The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers is a fast-paced fantasy novel that centers around a family curse, magic, fairytales, and monsters.
On the surface, The City of Stardust has everything I want in a fantasy novel–a strong female protagonist, magic, monsters, and a decent villain. However,in the end, I felt the novel was a letdown.
Violet Everly grew up in seclusion, kept secret from the world, with no explanation. At the age of 10, her mother leaves, and her uncles Ambrose and Gabriel take over her care. Slowly, Violet becomes aware of the family curse, and the reasons for her mother’s departure.
While the family curse is ultimately explained, in my opinion, it still left a lot of gaping plot holes. Throughout the story, we find Violet following the trail left by her mother Marianne, and this is also a huge letdown. Although I suppose the door is open for a follow-up novel that tells Marianne’s story.
For a novel with magic at its center, we see very little of the magic. The story focuses on the Everly curse and the search for the City of Stardust. The magic is almost an afterthought, which is too bad.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Thanks to NetGalley and RedhookBooks for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.Links in this review are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
The Morningside1 by Téa Obreht is set in the not-so-distant future, where due to the destructive forces of human nature, the world has been ravaged by rising tides, food shortages, and unpredictable weather patterns.
Silvia and her mother have come to reside at The Morningside, what was once a luxury tower. As part of the Repopulation Program, they have been allowed to immigrate to this community. As part of the Posterity Initiative, everyone has limited access to rations, and eating meat is forbidden.
This is a novel about secrets, mourning what was, and how the world and humanity can recover what it lost. However, I felt it was trying to do and be too many things all at once. First, there’s the post-apocalyptic aspect, and then on top of that, we have folklore, magical realism, and classism.
Overall, I just didn’t get into the story or the characters. I would have enjoyed it more without the magical realism aspect, which I felt detracted from the other parts of the plot.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.
If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, enemies to lovers, and fake dating tropes, then this book is for you! Love You, Mean It by Jilly Gagnon tells the story of Ellie Greco. When a local real estate developer’s plans threaten the family business, Greco’s Deli, Ellie goes to great lengths to stop them.
While our protagonist does make some cringe-worthy choices, I still thoroughly enjoyed this. Ellie made her choices with the best intentions in mind, and like her, as a person who sometimes lacks self-confidence, I can relate to her state of mind. And I’m sure you’ll be rooting for her, just like I was.
Even though the premise is completely different, this reminded me of the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The chemistry between our main characters, Ellie and Theo, perhaps?
If you’re looking for a fun beach read, or something warm and fuzzy to keep you warm this winter, I highly recommend Love You, Mean It.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.Links in this review are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate is a book about secrets. As the 10th anniversary of a tragic accident and death of a young girl approaches, tensions are high.
The book centers on the death of Phoebe and questions surrounding the accident that caused her death, and why it took her brother, Grant, twenty-seven minutes to call for help.
I had high hopes for this. It started well. However, I quickly found all of the characters unlikeable, even the dead girl. And that’s unfortunate. I also disliked the portrayal of mental illness and the fantastical nature of some of the latter parts of the novel.
Overall, I thought some of the twists were interesting, but not enough to make me fall in love with the book, the plot, or the characters.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.