Mini Reviews: YA books #2

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Hello, world! I’m back with another edition of the Mini Reviews and, this time, our theme is Young Adult books! YAAAY!

Just remembering that the mini reviews deal is a combination of inspirations from Cait, of The Paper Fury, and from Lindsey, of @thepagemistress, and that I do those with books that: a) were good, but weren’t unforgettable; b) were too short for a complete review; c) I really liked, but the book didn’t change my life.

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

  • Madeleine Roux – The Scarlets (The Asylum #1.5)

  • Madeleine Roux – Catacomb (The Asylum #3)

  • Rainbow Rowell – Kindred Spirits

  • Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

  • Sara Shepard – The Perfectionists (The Perfectionists #1)

*This particular post involves only paperback books that I have read and I’m awful at remembering which quotes I liked during the read, as I never remember to stop and mark them, so no quotes to show off, SORRY!!!*

*~.The Scarlets.~*

From Madeleine Roux

The Asylum #1.5

the scarlets

Rating: 5 stars

Reading period: Jan. 29th to 30th, 2017

Format: Brazilian Portuguese paperback

Source: bought at a local Brazilian book store

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When Dan and his friends meet Cal in Sanctum their impression of the privileged New Hampshire College student is less than stellar. But Cal wasn’t always the cold, sarcastic guy he is now. In this digital original story preceding the events of Sanctum, we meet Cal when he is experiencing college like any other kid with a group of close friends and a dad who piles on the pressure. Only, when the pressure starts getting to him and Cal accepts an invitation to meet a selective group of students and alumni known only as the Scarlets, the course of Cal’s life changes forever. And the price of joining the Scarlets might be higher than he can pay.

With plenty of twists, turns, and thrills, The Scarlets is an exhilarating installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide a missing piece of the puzzle for series fans.

PROS

I loved Cal when I read Sanctum, so seeing a little more into his world and getting the chance to understand him better in this book was priceless ❤ Madeleine’s writing is awesome and my heart clenched when the book ended, because I NEEDED MOAAAAARE!

PS for Brazilian Portuguese readers: This edition was masterfully reproduces by the local publisher, with a deluxe paperback cover and wonderful translation. If you collect books and this is your genre, this book is worthy of your shelves!

CONS

The book is too short! Seriously, this is my only complaint hahaha!

COVER ANALYSIS

I love the covers for the Asylum series, generally speaking. Dark, romantic in a twisted way, beautiful and oh-so-chilling. The skull illustrates the title, as The Scarlets are a secret organization and that is their symbol, along with the roses. The black/dark grey background with the scarred writing used both in the title and the author’s name is the cherry on this perfect-horrifying cake ❤

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of short stories, terror books and the Asylum series ❤

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*~.Catacomb.~*

From Madeleine Roux

The Asylum #3

catacomb

Rating: 4 stars

Reading period: Jan. 1st to 9th, 2017

Format: International paperback

Source: bought at a local Brazilian book store

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Sometimes, the past is better off buried.

Senior year is finally over. After all they’ve been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they’re just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that they are apparently being followed.. And Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn’t expect to hear from again—someone who died last Halloween.

As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate—a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister connection with a notorious killer from the past. Now, Dan’s only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive.

In this finale to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, found photographs help tell the story of three teens who exist on the line between past and present, genius and insanity.

PROS

The setting of New Orleans was perfectly described and wonderfully set. I felt the diversity of cultures, the perks of the city and the eerie feeling it could bring in the dead of the night. Also, the relationship between the main characters was amazing, as it was never perfect; the imperfections made their friendship totally real, haha!

CONS

I felt like this book lost some of the force of the terror element, so strongly present on the others. It was interesting alright, but it didn’t give me the chills or scares through it =( The supernatural element also was overlooked a lot. I felt the supernatural scenes were just thrown there and then promptly forgotten…

In addition, the book claims to be the closure for the series, but that clearly is a lie, as the end is totally open for another book.

COVER ANALYSIS

As I said above, this eerie feeling of the book covers for the Asylum series enchants me. Personally, I don’t think this cover has anything to do with the story, but that was already the case with both Asylum, the first book, and Sanctum, the second, so no surprises there, haha!

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of the Asylum series and curious souls about New Orleans =)

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*~.Kindred Spirits.~*

From Rainbow Rowell

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Rating: 5 stars

Reading period: Sept. 26th, 2016

Format: British mass-market paperback

Source: won at an Instagram giveaway

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‘Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.’

‘Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?’

‘Maybe.’

If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

PROS

This was a quick and fun read, portraying a situation every teen from the 90’s/2000’s knows well. Sometimes, people bound over the strangest things and Rainbow built her story on one of the most beloved elements of Geek culture: Star Wars ❤ The debate over being a true nerd or not was also very interesting and made me highly identify myself with Elena. Like her, sometimes I also love some shows/bands/etc., but I don’t really know everything about them. Does this makes me a poser? Or can I truly love something I don’t know all about? #deep #identityproblems

CONS

As all the books I have read from Rainbow so far, there is not really and end; Rainbow just decides where she tired of the story and leaves the book at that =/

COVER ANALYSIS

The cover is simple and gives nothing of the story. Using only the strength of Rainbow’s trademark writing font and a deep magenta color, Kindred Spirits catches the eye for being over simple and from Rainbow Rowell, haha! I personally don’t really like this cover…

RECOMMENDED FOR

Lovers of YA, short stories and Geek culture!

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*~.A Court of Thorns and Roses.~*

From Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses #1

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Rating: 3 stars

Reading period: Mar. 17th, 2016 to insert major reading break due lack of interest in the plot Jan. 29th, 2017

Format: Brazilian Portuguese paperback

Source: won as a Christmas gift from my younger cousin on Christmas, 2015

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When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

PROS

It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling and of course I love this fairy tale ❤ Also, there are plenty of hot men to choose from and to ship with.

CONS

Where do I begin? The pace was REALLY, REALLY slow and I took a dislike for the main character right on Chapter 1. The book is awfully long and there aren’t that many happenings, so I got frustrated on a chapter-ly basis, haha! Also, I don’t like amorous triangles in any way – I think I can count on my fingers books with this particular element that fallen on my graces rather than on my hates, haha!. I simply wasn’t the right audience for this book, which led me to the decision of dropping this series.

PS for Brazilian Portuguese readers: while the cover is WAY more prettier than the original one, the translation isn’t great. It wasn’t that bad that it interfered on my judgment of the book, but it wasn’t smoothly enough for someone that knows both English and Brazilian Portuguese. There were a lot of sentences that weren’t adapted, so I knew exactly which were the original English words behind the Portuguese ones. A true. Pain.

COVER ANALYSIS

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The Brazilian cover is simpler than the original one, with all the red and the woman, but I liked the local cover better. The colors, the font used in the writings and the thorns give the book this magical and mysterious aspect ❤ Also, I don’t usually like books with human illustrations on the cover – except for those romantic ones for sugared romances, haha! – so, the original cover lost many points with me thanks to that.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of retellings, Beauty and the Beast, fantasy books, faeries, and really patient readers, haha!

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*~. The Perfectionists.~*

From Sara Shepard

The Perfectionists #1

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Rating: 2 stars

Reading period: Jan. 25th to 27th, 2017

Format: International paperback

Source: borrowed from an offline friend

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In Beacon Heights, Washington, five Girls — Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker — know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first, the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke… until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.

PROS

The cover? The outfits described for the characters? Sorry, I’m having trouble with the pros, as this book didn’t push my buttons at all…

CONS

WHERE DO I BEGIN?! I was never a fan of Pretty Little Liars (the show), so when I realized that The Perfectionists was basically PLL in EVERY SINGLE ASPECT and only different names, I was so disappointed I wanted to drop the book in the spot. Sadly, I’m not that kind of person – I ALWAYS finish the books that I start, no matter how much I’m hating the experience. I was able to foresee the twists, the problems, everything, and I was always right on the spot. There was no magic for me in this book, showing me I was the wrong audience for it =( Naturally, I decided to drop this series.

COVER ANALYSIS

I LOVE THIS COVER. Seriously, the analogy of the rose and the title (perfectionists) was brilliant! The fact that the rose is deep purple and that the thorns are really visible were also a masterful move. To be honest, the final instance on my decision to pick up this book was this cover. I needed to see if the contents would amaze me as much as it did, haha!

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of the author, Pretty Little Liars, YA and mystery =)

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~*~

AND WE ARE DONE! Thank you so much for reading those mini reviews! Have you read any of those books? Do you want to? Let’s talk about all these popular books ❤

With love,

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2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: YA books #2

  1. Lovely batch of mini reviews!

    “As all the books I have read from Rainbow so far, there is not really and end; Rainbow just decides where she tired of the story and leaves the book at that =/”

    I’ve only read one RR book (Fangirl) and I felt the same way. While I think RR writes some of the most relatable characters, I am not keen on her plots…

    I’ve never read a Sarah J. Maas book and I probably never will #SorryNotSorry

    Liked by 1 person

    • I THOUGHT THAT HAD BEEN JUST ME!!! Seriously, I know that some people like their ends open and all, but I need a minimal closure and Rainbow never gave me anything remotely close to a closure 😦
      As for the Sarah J. Maas books: I still want to try the Throne of Glass series out of pure curiosity, but if it proves to be exaclty like ACOTAR, I’m going to die. Seriously. Too many words, too little happenings for my tastes, ugh!!
      And thank you so much for reading the reviews, Amanda!! You rock ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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