Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: The Young Elites

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
Source: Borrowed
My Thoughts:
I really struggled with this book. The writing was great and so was the plot but I just couldn't get invested in the characters. I've had this book for ages and the only reason I went beyond 50 pages is because I knew I had to return the book to my friend. I'm very glad that I forced myself to go on because this book was surprisingly good.
It's hard to get invested because the protagonist is not likeable but this also gives the protagonist a lot of depth. This layered character development really comes together in the end of the novel. You may not like the characters but you do start feeling a lot for them towards the end.
Another thing working against this book is how we as readers are so used to superhero novels that are fast paced and heavy with action. The Young Elites is a slow build up, it's not action packed throughout but it's pacing is good. It is also very unpredictable. It's been a while since I've been so surprised by the twists and turns in a YA novel. 
In my opinion, the biggest flaw of the book is it's focus on romance in parts. I realize the importance of the romance but I just didn't feel much for the relationship. The depth of Adelina's character and it's darkness used to be sidelined in the scenes that focused on the romance and the best part of the novel is not the romance but it's dark and gritty protagonist.
I feel if I had read more chapters from Enzo's point of view or even Teren's point of view, the romantic relationship would have made more sense. The motivation that drives the male characters was incomplete without their perspectives being showcased in the novel.Teren especially his motivations definitely needed more depth in the novel.
Overall, I am immensely fond of the layered and psychological depth of this novel with especial focus on Adelina. The unpredictable nature of the story makes it definitely worth a read and the way the novel ends makes you curious about the sequels. The book has it's faults but is definitely worth a read.
My Rating:
Toss up between 3.5 and 4

3.75 stars.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Review: Paper Princess

Paper Princess (The Royals #1)

by Erin Watt 
Blurb: From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. 

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 
Content Warning: Not suitable for younger readers. This is classified as New discusses sex and prostitution. It is also a pretty steamy book by Young Adult standards.
Source: Publicist. (Thanks Nina!)
Links: Goodreads, (Only $4.99),
My Thoughts:

I had been reading some pretty great reviews of this book on Goodreads and was planning to check it out. Fortunately I saw an email from the publicist of this book right after my interest was piqued otherwise it would have taken ages for me to pick up this book (my reviewing pile is crazy and I'm trying to buy less till it's slightly under control).

Paper Princess was a surprise. It's not a path breaking story but the way it is written just manages to keep you engaged. I'm a sucker for those stories in which people go from rags to riches. I'm also a sucker for books with a lot of male leads (Especially if there is no love triangle or square or octagonal ...etc.). This book combines both to form the best popcorn- churning- blockbuster- romance- movie like goodness ever.

Paper Princess follows Ella Harper as she comes to terms with the fact that she has a new family now and that new family is not very welcoming.What I liked about Ella is how tenacious she is. She has that never-back-down attitude that I love in my heroines. I'd suggest people read this book for it's strong and independent heroine.

The male characters in this story are jerks. Especially Reed, He is super jerk. The fact that I'm willing to overlook his jerkiness just shows how much I enjoyed this novel. I liked the other brothers so much more than Reed though none of them are your golden boys.

I liked the complex adult relationships this novel explored. The adults are very much a part of this story. Callum and Brooke are not minor characters. They are very much present and important to the story.They are also complex and well built. Much more complex than at times the male protagonists. 

I really enjoyed the novel. I know it has a lot of faults and it's not a new story but it just clicked with me. Looking at some of the Goodreads reviews, I see it clicked with a lot of others. I'm dying to get my hands on the sequel (Cliffhanger ending alert!).

Overall, Fans of The Selection and people who expected more from Introductions by C.L. Stone should definitely check out this novel. Others, I begged to read a portion of the sequel, I'm that invested in the story. Do check it out if you love angsty romances.

My Rating:


Sequel where art thou?


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