Review: Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Burning Kingdoms Author: Lauren DeStefano Publication Date: March 10, 2015 Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy Series: The Internment Chronicles #2 Rating: 3.5/5 Danger descends in the second book of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author … Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

A meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Historical Fiction

If you are not a fan of history and fear historical fiction novels are like those boring history textbooks, look no further!

9565548GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

A fantastic read! Filled with great characters, an intriguing plot, and realistic setting, you will tear through this book. First of all, it’s about assassin nuns (how awesome is that) and a plot that includes romance BUT focuses primarily on the various kingdoms of Brittany and overcoming its enemies.

17668473PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG by Anne Blankman

Check out my review here for more details. But to briefly summarize, this book is unique for the time period it covers. There are many, many books published on World War II and Hitler, but one from the perspective of a close follower? Not so much. The main character, Gretchen, adores Hitler but throughout the course of this novel, grows close to a Jew and begins to discover the truth about Hitler, his men, and what really happened the day of her father’s heroic action. Simply, a must read!

Thriller

13645069FIND ME by Romily Bernard

A fantastic thriller with a mysterious element. The main character, Wicket, lives a difficult life, being a hacker who grew up around criminals. Despite being surrounded by negative influences, she and her sister find a foster family who loves them dearly. However, there is a dark twist towards the end that will seriously render you speechless. Besides, the cover is gorgeous!

Gothic/Horror

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Genevieve T12930909ucholke

Tucholke’s writing is hypnotic and a true gothic read, that will send chills down your spine. I love the story and imagery and the world Tucholke artfully creates. If you have never read a YA Gothic novel, I suggest you start here.

12291438THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd

Check out my review here for more details. Wow, wow, wow. Another suburb gothic read. This one takes place in London and revolves around a young woman whose father is mad. Like mad hatter mad. She ventures to the island where he lives and discovers many creatures that are . . . off. I loved this book and the ending took me completely by surprise. You will be shocked and rendered speechless throughout this book, I guarantee it.

13597728ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux

When I read the synopsis of this novel, I knew I would love it. First of all, it includes creepy photos that brings the story to life and a delightfully twisted plot that takes place at a notoriously haunted location. If you aren’t a fan of creepy novels, this book will help lure you in because it begins on a seemingly normal day with normal characters, then ventures deeper and deeper into the dark.

New Adult

16056408EASY by Tammara Webber

I know ever since this genre came about, many readers grew hesitant. I understand, I was one of those readers . . . until I read EASY. In my opinion, EASY is the best new adult novel to read because it focuses on two, completely opposite concepts: 1) rape and 2) romance. It revealed how to be strong, how to be a survivor from experiencing or almost experiencing something traumatic, along with a swoon-worthy hero who wants to help victims. This book is rich in realism and the ups and downs in a person’s life. It does not focus heavily on romance, but contains the right amount to still keep it lighthearted while incorporating a very serious topic.

Under-Hyped Dystopian

16101128THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

A very unique dystopian that has very little romance. Today, many readers are reading dystopians like DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES. For those of you who only read popular, overly hyped dystopian, I suggest you venture into books like THE 5TH WAVE. First of all, it’s about an alien invasion, but here’s the catch, you can’t easily identify who the enemy is. This book has a psychological thriller edge to it, in the sense that survivors from these invasions aren’t sure who they can trust. Containing multiple POVS, I suggest this book because it’s unique and seriously deserves more love and readers.

22053410PERFECT RUIN by Lauren DeStefano

Check out my review here for more details. This book demonstrates incredible world building. It has a fantasy-like edge, where the world exists in the sky, on a piece of land. I loved the whimsicalness of it, the well-developed characters (especially Morgan’s desire to leave this world), and the world itself. If you haven’t read a Lauren DeStefano book yet, I highly suggest you do because her writing prose is simply gorgeous and hypnotizing.

 WITHER by Lauren DeSte8525590fano

This is the first novel I read by Lauren DeStefano and I loved the world she created (which I found very unique, seriously, its inhabitants die at a devastatingly young age) and the incorporation of polygamy that (surprisingly) didn’t draw me away. I personally am not a fan of polygamy, yet DeStefano wrote the characters involved in a way that made me sympathize them and want to hear their story. Again, I love DeStefano’s writing style, with its whimsical and poetic prose. It left me simply breathless.

Have you read any of these books? If so, did you enjoy them? What are your Top Ten choices?

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

17339241Title: Perfect Ruin
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Pages: 356
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.
Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

My Thoughts . . .

Perfect Ruin is a book that will leave you wanting more. The world DeStefano created is whimsical, creative, and most important of all, original. To understand the reason behind the formation of Internment,

The first humans were especially ungrateful. After the birth of the sun and the moon, they asked for stars. After the crops rose from the ground, they asked for beasts to fill the fields. After some time, the god of the ground, weary of their demands, thought it best to destroy them and begin again with humbler beings. So it goes that the god of the sky thought the first humans too clever to waste, and he agreed to keep them in the sky with the promise that they would never again interfere with the ground.

The History of Internment, Chapter 1”

I found Interment’s background intriguing, which pulled me into this book. If you are hesitant about the concept of a “sky god,” there is no need to fear because this book does not revolve around it. The concept of the sky god is for the inhabitants of Internment to have faith in someone or rather, something. They need to know that they were placed on Internment for a reason and that their life has a purpose.

But Morgan, does not buy it. She believes in the sky god in the beginning but once disturbing events unfold, such as a murder, she begins to question her faith. She wonders about the ground, and what life must be like there. Having a Jumper in the family (her brother, Lex) persuades her to reconsider being one herself. But the allure of the edge continues to draw her attention, and she fantasizes more about the edge than she should.

The structure of Interment is intriguing, to say the least. Individuals are betrothed to one another at a young age; expected to wear a clear ring that on their wedding day, will be filled with the other’s blood. When the couple wants to have a child, they sign up to be in the queue, where they must wait to bear a child. This ensures balance between the birth and death rate. There is a king in charge on Internment, with a police force to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Then there are the Jumpers, those who are declared irrational because of their actions. Jumpers are those allured by Interment’s edge and who are so desperate to see the ground . . . they jump. Because Internment has a dome of wind surrounding it (to prevent clouds from colliding with them), Jumpers are pushed back onto Internment by the wind’s sheer force. All Jumpers always suffer a consequence and Lex’s was blindness.

I adored the following characters in Perfect Ruin: Morgan, the main character who as time goes on begins to realize that Interment is not as safe as she was taught to believe; Basil, her betrothed, who is a charming gentleman, always on Morgan’s side and willing to do anything with her; Pen, Morgan’s best friend since youth, who faithfully remains her friend, even after the incident with Lex; and Alice, Lex’s betrothed, who is always loyal to him and does everything for him because of their undying love for one another.

From the characters to the setting, Perfect Ruin is a must read for all lovers of unique, dystopian books.

Favorite Quotes . . .

“Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.”

“He gathers me up and I’m weightless before he sets me on the railing. He’s the only thing keeping me from falling back, out of the reach of daylight. I’m not afraid of falling. I don’t fear the sky beyond the train tracks like I did before. I can go anywhere just so long as it’s with him.”

“We accept gods that don’t speak to us.  We accept gods that would place us in a world filled with injustices and do nothing as we struggle.  It’s easier than accepting that there’s nothing out there at all, and that, in our darkest moments, we are truly alone.”

“So many of the things I’ve wanted are the things I’ve been taught to fear.”

Overall . . .

I loved Perfect Ruin because it differs from all the other dystopian novels I have read. It is about a young girl, whose thoughts and ideas are too large to be contained on the limited space of Internment and aspires to visit the ground and discover what’s outside the floating island she lives on. The world of Interment is very unique, which was not only admiring, but a pulling force that sucked me into this book. DeStefano’s writing was descriptive and awe-inspiring, enabling me to visualize the events on Interment and wonder about them. I was able to connect the events on Interment with the real world, which I loved because it made this fantasy world more realistic. And the ending . . . it will render you speechless.

If you are a fan of original, dystopian books, you need to read Perfect Ruin immediately. You will not regret it; instead, you will wish its sequel would be published sooner.

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