A Review of Red Queen, Where I’ve Been, and What I’m Doing

Wow I’ve been gone for a long time. I won’t go into a long, boring explanation of why I haven’t posted in a few months, but it involves a lot of sickness, the ER, and school finals. But I just finished my finals today, so I should have much more time to post. I’m super excited to get back into blogging, because I missed it a lot! I missed you guys a lot!
So I thought I’d give you all an update on how my writing’s going. I just started outlining my new steampunk YA novel, and so far it’s been amazing! I’m using the technique taught in K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel book and workbook, and in her Structuring Your Novel book and workbook. I am stunned, shocked even, by how much her advice has helped my outlining process. So if you all are outliners, or even pantsers, I defiantly recommend you check this out. It is a game changer!
I’m not gonna tell you guys much about what my new novel is about, just that it involves dead sisters, strong best friendships, working against slavery, and inventing robots.
And here is my (kind of depressing) review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.
I was super excited when Red Queen arrived in the mail. I may have been so excited I might have, ahem, hugged the book and squealed very loudly upon its arrival.

Just possibly. Sadly I was very, very disappointed.
But first, COVER LOVE! The simplicity, the elegance, and the sort of tragic vibe coming from the blood dripping off a crown. That’s like my dream cover right there.
It’s a very good-sized book, like 388 large pages. The hype for this book and the cover were my two main reasons for picking this book up. A lot of reviewers that I normally agree with raved about it, and I loved the cover so I ordered it. The premise? Meh. The only thing that interested me was why she had powers that she wasn’t supposed to have.
The plot was slow going at first, with Mare and her family struggling to survive. Things pick up when Mare is actually taken to the palace and her powers are revealed but that’s around fifty pages in. I was interested after that point, but I wasn’t really invested. I didn’t really care what would happen to Mare because I didn’t care about her as a character. I didn’t really care about anyone else in the book either.
I guess there was a sort of love square, but I didn’t like any of the three guys Mare was attracted to. They all annoyed me actually, and Mare annoyed me too. Cal was kind of blah, Maven was pretty creepy, and Kilorn was just there. I didn’t really feel like I knew anything about the characters. And I didn’t really get the romance either.

Was it a kissing book, or wasn’t it?
I almost DNFed several times throughout the book but kept on going to get to the plot twist. And I was so disappointed because I had seen that coming for at least fifty pages. I didn’t even like the plot twist very much. But hey, at least it added some action.
So yeah, overall I didn’t really enjoy Red Queen. But, I may read the sequel when it comes out.
I rate Red Queen two out of five stars.
Elizabeth

My (Sort Of) Review of The Book Thief

Happy New Year! I’m so excited for 2015 and all it brings.
The Book Thief… Where do I begin? It’s probably my favorite historical fiction novel I’ve read yet. This won’t be like many other book reviews I do. This is more of a “Why You Should Read This”, type of book review. (Kind of like a recommendation, with a touch of reviewing.)
It begins when Liesel Meminger is eight years old and riding on a train to her new foster parents. She doesn’t understand why her mother can’t take care of her anymore. Then, her brother dies. She steals a book at his funeral. And that’s where it all starts.
First of all, it’s narrated by Death. How cool is that?!?! Death isn’t this cold, heartless person either. He can be very sympathetic and caring. Just don’t ask him to be nice. Here are few of my favorite quotes from Death:
“Here is a small fact: You are going to die.”
“It kills me sometimes, how people die.”
“I am haunted by humans.”
I love Death’s voice. And Liesel interested him so much, he learned her story.
As for the story itself, it’s pretty much about a girl in Germany who takes books from wherever she can get them: book burnings, grave diggers, and the mayor’s wife. Her foster parents take in a Jew, and her whole perspective on life changes. I can’t say much more without spoilers. So just go read it. Like now.
As for the characters themselves, they’re so vivid I feel like I know them personally.
Liesel, the book thief, is probably one of the strongest girl I’ll ever read about.

She’s so innocent and naïve at the beginning, and at the ends she’s seen so many people die. I love her simplicity, loyalty and caring, and her fellow bookwormish tendencies.
Max, the Jew they take in, is a tough, strong fist fighter who is afraid of being caught. He can be quite poetic sometimes and loves words almost as much as Liesel. I love their special bond.

Rudy is Liesel’s best friend. Oh my gosh I ship them so hard. He’s incredibly loyal to Liesel, and it’s obvious to everyone except Liesel that he likes her. He would do pretty much anything for her.

And then there’s Liesel’s foster parents, who she calls Mamma and Papa.

Her momma is gruff, but you know that she loves Liesel. Her papa is an accordion player who teaches Liesel how to read. They have a really special relationship.

And the ending… No spoilers, but it actually made me tear up, which is super hard for me to do in a book. I looked kinda like this:

I give The Book Thief five out of five stars.
So there’s my (kind of) review of The Book Thief. Go read it. Like right now.
Have you read The Book Thief yet? If so, what did you think of it? And what other historical fiction novels do you think I should read and review?
Elizabeth