Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

huntedHunted

by Meagan Spooner

My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/☆☆☆☆☆

Wow. This is my favorite read of 2018 thus far. It came out of nowhere, blew all my expectations out of the water, and easily became one of my favorite books ever.

I bought this book when it came out. I think there was a lot of hype surrounding it, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. After I bought this book, I realized that retellings aren’t really my thing, so it sat on my shelf for a while. Then, I saw Meagan Spooner was going to be at the NoVa Teen Book Festival, so I decided to dust it off and read it. Like I said, retellings are usually disappointing and lackluster for me. Hunted was the exact opposite. I am so impressed with the story and the writing. Meagan Spooner is an incredible storyteller, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

I love the way magic was written into this world. It didn’t need a ton of explaining or world building. It’s just a natural part of it. I also love how the magic is real, but it’s always just out of reach. It kind of rests on the periphery of everyone’s vision. It’s a song that you can sometimes hear, and it’s a world you can sometimes see.

The characters also impressed me. Yeva didn’t really suffer from the special-snowflake syndrome so many MCs do. She was written in such a relatable way. Her family was realistic. Her relationship with the Beast was realistic. Her feelings are inside us all. The Beast was so dynamic and his magic was so interesting. I want to read a whole book on his life.

Hunted left me wanting more, but at the same time completely satisfied.

 

“Nothing in this world has only one nature.”

Review: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Ophelia
Ophelia
by Lisa Klein
 
My rating: ★★/★★★★★
 
I admit this book was a cover buy for me. I bought it for two dollars at our library book sale. The cover immediately caught me eye, and once I saw the title I was intrigued. I’ve read Hamlet in multiple classes and spend numerous hours discussing Ophelia, her madness, and her death. A book dedicated entirely to her untold story seemed like it would be very interesting.
 
Lisa Klein is a good writer. She writes with a very beautiful, descriptive style. But I found that as I got further into the book, the writing started to bother me more and more. I think that because she writes in such a slow, descriptive way, Klein takes much longer to get a point across and say anything. So by the end of the book the writing seemed so, so slow. 
 
I understand that this is Ophelia’s untold story, but what I didn’t think this book would be was a chronicle of her entire life. It’s more like a biography. I thought this would be Ophelia’s story specifically around the events of the play, which I think would have been much more interesting. Part I was about Ophelia’s life as a child. At the beginning it was interesting, but by the end I was ready to move on. There wasn’t really any plot, it was just chronicling her life. By the time Part II came around, I was ready for some action. This is when most of Hamlet’s madness and the events of the play take place. But still, Ophelia is pretty far removed from the action. Part III seemed entirely unnecessary in my opinion. Ophelia escapes the castle, hides as a convent, and worries. 
 
One of the things that bothered me about this book is that Ophelia is a member of the “special snowflake” club. She’s the only girl in court who wants to educate herself, and she’s the only girl who finds like at court boring and unfulfilling. Since Ophelia is so different from other girls, I assumed she was being set up to the hero of the story. However, in this novel, just like the play, Ophelia is a bystander. Part III really bothered me because all Ophelia does is worry about her safety. She greatly overestimates her importance, which is why she had to pretend to die and flee the castle. 
 
Ultimately, this wasn’t the book I was expecting. It seems like a lazy retelling. It was pretty boring and Ophelia as a character wasn’t much stronger than she was in the play. However, after reading this, I am more excited for the movie coming out. I think the movie is going to end up being very different from the book, because if the movie is exactly like the book, that is going to be one boring movie. 

 

Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

RoseBlood
by A.G. Howard

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

This is another book that I received from OwlCrate. It is a phantom of the opera inspired retelling, which immediately made me hesitant to read it. I have been growing a little tired of retellings, because I just don’t find them that creative or original. I was willing to give this one a shot, however, because I have never read/seen/heard the story of the phantom of the opera. I am glad that I decided to give this a chance, because I really enjoyed this book. I believe this is a standalone novel, and normally I have a hard time liking the characters in standalones because there is so little time for character development. I recently had this problem with Heartless and Of Fire and Stars. However, with this book, I found myself immediately captivated by the characters, and I credit this all to the beautiful writing. I really can’t praise A.G. Howard’s writing enough. She writes such vivid descriptions of characters and music, and she gives you just enough information to always keep you wanting more. She also seamlessly transitions from the present to events in the past in a way that is very interesting. I was super pleased with the ending of this novel, which was dramatic and interesting and just so amazing.

Buy RoseBlood using my Book Depository Affiliate Link HERE