Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.
I was skeptical about this book. I had read her book Heartless and adored it, but that was more of a straight fantasy. I’m not much of a sci-fi gal, and I knew this story would be a gamble. Luckily, I got it for a couple bucks at a bookstore due to a damaged cover. And it made it into the bag when I needed a book for a dogsitting trip.
I’m so glad it did.
The worldbuilding blows my mind. I haven’t read many books steeped in Asian culture, so this one was both a breath of fresh air and a lovely bit of representation. The twists on the old Cinderella tale are so clever, sometimes I didn’t even quite realize it until it had passed. I gathered up every little detail I could, trying to predict the path ahead, only for Marissa Meyer to turn it on its head in the most glorious way.
Cinder herself was not at all what I expected, but deeply relatable. She tries to be tough and brusque on the outside to hide a girl who desperately wants someone, anyone to love and notice her. The themes in this book, speaking to the question “am I worthy?” are heartachingly beautiful.
This was one of those books that wouldn't let me forget why I love reading. I was so absorbed in the story.
There are three easily censored pieces of language in this book. Please note that while this is not a Christian book, it is a clean wholesome book.
Cinder gathers up the greasy mismatched parts of the old Cinderella tale, dumps them on a table, and begins to build. Manufacturing a few pieces of clever Eastern representation and heartaching questions of worth, it builds something no one has ever seen before—and in the process, creates an immersive story, the old-fashioned kind that pulls you in till pages’ end.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
It’s rare for the actual writing to grab me quite like this. I was so immersed in Cath’s head. Every comparison sounded so natural, exactly the way that she would describe it or see things. The prose was top notch.
Some of the plot twists were a bit easy to figure out, but I think that worked to the book's benefit. Rather than shocking me when the truth came out, it built that suspense and yes, a little bit of dread as I waited for the truth to be revealed in all its monstrosity.
I have read very few negative-arc stories before, so I was very curious going into this one. Mainly because Marissa Meyer did such a good job getting me into Cath’s head, I almost didn’t realize what was happening. Until halfway through the book I suddenly jerked to attention and realized how selfish Cath was being. Looking back, I could trace the slow evolution all the way back to the beginning.
No good person in this story is completely good. And no bad person is completely bad. Even Jest (who next to Mary Ann was probably the most noble character in the story) has his undeniably selfish moments.
Jest and Cath are brilliantly contrasted to each other. We watch Jest struggle to overcome his selfish tendencies, even though he certainly slips up at times. Meanwhile, we watch Cath become more and more consumed with what she wants, what she thinks will make her happy. And when she is unable to get it, she blames those around her—some justly, but eventually more and more unjustly—for her unhappiness.
It balanced this all perfectly with my sympathy to Cath, hoping that the likable girl from chapter one would somehow open her eyes and avoid her inevitable end.
Was any of this Cath’s fault at all? Was it those who made her so miserable—her abusive parents, for starters? Or was it her own subtle selfishness? Heartless forced me to consider my own life and where I might be more like Cath than I’d like to think. A negative-arc story, while not always quite as enjoyable to read, has a unique power in that sense.
One more quick note before I move on is that this book brilliantly handles the topic of body-shaming and food-shaming. While it may not offer much of a happy ending for those who struggle with it, it does illustrate how hurtful these words (and other words) can be, an important and timeless thing to hear.
This is a negative-arc story, otherwise known as a tragedy. You have been warned. Please also note that while it is clean, this is also not an explicitly Christian book, although it does have healthy messages.
Heartless is a tragic tale, one that might prove too bitter to swallow. But if you stop and savor a while, you might be subjected to some interesting flavors you wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does . . . in the worst possible way.
Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?
The author has a way of writing that makes you feel like you’re reading a classic. You truly feel like you’re in Regency England—and yet her prose is still understandable and down to earth.
This story is wildly creative. I mean, really, how many Frankenstein retellings are there, period, much less on the Christian market? It’s the kind of book that sticks out and sticks with you.
The author is also a master of suspense. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened and actually noticed my heart racing at certain moments. The thing is, it’s not even like it’s an action packed story. It has its fair share, yes, but she managed to make me feel the suspense in everyday encounters, too.
The Scripture and theme are woven in without being pushy or overbearing. I automatically cringed when the characters were set up for a conversion arc, just because it is rarely done well. This novel handles it in a realistic and very-not-cheesy way.
I only had one negative thing to say about this book, but it was a big enough one that I debated whether or not to write this review. I try not to post negative reviews of a book unless there is something truly wrong with it (because it’s just mean to drag a good book down because it wasn’t your jam. Negative reviews hurt authors!).
This was a story that went down really well . . . but after an hour or so to think, I realized it had some major flaws in its representation of disabled persons. I searched the book on numerous book review sites and didn’t see anyone talking about this problem, so I decided to go ahead and write the review.
Please note this is NOT me discounting the book. I highly, highly doubt the author ever intended to present these messages. Sometimes we writers try to represent something well, and we just don’t get it right. We learn from our mistakes. And this is still a lovely book and an excellent read.
There is no way to discuss this without spoilers, so if you’re not interested in spoilers, please skip to the conclusion.
As you learn from the back cover copy, the main character (Amelia’s) brother, Colin, is facially disfigured. He plays the role of the monster in the retelling. (You can even see the token “grotesquely disfigured” line in the back cover copy above.
That’s a little bit of a cringey casting anyway—people with facial disfigurement are already cast as villains/monsters all the time, and who really wants to hear that they’re a monster all the time?
But then the entire story revolves around Colin believing he’s a monster, everyone else believing he’s a monster, and everyone desperately pursuing a surgery that will make him “normal.” While Colin eventually makes peace with himself, most of the other characters do not. In general, it feels as if they’re saying “we love you just the way you are, but if you could fix yourself, I mean, we won’t argue” feel.
Major spoilers begin here, so seriously.
In the third quarter of the book, Colin does unwillingly go through with the surgery, under pressure from the other characters. It goes wrong and causes injury to Colin’s brain, leaving him mentally disabled.
As soon as this happens, the plot immediately shifts to Amelia and everyone around her worrying about “the pressure.” How will Amelia ever handle it all? It’s such a burden to bear. She will never be able to travel again. It’s made a big deal that Colin is holding her back from her dreams and she’s having to sacrifice everything for him and he’s a terrible burden.
Is caring for a mentally disabled person a burden? Pressure? Stress? I imagine so. I can’t imagine the strength of some of these families. But this just stripped all the value from Colin—like he was good for nothing because he had a brain injury.
Shortly thereafter, Colin dies in the climax. First off, it was just entirely too convenient. Solved the problem so Amelia was no longer beholden to him. It seemed like a cheap way out.
We get a chapter or two of some very poignant grief—and then everyone just moves on. Amelia gets engaged (Graham conveniently proposed now that Colin’s out of the way) and is back to traveling to Egypt and living her best life. Never been happier. Because Colin’s out of the way.
All of this unintentionally sent the message that physically or mentally disabled persons are seen as monsters and are horrible burdens that hold those they love back from their best lives and selves.
I couldn’t help but think about how people with these disabilities or families that support them would feel reading this story.
I really wish Colin would have lived. I wish I could have gotten to meet Colin as he was with his injury. I wish Graham and Amelia would have committed to care for him and value him no matter what. I wish they would have acknowledged the challenges, yes, but also the blessings. I would have liked to see them have to make some hard choices. I wish Colin had been valued, not forced to go through with that surgery after all. I wish I could have seen Colin being allowed to be himself and overcoming the daily challenges of living with a disability.
Please remember, I do not believe for a second that this message was ever this author’s intention. The book otherwise was wildly creative and a solid read, and I’m still eagerly awaiting more in the series. Honestly, I think the rest of the series could be a wonderful chance to better represent disabilities in the future. This particular story just could have benefited from some time and maybe some more sensitivity readers.
If you’re looking for a fall read with just the right amount of spooky, Lost in Darkness is it. While marred by some poor representation of disabilities, maybe it will serve to spark some more thought about the real life people who face these challenges every day.
Solve the clues. Face your fears. Survive the Trials.
All Alice Liddell wants is to escape her Normal life in Oxford and find the parents who abandoned her ten years ago. But she gets more than she bargained for when her older sister Charlotte is arrested for having the infamous Wonder Gene—the key to unlocking the curious Wonderland Reality.
Soon, Alice receives a rather cryptic invitation to play for Team Heart in this year’s annual—and often deadly—Wonderland Trials. Now she has less than twenty-four hours to find her way into Wonderland where nothing is impossible . . . or what it seems.
The stakes are raised when she discovers players go missing during the Trials each year. Will she and her team solve the clues and find the missing players? Or will betrayal and distrust win, leaving Alice alone in a world of her own? Follow the White Rabbit into this topsy-turvy fantasy where players become prey, a sip of the wrong tea might as well be poison, and a queen’s ways do not always lead one where they ought to go.
Alice was definitely a jog away from some of Sara Ella’s characters in the past. Some of the past heroines have had more stereotypical “girly” interests, and I had a hard time relating sometimes. Alice is a smart, strong girl with her own goals and her own ways of getting around to them.
Each of her teammates had unique personalities and vibes as well, and I was constantly wondering who was good and who was bad. She created strong dynamics for each of them, and it was neat to watch those all play out with other characters.
I would also like to take this moment to note that Chess Shire is AMAZING. In real life, he’d probably annoy the heck out of me, but on the page, perfection. I’m not normally into the romantic interests very much, so points are due here.
For context, I actually hated Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. Still do. I thought it was the dumbest creepiest thing I’d ever seen as a kid. The author did a great job of putting a special new spin on the story. I mean, a dystopian London? How cool is that? The trials had a neat “escape room” feel that I haven’t seen very often in books. And really, there’s just not that many Alice in Wonderland retellings out there.
As a very logical girl myself, it was a good reminder that sometimes the best things in life can’t be explained.
None. Oh, wait, I can think of one, um . . . WHERE IS BOOK TWO? WHEN IS IT COMING OUT? Inquiring minds would like to know.
The Wonderland Trials passed my trial and lived up to all the hype I’d imagined for it before it released. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to plunge down that nearby rabbit hole in search of the second book.
Inspired by “The Little Mermaid,” Coral explores what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.
Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. She fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease said to be carried by humans: emotions. Her sister had the Disease, and Red Tide took her away. Will it come for Coral next?
Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at a new group-therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?
Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?
When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?
This is an odd book to try and review.
I had been considering reading this book for a good long while, but honestly got scared away by its trigger warning on Amazon. Years passed, and suddenly, I realized I was an adult who could stop reading if it gave me bad vibes. Story Embers also conveniently ran a book study on it right about that time.
With that in mind, I checked it out from my local library and dove in.
It’s a lot. I do not have triggers related to the subject matter in the book (which sounds very cold to say, but there it is), and there were a couple times I had to take some time to process after reading it. It doesn’t pull any punches. It is both tactful and frank about mental health and suicide, which is honestly refreshing.
But on the other hand, while we’re dealing with deep darkness, we also have this floofy beach romance going on. That’s the best way to describe it. I don’t normally fawn over romance, so after a while, I was ready for Coral and Merrick to just explain their feelings to each other. But it also illustrated really well what living with someone with mental illness is like.
Also, the pinkie promise scene is possibly the best romantic scene I’ve ever read. So.
A couple times, when it veered into floofy territory, I feared losing interest. I was still struggling to figure out what these three characters had to do with each other at all, and felt like I was trying to read three stories at once. But about halfway through the book, some clues get dropped that everything wasn’t as it seemed. It had me racing for theories and waiting to see the payoff. Yeah, none of my theories were right. Those twists alone would make me read it again. The ending doesn't go as anyone had planned, and forces the characters to acknowledge the hard places.
Plus, the settings are gorgeous. Crystal clear, the kind of read that immediately transports you into summer.
The trigger warning is not a joke. This is some deep, heavy stuff. I, as a reader who am ordinarily not triggered by any of the ones described, still needed to process some of the harder scenes.
(A couple that spring to mind off the top of my head was one where the protagonist walks in on the *non-graphic* aftermath of a suicide attempt, as well as a scene where a mentally ill character who has been generally encouraging is revealed to have gone back and committed suicide.)
So if you are triggered by anything of the type, you might want to find someone who can read it with you or just avoid the title for now.
Coral is a perfect beach read, as long as you’re looking for a book to dive into and not just dip your toes in, and as long as those trigger warnings aren’t a concern to you.
Lillian’s city is dying. Slowly. Strangled by dust, drought, and oppressive laws that cut down commoner and noble alike. Even Lillian, as daughter-in-law to the Governor, can’t help them.
When a stranger climbs through Lillian’s window with the mythical knowledge needed to spin heat into rain, it seems too good to be true.
But the first real storm in months hardly means the drought is over. With the demand for more rain on one side, and threats from encroaching enemies on the other, Lillian’s choices are limited.
Except maybe the stranger is more than he appears. And maybe the city needs more aid than simply a change of weather.
A Rumpelstiltskin retelling, The Stormbringer’s Name blends timeless elements of unspoken names and bitter sacrifice with clouds of treason, betrayal, and a fine-spun gold thread of courage.
The fifth novella in the Legends of the Light series, this short novel is a stand-alone story and contains a handful of allegorical themes.
I have been so excited for this book to come out! It was one of my handful of most anticipated releases for 2022 and it did not disappoint.
Oh my goodness, all the characters were so well-developed. I didn’t feel like there was one that I was rolling my eyes going, “Ugh, I have to read their chapter before I can go back and figure out what so-and-so’s doing.”
Lillian’s dynamic of being part of the nobility, but feeling as if she didn’t have a voice to speak, resonated deeply with me and drew me into her struggle. Royce’s remorse was presented so deeply and his internal struggle made me love him even more.
Each of the characters, both main and side, had their own motivations and goals. It didn’t resort to the normal “I’m an evil bad guy ha ha ha” tropes; the villain’s motivation was very unique and not what I would have guessed.
While you technically don’t have to read the rest of the series to understand this book, it will be a lot more fun if you have. Cameos from previous books pop up everywhere—one of the amazing plot twists revolved around one of my favorite characters from an earlier Legends of Light, which made the twist all the more excruciating. In the best way possible, I mean.
Did I mention the amazing plot twists? Nothing played out quite as I thought.
The theme and message is so dang deep. I can definitely see that a lot of thought and life experience went into it. It dug deep into my own mind and made me think and wonder long after I finished the book.
The prose is gorgeous. The imagery was spot-on and so unique to the world. Even the sentence lengths seemed used to their very fullest potential. (Coming from a writer who struggles to remember to vary her sentences at all. That would be me.)
Did I get to all the things I wanted to rave about in this post? I think so.
Due to my general inexperience with fantasy of this type, I did struggle occasionally to keep up with what was happening. (I honestly hesitated to put this under the negatives section because it’s not really the book’s fault.)
You absolutely CANNOT miss this book, especially if you’re a fan of fantasy. Even if you’re not a fan of fantasy, I think you should give it a try. All around solid and well-developed, from the characters to the plot to the worldbuilding to the theme. But it doesn’t stop there. It keeps pushing deeper.
In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .
A young queen trying to stay alive until she comes of age to rule, and a prince turned into a pauper.
Queen Aurora of Mercia has spent her entire life deep in Inglewood Forest, hiding from Warwick’s Queen Margery, who seeks her demise. As the time draws near for Aurora to take the throne, she happens upon a handsome woodcutter. Although friendship with outsiders is forbidden and dangerous, she cannot stay away from the charming stranger.
Only two months away from completing his royal testing, Prince Kresten of Scania is ready to be finished with the poverty and hardships of being a woodcutter. When he meets a beautiful peasant woman, he doesn’t plan to fall in love, especially when he must soon leave and return to his homeland.
As Queen Margery’s forces close in, Aurora finds herself in mortal danger. Kresten knows a future with Aurora is impossible, but he is desperate to save her and bring an end to the queen’s threat. To do so, he joins the ultimate battle against the evil queen, risking everything, including his chance at true love.
Both Aurora and Kresten are much more outgoing and open to people than I am. The skeptical side of me of course was thinking, “You just met each other and you’re telling each other all this? Especially after Aurora was almost killed by her aunt?” But it quickly quieted. The author did a fantastic job of taking character’s with very different personalities than mine and making me understand and like them despite that.
I also love that Aurora and Kresten think about each other. Yes, they’re cute and in love and everything. But they actually think about how their actions will affect each other—a rarity in romance.
I was warned before I started reading that the ending wasn’t as out-of-nowhere-awesome-plot-twist as Beholden. But this is still my favorite book in the series. While the ending wasn’t exactly unheard of for a Sleeping Beauty retelling, it was still a beautiful ending. If anyone ever tells you that tropes don’t work . . . Plus, it was just so satisfying to see all the threads from across the trilogy come to a close.
Besotted finishes out the trilogy with a sweet familiarity for fans of fairy tale retellings.
In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .
A princess rejected and hunted by her mother, and a prince who lives as a shunned outcast.
Princess Pearl flees for her life after her mother, Queen Margery, tries to have her killed during a hunting expedition. Pearl finds refuge on the Isle of Outcasts among criminals and misfits, disguising her face with a veil so no one recognizes her. She lives for the day when she can return to Warwick and rescue her sister, Ruby, from the queen’s clutches.
Amidst his royal testing on the Isle of Outcasts, Prince Mikkel of Scania has kept his identity a secret. Captured by a warring band of outcasts and condemned to die, he finds himself making friends with an intriguing but feisty young veiled woman. Intending to win her trust and gain her help to escape, he soon finds himself coerced to wed her.
Mikkel reluctantly agrees to the union to save his life, and Pearl hopes the marriage will provide protection for her and Ruby. But the queen is more determined to kill her daughter than either Pearl or Mikkel realizes and has a sinister reason neither expects—one that could rip their new love apart forever.
Pearl’s love for her sister really touched me. She was willing to risk everything to get Ruby back. As an older sister, I related a lot.
The misfits were a very interesting reimagining of the dwarves. I loved how they all hung together and worked together. It wouldn’t have been good for the rest of the book, but I’m almost sorry I didn’t get to see a little bit more of the Isle of Misfits. The worldbuilding of the tensions between the two groups was very interesting.
I have come to the conclusion that there is no perfect ratio of arguing in an enemies-to-lovers romance. I personally got a little tired of Pearl and Mikkel arguing in this one. It could have maybe been cut back by a couple scenes and not seemed as repetitive. As it was, it continued up to the climax and I wasn’t quite sure if they were ever going to get started on the climax mission.
They also seemed to fall in love very fast. Considering Mikkel was in jail, and Pearl was trying to use him for her devices, when things got lovey-dovey, I got a bit skeptical. Maybe I was supposed to. The book did awesome, though, in making them test those feelings of attraction later on in the book.
I also personally am not a huge fan of the “they are forced into marriage to save themselves” trope. Not to say it wasn't pulled off brilliantly here, just tends not to be my jam.
Out of the three Fairest Maidens, Beguiled wasn’t my top favorite. But don’t let it fool you—it’s still an amazing book and more than worthy of being read. After all, don’t judge a book by its cover. Or its review. Or . . . I think you get the idea.
In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .
A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery.
Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty.
Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella.
As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life.
This is a very different and unique Cinderella retelling. I had an extremely vague idea of the twist from my sister reading it, but when it came around, I was still surprised. It became kind of a game to pick out the Cinderella elements in this story. And I was definitely turning pages to figure out if it would end like a Cinderella story . . . or not. (Or have some twist that I could have never seen coming.)
Another thing I really loved about it was how Gabriella and Vilmar sacrificed for each other. In a lot of romance plots, especially in young adult fiction, the couple don’t do anything for each other. They simply kiss a few times, flirt ALL the time, and declare it a love story. It was nice to see two leads who, while they had their own struggles, were kind to the people around them and to each other.
On the topic of those struggles—those were strong and relatable as well. Gabriella’s need for revenge was an interesting quality to hand to a Cinderella character. Vilmar’s struggle to best his brother as well also packed the emotional punch needed. The author did a good job making me feel the emotions, even if their emotional responses weren’t quite the same as mine would be.
But who will truly become king? And how much is this like a Cinderella story? You’ll have to read to find out.
Alright. It is finally time for me to ramble about one of my most anticipated reads of 2021!
Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.
Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.
Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.
To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.
Where. Do. I. Begin?
I’ll try to do this as spoiler-free as possible.
If you had any inkling of disliking the characters in the first installment, worry no more! The characters face the darkness each one of them has lurking in their past . . . sometimes darkness that they caused. I loved seeing how it emphasized responsibility for our own actions. The character arcs close out beautifully (and sometimes brutally) leaving us with a whole host of heroes. (Or villains who are even worse than before . . . )
The new characters that were added shone and each lent their unique presence to the story.
I could not put this book down. Truly. I read it all the first day I got it and then went back and read it again.
The world of Neverland is so unique and beautifully developed. I could see it all in my mind and loved all the different elements that made it so.
It’s no secret that Claire does find her brother Connor. And that he’s nothing like she remembered. His story was one of my favorite bits of the entire book. The development of his struggle with his shadow, his fall to villainy, and his battle against his hurt—oh my goodness.
The message in this book was exactly what I needed to hear. It illustrates crystal clear the light in darkness, that we are more than our shadows. The characters do struggle, and their struggles don’t necessarily end when all seems to be going right. But that’s life. And there is light—both in this novel and in real life.
Occasionally, the descriptions contained a lot of adjectives. Maybe they could have been improved by showing a bit more instead of the multiple descriptors, maybe not. It wasn’t enough to jerk me out of the plot, however, and did nothing to slow the story down.
Shadow did not disappoint. It was all I was hoping for and more. Definitely one of my favorite reads from this year, and an especially timely encouragement to me. I highly recommend it. Like I said above—there’s light, and this novel carries it from Neverland to the real world and back again.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!