Category: teen

Title: Stepsister

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Jennifer Donnelly won my heart, all the way back in high school, with her debut novel, A Northern Light, and I’ve been reading her books obsessively ever since. When I found out she had a new book coming out, I was so excited that I had to put it on hold at my local library immediately. Since then, it’s been sitting at the top of my library stack, begging to be read. I finally was able to push it up to the front after I finished There’s Something About Sweetie, and I’m still just stunned. I finished it yesterday and I’m completely in awe; this might be the best book in Donnelly’s entire body of work, and one of my favorite books of 2019.

I’ll officially start with a confession. When I was a little girl, I hated princesses and all things pink and feminine. Snow White and Cinderella in particular, because they weren’t ‘feminist’. I gravitated toward Ariel when I was younger, and then Belle, later in life. But Stepsister gives us a glimpse of what happens after the happily ever after. Even before I knew the original story by The Brothers Grimm, I couldn’t help wondering what exactly happened to Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters. Donnelly focuses on one of Ella’s stepsisters, Isabelle. After being caught trying to deceive the crown prince into thinking that she is her lovely, sweet stepsister, she and her family are soon caught up in a game of truly epic proportions. All Isabelle has ever wanted is to be beautiful, but it turns out that the price of beauty may be too high for her to pay, and mysterious forces are working to change her fate. Will Isabelle succumb to the vices that got her labeled an ‘ugly’ stepsister? Or will she find the courage to forge her own path, in spite of her mistakes?

               I have to say that I absolutely adored this book. Written with Donnelly’s signature humor, fantasy, and style, I loved it so much. I also really liked the way that she flipped the script and started the story after Isabelle tried to fool the prince. But the real star of this was Isabelle and her growth throughout the book; it was so cool to watch her transform from a mean, petty child into a young woman capable of finding her own strength in the face of adversity. This book felt like a fairy tale, with distinct echoes from the original tale: the fairy godmother, the glass slippers, magic and mayhem. But I liked the way that she used war, love, and compassion to temper Isabelle into something stronger, in the end. The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately drawn in by Isabelle’s tale; I loved the way Chance and The Fates worked throughout the book to try and deter her from her true path. This is Cinderella as you’ve never seen it before, with the spotlight on the ugly stepsisters and given feminist twists! This is the Cinderella story I’ve been waiting on my whole life. Donnelly, once again, has penned a fantastic, beautiful and honest fantasy story with strong female heroines at its heart, and I loved it so much! Is it too much to hope for a sequel about Isabelle’s sister, Tavi? The bottom line: Rich, funny, romantic and brave, I loved Stepsister! Next on deck: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/12/stepsister-by-jennifer-donnelly-review.html

Title: There’s Something About Sweetie

Author: Sandhya Menon

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Series: When Dimple Met Rishi, book two

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Sandhya Menon is one of my favorite authors; she won my heart last year with her debut romance, When Dimple Met Rishi. (Diverse books for the win!) There’s Something About Sweetie is the companion novel to Dimple, and it’s been on my list since before it came out. I’ve checked it out from my library a few times, but unfortunately had to take it back before I could read it. When I was at one of my book clubs, I saw it sitting on a new book display and had to take it home. I just finished it over the long weekend, and just thinking about it, I haven’t been able to stop grinning. With her signature romance, humor, and heart, Menon has continued the story, this time focusing on Rishi’s younger brother, Ashish. Fresh out of a painful breakup, his friend suggests that he let his parents set him up with a good Indian girl. Said Indian girl is Sweetie, a kind, gentle, and sweet fat athlete who is desperate for people to accept her and look past her weight. Thus ensues a romance straight out of a rom-com, complete with misunderstandings, cute banter, and a happy ending. I wish romances were written like this one, because if they were, I would read them more often! Sandhya Menon has knocked her third novel out of the park, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

               Sweetie is fat, and she knows it. She’s totally fine with it, but the same can’t be said for her well-meaning mother and other people who think they’re doing her a favor by telling her she’s overweight. Certain that if she can look past it and love herself, so can others. But unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Then there’s Ashish, fresh off of a bad breakup. Half as a joke, he asks his parents to set him up with a proper Indian girl. When Ashish and Sweetie meet for the first time, their attraction to one another is instant. Going against her parents’ wishes for the first time in her life, Sweetie begins seeing Ashish. Will true love win the day? Or will these two crazy kids’ love affair end before it has a chance to truly begin?

               I loved, loved, loved this book; there aren’t enough words in the English language to properly express just how much I loved this romance. When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my favorite books of last year, so I’ve been looking forward to Sweetie since before it came out. I loved the way it put emphasis on Ashish, Rishi’s younger brother. The pacing was breakneck and I was immediately spellbound by Ashish and Sweetie and their distinct voices. I’m such a sucker for love stories, especially ones where I’m rooting for both halves of the couple! This book might be my favorite in Menon’s entire body of work; it’s one of my favorite books of 2019! My favorite part of the book, though, was Sweetie, and her fierce devotion to herself. She was so gentle, sweet, and kind, and I really related to her because of that. Ashish, Dimple, Rishi, and the parents all made wonderful, heartfelt foils to both Ashish and Sweetie. The only thing that really upset me was Sweetie’s strained relationship with her mother; I understood where she was coming from, but it still seemed to me, at times, that she couldn’t accept Sweetie for who she was, until the end. But I loved this book, and I will never forget Sweetie and Ashish and their young, new love! A romance that should be required reading for all! The bottom line: Romantic, honest, and insightful, I loved There’s Something About Sweetie! Menon has outdone herself once again! Next on deck: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/12/theres-something-about-sweetie-by.html

Title: Kill the Boy Band

Author: Goldy Moldavsky

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve had Kill the Boy Band at the top of my library stack for a while now, and when I realized I couldn’t renew it anymore, I pushed it to the top of my stack. As soon as I was finished with The Grace Year, I dove in, and I devoured this dark, twisty, humorous mystery in less than a day. It was like something peered inside me and took out everything that made me tick as an obsessed fan girl. The Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, One Direction—it doesn’t really matter which boy band it is; Moldavsky took the very essence of that feeling and turned it into a book, only she frames the plot around a circle of toxic fans and one of the members of a fictional band called The Ruperts. Darkly funny, thoughtful, insightful and shocking, I loved Kill the Boy Band; I’m really mad I didn’t discover this gem earlier!

               They didn’t mean for things to turn out this way; it was all an accident. They got a hotel room hoping to get a sneak peek of the boys they love so much, The Ruperts. What starts as a night of harmless, nostalgic fun quickly spirals into a nightmare, straight out of a horror movie. But when the girls get their hands on Rupert P., they also have the boy’s phone and his most dangerous secrets. When said Rupert ends up dead, the girls are soon turning on each other, and the narrator begins to worry if these events actually happened, or if they were all figments of an overactive imagination…

               I loved this book! I started it right after I finished The Grace Year, and I was immediately obsessed. The prose was sharp, spare and snappy, and I was either gasping in shock or giggling out loud. The pacing was breakneck and almost against my will, I’d devoured the whole story in a matter of hours. I loved the way that it showed a thoughtful and nuanced take on girls and young women, as well as their desires, hungers, and wants, and what can happen when those things turn to obsession. I also adored the narrator, as well as the three other girls who get swept up in the madness that eventually leads to the boy in their keeping dying under mysterious circumstances. Who killed Rupert P.? Why? And that ending; it landed like a punch to the gut, it was so unexpected! A dark, funny, and slightly gruesome take on the experiences of an obsessed fangirl, gone too far. The bottom line: Hilarious, dark, honest and more than a little twisty, I loved Kill the Boy Band! Next on deck: Toil and Trouble by Augusten Borroughs!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/kill-boy-band-by-goldy-moldavsky-review.html

Title: The Grace Year

Author: Kim Liggett

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Horror

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve been wanting to read The Grace Year since before it actually came out, so I put a reserve on it at my local library. I was so surprised when I got the call that I’d have my library’s first copy. It’s been sitting at the top of my stack ever since, and as soon as I was finished with Her Body and Other Parties, I pushed it to the top. This book is difficult to describe; I finished it a few days ago, and I’m still stunned. The Grace Year was like a mix of Lord of the Flies and The Handmaid’s Tale, by way of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation. It was strange, terrifying, emotional and shocking; it might be one of my favorite books of 2019. Combining horror, romance, and chilling secrets, The Grace Year is one of those books that get under your skin and into your blood and heart. I will never forget it. One of the best for me, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

               In Garner County, unwed young women carry within them magic so potent that it can make a wife claw her face in wrath and jealousy, and draw grown men from their marriage beds. Tierney knows only vaguely what happens on a woman’s grace year. This year, it is hers, and she will be forced to go out into the wilds to purge herself of her magic before she is married to her closest childhood friend. But Tierney wants a life of her own, while she is beholden to no one, least of all a man. When the grace year begins, not everyone will make it back alive, and Tierney will discover secrets that will shatter her sheltered existence, best left buried…

               I loved this book. Horror is one of my favorite genres, and Liggett took the Mean Girls plus body horror route. It was fast paced, and I was immediately spellbound by the frightening, brutal world Tierney and the other characters lived in. I was both terrified and transfixed; I couldn’t have stopped reading this book, even if I’d wanted to. Tierney’s voice was lyrical and frightening, and I loved it. I also adored the concept of this book: to me, it really felt like a call out of purity culture, and I loved it! This book was pretty damn close to perfect. It was like Shirley Jackson and Stephen King had a lovechild, and it was an amazing feat of a book. But my favorite part was Tierney and her growth as a person, especially over the second half of the book. But this book was written with such violence and brutality; I love books that flip gender expectations on their head, and this book did that so beautifully. And that ending! Oh, my goodness, that was amazing! Tierney’s journey will forever stick with me. The bottom line: The heir apparent to Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood, I loved The Grace Year! Next on deck: Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-grace-year-by-kim-liggett-review.html

Title: Come November

Author: Katrin van Dam

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Series: Come November, book one

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Come November was the book club book for one of the clubs I go to, Young Adult for Adults. I finished it last week and I still can’t get it out of my head. This book is van Dam’s first, and I was so happy when we realized that she was writing a book about November’s younger brother, Daniel. This story was so unique, I will never forget it. It was emotional and more than a little stressful, but I’m so glad that I was able to accompany November on her journey through life. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked that a lot as well; it felt like it was truer to life that way. This debut novel was strong and beautifully written, and even with the flaws, it is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. I won’t forget November and her family! Props to the head of the book club for picking this book. (You know who you are!)

               Rooney Harris knows that the end of the world isn’t truly coming, but trying to say that to her passionate and flighty mother is next to impossible. She knows that she’s the only responsible one for herself and her brother, Daniel, since their mom joined a cult called The Next World Society. On November 17th, her mother and countless others are going to be taken away to live on a new planet and live with otherworldly beings who will save anyone brave enough to part with all of their worldly possessions. But the day finally arrives, only to cause massive disappointment and confusion when it doesn’t actually happen. Rooney’s already complicated existence gets even scarier when she finally reaches out to her father, who left their mother behind years ago to start over with someone else. Rooney begins to learn to let people in, and that nothing about her life is quite what it seems.

               I loved this book. It was a hell of a kick, right to the feels, but I just adored it. It made me so stressed and emotional, at times. There were times I got so emotional that I had to walk away, set it down. But I finished it in a day, and I still haven’t been able to get November’s poignant, sad voice out of my head. The pacing of this book was breakneck; it enthralled me, right out of the gate. I also adored the other characters in the novel: Rooney’s parents, Daniel, Anjelica, Mercer, and the Fishers. Rooney, though, was the star: I loved her defiance, her rage, her sweet but broken writer’s heart. I loved the ending, too, even though it left me feeling a bit cheated at first. Upon further thought and discussion, I liked that there were some loose ends, because in all honesty, that’s usually how life goes. Nothing is ever cut and dried, and I liked that. Katrin van Dam has outdone herself with Come November, and I’m so excited for the sequel! The bottom line: A lyrical, darkly funny and thoughtful debut, I loved Come November! Next on deck: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/come-november-by-katrin-van-dam-review.html

Title: Frankly in Love

Author: David Yoon

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Series: Frankly in Love, book one

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve been curious about this book since before it came out, so, as soon as I was able, I reserved it at my library. Since then, it’s been sitting at the top of my library stack, begging me to read it. I picked it up, expecting a love story, but to call this book a love story would be to do it a major disservice. This book is about family, identity, self-acceptance, racism, and true love, and everything in between. Frankly in Love is that rare book that perfectly embodies the young adult genre, in the best kind of way. David Yoon has penned a fantastic and unforgettable debut, and I can’t wait to see what he delivers next! Frankly in Love just might be one of my favorite novels of 2019; I just finished it on Saturday night, and my heart is still aching from following Frank on his journey through life!

               Frank Li is a boy who is stuck between two worlds: his all-American upbringing and the expectation of his Korean parents and culture. He longs to be himself in a world that is always trying to press him into a mold. When he meets a white girl named Brit, he knows that his traditional, straitlaced and racist parents will not approve. He concocts a plan to stay under the radar: pretend to date a childhood friend, also Korean-American, named Joy Song, while dating Brit. But things get complicated when he begins having feelings for his fake girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong?

               I loved this book! It was hilarious, heartbreaking, honest and tender; it might just be one of my favorites of 2019. I was laughing, crying, and screaming throughout the whole book. Frank’s voice was honest, funny, and poignant; my heart ached for him as the book went on. The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately spellbound by his narration. I adored Frank’s friends also, especially Joy, Q, and the Limbos. His family, too, was a fantastic foil to him; I loved the way it portrayed his parents and the immigrant parents-half-American dynamic. One of my favorite things about this book was the way that it highlighted racism! Unfortunately, that is a horrible and outdated practice that still persists in the lifeblood of America today. I loved the way that it went deep into Korean culture; it was as informative as it was funny and entertaining. I also adored the romance in this book; it reminded me of when I first fell in love with my husband. I was swooning as the book went on. I loved the ending; it was so heartbreaking and bittersweet. The only thing I didn’t like was that I wish there had been more said of Hanna, and her situation with Frankie and their parents. I wish she’d been more involved than she actually was. Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed Frankly in Love! One of my favorite books of the year! The bottom line: Hilarious, honest, heartbreaking and wonderful, I loved Frankly in Love! One of my favorite books of 2019! Next on deck: Come November by Katrin van Dam!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/frankly-in-love-by-david-yoon-review.html

Title: Loki: Where Mischief Lies

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Mackenzi Lee is one of my favorite authors of all time; I read The Montague Siblings series and became obsessed. So, when I heard that she was writing a book from the point of view of one of my favorite Marvel antiheroes, Loki himself, I was ecstatic. As soon as I had a space in my library stack, I reserved it at my local library. It’s been sitting on the top of my library stack for a while, and once I realized I couldn’t renew it any more, I dove in right after I finished Renia’s Diary. And for the most part, Lee did a fantastic job! I loved Where Mischief Lies; I’ve been curious about the young Loki for a long time now, and this book did a fantastic job of filling in the gaps. There were a few little things that I wish had been fleshed out, but overall, this was a fantastic entry into the Marvel canon, and I hope there’s more in the works! Long live Loki, god of lies, mischief, and magic!

               Loki has spent his whole life in the shadows of his father, Odin, and his brother, Thor. He longs for a chance to rule Asgard, even though he knows that Odin won’t give him a chance. On top of that, he only has one friend in his father’s court: a fellow sorceress named Amora. When Odin sees a vision in The Godseye Mirror of Loki leading an army of the living dead, Loki realizes that his father thinks he may be the catalyst that sends Ragnarok into motion. When a routine political intrigue mission goes awry, Odin metes out a terrible punishment: Loki must journey to Midgard, or Earth, to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. Once on Earth, Loki finds someone that he never thought he’d see again, and he discovers that he may be able to change the fate that everyone has envisioned for him…

               I loved, loved, loved this book! Mackenzi Lee is one of my favorite authors, and Loki is one of my favorite antiheroes in the entire Marvel canon, so this was a match made in book nerd heaven! The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately spellbound by Loki; even his younger, more naïve self was fabulous! He was one of my favorite characters in the book, and I also adored the dynamic between himself, Thor, and his father, the formidable Odin. I really liked the other characters, too: Amora, Theo, Mrs. S, and the rest of their ragtag team of mythbusters. But my favorite thing about this whole book was Loki’s growth throughout, and the way that he grew into and accepted himself, regardless of how everyone else saw him. And that ending! Oh, my goodness, what a way to end with a bang! Lee has done a fantastic job of filling in the gaps of how Loki became the sly and wily god of mischief. I loved it, so much, and I really, really hope that there’s more in the works at Marvel! I was totally obsessed! The bottom line: Hilarious, honest, dark and thrilling, I loved Loki: Where Mischief Lies! Next on deck: Frankly in Love by David Yoon!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/loki-where-mischief-lies-by-mackenzi.html

Title: The Kingdom

Author: Jess Rothenberg

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Science Fiction/Mystery

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               The Kingdom has been on my to-be-read list since before it came out, but unfortunately, the first couple times I borrowed it from my library, I had to return it before I could read it. It’s been sitting in my library stack for a while now, and as soon as I finished Five Dark Fates the day before last, I dove in, uncertain of what to expect of Rothenberg’s sophomore novel, as I hadn’t read any of her work previously. What I got was like Disney Princess and I, Robot had a lovechild, and I absolutely loved it. This book was a dark, thoughtful and frightening mashup of romance, science fiction, and mystery, and I adored it! The Kingdom has become one of my favorite novels of 2019, and I’m really hoping that Jess has something more in the works, because I am totally obsessed. This book might be one of the most original I’ve ever read. Telling the story of an android, a human-cyborg hybrid, it also brought up interesting questions about choice, free will, fantasy and reality and the fine line between the two, and what it means to be truly human. A stunning, thought-provoking novel that still has me stunned, and I just finished it this afternoon! This book was nothing less than absolutely stunning, and I will never forget it!

               In the magical land of The Kingdom, somewhere in the distant future, happily ever after isn’t just something that everyone aspires to; it is a rule, a command, an order. For Ana, a Fantasist, she is one of the park’s most lively and sought-after attractions—literally. She and her sisters are machines, made to look like real people. But Ana’s pleasant, sheltered existence begins to fray at the edges when one of her sisters disappears, and when she meets a young man who works at the park, Ana begins to feel things that should be forbidden, things that she shouldn’t have learned. But it turns out that Kingdom Corp. will do anything to hide its dark, dangerous secrets, maybe even kill. Ana finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew, and she realizes that she may not be able to trust anyone…

               There aren’t enough words in the English language to tell you all just how much I loved this book. I’m a complete sucker for any kind of science fiction, but I’m obsessed with robots, cyborgs, and the like. And this book was like Disney Princess and I, Robot had a baby. This book was so unique; I’ve never read another like it. The pacing was breakneck, and I was totally spellbound by Ana’s frank, innocent voice. But I also adored how this book wasn’t afraid to ask hard questions: what does it really mean to be truly human? What marks the difference between human and machine? Is it possible to have too much fantasy in our reality? I also really liked the layout: interspersed with Ana’s first-person narrative are trial transcripts, photos, and case files; it added to the mystery of it all. The twists and turns were so crazy at times it felt like I had emotional whiplash, and that ending: I did not see it coming! The other characters made great foils for Ana: her sisters, ‘parents’, The Kingdom employees and investors, as well as Owen, the man that Ana falls in love with. This book was thoughtful, chilling, shocking and totally unique, and I loved every moment of it. This book was nothing less than perfection, and honestly, I’m just sorry that it’s all over! The bottom line: Rich, compelling, thought-provoking and utterly frightening, I loved The Kingdom! Easily one of the best books I’ve read all year! Next on deck: Renia’s Diary by Renia Spiegel and Elizabeth Bellak!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-kingdom-by-jess-rothenberg-review.html

Title: Five Dark Fates

Author: Kendare Blake

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Series: Three Dark Crowns, book four

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Kendare Blake is one of my favorite authors; I’m a diehard fan, honestly, and have been so ever since Anna, Dressed in Blood. When I saw Two Dark Reigns sitting on a shelf at my local library, I snatched it up, and on that same shelf I also found the last book in the quartet, and I checked that as well. I finished Two Dark Reigns in less than three days, and then I just finished Five Dark Fates yesterday. Normally, I’d allow a bit of time to pass until I actually reviewed it, but I’ve been really behind and have been trying to catch up for the last week and a half. But honestly, this book: It was satisfying, frightening, and heartbreakingly sad; I’m still in shock that it’s all over, and that I had to say goodbye to Mirabella, Arsinoe and Katharine. The series closer to one of my favorite series of the year did not disappoint; the only thing I’m really upset about is that it’s all over!

               Katharine is the Queen Crowned now, but the spirits that have slipped inside of her body are longing for another vessel, one more powerful than she. Meanwhile, Arsinoe and Mirabella, still in hiding on the mainland, are desperate to find a way to defeat their sister and free Fennbirn from the darkness that refuses to let it go. Arsinoe is haunted by visions of a queen from the past, and knows that they hold answers to the questions that haunt her. Mirabella finds herself torn between her two sisters, while Jules, Arsinoe’s best friend, finds herself reluctantly at the head of a rebellion to take the crown from Katharine. But the queens who inspired the dark traditions aren’t about to let the girls go unscathed, and not everyone will make it out alive…

               This book was, in a word, heartbreaking. The pacing was breakneck, and I started Five Dark Fates as soon as I was finished with Two Dark Reigns. I was immediately spellbound, and despite this being the longest book in the series, I devoured it in less than two days. Even when I wasn’t reading it, it was lurking in my mind; I even dreamed of it several times before I finished the book. I tried to take it slow; I didn’t want to save goodbye to the girls, even while I knew this was the end. Every loss, great and small, felt like nothing less than a punch to the gut. And even though I knew everyone would collide, all three sisters and Jules as well, I was not ready for the confrontation at the ending. Every moment of this novel was painful and bittersweet, but not unsatisfying. That ending, man—it’s been stuck in my craw for the last few days, replaying on a loop since I finished it. I cried, laughed, and cheered, and I know now that I will miss all of the characters, even ones I disliked. This may be the end of Fennbirn, but you can be sure that I will visit again! The bottom line: Powerful, rich, and bittersweet, I loved Five Dark Fates, the final book in the Three Dark Crowns quartet, and I will never forget the island of Fennbirn or its powerful queens! Next on deck: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/five-dark-fates-by-kendare-blake-review.html

Title: Two Dark Reigns

Author: Kendare Blake

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Series: Three Dark Crowns, book three

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Kendare Blake is one of my favorite authors of all time; I read her debut novel, Anna, Dressed in Blood, and have been a longtime devotee ever since. I’ve adored her Three Dark Crowns series, but have only just got around to finishing the quartet. I devoured Two Dark Reigns in three days, and I loved every dark, tense moment of it. Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine have competed for the crown, and it turns out that the youngest sister, Katharine, the poisoner, has won the right to be Queen Crowned. Mirabella and Arsinoe have fled the island of Fennbirn, seeking out shelter with Arsinoe’s lover’s family. Katharine has found victory, but a steep and terrible price: her body is being shared with all the lost, dead queens that came before her and sisters, and they will stop at nothing to make sure that they have a willing vessel, even if it means hurting everyone that Katharine still loves. Meanwhile, Arsinoe is haunted by visions of a dark specter: The long-lost Blue Queen, who keeps telling the girls that they must return to the island. Jules, too, is in a strange place, also in hiding and in disguise. Her only confidants, the war-gifted soldier Emilia, and her oracle friend, Mathilde, are encouraging her to do the impossible: become a legion-cursed queen who will lead the rebel army straight to Katharine’s doorstep. An uprising that The Blue Queen may have predicted or foreseen, or even expected, is coming, and not everyone will make it out alive…

               This book was nothing less than wonderful. Normally, sequels make me nervous, but I had nothing to fear from Blake. This book picks up where One Dark Throne left off, with Katharine anxious about her sisters still being alive and coming to take the throne she has worked her whole life to rule on, and Arsinoe and Mirabella still reeling from losses of their own. The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately thrust into the world of Fennbirn and its murderous, powerful queens. As with all sequels, it took a little while for me to get back into the swing of things, but once I did, the book went by in a flash. I devoured it in less than three days, and I very much enjoyed it. I was so happy that I had Five Dark Fates next in line, because after that ending, I was reeling. I’m so happy that Blake decided to continue in the series, finishing up with Five Dark Fates. This series has been a recent favorite of mine, and I’m so excited to finish it! The bottom line: Rich, detailed, thrilling and shocking, I loved Two Dark Reigns, and I cannot wait to finish up the quartet with Five Dark Fates! Next on deck: Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake!

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