March 27, 2016

Mini Reviews | Epic elemental magic and all the romantic feels

Since I do not have a Time-Turner, a TARDIS, or a cloning machine, I just do not have time to write a full review for all of the books that I read. So, I have decided to write mini-reviews to discuss the books that I do not have as much to say about. That does not mean that I did not like these books, but sometimes, as creative and amazing as my brain is, I just cannot think of that much to write about a book.

Today I am discussing the awesomeness of elemental magic in The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas and the cute fuzzy feelings that A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall gave me.

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)The Perilous Sea
By Sherry Thomas
The Elemental Trilogy #2
Published September 16, 2014
414 Pages
Balzer + Bray

After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.
Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

I gave The Burning Sky, the first book in the series, a full five-stars. You can read my raving review to see why I loved it so much.

I had very high hope for The Perilous Sea, and it did not disappoint. The characters were spot-on and managed to have more depth than in the first novel (which I did not even know was possible) and the romance completely exploded (in a good way, like confetti). My enthusiasm can only be properly organized in the form of a list with all of the things I loved.

1. The intense world 

Even though the world in this series is based on elemental magic, there is nothing simple about the magic system. There are many different kind of mages with different skill levels. Fortunately, the system is beautifully explained so I was not confused at all. Bonus, there was also an appendix full of interesting and informative tidbits about the world that were not essential to the plot, but gave a new look into the depth of Thomas's intricate world. 

2. The thrilling plot

The Perilous Sea never succumbed to the dreaded sequel slump. The action and plot started on page one and never slowed down. The conflicts from the previous novel continued with the interference of new conflicts as well. I was never bored or over-whelmed due to the plot. The mix of action, mystery, and tension was perfect. I cannot say much without giving major plot points away, but the mysterious situation in the Sahara Desert kept me intrigued until the end.

3. The swoon-worthy romance

The romance improved the most from the first novel. Titus and Iolanthe were so incredibly amazing together, even if they did not remember. They truly developed from the couple of teenage mages who were forced together to save the world to a dynamic duo who was ready to take on the world together. They shared some toe-curling sweet moments which I cannot wait to read more of in the next novel.

The Perilous Sea's intricate world-building, non-stop plot, and a completely satisfying romance made it live up to the five-star rating of its predecessor. 

A Little Something Different

A Little Something Different
By Sandy Hall
Published August 26, 2014
272 Pages
Swoon Reads

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, andeveryone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 
Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

I love the idea behind A Little Something Different, but the execution could have been a lot better. 

The first thing you should know about this book is that it is told in 14 different perspectives and not all of them are from humans. (Yes, it sounds extremely weird and I am not denying that.) For example one perspective is from a bench and another is from a squirrel. I loved the concept, but the writing style did not do it justice. 

I could not really find the differences between the different perspectives, which kind of defeats the purpose. All of the different viewpoints had pretty much the same style and voice. So, if I was not careful, I would easily forget which perspective I was reading. 

My other problem was that the writing was rather simple. It was a book set in college, but the writing belonged in a middle grade novel. I also found that most of the story was based on stereotypes of college students rather than the truth of being in college. The book made it all seem like drinking, partying, and stalking crushes instead of studying and The story would have been so much better if the writing was a bit more complicated and less stereotypical.

I will admit that the story was cute and fluffy with the slowest-burning romance that I have ever read, but that does not excuse the writing errors. 

A Little Something Different was a good fluffy romance story, but it left a lot to be desired. 

Have you read either of these books? What do you think about reading from the perspective of inanimate objects? Are you tired of elemental magic systems, or do you love them like me?

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