Review: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Goodreads Summary:

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? 

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. 

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

***I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest Review****

My Review

I really struggled with this book, and I tried to enjoy it but I just could not get into it whatsoever! And to be honest, I didn’t finish Gilded Cage. I usually don’t write reviews for books I don’t finish, but I did get 62% through so I feel I should at least plead my case.

Gilded Cage starts off by following the lives of the Hadley family as they decide to embark on their “slave days” in which they must commit to a mandatory 1o years of servitude in a specific location. Everyone in this book is subject to performing these 10 years at some point in their lives. In the world of Gilded Cage, regular people have very little rights and are at the mercy of Equals who have something called Skill which basically means they have some kind of significant power that makes them more important than others.

The concept of the story caught my attention immediately, which is why I couldn’t’ wait to start it. I wish I could have enjoyed it more but I just didn’t. The beginning was pretty solid, however as the plot continued they kept throwing in more points of view and it just got messy and hard to follow. I found myself not caring about these other POVs and getting frustrated that there was this much content dedicated to these characters. The story quickly lost it’s appeal. The overall concept was certainly there but I think the foundation of the story got a little too jumbled for  me.

Has anyone else read Gilded Cage yet? Did you dislike it as well? Is it just me?

Review: And I Darken (The Conquerers Saga #1) by Keirsten White

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Goodreads Summary:

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Review

Ok this is a hard one folks. I wanted so badly to like this book,and I just didn’t. I love Keirsten White, her Paranormalcy series was fantastic! So I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book! There are many possible reasons as to why I didn’t like this story very much. Well for one, I took about two weeks to read it due to my insane exam schedule so the content itself just seemed to drag, but that could also be because it wasn’t super exciting in the first place. It just took so long for something to actually happen between the characters that was genuinely meaningful.

The story follows the perspectives of siblings: Lada and Radu as they suffer through their terrible childhood  while being tossed around like objects by their selfish father. When they find themselves in a city where everyone is a stranger, they accidentally encounter the future sultan and soon become entangled in the politics of the country and the cut throat methods necessary to gain power.

Lada is one of the most infuriating and difficult to like main characters I’ve encountered. From the get-go she is insufferable to everyone around her, including her brother who is the only person who has ever truly loved her. Don’t get me wrong I appreciated her resilience to be herself and defy feminine stereotypes, but to put it plainly, she was a bitch. It was very hard to distinguish genuine emotion from her. Radu’s character didn’t instill anything in me but pity for his very unfortunate situation. And really, his life and hopelessness didn’t improve much throughout the story. Then we come to the romance, in which I essentially felt nothing for! There was no real love there whatsoever!! I just couldn’t grasp on to it.

The conclusion was kind of a cliff hanger, kind of…I’m just not feeling reading the next book. I truly do wish I had enjoyed this story more, but I just didn’t. Sorry for the negative review guys!

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

My Review

Well I’ve been meaning to read a John Green book for ages now, and I just happened to get Looking for Alaska for free over the Summer! I’m glad I was finally able to read it, especially now that it’s going to officially be a movie!

Looking for Alaska was a beautifully deep and introspective story told from the perspective  of Miles or Pudge as he takes the plunge into a new boarding school in search of a new beginning. Along the way, he learns to break the rules and take chances, all the while falling in the love with the tumultuous Alaska Young.

Though not a whole lot of crazy happens in this book, I found myself sucked in by the story and the depth of the characters. John Green has such a unique way of writing. His narration is captivating and consuming. I had to reread mulitple sentences just to fully take in the significance of their meaning. There were so many amazing lines! Looking for Alaska deals a lot with life and death and what it means to remain alive but also where we go when we die. It had me thinking throughout. I would definitely recommend this book to any fan of contemporary romance or young adult fiction!

You can buy it on Amazon here!