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The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White  ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
Published by Little Brown on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG, Sci-fi
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White eARC {3.5 Stars}

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White is a standalone historical fantasy that combines terrifying magic with rather thoughtful commentary on colonialism and the accompanying racism. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from Illusions of Fate and didn’t realize how much magic played a role in its plot. I really enjoyed the magic and world that White created here, to the point that I wish this wasn’t a standalone! The first half of Illusions of Fate was definitely my favorite part of the book, meaning that I ended up being a little disappointed, but it was a fun ride.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Illusions of Fate from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White eARC {3.5 Stars}

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTeen on Sept. 9th, 2014
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 275 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo {4 Stars}

In the Shadows is a marvelous combination of stories told in alternating illustrated pages and text. While it takes most of In the Shadows for the two stories to interweave, the revelation when they do is pretty awesome. The illustrations are gorgeous in full color and fully convey the action taking place. I’m really tempted to now go find the rest of Jim Di Bartolo’s work! The text story written by Kiersten White combines spooky elements of a mysterious cult with the fun of a summer in a small town for our five main characters. If you enjoy art interwoven with fantasy, you can’t miss In the Shadows!

Note: I received In the Shadows from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo {4 Stars}

In the Shadows by Jim Di Bartolo, Kiersten White
Published by Scholastic Press on April 29th, 2014
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch. 

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.

 

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Perfect Lies by Kiersten White eARC {4 Stars}

Perfect Lies is the sequel to Mind Games and continues right where Mind Games left off with more intrigue, awesome mind powers, and an amazing sisterly dynamic. I quite enjoyed Mind Games, though this series is clearly not for everyone. If you enjoy stream-of-consciousness narration, crazy timelines interweaving, and broken characters, you should definitely check out this series, but go read Mind Games since there will be spoilers below ;-). If you have already read Mind Games, you will probably enjoy Perfect Lies just about the same amount that you did Mind Games, it all depends on your preferences, haha.

Note: I received Perfect Lies through Edelweiss for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White eARC {4 Stars}

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (Mind Games #2)
Published by HarperTeen on Feb. 18th, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 232 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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4 Stars: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White ARC

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White grabbed me immediately from the description. The Egyptian mythology is one which hasn’t seen as much attention in the YA trends, so I was excited to see what White did with it. I actually read The Chaos of Stars in one 6-hour sitting, since it’s a fairly short book and was just a fun read ;-). I’ve noticed that my like of The Chaos of Stars is in the minority though, so judge for yourself :).

Note: I borrowed an ARC of The Chaos of Stars from a friend. Some things may be different in the final version.

4 Stars: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White ARC

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTeen on September 10th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all. --Goodreads

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • I’m no expert on Egyptian myths, but I thought that the lore of Chaos of Stars was done in a fun and fairly accurate way. I’m interested if anyone that knows more about the actual myths than I do has opinions that they’d like to share!
  • Thank you for good guy love interests! I was quite pleased with the adorable crush stage of the romance and found Ry to be an all around solid character.
  • Isadora (MC) appealed to me in her social awkwardness. Since she has been raised in a fair amount of isolation from the “normal” world, it was amusing to see her figure things out. The stream of consciousness sections of writing were also entertaining since I have felt similarly in the past ;-).
  • I am not someone who knows much about interior design, but since Isadora is a fan and quite talented, it was really interesting to find out more about that through reading The Chaos of Stars.

Weaknesses:

  •  The ending of The Chaos of Stars was a bit rushed and a bit easy, but I was still satisfied.
  • Isadora is a bit of a teenager when she is stating that she will never be in love and has never been loved. The representation of a moody teenager certainly is accurate, but I would have liked if she had been a little less obviously silly, since we all knew she would fall for the guy in the end. Despite this, The Chaos of Stars still manages to pull off a bit of insta-love/insta-attraction.
  • Without spoilers, The Chaos of Stars includes myths other than Egyptian ones towards the end, which kind of ruined the lore for me. We have enough books with other myths in them, why couldn’t The Chaos of Stars only be based on the Egyptian myths? :(

Summary:

I went in to The Chaos of Stars knowing it would be a short, amusing, YA fantasy and that is exactly what I got. While there weren’t any deep thoughts, I liked the use of Egyptian lore for once and found the snippets of myths at the beginning of each chapter very interesting. Reading The Chaos of Stars makes me more curious about Kiersten White’s other work, since I had been dubious due to reviews, but apparently I differ on this writing style than a lot of other reviewers >.>.

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White