Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

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This book is undoubtedly one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read! It is basically about a girl named Cecile who gets sold to the trolls by an idiot of a gold digger, and how she’s transported into the world of Trollus, full of troll people who are cursed underneath a rock and hope that one day a songbird will break the curse. That songbird being Cecile.

I have so much to say about this book – seriously, there are too many feels webbed over one another. It’s hard to pick everything apart. I’ll start with our main character.

Cecile is a definite kickass heroine. She’s brave, but not to the point where it isn’t realistic, she uses her brain (emphasis on brain, because most YA heroines lack this *cough* Meghan Chase from the Iron Fey series) and she certainly doesn’t trip over her feet upon meeting the love interest. In fact, I was extremely pleased to find there wasn’t any insta-love.

This brings us to Tristan. Yup, our sardonic little hottie whose looks don’t just compensate for his lack of personality. He actually has both. I liked how the book also shows us how much he actually does care about his people, how he has plans of his own, doesn’t immediately fall in lurve with Cecile, and isn’t some petty teenage boy without any redeeming qualities. Personally, I think every high fantasy should have a Tristan.

The setting is placed underground, which I thought was pretty cool because it gives off this eerie and dark vibe. The trolls aren’t written off as just being ruthless savages. No, the author explores their suffering, their duties, their way of life, and their dwindling hopes. So many characters aren’t just cardboard cutouts, but each intricately molded into real people (trolls?) with ambitions of their own. Besides that, no character felt like a waste of pages, either, since somehow every one of them contributed to the plot.

The magic in here is so engaging, and to me, that’s what I liked reading about the most. I even loved the smaller aspects, such as how trolls can’t lie (I never knew that!) but that there are so many loopholes and that promises are taken very, very seriously.

So, yes. This book is amazing, addicting, and possibly one of the best ones out there. If you haven’t read it, then please, exit’s on the left. Go and READ IT.

 

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The Runaway Kind by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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2.5

I think we can all agree that the first book is much, much better than the second one.

It’s not that this book was bad – I loved the pirates, Jaron’s inherent way of dripping sarcasm on almost every page, and the cute relationship between him and Imogen.

But the plotting wasn’t tight enough, Jaron made some incredibly stupid decisions (he really was too young to be king, really) and the way that he managed to get out of every situation and besting everyone got tiresome.

Still, it was a fun, quick read.

 

The Start of Me and You by Emory Lord

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3.5

Despite what the cover suggests (extreme cheesiness, a plethora of the typical YA romance-y theatrics), the story is really anything but. In fact, I don’t even think it should be categorized as a romance at all, because it’s mainly friendship-based.

This book portrays such an amazing and realistic friendship between girls. We have our main character, Paige, and her three other friends: Kayleigh, Morgan, and Tessa. Their friendship and ceaseless support of each other during each downfall, i.e breakups, family problems, etc. made me want to join their group of friends or at least find a friendship as beautiful as theirs.

I’ll admit that I didn’t really connect with the main character immediately because she was kind of boring (ugh, good grades, a horrific grammar nazi, a bit of a drama queen at times) but as the story progressed and she began getting even more determined with completing her list, I found myself curious to see how her character would develop. Plus, I love the fact that she had a fierce loyalty towards her friends. I love that in a character.

The reason I didn’t bump this to five stars is because this book was just…well, kind of like any other YA contemporary in the sense that it literally had no plot twists and had some typical cliches, like that part where the teacher assigned them a partner they did not want to collaborate with but were forced to anyway. Plus, I felt that the relationship between Paige and Max (who was, admittedly, such a cute dork; his passion for airplanes certainly made me smile) honestly had no chemistry. Personally, I think they would’ve been better off as friends.

(Though Max and I definitely had some chemistry. Ahem. Cue winky face).

One more thing that I didn’t like was, aside from the well written chapters, there were scenes that were too stretched out, too many boring instances or conversations that sounded a little too mundane and didn’t add much to the plot or propel it any further – basically, it was extremely slow. The ending, too, was bit too rushed and tried to wrap everything up with a neat little bow. Nope. Did not work out.

In short, while this was a decent contemporary, it didn’t really cut it for me, especially because the romance could’ve been developed even further and the pacing a little faster. However, it wasn’t atrocious, either. It was definitely better than Open Road Summer, which I DNF. I guess I’m just getting even pickier with contemporary nowadays and I’ll just have to stick with sci-fi and fantasies for the time being.