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So I've just discovered this site, and I thought I'd try it out, see if I can get used to using it. 


I already have a goodreads, which you can find here: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10125475-catherine


And I also have a tumblr, which you can find here: http://thisisjustabookblog.tumblr.com



Seraphina (Seraphina #1) - Rachel Hartman

I’ve read a few really good fantasy books this year (Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight, Shadow and Bone, Poison Study etc), and Seraphina has added itself to the list. This novel tells the story of a musician at court with a terrible secret – a reason why she feels she can never get close to anyone else. However, she’s drawn into the politics of the court, joining forces with Prince Lucian Kiggs to investigate the murder of his uncle, while also trying to keep the peace between her country and that of the dragons they’ve had peace with for years.


Seraphina herself is a brilliant character – smart and brave and closed off and untrusting and as honest as she can be. She has a charming narrative, and I just really loved reading it. She was backed up by a really strong cast of characters, too; I loved Kiggs honesty, and Glisselda’s backbone, and how they drew Seraphina out of her shell, and how, at the end, they accepted her for who she was. The story of the Queen, and what she’d done to secure peace for her country was inspiring; I loved that the novel was full of really strong characters. And I just had a soft-spot for Orma and how he felt about Seraphina, and how he learnt that emotions – love, especially – were something to be valued.


Though the novel is longish, the story never dragged. It carried me along easily and it made me want to keep reading. The prose is written in first person, yet still manages to be beautiful without feeling unrealistic or clumsy.


I liked Kiggs as a love interest, and I really enjoyed the dynamic between the too; it was sweet and real and they brought out the best in each other. It certainly wasn’t instalove, and I loved the development of their relationship. My only downside to the novel is probably the expression of love at the end – how fast it is, how they have to keep it a secret. Saying that, however, I did like that though present, their relationship wasn’t the main part of the novel, but simply a sub-plot. It was refreshing.


Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and I am certainly looking forward to the next one.

Pushing the Limits  - Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits is the heart-breaking, honest and, eventually hopefully story of two teens - Echo and Noah - who both have painful pasts, and are struggling at the moment. 


This novel is told from both of the main character’s points of view - the chapters alternate. I really liked this style for this novel, as it gives you a clear insight into both of the character’s minds, and means that you can fall in love with them both equally. Echo and Noah are very different people, but they both have loss and sadness in their past, which helps bring them together. They’re very real, brilliantly written characters. Sometimes it’s hard for an author to distinguish well enough between two characters in an alternating p.o.v., but McGarry does this very well; they have distinct voices. 

I fell in love with the characters and their relationship in this novel. Not only do I love their relationship, but I also love that it’s not entirely about that - they deal with the things in their lives somewhat separately as well. I didn’t cry at the romantic parts, but at their struggles and how they came to terms with the things that have happened to them. 


This is a heartbreaking yet also heartwarming story of two teenagers who have an awful lot to deal with. Throughout the novel they grow as people, learn some things about themselves, and set themselves on the road to recovery. I liked that the ending wasn’t completely idyllic, but it was hopeful. This was a really addictive read - I couldn’t put it down! It just flows so well, and I think that McGarry did a beautiful job with the writing. I loved how everything was portrayed very realistically, and though there were more serious parts of this novel, it was also charming and witty and you it was easy to identify with the characters. 


Go read it (but bring tissues, and make sure you have a day to dedicate to it).