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A Memory of Light | Review

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In this start to a young adult fantasy series, we follow incredibly skilled thief Ari and her bobcat companion Jagger.

Ari tends to keep to herself, but when she is faced with a mysterious employer who has an unexpected job offer, herself and Jagger are forced to leave their isolated home.

Unwillingly she has to join secret magician Ely, on a trek across the country in the midst of a civil war.


Thoughts

5 Stars

Go read this book now!!! This was an amazing start to a fantasy series!

From the first page I knew I was going to fall in love with this story from the writing alone! The world is described in such a beautiful way that you can easily picture this magical world and all of the magical creatures come to life!

I loved Ari and Elys dynamic so much! Typically in most stories the male character is always the brooding type, while the female character has the bubbly personality. However in this case the roles were reversed! It was very entertaining watching these two opposite characters find their way through this journey together!

I always love animal companions in fantasy stories, so having her anima Jagger there was like the cherry on top!

I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures happen in the next book!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Yours truly,

Rachel

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Title: A Memory of Light
Author: Allyson S. Barkley
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

An exceptionally-skilled thief, Ari lives deep in the forest with no one but her bobcat Jagger for company. She is determined to keep to herself as civil war drags on around her, but when a mysterious stranger appears with an unexpected job offer, she has no choice but to leave her quiet life behind.

Unwillingly paired with chatty, optimistic magician Ely, Ari finds her patience, wits, and skill tested when the journey quickly proves to be far from what either of them bargained for. Ari must face one of the greatest tests of her thieving career – and come to terms with the many secrets she has been hiding.

With an exciting heroine and a diverse cast of characters, A Memory of Light is the first title in the fantasy series Until the Stars Are Dead, which follows Ari and Ely’s adventures navigating the dangers of their complicated, quickly-changing world.

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Home · Reviews

A Pho Love Story | Review

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“I find refuge in art, escaping thoughts like this, to regain control when life throws another obstacle my way. When I work, magic happens; for a few hours at a time, the world just slips away.”

Loan Le, A Pho Love Story

In this loose Vietnamese take on the classic tale of “Romeo and Juliet”, the Mai and the Nguyen family have been rivals since forever.

Bao Nguyen and Linh Mai have been forbidden to speak to each other their whole lives, but when Bao comes across Linh in an alley one day, his curiosity gets the best of him.
They both soon realize that they have so many things in common and they wonder why they’ve never connected before, but despite them knowing they can’t ever be together they fall head over heels for each other.
.

Can they find love in the midst of a family who have been at odds for so many years?

Thoughts

4 Stars

I honestly thought this was so stinkin’ cute!! I absolutely loved the relationship between Bao and Linh and seeing the duel perspective!

The family aspect has to be one of my favorite parts of this! Learning about the past of the Mai’s and the Nguyen’s definitely kept it super interesting, because I just had to keep reading to know what was happening there!
I originally picked this up thinking it was going to be a cute fluffy contemporary, but it was so much more than that!

“When I paint, there’s always a moment where I just know that I’m finally finished. The colors and textures come together to depict a feeling of rightness.”

Loan Le, A Pho Love Story

I loved seeing the creativity between the two main protagonists with Bao’s exploring new places to write his school newspaper articles as well as Linh’s drawings and paintings with the descriptions we got while she was painting!

I will say at some points it did seem like it dragged a bit, but I think in the end the story redeemed itself.

P.S. don’t read this book on a empty stomach HAHA!
There were so many descriptions of AMAZING sounding foods and recipes that just made me hungry!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Yours truly,

Rachel

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Title: A Pho Love Story
Author: Loan Le
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary
Age Range: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis:

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

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Home · Reviews

“Requiem” by Lauren Oliver | Review

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Dear reader,

my first read of 2021 was a little bit of a disappointment..

Mini Review

With this story I just couldn’t get into it. With this book in particular I was so incredibly bored and nothing was keeping me interested at all. I didn’t care about the characters at all, and I’m definitely a character driven reader.

I started this series back in early 2020. It was one of those older classic YA series that I kept hearing people talk about how much they loved it, so I decided to check it out! The first two in the series I enjoyed, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

Overall I’m not too mad I read it, but it didn’t really impact me much nor do I think it will be something I think about often. This was one of those series I wish I loved, because of how many good things I’ve heard about it!

Yours truly,

Rachel

3 stars

Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian
Age Range: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Synopsis: (Spoilers for Delirium Series)

The third and final book in Lauren Oliver’s powerful New York Times bestselling trilogy about forbidden love, revolution, and the power to choose. Now with a brand-new cover and an exclusive-to-this-book sneak peek at her next novel for teens: the ambitious, wholly original masterwork Replica.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven. Pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.

As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.


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