Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – Book Review

In Norta, the colour of your blood defines you – your social status, your occupation, and whether or not you have superpower-like abilities. The elite Silvers exploit the Reds, sending them to the front line in the North and using them as their servants in their lavish residences.

Mare is a Red, and every day she becomes closer to being conscripted on her seventeenth birthday. After a chance encounter, she finds herself serving the King in his summer residence. One day, however, something happens to Mare that makes her question her identity – she appears to have Silver abilities but Red blood, so the royal family decide to declare her as a long-lost princess, to prevent any questions being asked. Mare is thrust in to the Silver world, engaged to a Silver prince. She now has the chance to take down the oppressive system that has caused her family and community so much pain and suffering. This won’t be easy; she must dodge the jealousy, lies and rivalries of the royal courts to try to bring justice to her people.

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My Quick YA Fiction Recommendations – What to Read Now

Young Adult fiction contains so many wonderful, enjoyable and inspiring books, so when I’m asked for an on-the-spot recommendation, I’m not great at giving one – I feel like I need to know what a person is looking for before I recommend a book! This inspired me to write this post; recommending books depending on what you are looking for in a novel. If you’re in the UK, it’s World Book Day today (7th of March) so what better excuse to pick up a book?

To access my full review of each book, please click on the title.

If you’re looking for: Feel Good, Easy-to-read Romance

Then I recommend: /To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the ultimate feel-good book that will make you feel warm inside! If you have watched the film and not yet read the book, then do not fear: it is a trilogy, so you can continue the story of Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky in two more instalments! If you’re struggling to get into reading a book, then I really recommend this particular book to get you quickly back in the swing of reading.

If you’re looking for: An Intense, Plot-twist-full Thriller

Then I recommend: Cruel Summer by Juno Dawson

This is an extremely gripping novel, with interesting characters that seem perfect on the surface, but all have secrets to hide. Kind of like a modern-day Agatha Christie novel, the pace of the book increases as the book progresses, with more hints and clues as to who the killer was as you read.

If you’re looking for: Exciting, Female-led Fantasy

Then I recommend: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

If you’re familiar with the book scene on Instagram, you’ll have seen this series everywhere – and for good reason. This incredibly popular book is led by Celaena Sardothien, a fiery, talented and likeable assassin that you’ll really root for. I’ve recently bought the third book in the series, and I can’t wait to read it!

If you’re looking for: Powerful, Educational, Black Lives Matter movement-inspired Story

Then I recommend: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This book is an automatic recommendation whenever someone asks me for book suggestions. It is the perfect example of how a Young Adult book can educate you on the social issues in the world today, and I believe the more people that read this, the better. By the way, the film was also amazing.

If you’re looking for: Compelling, Tense Contemporary

Then I recommend: Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda

I picked this book up from the library, having never heard of it before, and I’m so glad that I took it out. The writing style allows the emotion in the book to be extremely well portrayed, and the use of flashbacks means that the reader can begin to piece together fragments of information, to be left with a picture that is unrecognisable from that presented at the beginning of the book.

I hope that you have found these recommendations useful, and decide to pick up one of these books. I really enjoyed reading all of them, and I hope you will too!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – Book Review

In Orïsha, a fantasy land based on Nigeria, magic is outlawed. A land that was once full with the Maji clans practicing their many forms of magic is now a place where the remaining few with magic constantly fear the heartless King Saran.

Zélie is a Divîner; she does not possess the full powers of a Maji, but has the ability to become one. All the diviners in Orïsha are oppressed by the ruling class, the Kosidàn, and are marked out by their striking white hair.

One day, Zélie and her brother Tzain head to Lagos to raise money for the crippling taxes placed upon them, and cross paths with Amari, who is escaping from the royal family of Orïsha with a magical scroll in her hand. This scroll provides hope for the Divîners of Orïsha, which prompts the trio to embark on a demanding journey to bring back magic and loosen the grip of the monarchy on the lives of the people. With the Crown Prince hot on their heels, it is a race against time to complete a ritual that would mean everything for Zélie and the Divîners. This is difficult enough, but is made more complicated when Zélie begins to have feelings for an enemy…

I took a while to get started with book, but, as with many fantasy books, once I reached middle of the book I felt like I had got into it. Adeyemi creates a world that is unique in YA fantasy – a setting based on Nigeria and West African mythology.

I am glad that this book has become well-known and liked; many YA fantasy books have very western settings and characters. Those who have read other fantasies or TV shows such as BBC’s Merlin will see a familiar plot curve, but made up for by the vividness of the world in which the story took place. If you enjoyed Throne of Glass, you’ll probably enjoy this novel.

While this is a fantasy novel, the struggles faced by the characters serve as an allegory for slavery, oppression and the police brutality against African Americans.

My main issue was the romance in this story – it seemed rushed and made little sense. However, as this book is the first in a trilogy, I hope that this will be resolved in the books to come. There are 3 points-of-view in this novel, which are all very similar – I always had to check back to remind me which character’s POV it was being told from.

The rights for the film have been sold, and as I was reading the book I thought that it would make a great film. I even believe that it will make a film that is better than the book – I am interested to see what Adeyemi has in store for the series, with Children of Vengeance and Virtue being released very soon!