Last week #Rainbowthon was running: a readathon where you had to choose books that had the colour of each rainbow. I chose 5 books in total, covering the 6 colours, but only managed 3. Figured I’d do some reviews, seeing as I haven’t in a while!
TALON – Julie Kagawa
Published: 2014, Harlequin
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon.
But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
“They wanted me to sit, listen, learn, be quiet, when I wanted to run, shout, jump, fly.”
I don’t know where to start with this. I was immediately drawn to Ember and her idea of the ‘perfect summer’, and found it easy to get lost in the Californian lifestyle with her. I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy the whole dragon thing, but I think it fit in well. It seems like a lot of people are disappointed in the dragon aspect, and I agree with that it wasn’t nearly as bad-ass-fire-breathing-dragon that I was expecting. Ember is a dragon trying to fit in with the human race undercover. She wasn’t supposed to be human at all, but definitely showed more human characteristics than dragon. I can see why some are disappointed in that.
The plot however I thought was really interesting. Maybe it’s because I’ve never read any books about dragons, but it was certainly different to me. We had Talon, the whole dragon world, the Rogues and then St George – a deadly army set out till kill every dragon. We have three main characters from each one – Ember, Riley and Garrett – and although mostly in Ember’s narrative, we do see the story from each person. I liked getting an insight into the different worlds, and the tension and pacing of the second half of the book was done brilliantly. I could feel everything building up and I just couldn’t put it down.
The world could do with a little more to it – more context, more dragons – but I honestly loved this book and I can’t wait to get my hands on Rogue. 4/5
I Am The Messenger – Makus Zusak
Published: 2006, Alfred A. Knopf Borzoi Books
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.
That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?
Okay so I Am The Messenger was nothing like what I was expecting. I’ve only ever read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and well the two stories are drastically different. One thing ties the two together however, and that’s his writing. How is it that someone can have such an obvious style of writing and voice within two really different genres? I don’t know, but honestly his words are just beautiful.
To begin with, I wasn’t sure how I’d get into the book. The story line just wasn’t something I thought I’d really enjoy, but then as it really got started I just couldn’t put it down. Ed is a very ordinary person and a taxi driver who doesn’t really have any future plans. He stops a bank robbery and is the local hero, and thus his ‘messenger’ challenge starts. He is given addresses/names/clues and has to figure out who needs his help. We see him meet new people, do some very simple and some pretty crazy things to help these strangers, and watch these lives improve through his help. It’s a a strange journey, yet Ed is so ordinary that it never seems outrageous or unbelievable. My favourite ‘message’ was his one to the young girl who runs. I just really loved that bit. I don’t really know what else to write without ruining the experience, so I just have to say go read it!
I Am the Messenger is definitely a feel-good book as we explore the goodness of human nature and how just the smallest thing can make a difference, all through Ed and his actions. I can see why people rate it so highly. 4/5
Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published: 2013, Speak
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her co-worker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?
I read this in one sitting on Valentines day. Not entirely sure that was a good idea – ended up spending half my morning sobbing haha! Oh I loved this book though. Definitely my favourite out of the three I’ve read this week.
I first discovered Stephanie Perkins’ writing in that Christmas book – My True Love Gave To Me. I really loved her story, and now after reading this I’m wondering why I didn’t read her stuff earlier! The writing just flows so well, yet feels like chatter. It was so easy to get into and I felt like I was right in that friendship group. All of the characters had an annoying part about them, but they were all different and really fit together. I also liked how all of the relationships – both loving and friendly – were believable. They all had problems, differing between each pair of characters. And Etienne, oh Etienne. Where can I find one of him? I miss having that young and in love feeling. Dear me.
This book just honestly made me wish I was studying in Paris. Or living in Paris. Yeah, we have those cliches and soppy romance, but I felt like Anna and the French Kiss really focused a lot on Anna growing as a person. That’s what I took from it anyway. And I sobbed and sobbed. The usual with stories including romance eh. Actually, I loved this book so much that when my mum said she was going to Tesco, I jumped up and got dressed in the hopes of finding Lola and the Boy Next Door. Didn’t find it. Anyway, I would definitely recommend. 4/5