⚡️ Hi, guys! I hope you’re having a beautiful day, full of good readings! ❤️ Today I bring you two book reviews of books that I’ve recently read and I’m dying to share my thoughts with each one of you. I hope you don’t mind if I do this from time to time, I would make a separate post for each one, but I have everything already organized for the month and I didn’t want to stop sharing the reviews with you. I loved one of the books, a complete fantasy that involves Chinese mythology and a unique basic idea & the other one is one of the most anticipated books of this year! I hope you enjoy and let me know all your thoughts in the comments, I would LOVE to know! ⚡️
Title: Spin the Dawn
By: Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #1
Published: July 9th, 2019
By: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
| Goodreads |
“Seize the wind,” I whispered. “Don’t become the kite that never flies.”
I adored this book I think that the Chinese culture and mythology that’s portrayed in it is absolutely amazing and beautiful, I also really enjoyed how the author decides to give prominence to the places and clothing aesthetics that are described in the most perfect way, and they blend very well with the fantasy plot. I really enjoyed it and I think it was exactly the kind of reading I need, something light and easy to read, but also with an interesting, dynamic, and entertaining background to follow.
In this book, we follow Maia, a girl who dreams of becoming the best tailor in the land, but being a woman the only thing she can hope for is to marry a good man. When a royal messenger arrives at her sick father’s workshop, she makes a risky and dangerous decision going to court dressed as a man to participate in a competition to become the imperial tailor and thus not only fulfill her dream but also save her family from ruin. Although Maia doesn’t doubt her abilities, every day she’s at risk that they’ll discover that she’s a woman and be executed for it. The challenges that Maia must go through to prove herself the best tailor are difficult enough but she also attracted the attention of the court magician, Edan, who seems to see through her disguise. Still, nothing prepares Maia for her final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.
What I adored above all things in the book is the dynamic and the story of Maia’s family, to deepen her relationship with her loved ones and all the sacrifices she must make to keep them alive and safe it’s breathtaking, I just love when stories focus so much on family and the power of that kind of love and bonding, and in this book that’s beautifully accomplished, I’m completely moved by the way Maia relates to her brothers and especially with her father and the look that she has on them of pure compassion and admiration. In addition to this beautiful factor, I think it’s a very solid book and I really enjoyed reading it, even so, I think that the really interesting thing begins to happen perhaps after the first 100 pages. I can see why this described as Project Runway knows Mulan, and LOVE that idea, the first part of the book is very PR based, while the second and most part of the idea is highly Mulan based, a story that I personally LOVE.
I’m not a big fan of crossings or traveling long trips together with the characters, sometimes that bores me a little, but this time I think that all the places that we know traveling together with the characters are wonderful, the descriptions are very vivid and are clearly very well thought out. Still, I prefer not to have SO long trips lol, but I still liked it! We also follow a fantastical plot with a huge mythological weight which I adore with my heart, knowing more about Chinese mythology has been a great pleasure and I’m dying to know more.
I liked the writing style, especially for the descriptions, there are many solid dialogues, and the construction itself of the plot is incredible. The places we visit on the journey that the characters undertake are beautiful, and although each place has its challenge and is dangerous, is SO good. There are many evil beings in each of those places, from demons to ghosts and that manages to keep you expectant, on the edge of your seat.
I also love how it’s very easy and light to read, which was exactly what I was needing. I also want to highlight the description of the clothing, because OMG, SO beautiful, I want to have every dress Maia has made for me, I swear!
I found really interesting the way in which magic is introduced into the story and all the nuances it has in this world. There are those who are totally against it and who treasure it as the greatest prize, I also adore how magic touches Maia’s life in a very unique way coming from her ancestors and knowing how that’s linked to her and also seeing her uses it was very nice, it’s a great idea, very unique above all.
I liked the characters especially Edan and Maia, who I think have very entertaining personalities to follow and much more when they’re together, LOVE THEM. Maia is a very brave girl who undertakes this super dangerous journey to honor and save her family. I greatly admire how strong this character is and how she’s always loyal to her ideals and pursues what her heart dictates. The growth is there, I could see it towards the end of the story and I can’t wait to read more about Maia. Edan is the magician of the emperor, and he’s at his complete service. This character is extremely interesting because we don’t know much about him in the beginning and about his past, but he does bring fun, magic, and mystery moments to the plot that I manage to enjoy. After seeing how everything ends for him, I die to know what’s next!
Then as a remarkable character, I think I should mention Lady Sarnai, she’s the emperor’s fiancee and I think her story is quite hard-hitting since she’s forced to marry to keep the peace between two empires, and we can see her suffering for this, never showing that side, though, but showing herself strong and very hard with others, actually she has a pretty cruel attitude, but I’m interested in learning more about this character.
What do I think about romance? Well, I think it’s too much instalove-y for my taste lol, even so, I managed to enjoy the relationship between them beyond the romance, I think they help each other grow and together they discover who they really are and what they want to do with their lives. I think they’ve empowered themselves and I love their dialogues. I cannot deny that I enjoyed some romantic scenes and although I think that everything is too hasty to occur in a period of months, still touched my heart a little and I’m very interested to know what will happen to them in the future. There are SO many beautiful scenes of them together that took my breath away
I liked the ending a lot because it’s not the typical happy ending, but it’s much more heartbreaking, and that was very well executed. I loved the book, I know it’s only the beginning, so I have high hopes for the sequel and I think, last book. It will be fun and exciting to discover what will happen with this world appeased by the war that tries to re-emerge and stay on its feet, besides I also want to know more about demons and mythological beings, which I enjoyed very much & last but not least, I can’t wait to follow more of Maia’s story and how she will take her next challenges having now a huge weight on her shoulders.
Loved the book and I highly recommend it if you want a light and easy to read fantasy, also if you enjoy trips where there are a lot of magic and diabolical beings lurking around the corner. I also recommend it if you like books with solid world constructions that will take your breath away, and interesting plots with kind of predictable but clean and well-executed twists.
By: Marie Lu
Series: (Legend #4)
Published: October 1st, 2019
By: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: YA | Dystopia| Sci-Fi | Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
Respect the Legend. Idolize the Prodigy. Celebrate the Champion. But never underestimate the Rebel.
Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.
A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.
As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .
With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times—bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.
| Goodreads |
“There are a million pieces of us scattered through my memory, moments tiny and insignificant to everyone else in the world except for me.”
Wow, I just expected more from this book, even though I enjoyed it because nostalgia is a huge impact factor on me, and because I adore the author’s writing style, it’s not a really necessary or remarkable book, much less comparable to the height of the main trilogy, which is great, in my opinion. Maybe this book would have been better as a short novel or something, you know? Even so, I enjoyed factors such as seeing the characters again, the writing style and the construction of the world mainly, I adore how the author has these wonderful ideas of a unique futuristic dystopian world.
Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother. A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life. As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .
Rebel is a story that aims to continue after the events of “Champion”, which in my opinion had the perfect ending. This book follows Eden, Day’s brother 10 years after the main trilogy. I was really excited when I found out about the release of this book because June and Day are one of the best literary couples for me, and I was excited to have a little more of them, but sadly I ended up kind of disappointed with the construction of the story itself, as well as the characters that I once knew to love. I felt super notalgic to read about each of them again, of course! But I was expecting a different evolution, and I also feel that the personalities that they once had, faded considerably. I understand that now Day and June are adults and all that, but there’s no impact on their characters as there once was, which is sad for me.
In this book, we follow a dual POV of Eden & Day, which I appreciate because it gives us the opportunity to go much deeper into their heads and understand their feelings more deeply. Eden as a character isn’t really amazing nor does it have remarkable depth, I think he’s quite flat in fact, and his actions don’t have real meaning for me, I feel that perhaps he’s trying to be this “rebel” to attract attention for being in his brother’s shadow or something like that. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like Eden, in fact, I love the idea of the character, but the execution didn’t work for me. On the other hand, you know that I came to adore Day in the main trilogy, but this time I didn’t care that much, I think that his chapters are mostly thoughts of the past, which adds a special nostalgia, indeed, but I don’t know if it really contributes something to the present plot. It also happened to me that I didn’t felt that special something with the Day of now, I understand 100% that he’s an older man now, but I don’t know… he lacked that impact and that power that the character originally had.
I’m here for the scenes of Day and June because I’m trash for this couple, I know they weren’t perfect, but I’ll cling to everything I have lol. Still, I can see perfectly well that this is Eden’s story and it really intends to focus on him, sadly he as the main character didn’t work for me at all.
I fully understand that the author wants to appeal to nostalgia by giving us so many thoughts of Day where June is in, but personally, I think it was too much. Instead of showing Day as an object for romance, I would have liked to see her again as a character, you know? I adore this romance, believe me, but I don’t like Day being used to generate this nostalgia for the past instead of making him a character with an impact like he deserves again. Leaving this aside, I liked the ending, but I think Champion continues to be THE ENDING that’s worth it.
I really needed to get those feelings and thoughts out of the characters in order to talk to you about other aspects. First, I can get to understand the motives behind Edan’s behavior and what lead him to do certain things, but I don’t see that the idea is something real, you know? I was expecting much more from a book by Marie Lu, whom I love and will love forever, but this book just didn’t work for me, I feel it’s so weak compared to all her other works.
Even so, I want to highlight something positive and that I always love about the author’s books and that’s her writing style that makes everything feel more real and addictive to read. She’s super talented at telling stories, there’s no doubt. I also adore the construction of the world, and I think this may be an unpopular opinion, but I loved the technology and the sci-fi elements that were used and displayed throughout the story. I’ve seen some reviews of people who think that the construction of the world didn’t add anything new, but personally, it was one of the things that I liked the most. Maybe because I didn’t remember much of the first books, so I could easily admire everything about it.
In summary and because I really don’t have much more to say about the book, I think this book was written with the aim of giving us a little more of June and Day, which I appreciate, I love them to death, but on the other hand, the execution of the plot is messy and quite inexplicable in many ways, the characters, especially Edan, don’t stand out and in general, everything feels quite flat.
3 stars isn’t a bad rating at all, and I confess that I couldn’t give less to this book due to the nostalgic burden it has on me, even so, I wanted to express that I’m disappointed and obviously expected more.
I’m going to pretend that Champion continues to be the last book and I’ll continue to be happy with that, I’m not the type of person who needs the “happy ending” to feel that the romance was worth it, on the contrary, I LOVE Champion’s ending cause is tragic, powerful, meaningful and breathtaking and I’ll stay forever with that feeling about the main trilogy, which I would love to read again.