by: Shannon Hale
When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.
As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable.But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.
With Shannon Hale’s lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise
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We’re Stuck In A Tower, Now What?
Dashti, from start to finish is such a loyal maid. She chronicles her time serving Lady Saren through her writing, and sometimes the events of the day, as one would imagine are tedious and boring. There clearly is not going to be much going on, unless the Lady is ill, or has someone attempting to visit her. These points were when my attention was intently on the writings of Lady Saren.
Let me just say, that the book did pick up speed once [the main event] occurs. I will not speak of this event, as it will spoil the novel for you. Once we get to see more of Dashti, how she feels, and how she thinks, the characters develop more, and relationships are better formed.
Not being able to say what the second half the book is about is basically killing attempts at describing it. I will say, Tegus, is my favorite character in the novel, and that he was a sweet man, with a dream.
What’s The Verdict?
I hated Lady Saren. With all my heart, I hated her. She was whiny, and complained about everything, and she seemed to not appreciate anything that was ever done for her. Hating her though, made me appreciate Dashti, and all she does, so much more. In the end, I didn’t hate this book. But, I surely didn’t love it either.
Also, I have never read the original fairytale that this is based on, but I do not think it is necessary to. Shannon Hale has a writing style all of her own, and once I got used to it, I could definitely see liking it in more of her work. Hale, is definitely on my radar, and any suggestions by her, would be greatly appreciated!
This was the final review for It Takes Two, the January Edition! Next up, Historical fiction – we are reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys and Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Want to read with Alexa and myself? Fill this out!
Today we are taking books, and comparing them to different types of relationships! I want to hear which you can relate to, and maybe even what books made you feel that way! Some of these are good, some are bad, but hey; not every relationship is perfect, nor is every book.
The Slow and Steady Buildup
For Me: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Hard & Fast Fall. [I.Cant.Live.Without.You]
For Me: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Love At First Sight
For Me: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak [DNF]
The…What Was I Thinking?
For Me: Crossed by Ally Condie, Killing Floor by Lee Child
The Drunk Hookup.
For Me: Avoiding Series by K.A. Linde, Losing It by Cora Carmack
The Everlasting Love.
For Me: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Just One Day by Gayle Forman
For Me: Book of a 1000 Days by Shannon Hale, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
So, what do you think? Do you totally GET any of these? I mean, I can put a book to ALMOST every category! How about you?
by: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
Before we start the review of this lovely book, I am going to inform you that this is part of It Takes Two – in case you missed that from the title. It Takes Two is a new feature hosted by myself and the wonderfully personable Alexa from Alexa Loves Books. You will be getting both our takes on the same two books!
Before I begin my review, I would like you to know that I don’t read fairytales, nor re-tellings. I went into this to expand my reading horizons, and that seems to be what I did. Ok, onward and up! At the end of the review you will see the February genre selection along with the books we’ll be reading! We have provided a linky for you all to get involved, if you so choose.
So, We’re In Neverland, & Then..
And then, lots happens. Apparently, the last few books I have read are going to torture me by being endlessly slow for near 100 pages. This book did that to me. Jamie, from The Perpetual Page Turner warned in her review that this happened for her too. But, I powered through, and BOY am I glad I did! This story is told from Tinkerbell’s point of view. [This is a re-telling of Peter Pan!] Tinkerbell is the narrator, and a wonderful one at that. Tink takes us on the adventures of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. Along the way we meet a few trouble-makers [such as Hook!] who do not like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. This makes for a few issues, to say the least. Tiger Lily’s father, Tick-Tock was so wonderful and animated and we see his undying love for his daughter, despite her ways and attire. Especially because Tick Tock himself is a very odd fellow! We also get to encounter Pine Sap who is a confidante of Tiger Lily, and we see the role he plays in this story. There are many more characters that contribute to the story. However, the one I would have loved to see more of is Hook. I just like the bad ones, what can I say! And if Jodi wants to come out with a story about Hook, I will be RIGHT THERE buying/reading that!
Okay, moving on. This is a story about love. Love from all different perspectives and angles and all different people being in love. But it boils down to, all love is important love. No matter past or present. I think that is what I took from this story.
Was It A Happily Ever After For You?
Well. To be honest, I was nervous I was going to hate this. Like I started with, I don’t do fairy-tales. Its just not in my nature. But I am SO GLAD that Alexa chose this one, because by the end I was practically in tears [a few times over…don’t laugh!] And I was hanging on every word I read. I couldn’t wait to finish the book, because I wanted to see what the ending was going to be. And, GUYS. The ending is so the best part. This tale is a magnificent story of hardship and growing up, and learning to accept people for who they are. That’s truly what it is. And really, that’s what fairy-tales are supposed to teach us. I learned from this book that there is yet ANOTHER genre out there that I was missing out on.
I do think everyone should give this one a chance. I would not have if it weren’t for this feature, and I would have been missing out on a great story with wonderful narration and beautiful writing. Tiger Lily had mixed reviews, I have seen it be on the best & worst lists this past year. I am going to put it on a pedestal for quite some time now. That is, until I read a re-telling that I enjoy as much!
For February, Alexa and I will be reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys and Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. If you want to read with us, and review with us, just fill out this simple form to let us know you’re interested! At the third week of February, we will provide a linky.
Under The Never Sky
by: Veronica Rossi
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.
What’s The Deal, Here?
Allow me to be frank. This book scared me. I could not understand what was going on for nearly one hundred pages. All i DID know was that I did very much enjoy the characters. Perry and Aria were painted so distinctly in my mind that I had to continue on, and power through. Let us understand, that I didn’t know much going into this book. All I did know was that people are OBSESSED. I adore dystopians. And boy, am I glad that I stuck it out. Under The Never Sky was wonderful. The “dwellers” and the “savages” each had such unique lifestyles. And I must say, I LOVED traveling through the Realms with Aria. Also, “better than real?” great tagline! And! I totally want my own SmartEye! That thing kicks serious ass. I’m pretty sure I can design it from the ground up and all the way to how I imagine the screen to look. For those who aren’t big on sci-fi-ish elements, don’t worry. You’re NOT alone. I hate it. But, this book totally brings it together for you. Somewhere along the line, I finally understood (more so) what everything was, and how it worked. It wasn’t the easiest to grasp, but its worth it for the rest of the story, and for these amazing characters. Everyone from the main characters, to Marron, Cinder, Vale, Talon, Liv, Rose and most importantly.. Roar, was so well developed. We learn what each person does in their home. Whether that home is on the Outside or the Inside, every person plays an important role – in Perry and Aria’s journey. Rossi, you, my dear, have done a great job.
Soo.. All This Means, What?
What I determined from reading Under the Never Sky is that I CAN [boy am I gonna hate myself] do Sci-Fi. Not hardcore or anything. But as long as its backed by a great plot and amazing characters, its just elements of a story. It took Veronica Rossi to teach me that. I will ALSO say that Perry is DELICIOUSLY SWOONWORTHY. And I also LOVE Roar. Like, want him to be my friend forever. Plus, there are some beautiful lines in this book that I highlighted, but unfortunately, I got so nervous about sharing half of them that I chose one from very early on in the story, in case I accidentally gave something away unintentionally. Aria is a shining star in this book. As far as development goes, I feel she is so brave, and so willing to learn. When thrown into a situation like she was, it is so easy to give up. And this story showcases a brave female in YA literature. And, well, damn- who doesn’t love that? My rating for this book is sheerly based on my earlier complaint with grasping the world, and its elements. But once I got it, I loved it. I have literally no doubt that I will adore Through the Ever Night.
This Week We’re Talking: To Listen, or Not…
PERSONALLY. For me, it depends on the book. Sometimes I need sheer silence. I tell those around me I’m going to read, I set my phone down, I don’t pick it up until I’m ready to reconnect with the world.
However, MANY times, like with so, so, many contemporaries, I need to have some music going. I do this very faintly in the background. Otherwise I’ll be READING & SINGING lyrics at the same time. And clearly.. that’s not going to work!
But, all I do is turn on my Spotify:
harmony. Reading, and music both mean the world to me. And that is why I especially like finding songs that GO WITH the book. I ADORE when authors do this. And I especially love Elena over at Novel Sounds because she pairs a song with a book, and that’s just awesome!
Recently: I have paired Under The Never Sky with the likes of Of Monsters and Men as well as The Sick Puppies. When I was reading Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis, it was all about the country, baby!
So tell me, guys! What do you do? Do you like your silence, do you like some tunes? What do you prefer? And share some of your music/book combos if you have any! I am going to try to share some of my pairings with you, shortly!