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Mini Book Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Title: Night Broken

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #8

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right. Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy. Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

The Mini Review:

I figured since I just started reading the next book in the series [Fire Touched out March 8, 2016] that I should probably get it together and post a review for Night Broken – one of my favorites so far. There seems to be a running theme in this series of the characters having one giant problem to solve (the external conflict) while also dealing with a handful of lesser problems (usually internal conflicts). This novel in particular had a beautiful combination of both, but my favorites were the internals. I love reading about family dynamics and how people build and maintain relationships with one another. In Night Broken, Mercy is tasked with handling Adam’s passive-aggressive ex-wife. There were times that I wanted to strangle the ever loving crap out of her, and I honestly don’t know how Mercy kept her cool. But watching one of my favorite main character figure out a way to handle the situation in a way that was both satisfying and classy made my day. All in all, it really is a minor conflict in the whole scheme of the series, but one of the most satisfying to watch the characters overcome. And really, it’s often those little, interpersonal conflicts that determine whether or not I remember a book. After all, who cares if the big monster is defeated if you don’t have a solid emotional support system to come home to?

Anyway, I realize the focus of this review was a bit odd, so if you take anything away, take away the fact that Night Broken was every bit as good as the books before it and the upcoming Fire Touched is shaping up to be just as spectacular!

Other books you like:

 by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur

City of Light by Keri Arthur

Title: City of Light

Author: Keri Arthur

Series: Outcast #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay…. As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth. Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe…

The Review:

Keri Arthur has been a staple in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance arsenal for many years now, and I’m convinced she gets better and better with each new series. City of Light was the fantastic combination of unique setting, great characters, and good storytelling that I’ve come to expect from her, and I think it a strong start to what promises to be a great series.

The basic plotlines surrounding the paranormal creatures and their proclivity for mischief was very similar to that in Arthur’s Riley Jensen series (my favorite of hers to date). It can be risky recycling old ideas, but Arthur presented it in such a different way that it made me nostalgic rather than disappointed. She has a way of weaving complex supernatural cultures into giant hodgepodge societies that somehow work. It made for an atmosphere that was fresh, exciting, and easily one of the best elements of the story.

But, by far, the best element were the characters. Tig was a strong female lead, which is to be expected, but my favorite thing about her was her rich back history and experiences that shaped her motives and decisions throughout the entire novel. She was such a well developed character that it made the novel special rather than just good. All of that praise is in addition to the cool aspect of how she came into being (lab-grown) and the cooler combination of DNA that made her unique (white tiger shifter with a hint of vampire… plus some other genetically superior upgrades). I was yet again reminded of Riley, but in a way that made me appreciate how well each heroine stands on their own despite their similarities. All of the characters surrounding Tig were equally interesting, and I have the feeling we’ve only just scratched the surface of their potential in this first book.

Overall, City of Light was a strong first novel in a series I can’t wait to devour more from. Fans of Keri will definitely appreciate it, and urban fantasy lovers in general will hopefully like the paranormal/futuristic infusion is much as I did. Fair warning though: sexual content and language.

I’d like to thank Penguin Group Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, Keri Arthur, and NetGalley for the chance to read and review a reviewer copy of City of Light.

Other books you might like:

 by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown by Kiera Cass

Title: The Crown

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #5

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Release Date: May 3, 2016

The Overview: Twenty years have passed since the events of The One, and America and Maxon’s daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own. Princess Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

Waiting on Wednesday
Hosted by Breaking the Spine

I love this series… so much. There are a few key elements to these books that Cass presents brilliantly (relationships, fun characters, and engaging competitions) that it honestly doesn’t matter to me if other things are neglected (world-building and societal dynamics). And the covers… I LOVE the covers. Anyway, I’ll probably drop everything to read this one when it comes out!

What book are you waiting on?

 by Niki Hawkes

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Mini Book Review: Ruins by Dan Wells

Ruins by Dan Wells

Title: Ruins

Author: Dan Wells

Series: Partials Sequence #3

Genre: Teen Dystopian

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand. There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

The Mini Review:

I’d like to preface this review by declaring that Ruins was a really good book and definitely earned its 4-star rating… but I still find myself a little disappointed with it. The problem is, the first two books in the series were PHENOMENAL and I was hoping for an equally strong ending to what still amounts to my favorite dystopian series. “Really liking” a book is not the same as “loving” a book, yet that’s where I find myself with this series-ender. Did I have high expectations going into it? Absolutely. And, like I said, it was still a very entertaining read, I just wanted it to finish with the same bang it started with… kapeesh?

So now we get into the inevitable question of why it let me down, and that one is easy to answer: it felt rushed. Incidentally, it was rushed – written in just a few short months, but ALL of them had the same constraints, so why was this one different? I truly believe if Wells had just a little more time to brainstorm and really pull all of his amazing plotlines together, this book would’ve been killer! Amazing! And easily the best one of the series. Sadly, it falls victim to the industry’s strict deadlines. As it is, there was resolution, but not in a way that resonated with me.

So, aside from my probably unrealistic expectations, the story progression in this final novel was interesting, the characters were memorable, and (despite my issues with pacing) I really did love getting to immerse myself in this world for a final time. It’s important to note that the Partials Sequence is still my favorite teen dystopian/post-apocalyptic series, and I’m sure I will continue to recommend it often for many years to come.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [8]: February 2016

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Here’s what mine looks like:

February 2016 TBR Tackler Shelf:

TWO new books from Brandon Sanderson almost back to back? Heck yeah I’m excited! I also was lucky enough to get approved for the new Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs and I’m chomping at the bit to finish what I’m currently reading to start it. I love the rest of the authors on this list, so February is going to be an awesome month indeed!

What I did last month:

I only read 3 of the books on my TBR tackler shelf last month, but one of them was A Dance with Dragons (which is a 1000+ page book), so I’m actually kind of okay with that.


Now, I can tell you from experience that this Tackling the TBR experiment is so much more fun and rewarding when there’s more than one person (me) participating. Does anybody want to play along?

Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments!

Maybe we can help make each other’s systems even better. :)

What books are you Tackling this month?

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

perfectedTitle: Perfected

Author: Kate Jarvik Birch

Series: Perfected #1

Genre: Teen Dystopian [ish]

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: Perfection comes at a price. As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows… and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating. But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving… and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

The Review:

Perfected was my FAVORITE read of 2014. That’s right, 20-frigging-14! And I loved it so much that I hadn’t felt ready to compose a review for it up until this point (which is really stupid considering how often I find myself talking about it, even over a year later). Have you ever enjoyed something so much that no matter how much you gush about it in a review, it never seems to do it justice? That’s how I feel about Perfected – it was such an experience!

I’m a self-proclaimed addict of the sub genre “girls wearing pretty dresses in a slightly dystopic era” and Perfected is right up there alongside Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy. Birch created an intriguing fraction of society that puts on a glamorous, prestigious face to hide some pretty messed up practices. I mean, breeding and selling tiny, genetically engineered girls as pets?? That’s pretty disturbing, and it comes along with a whole host of nasty issues that Birch does an excellent job of acknowledging without dwelling on it (until the second book, which expands on many of these dark issues in a way that breaks your heart while at the same time giving the main character insights and epiphanies she needed to grow in strength and determination… more to come on that in my upcoming review of Tarnished).

Despite all this grit surrounding a fascinating main character, Birch found a way to tell a beautifully innocent love story, and do so with writing that was beautiful and poetic without ever becoming flowery or overdone. It struck a chord with me, which is why I can still vividly remember every bit of Perfected over a year later, and I’m already feeling the itch for a reread.

Overall, Perfected has landed itself as one of my all-time favorites, and I find myself talking about it often and passionately. It was just so well done and unique! If you enjoyed any of my recommends below, I suspect (and hope) you’ll love Perfected just as much!

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

 

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Niki’s Top Ten Goals of 2016!

top ten tuesdayI really like setting and achieving goals, and declaring them publicly always seems to give me that extra bit of motivation I need to make them happen. Last year, I managed to knock out 5 of my 10 goals (all the reading/blogging ones… the writing ones didn’t go so well). This year, I’m hoping for 10/10!


Goals Achieved in 2015:

1. Continue my 1500 for 1 reading challenge.

In which I keep track of the number of pages I read, and as soon as I hit 1500, I’m allowed to buy a book. The previous year I’d been trying a 4 for 1 method, but all that did was encourage me to read the shortest books first. This method has been working splendidly for me – not only does it completely moderate my book spending, but it also curbs that almost addictive need to buy new books, as I read enough to get a new package in the mail once every few weeks. I’ve also noticed that it makes me more selective on what I bring home – after all, I only have one book “credit” to spend at a time, and I want to make sure I spend it on something I’m going to love!

2. Get rid of all the books I didn’t like:

This goal involved getting rid of books that I’d already read, but kind of hated. This one was really difficult for me because each read book on my shelf represents a little badge of accomplishment. I tackled this goal in baby steps, starting out by removing all of these titles from my shelves. I soon discovered that having bookcases only filled with both books that I absolutely loved and ones that I am super excited to read made gazing at my library a lot more rewarding than when I was having to stop constantly to lament how much I didn’t like a particular title. It sounds weird, but hey, whatever works, right?

3. Only review the books I feel strongly about.

I achieved this goal, but in a different way than I’d intended. Initially, I was thinking to review only the extreme ends of the spectrums, you know, the loves and hates. I discovered that sometimes, the ones smack dab in the middle of those extremes are the ones I felt the most strongly about. In any case, I feel like my reviews in 2015 were stronger than they’ve ever been because I wasn’t just going through the motions to get my opinion of the titles down – I genuinely felt passionate about every review I shared. I will definitely be continuing this as I go forward.

4. Add a few more buttons to my social media taskbar.

Done! It took me six hours and a lot of hair-pulling, but I’m glad I finally sucked it up long enough to get it done. And you know what? I like them. :-)

5. Stop being a phantom follower.

I still don’t comment as often as I could, but I feel good enough about my progress towards this goal to call it a win for 2015. I probably commented (with thoughtful and sincere comments) more last year than I had in my previous three years of blogging combined. This year will probably be even better.

Like I said, all of my blogging/reading goals were achieved, but for various reasons, I didn’t complete any of my writing goals. This year, I decided to make all of my goals reading/blogging/creativity related.


Niki’s Top Ten Goals of 2016!

1. Be Creative!

2016 is the year of creativity! In which I plan to do some sort of creative expression every day. I’m ready, too. I have a fresh set of paints, gorgeous high-quality colored pencils (and a nifty adult coloring book), a beautiful crossstitch project, and an organized arsenal of countless other supplies and possibilities! My first focus is to finish a gorgeous Royce Frogs crossstitch project that I started during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

9 & 1/2 frogs down, 2 (and a ton of back stitching) to go!

2. Dance to the beat of my own drum!

From a reading/blogging standpoint, of course. I’ve been kind of doing this throughout 2015 anyway, but I’d like to make an official goal for 2016.

Notes to self: [1] don’t feel like blogging this week? Whatever. I doubt it will hurt anyone’s feelings (if they even notice. I’ve seen a few of those “I’m back” posts where I went “oh, yeah… Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen a post in a while – glad you’re back!” [2] feel like posting 10 times in 2 days to effectively burn yourself out? That’s cool, too, just apologize to your readers for BOMBING their inboxes. [3] miss posting/writing a weekly feature post (like Top Ten Tuesday) that you’d wanted to do? HOW ANNOYING!!! Find a way to cope with your OCD and post it anyway. I don’t care if it’s Friday.

It’s an oddly liberating thing to finally realize that this is MY blog and I don’t have any rules or constraints on my creativity other than what I place on myself. Although, ultimately, I would love to dance to my own drum AND make my readers happy at the same time. I think it’s possible.

3. Finish out priority series.

This was an unofficial goal last year, and I’ve made a lot of progress with it. It goes along nicely with my “Read the best books first” mantra and has helped me focus primarily on the authors I claim as favorites. I also feel weirdly compelled to finish these outstanding series before I dive fully into new ones. Like I won’t enjoy the new ones until I finish the old ones? It doesn’t make any sense, so it’s probably just my OCD trying to rationalize this compulsion from my subconscious. I’m choosing to indulge it.

4. Respond to comments ON MY OWN BLOG!

Ugh. How embarrassing. I mean, I managed to comment on other blogs this year while awkwardly neglecting my own. This is unacceptable behavior for me because of how much I appreciate anyone who takes the time out of their busy day to visit and interact with me. I feel ultimate shame. It’s one of those situations where I read the comment in the email WordPress sends me, formulate a reply in my head, then promptly forget to actually respond. #fail

5. Get my eyes healthy.

Really, this should be my first goal this year. ANY other goals I set for reading or blogging are absolutely pointless if I can’t focus long enough to achieve them. This stupid mofo injury has had me down and out for the past 6 months and it has been MISERABLE. Imagine your 3 or 4 most favorite things to do in the world. Do they require eyes? ALL of mine do! Woe is me. I miss reading, I miss blogging, I miss TV, I even miss driving. Okay, I’m done bitching.

6. Create templates for my posts.

Why haven’t I thought of doing this before? There must be some form of brain damage to blame because it would save me SO MUCH TIME! And it only took me 4 years of blogging to figure this out… Sheesh.

7. Host a MASSIVE giveaway.

Thus far, I have over 50 titles to give away that I’ve been hoarding for the last year. Some are new, some used, some are signed, and some lack SKUs (ARCs), and they all need a new home. More to come…

8. Figure out what to do with signed (and personalized) editions of books I didn’t like.

It’s what I get for not being brave enough to say “signature only, please,” fearing it might hurt the author’s feelings or something. Does anyone have some suggestions? Should I include them as options in the giveaway? Help, lol.

9. Rate titles on Goodreads.

This shouldn’t take me too long. I’ve been assigning “no rating” to all my 2015 titles so I could more easily remember which ones I hadn’t reviewed. The trouble is, I’m so far behind in reviewing that it’s getting ridiculous. Also, per last year’s completed goal of “Only review the books I feel strongly about,” there are more than a handful of meh titles that probably won’t get reviewed ever. My reviewing habits have clearly changed, it’s time my Goodreads account adapted with me.

10. Continue my Read 1500 for 1 challenge.

Because I love it and because it works.


What goals do you have for 2016?

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen #1

Genre: Teen Dystopian

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

The Overview: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

The Review:

If I’d stopped reading Red Queen about a third of the way in, my rating would’ve been close to five stars and my review would’ve been praises out the wazoo – I loved the concept, the setting, the organic relationships, and the trajectory of the story. However, in the pages that followed, I found myself becoming increasingly disengaged with the story until it was honestly a struggle to finish. O_o what happened?! Loads of people LOVED this book, which made me wonder what was wrong with me and had me earnestly considering the possibility that I’m burnt out on YA. Okay, I know that’s a bit mellow-dramatic, but seriously, this is not the first time I’ve lost patience with a YA book/series that the blogosphere was going apeshit over (Throne of Glass #3 & The Winner’s Crime, to name a couple). Although I have read a handful of teen books I absolutely loved over the last couple of years, it is clear that the more I read, the higher my expectations become.

My desire for this review is not to bash the book, by any means – I know a ton of people are going to really love it – but I feel the strong need to analyze exactly why the last two thirds of the book just didn’t work for me. Here goes:

There was one circumstance surrounding my reading experience that helps shed light on my opinions of Red Queen: I had just finished the most recent book in the Game of Thrones series (A Dance with Dragons). I’d had 1100+ pages to get use to expansive world building, complex and widespread conflicts, and (most notably) a memorable cast of shrewd royals who always demonstrated clear motive, direction and, even more importantly, a fierce protectiveness over their children – heirs to the thrones representing the pivotal futures for each family. Switch gears to Red Queen, it really bothered me how casual the decision-making of the royals was (lacking any clear motive that I could see at the time) and how seemingly illogical that decision-making manifested in regards to the heirs. Some motives became clearer as the story went on, but unfortunately that did nothing to alleviate all the frustration I felt early on, it just slapped a Band-Aid on after my patience had long since bled out.

Recognizing motives and getting a clear sense of character early on is really important to me, and there were parts that were done brilliantly (like with Mare’s family) and parts that left me wanting (enter the royals, where it felt almost as if the author assigned them certain M.O.s early on, only to change her mind halfway through the story and start over).

I also really liked the main character at first, finding her lack of ambition and skills oddly interesting in a market where the heroines always seem to be adept at EVERYTHING. But when the story needed her to be clever, putting her in a position where she could really manipulate gameboard and affect change, she contented herself with incessantly complaining that things were unfair without EVER presenting an idea to help make it better. I found it insufferable. I mean, offer a solution or shut up – you’re not helping the problem. My trending thought was – the royals are sure lucky she wasn’t a bit more clever or autonomous, else the entire plot would have crumbled. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe her personal story arc will be that she finally figures out how to stop being a pawn and start moving the chess pieces herself. That would be great, I just don’t think I have the patience to keep reading long enough to see her get there.

Overall, how much I loved the first part of the book balances out with how much I didn’t love the rest. There were a ton of awesome story elements that just didn’t quite all come together for me. I doubt many other readers would be nearly as critical as I was, and will probably recommend this one a fair amount despite my own personal reservations. It has many elements that account for its popularity and I am (as usual of late) in the minority.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [7]: January 2016

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.

You may have noticed that this feature (and my blogging presence in general) kind of disappeared over the last few months. I’ve still had a mental tally of the books I want to read each month, but blogging and actually getting to enjoy those books was almost impossible as I did everything I could to deal with an eye strain injury and extreme nausea that came along with my first pregnancy. Luckily, I’m feeling a little more like myself and am on the mend – let the reading/blogging resume!


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Here’s what mine looks like:

January 2016 TBR Tackler Shelf:

There is a great caliber of authors on this list, but I think I’m most excited to finish off the Paradox series with Heaven’s Queen.


Now, I can tell you from experience that this Tackling the TBR experiment is so much more fun and rewarding when there’s more than one person (me) participating. Does anybody want to play along?

Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments!

Maybe we can help make each other’s systems even better. :)

What books are you Tackling this month?

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Title: How to Ditch Your Fairy

Author: Justine Larbalestier

Series: N/A

Genre: Teen Fiction

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Overview: Welcome to New Avalon, where everyone has a personal fairy. Though invisible to the naked eye, a personal fairy — like a specialized good luck charm — is vital to a person’s success. It might determine whether you make a sports team, pass a class, or find that perfect outfit. But for fourteen-year-old Charlie, having a parking fairy is worse than having nothing at all — especially when the school bully carts her around like his private parking pass.

Enter: The Plan. At first, teaming up with her archenemy Fiorenze (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy), seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, it isn’t at all how she thought it would be, and she’ll have resort to extraordinary measures to set things right.

The Review:

I admit I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book of my own accord, but my best friend (who has impeccable taste in books) claimed it early on as one of her favorites, talking about it for years. When it got chosen for our book club, I finally had the excuse I needed to drop everything else and pick it up. And you know what? I liked it.

I will also admit that I was a bit wary at first – I haven’t had the best patience with books geared towards younger audiences lately, so I was worried it would be too immature for my tastes. While it definitely had a younger feel (largely because of the subject-matter) the author wrote it in a way I found accessible (and entertaining) as an adult. It made me nostalgic of all of the books I read when I was a tween, and that aspect was easily my favorite component of the book.

I also loved the concept – come on! A fictitious world in which people towed around invisible fairies who offered them various forms of luck? Not to mention the rules surrounding this phenomenon were as complex as they were weird. It was a recipe for fun, and led to a couple of laugh out loud moments for me as the main character fought to get rid of a fairy she most desperately despised. This concept made for both entertaining reading and some excellent discussion at our book club meeting – we all tried to figure out what type of fairy each of us had and, even more fun, speculate on the types of fairies we’d like to have (for example, it was unanimously determined that I am in the possession of an “organization” fairy, as I always manage to make things fit (gorgeously) into a given space… with a possible “color-coding” fairy as my secondary. If I could, I’d opt for a “sleep” fairy that would allow me to wake up refreshed no matter how little I slept – just think of all the books I could read with all that extra time!).

Anyway, back to the actual book, aside from some weird made up words that led to some confusion (which could’ve been avoided had I realize there was a glossary at the back… why don’t they ever indicate that within the text?), How to Ditch Your Fairy was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I recommend it for younger teen girls or adults in the mood for something 100% lighthearted and fun.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes