March 27, 2015

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pub. Date: January 27th 2015
Pages: 222
Series: The Lunar Chronicles book # 3.5

Short Sweet Synopsis: Levana's story. Find out why she is such an awesome villain. 

I have a confession to make, I don't usually read novella's or short stories that are part of a greater series. I wish I had a good reason for this, but usually I'm simply not interested enough in a character to take this on. However, I have always been intrigued by Queen Levana in the Lunar Chronicles because she is such an amazing villain. I love to hate her and could not imagine myself empathizing with her, but Marissa Meyer made it happen in "Fairest".

Let's make this clear, you will not end Fairest thinking that Levana is a stand up gal who is just misunderstood. You will have a better understanding of her as an individual, but you will still think everything she has done is unforgivable. What is the point then of reading the book? Because even though Levana was doing some devious deeds, I felt myself hoping that she would surprise me and take the high road. At the same moment, I felt sorry enough for Levana that I was in tears through most of the book. Even though Fairest is very short, a little over 200 pages, Marissa packs enough character development that you will understand how Levana became so twisted.

If you enjoy the Lunar Chronicles, it really doesn't matter your opinion of Levana, you will want to read Fairest. If you are like me and appreciate Levana's demonic plots then you MUST read Fairest because you have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mental torment. I probably just made myself sound like a bit of a psychopath, but I just admire when an author can create an truly terrifying villain.

March 24, 2015

Review: Misdirected by Ali Berman

Misdirected by Ali Berman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pub. Date: November 25, 2014
Pages: 288
*Received free digital ARC for review*

Short Sweet Synopsis: 15 year old Ben moves to a small town in Colorado quickly discovering that atheists are not tolerated by the conservative community. Will he be able to find a way to fit into a high school filled with students with such strong religious beliefs? 

Misdirected was a fast paced and enjoyable read. As someone from Massachusetts who was not raised in a religious household, I could relate to Ben. Although I grew up in a small conservative town so people did tease me because of it, but no where near what Ben faces in the book.

I liked that the characters weren't static, they were human beings that would make mistakes and many tried to grow from them. I was a bit worried that the book was headed in an anti religious direction at the beginning, but by the end it felt completely different. I was really impressed with how Misdirected handled the issue of religion in our country; it is a polarizing subject that can't be ignored. This book could help facilitate some wonderful discussions on the topic. I really liked how the book ended. It was hopeful without having that afternoon TV special feeling.

I just realized that some of what I just said might have made the book sound boring, but it isn't! Even if you don't want to read about religious differences, there are plenty of classic teen moments! Ben has his first kiss, people are sneaking out of their houses, there is bullying, first day at a new school jitters and family drama; Misdirected even has magic! I will say that the magic tricks were probably what I liked least out of this book, but at least it made Ben unique. I appreciated his passion for it in the end.

Bottom line, interesting book with great characters that tackles a timely topic without slowing down the plot. I definitely recommend it.