Karina’s Silver Shoes // Much Confusion Such What’s Going On

Author: Denise Marques Leitao
Genre: Fantasy| YA
Goodreads rating: 3.65
My rating:  ★

 

 

 

 

She’s got the fate of a kingdom in her hands—or rather, in her shoes.
14-year old Karina is not sure what she wants, but she knows what she’s found: fascinating silver shoes. Fascinating, dangerous, and potentially evil. On the upside, they do bring cool visitors.

When two princesses ask her to go to Whyland, a kingdom in a parallel dimension, to destroy the shoes, of course Karina accepts. Who would refuse a free trip to an alternate world?

Advised by a wise master and threatened by a beautiful stepmother, Karina goes on a journey with a princess to defeat a powerful witch. But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how.Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

As I started to format this review I realised this is a YA book. I thought it was middle grade? Not when I requested it, but I had forgotten about that. It read like a middle grade book to be honest.

As the title of this post already suggests: I’M VERY CONFUSED ABOUT THIS BOOK.

Me trying to understand this book so I can write a proper review

Barely anything was explained, and if they did explain things, I was still left confused. I don’t get what the point of the silver shoes was, because apparently what we’re first told about the shoes wasn’t true? But now I don’t know what the shoes do? And what the point of them was?

Also there was some kind of revolution/coup sub plot going on, which kind of came out of nowhere and didn’t feel built up at all to me. We’re told that the king is apparently a tyrant, but we’re only briefly told this and never really shown. It was barely even touched upon. That’s another big problem of this book: lot’s of telling instead of showing.

But let’s get back to the fact that this book is incredibly confusing. The entire book felt incredibly rushed to me, so that didn’t help me understand what was going on either. I also didn’t understand who was on which side. The fact that they all seemed to constantly switch sides and pretend to be on one side but actually be on the other didn’t help. Especially one character constantly switched: first they’re good, then they’re evil, then good again, then evil, then good – AND THEY NEVER EXPLAIN THINGS.

Towards the end of the book we find out the king has locked someone up for years, but either I missed it because I was so bored or it was never explained why? I did consider that maybe the king was afraid that this person was going to try and overthrow him, as he fears his daughters would in the present, but if I was supposed to make that out myself… Then that’s really bad writing. In this case we should’ve been told, not very very subtly shown.

All the characters were really flat. They could’ve easily been replaced by each other. Karina could’ve been an interesting, complex character, as she wants to wish for world peace and is upset at the idea that people wouldn’t know that she was responsible for it:

”because she would like to have statues made for her and win prizes.”

This would’ve made a more unique, interesting kind of hero, since a lot of the time in YA and middle grade we see heroes who are heroes because they want to do the right thing. Unfortunately this is never really touched upon. Karina was too two-dimensional to even stand out.

Apart from the characters, I also didn’t have a clue about the world this was set in. It’s set in an alternative fantasy world, but I don’t know anything about it, nor really what it looks like.

Basically this book kind of read like a first draft. There’s too much missing, there are plot holes and it was incredibly confusing. I really wanted to like this one, but alas.Have you read Karina’s Silver Shoes? Have you read a book that confused you a lot recently? Any fairytale inspired books you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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Genre: New adult/Young adult (not sure?), fantasy, fairytale retelling
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Goodreads rating: 4.34
My rating: ★★

summary

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever (Goodreads).

review

I feel like I’m alone in saying this: but I was really disappointed in this book. Please don’t chase me with hay forks and torches, it’s just how I felt! Throne of Glass is one of my favourite series and I love Sarah, but ACOTAR just didn’t blow me away at all. I was expecting an epic fantasy with lots of action and great world building, but the focus was mostly on the characters. Maybe I would’ve felt different if I had known that beforehand, but I would still have a lot of problems.

I disliked most of the characters. I only liked Lucien, but he didn’t appear enough for me to love this book to pieces. Feyre is one of the most annoying protagonists I’ve read in a while. I might not have felt this way if it hadn’t been written in first person, but oh my god Feyre just shut up about how you want to paint everything but you can’t because it will never be as beautiful I GET IT. Her narration was incredibly irritating, she herself wasn’t very likeable either, neither was Tamlin. I don’t understand everyone swooning over him. I found him creepy (and the fact that he bit her and that was her fault?! I don’t care that he wasn’t himself. I hate victim blaming, okay. I feel very strongly about that) and didn’t see the chemistry between him and Feyre. And oh my god don’t get me started on Rhysand. He was even creepier and more disturbing. I don’t care that he was trying to protect her and trying to help. IT WAS DISTURBING AS HELL AND I DON’T WANT TO READ THE SEQUEL BECAUSE I’M SCARED OF WHAT HE WILL DO TO HER WHEN SHE HAS TO LIVE WITH HIM.

I also felt like barely anything happened until the ending and by then I didn’t even care really about what was going to happen. Except to Lucien. Don’t hurt that precious thing. I even skimmed a certain action scene because it actually bored me. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THRONE OF GLASS. And the lead up to all these scenes…? I just… I don’t know guys. I have so many mixed feelings about this book, I even debated with myself if I should give a two or three star rating. I decided that because there were moments that were actually fun to read and I didn’t hate all the characters, so three stars it was. (EDIT: after thinking it really through I decided to give it a 2-star rating after all. I’m just too disturbed by some of the abusive and rape culture elements). I could actually rant about this book, which is not a good sign. I finished it right before I left for America, so I don’t remember all my irritations and faults, but guys…. PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE. I wanted to love this book, I really did. IT’S SARAH J. MAAS GUYS. But I won’t even continue with this series, I was that annoyed.

So… Am I alone in this? PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT.

– The Writing Hufflepuff

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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Genre: Fairytale retelling // Sci-fi
Category: YA
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Goodreads rating: 4.31
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Summary (2020)

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner .

Review (2020)

I loved Scarlet so much more than Cinder. I’m officially in love with the series now. At times Cinder was a bit predictable, because I’m so familiar with the fairytale. Scarlet wasn’t predictable at all, which made it way more enjoyable. The pace felt faster too, which led me to reading it faster than Cinder.

Can we get an applause for a book with different POVs which are all interesting? I mean, that doesn’t happen often. I didn’t mind switching between POVs, not even once. Nor did I ever think: ah no, not them again! Seriously, I applaud Marissa Meyer.

There are three new major characters in Scarlet: Scarlet herself, Wolf and Thorne. Scarlet is a great heroine, but Thorne kind of stole her thunder. He just reminded me of my favourite type of anime character. Full of himself, funny and incredibly lovable.

The friendship that develops between Thorne and Cinder just gave me life. Did I miss her interaction with Kai? Yes, but honestly I love friendship more than romantic ships. I think this is also because friendship is quite underrated! I just want more bromance in my books.

Back to Scarlet and Wolf though. I loved Scarlet: she was witty, sarcastic, brave and loved her grandmother more than anything. Wolf too was an interesting character, but I won’t go into any details as I don’t want to spoil anything. Did the romance go a bit too fast? Yes, but Scarlet herself acknowledged that, so I couldn’t be too annoyed. In the end they’re a really cute couple (also Wolf is one of the greatest dorks who is amazed by tomatoes).

I personally found the plot more interesting than Cinder‘s (not saying that I didn’t find Cinder‘s plot interesting! Not at all), but honestly, I can’t say too much about it or I’m afraid I’ll spoil it. Just know that it’s true what they say about this series: it gets better with every book. Now excuse me while I go cry about the fact that they didn’t have Cress at my bookstore when I bought Scarlet and I’ll have to wait until I have time to visit the bookstore again (which wil be after my exams).

Note from Michelle from 2020: once I reread Cinder I actually loved it just as much as Scarlet!
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