ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA: DIANA PETERFREUND REVIEW

Hey guys! Today we’re going to be discussing Across a Star Swept Sea, the sequel to For Darkness Shows the Stars (here’s the review). I really loved For Darkness Shows the Stars, so when I finally got a chance  to read the sequel, I was pumped and it definitely didn’t disappoint!

Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

RATING: 4/5 STARS

In this series, Diana Peterfreund takes classic novels and retells them creating a world that is dystopian and rewriting the characters in a way that fits together beautifully. In the first book Persuasion was the classic book of choice, but for Across the Star-Swept Sea, The Scarlet Pimpernel was the winner. I’ve never read that one, but after reading Across a Star-Swept Sea I definitely want to pick it up and give it a chance! This book was interesting and well written, and I loved every second of it.

The two main characters are Persis and Justen. Persis at face value is a stereotypical rich girl, ditzy and shallow, but truthfully, she is so much more. She is Wild Poppy, a spy working to save the people of the country from the brain damaging drug or the revolutionaries. I absolutely loved Persis because she had so much depth, and she was everything I wanted in a main character. Justen was a medic, and he was sort of thrown at Persis in the beginning. As the story progresses though, he begins to warm up to her and he starts to see that there is so much more to her than what meets the eye. On his own though, Justen is compassionate and clever which was great. As a couple, they had such an awesome dynamic, it wasn’t a relationship that seemed rushed, and they really didn’t begin to fall for each other until later on. We also got to see some repeat characters from For Darkness Shows the Stars which I definitely wasn’t expecting, but it made me so excited because I was such a huge fan of Elliot and Kai.

The plot of this story really was beautiful. It flowed nicely, and it never seemed to drag. There was great dialogue, and just enough action to keep me happy. I highly recommend this book if you like retellings or dystopian novels, and Across the Star-Swept Sea should definitely be a book you give a chance! If you’ve read this book, what did you think? I would love to discuss it with you!

Love,

Taylor

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FINDING PARIS: JOY PREBLE REVIEW

I want to thank Balzer + Bray for sending me an electronic copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review. The thoughts in this review are strictly my own.

Author: Joy Preble 

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 272

Genre: YA Contemporary 

Rating: 4/5

An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other–perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble’s stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other’s lives.
Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind–going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn’t going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.
Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris–a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside.

When I decided I wanted to read this book, I went into it relatively blind, and I’m so glad I did! The plot line was full of so many twists and turns, the character development was fantastic, and I just adored the entire book. It wasn’t romance heavy, although there is a slight undertone throughout the entire novel, and the relationship between the two sisters, Leo and Paris, was so sweet. They obviously really care about each other, and that dynamic really shined through.

I want to start off by addressing the characters in the story. To begin with I really loved the sisters. Paris was outgoing and caring, whereas Leo was a little bit more reserved and sassy, and even though I liked her, she definitely had a knack for putting up walls. Max was so great, I absolutely loved him and his kind heart. As you see the story unravel, it was great to hear about his past, and the way he helped Leo was so heart melting. Max was also a really important part of Leo’s character development, by helping her break down those walls she had put up.

There were multiple plot twists in this story, and to be honest they really suprised me. Although I had a few hunches about where the storyline was headed, I was actually wrong. It’s been a while since a contemporary novel actually had me at the edge of my seat because I wanted to know what was going on so bad.

All in all, this is a fantastic book, with an equally fantastic plot, and I highly recommend it! I will definitely be picking up my own copy of this so that I can reread it someday, and you can pick up yours on the 21st, just a few days away!

Hope you guys enjoyed this review!

Taylor

FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS: DIANA PETERFREUND REVIEW

Hey guys! To start off I want to apologize for this not going up yesterday. After I wrote it, I thought I pressed the “publish” button, but when I looked at it this morning it wasn’t there. I’m so sorry, but here’s the first review of the week!

Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 402
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Rating: 5/5

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

This book is a retelling of one of my favorite classics, and I honestly don’t know why I waited so long to pick this up. I loved it. LOVED! I couldn’t put it down and it was so beautiful. Diana’s writing style was super poetic, and it was such a great representation of Jane Austen.

Kai and Elliot’s letters were so cute and perfect. I loved seeing the story progress during the present, but also being able to see the way their friendship developed when they were children. The letters also were a great tie in to Persuasion because of Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne.

All of the characters, including the supporting characters, were really entertaining and I loved them all. I was happy, sad and nervous for them, and in the end that’s all I could ever really ask for!

Overall: This book deserves all the stars because it gave me all the feels! It is such a fantastic book, and I need the sequel ASAP! Go pick it up and don’t wait another minute! I also recommend reading Persuasion first! You can find it for free, and it makes the story even better!

Goodreads Information
Amazon Purchase

Love,
Taylor