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Guest Review: Literary Exploration takes on THRONE OF GLASS

I recently finished the first season of Game of Thrones which immediately put me on a high fantasy kick. I then devoured Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and after meeting Sarah at Comic-Con (who is absolutely amazing!!) I knew it was time to pick up Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass is an epic high fantasy adventure set in a dystopian-like atmosphere that has been abandoned by ancient magic. Not only is the story fast-paced and intriguing, but there is a love triangle... that works. The characters are all amazing and individual and Celaena is a fantastic female protagonist. If you're looking for a great high fantasy read while waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones this is definitely one you'll want to pick up.

Celaena may be an assassin, but she's also compassionate, strong, smart, and funny! Her personality isn't limited to a killing-machine and despite her deadly flaws she's an amazing female protagonist. Her relationships with Choal and Dorian are stressed most of the time, due to the fact that she is an assassin, but the way the triangle develops is a rarity in YA these days. I may have liked one more than the other, but there isn't a battle between the two men. In fact, I'm not sure they realize they're in love with her at all most of the time. If I could highlight a great love triangle, this would be it. And Celaena is funny. Like, laugh out loud funny. She's amazingly level-headed, and her ability to be witty and sarcastic while her life is in danger is just wonderful!

Throne of Glass is filled with mystery, intrigue, and murder! Maas's writing style is just so elegant and real. There isn't an overabundance of fancy words or a condescending tone, it's just honest and passionate. The pace is really fast, but not so fast that I couldn't understand what was going on. I was always interested in what was happening and I had a hard time putting the book down at all. The world-building is magnificent; it's so real I felt like I was actually within Celaena's world. It's a fantastical setting filled with romance, murder, and magic which are three of my favorite things!

If you're struggling to find an awesome fantastical read Throne of Glass is one you won't want to miss out on. The world-building is fun and creative, and the characters are intensely real. Choal and Dorian are swoon-worthy in their own ways and Celaena's kick butt attitude constantly had me cheering her on. Sarah J. Maas is a force to be reckoned with, and her debut novel had me gripping the edge of my seat. Despite the many prequels she's penned, I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel! Fans of Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and all high fantasy will want to pick this one up!

 -Reviewed by Anna of Literary Exploration

Every Day by David Levithan

I am a huge, huge fan of almost everything David does. And he’s done it again. This book has a fascinating premise. The main character exists as a human entity but has no body to call its own. Every morning A. wakes up within a new outer shell be it male, female, gay, straight, white, black, fat, thin, functional or addicted. All is good and well until A. falls in love and has a reason to want to stop jumping.

David Levithan's writing is so, so good I could have read a book twice its length. And that is really my only gripe with the book. I needed a bit more time. Levithan has definitely touched me again, but this time more my head than my heart, which is not a bad thing. Very excited to get people of all ages reading this one.

--Summer from Books Inc. Laurel Village

 

With a conceit as mind-boggling, logic-defying, face-explodingly-original as that in David Levithan's newest, one cannot help but wonder... is David Levithan... a robot? Or a god? Point being, he can't be human. Humans just aren't that good.

But then, he HAS to be human. Because in the pages of Every Day is a story of stunning emotional acuity-- as sentimental as it is unflinching-- that could only be born from the inimitable human experience.

I read this book on a sunny day in San Francisco. I sat in Dolores Park and read it all the way through. Around me, people played frisbee, smoked, chatted, cuddled. They came and left. And as I read I felt a mounting curiousity and empathy-- because as strange and distant as we were, I could not help but feel that they, like me, would feel a kinship with Every Day's narrator, A. That they, just like me, would read A's story and think, "that's me, that's my life too, I thought I was the only one," which is the real feat of this novel.

--Maggie, NYMBC lady and Children's Department Director


You can preorder a copy here and meet David at our October 12th event!

You can also read this INDIE EXCLUSIVE extra Every Day story here!

 

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Here is another fairytale world that has evolved into a modern industrial society. Once upon a time everything ran on fairydust, but the fairies disappeared from their floating cities; factories crank out synthetic substitutes that support industries and on the street it is used as a drug. Henry Whelp is a wolf, a despised minority, living in a boarding school for troubled youth because his old man is the actual Big Bad Wolf in the slammer for killing Little red Riding Hood and her grandmother. This novel is all about the seedy underworld of this fantasy city and the plot twists and turns looking for the truth behind fairydust. There is a hard-boiled noir feel here, heavy enough to be nominated for the 2011 Edgar Award, usually reserved for serious adult crime novels. (Ages 13+)

Reviewd by Chris from Compass Books SFO

The Chandeliers by Vincent X. Kirsch

The world-renowned Chandelier family has come to town put on the best show on earth! Night after night, little Rufus Chandelier watches his family of highly talented giraffes put on the greatest show in town, longing to be big enough to join them, until he finally gets his chance to be the star. Not yet old enough to take the stage, he nevertheless proves his worth as the show unfolds...as their ever-trusty stagehand! Clever, resourceful and quick on his toes, Rufus Chandelier comes to the rescue, saving his family from some sticky situations. Take note of the beautiful watercolor illustration, the hilariously quirky details, and Mrs. Chandeliers to die for costumes! Perfect for the shy and quiet kid who just needs a little encouragement! (Ages 4-8.)

By Sophie Iribarren from Books Inc. Chestnut St.

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

A beautiful, reassuring and deeply moving new novel from the Newbery Award winning author, Rebecca Stead—where When You Reach Me was a tale of metaphysics and choice, Liar and Spy is a questioning novel about the nature of destiny and games. This time taking on a contemporary boy’s point of view, Stead expertly negotiates delicate content with seeming ease. As in When You Reach Me, her prose is marked by deceptively simple structure, belying very complicated ideas. So for mystery lovers, lovers of spies and lovers of gorgeous kids writing, Liar and Spy is the very worthy heir to the When You Reach Me Throne. For ages 9-13

--Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

The Vindico by Wesley King

 This book is so much fun! It’s a bit of a satire of the superhero genre, but I feel it will also appeal to fans of the superhero genre as well. Five teenagers are kidnapped by aging super villains and have super powers forced upon them so they can become the next team of super villains. As the book itself asks, "How hard can it be to turn teenagers evil?" Good and evil, black and white, and all the gray areas in between are explored in this fast paced and witty debut novel. This book is perfect for boys but there are enough strong female characters to win over female readers as well. (Ages 12+)

 

Reviewed by Katherine from Laurel Village

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