Wednesday, 17 January 2018

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

Title: As You Wish
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Publish Date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC courtesy of Raincoast Books! (received late due to post office confusion)

Summary by Goodreads.

What if you could ask for anything- and get it?
In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.
Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream?
Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

Penelope's Review
As you Wish ended up being an ok, fairly interesting read. I found the plot to be quite unique which is what attracted me to the novel in the first place (I mean really, who doesn't wish for a wish to come true, right?) However, there was a few things that I didn't really enjoy that prevented this from being a favorite. 

The main character, Eldon, was very self-centered and arrogant and although there were some redeeming qualities about him, such as his evident love for his sister, that didn't much change throughout the novel. Even his wish, the whole point of the book, turned out to be kind of selfish. I believe that it was meant to come across as 'for others' or 'in the best interests of the town of Madison' but I was hoping for something more. In the end, I didn't see the character development of Eldon that I would have liked. He stayed pretty much the same, as pointed out by his ex-girlfriend Juniper. 

I did also find the story slow going. Yes I was able to finish the book quickly, but not much happens throughout the book and with such a fascinating premise I feel there could have been a lot more done with it. Every chapter was much of the same thing over and over again. Eldon needs to figure out what to wish for, he complains every step of the way, and there just isn't much more to it than that.  

I also didn't like the multitude of touchy subjects brought into the book but not really expanded upon or integrated into the story (such as God and domestic abuse). I feel that if the author wanted to include such topics they should have been more tied into the plot and not just thrown into the story as they were.

I really wanted to like this book, and while it wasn't horrible by any means, it just wasn't my favorite. I'm sure others have various opinions however so I encourage you to try it out for yourself and form your own opinions!

RATING: 3/5 Devils!


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Black Witch by Laurie Forester Review

Title: The Black Witch
Author: Laurie Forester
Publish Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought

Summary by Goodreads.

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.
Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

Penelope's Review
Well where to begin. I understand that there is a *huge* amount of criticism surrounding this book for various reasons so before reading ahead please keep in mind that this is my opinion and if you don't like it, no one is forcing you to continue reading. 

I actually did not read any reviews before delving into this book, so I went in with a completely open mind. I'm actually incredibly thankful I did that because I feel as though the multitude of bad reviews would have colored my judgement of the novel overall. It is only after I was finished that I went online and read tons of mixed reviews, but my opinion did not change. 

I happen to think that this was an excellent book for many reasons. It is far more complex than a lot of reviews have given it credit for and that's a shame because many readers now won't even give this book a chance. The writing style is very skillful and serves as proof that Forester is an exquisite author. I'm very happy to have been introduced to her work through this novel and will continue to enjoy the series as it gets released.  

Elloren was a wonderfully developed main character that made up her own mind about things as opposed to just following along with what her aunt and society told her to believe. While she grew up being told that other races such as the Urisks, Lupines, Kelts, Icarals, etc. were horrid half-breeds and Garderians (her own race) was the only pure-blooded race, she went off to University and discovered on her own that there more to these people than she initially thought. Right from the beginning Elloren questions everything which is something I admired about her character. She formed her own opinions about the people she met and made her own decisions about who to become friends with.

While I understand that the main area of controversy is around the racist/homophobic atmosphere of the story, I believe it was necessary for the character development. Not just for Elloren, but for characters such as Aislinn, Yvan, Wynter, and even Ariel. The novel encompasses the fact that yes, the world is racist and homophobic BUT when left to their own devices, certain characters are able to overcome the prejudices they have been taught, to form their own ideas about what is right and wrong.

Forester focuses on the building of relationships, the necessity of teamwork, and the enlightenment that people undergo in what they considered, at first, to be highly uncomfortable situations (ahem, Aislinn and her Chemistrie class at first?!)

Overall, I think the book touched on some real-world issues in a thoughtful and well-put manner, and I'm incredibly excited to see what Forester has in store for us next in The Black Witch Chronicles!

RATING: 4.5/5 Devils!


Friday, 5 January 2018

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello all!

My name is Penelope, and I'm here to introduce you to my blog!

While I initially created this blog back in 2012, I wasn't able to keep up with it unfortunately. However, I'm happy to say that I am ready to take it back on! I've decided to completely clear it out and start fresh, with more mature reviews that will be better written and much more indicative of a book's true worth (in my opinion anyway lol).

While this may change, I plan on posting at least one book review per week while I am in university (although during exam times that might stretch to one every 2 weeks) and hopefully 2-3 per week during the summer. My reviews will mainly be young adult, adult fiction, romance, and fantasy. There may be some other genres thrown in occasionally but I am still a hardcore YA fan and probably always will be.

A bit about me... I have loved reading ever since I was a baby (seriously... my first present EVER was given to me on the date of my birth IN THE HOSPITAL and it was... you guessed it... a book! Seems the family knew my nerd tendencies even then.. lol). And I have read ever since... to an extreme though... I'm talking my mom and dad grounded me from going to the library at one point kind of extreme... yea. Good times.

So my goal with this whole adventure is really to just share my intense love of words on paper with everyone who cares to read it. I hope you enjoy!