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.”

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// 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?”

Want to see all of my thoughts on Below? Read more!

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!

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“”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: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (5 Stars)

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This Book Is Too Good (ARC Review)

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Tweet Cute is the perfect YA contemporary- it’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s got heart.

“Apparently in the vast arsenal of useless talents that aren’t going to help me get into college, I am really good at being snarky on Twitter.”

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Release Date: 1/21/2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Page Count: 368
Premise:
Tweet Cute follows two high schoolers, Pepper and Jack. Pepper is a perfectionist. While her family life isn’t going great, their fast-food business, Big League Burger, is, due to Pepper running their massive Twitter. Jack is a class clown who keeps himself busy helping out in his family’s deli. When he discovers that Big League Burger stole one of their recipes, he goes after them on the deli’s twitter. What starts as one small tweet turns into a viral battle, but while their fighting on twitter, they’re falling for each other on an anonymous app and in real life.

“[…] the issue isn’t so much what I want to be, but whether or not I can be it without hurting everyone else in the process.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on Tweet Cute!

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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: A Curse So Dark and Lonely - 5 Stars

A Curse So Dark & Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer – Im So Glad I Finally Read It!! (Review)

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: A Curse So Dark and Lonely deserves the hype it’s been getting. This book is a refreshing take on a familiar tale with political intrigue, magic, and, of course, romance.

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

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// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Suicide Mention, Suicide, Self Harm Mention, Rape Mention, Pedophelia Mention, War Themes, Mental Illness, PTSD, Kidnapping/Abduction //

Release Date: 1/29/2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Page Count: 484
Premise:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely follows Prince Rhen, and Harper. Prince Rhen was cursed, forced to live through the same fall again and again, with each season ending in him turning into a monster focused solely on destruction. The monster has destroyed everything, but, he could escape this curse if only a girl falls for him. Harper lives in Washington, D.C., with her brother and dying mother, that is, until she gets dragged into a fantasy world by a stranger. She isn’t going to be charmed by the prince, but when she sees how the people of his kingdom are faring, she decides to use her time in the enchanted land to help.

““Rhen,” she calls after me.
I pause in the doorway and face her.
“I’m not going to fall in love with you,” she says.
Her words are not a surprise. I sigh.
“You won’t be the first.””

Read more for all of my thoughts on A Curse So Dark And Lonely!

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Caitsbooks Reviews Dance of Thieves - 5 Stars

Dance Of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #1) by Mary E. Pearson – I Did Not Expect To Get This Obsessed (Review)

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Dance of Thieves surprised me. I knew I would enjoy it, but I never expected to become completely obsessed with it. This book is so fun, and full of so many of the best possible tropes.

“Choose your words carefully, even the words you think, because they become seeds,and seeds become history.”

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// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Torture, Rape Mention, Animal Death, War Themes, Murder, Illness, PTSD, Kidnapping/Abduction //

Release Date: 6/7/2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 491
Premise:

Dance of Thieves is the first in a duology that takes place in the same world as The Remnant Chronicles. But don’t worry, if you haven’t read those books, you will still get full enjoyment out of these. Kazi of Brightmast grew up a thief, alone on the streets after her mother was taken from her. However, her skills as a thief earned her a spot as a member of the Queen’s most elite soldiers, the Rahtan. When she is sent on a mission to another kingdom to find a missing war criminal, under the pretense of investigating treaty violations, she has no doubts that she will get the job done. Until she meets Jase. Jase Ballenger is the new Patrei, head of the Ballenger clan. While his lands may not be “officially” recognized as a kingdom, his family has a tight hold on them. However, he knows that his transition into power will be rocky. When Kazi and her friends come into the picture, Jase knows better than to trust her, but the more he learns about her, the harder it is to stop himself from falling for her.

“The ghosts, they never go away. They call to you in unexpected moments, their hands lacing with yours and pulling you down paths that lead nowhere.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on Dance of Thieves!

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