Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mini-Reviews: A Northern Light, Perfect Ruin, and A Darkness Strange and Lovely

A Northern Light

Title: A Northern Light
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: Historical fiction
Pub. Date: September 1, 2004

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has a word for everything, and big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. The fresh pain of her mother's death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. And the secret dreams that keep her going--visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer. Set in 1906 in the Adirondack Mountains, against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this Printz Honor-winning coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

5 stars! I don't know when the last time was that I've given a book the ultimate glory of being

rated 5 stars, but A Northern Light really is fitting for this. Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres, but as of late, I haven't exactly been blown away by any of the previous books. This book has stolen the title of being one of my favorite historical fiction books not only this year, but of my entire life. The main character is lovable, the mystery is gripping, and the writing superb. I'd recommend this novel to feminists and history lovers everywhere.  

Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)

Title: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Genre: Dystopia/Sci-fi
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose. -Goodreads

4 stars. Normally, the dystopian genre never really works for me. The plots in dystopia books I've read bore me, and make little sense at all. I can finally say that I've found a dystopia book I thoroughly enjoyed. The plot is nor overly complicated; it's actually quite simplistic while at the same time managing to be very interesting. I'd recommend this to fans of The Giver.

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)

Title: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Historical/Science fiction
Pub. Date: July 23, 2013

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.      -Goodreads

3 stars. After how much I had been entertained by the creativity of the first novel, I was expecting the same from the second installment, if not more. While the creativeness of the series did not dwindle, the predictability of A Darkness Strange and Lovely was unbearable and was the main downfall and the reason for my disappointment. If not for the introduction of a character I very much loved, I would have given this book 2 stars. For fans of Jie, Joseph, and Daniel, they didn't make much of an appearance in this book, unfortunately focusing mainly on Eleanor.

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