Below (North #1) by Alexandria Warwick – This Book Is Gorgeous (ARC Review)

Thank you to the author for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.

Overall: 4/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 3.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Below is cold and dark, a story rich with culture and told in beautiful prose.

“The night is long, but the sun will soon greet you.”

[ Related: 20 Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2020 (and 120+ More)(Recommendation Nation) ]

// Content Warning: Violence, Torture, Animal Death, Suicide Mention //

Release Date: 2/4/2020
Publisher: Wolf Publishing
Page Count: 308
Premise:

When Apaay’s sister, Eska’s face is stolen by the legendary creature known as the Face Stealer, she travels to where no one dares to go, the Face Stealers lair, to take it back. But her journey does not go as planned, and she finds herself trapped in a labyrinth by a girl, Yuki. Yuki promises her freedom if only Apaay can find Eska’s face, and a face Yuki is searching for. But the labyrinth, and those inside, are not what they seem. Including the Face Stealer himself.

“Does one crush a flower in winter?”

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Writing & Setting

Alexandria Warwick’s writing is beautiful and enthralling. I found myself stopping every once in a while just to admire the writing and the choices Warwick makes in telling this story. Even what could be simple statements have a fairytale-esque feel that adds so much to this book. The writing also perfectly matches the atmospheric setting. The cold of this world seeps into your bones, chilling you as you follow Apaay’s journey. The world and culture are inspired by Inuit mythology. Alexandria Warwick managed to pull from a mix of reality and fantasy to ground her world and make it feel fleshed out and tangible, while also unique and imaginative.

“Power was temptation. Power was the question: to hurt or heal?”

Plot

This book is definitely not a fast-paced, action-focused epic. Instead, it moves slowly, emphasizing the character’s journeys and development. If you aren’t a fan of slower reads, this book may be hard to get into, but trust me, if you’re patient, you will find yourself absorbed by it. It may take you 50-75 pages or so to get into it, but once you are, you’ll be hooked.

“You love so fiercely. With your whole heart. That’s where your strength comes from.”

Characters

Apaay is a strong protagonist, loyal and dedicated, with corny jokes and fantastic development. I really loved her love for her sister and the relationship between them. As for the antagonists, we have two: Yuki and The Face Stealer. Yuki is a pretty run-of-the-mill villain— I don’t not like her as a character but she also didn’t really do anything for me. The Face Stealer (Numiak) on the other hand? Oh my god, I love him. He’s exactly my favorite type of character- a villain with unknowable motives and a backstory you’re desperate to unlock. I really can’t wait to learn more about him. We get glimpses in this book, but I need so much more! He’s such a compelling character, stealing every scene he was in. Usually, I prefer books with a romance plot, but these characters were so strong on their own that I wasn’t upset that we didn’t have one. Although, I will most definitely not complain if we get one in the next book (especially if it involves Numiak. I really just want a whole book about him).
Also, this book also features deaf characters and utilized sign language!

[ Related: My November + December Favorites, And My January TBR ]

“”People like us?” he said, voice hard. “We’re not meant to be loved.””

Conclusion

Pros- Atmospheric, beautiful writing and setting
Cons- A little slow
Overall- 4/5 stars.
Below is a stunning novel, atmospheric and beautiful, that is sure to stick with you.

If You Liked Below, I’d Recommend:

What book do you think has the most beautiful writing?





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Caitsbooks Reviews: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (4 Stars)

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer – I Dont Know If Im Happy or Scared (Probably Both) (ARC Review)

*I received an ARC at BookCon. All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.*

Overall: 4/5 Stars
Characters: 3/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3/5
Review in a Nutshell: A Heart So Fierce and Broken is, overall, a great read, but some aspects left me conflicted.

“There is no path here. I feel as though the curse never ended. The players simply changed.”

[ Related: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer- I’m So Glad I Finally Read It!! (Review) ]

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Torture, Anxiety, Suicide Mention, Self Harm Mention, Rape Mention, Animal Death, War Themes, Mental Illness, PTSD //

Release Date: 1/7/2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 491
A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely, this focusing on Grey, Rhen’s loyal guard who is on the run, and Lia Mara, the daughter of the queen of a rival kingdom.

“Choices are never easy. There are good or bad options, but the most dangerous is not to make any choice at all.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on A Heart So Fierce and Broken!

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Caitsbooks Reviews Twice In A Blue Moon ARC by Christina Lauren - 4.8 stars

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren – Addictive + Adorable (ARC Review)

Overall: 4.8/5 Stars
Characters: 4.5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Twice In A Blue Moon is cute, heartfelt, and completely captivating. This book will suck you in and never let you go.

“What would you do if you got a second chance with your first love?”

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// Content Warning: Death (Mention), Racism (Mention) //

Release Date: 10/22/2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Page Count: 368
Premise:
Twice In A Blue Moon follows Tate Jones who is the daughter of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but keeps that little fact a closely guarded secret. When she travels to London for vacation, she meets Sam, and falls in love. However, she quickly realizes she put her trust in the wrong man. Fourteen years later, Tate is an up-and-coming actress, excited to be on the set of her first big break. However, that excitement dies pretty quickly when she discovers who wrote the movie.

“I want every wish he ever makes to be for this. A penny in a fountain. The first star. An eyelash. Eleven eleven. Just for one more time.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on Christina Lauren’s newest book!

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Caitsbooks Reviews: The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey - 3.5 Stars

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey – A Cute Read, with Depth (ARC Review)

*All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change*

Overall: 3.5/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 3.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Library of Lost Things is an interesting read that’s a mix between cute romance and heavy family drama.

“The circle never broke. We lived in a home strung across tightropes.”

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// Content Warning: Illness (Post-Concussive Syndrome), Mental Illness (Hoarding) //

Release Date: 10/8/2016
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Page Count: 384
Premise:

When Darcy Wells meets Asher Fleet, a former pilot whose dreams seem just out of reach, she doesn’t expect to care for him. For once, she doesn’t want to hide in her books. But after years of protecting her mother’s secret of being a hoarder, Darcy doesn’t know how to let anyone into her cluttered life.

“Holding a real book is like holding something alive. There’s the grit of the pages between your fingers as you turn them. The edges get soft and worn. With a real book, you feel the weight of the story more.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on The Library of Lost Things!

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Caitsbooks Reviews Graceling by Kristen Cashore - 3.75 Stars

Graceling by Kristen Cashore – Is It As Good As People Say? (Review)

Overall: 3.75/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 3.5/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3.75/5
Review in a Nutshell: I went into this book with crazy high expectations, and while it didn’t quite meet all of them, it was still a great read.

“Mercy was more frightening than murder, because it was harder.”

[ Related: August Favorites & My September TBR ]

Image result for graceling

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Torture, Animal Death, Murder, Incest (hinted at), Pedophelia (hinted at), sexual assault (hinted at), Human Trafficking (Mention) //

Release Date: 10/01/2008
Publisher: Harcort
Page Count: 471
Premise:
Katsa is a Graceling. She was born with an innate gift. Except, while some people were Graced with fighting, telepathy, or music, Katsa was Graced with killing. Used as the king’s pawn, Katsa is sent across the kingdom threatening and torturing whoever the king tells her to, but what he doesn’t know is that she has her own missions, helping those who need it. On one of those missions, she meets Po, the youngest prince of a faraway kingdom. The two of them must work together to solve a mystery that threatens his family, but they didn’t expect to fall in love, or uncover a secret that threatens everything they know.

“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”

Read more for all of my thoughts on Graceling!

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