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Muggle-Born.net is a (mostly) young adult book review blog run by Cialina.

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Illusions of Fate by Kiersten WhiteILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White Book Review
Publication Date: September 9th 2014 by HarperTeen
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: “I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White Book Review Overview:

  • World-building takes a while to develop but is worth the wait
  • Charming characters
  • One of the few standalones that I wish was either longer or was part of a series; companion novel please!!

Kiersten White’s Illusions of Fate is a great light historical fantasy – without it actually being set in the past. The time period of the novel is based on Edwardian England, but the novel takes place in the fictional nation of Albion. As a reader, I got all the best things of Edwardian England such as fancy dresses and galas and cute teacups, but I also got the great world that White created.

Jessamin leaves Melei, her island home, to pursue her studies at a boarding school in Albion. Jessamin struggles to survive in the foreign city and is subjected to discrimination because of her heritage. Jessamin juggles her schoolwork along with the chores at the hotel, where she works in exchange for room and board. But when she meets Finn, her whole life changes as she learns about the hidden magical world within Albion’s gentry.

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , | Words 489 words



The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin WassermanTHE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman Book Review
Publication Date: April 10th 2012 by Random House Children’s Books
Rating:  – Dreadful

Book Summary: It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman Book Review Overview:

  • I liked the Latin, but there is a lot of translating and not much action
  • Flimsy romance; no spark at all
  • The twists and turns of the plot were predictable

I first tried to listen to THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman over a year ago when I first got into audiobooks. The length of the audiobook is quite intimidating, and in the end, I just couldn’t get into it. I put it aside, and I hoped that I would pick it back up one day because I liked the concept. A year later, I decided to try again. Now that I listen to more audiobooks, I thought that I would have more patience for a really long book such as THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman. Unfortunately, the book still was not my cup of tea.

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, One Star - , , , , , | Words 531 words



Story of a Girl by Sara ZarrSTORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr Book Review
Publication Date: January 10th 2007 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Poor

Book Summary: When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother’s best friend—Deanna Lambert’s teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of “school slut,” she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr Book Review Overview:

  • Enjoyed the protagonist’s angsty voice
  • Abrupt and unresolved ending
  • Ending ruined my perception of the novel

STORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr is just one of those books that have been sitting on my library wish list for ages. I finally decided to check it out, since I have enjoyed Zarr’s books in the past.

Three years later and Deanna Lambert cannot escape the night when she was caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother’s best friend. The rumors follow her all around her small California town, and her dad still can’t look her in the eye. Deanna struggles to overcome her reputation of the “school slut” and strives for an escape from her past in STORY OF A GIRL.

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Two Stars - , , , , | Words 368 words



When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not 'I love you'-ye'll ken it was because I didna have time.
- Diana Gabaldon, The Feiry Cross


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