Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

Okay, I am so beyond late with my review for this book. I’ve had a hard time with school and my personal life, on top of not being able to purchase the book. But hey, it looks like things are starting to look up.

As you all know, I love Richelle Mead’s young adult novels and series. They’re amazing! Fairly recently, the cover for the third and final book in the series was released (yes it is as amazing as the cover for this book as well as The Glittering Court In case you are wondering, this isn’t a sequel to Glittering CourtMidnight Jewel recounts what was happening in Mira’s life, from her point of view, at the same time it was happening to Adelaide, i.e. Elizabeth Whitmore.

So here we go

Synopsis

In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.

via Goodreads

Review

Oh my goodness, I had such a blast reading this novel. Things were kind of crazy to say the least.

Mirabel “Mira”, is absolutely one of my favorite characters. She compares to Rose so much it was great to read. Basically she isn’t one to back down from a fight if she believes in the cause.

Grant and Mira are hilarious, and infuriating. Half the time when those two interacted I was laughing like crazy or was frustrated because those two were being frustrating. As to what their relationship is, that’s for you to discover when you read the novel.

We learn about Mira’s past and her secrets. My friends, her secrets are dark af. We also learn where she was disappearing off to all the time. It was impressive that she didn’t get caught…often. The drama wasn’t as intense as it had been in Glittering Court, but there was some.

The things Mira got involved in were different. I think Richelle’s work is becoming more and more complex, and I am here for it!!!!

Seriously, there’s feminism (although with RIchelle that’s expected), it also briefly covered the LGBT+ community. Let’s not forget espionage, the thievery, etc., etc..

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this novel. I kind of wanted to learn more about Grant or Aiana, but hey the book was about Mira, so I’m okay.  There was a few comedic moments and such and the ending made me so happy. Mira is hilarious and so strong, considering what she’s been through. I highly recommend this novel and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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If you have read this novel, comment your thoughts and opinions down below.

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The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

This novel follows the descendants of four fairy tale villains and one of the Kings of the original fairy tales. Yes, they are the same characters from Disney’s Descendants and Descendants 2.

Synopsis

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

-via Goodreads

Review

Okay, so you guys know about the hype surrounding these books. I mean hello, there’s two Disney movies. And yes they are the same characters, just not in the same light as we see them in the movies.

Honestly, this whole book felt like a prequel to the Descendants movie. It’s as if only just now get to meet them. And gosh do I feel sorry for the V.K.s. But it does explain why they were super close in the movie.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the characters not mentioned or even seen in the movie? There were so many. We even got to see the Forbidden Fortress. Come on Disney!

Ben and his parents are a bit more complicated. We do get to see Ben deal with the intricacies of taking over his father’s job. And we don’t see much interaction. And Ben, his feeling that way makes perfect sense, is this why he makes that declaration???

My main question is: was the movie inspired by the ending of this novel or was the second book a way to elaborate on the ending of the movie? Let me know what you guys think down in the comments section.


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Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle

This is book four in the series.

You guys, I truly do love Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, but I had such a hard time getting through this particular book. Actually, I didn’t even finish it.

Synopsis

Some things have to be believed to be seen.

Sandy and his twin brother, Dennys, are the practical, down-to-earth members of the Murry family. They have never paid much attention to their scientist parents’ talk of highly theoretical things like tesseracts and farondalae. But now something has happened to Sandy and Dennys that drastically stretches their powers of belief. And, when disaster threatens the oasis where they have made their home, can they find a way back to their own time?

Many Waters is the fourth book in Madeleine L’Engle’s classic Time Quintet.

Review

She based her story off of the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Sure she took artistic license with this novel, but I just couldn’t get into it. I have actually tried to read it once before, but I can never make it through the book.

Before you ask, yes, this is technically a children’s book. I think that because in the previous book in the series, the twins were much older, it made it difficult to go back in time. At least, for me. This book isn’t particularly long, it just wasn’t my kind of story. I’m biased and prefer Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin.

By any mean, this doesn’t mean I don’t recommend the series. It’s a wonderful series that teaches kids that there are good entities and evil entities. It also helps them realize that, while they aren’t perfect, they are unique and that makes them beautiful.

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A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

This is the sequel to A Wrinkle in Time. It’s also one of my favorite books in the series.

Synopsis

A Wind in the Door is a fantastic adventure story involving Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe, the chief characters of A Wrinkle in Time. The seed from which the story grows is a rather ordinary situation of Charles Wallace’s having difficulty in adapting to school. He is extremely bright, so much so that he gets punched around a lot for being “different”. He is also strangely, seriously ill (mitochondritis – the destruction of farandolae, minute creatures of the mitochondria in the blood). Determined to help Charles Wallace in school, Meg pays a visit to his principal, Mr. Jenkins, a dry, cold man with whom Meg herself has had unfortunate run-ins. The interview with Mr. Jenkins goes badly and Meg worriedly returns home to find Charles Wallace waiting for her. “There are,” he announces, “dragons in the twins’ vegetable garden. Or there were. They’ve moved to the north pasture now.”

Dragons? Not really, but an entity, a being stranger by far than dragons; and the encounter with this alien creature is only the first step that leads Meg, Calvin, and Mr. Jenkins out into galactic space, and then into the unimaginable small world of a mitochondrion. And, at last, safely, triumphantly, home.

-via Goodreads

Review

In this one, Charles Wallace isn’t as involved in the story as much as Meg and Calvin. What I loved, is that Ms. L’Engle made their relationship a little more complex than what most children’s and young adult stories tend to do.

She also added a little more depth to a secondary character from the first novel in the Quintet. She also included him in their adventure. Some new characters are also created. For example, a cherubim and a Teacher. Teacher is capitalized because that is the only way I can differentiate it from what we consider teachers. It’s explained a little better in the book.

This series is a little ahead of its time. It’s set in the mid to late 1990’s but was written in the 1970’s. There’s really a lot going on, I really can’t go in-depth about it because of the whole spoiler thing.

Really, the whole book was about trying to save Charles Wallace. He’s become the outcast in their small town because of the way his mind works. But there’s more going on in the book than that.

And on that note, I won’t type another word on the subject because it will become spoiler-y.

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

So the first time I was introduced to this book when I was in fourth grade. A teacher read this to me and my classmates. She never finished it because after winter break we had a different teacher. Since then, I’ve read this series once in its entirety. In response to the new A Wrinkle in Time movie being made, I’m rereading this book.

Synopsis

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

-via Goodreads

Review

Whoa, this book was slightly disturbing. Well one part of it anyway. But it was such a good story. It’s about accepting who you are and all your faults. About realizing that everyone grows at their own pace. To never give up hope.

With a wide range of characters, that’s was never a dull moment. Between the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit, and the others, it was what definitely what makes for a science fiction novel. Then we have the Happy Medium, it’s really not what you think, but that was definitely a moment.

So, Meg and Calvin…is something going to happen there??? If you think about it, some of the children’s and young adult novels all have a small element of romance and true love and what not.

More crazy characters, we finally get to meet Mr Murry. Oh my goodness, Meg finally puts her big girl pants on that kind of had me impressed. A lot of what happens you really do need to read for yourself. And whoa, Calvin…that actually made me happy.

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Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Richelle Mead is seriously one of my favorite authors. She’s written two, no three great Young Adult series that hold a very dear place in my heart. While she does have two other adult series and a standalone novel, this is the first of those adult series that I have read. Now let’s get this party started.

Synopses

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

-Via Goodreads

Review

I don’t even know where to start, as is usually the case. I have officially become obsessed. It’s hard not to get caught up in the elaborate world(s) Richelle Mead creates.

While this novel is told in third person omnipotent, it’s not very difficult to keep track of who the narrator is following. In this particular novel, the story follows Mae, Justin, and Teresa, a.k.a Tessa. Three very different characters who have a very interesting relationship. Not only that but they are in completely different places in their lives when first introduced.

Tessa is a girl from a rural area of the country after everything has become organized and like super futuristic. Mae is feels like she’s being punished after a fight that occurred at a funeral. And Justin is just being his usual, charming self, but this time it’s in exile.

It’s such an intricate world. The country has no religion yet it allows certain religions to continue practice. The regular civilians are afraid of the country’s super-soldiers. Not only that, but most of the people are referred to in the same way that the Romans referred to their people. There were the patricians and the plebeians. And apparently there’s people that are prejudice towards both groups.

I think my favorite part about this whole novel was the mystery surrounding the deaths of all the nearly perfect people. By this, I mean the people who, after several diseases affected the population for years, had nearly perfect health. Mae is one of those perfect patricians. And that mystery is kind of insane.

Like, how does Richelle come up with these intricate mysteries? And can we talk about the budding romance between Mae and Justin? They seem to compliment each other but they have such a tense relationship. Literally, their entire relationship is hilarious and so tense. Like super tense. There’s this whole issue with lying and some kind of crazy deal with a god.

I hope that eventually Richelle continues with this series after completing The Glittering Court series. I had such a great time reading this and really want the other books in the series to also be published. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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If you’ve read or are currently reading this book, comment your thoughts down below. And don’t forget to follow for more book reviews.