Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | ARC Review

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Entangled Teen in return for an honest review

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis:
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Goodreads| Amazon

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

From the very beginning this book dives right in and takes off with thrilling intensity. The concept of the Garden and all that these captured girls go through in this traveling burlesque troupe was so captivating and made me want to continue from the very start. There are secrets, intrigue and kingdoms at war.

I thought Mitchell did a wonderful job with the opening of the book. I was so drawn in from the first page. She was able to maintain my attention and keep me on the edge of my seat until the end, although I did think it faltered a little in the middle. The character development of the main character Rose was so well executed. She had issues and unlike so many YA novels she actually had to work through her issues and face her own demons which was refreshing. I find that in so many novels the issues are presented and then quickly are dissolved. Rose was a strong female heroine and definitely makes the whole female independence a strong motto.

The other characters were really well developed and so well described that I could picture them perfectly. The thing with such great character development is I feel like Mitchell fell a little short on the world building. There was so much room for great world development being a fantasy novel and even more about the Garden. I was really intrigued by the concept of the Garden and wanted more from it.

I had just a few other issues with this book and without giving too much away, I thought the romance at times was too much. I really liked the way it ended but at the beginning it came on too strong and didn’t follow Roses beliefs but Mitchell managed to straighten it out and actually make me really happy that it was in the story and added a great component. The last problem I found was with how quickly they threw Rose out on missions and how she was trusted with little to no training.

Overall, I found this story to be very unique and nothing I have read before. It did not shy away from the gruesome details and wasn’t afraid to not let a strong female overcome obstacles and shine. Garden of Thorns was a fast read and kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was going to happen the whole time. It made me experience a wide range of emotions and actually had an ending I cannot complain about. I really recommend YA fantasy readers who enjoy strong female leads and times of war and unrest to pick this book up!

You might also like:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Alanna by Tamora Pierce

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! This month I reached out and asked Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi if she would be so kind to participate and be featured for my Book Blogger Shout-out! Her blog is fantastic and so adorable! She has some awesome graphics and posts with tons of pictures! She reads a wide variety and I totally recommend checking out her blog!

 

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Hi everyone! My name is Dee and I am just a girl who fell in love with books and Jamie Fraser. I love reading and binge watching numerous TV shows on Netflix. I love everything YA, but I am open to other genres as well. When I first started reading I was a huge Paranormal Romance reader, but if you can find a cute contemporary that has a great story/message I will devour it in one setting. I am currently all about Fantasy novels. When I don’t have a book in my hands, I am probably watching Arrow or Outlander. I am obsessed with baby animals and cheesy romantic comedies. I started blogging as a way to interact with more people about the books that I loved. None of my friends or family read, so blogging has been a great outlet for me to fangirl. If you ever need someone to fangirl with, I am always here 😉

Also, thank you so much Ashley for featuring me on her blog today! You’re awesome, Ashley XD

TOP 5 FAVORITE FANTASY SERIES WITH BREATHTAKING WORLDS

When I first started reading I was really intimidated by reading Fantasy. I always felt that if a book had a map that it was too complicated for me. Include a glossary? Forget it! However, I’ve read some pretty amazing books that completely converted me. Now Fantasy is my favorite genre. Here are just a few of my all-time favorite series. If you haven’t read them, please do. And if you have, I hope you loved them just as much as I do. 

 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Believe it or not, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was actually the first YA Fantasy novel I have ever read. I have read other novels with fantasy backdrops, but this is one of the first “full on” fantasy that I read and fell in love with. The story itself is compelling, but I fell completely in love with Bardugo’s world building. She crafts such an unique world of magic that you’d wish that you were apart of it. Shadow and Bone is just the start of Bardugo’s magic. Six of Crows is the story of a group of criminal misfits coming together to pull an impossible heist. This novel will grab you from page one and not let go of it’s hold until the very last page. This has to be one of my favorite books of 2015. Bardugo really is a mastermind when it comes to magical worlds.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

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Marie Lu is the author of one of the best YA Dystopian series, Legend and when I found out she was writing a fantasy series I lost it. Completely lost it. If you love a series about a group of individuals all with unique abilities that is also pretty dark, this is the series for you. The Young Elites isn’t just your average fantasy series. It tells the story about the antivillain and it is breathtaking.

 

 Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

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The Throne of Glass has quickly become one of the most loved fantasy series out there in YA. I may be biased, but I personally think it deserves all its hype. I am in love with the world Maas has crafted. From the Fae to the Valg to the witches and the magic. I can’t get enough of this world and the series just sucks you right in. Maas gives us a pretty badass female protagonist with not one, not two, but about four different swoon-worthy guys (if you’re caught up to Heir of Fire, you’ll know). If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series yet, I strongly urge you to. It has a great story and some awesome character development. Yes, there is a bunch of romance (maybe a little too much that needs to be decentralized) but the story itself is so strong! Maas is another Queen of Fantasy. Plus she has a pretty awesome Beauty and the Beast fantasy retelling called A Court of Thorns and Roses as well 😉

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This is not only a fantastic retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but a beautiful, magical world that Ahdieh created. The setting, the dresses, the castle (for lack of a better term), the magic, everything screams beautiful and just made me want to devour the entire story. I couldn’t not put this book down for one second. If you like retellings, you need to give this a read immediately.

 

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

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I know another guest blogger has already mentioned Daughter of Smoke & Bone, but I can’t not mention it as well. It’s one my favorite fantasy series ever! I started this series after I kept hearing Katytastic rave about it constantly. I decided to pick it up and I was blown away. This series has a very intricate world based on angels and the chimaera (demons) who have been at war for years. It tells the story of a girl stuck in the middle and the ultimate forbidden love. This series is beautiful. These characters don’t love at face-value, their souls reach out to each other and to me, it’s one of the most beautiful series in YA.

Well there you have it! A few of my favorite fantasy books/series. There are definitely more, I didn’t want to hijack Ashley’s wonderful blog 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks again to Ashley for being awesome and letting me be a guest ❤

Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!

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Blog: http://www.thebookishkhaleesi.wordpress.com
Twitter:@bookishkhaleesi
Goodreads: Dee
Instagram: bookishkhaleesi

 

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Dee make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

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A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES BY SARAH J. MAAS

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Synopsis:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Goodreads | Amazon

review

I first have to start this by saying I cannot believe I waited so long to read something by Sarah J. Maas. The synopsis of this book intrigued me along with the fact that everyone praised Maas’s work, but I am always hesitant with retellings and especially books about fae. This book proved all my hesitation to be pointless.

While there were parallels to the original story of Beauty and the Beast, Maas wove together some fantastical twists and beautiful world building and elements that made this story brilliant. I loved what she was able to do with the incorporation of fae and the groundwork she laid for the world and the story were unique and wonderful! I thought her fusion of the old and new story were so seemingly done. There was the perfect amount of elements taken to still allow for her to make a story that could be completely her own. The way she took some of the most known parts of the original story and put such a twist on them was fantastic. Beauty loves to read and yet Feyre is illiterate. The play on the old story and the fact that without knowing it shares parallels with another story it can be completely its own and still be unique, beautiful and an engrossing story.

Shout out for strong kickass females! Feyre is a feisty, independent and wonderful female lead. She is determined to do anything she can for her family and because of this she must give up her life. I do have to say I was quite surprised with the romance in this book. I absolutely loved it don’t get me wrong, but it was borderline new adult. I just found that shocking since it is a young adult novel, but it did not bother me. I loved the males in this book and felt like they were nicely developed. And although at times there seems to be a hint at a future love triangle, it was not heavy. Tamlin is a complex and interesting character. I enjoyed that you learn about him a little at the time along with Feyre. He was strong and everything you want from a love interest. Not only were the characters and the world amazing, but the creatures that were created were so well developed and explained to a point were I began to sympathize with them. I am always a little weird about fae in books, but Maas did such an excellent job!

Overall I thought this was an amazing story. I absolutely love Maas’s writing and think she has such a fantastic and unique take on stories and world building. A Court of Thorns and Roses had just the right amount of fantastical and beautiful aspects as well as a slight dark atmosphere. Maas brought this world to life and used such beautiful imagery. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, badass females, beautiful worlds and Maas’s writing.

5s

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Don’t forget to check out Samantha’s review on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson | Book Review

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THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS BY RAE CARSON

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

“Honor from death,” I snap, “is a myth. Invented by the war torn to make sense of the horrific. If we die, it will be so that others may live. Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life.”
― Rae Carson, The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Series: Fire and Thorns 

Synopsis:
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

GoodreadsAmazon

review

I am not even sure where to start with this review. This book was exactly what I needed. It is filled with courtly and political intrigue. It has a strong female lead who proves that sometimes the chosen one is the one who seems most unworthy.

As I read this book I did what I do for most of the books I read, and kept a notebook filled with notes. Yet as I stare at the page full of notes and comments I am struggling at finding the words to say in order to convey how I felt about this book. It had its moments and although it was not perfection I seem to be a little bias because this book was exactly what I needed at this moment in time.

Elisa is everything you want in a heroine! She is clever and absolutely brilliant although she has self doubt and insecurities. That is what I like most about her. Her characterization is so true to a real female and she proves that she is worthy, strong and pretty badass. There were so many other characters in this book and I loved them all. Each one was very unique and had their own quirks that made me love the book even more. There were the characters you love and the ones you love to hate! 

One of my favorite aspects of this book besides the intriguing political and war strategy was that although there was romance it was more of light love interest and not a story that revolved around the romance. For me that is something big that quickly annoys me when I find it in a book. I was so happy that there were multiple interests and each helped Elisa learn something about herself. I was also quite taken by the religion that was weaved into the story. It sometimes makes me feel uneasy and like it is preachy when found in books, but it was used in a different way in this story.

“God’s will. How many times have I heard someone declare their understanding of this thing I find so indefinable?”
― Rae Carson, The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Overall I found this to be a refreshing YA fantasy that had elements unique to itself and threaded many different elements throughout the story making a fully and more engrossing story. This book incorporates a ton of diversity and was absolutely fantastic! I recommend this book to anyone who loves engaging fantasy and strong kickass female heroines! 

5s 

Kindle E-Book Tour | Young Adult – Fantasy & Science Fiction

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Insanity by Cameron Jace

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Blackout by Meredith McCardle

Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun

Shadows & Secrets by Chautona Havig

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A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice

Land of Shadows by Jeff Gunzel

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Dangerous by Alycia Linwood

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

Ancient Guardians by S.L Morgan

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This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

More Than This by Patrick Ness

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

The Oathbreaker’s Shadow by Amy McCulloch

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Puppet by Paulina C. Harris

The 100 by Kass Morgan

Realm Keepers by Garrett Robinson

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Origins: The Fire by Debra Driza

Mechanical by Pauline C. Harris

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The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Day 21 by Kass Morgan

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Whispers of the Fallen by J.D Netto

Make sure to watch out for the next section of my Kindle Book Tour. And if you haven’t yet check out the Fantasy & Science Fiction, Classic and New Adult section!

Kindle E-Book Tour | Fantasy & Science Fiction

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The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

The Book of Deacon Joseph Lallo

Dark Realms by Kristen Middleton

Only Blue Will Do by Mark Rippon

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The Bloodstained God by Tim Stead

Burden of Souls by Andy Monk

City of Rogues by Ty Johnston

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Fifth Vertex by Kevin Hoffman

Everville: The First Pillar by Roy Huff

Darkness Rising by Ross Kitson

The Descent Series by S.M Reine

 Make sure to watch out for the next section of my Kindle Book Tour

Splintered Trilogy by A.G Howard | Quotes

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Because I am too obsessed with this trilogy for my own good! I thought I would share some of the amazing writing and quotes!

“Tearing down the rest of the world won’t make you happy. Look inside yourself. Because finding who you were meant to be? What you were put into this world to do? That’s what fills the emptiness. It’s the only things that can.”
― A.G. Howard, Splintered

“No one knows what he or she is capable of until things are at their darkest.”
― A.G. Howard, Splintered

“You understand the logic behind the illogical, Alyssa. It’s in your nature to find tranquility amid the madness. And that’s what we’re doing here. We are giving our food a fighting chance.”
― A.G. Howard, Splintered

“All I have to do is set the power free. Escape the chains of humanity, let madness be my 17449197guide. If I forget everything but Wonderland, I can become beautiful pandemonium.”
― A.G. Howard, Unhinged

“Little blossom trapped in between, wearing malice like a queen;
hide the truth, be cruel and tart,
still all the more, you rule my heart.”
― A.G. Howard, Unhinged

“A childish story take, and with a gentle hand, lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined in Memory’s mystic band…thus grew the world of Wonderland.”
― A.G. Howard, Unhinged

“One thing more: Wonderland and I are the same. You love one of us, you love the other. You are Wonderland, too. Which means we are the perfect fit, in more ways than you can even imagine. On our day together, I’ll take great pleasure in showing you all of them.”
― A.G. Howard, Unhinged

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“I don’t want those things from you. I love your faults and imperfections. Your kind heart. The scars that match mine, and the struggles to find ourselves. I want your humanness. Nothing else.”
― A.G. Howard, Ensnared

“Jebediah has given up on you, but I never will. I can offer you the security you desire. If you’ll but be mine, your heart will forever be sheltered in my care. Yes, we will quarrel incessantly and fight for dominance. And yes, there will be ravishes of passion, but there will also be gentle lulls. That is who we are together. You’ll never need fear that your love is not reciprocated. For although you’ve made me feel things I am not equipped for… I cannot stop feeling them.”
― A.G. Howard, Ensnared

“Wonderland is violent and bizarre, but charming in its way. AnyElsewhere is a whole new level of cruelty.”
― A.G. Howard, Ensnared

Unhinged by A.G Howard | Book Review

17449197UNHINGED BY A.G. HOWARD

Genre: YA, Fantasy (retelling)

“Little blossom trapped in between, wearing malice like a queen;
hide the truth, be cruel and tart,
still all the more, you rule my heart.”
― A.G. Howard, Unhinged

Series: Splintered Trilogy
Splintered (#1 in Splintered Trilogy)
The Moth in the Mirror (#1.5 in Splintered Trilogy)
Ensnared (#3 Splintered Trilogy)

Synopsis: 
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

GoodreadsAmazon

review

*Warning this may contain spoilers for the first book in the trilogy*

I mean I do not even know if I can form a review worthy of the greatness of this book (and really the whole trilogy.) I did find that there were a couple parts of personal annoyance for me within the story, but I loved where Howard went with this story and the greatness that continued from the first installment, Splintered.

I was extremely happy with this sequel and thought Howard did a fantastic job of not succumbing to the second book syndrome. There were some points where there was a lull for me, but it was all working to create the drama and built up for the end. The ending was absolutely amazing and I was happy I didn’t have to wait long for the next book to come out. Howard continued to provide a whimsical world with fabulous imagery and details. I loved the writing and the consistency of style that followed the first book. Using the original story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for inspiration was still seen throughout this book and I really enjoyed that Howard used different parts from Splintered while still incorporating the fantastic ideas and creations from the other book. I could not get enough of this world and the craziness and nonsensical situations that take place. I never knew where the story was going to go and there were surprising shocks and twists!

The character development was a big part of this book in my opinion. You got to learn a lot more about Alyssa, her parents, the boys and of course the Wonderlandian creatures. I did have a problem with Alyssa in this book. I felt like she got whiny and dependent on the male characters. I know she was still figuring out her life and finding herself, but she was so set on making her own choices and doing what she wanted in Splintered that I felt like she got so engrossed with the boys. ( Like being so hard on Jeb about him doing his work and trying to make a life for himself etc.) She got so jealous and controlling and it was just hard for me to get through some of those moments because it was annoying. Of course Morpheus and Jeb were amazing ( I am leaning more towards Morpheus, but wasn’t completely sure which one I liked more) The love triangle got frustrating and I thought there were some times that it bordered on taking away from the story. Both of the boys have such different quirks, but both share a snarky attitude that I really enjoy.

Overall, I thought this was a superb second book! It left me completely shocked and needing to pick up Ensnared immediately. The events and situations fit into the crazy, mad and nonsensical world of Wonderland. A.G Howard does a wonderful job with the imagery and creation of Wonderland and the dark creatures that inhabit the world. This book for sure follows the dark and twisted take on the original story the was found in Splintered. I do not know what else I can say, but that I highly recommend this book and the trilogy as a whole to everyone. It has quickly become one of my favorite trilogies. So I might not be able to say it in this review, but that was a beautifully dark and whimsical story with twists and mad, nonsensical creatures!

RATING-4

Splintered by A.G Howard | Book Review

12558285SPLINTERED BY A.G. HOWARD

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal (retelling)

“He’s a contradiction: taut magic coiled to strike, gentleness at war with severity, a tongue as sharp as a whip’s edge, yet skin so soft he could be swathed in clouds.”
― A.G. Howard, Splintered

Series: Splintered Trilogy
The Moth in the Mirror (#1.5 Splintered Trilogy)
Unhinged (# 2 Splintered Trilogy)
Ensnared (#3 Splintered Trilogy)

Synopsis:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Goodreads |Amazon

review

*Warning this review may be jumbled and not make sense. It may repeat and fangirl a little too much, but how can I not*

Not only did this book shock and surprise me, but I absolutely fell in love with the whimsical writing and dark and beautifully haunting story. Now it is not the same kind of love that I have for the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, but since this book is more inspired by Carroll’s original story (and takes a whole new twist on a classic story we all thought we knew) more so than a retelling it gave me exactly what I needed and wanted from a book using the story and events from one of my all time favorite works!

For the most part I am just at a complete loss for words when it comes to this book and feel like I can’t write a review to do it justice. Now I will state I did have a few slight problems with this book, but I was able to overlook them because of the direction Howard took this well known classic story and made it gritty, dark, haunting, slightly twisted and completely turned the original story upside down. I found Howard’s writing and story telling to have some fantastic parallels to Carroll’s writing and although there were components taken/ mentioned from the original work she did it in such a way that it created a book that felt totally unique and original all on its own. I loved that you still got the whimsical and nonsensical feel in the writing and story, which was something that I greatly appreciated and enjoyed immensely. The language, sentence structures, the poems, pretty much nailed it. The prose was everything you would want an expect from a mad and crazy world such as Wonderland. I did find the beginning to be a tad slow and it took me a couple chapters to get into it (I think I was being so judgmental and just not going to let myself like it because I am such a huge fan and slightly obsessed with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) but I became completely hooked and devoured the book unable to put it down (and had to pick up the sequel right away).

I found myself falling in love with all the characters/creatures that Howard developed, imagined and created. I really enjoyed Alyssa! She definitely marches to the beat of her own drum and isn’t afraid to be different. She was also a strong female character and wanted to make her own decisions, which I appreciate.  I love the complexity presented with her character and felt like there was great character development when it came to her internal struggles and finding out who she really is by the end of the book. Then there was the trend found so commonly in the YA genre that I have huge internal struggles and issues with, the dreaded love triangle. I did find that it did not play too big of a role in this story and could handle it. It seemed to add to the overall conflict of the story and for this book it worked. I was very fond of both male characters Jeb and Morpheus! They both have that same twisted pasts and views on life that mirror Alyssa and really work with the story. They both had great personalities and made it very hard for me to pick a team!

Overall this is an absolutely fantastic story that is dark, whimsical and maddening. It incorporates the jargon and nonsensical atmosphere found in Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is imaginative and has descriptions so beautifully written that brings the pages and world to life! It definitely portrays the darker side of Wonderland and remind me at times of the 2010 Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland. I think anyone who loves and has an sort of obsession with Wonderland will highly enjoy this unique take. I also think it is a good way for someone who has never read the classic to get into and fall complete mad over the story and place of Wonderland!

5s

NPR’s Top Science Fiction & Fantasy Books!

Recently I have gotten back into reading a lot (duh Ashley! Why else would you have a book blog) I have been expanding my tastes and exploring new genres and some of what I really want to get more into is adult sci-fi and fantasy! I have heard some people talking about this list and looked over it and really want to read more from this list since I have sadly only read two and am currently reading another. I don’t have any set date, number or anything for when I hope to read them by, but I just really want to dive into this genre(s) more!

Have you read any of these books/series? What do you think of them?What should I read first?

 

Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis