Marie Lu’s Champion is the final book in the intense and amazing Legend trilogy. June and Day have both decided to go their separate ways after risking everything to establish a peaceful co-existence between the Republic, the Patriots, and the Colonies. June is training to become an adviser to the Elector and Day has been given all of the luxuries that he never had before. Just as the final treaty is being drawn up between the Republic and the Colonies a plague is released in the Colonies’ cities convincing them that a treaty is unacceptable. Now June and Day are again asked to sacrifice everything dear to them in order to keep their country safe.
Lu has such an amazing talent for drawing you right into her stories with suspense, drama, and action. Her writing is so descriptive that you feel like you are right in the thick of it all, which is great as long as you have nothing else planned for the day. I have become so attached to June and Day. Lu really knows how to create lifelike and engaging characters. You feel every emotion that they go through and find yourself cheering them on. I am always sad to reach the end of Lu’s books, I need more time with Day and June! Several of us in the store are in denial that this is the end of the series since we love the characters so much. I realize that dystopians are all the rage these days, and that perhaps many of us are starting to burn out on them, but this is a must read series. It is easily one of my top five favorite dystopians. And even better, now that all three are out you can read them all at once – which you will want to do as soon as you finish book one.
Under the Wide and StarrySky by Nancy Horan is her second historical novel that has easily became a favorite read of mine. This book chronicles the unconventional love affair of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. Fanny has left her old life in the states behind and has traveled with her children to Belgium. After suffering a tragedy Fanny finds herself in France where she meets the charming Scot. Before long she finds herself wrapped up in an exciting and adventurous love affair that takes them across the world and eventually to owning a large farm in the South Pacific.
The two lead such a courageous life that was fascinating to read about. They had amazing adventures together on chartered yachts traveling all over the seas. Horan captured the spirit of these historical figures so well. I loved that Fanny was such a determined woman who let nothing stop her, whether it be taking care of Louis when he was frequently ill or running the entire 400 acre farm in Samoa. She was a force to not take lightly.
If you are looking for a dark faerie young adult novel, then be sure to pick-up Janni Lee Simner’s Bones of Faerietrilogy. Simner creates such an original world and story that I found it to be an incredibly refreshing read.
Bones of Faerie is the first book in the series. Liza has grown up in a very bleak world. After the war with the faeries, life as they once knew it no longer exists. There are no cars or computers, in fact there are very limited resources. Liza also knows that when people are touched with magic they must be “dealt” with. The evil of magic must not be allowed into the village regardless of how brutal the actions to the inflicted are. The problem is, Liza thinks she may have been infected with magic. She decides she much embark on a quest to better understand her heritage and her mother.
This is an excellent, albeit dark, faerie dystopian tale. Simner did such an amazing job of describing the fear of living in her world. The mythology of the magic is unlike anything that I have read lately. It was not just the people that were effect by the faeries but everything: trees, water and creatures have all come to life with magical gifts. I loved this but found myself anxious right along with Liza during her perilous journey. You never knew what was lurking around the next turn. Not only are the descriptions fabulous, but so are the characters. Liza may be sheltered but she is already starting to grown into a strong and independent heroine. And I also loved her healer Allie with her constant optimism. She is a the perfect balance to Liza’s often pessimistic logic.
We still have autographed copies of Faerie After, book three in the series, in-stock. Janni Lee Simner has told us she is happy to sign books for any of her fans and will stop in the store to sign books. Please let us know if you are interested in a personalized autograph copy.
I was instantly intrigued by Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia and I was not disappointed with the complex story and writing. Kate Baron gets news that no parent ever wants to hear. Her daughter has jumped from her private school roof and has died. Ruled a suicide by the local police, Kate spirals down into her grief not wanting to believe that her bright and happy Amelia could have really jumped. A month after daughter’s death Kate receives a mysterious text telling her that Amelia didn’t jump. Fueled by this new tip Kate convinces the police to re-open her daughter’s case and thus begins the reconstructing of Amelia in order to discover what really happened on the roof.
McCreight did a great job of telling the story in the present with Kate and telling the past with Amelia. You became really attached to each character as you piece together the mystery of what happened. I also love that she included texts and FaceBook posts to help create an authentic voice for her characters. I was completely lost in this book and couldn’t stop until the last word, and then it was bittersweet knowing about her death and still wanting more of the story. I think this book is great for anyone who is looking for an adult novel similar to the Gossip Girls novels. It has all of the catty girls, the elite private school drama, but has a more mature voice telling the story.