Fates by Lanie Bross

Fates: YA Urban Fantasy That Manages to Surprise

Fates by Lanie Bross

Published by Delacorte Press in 2014

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 336

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule, Hexed by Michelle Krys, Archetype by M.D. Waters

This book was featured in my earlier post, Dollar Dollar Tree, Y’all! Yes, that’s right, I bought this book at the Dollar Tree. For a dollar. That makes me so. Effing. Happy.

To Give You a Quick Description:

She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people’s fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home.

But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she is falling all over again–this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die. In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in?

Good, Solid Characters

Corinthe isn’t ultra likable, but as I’ve expressed before, that’s of little import to me. In my opinion, a fallen fate who doesn’t understand humanity probably wouldn’t be likable, so it’s spot on. She doesn’t feel or seem human, and she shouldn’t! Lucas is sweet, though, and easy to root for.

Another thing I liked is that because one of our narrators is tasked with killing the other, it makes it harder to say there is a clear cut antagonist. At least initially.

The Mythology Is Different and Interesting

It’s nice to read an Urban Fantasy from the last few years with no vampires, werewolves, angels, or demons. I liked the concept of a fallen fate, and her desperation to return home felt really authentic.

The Writing is Beautiful

The POV alternates in different chapters, and there is a definite vibe difference between the Corinthe chapters and the Lucas chapters. For a book with alternating POV, that’s really the main thing I’m looking for. I should know which narrator is talking by how they’re talking, and you definitely get that with this. I will say that due to long chapters, and my definite preference for Lucas-view chapters, I had a hard time getting into it at first. Because I didn’t really love Corinthe, it took me a while to get on board. It took about 75 pages for me to become interested, and probably 125 for me to be legit invested in the story.

I’d Recommend

Fates to anyone who digs YA with mythological elements.

Back of the novel Fates by Lanie Bross

What About You?

What’s your favorite Urban Fantasy?

 

*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/vampire. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.

**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.



Strange Sweet Song book Adi Rule

Strange Sweet Song Is Maybe Not So Sweet

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin in 2014

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 336

This book was featured in my earlier post, Dollar Dollar Tree, Y’all! Yes, that’s right, I bought this book at the Dollar Tree. For a dollar. That makes me so. Effing. Happy.
I want to start by saying I have spent a fair amount of time around theater kids, and I felt the book adequately portrayed how jaded and jealous and bitter kids can become really quickly in this environment. Especially if their parents are, you know, those parents. 
Before someone gets bitchy, I know. This is not about theater kids. This is about music school kids. If there’s a fucking difference in how the kids act/treat each other, please let me know.

To Give You a Quick Description:

Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school’s production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary?

Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

The Characters are Pretty Great in That They’re Terrible

Sing, the MC, is mostly unlikable. She is jealous of/rude to her “friends,” (I’m using the term loosely), and for someone who criticizes divas at least 100 separate times, she’s willing—in two alternate timelines, nonetheless—to use her father’s fame to steal a part from another, more deserving singer because why? Because Sing’s crush likes her. For me, this was awesome. I love when an author manages to make me like a book, even when I can’t stand the MC. Plus, as I’ve said above, I only think her behavior made her more realistic. That is exactly how an opera kid with famous parents would act.

The Mythology is Different and Interesting

It’s nice to read an Urban Fantasy from the last few years with no vampires, werewolves, angels, or demons. We get wish granting and animal/human transformations in ways I had not previously seen them. Most importantly, the “monster” (another loose term) in this is like a giant space cat, and I fucking dig it.

The Writing Was, for the Most Part, Gorgeous

Almost musical, which is apt. Which is why it hurts me to say, and this is probably not fair, but the third person, present tense narration really bothered me. I assumed I’d adjust to it at some point, but I never did. It was like reading a stalker’s journal about this girl. “Sing reads. Sing adjusts her necklace. Sing wears knee-socks.”

I’d Recommend

the book to anyone who has experienced the opera/theater/music school lifestyle.

Adi Rule's book, Strange Sweet Song

 

*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. I may want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/cat. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.

**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.



Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule, Hexed by Michelle Krys, Archetype by M.D. Waters

Dollar Dollar Tree, Y’all: Book Haul

I don’t know if you know, but Dollar Tree has come a long frikkin’ way. I could go through the book section at mine for forever. These are high quality, awesome, hard-cover books FOR A DOLLAR. A dollar. In the words of every basic bitch: I. Just. Can’t.

So here are the books I got on this Dollar Tree run, and a short description of each in case you want to run and see what your local store has in store for you!

 

Hexed by Michelle Krys:

  

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?
Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.
Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

A beautiful cover! I mean! And the actual book underneath the paper cover is gorgeous. Yes, the cover-less book got its own photo shoot; it’s that pretty. I have started this book, I’m about 100 pages in and I’m diggin’ it! The writing is cute and quirky, as well as easy, so it’s a quick, simple read thus far. I’ll give a thorough review when I’m done!

 

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule:

Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.
Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school’s production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary?
Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

Y’all. The cover of this book, though! Maybe I gravitate toward books with pretty covers. Shame on me. So! I’ve only read about twenty pages to get a feel, and so far, it seems okay. The writing is beautiful, while feeling a little stilted? My problem may be that it is third person present tense, and to be honest, that makes me a little uncomfortable. It is probably a personal issue. I will definitely have to see how I feel as I get further into it.

 

Archetype by M.D. Waters:

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which . . .
In the stunning first volume of a two-book series, Emma wakes with her memory wiped clean. Her husband, Declan—a powerful and seductive man—narrates the story of her past, but Emma’s dreams contradict him. They show her war, a camp where girls are trained to be wives, and love for another man. Something inside warns her not to speak of these things, but the line between her dreams and reality is about to shatter forever. 

You won’t believe this, but this cover is GORGEOUS. It will look beautiful on my bookshelf. I’ve only just read the first chapter to get a feel, and so far, it’s interesting! I’m excited to continue reading.

 

That’s it for this trip! I hope you all are inspired to head out to your local Dollar Tree and grab a book or five!