Book Review: And I Darken – Kiersten White

This will be an interesting one to write.

NOTE that there might be some negative opinions in this review, but it is purely my opinion, and i absolutely mean no harm.


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Name: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher(s): Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 28, 2016

Synopsis

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.


Book Cover Comments

Yea, it was mainly because of the cover that I was attracted to this book.

The lavender/lilac purple contrasts super nicely with the background, which is, obviously, black. And the piercing of the blade is really cool as well. Though maybe it’ll be more natural if the petals weren’t all bundled up down there, and just flying around will be gorgeous as ever.


The Review

Now, at one point, actually no. Take 2.

Since chapter 5, I had the idea of basically speeding up the reading pace of this book by one day, doing a giveaway of this book because I wasn’t interested at all.

Yes.

I’ve had mixed feelings before I got into this book, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t enjoyed another book I read by Kiersten, which is The Chaos of Stars, an Egyptian mythology inspired book. I thought it kind of turned the mythology into something totally odd and different, and despite me loving a few romantic scenes, it wasn’t my thing. If you guys have watched Jesse the Reader’s I forgot which video, he mentioned that he had a love hate relationship with Kiersten’s books as well. I guess that’s kind of me.

So that gave a little backing to why I was real worried about this book when I first tried to pick it up.

Of all honesty, I actually found the beginning part, which is the birth of Lada and Radu really kinda, boring? Unnecessary? Like its not what I want from here? And when it turns out they were sent off to enemy country when Lada was 13 and Radu was like 10 or smt, I was like “what in the world that young?”

So yea, a lot of negativity built up, and then the fact that Radu kinda hated on Christianity (not that i’m 100% religious in terms of Christianity. I hv a love hate relationship with it too) was kinda asdfghjkl

Beef here, beef there, fueds here, fueds there. In the beginning, despite me knowing Lada is not stupid, I found her extremely annoying, and yea. Beast like. Not that I need her to be extremely dainty and feminine, but like, yea.


 

So why did I end up finishing this book, and deciding to keep it on my shelf?

That my friend, is what I’m going to talk about below.


When everyone finally reaches a decent age of Young Adult, aka 16/17/18, things, started getting interesting and out of hands. A very unbelievable and unexpected love triangle romance was occurring, and so this is where the true and best beef started. I seriously couldn’t deal with much of the battle and war going on, though that is also a key item that pushed the romance around, so I’ll forgive that.

Though through this romance, I still have to say Lada is overly headstrong when opportunities are right in front of her, and just because of her pride, she threw away that opportunity given to her. Though whenever Lada feels jealous, I’m actually with her, mainly because I don’t like harems, and Lada doesn’t like harems. That’s probably the only thing the two of us share in common.

And yes, this is a really character driven story, with everything mainly surrounding Lada and Radu, maybe mostly Lada, but Radu plays an equally important role, as both of them have this sort of interesting love hate relationship (how many times have I used this term by now), and the fact that they hate each other, but at least would want to be by each other’s side.

The ending decision that Lada make was really interesting, and when I thought about it, I struggled a lot between the two options that she was given, and that really ends the book with satisfaction, unsinning all the sins that was in the first half of this book! (I’m sorry I’m being a CinemaSin jerk here. I don’t seriously mean all of this)


Now, I don’t do much research nor do I know much about history regarding the Ottoman Empire and Vlad the Impaler, but I believe it was quite an interesting decision to write a story where Vlad is a girl, aka Lada, and the story on Vlad’s brother, Radu the Handsome, is emphasied more instead of being brushed off as a nobody.


Overall, I’ll give this book a fair to oh wow! If you, dear reader, don’t mind having a love hate relationship in the first half of the book, and is willingly to stand till the second half and enjoy all the juicy beef, then do please read this book. I’ll be looking forward to its sequel, Now I Rise, which is releasing Summer 2017!

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Book Review: Fallen in Love – Lauren Kate

Ok cool I think I’m on track around here!

Why am I typing the introduction in the middle of an “Open Book” essay!


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Name: Fallen in Love
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher(s): Delacorte Press (Corgi, Doubleday, Ember)
Release Date: January 24, 2012

Synopsis

Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.

And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine’s Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding and losing love. Arriane pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first and last time, Daniel and Luce will spend a night together like none other. Lauren Kate’s Fallen in Love is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.
True love never says goodbye . . .


Book Cover Comments

Anyone who doesn’t love any Fallen series cover can go away. Just the black somberness of the dress and the way she is gazing into the far distance…


The Review

So Fallen in Love is a novella that takes place somewhere in book 3, sort of like a cutaway. This is one of those places, when Luce is travelling into the past, and everyone else is looking for her, pretty much all intercross. And this novella takes you through some of our favourite main characters, and the stories of love that they have to tell.

“Sometimes love needed a lift from its guardian angels, to get its feet off the ground. But once it made its first early beats toward flight, it had to be trusted to take wing on its own and soar past the highest conceivable heights, into the heavens-and beyond.”

I super love the fact that Fallen in Love, which takes place in 4 perspectives, with some of them intercrossing, shows readers the authors’ understandings of different types of love. Forbidden love, love when you expect it the least, letting everything go, and of course, the love that spans across eternities.

When one lover suffered from a broken heart, no matter how badly the other wanted to help, they couldn’t be the one to heal it.

This novella is extremely fun to read, and while doesn’t give the actual plot much of a backing, other than filling up some minor information that will definitely thrill the reader for them to know, it was really enjoyable to see everyone falling in love and going through the follow up of what happened after they fell in love. Geez this is getting repetitive.

“Love means not being afraid to let yourself go, trusting that one will desire everything you have to offer.”

The nice thing about this novella is that you can pick it up after book three or book four; reading it after book three will keep you on the journey even though it ends at the end of book three, while reading it after book four is like, because you can’t let go of the Fallen Series, you’re finding something to dive into again.

She realized, each soul had to be content alone before plunging into love, because one never knew when the other would move out of that love. It was the greatest paradox: Souls need each other, but they also need to not need each other.

And through this, you really see how some of our characters became the them today, and also how through tough times, they have changed and matured, understood more of the world, and accepted the consequences of the decisions that they have made. And all of this, I wanna say, is pretty much all thanks to Luce, as if it wasn’t her destiny that led her to her past, no one would come back and deal with their past matters, or Lauren wouldn’t be showing us such a wonderful side story so we wouldn’t have to foreverly let go.

Sometimes love was not about winning, but about wise sacrifice and the reliability of friends like her. Friendship, he realized, was its very own kind of love.

And as this was the last book that I have read from the Luce and Daniel arc, I thought it made an extremely beautiful conclusion, with all the teachings and understandings of love, all the different forms that love exists in, and how love never dies.


Always.

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