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Rory by Ciye Cho – Book Review

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Title: Rory

Author: Ciye Cho

Rating: 3 out of 5 hoots

Hey, y’all! I haven’t gotten around to posting because junior year is a killjoy. Homework is the bane of my existence. Sigh.

Anyways! I recently received from the wonderful Ciye Cho a free copy of his newest book Rory! Cho is also the author of Florence, Luminaire, and a whole bunch of other goodies. Check them out if you have time!

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And onto the book review! I’ll be honest. The book had its awesome parts and it’s not-so-awesome parts. There were times where I wanted to hug my kindle until it exploded and times where I actually just wanted my kindle to explode.

Rory is a young adult fantasy which throws our protagonist from her disjointed life in the real world to a different realm altogether. An ordinary girl with a love for cake designing, one day, Rory is suddenly abducted by a gargoyle and spirited away to Palladino, a city of ghosts. Here, a Purgatory of sorts, spirits who are not ready to advance to the afterlife create their own semblance of everyday life.

Rory is one of many girls being trained to be “consorts” to the ghost lords in the city…companions to provide memories and human comfort. Palladino, however, hides many secrets, and Rory is soon swept up in its mystique. Who can she trust? Who should she fear? Is there a way out?

The idea of this all intrigued me. A ghost city? Ghost lords? A school to train consorts? Count me in! There is no doubt that this concept is an original one.

I did, however, have a few qualms about the story.

I felt like the book was in terrible need of an editor. Though the writing could be lovely at times, it was drowned out by the technical errors and awkward sentence structures. Take this sentence, for example: “I can’t remember the last time she said that, and this saddens me. I head down the lane, and the sky is now a bright orange. This makes me pause.”

The sentences fall flat and lifeless, and the repetition and choppiness of it kills any of the beautiful imagery it could have evoked. With some editing, however, this book would have been considerably improved. It just needs some polishing, that’s all.

The plot for me, too, was a bit mediocre. I felt like the whole story was only half-developed. By the time Rory is out of prep school, the books is already almost halfway done. In fact, much of the book, I felt, was taken up by events pointless to the plot. Things picked up towards the end, but for me, the reader, I was left feeling disappointed. I mean, I liked the book. It was addictive to read and certainly a page-turner, but at times, it felt like large parts of itcould have been condensed. Other, more important parts of the book, on the other hand, could have been expanded. It’s a bummer when you’re reading a book that you enjoy, and it’s almost done with hardly any plot carried through!

The place in which it ended, too, was a bit awkward. When I finished the story, I felt like it wasn’t complete. There are going to be other books in the series, certainly, but I feel like any book that’s in a series should be able to stand on its own. This book, unfortunately, does not.

From all the negative things I’ve been griping about, it probably sounds like I had a horrendous, seizure-inducing time reading this, but that’s completely untrue! Like I said earlier, writing errors aside, this book is gripping.

The setting is mystical and intriguing (Ghost castles? Heeeelll yeah.), and the characters are pretty well-developed overall. Rory was a bit too perfect at times, but she was pretty likeable in general. (Now that I think about it, how did she even win out agains the other girls in the first place? She awed everyone and became the object of their envy despite being “not pretty” and completely disadvantaged…She definitely has an invincibility factor about her. But anyways!) Unlike so many other YA heroines out there, Rory actually felt real. She was hardworking, tough, and fun-loving, and her name earns the book an extra 100 points. I freaking love her name.

And Martin. Ah, Martin our ghost-lord-love-interest. He’s also different from so many stereotypical YA characters, and I love that. He’s not the broody-dark-I-love-you-but-I-can’t-have-you type of guy many authors seem to throw into their stories as a quota. He’s quirky, smart, and a bit socially awkward, and the kissing scene is so cute and awkward that I might have died a little inside when I read it.

Cookie, Martin’s talking ghost cat, is also a favorite. He reminds me of some old cartoon cat, though it’s hard to imagine that a cat would say such human things even if it could talk, but…ah, whatever. He’s adorable. Maybe being a ghost has made him more human…? Idk.

Overall, I give this story three hoots. While it is wonderfully unique with interesting new concepts and archetype-breaking characters, it is also riddled with editing errors and a poor plot structure. This could easily be fixed, however, with the help of a good editor.

If you’re interested in paranormal settings, finishing schools, cute ghost lords, talking cats, and likeable female protagonists with totally cray-cray cake-decorating abilities…this is the book for you!

Go check it out if you’re interested. And thank you once more to Mr. Ciye Cho for the free copy and for his limitless patience as I tried to upload this book review!

As for me, I’m going to return to my daily dose of procrastination. Thanks for tuning in, guys! (Even though this isn’t a radio…Or…is it? DUM DUM DUM.)

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First Page Fridays!

It seems I’m a bit addicted to these book memes. Sorry for the lack of reviews so far! I’m working on a review for Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin (which I just finished!), but that’s going to take a while, so until then…Let me introduce you to…

first page friday

First Page Friday is a weekly book meme hosted by Pen to Paper! Basically, I will feature the first page of a book which I have read, am reading, or am soon to read. This week’s lucky little book is…

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith! Before we jump to the first page, let’s take a look at the synopsis…

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Over their father’s deathbed, young Meliara Astiar and her brother Branaric promise to lead their people against the evil King. The impoverished count and countess discover that even when the cause is right, leading a war is much tougher than it appears. When Meliara falls into the hands of the elegant Marquis of Shevraeth, the enemy commander, she knows she has to either escape or die. After a desperate chase across country, she discovers that she and Bran are not alone—but the alliance is offered by the person she hates the most.

Once the king is gone, she faces a new type of battlefield: not muddy fields and sharpened steel, but marble palaces. The weapons now are fashion, manners, and the subtle and secret language of fans. Finally, there is the toughest challenge of all, courtship. For how do you defend yourself when the one who draws your eye, and your heart, is your worst enemy?

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Here is the first page (two shots because it’s on my Kindle).

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The first page isn’t outrageously eye-catching, but it’s certainly interesting. It has a quaint, story-telling, fairy-tale-esque sort of feel to it…Just the sort of thing I love to read.

I mean, World Gates? Fire sticks? Hill Folk? That’s so freaking cool.

For those of you who haven’t read Crown Duel…For the love of everything wonderful, READ IT. I chose this book to spotlight because it honestly doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I read it a while ago, but it still remains one of my favorite books of all times.

It has everything from adventure to epic battles to swoon-worthy lords to spine-tingling court intrigue. It’s basically the epitome of what I adore in books.

Did the first page and synopsis pike your interest? What are you waiting for? CLICK!

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Waiting on Wednesday…on a Thursday!

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Well. I’m doing “Waiting on Wednesday” on Thursday this time because I’m cool like that.

I mean, who does that? No one. Which makes it totally hipster.

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly book event hosted by Breaking the Spine! Basically all of us book bloggers spotlight a soon-to-be-released book we’re excited about.

This week’s lucky book is…

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My Name is Rapunzel

By KC Hilton

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: 2013 or 2014

Synopsis: My tale has been told again and again, and I’ve heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn’t have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn’t their fault. They didn’t know the truth. Nobody did.

My name is Rapunzel and I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

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Not only is this GIF terribly fitting for this post, but…

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, I WANT THAT BOOK. Let’s go over Sleepy’s magical list of things she loves in books:

1) Fairy tale retellings [CHECK]

2) Princesses [CHECK]

3) FAIRY TALE RETELLINGS WITH PRINCESSES [CHECK…again?]

Wow. Just wow.

There isn’t much in the synopsis, but I’m already getting great vibes. I am in love with fairy tales retold (as you…probably already know)–especially fairy tales retold in a darker rendition.

As a kid, I fell in love with all of Gail Carson Levine’s retellings (Ella Enchanted, Fairest, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, etc.), as well as Shannon Hale’s “Books of Bayern” series. And, of course, there are the hordes of dystopian retellings like Cinder by Marissa Meyer that make readers like me cry tears of joy.

Hopefully, this one will live up to its forefathers!

But, I mean, it has to. Seriously. Have you seen the cover? How freaking gorgeous is that cover?! Let’s see it one more time. Come on.

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BOOM. And again.

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BOOM. And again.

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YEAH.

Look at that gorgeous cover model. And her gorgeous hair. And the gorgeous backdrop. And the gorgeous light patterns. And the gorgeous–the gorgeous–

Sorry for my fanaticalness. I have an incredible weakness for beautiful, non-cliché cover art.

I only hope that KC Hilton releases a more detailed synopsis– and a more specific release date to look forward to! “2013 or 2014” is so vague. The reviews so far from her street team are phenomenal.

Go check them out here!

That’s all for today! Keep on checking back for more fun posts and book reviews.

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Waiting on Wednesday: World After by Susan Ee

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“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine; we bloggers use it to spotlight book which are torturing us with their release dates…books which we would do questionable things to get our hands on…

Just kidding!

Not.

This is my first ever “Waiting on Wednesday” post! Get ready for an oppressive wave of excessive fangirling.

But first off, let’s get this off of my hands.

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This, my friends, is the sequel to Susan Ee’s amazing dystopian novel Angelfall. If you haven’t read it yet, read it. Right now. Click on this link. I’ve literally hyperlinked half of this paragraph. Just do it.

Here are the facts.

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World After

By Susan Ee

Publisher: Skyscape

Release Date: November 19, 2013

Synopsis: In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world. When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans, where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

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Does it not make your spine tingle with nerve-wrenching excitement?!?!

I thought so.

The first book was beautiful– or at least, that’s how I’d describe it in one word.

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We were transported into an angel-driven apocalypse, plunged into Penryn’s journey as she travels with the angel Raffe to find her abducted sister.

I’m desperately looking forward to World After. Hopefully, it’ll retain the emotional and complex relationship between Penryn and Raffe…and also explore Paige’s “transformation” from the first book (can’t say anymore without giving away spoilers!).

Keep your eyes peeled for a review soon after it comes out (Which is so freaking far away. WHY.).

I will probably buy it the minute it is released because I’m cool like that.

Are you excited for World After? Are you bored and about to leave this blog? Are you currently eating a Belgian waffle? Let me know in the comments!