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: Lynette Noni
Published: May 1, 2018
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Whisper by Lynette Noni! Thank you KCP Loft for our copy! One great thing about double reviews is that you get both of our thoughts on books. Kim loved Whisper though it wasn’t really for me. I sent it to her after I read it as I thought it would be a book she would enjoy and she did! Here are both of our reviews:
“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me.
I believed them. That was my mistake.
There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.
I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster.
For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.
As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new — and unexpectedly kind — evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Jessica sent me this ARC book, thinking that I’d like it, and boy howdy, was she right! Secret government complexes and experiments are my jam! Whisper had me from the first page. Jane Doe’s situation is unique . . . you don’t know who she is. She won’t even acknowledge her own identity. I went thru the entire book before I had even a clue about who Jane is. Yet I liked her. I knew nothing about her, yet I liked her. She handles herself far better than I ever could, were I in her situation. Noni does an excellent job of making you feel the things that Jane is feeling and thinking. You like other people based on Jane liking them. You feel the fear that Jane does when the schedule she was forced into for the last two years, is interrupted. I was so caught up with Jane and what was happening to her, I could barely put the book down!
And what’s interesting is that there is so little information given for most of the book. Everyone else in Jane’s life seems to know what’s going on, but it’s not until halfway thru that Jane is given any information. I love Ward, and Cami, and Enzo just as I’m supposed to. They’re wonderful people who care for Jane and help her whenever possible. I hate Vanik because of his insane recklessness while experimenting on Jane and because she hates him. I kept from forming an opinion on Falon and Manning until the end because I knew that I didn’t have all the information yet. And for someone who hates anticipation and wants to know what’s going on from the very beginning, I’m shocked that I liked this book as much as I did. The fact that so little information is present makes this book more interesting.
I think this book would be great for teens. There is some language, but nothing too bad and the story is interesting enough to hold wandering teenage minds. I really liked it and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out!
Dates Read: April 19-May 3, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
I first have to say that I am selective with my sci-fi and fantasy. Thus, I am not the target demographic for this novel. But KCP Loft sent it to me and I love them as a publisher, so I had to read it. Oh, and the cover is just pretty!!
There was nothing wrong with Whisper, in fact it is well written and the characters are likeable. I liked Jane Doe and wanted to know what was going to happen to her, which is what kept me reading. This looks to be the first in the series, so there will be more to come! And I loved Cami: she was just adorable and everything all rolled into one person. She’s the sweet ‘little sister’ type everyone wants in their life! Then there is Ward- I had mixed feelings about him throughout… Do I like him or not? Should he be trusted or not!?!?He is a mystery that you keep changing your mind about, but still feel something for.
I wanted to know why Jane Doe does not talk. What’s going to happen if she does? Will it really be as bad as she seems to think it is if she speaks? What did she do in her past? And what is her real name?!?!? It was my curiosity in those questions that kept me reading. When they slowly got answered it was an ‘Oh, ok” moment. It was nothing earth shattering for me. Again, this is because of me and not the novel.
I really wished I enjoyed Whisper more. The cover alone is perfect. The girl on the cover is how I pictured Jane Doe. As it looks to be the beginning of the series, I was expecting a cliffhanger ending, but there was not: YAY!! There is an ending, but also room left open for future novels in the series.
If you enjoy YA and sci-fi give this one a try. Thank you KCP Loft for my copy to read and review!