Posted in Young Adult

Burning Glass Review

BurningGlassBurning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Published: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Series: Burning Glass Book 1 out of 3

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

Let me just say that I really enjoyed about the first 100 pages, and the last couple of chapters. Those sections are really only where the plot happens. Everything else is filled with love triangles and crying.

I was more than wild—I was a walking keg of gunpowder

Sonya is an Auraseer who can feel other peoples emotions, but she is untrained and she can do things other Auraseers cannot. For instance, she can touch anything dead or drops of blood and feel their last emotions. You would think with her being extra special that this would help move the plot along or something, but it is mentioned a lot and barely used.

His face was blurry through my watering eyes.
I didn’t let the tears fall until he grew bored of me.

Sonya for the most part doesn’t know who she likes, the emperor (Valko) or his brother (Anton). When one brother doesn’t show his affection or treat her the way she wants then she goes to the other brother, and it is a constant back and forth for most of the book. Until eventually she does pick a brother and then we have to watch her cry because she doesn’t feel like she is good enough. Which I guess I can understand her self pity, but if she can sense everyones emotions shouldn’t she be able to at least discern his feelings for her a little bit? Even if he knows how to throw up a wall around his feelings, some of them are bound to leak out eventually. You would think finding out peoples feelings would be almost second nature to her.

My task might be monumental, but my gift-my curse-was the only means I had of making a difference in this world.

The plot, where you would think based upon the synopsis would be about Sonya picking a brother and a revolution that puts the brothers on opposite sides. You would be right and wrong. Right in that she has to pick between the two brothers, but hardly because of the revolution. The revolution is mentioned briefly in secret messages once or twice throughout the book, until almost the very end. So that part of the plot was very minuscule in the 500+ page book. On the other hand for about 400 pages of the book, the “love triangle” takes front and center stage. Valko has “feelings” for Sonya, and he is constantly manipulating her and she seems to never be able to say no (unless he is physically abusing her). Anton seems to always push her away, and we find out its because of some gypsy prophesy that his true love will have the same birthmark as him. ::eye roll:: To top it off, he thinks Sonya is only reflecting his feelings for her, so he doesn’t believe that she really loves him.

My feelings for you are here when I am alone, when you are miles form the palace I keep you with me. I choose to. you are the most impossibly stubborn person I have ever met. You are also the most honorable, the most caring. I love every part of you.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. If you like plots that deal heavily with romances and little else, then you will enjoy this book. You will root for Sonya and Anton and wish that he realized her true feelings earlier. If you don’t and want more action, then this may not be for you, unless you can deal with the love triangle mess.

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This is me barely hanging on, but I was so close to finishing!
Posted in Young Adult

The Siren Review

The Siren by Kiera Cass25817407

Published: January 26, 2016 by Harper Teen

Goodreads Summary:

Love is a risk worth taking.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

“Life was just a collection of small decisions”

As a big fan of The Selection series, The Siren was something completely different. This was Cass’ first novel that was edited and re-published earlier this year. This novel, I felt was more real even though it had the mythological element of the girls being sirens. While the blurb makes it seem as if this novel is about soulmates and true love, it wasn’t the only theme. There were many themes that made the book not feel like a giant cliche, such as motherhood, family, sisterhood, and self-discovery.

“There’s always room for love. Even if it’s as small as a crack in the door.”

Kahlen has accepted her life as a siren, but never liked having to kill thousands of people to help feed the Ocean. We see how killing affects Kahlen deeply and what she does to manage her depression. When she meets Akinli, Kahlen starts to really live again. I liked how it wasn’t an instantaneous love, but a gradual process. When she realized the danger that she put on Akinli, Kahlen left him so that he could live a normal life without her. This to me made the love and the character feel more real.

Kahlens sisters-Maika, Elizabeth, and Padma- were a major part of the novel as well. We got backstories on them, and saw them grow as characters as well. At first their sisterhood was very centered around themselves, but as the story continued they grew closer together.

“Books were a safe place, a world apart from my own. No matter what had happened that day, that year, there was always a story in which someone overcame their darkest hour. I wasn’t alone.”

This story didn’t have a real villain of sorts. The Ocean, who acted as their mother, for the most part could be considered the main villain. The Ocean is portrayed as only taking lives and demanding a lot from the Sirens, but She is constantly telling them that She doesn’t enjoy making them do this. Even though She puts them through a lot, and you want to hate her, you can’t help but feel pity for the Ocean. Everything she does, she does for her Sirens.

If you are looking for a quick standalone read, you should definitely check this one out. I devoured this book in almost one sitting, and I didn’t even realize that half the day was gone by the time my husband came home with dinner.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“I picked up another book, and we sat there in the happiest silence I’d ever known.”