas. Mine was lovely if you don’t count the lack of snow, and I’m so excited for the new year! I hope it will be one filled with good memories and friends and family for you and me both. But for now, let’s see what books I’ve added to my shelves this week, shall we?

For Review

Where You'll Find Me 17250657

Where You’ll Find Me by Erin Fletcher (thanks @ Entangled Teen)

Salt by Danielle Ellison (thanks @ Entangled Teen)

From the Bookshop

Your First Novel 7514925 24213

Your First Novel: An Author Agent Team Share the Keys to Achieving Your Dream by Ann Rittenburg and Laura Whitcomb

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Christmas Presents

18244920 11235712 16068905

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


So I’m a bit bummed—well, heartbroken is a better word for it—because Insurgent is out of stock at Barnes & Noble. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GO ON WITH MY LIFE UNTIL YOU HAVE RESTOCKED, YOU @#$%@#!!! But seriously, I don’t think I’ll be able to function properly until I’ve finished the Divergent series. It’s a problem.

Anyway, I’m SO excited about these new goodies. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and happy new year!

 

Life of A Blogger: My Significant Other

Life of A Blogger

Life of A Blogger is a meme-style feature from the lovely Jessi over at Novel Heartbeat where we can chat about non-bookish aspects of our lives and learn more about each other!

P. S. This is rather spectacularly late, but I really wanted to sing my beloved’s praises, so I went ahead and did it anyway!


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Her name is Julia, and she is possibly the weirdest person you will meet outside of a circus.

We’ve been best friends for two years, and romantic cohorts for a few months. (To be honest, neither of us is really sure what began when.) We’ve got the kind of relationship that, despite how young we are, is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime sort of madness, and every second of it is awesome. <3

A few things about this gorgeous girl… She’s Polish, with a massive, complex, fantastic family, most of which live all over Europe (making for fun travel adventures). She hates pretty much any remotely nutritious food and lives off tea, pasta, and Tumblr. She’s the pet human of two horses, two dogs, and three cats, and I’m 99% sure her iPhone is actually surgically attached to her body.

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Together, we are probably terrifying to most people. We eat out way too much, buy matching underwear, terrorize waiters, and plot various ways to murder our favorite TV show writers. We both want to move to England after college and hole ourselves up in a nice little flat with a cat and a dog and just write and read until the end of our days. We plan to adopt Polrean (Polish-Korean) twins, named Seattle and Boston (nicknamed Bosie after Oscar Wilde’s lover) and raise them speaking Polish, French, and English, and we love to talk politics, philosophy, and books long past our bedtimes.

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I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without her. She’s funny and smart and passionate and fiercely devoted, and she’s quite possibly the only person who never annoys me. She encourages me to be my best and she completely understands me. If it weren’t for her, I don’t like to imagine where I would be right now. And I’m so glad that I found her.

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Love, Sam

 

ARC Review: Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Witch FinderHow did I get it? Netgalley (thanks @ Hodder Children’s Books)

Genre: YA, Fantasy/Paranormal

Synopsis: London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with Witch Finder from the cover alone. I mean, it’s freaking GORGEOUS. And also I love reading witch stories, so I was really excited to get approved for this one.

It actually turned out even better than I thought it would. Ruth Warburton has a lovely way with words and Luke and Rosa just gave me a lot of feelings. I loved Luke’s conflict over what he’s sworn to do; it was written perfectly and he did some things that I was rather surprised by. He’s not immediately torn with grief over his task of killing this upper-class witch, nor is Rosa a glowing beacon of virtue winning him over with the sheer purity and goodness of her heart. They both have faults and weaknesses and they had splendid chemistry together. The romance between them felt so sweet and genuine and I had to allow myself a few fangirling moments while reading.

There are some heavier issues in this book that I did not expect, such as abuse and financial problems, which really enhanced the story to me. The “villain” role, while a bit shallow in this book, has clear potential as a deeper character who has a legitimate reason for what he’s doing, and I was especially pleased by this because I hate typecasted antagonists who are bad just for the sake of being bad. It’s such a cop-out and it drives me nuts when authors do that.

I also really love the fact that Rosa does not just lie down and take everything that’s thrown at her—she’s a brilliant, strong character who, although having moments where she is powerless and defeated, really comes into her own by the end of the book. Luke, of course, made me want to throw myself off a cliff and paint rainbows everywhere simultaneously. He’s not fearless but he’s not a pushover either; I loved his protective side and the way he interacts with Rosa and the conflict he feels.

Overall, I loved this book. It was sweet, brilliantly written, and the ending came far too soon.

Rating:

Five Stars

Recommend it?

Absolutely.

Pre-order it:

Amazon | Book Depository

Other books by the author:

A Witch in Winter            A Witch in Love             A Witch Alone