A Court of Mist and Fury Review

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Title: A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Flap Copy:  “Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.”

So I’ll admit, I was not looking forward to reading this monster of a book. It is over 600 pages!  I’ve been finding myself getting really annoyed at the editor of Maas’s books because she is not pulling it back. The Throne of Glass series books just keep getting bigger. And since this book is not the end of this series, I will admit to fearing that the next book is going to clock in at 900.

But I was pleasantly surprised.

I don’t remember being in love with the first book. It was good, but it didn’t have the punch in my mind as other books did (Hello, The Winner’s Curse). I have to say though, this book is BETTER than the first one. Much more character work and relationships. I found myself saying out loud, “I love that bitch” about one of my favorite new characters.

Could I have done without a lot of the sex scenes? Yes. This book is definitely for older teens, but even then it just started to really annoy me. I also would have cut a few lines and there is one line in particular that stands out as god awful that I am still not sure what the author meant.

One thing I am learning at work is how to look at book pages shortly after being designed to see how they look when they read, i.e. does an italicized word look the same size as the rest of the words. Whoever did that for this book FAILED.  SO many italicized words and they looked weird on the page.

I still thinking that the editorial team needs a refresher course and to pull the author back, but this is one of those reads that if you like commercial books, and need more sex scenes in YA fantasy, it will be right up your alley.

I love Sarah J. Maas, and I would love to have her as an author, but I also think someone needs to reign it more when editing.

Side note: still not a fan of the covers.

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Why I Gave Up on Kierra Cass and Why I Almost Did on Sarah J. Maas

I bought the newest Selection novel and A Court of Mist and Fury (review to come soon), and I have a confession: I am done with Kierra Cass, and I almost threw in the towel on Sarah J. Maas. Don’t get me wrong, I do love their books and I follow them on Twitter, but I have had it up to here.

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When I started reading The Crown, I just couldn’t bring myself to want to read it. With my job, I spend a lot of time reading books and make judgments on many factors. And when I tried reading this new Cass book, I just snapped back to my annoyance with the previous book. The writing was too commercial, and the character drove me nuts. When there are only so few hours I can dedicate to fun reading, I find myself getting pickier. I like The Selection series, but the quality has really gone downhill. While they remain the same size, quality is not the same.

When I got A Court of Mist and Fury, I almost cried. It was the same size of Queen of Shadows and I had strong feelings about that book. I love Maas’ writing and I love her stories and strong characters, but I am getting really frustrated by how big those books are getting! Queen of Shadows did not need to be that big. Someone needs to help trim those books down. But I was pleasantly surprised by A Court of Mist and Fury. I think there are some areas that could have been cut, but on the whole, I wouldn’t have cut that much of that book down.  I’m not throwing in the towel yet. But seriously, please don’t get any bigger and please be more critical about what needs to go in!

If I had unlimited time, I’d probably be on board with it all, but really, who has that kind of time anymore?

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**WARNING: Minor Spoilers**

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Author: Patrick Ness

Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)

Flap:

“What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.”

Well, I am glad I read this. Did I love it? No, but I liked it. It was a nice flip on the books I usually read about “the Chosen One”. This was my first Patrick Ness read and I really enjoyed the idea of exploring the lives of the kids who are surrounded by the monster fighting, magic wielding characters that in basically every other book are the protagonist.

The diverse element comes in with Mikey being OCD and possibly bi (though he does not yet identify that way in the book).

I probably wouldn’t have even seen this to be able to acquire, because this is so different than what I usually read. It was nice book, but I have no idea how I would have even begun thinking about editing it.

Picture Perfect Review

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**WARNING: Minor Spoilers**

Title: Picture Perfect (Geek Girl)

Author: Holly Smale

Publisher: HarperTEEN (HarperCollins)

Flap:

“Geek Girl is coming to America! The internationally bestselling series takes on the Big Apple in this third hilarious, high-fashion adventure.

When Harriet’s dad gets a job in New York City, Harriet is beyond excited to move to the land of skyscrapers, museums, and taxicabs—especially since she’ll get to see her dreamy supermodel boyfriend, Nick. Except . . . when her parents said New York, they meant a tiny, boring town two hours from the city by train. Diving back into modeling should be just the right distraction. But can a geek girl stand out in the fashion capital of America?”

Y’all know how much I love this series! This is the next generation’s Meg Cabot. Harriet is literally my favorite and I could not love this series more! I highly recommend this for anyone who need a pick me up, or an escape from everyday.  I’m ready for the next one.

I do wish there had been more modeling in this, but since Harriet has been let go from her modeling agency, it made sense that there was not as much modeling. I am wondering how she is going to get more modeling going forward though.

Also there is a major development in her relationship with Lion Boy!

Sword and Verse Review

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**WARNING: Minor Spoiler**

Title: Sword and Verse

Author: Kathy MacMillan

Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)

Flap:

“Raisa was just a child when she was sold into slavery in the kingdom of Qilara. Before she was taken away, her father had been adamant that she learn to read and write. But where she now lives, literacy is a capital offense for all but the nobility. The written language is closely protected, and only the King, Prince, Tutor, and Tutor-in-training are allowed to learn its very highest form. So when she is plucked from her menial labor and selected to replace the last Tutor-in-training who was executed, Raisa knows that betraying any hint of her past could mean death.

Keeping her secret guarded is hard enough, but the romance that’s been blossoming between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance–an underground rebel army–to help liberate the city’s slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries–one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.”

I had high hopes for this book. The cover looks amazing and it sounds good right?

Unfortunately, I did not love it. The beginning felt very rushed, almost like it was originally planned to be a series or a much longer book and had to be shortened. The pacing just did not match the ending at all.

Once I got to the middle to end of the book, I enjoyed it. But 3 years in the beginning had to be condensed to make room to linger on the a few months in the end.

Not sure what happened during the editorial process, but I think this book could have been much better.

I don’t think I would have acquired this. I suspect a lot of work went into the editorial process and while that wouldn’t have stopped me (since I am in the beginning of my career, I probably will have to acquire projects that need a lot of work), I am not sure it would be strong enough to get passed my editorial team.

Up to This Pointe Review

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Title: Up to This Pointe

Author: Jennifer Longo

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (Random House)

Flap:

“Harper Scott is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing Amundsen and Shackleton to the South Pole. Amundsen won because he had a plan, and Harper has always followed his model. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. Extreme, but somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart. It will take a visit from Shackleton’s ghost–the explorer who didn’t make it to the South Pole, but who got all of his men out alive–to teach Harper that success isn’t always what’s important, sometimes it’s more important to learn how to fail successfully.”

So the publisher also says this, “Hand this utterly unique contemporary YA to anyone a who loves ballet or is a little too wrapped up in their Plan A.” To say that this sums me up perfectly is an understatement. Y’all know how much I love a good ballet book or want one.

This book was amazing!!! It was the perfect balance of ballet and regular person. It hit me right in the feels.

All I can say is if you are looking for a fun read that also will punch you right in your emotions, I recommend this.

Would I have acquired this? So this is a bit of an interesting question: I would have loved to acquire this, but I am not sure it would be right for the imprints I work for. I would certainly have taking it to our editorial staff meeting.