Cassandra’s review of The Reader by Traci Chee

25064648“If anything could be a book, there was no telling what you could learn, if you knew what to look for. Smooth river stones spelled out across a mossy floor. Lines drawn in the sand. Or inscribed on the side of a fallen log, half-obscured by twigs and mulch: This is a book.” The Reader by Traci Chee begins with Sefia, who escapes to the forest with her aunt Nin after her father is viciously murdered. The two of them are able to survive in the wilderness together until Nin gets kidnapped. Suddenly on her own, Sefia will do anything in her power to rescue Nin. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object left behind by her parents, something she comes to realize is a book. Sefia slowly learns how to read, unearthing the Book’s secrets, which could explain the cause of all of her misfortune. With the help of legendary pirates and a boy-soldier, Sefia sets out on a dangerous adventure to rescue her aunt. Through the journey, she learns more about the world around her and the power she has to change it.

I loved The Reader!!! It took me a while to get into it (especially when the point of view switched from Sefia to Lon), but after I got through a slight reading slump, I breezed through the book. The characters are wonderful! Sefia is a tough girl with a strong moral conscience. I loved how there are multiple story lines that run through The Reader, which eventually intertwine in a plot twisting way. The balance between character development (the “slow” moments) and action was perfect. Also, it is hard to pinpoint an evil character, because you get an idea of how everyone is thinking [omniscient narration]. I would recommend The Reader to anyone who likes fantasy. (The Reader kind of reminds me of Six of Crows.) I can’t wait till the second book comes out!!

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Cassandra’s Review of The Young Elites by Marie Lu

20821111The Young Elites describes a world weakened by a deadly illness. Most people who got the illness perished, but many children, who survived, obtained strange scars. In the kingdom of Kenettra, the survivors are considered abominations (malfettos). A majority of the marked are innocent, but some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and they have come to be known as the Young Elites. This story is about the Young Elites and their struggle to bring justice to the malfettos.

I really enjoyed The Young Elites! The novel is told in three different perspectives, including both people in the Young Elites group and in the Inquisition Axis, a force that strives to hunt down the Young Elites. Though the characters are not very likable, I really loved the world building and plot line. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Thankfully, The Young Elites is followed by two more wonderful novels: The Rose Society and The Midnight Star. This trilogy is a safe bet for high class fantasy.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Medha’s review of The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

24921954This book is set in a futuristic society. The story revolves around a skyscraper in New York City. The only catch is that the building has one thousand floors. The higher up you live, the more powerful you are. People have little reason to leave the Tower; numerous parks, schools, country clubs, and homes are nestled inside. The book follows five protagonists switching between their lives and point of views. Three of the main characters are ‘highliers’ while two live on the lower floors.

This book was a good read. Usually, I find different POVs jarring, but the final culmination made it worth it. Also, there are five POVs, so keeping track of what is going on is key. To actually enjoy this book, you need to believe in true love. Like the destiny kind. Because … SPOLIERS (maybe? It’s pretty obvious once you get into it … but just in case …) READ AHEAD AT YOUR OWN RISK 🙂 . . . . . . . . Avery, honey, you can’t elope with your brother, even if he’s adopted. This made the book a very awkward read. I don’t know if I would pursue a sequel. It was hard enough to watch Avery push Watt and Leda away because she was in love with her brother (it really doesn’t get any less weird, no matter how many times I say it). Maybe this would interest people are into psychology or the-heart-wants-what-it-wants stuff (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just didn’t click for me 🙂

Medha rates this book 3.5/5