5 YA Fantasy Book Settings I Would Most Definitely Die In Within The First Five Minutes (In No Particular Order)

Us bookworms always wistfully imagine entering our favorite books and interacting with our beloved fictional characters. It’s basically a dream come true! Just imagine aggressively yet lovingly hugging Noah Czerny, resident cinnamon roll from The Raven Cycle.** Or perhaps nibbling on strawberry waffles with Nina Zenik, Grisha icon.

IS THAT NOT PARADISE. TELL ME TO MY FACE THAT IT’S NOT PARADISE.

**don’t you dare tell me you can’t hug a gho**t because I CAN and I WILL 

However, I personally have one slight problem: all of my favorite books are filled with bloodshed. Quite literally. I adore reading delightfully gory masterpieces filled with angst and stabby murder children.

Let’s be honest: I wouldn’t last long enough to even hug my favorite character. Realistically, I wouldn’t last a second. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being cloaked by a nice, thick layer of plot armor like our good friend Celaena Sardothien. (It also doesn’t help that I have all the survival instincts of a hedgehog on fire.)

So without further rambling, let us proceed!

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A Repackaged Review of “And I Darken” by Kiersten White | Ft. My Favorite Characters Ever

I recently reread And I Darken, reread my review for it, and then felt massively disappointed in myself because I didn’t know it was possible for my writing to be that clunky and grammatically incorrect. (Not even kidding, I literally cringed a grand total of seven times.)

SO. I took it upon myself to revamp my review for And I Darken—for no reason other than that can’t just sit here pretending everything’s fine, knowing that I’ve written a horrid, nonsensical review for one of my favorite books ever?

(Also, I’m calling it right now: I’m going to happen upon this review about a year from now and then immediately want to rewrite it all because it sounds so bad. Note to Future Hannah: RESIST THE URGE.)

I think this has taught me never to trust the judgment of fetus Hannah. Lesson learned indeed.

this awkward thumbs-up basically sums up my entire existence

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“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert | Alice in Wonderland, but Not Really

Synopsis

*Note: Please excuse the error in the title… I was probably half-asleep when I made it, tbh

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Rating: 4 stars.

Warning: mild spoilers!

“When Alice was born, her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn’t stay long enough to wash her.”

I found this to be a lush, captivating read, with flawed (and I mean VERY FLAWED) main characters and a brilliantly woven dark fantasy world. Judging from the ratings and reviews, however, I believe I’m in the minority? Apparently, this book was heavily publicized, but I wasn’t aware of the hype at all, which may have led me to judge the book more favorably when I finished reading it.

(Because of course, there’s nothing more miserable than having an incredibly-hyped read crush all of a bookworm’s expectations to dirt.)

(Also, oh my lord, that cover is GORGEOUS. I am in love. *endless heart eyes*)

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5 “Bright We Burn” Excerpts I Collected From Twitter & Am Posting Here Just Because

FIRST OFF, if you haven’t read And I Darken, drop everything and PICK UP A COPY IMMEDIATELY. I demand it.

Secondly, did you see those pomegranates on the cover? It’s possibly the most violent fruit I’ve ever seen—and I love it.

JUST LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY LOOK TOGETHER

 

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ THE AND I DARKEN SERIES

  • impalings
  • A SWEET SUMMER CHILD WHO GOES BY THE NAME OF RADU
  • lots of violent romance
  • beautiful covers that depict weapons brutally stabbing flowers, jewelry, and fruit (yes, fruit. a pomegrante, to be exact.)
  • gender-swapped dracula woahhh
  • an antiheroine who is not drop-dead gorgeous and wiLL nOT conFORm to your deLICATE sensibilities
  • the ottoman empire!! history!!
  • Need I say more

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“The Book of Pearl” by Timothee de Fombelle | Fairy-tales, Wicked Kings, Insta-Love, and Endless Marshmallows

Synopsis

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In prose as magical and intricate as the tale it tells, Timothée de Fombelle delivers an unforgettable story of a first love that defines a lifetime.

Joshua Pearl comes from a world that we no longer believe in — a world of fairy tale. He knows that his great love waits for him there, but he is stuck in an unfamiliar time and place — an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris on the eve of World War II. As his memories begin to fade, Joshua seeks out strange objects: tiny fragments of tales that have already been told, trinkets that might possibly help him prove his own story before his love is lost forever. Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon translate the original French into a work both luminous and layered, enabling Timothée de Fombelle’s modern fairy tale to thrum with magic. Brimming with romance and history, mystery and adventure, this ode to the power of memory, storytelling, and love will ensnare any reader’s imagination and every reader’s heart.

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Rating: 2.5 marshmallow-y stars

Who could have guessed that she used to be a fairy?

I adore fairy tales, and this is basically the fairy tale OF ALL FAIRY TALES. It has practically three different plots mish-mashed into one very dense storyline. Though undeniably a creative twist, this makes the book more than a little difficult to follow (particularly for someone as daft as me).

Basically: there was a prince and a fairy, both madly in love. There was magic. There was a wicked king, a 14-year-old narrator, a war with green cloaked archer assassins, and a marshmallow shop. (The marshmallows sounded delicious, by the way.) THERE WERE SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS AND I AM ALL THE CONFUSION.

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