The Rose Society

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Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 416
Rating: 5/5

5⭐
After being exiled by the Daggers, Adelina Amoterou flee away from Kenettra with her sister Violetta. They went to the city if Merroutas in hope of finding new elites so they can form a new group that they will be calling The Rose Society. They first found the famous Magiano whose powers is to mimic other elites’ power. One way or another, Magiano was the reason they found “The Rainmaker” that the Daggers exiled, his name is Sergio.

After getting allies, Adelina with her roses sailed back to Estenzia to seize the throne. Along the way they discovered that the Daggers we’re planning to bring back Enzo from the dead with the help of the Beldain queen, Maeve, whose power is to bring back the dead by tethering its soul to another human being. With this knowledge Adelina managed to fool everyone and got Enzo tethered to her instead of Rafaelle.

When Adelina thought that everything’s in its place with the crown of Estenzia hers and Enzo tied to her soul, then she will discover that everything costs something.

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I waited for a month to read The Rose Society, and I must say that every agonizing minute of waiting was worth it. Some people waited for a year and honestly, I can’t imagine myself waiting that long. I would have gone insane.

After the ending of the first book, I expect nothing easy and light for The Rose Society. I expect nothing but vengeance and hardships, but even with these expectations I was surprised on how the story unfolds. It didn’t occur to me that Marie Lu will have the heart to take our characters into a much darker path. I almost hated her because of it, because of how sad and dark Adelina’s life has become when all she wanted (in the past) is to be loved and to be accepted. The author totally suceeded again on telling a story of a villain. The Rose Society may be a filler book of sorts but on story telling wise, it is a unique book that shows what’s behind the mask of an antagonist.

So what’s the difference between The Rose Society and those other literary works that tells the story of characters who makes the life of those good hearted people suffer? Adelina.

Adelina’s character backbone is made of sufferings and bitterness. She is fueled with vengeance and thirst of power just like every other villains. But what made her so compelling is her character never pretended to be pitiful. Yes she suffered in the past, but it wasn’t the MAIN reason on how she turned out. It’s like the darkness of her soul is what she’s already made of even before the bloodfever arrived. It’s like her own existence was made possible by the desire to be uplifted. Even on The Young Elite when she was training with the Daggers her power is much more stronger when she’s afraid or angry.

Do I like Adelina? Hell yeah! Why? Well I don’t want to be on the receiving end of her wrath so I decided that if on a parallel universe where she existed, I’ll try to be friends with her.

Let’s talk about Magiano. He’s hilarious, his power is to die for, and he’s overlooked by Adelina. How can one ignore that kind of character? He’s so full of life and energy. While reading the book, I am more looking forward on his scenes more than those of our MAIN characters. There’s just something in him that will make every reader drawn to him. I don’t know if it’s his swag that made the differece, but if you’ll read the book I will promise that you’ll like his character. I just wish that there’s a whole lot more of him on the book. I feel deprived of his scenes.

Another character that was added to the mix is our resident bringer of dead back to life, the Beldain Queen, Maeve. Honestly I don’t know whether to trust her. She’s the leader of another country, yet she agreed on restoring Enzo’s life (which turned out to be trouble). Her character says that she wanted to restore him to help everyone but clearly, she did that because she has something to gain from it. So my verdict about her hasn’t reach its ending yet.

The Daggers were a mess in this book, one died, another was dying, and another one has failed on having a dead man’s life tethered into him. I don’t think that there’s something good coming on their way on the next book. I just can’t grasp the fact that a group that was so invincible in the past ended up like that. I was embarassed for them.

Teren’s character surprised me, he agreed on doing something that makes his stomach turn, which is teaming up with elites. Also, can you believe that she killed Guillietta? He took the definition of insane into a whole new level. But I also believe that his character possesses a depth that the other character in this novel don’t have. He really believed that getting rid of malfettos is right, and that the world is safer without them. He dedicated his whole existence into sweeping the nation of them. Maybe if his character is not that crazy, readers would come to love him.

All in all, I believed that Marie Lu took a whole leap of faith in these novels. Without wit and intelligent writing, this story would have been horrendous, but it wasn’t, in fact it is a book that will awaken your blood. Marie Lu did a good job writing this book, and I hope that more exciting things will come. Though other characters were not thoroughly developed, like Sergio whom I wish has more scenes, I’m still as excited to see on what will happen to them, because with an ending like that I can’t imagine something good to happen. There’s just so many possibilities that I refure to ponder with because if I do, I’ll get as insane as Adelina and Teren. We do not want that to happen to me though I’m halfway there.

September and October Wrap Up

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Books I’ve Read for the Month of September

1. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (April Genevieve Tucholke and Various Authors)- 4/5
2. Opposition (Jennifer L. Armentrout)- 3/5
3. Bitter Sweet Love (Jennifer L. Armentrout)- 4/5
5. A Darker Shade of Magic (V. E. Schwab)- 5/5
6. Vicious (V. E. Schwab)- 5/5
7. The Demigod Diaries (Rick Riordan)- 3/5
8. The Young Elites (Marie Lu)- 4/5
9. The Darkest Part of the Forest (Holly Black)- 3/5
10. Tiger Lily (Jodi Lynn Anderson)- 4/5
11. Forbidden (Tabitha Suzuma)- 5/5
12. The Sleeper and the Spindle (Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddle for the illustrations)- 5/5
13. Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)- 2.5/5
14. Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)- 4/5

September has been an awful month for my blog. After a lot of thinking and arguments, I finally give in to my husband’s whim to move in with him and his parents. Don’t get me wrong, my in-laws we’re awesome, and they look after me and my child. The only problem is that they don’t have internet connection, they just have this pocket WiFi that runs on prepaid load. It’s very expensive to use and it’s signal is limited. But despite all that, I get to spend more time with my family, because to be honest, blogging takes a huge chunk of my time.

Book talk! The best book I’ve read for the month of September is Vicious, and the worst is (Sorry Tog fans) Throne of Glass. But if I will consider all the feels and my state after reading, Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma will won the first place.(Don’t forget to checkout my review for the book, it’s on the blog.) My emotions were all over the place after reading it, I was so affected.

I also tried reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern this month, and I just can’t. The book has an awesome tone, but it’s excruciatingly slow. All I understand is that it tells the story of two people with magic, that will have to enter a contest against each other. Something like that. My wild guess is that they will eventually fall in love with each other.

I also had my regular dose of Riordan’s and JLA’s works for this month.

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My October Reads

1. Heir of Fire (Sarah J. Maas)- 4/5
2. Queen of Shadows (Sarah J. Mass)- 3.5/5
3. Finding Audrey (Sophie Kinsella)- 5/5
4. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Sword of Summer (Rick Riordan)- 4/5
5. Confession of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)- 3/5
6. Never, Never (Coleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher)- 5/5
7. Never, Never 2 (Coleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher)- 5/5
8. Made You Up (Francesca Zappia)- 3.5/5
9. The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown)- 4.5/5
10. Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo)- 4/5
11. The Wrath and the Dawn (Renée Ahdieh)- 4.5/5
12. Alice in Zombieland (Gena Showalter)- 3/5
13. The Rose Society (Marie Lu)- 5/5
14. Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes (Rick Riordan)- 2.5/5

I’ve been surprised when I learned that I maintain my number of reads this month. October has been hectic to be honest because it’s been the birth month of a lot of people who is close to my heart. First is one of my closest cousin, she turned 18 (legal age huzzah!), then two of my husband’s godchildren, my mother and her mother, and my most anticipated birthday on the whole universe, MY SON TURNED 1 LAST OCTOBER 23! I have been running around, trying to juggle my schedule to buy presents, attend parties, reading books, and preparing for my child’s own birthday party. And I love how it turned out. Though a lot of people we’re absent, my son and I made the most of it. We prepare balloons, loot bags and decorations. It was so fuuuun! And exhausting. From now on October is my favorite month.

So books…. I’ve read a lot for this month, and my most anticipated release was the one with Marie Lu’s name on it. The feels.. The trickery.. The feels.. The vengeance.. I savor everything, every word, every punctuation marks. I was not disappointed, I was amazed.

I read a couple of Rick Riordan’s book this month, and I have problems on them. So Magnus Chase, I like him in general, but please Mr. Author, it’s the same plot line over, and over, and over again. Come on, try to spice things up a bit. And the Greek Heroes, gods! I practically drag myself so just I can finish it. The sarcasm and Percy’s spirit was still there, but it’s waaay too much. Yes it’s informative, but also, it’s INFORMATION OVERLOAD again.

I also tried reading contemporaries this month,and maybe they’re the reason why I was able to read as much as 14 books this October. Let’s face it, they are much easier to read than SFF. I love Never, Never, it has the right amount of everything. The romance, the magic realism, and the mystery, gosh the mystery! I hate being kept in the dark, but on  this one I made an exception.
I tried reading another Holly Black’s work, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I was so curious about it since its release, and for this month I decided to finally pick it up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish it. It’s not that it’s bad, maybe my timing was just really wrong. I picked it up at the same time that The Rose Society was released. I got so distracted and abandoned the book. ( I’m sorry little book, I promise to read you again and I promise that I will appreciate you. Just give me time OK? OK.)

In conclusion, I still think that I need to slow down. My health is suffering, as well as my eye sight. I can feel that it’s getting blurry. And please, don’t get me started on sleeping schedules. On a positive note, I’m more or less 15 books away from my 2015 reading goal (150 books), so I can really afford a reading vacation I’ve been trying to get for quite sometime now. (I just didn’t know whether my sanity will keep itself intact with the absence of reading materials. And if on the next blog post I made I sound crazy, you know what happen.)

There you go, my full of rant wrap up.

The Young Elites

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Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

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Twelve years ago, the land of Kennetra was ravaged by a deathly plague called the bloodfever. It kills the adults who caught the disease while those children that survived were left with scars and other odd markings. Other people called those children malfetto.

Adelina Amouteru’s family was one of the many victims of the bloodfever. It killed her mother, left her sister unscathed, and her, a malfetto. Her hair and lashes turned silver while one of her eyes were removed by the doctor. Because of her label as a malfetto her family’s reputation suffered.

Berated and beaten by her father, Adelina decided to ran away from home. Unfortunately her father discovered her disappearance and tried to stop her. On that night Adelina discovered her hidden ability for the first time in her life. She can conjure frightful images out of thin air. Because of that Adelina accidentally killed her father, and was eventually caught by the inquisitors.

On the day of her execution, Adelina was rescued by the young elite that leads the Dagger Society. Young elites we’re those malfettos that posses magical abilities. At first Adelina thought that she finally found the place where she belongs, but as she unravel the extent of her ability, everyone can’t help but notice how different and dark her powers was.

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(This review was written for almost a month ago, I just edited it a bit.)

I thoroughly enjoy reading this book. It’s full of suspense, and its characters were superb. Honestly, I never felt an ounce of boredom while reading The Young Elites. I love Marie Lu’s writing style and her effort to write a story with dark characters. Though the book has a number of shortcomings, it didn’t hinder the message that Lu wanted to deliver to her audience, and that is to never easily judge evilness.

And now here I am trying to enumerate those things about The Young Elites that I totally love, and those that fell flat for me.

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1. The idea of writing a villain’s story
It has been done before (e.g. Fairest by Marissa Meyer and Disney Descendants on TV), and surely, more literary works that will made us understand the villains will come out in the future. But what makes The Young Elites different is the absence of the “good guys”. Maybe some readers will argue about Adelina being the good guy, or Refaelle and the Daggers were, but on my honest opinion no one in the book deserves the trusts of the readers to do the good things, especially Adelina. Every side has their own selfish motives, and everyone has something to gain and to lose. That reason for me is enough to question whether their actions we’re for the greater good or not.

2. The diversity of the characters
It is evident in the story that the author really put a lot of effort when it comes with the characters of this story. Not only on the physical aspects of the characters, which she really nailed, but also with the special abilities that she bless her characters with.

Adelina Amouteru has lost her eye, her beauty, and her hair and lashes becomes silver. In short, she’s very distinct. She’s scarred, and that made her a lot more enduring when it comes with the hardships that she’s about to face. Though a lot of times I wished that she acted differently, I can’t help but admire her courage and determination to change her destiny.

Correct me if I’m wrong but is the story originally about Teren? I read something like that on the acknowledgement written on the book. Moving on, I think that Teren has some loose screws up in that head of him. Killing his kind, then killing the king while warming the bed of the queen? That’s insanely overboard for me. Can a guy be that crazy? Not to mention his lack of interest to be the king. I think that Teren is just blinded by his love for the queen and by his belief that his sole purpose is to wipe every malfetto that walks Kennetra out.

I like Enzo, in fact, I love him. He’s been vanished and robbed of his birthright, but he didn’t lost his determination to get it back. Though he refuse to show his feelings towards his Daggers, it was hinted that he cares about them deeply. They are the only people he has left and because of that he became a very effective leader.

3. The Epilogue
The epilogue made this book suddenly worth reading. Before reading it, I was satisfied and craving for more, but when I read it? I became impatient, desperate and needy for the release of the next book. So immediately I preorder The Rose Society, and guess what? I already have it!

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Here comes my ‘meh’ moments while reading The Young Elites.

1. The world building
I am not that high standard when it comes with the setting of a story. As long as the characters we’re well written, and the ending is satisfactory then it’s enough for me. Unfortunately, I can’t help but notice how the world building in The Young Elites was a major disappointment. In my opinion, a book in the fantasy genre should always get an A+ when it comes with world building, there’s no excuses. It is fantasy after all.

2. RAFAELLE
I barely connected with his character and I think that he’s the biggest backstabber of all. He’s like smiling and taking care of Adelina, but on her back, he’s talking ill about her.

3. The point of views
Adelina’s POV for me is okay and wholly satisfying. She sounded how she’s suppose to sound, and her dialogue we’re superb. What got me into ranting is the men’s POVs. I can barely differentiate them from each other. They all sounded the same! Half the time I was reading, I can’t help but to look again on the beggining of the chapter to know who’s talking, especially when the characters were making some internalization.

In conclusion I loved The Young Elites, in fact it blew my breath away. It has some great ideas going on, and its diversity is something. Somethings may be needing some improvement, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth reading, IT IS. It talks about things that we don’t encounter on day to day basis, and it teaches us to not judge someone because of her background. (There goes my fail attempt to incorporate a moral lesson.) I personally reccomend this to everyone, because after reading this, you’ll surely run into the nearest bookstore to buy The Rose Society since it was released last October 13.