5 Star Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews


#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire . . .
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.
Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.
Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


It’s going to be very hard not to run off, jump up and down, clap my hands, and act like a twelve year old in this review. I’m not a sparkly, I love pink, and my favorite thing to is squee type of girl. I am the roll her eyes, I will tell you what I think and you will sit your ass down and listen, hyped up on coffee, foul mouthed type of girl. I’m not a very serious person, but the fact that this book broke the inner rendition of that chick from Princess and the Frog, says a fucking lot.

To celebrate my crazy love for this book, Veronica Mars GIFS:

Ilona and Gordon are the gods of unique world building. They always come up with something weird, interesting, and different. Very very very different. The Kate Daniels world was different. It had this medieval/modern tech type world that baffled my mind when I first read it. Then they came up with the Edge books where there was a middle world between modern Atlanta and some a high fantasy medieval world full of magic. AGAIN WITH THE DIFFERENT. And now they came up with the world in Burn for me. A world where there are mages, people with different levels of magic, people who have names for their type of magic, people who are sorted into blue blood type families depending on their level of magic, and there are even magic houses. DIFFERENT. UNIQUE, COOL. All of the words.

The best thing about Gordon and Ilona’s books is the dialogue and characters. They create the coolest characters. They’re people either you want to jump in bed with or you want to go have drinks with. I love the heroine in this book. I loved the family aspect. Another thing fans will note is the importance of family. Her grandmother Frida is fucking badass. I love badass old ladies. They rock. Her mother is an expert with the sniper. She never misses a shot.

Nevada is so damn great:

Mad Rogan stood at my doorstep, holding a bouquet of carnations…
His eyes looked smug.
I looked at the flowers, looked at his face, and shut the door.
No, wait.
I opened the door, took the carnations from him, shut the door, and locked it.

Don’t blame the chick, I like flowers too. I think she’s awesome. She’s also nothing special in her world. No special snowflake here. She’s got the magic ability to tell whether people are lying or telling the truth. I would love to be able to do that. I think her ability also makes her very realistic about the world and how people think. Definitely a plus for a smart heroine.

Her history is not a happy one. Her dad died some years back and she’s taken over her family’s company. They run an investigative agency. They aren’t too big, mostly they just track people down. But her family’s company has a contract with a big guy, who has become her boss. Basically she has to take a very dangerous case that she doesn’t want to take because she could get herself and her family killed. The case centers on a rich spoiled boy who wants to burn the world: Adam Pierce. She has to find him and deliver him to House Pierce, his family. She’s not a happy camper.

Nevada is a realist. She and Rogan have eyes for each other. But she resists with an iron fist. She doesn’t even want to admit she’s attracted to him, at first. Then eventually, she admits that he’s one hot son of a bitch. Serioulsy, this guy is smoking. But the cool thing that Andrews does is they give a reason for why he’s so damn good looking. That’s a first. He’s a similar character type to Curran. He’s a psycho. He doesn’t like people. They annoy him. He’s very powerful. He protects those in his employment. But, as a character, he’s still a very different person. I would say he’s more dangerous than Curran. He’s definitely more psychotic. But damn he’s got a mouth on him. YESSSSS!

“What is that smell?”he said.
“It’s my jeans. A bag of food court trash broke when I climbed through the Dumpster.”
A minute passed. Another.
“So,” he said. “You come here often?”
“Rogan, please stop talking.”

Nevada doesn’t want to have a relationship with him, whether serious or just sexual because:

1. She doesn’t trust him.

2. She believes he would get bored too soon and she would be discarded like trash.

3. He’s dangerous, powerful, and a killer.

4. He’s a psycho.

5. He’s head of House Rogan, rich, and part of a socialite society.

If they were in a relationship, in whatever form, all eyes would be on her. Because she’s not a high level magic user, their potential relationship would be a scandal. She’s a professional woman, a realist, and smart. Thus, she doesn’t want to get into psycho-man’s pants.

It would be awesome. Just to see him naked, to see that honed, powerful body, to touch him, would be the highlight of my adult romantic life.
The other 50 percent of me would be livid. That jerk. No “Thanks for saving my life.” No “Are you okay?” No acknowledgement of a near-death experience. Oh no, no, he decided to critique my chalk drawing while I sat there on the pavement, bleeding and trying to catch my breath. I’d had it with all of them. I’d had it with their fires and their flying buses and exploding buildings. Had it.

I LOVE YOU NEVADA!!!

And I usually don’t go for the psycho crazy hunk, but man is Rogan sexy. He’s like a more psychopathic Curran. Oh baby. But you know what? Sometimes the Chemistry works and sometimes it doesn’t. But what I love about this novel is that they don’t jump into bed in the first book. They haven’t even started dating or having a real relationship. I feel a slow build coming. THE RIDE IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

Ugh, yes! a smart chick in urban fantasy, let alone paranormal romance is like a white elephant.

Now there have been discussions, rants, and rages on whether this book is Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy. I will make this decision for you: IT’S A HYBRID. It is neither fully urban fantasy or fully paranormal romance. There’s no sex or a disgustingly sweet resolution. But on the other hand, it’s not a urban fantasy either because there’s a definite romance influenced sexy times, smoldering, and kisses abound that does not spell Urban Fantasy. There’s a definite increase in the sizzle department than in previous Andrews novels.

“But now I have something to prove to you,” he said.
“I promise you, I will win, and by the time I’m done, you won’t walk, you’ll run to jump into my bed.”
“Don’t hold your breath,” I told him.
All of his civilized veneer was gone now. The dragon faced me, teeth bared, claws out, breathing fire. “You won’t just sleep with me. You’ll be obsessed with me. You’ll beg me to touch you, and when that moment comes, we will revisit what happened here today.”

Remind you of someone? NUDGE NUDGE.

The plot was stellar, the world building was signature Andrews, and the dialogue had their usual fast and witty mark of excellence. I always turn into a big pile of mush whenever I read Ilona Andrews.

SIGH.

WHEEEEEEE!!!

OMG LOOKIE!

BOO-YA!

I’M DEAD FROM EXCITEMENT.

5 Star Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss



My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as “quothe.” Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I’ve had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it’s spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.

“The Flame” is obvious if you’ve ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it’s unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire.

“The Thunder” I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age.

I’ve never thought of “The Broken Tree” as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic.

My first mentor called me E’lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.

But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant “to know.”

I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe’s legend.


Hold on a sec….I gotta breath for a sec. Too many damn emotions.

Dear Patrick Rothfuss, thank you for writing a fantasy novel that I’m able to read over and over, without being bored in the slightest.

Dear Patrick Rothfuss, thank you for writing a fantasy novel with women that I can admire.

Dear Patrick Rothfuss, thank you for writing a fantasy novel that doesn’t feel like a repeat of every other fucking fantasy novel out there.

Dear Patrick Rothfuss, curse you. You have ruined all other epic fantasy novels for me.


Now, for all of you fellow readers out there:

If you haven’t read this book, let me make things clear for you: Walk over to your book shelf. Pick up the largest fucking book you have. Make sure it’s a hardcover. Now, hit yourself on the head with it. There you go. All fixed. Now you realize your past mistakes, right? Nod your head. GOOD.

See, there’s this magical world. Only it’s not what you would imagine at first. It’s dark, mysterious, disgusting, weird, and completely interesting in every way possible.

There’s also this guy. His name is Kvothe. He’s an innkeeper. You know that cool guy that serves you beer and tells you stories? Yeah. He’s that guy. He’s quiet, but badass. He’s quick with the words and interesting in every way possible.

He’s not what he seems. He’s just a cool dude who’s a little down in the dumps. You know, past grievances and all that. He tells us his story. How the kid who once had the most loving family ended up an orphan on the streets. How the orphan with no money got into a University. How the foolish boy became a man.

Many readers may argue that Kvothe is too perfect. But really? I’d disagree. The dude messes up again and again and again and again. I like that fact. Because Rothfuss makes it very clear that this is the story of a genius boy. It’s made very clear the type of story Rothfuss wants to tell us, or rather the type of story Kvothe wants to tell us.

He’s the type of guy I love to read about: witty, smart, constantly distracted by hilarious things, bookish, snarky, and interesting. He’s fascinating to me. The way his mind works makes me want to read more just to know how that brain of his ticks. He’s very detail oriented. He focuses on things no one else would ever think of focusing on. Tiny little things that make all the pieces come together. He’d figure it out in a couple minutes whereas someone else would be staring at that damn puzzle for days.

He even came up with a song after his own personal epic bully:

“He’s a well-bred ass, you can see it in his stride!
And for a copper penny he will let you take a ride!”

I rarely laugh out loud while reading. It happens….NEVER. It says a lot that I was falling over my chair laughing when I read this scene. Snorting. Chuckling. Eyes watering. YEP.

There’s just something completely fucking hilarious when Kvothe says or does something funny. Most epic fantasy heroes I read are….very serious. Boring. And generally speaking, uninteresting.

Now, since this is the story of how a boy becomes a man, it should involve areas of the heart. HELL YES. But the great thing about the romance-parts in this book is that they don’t dominate the book at all. Yes. Thank you. No insta-love. No insta-lust. No beer goggles. Kvothe and Denna are fucking wonderful. They’re so stubborn and clueless with love. It was even more fun to watch their friendship build, the second time around.

Some readers hate Denna. I don’t. I love her. I think she’s a great example of a woman in epic fantasy who isn’t one dimensional or a stereotype. She feels real. She doesn’t shy away from being a girl. But at the same time, she’s completely baller. She deals with life as she see’s fit. She knows the reality of her situation and does what she has to. She knows that sometimes in order to survive, sometimes you can’t be the kind damsel in distress. And she’s no damsel. She’s no blushing virgin either.

“Why would I wear a knife?” Denna asked. “I am a delicate blossom and all that. A woman who goes around wearing a knife is obviously looking for trouble.” She reached deep into her pocket and brought out a long, slender piece of metal, glittering all along one edge. “However a woman who carries a knife is ready for trouble. Generally speaking, it’s easier to appear harmless. It’s less trouble all around.”

I’ve been talking so much about the characters because that’s what I love most. But the world…geez. Makes a lot of fantasy books look obsolete in comparison. The thing about this world is that the magic is kind of imagined in a way a chemist or an engineer would think magic would work. The magic and all the details are explained. The author makes it very clear to the reader without boring you or giving you too much information. There are different parts of the magic. There are words for magic, of course. But there’s more to it than that. It’s not just the word that makes it work. There’s a certain science to it, almost. You know what? Screw it. Patrick explains it so much more than I ever could. No doubt. I am not a writer and I don’t want to be. That shit is hard to do.

I know that some people argue that this book has no straight plot. But that’s not really a valid argument because the author makes it very very clear that this is the story of a hero. He’s telling it to us. We switch from third point of view, to what Kvothe is telling us. But more than that, in real life we don’t have things happen to us in a straight cut line. It’s not an organized thing. It’s not that the book is scattered. It’s not. It’s just that he’s telling us what happens to him in the oder that they happened. In order to understand the real gut of the story, we have to understand how he got there. We have to see the painful backstory. But, it’s not boring. Not in the slightest. The ride there is a roller coaster. It’s fast paced, complicated, sad, and endearing. I loved every word.

Oh! There’s even this creature that blows out blue fire…for mating purposes. HEHEHE.

The first time I read this book, I…I…..I had no words for the power this book had over me. But this time, I felt so much more. I learned so much more. I could pay attention so much more. I felt like this:

“…I will slit you open and splash around like a child in a muddy puddle. I’ll string a fiddle with your guts and make you play it while I dance.”

The first time: I was an incurable fangirl…still am.
The second time: I’ve been gutted.

Now since I’ve read this book only once and I’ve read the second zero times, I will go on to that one. Truthfully, I’m a little scared. I’ve heard very sad things about that one. Let the tragic times commence.

Five Star Review: Crushed by Eliza Crewe

Meda’s back. This time she has a friend.

The battle is over; the choice has been made. Meda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.

The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”

After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.


Euphoria should have been the title of this book. Seriously, I had an incurable state of euphoria. There was no end. It still lingers.

I’m going to steal this phrase from the Aussies:

This is my jam. This book is completely my jam.

I would’ve rather jammed a giant poker in my eye than admit that this book is better than the first. I would’ve done it. No way that Crushed could be better than Cracked. YOU LIE KHANH, YOU LIE!!!!

*she says while pointing her nose up in defiance*

Ass handed.

But now, having read this brilliant and Napoleonic epic-ness of great Young Adult literature, I can fairly say I was wrong.

Our darling Meda suffers greatly after the events of Cracked. They tell her what to do all the time. She’s seen as a monster. Given, she is one. Not such a shocker, truly. However a certain fella we met in book one shows up. As the plot moves along, Meda and Jo’s complex relationship falls into chaos. Meda soon comes to realize things about her self. She grows so much in this one book. Character growth always becomes a hard sell for readers, but this book lies amongst one of those books with excellent character development.

Meda does confidence right: she’s smart, interesting, kickass, and sure of herself. But, she does it without being vain and annoying. I don’t know how. Eliza Crewe must have some magic curse where she’s able to figure these things out.

Crewe is a magician. I’m almost sure of it.

Meda’s a killer. There’s no questioning it. Straight up, she’s a bloody chick. And…she doesn’t do a guilt trip about it either. She’s sick of being controlled by the Crusaders. She’s wants freedom. She wants to eat junk food and be able to hand people’s Asses up front and center. Preferably on a pedestal.

She may or may not have ended herself in a kindergarten glass. She’s a class act, this chick.

So you’ve probably read many other reviews by now and you may have been wondering “is there romance in the second?”

Yes, yes there is. While there may be romance, Meda doesn’t become the foolish girl who falls in love with the bad boy. Oh you can bet there’s drooling. Because the great thing about Meda is that she doesn’t shy away from her feelings when she’s attracted to someone. She appreciated the male specimen. She thinks first, though. She’s always sure he’s up to something, mainly plotting to get into her pants. Smart girl.

You can love a monster, it can even love you back, but that doesn’t change its nature. This isn’t Beauty and the Beast where my kiss would transform the monster into a prince. If anything, it’s Shrek, and his kiss brings out the ogre in me.

Do not be afraid that there’s a slight romantic relationship in this novel. It’s a slow burn and it builds gradually. Meda can kick his ass any day, he knows it and more importantly she knows it.

“Hero?” I roll my eyes. “You’re an agent…”
“…of evil,” he finishes. “I know, I know. But we’re all the heroes in our own little dramas,” he says smoothly.
I laugh. “And what role do I play in your little drama?”
“Unwitting dupe.”
“Hm. Looks like I’m gonna kill you sooner than I thought.”

But oh the tingly emotions I felt while reading this. I kept sending messages to my friend Kat involving lots of these !!!!!!!!

I laughed so much in this book. It doesn’t happen often where I’ll laugh out loud while reading. The quotes in this book? They kept building up in greatness. I don’t know which ones to choose. But here are a few that I loved more than most.

Get him! My hormones scream.
Don’t fall for it, my brain cautions.
Pretty! They whine. Stupid hormones.
Calm down, hormones. We are just pumping him-(really brain, you chose the word pumping?)-for information. He is literally evil. We need to keep our distance.
A pause.
Get him!

Not things that bump. Bumps are clumsy and inelegant. They are sounds made by creatures not at home in the darkness. I don’t bump. I crunch in the night. I crack;I splatter;I splash. But I never, ever bump.

I’m utterly surprised that I actually liked the romantic parts in this book. But Meda is just so smart. She knows what she’s getting herself into. It doesn’t dominate the book, either. I want to read everything by this woman now. I want to know what happened with that ending. I’m internally screaming right now. I will be stalking book three’s release date, most respectively.

5 Star Review: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

“Imagine who she would be if we unleashed her onto the world. I think she would rip the breath from all of us.”

5 stars: because I have no regrets.

I planned to like this book, but I did not plan to like the characters.

Picking up this book, I had been completely 100% sure that I would hate Froi all the way through. When I first read Finnikin of the Rock, I hated the little fuck for what he did. Those who’ve read the first will know what I’m talking about.

Scrolling through reviews from friends on this book, I was confused. Why did they like this book? It’s from Froi’s point of view. FROI! The little shit who did that thing in book one?

But, I digress. This book changed my opinion about an author’s ability to make you love characters you hate. I don’t mean the bad boy who turns soft because he gives a pretty speech to the heroine. I mean Marchetta fully and completely twists and turns and manipulates and crushes your thoughts as she connives her way into that head of yours. It’s not even obvious what she’s doing until it’s happened. You won’t even see it happening. I didn’t.

Melina Marchetta mind-fucked my brain with her master writing skills.

The ways in which Melina overtook my brain:

1. The characters:

Almost every character in this novel is unlikeable in one form or another, but the character I found the most interesting: Quintana.

She’s probably the weirdest character you’ll ever see. Not just in this book, but in the entirety of the Young Adult genre. She’s got crooked teeth, wears a big pink dress, and her hair is always clumpy and full of dirt. She has multiple personalities. The entire time you’re wondering “what’s Quintana’s deal? Is she actually this fucking crazy?”

Quintana, grew up in a place where everybody hates her and calls her a whore. She’s the last-born. When she was a young girl she made a prophecy: the prophecy that she would carry the first child since the oracle’s massacre. Basically, there hasn’t been a child born in Charyn in eighteen years.

Many might hate her for her simple façade, utter madness, and the fact that she’s not exactly rational. She’s not rational because she’s had many assassins after her since she was a child. If you grew up in a place where everyone hates you, everyone wants to kill you, everyone expects you to get pregnant, everyone expects you to do as you’re told what kind of person would you turn into? How mad would you be? Would you be the same person if you grew up in a different environment? What would it feel like to be called worthless and a whore all day long? Where a man who see’s no worth in you expects you to have sex with him? Would you fight all those years or would you be dead inside?

I felt like Quintana’s madness was justified because of the way she was treated all her life:

By now Quintana was shouting the words, pounding at her head with her palm. Froi grabbed hold of her, but she slipped out of his hands and onto the ground, crawling into a crevice in a wall, pressing herself into it as though she wanted to disappear inside the stone. He knelt, taking her face between his hands.
“It doesn’t go away if I count,” she said, sobbing. “Nothing goes away.”

Even though at times, I got annoyed, I could see how she turned out the way that she did. They call her birthday the day of weeping, if that gives you a sense of how little people care for her.

But despite all of this: Quintana is a she-wolf. She’s strong in ways you don’t even realize until the crux of the novel. At first, you think she’s a weak and innocent child. She’s fierce and protective of those she comes to love.

Froi is confused by Quintana. He doesn’t understand her. He doesn’t understand why she says the things she does, why she lets people say those awful things to her, and why she only wants one thing from him.

Froi introduced me to a side of him I had never seen before:

Three years ago, when he hardly knew a word of Lumateran, his tongue would twist around all the strange pronunciations of his new language, causing great amusement among those who saw Froi as nothing more than street scum. Here comes the feef wif nofing to show for, they’d taunt.

Having read this novel, I now know why he did what he did and how he feels about it:

“I fear that I will do something to bring harm to those I love,” Froi said. “So I follow their rules to ensure that I won’t.”
“But what if you bring harm or fail to protect those you don’t know? Or don’t love? Will you care as much?”
“Probably not.”
“Then choose another bond. One written by yourself. Because it is what you do for strangers that counts in the end.”

I haven’t forgiven the little shit because I feel like what he did was truly awful. It’s not something that I can fully forgive. Maybe I never will, but I’ll have to see in the next novel. But even with that said, I couldn’t help but like Froi. He’s a cool guy. He’s witty and sarcastic. He doesn’t take anybody completely seriously. He’s very laid back.

2. The feelings:

I felt a lot in this novel. I’ve felt more in this novel than I have in a long long time, while reading a good book.

More than once I could feel my eyes popping out of my skull, my hands gripping the book to the point where they might have bled, just wondering what’s going to happen next. By the end of the novel, my book was bent and the edges were frayed.

The relationship between Quintana and Froi was agonizing and….nuts. That would be the only other word I could describe it.

“If I see that pointy chin and nose hidden, I’ll have to hurt someone.”
“You’re supposed to say I don’t have a pointy chin or pointy nose,” she said, somewhat dryly.
“But you do,” he said. “And you also have pointy eyes,” he added as he kissed both lids, “and a pointy mouth,” he teased, pressing his lips against hers, “and a pointy tongue.”
…”And a pointy, pointy heart.”

It builds slowly and surely. They began to know each other through talking. They didn’t like each other at first. I found it hard to believe they would even like each other slightly by the end of the novel. It’s not that there were glares and fighting, it’s that Quintana didn’t see herself having any type of relationship with anyone. She didn’t even think sex could be pleasurable.

Against my control, I fell for this couple despite their utter madness and irrationality.

The last magnanimous thing that turned my mind to mush: The writing

So beautiful. What I loved about Marchetta’s writing is that it wasn’t flowery. She didn’t try to throw a bunch of purple prose in an attempt to make you feel things. Her writing was beautiful in it’s gritty feel without being gratuitous. She had subtle ways in making it beautiful, but didn’t overwhelm the reader with it either:

…they spoke of Charyn and Froi and Rafuel of Sebastabol and curses and last borns and Sarnak, and then Charyn again and taxes and empty Flatland villages, and then Charyn again. When all that talk was over, they stood before each other ready for the mightiest of battles, which they saved until last.

Concerns readers may have:

Some readers might say that Marchetta is one of the author’s who committed slut shaming. I’d disagree. Here’s why: the mention of a character being called a whore isn’t slut shaming. Lirah’s occupation as a prostitute is factual, that is her job unfortunately. People call her a whore, with spite or not, as a fact. I see slut shaming as something the author does through descriptions such as catty female behavior, and actual name calling someone the main character doesn’t like and things of that nature. I often feel that many reviewers see the word slut or whore and their brains instantly go to “slut shaming!”. This is a problem because you can’t call something slut shaming without thinking of the author’s intent, the character’s role, and whether it’s slut shaming or whether it’s a characters occupation. The people of Charyn calling Quintana a whore is done because 1. They hate her for what she’s done and 2. The author wanted to show us what the character goes through.

Cracked by Eliza Crewe Review

5 star review:

POP THE CHAMPAGNE! or in my case tequila. What can I say, champagne is way too light for my tastes.

A heroine to root for. She’ll suck your soul out. This book made my heart go “thump thump” after all the years of dead silence. I’ve been so tired lately of Young Adult heroines lately. So many TSTL (too stupid to live) heroines makes me want to have a bonfire. All the slut shaming and obsessions over boys and body image gets really sickening. It’s so fucking refreshing to find a book that I’m proud to put on my shelf next to Richelle Mead and Rae Carson. This book may have even contaminated those books in comparison. The heroine’s snark and humor is so much more relatable than all of that fake humor writers try to emulate to make the reader like the heroine. Crewe is one of those authors that actually understands realistic dialogue and humor. The snark, the humor, the twisted heroine! I love this book to pieces.

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Summary:

The story starts with Meda describing the cracked walls on the ceiling of the asylum where she casually plans a dead little girl’s revenge. Meda our evil heroine eats people’s souls, but not ghosts. She kills for souls. Oh yes, the asylum nurse who murdered the little annoying dead girl gets what’s coming to him; thy name is Meda. Two men in business suits arrive at the asylum and start to question her with all sorts of confusing questions, thus we learn about Meda’s demon kin. A boy conveniently shows up and assumes our heroine actually needs his help; but she prefers this since she’s not a TSTL heroine. Meda, unlike most heroines, wants to live. His name is Malachi, but he prefers Chi. Almost sounds like Chai tea, doesn’t it?

Anyways Chi and his good friend Jo (who’s a girl by the way), Jo smartly doesn’t believe that Meda is an innocent for one second, and takes Meda back to their school for Crusaders. Crusaders have always existed since the medieval Templars. They’ve just continued their belief to protect the innocent from demons in secret. Meda follows along with their idea that she’s a beacon because she wants to discover their base and secrets. But more conveniently, demons are after her:

But a strong dose of self-preservation holds me back. I’ve already learnt the  hard way that the demons are stronger than me – or at least a lot more accustomed to fighting people who can fight back.

But let’s think about it, either she could just resist and resist their silly ideas. Or she can have protection and learn knowledge about those who would normally kill her for what she is. Please, it’s a no brainer. Follow the idiot boy and the smart badass chick for your own self-preservation. Luckily for us, Meda’s a smart girl. She learns that her life isn’t what she thought. She gets fucking pissed off. I would too if I learned my family and heritage isn’t what I thought. She wants revenge.

What I loved is how close Chi, Jo, and Meda become. Meda eventually learns to trust and yes even understand what it means to have feelings. Let me be clear: emotions confuse the shit out of her. She’s evil, at least according to her. I don’t fucking blame her. Emotions confuse and scare the shit out of me too. Eliza Crewe created a heroine and a story that I don’t think I will ever get over. This will be a book I’ll re-read over and over and over and over and over. It’s that good. Oh and Crewe? If you’re reading this: I blame you for ruining all other YA heroines for me.


Plot:

The plot actually makes sense in this novel. Crewe even puts little clues along the way that you don’t recognize until you’ve reached the end of the story. It’s like Blues Clues only a thousand times harder and not as fucking cutsie. The plot doesn’t slow down. There’s always something the reader’s discovering through character development, dialogue, or description. Crewe creates a secret society that didn’t become annoying or seem unrealistic. She has the good guys as motorcycle riding demon killers and the bad guys as business suit wearing demons.

By the way, there’s actually a motorcycle club called the Templar Knights:

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The plot might scare away some readers who are a little hesitant to read books with a slightly religious theme. I’ll reassure you that there isn’t a religious theme. There may be demons and Templars, but religion doesn’t become a big issue in this book. It’s all about the characters relationships mixed in with the plot. Crewe wrote a fast paced plot that had my eyes widening continuously as each page passed by.


Characters:

Meda, actual name Andromeda, now defines the most kickass heroine I’ve ever read: R.I.P. Rose Hathaway. Open the scene for evil soul sucking Andromeda Melange. She’s snarky, witty, and a smart self-preserving girl. Screw courage if it’s going to kill you, defines the type of heroine Meda is. Who says smart isn’t kickass? Would you rather have the TSTL heroine who walks down a dark alley without any idea what she’s getting herself into or would you prefer a smart heroine who actually thinks about her situation before she jumps into the blazing fire? Meda’s also pro-girl power and she doesn’t obsess about her looks. She doesn’t go on describing one girl’s outfit and then describes herself. No, Crewe doesn’t do that shit. She gives us a smart and realistic heroine who plans out her decisions and thinks about her situation. Meda doesn’t look at every girl and think “slut”. But there’s one incident that I feel I should address. Theres one girl who Meda does slut shame:

…the girl asks, leaning in and flashing some cleavage. I didn’t even know they made low-cut sports bras.

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Then she goes on calling her a “tramp” which really disappointed me. It’s one time, which is considerably better than most Young Adult novels.

This girl is hilarious. She makes fun of Chi and his willingness to just except and trust everyone around him:

This boy might have answers; I just have to take them from him. I consider the many tools at my disposal…and settle on my weapon of choice – one so infrequently used I need to dust it off first.
My eyes fill with tears. “Wha-“ I swallow hard “- what were those things?”

She acts like a complete damsel in distress to trick him. She’s hilarious in the way she snarkily remarks about Chi’s big ego. She’s no damsel:

“It’s OK. You don’t have to be scared, I’ll protect you.”
Big brawny man, protect his damsel! I try to look angelic and helpless – Beacon-ish. The haircut and the blood can’t be helping. Fortunately he seems particularly thick.

She’s the one who will betray and kill her savior.

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Jo hates that she can never truly be a crusader. She’s wants to fight the demons. She’s angry, frustrated, and also a little depressed. She wishes people would treat her with respect, without thinking the word “cripple”. People don’t like Jo. They think she’s a freak because she can no longer be a crusader. More than anything she wishes her best friend Chi wouldn’t see her as an inept. Jo isn’t innocent or weak; she even kicks some demon ass. She see’s through Meda’s fake story of the innocent girl who needs Chi to protect her. She’s a leather wearing, motorcycle riding, girl with the mouth of a sailor (you don’t actually get to read her swearing damn it) who fights for her right to fight beside her best friend Chi.


Relationships:

One of the best parts of Eliza Crewe’s novel is the relationship between Meda and Jo. They don’t start out as friends. Jo hates Meda’s guts at the beginning, but Meda always sort of reluctantly like Jo. Meda refers to Jo as “gimp” at the beginning of the novel. Meda doesn’t see Jo as inferior to any other crusader. There’s a great scene where they really start to become friends. Most people would dislike what Media says to Jo. But I feel that it shows that Meda doesn’t care that Jo has a leg that doesn’t work correctly. She doesn’t treat Jo as fragile and she doesn’t feel sad for her either. This makes it a wonderful friendship because they see each other as equals:

I don’t care that your life is ruined. You’d be an idiot if you weren’t. Hell, I don’t even like you and I’m angry a bout it. I’m just saying you’re stupid for being angry for being angry-that’s ridiculous.

They aren’t forced to get along, but they slowly start to like each other when each starts to reveal more about who they are. Jo and Meda’s friendship grows realistically and develops without any fake circumstances.

Chi, Jo, and Meda become the best of friends by the end of the novel. Their close friendship develops into something where even when they discover each other’s secrets, they still overcome the drama without making it seem unrealistic. This book becomes about trust, friendship, and betrayal. My meaning: romance is not the focus of this novel. Eliza Crewe is just that fucking awesome.

I can’t imagine a more fucking entertaining, hilarious, snarky, and wonderful book. August is too long to wait for the next book.*nudge nudge* ;p