Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

by Master Llama, guest reviewer

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 480 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 14+

Summary: Katsa has an extraordinary talent. A scary talent. She can kill people with skill and ease. This is her Grace. Her uncle the king uses her gift to his advantage, making her do all his dirty work. Seven kingdoms hang in the balance and the key to holding them together or destroying them all rests with her.

Why I Read This Book:

I read it before and wanted to reread it. I never reread books, so this shows how much I like it!

Likes:

  • Katsa is one of my favorite heroines. I really like her a lot because she seemed like a real person. She has problems despite being so super special.
  • I like the romance aspect too. Po is a good foil to Katsa.
  • I like the idea of graces. I think if I had a grace it would be flying.
  • Bitterblue is King Lex’s daughter who ran away. I really like her because she’s very determined and managed to escape his web of influence despite all the odds stacked against her.

Dislikes:

  • The plot got overly complicated in places. When it did it I felt it would have been better served to be simpler and more concise.
  • I didn’t like Giddion. He was a minor character, but he claimed to love Katsa and want to marry her. In the end he was just stupid and moped around.

Buy: Graceling

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

by Master Llama, guest reviewer

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 480 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 14+

Summary: It takes place in Dells, which was mentioned in Graceling. (It’s over the big mountains.) The most beautiful of monsters live there and Fire is the only human monster left. She is so beautiful she has to hide so as not to be attacked by other monsters and human men. Her father, Cansrel, used his powers for bad. She’s afraid to become just like him, but there’s a civil war brewing and the royal family asks her for help. She’s afraid to help but is eventually persuaded to do so. Now it’s her against the bad guys in a race to keep control of Dells.

Why I Read This Book:

I really like Graceling and I wanted to read the prequel.

Likes:

  • I really loved that Fire played so many musical instruments and that it was such an important part of her life. She played flute and fiddle and harp.
  • There is very little crossover between Graceling and Fire. You don’t have to read Graceling first in order to get Fire.
  • Brigan is an interesting hero. I don’t think he foils Fire as well as Po did Katsa, but I still liked him.

Dislikes:

  • It’s too long and too complicated to read in spurts. You have to sit down and read it cover to cover to fully understand it.
  • I disliked Archer because he was arrogant and really short tempered. He’s also a playboy and I didn’t like that about him either. It made me very happy to see him get his just desserts.
  • I hated that something weird or perverted happen to everybody or seemed to it made the story overly ridiculous.

Buy: Fire (Graceling)

Rating: 3 Treasure Chests

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Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

by Master Llama, guest reviewer

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 208 Pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 14+; Grades 10-12

Summary: Mia’s a really good cello player. Her dad used to be in a band, but now he’s a professor. She’s very shy and quiet. She got into a car crash and gets into a coma. She lives outside of her body and the story takes place all in one day. She realizes she has the decision to stay or go on into the afterlife. Her parents are dead but her boyfriend is still alive and she thinks she can make it into Julliard.

Why I read this book:

I went on Amazon to find books to read and I found it there. It looked really interesting and the fact the main character liked music cinched it. The main character reminded me of my friend Cook Cutlery.

Likes:

  • I loved that Mia was so involved in music. I am such a music geek so it really makes me happy to find characters in books who are the same. She’s an Orch Dork which is even better.
  • I really liked her relationship with Adam and how it was revealed in flashbacks throughout the story.
  • It sounds like a super gooey depressing book but it’s not. The flashbacks are key to changing the tone. They open up a lot of happy times and moments to process. It’s not all doom and gloom.

Dislikes:

  • I didn’t like that her little brother died too. I understood the parents dying, but not the little brother. That made me sad.

Buy: If I Stay (Hardback), If I Stay (Paperback)

Rating: 4.5 Treasure Chests

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