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

Review: ‘The Sun is Also a Star’

I have been wanting to read a Nicola Yoon book for a while. I have heard things about Everything Everything but I didn’t feel like it was a book I would enjoy. I didn’t even know what this book was about before starting it, but I decided to give it a try because my library’s online eBook library had it available!

 

Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary

This book was a surprise. I didn’t know the subject matter going in, but the moment I started it, I was hooked. The story is about a girl named Natasha and a boy named Daniel, plus many supporting characters along the way (more on that later). Natasha and her family are about to be deported to Jamaica because they are undocumented immigrants, and her father received a DUI. Daniel is a Korean-American boy who is just trying to please his parents and get into Yale to study medicine. Their paths cross unexpectedly on the streets of New York City and the tale ensues.

Likes

The number one thing I love about this book are the alternating POVs. I thought that having both Natasha and Daniel’s side of the story during the book really added to the experience of reading it. Both are going through separate struggles but end up on the same path. Which brings me to the second thing I love about this book: the inclusion of people the characters meet throughout their day. The book takes place over the course of a day and I feel like this shows how much we really affect other people, perhaps without even knowing it. Irene is the prime example of this phenomenon and at the end of the book, she returns for the sweetest ending I could ever ask for. My heart warmed at this story and I truly felt Natasha and Daniel falling in love as I read this.

Comment on the issues

This book also tackles issues of racism, sexism, and immigration in the most beautiful way possible. Nicola Yoon accurately represents what it is like for the lives of undocumented immigrants. In Natasha’s case, she was brought over to America illegally when she was 8 years old. She has grown up and spent more time in America than she has in her country of birth and feels like she belongs here. It wasn’t her choice to leave Jamaica and yet she is paying the price for her parents’ choice, now that a law has been broken. So many college students struggle with this in our country today and are blamed for their parents’ decisions. It is not fair to deport them when they are trying to better themselves and go to college: college is where many undocumented students find out the truth of their immigration status (I have done research on undocumented students and working with them, for counselors). Immigration tensions are high in the current climate but we should be helping these people and not taking everything away from them.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a book about real issues in our world today and who is openminded to that sort of thing. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading, but this this book really solidified my beliefs on helping other people and embracing them, not throwing them away because they made a mistake.

Happy reading! ~ Taylor

*Note: I read this an eBook.