RoseBlood

RoseBlood

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera. 

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Thoughts:

Hmm.. this is going to be an interesting review to write because I have very mixed feelings about it. I had read a few mixed reviews so I had prepared myself that I might not like this story. I always like to give a book a go though, so I did. I wasn’t sure about a Phantom Of The Opera reimagining. However, I thought it was something unique and A.G Howard’s story was definitely that.

In A.G. Howard’s reimagining, The Phantom is very much live and kicking. There are references to the original story, but RoseBlood definitely doesn’t read like a retelling. It’s A.G. Howard imagining what could happen next. There are some very ‘interesting’ plot twists which I don’t want to mention, as I don’t want to spoil the story for those that do want to give it a go. There are also some very heavy issues included in the story, making me think that this story would be best for the higher age range of YA.

Rune is the main character and I can imagine she’s going to grate on some readers. I didn’t mind her though. I enjoyed her interactions with her new friends and I felt like she grew throughout the story. I actually preferred reading from the point of view of the Phantom’s adopted son. I wonder if the narrative had followed him alone, whether I would have enjoyed this book more?

I think this book is far too long. I felt like if it was 100 pages lighter, then my rating might have been higher. I just felt like some of the events were dragged out and unnecessary which is a shame. It affected the pace and I think if it had been shorter, the pace would have picked up, for sure!. I think RoseBlood is worth a try, especially if you’re a fan of the author’s writing.

Would I recommend it?:
It’s not for me!- 2.5 stars- I found it a bit slow and strange in places…

Sadly, this book didn’t work for me!

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As I Descended

As I Descended

How did I get it?:
It was a gift!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Lies We Tell Ourselves
What We Left Behind

Synopsis:

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved Robin Talley’s debut novel, but was a little disappointed by her second release. However, the synopsis of this book had me easily gripped and I knew I had to read it. I also really enjoy retellings and I was intrigued by the modern take on Macbeth.

As I Descended takes place at a boarding school. Our main characters use a Ouija board and that is the catalyst to the madness…Although this story is told from multiple points of view, Maria is the main focus of this story. She is determined to take down Delilah, who is the front runner for the Kingsley Prize, a scholarship for college. It will give her more time with Lily, her girlfriend. Maria and Lily work hard to make sure Maria gets that prize, no matter what it takes. The story definitely takes a turn for the worse when creepy things begin to happen….

I really enjoy Robin Talley’s writing style, she created such a wonderfully chilling atmosphere, I just had to keep turning the pages. I absolutely loved the diversity in the characters. As a reader, you can find LGBT characters and also a character with a physical disability.

If you don’t know much about Macbeth then it really doesn’t matter. I know the plot of Macbeth, but I’ve never read it and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! It’s not quite Lies We Tell Ourselves, but it’s a creepy, intriguing read!

Unhinged (Splintered#2)

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Splintered

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.

Thoughts:

It had been a while since I had read Splintered which is A.G Howard’s twisted reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. So it was with much trepidation that I picked up Unhinged. Now I’m wondering why it took me SO long to read it. It didn’t let me down and now I can’t wait to read Ensnared. I shall be reading it ASAP!

Unhinged follows Alyssa one year after her adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa is drawn back into that crazy world into a battle against the Red Queen. Most of Unhinged takes place in Alyssa’s ‘normal’ world, but much of the Wonderland Weirdness seeps through into Alyssa’s life. I absolutely adored the character of Morpheus in Unhinged. He’s as intriguing as ever as he tries to encourage Alyssa to return to Wonderland.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I loved how the normal and the weird entwined. I loved learning more about Alyssa’s family. I feel like all of the characters developed well within this book. I feel like I know them really well now and want to find out what’s going to happen next. I’m torn between Jeb and Morpheus. Both are wonderfully written male characters.

A.G Howard’s writing is just so easy to read. It’s imaginative, original and paints such a vivid picture for the reader. Her characters pull you in and keep you turning the pages!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, well written addition to the Splintered series!