Kaya Reviews: Our Dark Duet

Synopsis: THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

My Rating:

5/5 stars

My Review:

Schwab never fails to bring me out of reading slumps with her novels. Her world building, her characters, the drama, it’s all electric and it pulls me into the book in a heartbeat. Our Dark Duet was on my list of most anticipated books of 2017. I was not let down.

Schwab’s characters always steal my heart, even the most despicable of them. Schwab has a way of writing evil that almost makes it irresistible. It is another reason why I love her novels so deeply.

One of my favorite characters that Schwab has created is Kate Harker. I love how badass she is even after all the pain she has faced. Kate Harker is the type of female character we need more representation of. Someone strong in the face of adversity, loyal to a fault, but still soft enough to care about others. Schwab has her develop beautifully through This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet. She creates a strong, complex character that makes me wish that she could be real.

Schwab’s development of August Flynn during Our Dark Duet blew me away as well. The changes that we see in August’s character between This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet is so gritty and realistic it’s almost painful. He becomes the leader he must be to win a war, and in the process, must make sacrifices. Reading about the emotional toll this takes on August makes his character more relatable in general. Reading about the challenges he faces and the internal battles he has makes you really feel for August. In general, it is brilliant character development on Schwab’s part.

The heart gripping, wild ride that Our Dark Duet was still has me reeling. From the first page Schwab managed to trap you in the web of characters and their stories. She builds on the drama and suspense of This Savage Song beautifully and keeps you just as enraptured at the first novel did. Reading about the characters struggles both with the war and their internal demons is one of the driving forces of Our Dark Duet. The world Schwab creates adds to the beauty of her novel. She never fails to create a unique world that is beautiful and captivating. Verity city is the perfect setting for this gritty, dark novel. It couldn’t be more perfect.

Reading this book took me longer than I wish it had, life unfortunately got in the way, but when I did have time to read I devoured every word. Schwab is so good at building that tension that leaves you hanging on every word. There is the drama wild anticipation that something is going to happen. That things are brewing and ready to erupt. That keeps you hooked. Schwab is good at that, keeping you hooked in her words. It is the type of writing I aspire to do someday.

I’m Not Dead, Just Fed Up.

Ah yes, the chaos of life, the chaos of finals, and the chaos of the community. Those are my three excuses for not being active here. I’ve been reading, I’ve been writing, I apologize for neglecting my blogging. The thing is, every time I think about making a post, it turns into a rant about the way the bookish community had been acting and all the bullying I’ve seen happen. That is a rant I have posted before. I’m sure no one wants to hear it again. So, staring with this month, June, I will get back to writing reviews. I solemnly swear and cross my heart. I shall start with my TBR in for the month of June.

TBR

  • First off, my current read, Gemina. I’ve put this book off for so long. I’m proud of myself for finally getting around the reading it. I deserve a gold star.
  • P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I just finished To All the Boys I’ve loved before, it was adorable. I normally don’t read contemporaries, but this series has caught my heart.
  • Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon: This is my most anticipated read in June. I am super pumped about this book.
  • Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: I’ve heard really great things about this book as well. It’s been sitting on my shelf forever. I think it’s finally time to pick it up.

Drum roll, here comes the title of the final book I want to read in June….

  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon: I loved the Bone Season. I cried through parts of The Mime Order. I need to finally read The Song Rising.

Wish me luck on my reading adventure through the month of June. Best of reading to all you. Have a lovely summer!

Kaya Reviews: We Are Okay

There are books that make you emotional, then there are books that make your soul feel like its been rubbed raw. We Are Okay was one of those books. I don’t know if it was because I could relate so strongly to Marin’s grief or because of the beautiful writing, but this novel touched me in a way very few books have done before. Nina LaCour’s writing is so beautifully breath taking and captivating. I was swept into this story and carried away into Marin’s life. We Are Okay took me on an emotional roller-coaster that I was not prepared for, but that I am glad I did not miss out on.

4 out of 5 stars 

Synopsis (Goodreads)

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart

My Review

Nina LaCour’s characters are complex and captivating. She did a brilliant job building the layers of grief that surround them. I could feel their emotional pain as I was reading this novel. As someone who has lost loved ones and dealt with grief I was very impressed with the way in which LaCour captured it. True grief is a hard emotion to put into words without it coming across as superficial. This novel did a wonderful job of creating true grief throughout the development of the plot and characters.

LaCour’s main character, Marin, was so beautifully written and developed during the novel. I related to her so strongly, the pain and hardship she faced. What Marin did, creating a new life for herself away from the loss she suffered, is what I tried to do as well when I left for college. I could feel her need to leave it all behind, to be fresh and new while at the same time being faced with the ghosts of her past. Marin is one of those characters that you can feel deep in your soul. You feel that connection, that struggle; that is what makes a brilliant character.

Discovering Marin’s story during the novel kept me so hooked into this book. The more you read the more in depth and complex her character became. Discovering all the people she loved, the people she lost, and the connections she had to her old life was so touching. There are so many little details that go into developing Marin, you can really see her as a person, someone you may pass on the street. Her character is so complex it’s hard to remember that she is just words on a page. The emotions are so raw and real that you want to believe there is someone out there feeling them just as you read them.

The characters surrounding Marin help build her development and depth as well. The love she has for her best friend and ex-lover is raw and powerful, there is still a bond between the two after all they have faced. Marin’s relationship with her grandfather is the driving force of the novel, and reading about that development keeps you on the edge of your seat. You want to know what happened between them. You need to know, even though it will break your heart. These characters were so real to me, I never wanted this novel to end.

One of the best parts of this novel, in my opinion, is that it is one of those books that leaves you absolutely destroyed when you finish in. You’ve felt all the emotions, read the story of the characters, and now you’re sobbing at midnight face down in your pillow. For a while they were part of your life. You related to the struggles they faced. It was real while you were between those pages. The ending is the most heart-breaking part. Is Marin healing? Will she ever recover from the loss she feels? Those are the questions that you are left with in the end. Will it really all be okay?

Kaya Reviews: Wolf by Wolf

Wolf by Wolf was the first book I read in March and I believe it is the book that has pulled me out of my horrible reading slump. I loved Wolf by Wolf, it was original and stunning. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book ASAP.

Synopsis

Her story begins on a train.

 

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

 

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

 

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

 

My Review

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars

First of, let me say that this is one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I loved the how original the plot of Wolf by Wolf was. It was a refreshing change from some of the novels I have read recently. Ryan Graudin’s plot is incredible.

I loved Yael’s character throughout the novel. I love how Yael has developed throughout the novel, how it shows her growing and changing. Yael’s determination to make things right for her family and the people who helped shape her is so admirable. This is a beautiful character who has faced pain and loss and comes out stronger in the end. Yeet she never forgets, she carries the loss with her and uses it to strengthen herself. What I love even more about Yael is that after all she has been through, she is reluctant to take a life. She wants to complete her mission with as few casualties as possible. Yael has faced so much loss, and knows that she will possibly face more in the future, but it has not destroyed her conscience. It tears her up inside when she accidentally causes the death of another racer. I love that Yael is still has caring for others, that her hardship hasn’t turned her cruel.

This entire novel entrapped me from beginning to end. I was caught up in Yael’s journey during the race. The bonds she forms with Adele’s brother and ex-lover while she was disguised as Adele was one of my favorite parts of the novel. Her struggle to keep up the guise of being Adele while facing people who knew Adele so well was brilliant. I loved reading about Yael tackling every bump in the road head on. I feel like she is the type of character we should all wish to be like. Still kind even though she was faced loss, determined, and brave.

I would recommend Wolf by Wolf to anyone looking for a unique book that is fast paced and full of adventure. I am so glad to finally be out of my reading slump. Hopefully I’ll make my goal for this month. Happy reading to you all! 😄

February Wrap Up and March TBR

I feel like 2017 has been the year of horrible reading slumps. My life has been busy, my job has been insane, and school just wipes me out. Adulting is ruining my life and I hate it. The few books I did read this month were amazing though. I just wish I had read more.

I did manage to finish Windwitch, during the last week of the month, even though it was the first book I started in March. I really loved Windwitch, but for some reason I couldn’t get into this novel. I kept having to take breaks to read other novels. To be honest with myself, I’m proud I managed to finish Windwitch as it was one of the few books I read this month. I highly recommend Truthwitch and Windwitch to anyone who is a fan of fantasy novels. I was hooked through most of the series.

Besides Windwitch I started to read an old favorite series of mine that never fails to end reading slumps…. except for this one. I started re-reading The Heroes of Olympus series. These books bring me back to my younger days when I was carefree and had hours to read. I have so much love for Rick Riordan’s characters, they bring me back to afternoons I spent reading with my younger brother. We used to take turns reading chapters to each other and making up funny voices for the characters. The books are just so nostalgic for me, I love every minute of them.

My short break back into the world of Percy Jackson did motivate me to read more in my down time. I picked up Wintersong next, and as we know, I had mixed emotions about this novel. I equal parts loved and loathed it. I wish I had loved it completely, but I can’t say that I did. I loved the concept of the novel which is what kept me hooked and reading, but it took me longer to read than I wanted it to. That did set me back in my reading goal for the month.

The next book I read was A Conjuring of Light, the conclusion to one of my favorite series ever. I sat in the window staring at the driveway waiting for the mailman to bring me this book. I was so excited. The second I got my hands on A Conjuring of Light I sat down and read it in a day. Once again, I highly recommend this series to anyone who is fond of fantasy. V. E. Schwab builds a beautiful vibrant world and characters that steal your heart. A Conjuring of Light is my favorite novel I read this month. It’s my number one book of the year so far. I cannot gush enough about this series. I could talk forever about how much I love them, start to finish.

The last book I read this month was Caraval, and all I have to say is wow. I loved this book too. The world, the characters, the concept. I was hooked from the beginning. If you were a fan of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern then I definitely recommend that you go pick up a copy of Caraval. This book was magical and gripping. I was sucked into a world of mystery and magic. Caraval was vibrant and beautiful. I do not have a single complaint about this book. Maybe it will break my book slump.

Once again I have to state that I never stick to a to be read list. It is a horrible habit of mine. I normally read whatever strikes my fancy at the time. However there are a few books that I definitely want to read this month. I’ve already started reading Wolf by Wolf, which will be the first book of the month. Without further ado, here a a few of the other books I’m planning to read.

March To Be Read

Daughter of the Pirate King by  Tricia Levenseller

Wayfarer y Alexandra Bracken

The Song Rising By Samantha Shannon

Norse Gods By Neil Gaiman

Kaya Reviews: Wintersong

I went into this book already in love with the concept of it and wanting to love every part of it. Unfortunately this was not true, though Wintersong was a wonderful novel there were part of it that I did not enjoy. I suppose that this novel was slower than I wanted it to be. There were parts that bored me and made it difficult for me to get through this novel. Overall though, I did find it to be an interesting novel.

 

Goodreads Synopsis

 

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

 

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

 

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

 

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

 

My Review

🌟🌟🌟 and a half out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars

 

I loved Liesl as a character, I love how she has given everything up for her siblings. She gave her music up in favor of her little brother and she gave the man she desired up for her sister. More than that though, I love how she can still love her siblings after being overshadowed by them her entire life. Lisel is a selfless character to the point of being kind of flat in personality. It was really the only flaw I had with her. Liesl’s entire personality was build on love of her siblings and her devotion to her family. I really wish that the book would have discusses Liesl’s past more, it seemed like the most interesting part of her character.

It took me a long time to get through the first part of the book, up until Liesl was taken into the underground. I found most of it dull. Wintersong picked up once Liesl went into the Underground after her sister. The Goblin King was by far my favorite character. He was complex and captivating. There were so many layers to his character it made Liesl pale even more in comparison.The Goblin King is such a beautifully tragic character and the more the book relives the greater he becomes.

Together Lisel and the Goblin King flourish. The parts of the book where they are together were the best parts. Liesl’s character does develope a little more during these periods, but it still focuses around her family and music. She longs for her family while she is being held in the underground. Lisel seems to be a character that cannot be selfish, she wants to be with her family even though they never gave her what she needed to flourish. The Goblin King does all that for her, he loves her even, and still she wishes to leave. He understands that as well, the Goblin King is willing to let Liesl go, even though he has come to love her. That was the most heartbreaking part of the novel, that the Goblin King is willing to let Liesl go when he knows they will not be together again. That in the end he lets her go, breaking his own heart.

Overall, though some parts bored me, the ending of Wintersong broke my heart. This book wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, but it was still good.

Kaya Talks

I didn’t read nearly as much as I had hoped I would in January. Life just gets really busy sometimes and spirals out of control. I also ran into a horrible reading slump in the middle of the month that really slowed me down.

I started out the year finishing up the Mara Dyer Trilogy, which I loved so much. I discussed these books in a previous review and how much I enjoyed the series as a whole. It was the perfect start to my reading year, I breezed through the Mara Dyer Trilogy.

My second read of the year, and one of my all time favorite books, was Titans by Victoria Scott. I loved this Titans. I suppose it spoke to me as someone who grew up with horses, racing, and the draw of the speed and danger of horse racing. I read Titans in one sitting and I will never regret doing so. This book jumped up my list of all time favorite books, it’s right up there with Six of Crows and The Raven Boys in my opinion. Unfortunately, in the way that many great books do, it sent me spinning into a reading slump.

I didn’t read much of anything until the end of the month. The book that finally pulled me out of my slump was Vinyl by Sophia Elaine Hanson. I went into Vinyl expecting it to be just like every other Dystopian novel I’ve ever read, and was pleasantly surprised to find out how much I enjoyed it. Vinyl is similar to the other Dystopian novels out there. Dystopian fiction is hard to make completely unique,the Dystopian genre has a baseline plot already associated with the story line; dictating government, oppressed lower class, untouchable upper class, and a rebel movement. Vinyl was riveting though, there were themes in the novel that made it unique and gripping. Once I got into the novel I couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good Dystopian read.

Shortly after I finished Vinyl I jumped into The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis and all I can saw is, wow. This book shook me so much, it broke my heart in a million places and left me bawling my eyes out at four in the morning. I wrote a stunning review for this novel as well. I found it unique and almost unconventional in many parts of the voel. This book challenges the guidelines that society sets for us in a beautiful way. I will carry The Female of the Species with me forever. It has a special place in my heart.

I finished off my reading month with Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. It took me an embarrassing long time to get into this novel. I spent almost two weeks trying to get through the first half. After that though, I sat down and finished in an afternoon. Truthwitch was the perfect high fantasy novel to end my month with. It left me craving adventure and ready to dive into Windwitch to kick off February.

Now, I try and make a TBR pile for every month, but I fail to stick with my list. I can give you a quick guideline of what I’m hoping to read this month. I cannot make any promises though. Happy reading to you all!

February TBR 

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

 

My thoughts on some current issues

So today I’m going to be talking about a topic that has been bothering me a lot in the book loving community recently. It has really been a hot button topic in recent months, and some parts of it are understandable, but some people take it to an extreme that it doesn’t need to be taken to; and this topic is diversity in literature.

I will be the first person to say that we need more diversity, more representation, and it has been becoming more common. It brightens my day to see people represented and see everyone getting the recognition they deserve in literature and other forms of media. Everyone, EVERYONE, deserved to see themselves represented. They deserve to have stories that they can relate to. They deserve to have books that represent them in positive ways.

However, there are people who have taken this to an extreme. They have trash talked authors, they have trash talked books, and they have shamed other readers for reading books they don’t approve of. These days it seems that if an author doesn’t include a POC or someone in the LGBTQ they are immediately condemned. What people need to understand is that this book is the author’s brain child, it is the creation of the author. They are not obligated to represent you and trash talking them for not doing so is, to be frank, childish.

You, as a reader, do not have to support the author if you do not want to. No one puts a gun to your head and makes you buy the books they write, but let me tell you what really starts to piss me off. When you shame others for reading these books. When you tell others want they can and can’t read. That is a huge problem for me. People are entitled to form their own opinions, and you have no right to shame them for choosing to do so. People are free to read the books of their choosing. I hate seeing adults shame younger member of the community for reading books they don’t approve of. We should offer guidance, we should never make anyone feel bad for what they read. If you are an ADULT you should never shame a younger member of the community for wanting to form their own opinion.

Another issue with this that I’ve ran into that makes me want to scream is when someone interprets a book differently than someone else and then processed to tell the other that they are wrong and bigoted. If there is anything left up to interpretation, if someone doesn’t view the book in the same way you do, it is not a reason to be cruel to them. We have the freedom to form our own opinions. There are hundreds of ways some novels can be interpreted. Not everyone is always going to view a novel the same way you do. It is okay, they can read and from their opinion. You can disagree, you can share your opinion, but to shame people. It disgusts me and makes me sad.

I joined this community because the people I talked to were always so nice and supportive. To see that alther so drastically makes me sick. I see everyone being so cruel, it frustrates me. There are better ways to handle having different views. You can discuss logically without shaming people. For a community that is all about forming different opinions, y’all can be pretty close minded sometimes.

So please, let’s try and let people for their own opinions, let’s not shame, and let’s try and be more understanding.

Kaya Reviews: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

It seems like I’m never going to read a book I dislike in 2017. The Female of the Species, however, stole my heart and then ripped it into a million tiny pieces. I feel like this is one of those books that everyone should read at least once. I would hand this book to a stranger on the street and tell them to read it. I’m not going into very much detail about the plot because I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn’t read it. Please, go pick up this book and read it ASAP.

Synopsis

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

 

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

 

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

 

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

 

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

My Review

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars

The Female of the Species is a book that tackles topics face every day in a unconventional, but brilliant manner. The baseline plot of this novel is one I’ve read about a million time; the quiet girl falls for the jock, the slut gets in the way, and the myriad of side characters and the high school problems they face everyday, which seem almost trivial.

It’s not like that at all though, the quiet girl has dark secrets. Alex Craft has done what I think we all would fantasize about doing, she killed the man who murdered her sister. When the legal system failed her, she did what I think we all would like to believe we would do. I mean, I know that every time I think about someone hurting my siblings I lose my mind. If it came down to it I doubt I could kill a man though. Mindy McGinnis creates a character that is the girl all of us really want to be, deep down, the warrior woman we all should want to embody. Alex Craft is a brilliantly written character. She stands up for her fellow women, pointing out that the male is normally at fault and the backlash lands on the female. She stands up for her friends, protecting them to the point of violence. Alex is a character that I feel portrays what our  base instinct is in facing the situations she faced, she is raw and cold. I love this character so much, I love what she faced and how she handled herself. I love how Alex is written to combat societies standards.

Mindy McGinnis creates a wonderfully dark plot to place her characters into. The plot of The Female of the Species is gritty and raw, McGinnis writes about issues that students face in a gritty, unorthodox manner. She writes about female characters supporting each other instead of tearing each other down over the boys. The character that is normally characterized as “the slut” is not hated by everyone, she is supported by other females in the community. She helps other females in the community. This book has so many points in which the females lift each other up, it warmed my heart. The friendships that are formed, the bonds that are built. It all made the novel all the more enjoyable.

 

If you haven’t read this book yet I sincerely hope you do. I cannot sum up all the emotions reading it gave me. The twist at the end will leave you heartbroken and sobbing. I am fully in love with this novel.

Kaya Reviews: Titans by Victoria Scott

Titans is another book that I read in just two days. It was so good I struggled to put it down to go to class and work. As someone who has spent their life on horseback I really loved this book.

Synopsis

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she will ever touch.

 

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

 

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

My review

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟’s

Titans is a book that I would recommend to anyone, not just because the material appeals to me, but because it is well written and moving. It has quickly jumped to the top of my favorite book list. The book has a lot of focus on family values and how important it is to Astrid to keep her family together while they are facing adversity. The lengths that Astrid is willing to go to in order to keep her family together is heartwarming. The bonds she forms with the rest of her racing team is also heartwarming and something I could relate to through my own experience with horseback racing. To me though, the most heartwarming bond she forms is that with her Titan, Padlock. Even though he is a mechanical horse, he has been programmed to feel emotion and have the instinct of a real horse. During the course of the novel Astrid and Padlock must learn to trust each other and work as a team. The more they race together the stronger the bond becomes. Astrid and Padlock’s bond as teammates  is a perfect depiction of the bond I’ve felt with my own horses over the years.

 

Victoria Scott’s beautiful world building and vivid characters make the novel all the more enjoyable. The characters she has created and the problems they face as a family make the family feel all the more real. The members of Astrid’s family are not flawless, they are perfectly imperfect characters. Scott creates the tension is Astrid’s fracturing family perfectly. You can really relate to the problems they are facing. Then you have the support system Scott builds around Astrid is perfect. Astrid is given mentors to guide her through the races with Padlock; mentors that become her beloved friends. On top of these mentors, Astrid receives support from her best friend, Magnolia. Astrid and Magnolia’s friendship is heartwarming throughout the course of the novel. Magnolia’s unwavering support of Astrid shows the strength of friendship and the loyalty they have toward each other.

 

There was so much I could relate to in this book. I loved every word of it. The action, the adrenaline of the races, the emotions of the jockey and horse. That bond is one that I can strongly relate to. I have always felt like my horses are my closest friends. Seeing the bond written about more in novels warms my heart.