Author: Frances Hardinge
Published: May 10, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars
In Caverna, lies are an art — and everyone’s an artist…
In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare. They create wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned. Only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear — at a price.
Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell’s emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed…
I have had this book on my shelf for a while. I bought it on BookOutlet for a great price and the synopsis sounded really good! But, y’all know I’m a pretty ADD reader and I got distracted so I only just now picked it up and read it. And I wish I could say that I loved it . . . and I did strongly like the last half, but that’s about it. It was just really slow in the beginning.
Thankfully, the mystery of Neverfell’s identity was firmly established from the beginning and it was that that kept me reading. What I thought would fascinate me most, a group of people who have no facial expressions and must be taught expressions only by facesmiths, actually got really old, really fast. For some reason, it just didn’t capture my imagination like I thought it was going to.
Once Neverfell got involved in the politics and elite of Caverna, things started to finally get interesting. I liked how little mysteries kept creeping in to try to distract from the main story and throw you off. I found the Grand Steward to be the most fascinating character of all! Because he has lived so long, he has trained his body to sleep only one half at a time . . . as in his left side is awake while his right side sleeps. And both sides have different personalities!! I will admit that he saved the story for me. Once the Grand Steward entered, I was good to finish the book. Had it been half the length it was, I think I would have liked it a lot better. Overall, I would say that this book is worth reading once, but I’ll probably never come back to it. It’s also safe for younger teens, at least the detail-oriented ones! I can’t say that I would recommend this to all teens, but you could definitely do a lot worse!
Author: Marisha Pessl
Published: June 5, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Enter a realm where fears are physical and memories come alive in this absorbing psychological suspense thriller with a sci-fi twist.
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim–their creative genius and Beatrice’s boyfriend–changed everything.
One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft–the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world–hoping she’ll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.
Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions.
Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers . . . and at life.
And so begins the Neverworld Wake.
This cover drew me in. It’s so gorgeous and makes me want to stare at it forever. The description was just vague enough to make me want to read it to find out what’s going on. I will say that it is a pretty unique story.
This is actually going to be a short review, because I don’t want to give too much away. There have been several books that I’ve reviewed that I didn’t say much about because those books are best read without too much prior info. I will just say that there was some repetition that got a little tiring, and that’s the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
I really enjoyed the story and the mystery was very well done. The ending surprised me a lot! The characters were all likeable, if slightly annoying since they are teens. It was nice to read something different and I really have very little critique to give. This is absolutely worth the read. There is some language and sexual content, but not too bad; just enough to keep it for older teens. A really great book that I liked a lot!
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: October 10, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Here is a thing everyone wants:
Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
Another Christmas book! And with a beautiful cover!
I’ll admit that this book started very slowly for me. To be fair, I was about 4 hours into an 8-hour flight thru the night, but it was still slow. I was even considering DNF-ing it, but I decided to stick with it. I am glad I did, but I also don’t think I’ll ever read this book again. It was definitely more on the philosophical side, but very vague. I had to try to clamp down on my inner shallowness to make sure I understood everything. I still don’t think I got it all, but by the time I finished, I was satisfied with the story and took a lot of good things from it.
It picked up about halfway thru. I liked the characters, I liked Stiefvater’s writing style, the setting was excellent, the imagination was beautiful. I liked the message that everyone has darkness inside them, nobody is perfect. There was a selflessness that came thru from the Soria family that I really loved. And if everyone could be like Pete Wyatt, I think most of the problems of the world wouldn’t exist! Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. Definitely for the more advanced reader.