Books, YA Fiction

A Darker Shade Of Magic, by V.E Schwab


“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

Hi peeps. Let me start out by apologizing for the lack of activity on Musings And Books. Aliza has been doing her best by reviewing and updating, but I obviously have completely omitted working on the blog since last month. Since school has started, I’ve been loaded with homework and schedules. I know that’s an everyday excuse, but it’s the truth. I clearly haven’t learned to deal with it as well as Liz has, but I’ll try harder. I’ve been feeling bad that I haven’t read much and I want to change that.

Let’s get on to the review, shall we?

When I first read the summary of this book, I had to pick it up. Cross-dressing theives? Elemental magic? Parallel Londons? Yes, please! I completely dropped everything and downloaded this book, because I needed something good to read at the moment. I’ll admit that when I started this book, I wasn’t feeling it as much as I wanted to, but let me tell you something, guys. This book went 0 to 100. Real quick.

The world-building is absolutely beautiful, intricate, and existant. Everything is perfectly explained in the right parts of the book, not diverting away from the actual story. The different dimenshions are clearly written, and I love how the magic is actually explained. So many stories nowadays explain something happens because “magic” and they actually never define the spells or whatever. Each London has their own tongue and it’s own traditions. It’s quite easy to imagine and differeentiate because the explanations were done so well.

The action scenes were crazy! It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a fighting scene that didn’t bore me, since most of them consist of description in long paragraphs. ADSOM did the same thing, but the scenes were written so well, it never felt like I was reading long paragraphs. The writing is wonderful as well, and I don’t know what it is about British authors, because their writing is so simplistic yet sophisticated at the same time. It’s a talent, really.

Continue reading “A Darker Shade Of Magic, by V.E Schwab”


New Releases in YA for September 2015


It’s the beginning of a new month, which means all new books! Let’s check out the new books hitting shelves this month. And sorry for the delay this month! 🙂

1. Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas – Coming September 1st, 2015

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

This is one of the most highly-awaited books of the year, so how could I not include it on this post? I am eager to see Celaena’s story continue in this fourth installment in the Throne of Glass series.

Continue reading “New Releases in YA for September 2015”

Books, YA Fiction

In a World Just Right, by Jen Brooks


Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Blurb: Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.

Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan … and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.

This is actually a pretty good book. I went into it expecting to constantly roll my eyes at hormone-filled teenage romance, and while there definitely was some eye-rolling involved, I still liked it overall.

In In a World Just Right, Brooks takes on an old concept-alternate dimensions- and gives it an interesting twist. Now we have Jonathan, who can create these alternate dimensions and practically lives in them. I found this topic intriguing, as parallel universes are always fun to read about.

Jonathan, I found, was a very likable character, and has quite the tragic backstory: his entire family was killed in a plane crash when he was eight, and now he has a giant scar across his face, lives with his uncle, and is an outcast. I loved reading about his grief for his family and need for acceptance among his peers, but his one big character flaw was his obsession over Kylie. While there are some good snippets of his struggles in this book, Jonathan is mostly just concerned with Kylie, his girlfriend/not girlfriend. Way too much of this book is Jonathan’s internal monologues about Kylie, how much he loves Kylie, how the real Kylie doesn’t notice him, Kylie, Kylie, Kylie. It’s quite irritating to see him drop everything for this girl, even when it’s clear that there are currently things in his life that should take a much higher priority.

Continue reading “In a World Just Right, by Jen Brooks”