Review: ‘Horizon’

Horizon is a middle-grade book by Scott Westerfeld that was pitched as Hatchet meets Lord of the Flies meets Lost. Now, Scott Westerfeld is one of my all time favorite authors so anything written by him, I’m sold. But throw in something about Lost? I’m instantly double give it to me now sold! I’m a die hard Lostie and I will love the show 4ever, so anything that is similar to it – sign me up.

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Horizon (7 planned books)
Rating: 4/5 stars

Horizon did not disappoint. I’m not usually a fan of middle grade books – as an ~adult~, they just don’t resonate with me as YA books do. But I could really get into and enjoy Horizon. It is for a younger audience and the writing reflects that, but while it is simpler it is not in any way dumbed down. This is still a story about survival and the writing reflects that.

A plane crashes on a flight from New York to Tokyo as they’re flying over the arctic and the only survivors are a handful of young teenagers. But when they get out of the wreckage, they’re in the jungle, not the arctic as they were when they last looked out the window. …What? Exactly. (Somebody forgot to push the button in the hatch. 4 8 15 16 23 42)

These kids need to be resourceful and combine their unique skills and knowledge to survive. Some of the kids know each other because were on a class trip for a robotics competition – clearly smart kids. One boy was on his way home to Japan to see his father. Two Japanese sisters don’t speak any English. Yet this ragtag team needs to work together if they want to survive. And the jungle has some unexpected surprises for them.

As I said, I loved Lost, so I loved this book! It really felt like elements of Lost with the mysteries and unexplained events and locations. (Polar bear on the Lost island, anyone?) (Side note, if you want to talk about how much you love Lost like I do, please comment below so we can be friends :D)

This was full of action and you even learn a few Japanese words along the way! (Luckily the boy on his way to see his father speaks both English and Japanese. How convenient!)

This is the first of 7 planned books in the series and a different author will write each story. Book 2, Deadzone, is written by Jennifer A. Nielsen and will be released on September 12th, 2017. I would recommend this series for middle-grade readers but older readers can enjoy this as well! If you like stories about survival with some mysteries thrown in, this story is for you.

~Missy

Review: ‘The Queen of the Tearling’

I remember picking this book up when I was a teenager and being so intimidated by the density of the book. I actually didn’t read it back then and I recently saw the new cover and binding at my library so I decided to give it another try.

 
Title: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Series: The Queen of the Tearling

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary

I was surprised by this book. I had heard that it was super detailed and dense and very hard to get through. Nevertheless, I decided to read it. The book follows the story of Queen Kelsea, who is the newly appointing queen of the Tearling. Her mother, the previous queen, has died and it is time for her to take her rightful place on the throne as she comes of age. It chronicles her journey to her Keep and all that happens within the walls of her castle.

Likes

I found that I actually really liked Queen Kelsea as a character. I found that she was a strong and just ruler, one that wanted to undo all of the horrible things that her mother did. Of course, these things were only done in order to keep the kingdom safe, but Kelsea is more about being a just and free ruler, and wants to provide the best of care to her citizens. I thought that it was an interesting touch to have her learn sword fighting and realize that there were many threats upon her life. This book also uses a sort of alternate world, where the setting is New Europe and the occupation of land is New London. It wasn’t examined too much but the areas had been renamed and Kelsea’s territory was the Tearling. I also found that this book was a lot like Game of Thrones. I love GoT, so I was pleased with it, but the storyline had similar elements.

Dislikes

Also like Game of Thrones, this book was VERY DENSE. People aren’t lying when they say that. There is a lot of description and there is a lot of added wordiness that kind of makes the novel drag on. I felt like the story moved at a fairly good pace but the ‘dragging on’ I reference is to detailed descriptions of scenes that really don’t make a difference to the book as a whole. I am personally not a fan of this, as I think I mentioned in the past, but it does paint a super clear image. I also found that the threat of the other queen trying to take over wasn’t that… Scary? Pressing? I don’t really know the word to describe it. She was told as this horrible ruler who demands this and that, but when it came to the actual scenes with her, I was let down. I think the second book delves into her a little more (It is called Invasion of the Tearling) and I might read it to find out a little more about this other queen (named the Red Queen).

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to fans of Game of Thrones. That is the closest thing I can relate it to and I think that it will please these fans very much. I also heard that once upon a time, Emma Watson was to star in a movie based on this book… But I haven’t heard anything about it lately! I think she would make a fantastic Kelsea!

Happy reading! ~ Taylor

A Very Bookish European Tour!

Hey all! I did a poll on Twitter to see if you guys would be interested in this post and it got overwhelming reviews, so here we are. I traveled to Europe in July for a few weeks (and I miss it terribly) and I stopped some bookish places along the way! I felt a little bit like Monty, Percy and Felicity from GGTVAV with my whole ~tour of Europe~ thing going on…

Continue reading A Very Bookish European Tour!

August YA Releases

Hey all! So this is my first post that isn’t a review and it’s a little nerve-wracking: but I thought about what I would like to see on a book blog if I was reading and I thought this was a great idea. In this post, I’ll list 5 of my most anticipated releases in YA for the month of August!

Continue reading August YA Releases

Weekly TBR: July 31-August 6

Wow! I just want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for following us and reading our reviews. We reached 50 follows this weekend and that’s a huge milestone for us that we are so happy about!

To celebrate, I’m writing my first ‘non-review’ post for you. I read quite quickly and I have a regimented reading schedule that I like to stick to. I schedule at least 1 book a day to read but that really helps me wind down after I get home from work so it isn’t bad! Posting 3 reviews per week is something that keeps me reading and helps me get through my schedule.

I figured I would try something new and make a weekly post of books that I am going to read! Reviews will be coming and we already have a TON queued up for you each week. (I’d also like to add that I won the books below through a giveaway on Twitter from Angie (disquietus))

 

Continue reading Weekly TBR: July 31-August 6