Friday, May 24, 2019

REVIEW: Finale by Stephanie Garber - 5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Title: Finale
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron
Publication: May 7th 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Owned Hardback
Finale by Stephanie Garber is the, well, FINALE to the Caraval trilogy. (see what I did there?) In this book, we get to continue on where Legendary left off. The girls, Scarlett and Donatella, are now part of Legends crew and they are on their way to perform a special Caraval for someone of great importance. But something about this Caraval is different. Something is... sinister. And more than usual is at stake. Can Scarlett and Donatella make it out alive?

I want to first start off by saying that when I read the previous book, Legendary, I greatly disliked reading from Donatella's point of view. Luckily, with rereading Legendary in preparation for Finale, my view on her changed and I started to enjoy her character more. That being said, Finale would have been a difficult book if I still didn't care for Tella, but like I said, luckily that changed and this book was FANTASTIC.

This book was fantastic. This book series is brilliant. I always kind of knew who Legend was but that really didn't spoil much for me. I was so torn with this book though because I really liked Jacks, even though he was technically supposed to be evil and he was one of the Fates, I still really liked him. Everyone kind of had their own agenda during this book so you can't really hold anyone accountable for how they acted in the end.

If I had to sum this book up in one word the word would be staggering. There is so much that gets thrown at our characters and the world is so beautifully constructed that it is hard not to get pulled into the magic of Caraval.

Can we talk about the romance in these books?! I can't believe it took me till the end of this book to realize that this was, at its heart, a love story. A love story like no other. So much was sacrificed and bargained with all in the name of LOVE.

In the end, this was such a bittersweet ending. On one hand, the author did a fantastic job with the completion, on the other hand, WHY DOES IT HAVE TO END?! Thank you, Stephanie Garber, for writing this beautiful story and bringing this world to life to us readers. 

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

REVIEW: Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small - 4/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 5:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Bright Burning Stars
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary - Ballet/Dance
Author: A.K. Small
Publisher: Algonquin
Publication: May 21st 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided ARC
Goodreads | Amazon

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small is the story of two girls, best friends, who attend the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School. They have lived together and climbed the ranks together for the past six years. They are like sisters. But then something shifts and the chance to be Number 1 and win The Prize becomes more real and both girls will do whatever it takes to get that spot, even if it means losing the other. Even if it means losing themselves. 

Kate and Marines relationship dynamic was a big part of this book. I was kind of thinking Marine would be the one who was most unhinged or emotionally damaged with her past but Kate was a strong contender in both mental stability and dance talent. I liked the different perspectives we got to see of the ballet world through each girl's eyes. There is a fierceness to this book that just makes everything feel extremely real. Especially when the girls become involved with the top male dancer of the school.

The readability of this book was almost insane. I found myself flying through the pages and when I would stop to get a drink or move around I would find that fifty pages had gone by in no time. The authors writing just flows and makes you want to devour more and more. Sadly, this is a fairly short book so before I knew it, it was over and I was left sitting here want to read more. This is an EXCELLENT debut novel.

In the end, the story was a little predictable but, nonetheless, still enjoyable. If you like reading about the ballet/dance world and all the snarky, competitive behavior that comes with it then this is a book you need to pick up(I'm not even really into dance but for some reason, I enjoy books about it so anyone could pick this book up and enjoy it). I can't wait to see what the author comes up with next. 

Overall, I have the book 4.5/5 stars.

Monday, May 20, 2019

REVIEW: Squad by Mariah MacCarthy - 4.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Squad
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Author: Mariah MacCarthy
Publisher: FSG
Publication: March 12th 2019
Cover Rating: 4/5
Reading Format: Owned Hardcover

Squad by Mariah MacCarthy is a wonderful coming of age story for our main character Jenna. We get to see the dynamics of losing a best friend and how that affects someone's mental state. And we are shown just how fast someone's life can change, for better or worse.

Jenna is a cheerleader. I know most of us think of vapid, airheads who rule the school when the word cheerleader comes up but shockingly, these girls were actually different. They all have ambitions and cheerleading seems like an actual sport for them rather than a popularity contest. But everything changes for Jenna when her best friend, Raejean, starts avoiding her and it seems like all the girls are picking on her or calling her out. Is this all in her head? Or is she being punished for something as simple as dumping water on someone's head?

Throughout this book Jenna has to figure out how to navigate life without the person she has had by her side since she was little. She has to learn to navigate relationships and she even learns a lot of new things along the way. New things about herself and new things about her brothers' friends James. She even learns that there are more things in life than cheerleading.

In the end, I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was thinking it would be a quick 3-star read to pad my Goodreads numbers. I love when I am proven wrong. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

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