City of B

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1) by Soman Chainani
Published by HarperCollins on May 14, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 488
Source: Self Purchase
Goodreads
four-stars

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?


I read The School for Good and Evil many years ago, and had always meant to continue on with the rest of the series, but one thing led to another, and I sort-of forgot all about it. Well, after spending some time removing books from my Goodreads TBR list, ones that I knew I’d never actually get to, I came across book two in the The School for Good and Evil series. I recalled enjoying book one, so then and there I decided I wanted to finally continue with the series. However,  first I needed to re-read book one, because it had been so many years, and I definitely knew I didn’t remember enough to read books 2, 3, and so forth.

And, wow! It only took about 50 pages, before I remembered that I loved The School for Good and Evil. This series is a delicious, magical dish, concocted with clever, hilarious, heartwarming, and at times, very dark ingredients. It explodes with creativity and magic, and I hated having to put it down for silly things like work, sleep, etc.   

The School for Good and Evil is a shining example of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. You have two girls, one dark, sullen, and macabre, and one who’s vivacious, bright, and constantly called extremely beautiful. You’d think it’d be obviously as which girl belongs in which school, but not so fast! Looks can be extremely deceiving, and in a surprising move to everyone in this book, the melancholy girl is dropped into the school for good, and the angelic-looking one, the school for evil.

I loved how this book was all about shades of gray.  There’s no such thing as perfect. Everyone has their own strengths, flaws, and weaknesses, and hard choices to make, and those choices are what defines you, not your appearance and/or personality. Being beautiful doesn’t make you good, and being ugly doesn’t make you bad.

I’m so glad I reread this book! It’s got magic, budding romance, and lots and lots of fairy-tale characters and creatures. Plus, it’s all about sisters before misters. *high five*

four-stars
City of B

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4) by Tahereh Mafi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4) by Tahereh MafiRestore Me (Shatter Me, #4) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on March 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Dystopian, Supernatural
Pages: 448
Source: Self Purchase
Goodreads
three-stars

Juliette Ferrars thought she'd won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she's still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she's got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?


 

I wish that the Shatter Me series had ended at 3 books, because Restore Me left a bad taste in my mouth. This book felt like it belonged to a completely different series. The original three books had always been a bit dark and scary, but Restore Me took it a step further. It morphed into a horror story. The last part of the book especially shocked and disturbed me.

Restore Me didn’t feel right to me, not just because it stepped into the horror genre, but also because I didn’t recognize the characters anymore. Except for Kenji, who’s still that fiercely protective, lovable goofball, with a good heart, I didn’t recognize Warner or Juliette. It felt like their characters reverted back to their book 1 versions. I thought Juliette and Warner made all this remarkable progress with themselves and their relationships in books 1-3, but then it all went to hell in this 4th book. I mean, yes, Warner still had some issues to work through, which I understood, but Juliette just reverted back to that scared, low-confident, little girl trapped in the darkness who we were introduced to in book 1.

The last book, Ignite Me, was left a bit open-ended, so we were left to imagine what the future held for Juliette, Warner, Kenji, and all the rest of our favorite characters. At the time I was bummed, because I was dying for more, but now I wish that the series had ended there. I felt like book 3 had a great send-off.

So how come I gave this book 3 stars when I’ve only talked negatively about it so far? Well, because it was still a decent read. Like I previously mentioned. Kenji was still awesome, which was a relief, because besides Warner, he made books 1-3 for me.  What I also liked about Restore Me, is how we learned more about the other sectors, and their leaders.  It was great having the world and cast of characters expand.

So yeah…The ending of Restore Me was insane and creepy, and I’m not a big fan of where the story seems to be headed, but regardless of my disgruntle-ness, I’ll still be reading the books to come.

 

three-stars
City of B

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on February 4, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural, Dystopian
Pages: 421
Source: Self Purchase
Goodreads
four-half-stars

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all.

Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

 

 


 This review doesn’t take into account book #4 in the Shatter Me series, which surprisingly came out four years after Ignite Me was released.

Ignite Me is my favorite book in the Shatter Me series. Juliette’s character ARC came full circle. She finally learned how to love herself and her abilities. She’s not scared anymore. She’s not alone and she’s not weak. What an incredible journey Juliette has had!

Warner… swoon! He’s always made this series for me, with his many sad, sweet, and sexy scenes. I love a lot of things about him, but especially the fact that he’s been Juliette’s number one fan since day one. He believes that she’s powerful, and can overcome any obstacle. He’s so incredibly supportive. Swoon!!

Adam… ugh! In his novella, we started seeing a very unappealing side of him, one that continues to grow in Ignite Me. Juliette originally thought that Adam was perfect, and that he could do no wrong. Adam finally becomes a realistic person, when his big flaws start to show and grow in Ignite Me. He’s pissed off, and immature, throughout this book, which irritated me and the characters, because there’s so much stuff going on in Ignite Me, like, I don’t know – a WAR. He was such a drama-lama.

Ignite Me was great! I felt like Juliette blossomed. She finally started listening and acting on her heart. Looking back, I think as a whole, this series was solid. It never rushed through creating the setting, the romances, and the characters. Everything felt well-developed.

four-half-stars
City of B

Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5) by Tahereh MafiFracture Me (Shatter Me, #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on December 17, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural, Dystopian
Pages: 62
Source: Self Purchase
Goodreads
four-stars

In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, Fracture Me is told from Adam's perspective.

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam's focus couldn't be further from the upcoming battle. He's reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend's life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James's safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It's time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam's newly discovered half brother, won't be that easy. The Reestablishment can't tolerate a rebellion, and they'll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.


I wasn’t thrilled to find out that Fracture Me was from Adam’s POV. Even before Warner came along, I was getting bored with the Adam/Juliette relationship.

Even though I didn’t like what Adam thought or had to say in Fracture Me, I’m glad I read it. I never doubted that Adam loved Juliette, but I was surprised and a bit upset when it was revealed that his love has been based mostly on a commitment. He feels responsible for her, that he needs to protect her, that she’s a type of mission he needs to complete.

Adam doesn’t believe that Juliette can be strong. He wants to lock her up and not let her get involved with the battles against the reestablishment, because he’s afraid she’s too fragile and would just be hindrance to the rest of the crew. I lost a lot of respect for Adam in this novella. He reminded me of Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses which wasn’t a good thing. They both want to be that super macho guy who has a delicate, wispy girl waiting at home for them. Gah! I hate those guys.

The one good thing I can say about Adam in this novella is that he started to get his priorities straight. He’s forced to make an incredibly important decision, and I was pleased with his choice. It made me believe that he can grow and change in the future and that maybe one day I won’t dislike him so much.

four-stars
City of B

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2) by Tahereh MafiUnravel Me (Shatter Me, #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on February 5th 2013
Pages: 461
Goodreads
five-stars

It should have taken Juliette a single touch to kill Warner. But his mysterious immunity to her deadly power has left her shaken, wondering why her ultimate defense mechanism failed against the person she most needs protection from.

She and Adam were able to escape Warner’s clutches and join up with a group of rebels, many of whom have powers of their own. Juliette will finally be able to actively fight against The Reestablishment and try to fix her broken world. And perhaps these new allies can help her shed light on the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

The first third of Unravel Me bored me. There wasn’t much action and Juliette just puttered around in the underground anti-establishment community she joined at the end of Shatter Me.

Juliette barely spends any time with Adam in Unravel Me. Whenever they do it’s always for short periods of time like breakfast. Adam started to annoy me in this book. One minute he’s deflecting Juliette’s feelings and then the next he’s eyeing her like he wants to spread her on top of the table in the dining hall and ravish her.

If we never got the novella Destroy Me, if we never got a glimpse into Warner’s mind and heart, I wouldn’t have minded Juliette and Adam’s angst as much. But ever since Destroy Me, I couldn’t stop thinking about Warner and Juliette and how their pairing would be so much better, hotter. This sounds totally harsh, but I didn’t even care what Adam’s problem was in this book. I just kept thinking Warner Warner Warner. When are we gonna see Warner again? When is Juliette gonna Shatter (haha see what I did there) Warner’s dark exterior and see the light within.

When Warner and Juliette finally see each other again it’s pure magic. They connect on a deep level that Juliette can’t reach with anyone else, especially Adam. Juliette tells Warner things that she hasn’t and is too afraid to say to anyone, even to Adam. Juliette feels like she’s a monster. and since she thinks Warner’s a monster too, she doesn’t fear telling him what’s in the deepest, darkest part of her heart.

This review is basically a love letter to Warner. Adam and Juliette’s romance in book one was sweet, tender, and romantic. But once Warner opened up and shared what was in his heart I was so bored with Adam and was praying he’d just disappear. Yes, once again I sound and feel horrible, but Juliette and Warner have a connection that is so deep, electric, and sexy, a connection that doesn’t even come close to what she has with Adam.

I also liked Unravel Me because Juliette grew a lot. Her time away from Adam was good. She spent her life ostracized, depressed and withdrawn until Adam came along. Adam was the first person to be able to touch her. He was the only one who ever cared about and remembered her. I felt like  Juliette used him as a crutch in book one and most of book two, and that she wasn’t able to start working through her own issues until they had time apart. In Unravel Me Juliette begins to feel confident in herself and her extraordinary powers. She learns how to trust and connect with others.

I read this book in one sitting. All 400+ pages. #sorrynotsorry #noshame

five-stars