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Book: Flawless (2nd Book in Pretty Little Liars Series)
Author: Sara Shepard
Flawless picks up right where Pretty Little Liars left us. In this book our main characters Hanna, Emily, Spencer, and Aria keep trying to figure out the identity of their anonymous message sender “A”, who knows all of their deepest, darkest secrets. But the most horrible secret of all is something that they share. It is also so scandalous it could possibly destroy their perfect lives. And of course “A” is threatening to do just that. At first the girls thought “A” was Alison, their friend who vanished three years ago. But, it turns out that Alison really was dead. So who could “A” be now? Maybe Toby, the mysterious guy who left town right after Alison went missing?
This story, just like Pretty Little Liars, was a very interesting and suspenseful read. The author created extremely realistic characters that although seemed great on the surface, had their own problems to deal with. This novel dug deeper into all the character’s flaws and issues they faced, whether it was a family issue or a moral dilemma. I also loved seeing how their problem with “A” releasing their secrets connected to their own personal life and the impact they faced when some of their secrets were released. I loved the flashbacks throughout the story that show the reader how the main characters have changed because of certain situations and decisions they have made in the past. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to read the next one.
Book: The False Prince (1st Book in The Ascendance Series)
Author: Jennifer Nielsen
Many years ago, the king of Carthya’s ship was attacked and his youngest son was never to be seen again. Now with Carthya on the brink of a war, Conner, a nobleman of the king’s court, wants to devise a plan. He intends to find an impersonator of the king’s lost son and install him as a puppet prince, which would ease the tension in the kingdom. In order to do this, Conner recruits four orphans to compete for the role of the prince and trains them over two weeks. One of the boys there is a defiant boy named Sage. At the end of the two weeks, Sage must be chosen to play the prince over the others or else he will certainly be killed.
One of the things that makes this novel so memorable is the writing style, especially when it comes to the main character. Sage is not at all interested in becoming the prince, which makes the reader even more compelled to read about him and root for him. Also, this book is written in the limited third person with insight only to Sage’s thoughts, which helps the reader understand his actions. Also, all of the plot twists and the way everything connects at the end was done brilliantly. The biggest twist of the book was something no one would ever suspect, although there were subtle clues throughout the novel. Overall, this book was very cleverly written and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Book: When (Standalone Novel)
Author: Victoria Laurie
When follows the story of Maddie Fynn, who has the ability to see people’s death dates. One day, she identifies the quickly approaching death date of a young boy, but unfortunately she does not know how to save him because her ability only allows her to see when people die, not how. But, when the boy goes missing on the exact date that Maddie predicted, law enforcement turns to her. Also, as more and more people disappear and are later found murdered, Maddie becomes entangled in a homicide investigation. Now, not only is she a suspect in this investigation because of her ability, but she also may be the murderer’s next target. Can she find out the identity of the murderer before things get even worse?
Firstly, the character of Maddie as well as the supporting characters that appear throughout the book were well-written. All of them were multidimensional and there were many traits the reader could relate to in multiple characters as they were very unique from one another. The pace of the story was great as well as it was engaging throughout. Also, the author also did a great job with keeping the suspense throughout the book all the way up to the climax. However, the story line of being accused of murder, the discrimination, dealing with the law and policing organisations had moments where it felt far-fetched. Overall, this was a great and engaging standalone novel and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a mystery.
Book: The Hunger Games (1st Book in The Hunger Games Series)
Author: Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games takes place in a futuristic society named Panem which is controlled by the Capitol and surrounded by twelve other districts. The Capitol is very cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them to send one boy and one girl to participate in their annual Hunger Games, which is essentially a broadcasted fight to the death. One day, Katniss Everdeen’s sister is chosen to take part in the Hunger Games but Katniss takes her place instead because she regards the Games as a death sentence. Now, as a contestant, Katniss must use her survival skills and fight for her life in order to survive in the Hunger Games.
One of the things that I liked about this book was the character of Katniss. She’s a very independent character with strong moral values. Her character also grows throughout the story as she faces certain situations. Throughout this book there are various symbolic meanings and political themes. For example, this novel shows how people with money are more powerful and the poor don’t have any option but to obey their commands. Also, just like the Capitol pretends to care about their people in order to get what they want, power hungry politicians have the same mindsets in our real world. Overall, I loved how I was able to connect to this book in a deeper way and relate it to our society and what could become of it in the future. Can't wait to see what happens next!
Book: The Burning Maze (1st Book in The Trials of Apollo Series)
Author: Rick Riordan
The Burning Maze picks up right where The Dark Prophecy left us. So far, with the help of some friends, Apollo has managed to survive his first two trials. Now, he must pass his third trial which means that he needs to travel through the Labyrinth and find the third emperor as well as an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles. Also, while Apollo and his companion Meg are on their quest, Leo must warn the Roman camp that they will soon be attacked by multiple evil Roman emperors. However, the one glimmer of hope that’s seen in this quest is that their satyr companion will return to help, since he is the only one who knows the way.
Firstly, compared to the previous novel, I found this book to be much more fast paced as this time not only does Apollo have to pass the trial with the time limit provided, but there are others whose lives hang in the balance. When it comes to the villains of the previous book, I found that Commodus was a powerful but somewhat silly villain. Also, Nero was cunning and manipulative, but his attachment to Meg gave him an air of humanity. However, the final emperor that is introduced in this novel is more terrifying than the other two put together. He is the one that reminds us how imperative it is that Apollo succeeds. Overall, I would recommend this series to anyone who likes reading mythological as well as suspenseful books.