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Sunday, July 19, 2015

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Chibi Views: Dare to Dream (the) Red Queen

Chibi Views are basically mini reviews - inspired by the small sizes of chibi in Japanese manga. They're usually really short, have big heads, and yep... adorable. Usually longer than tweets, but not it's not enough to technically qualify as a long and detailed review.
Dare to Dream by Carys Jones

Dare to Dream
Carys Jones
Publication Date: February 14, 2015
Publisher: REUTS
Reviewer: Sophia
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
“The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.”

Fourteen-year-old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stolen looks from a boy in Maths.

It’s not until the dreams start that Maggie realizes “normal” is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare—red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it’s an omen. At least, not until the already mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling.

No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there’s only one option left—survive.

Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief.
Review copy provided by the author – thanks!

Dare to Dream isn't so much as horrifying as to a novel aimed at a younger audience rather than the upper teens running amok from book to book behind Bookwyrming Thoughts (and of course, their own blogs). Simply put: Ella will butcher this, Lupe will make this sprout unicorns, Rundus will dissect this in a manner as seriously as possible, and Sophia might do a combination of blandly blunt dissection while trying to sprout at least one unicorn so no one (hopefully) will get a headache in the process.

But of course, the very last reviewer might be exaggerating a little. She may also be hitting the truth button at the exact same time she decided to press the "write a review in the third person" button.

In this ever so "blandly blunt dissection" of a mini review, Dare to Dream is essentially divided into two parts: the first part is before the apocalypse, and the second part is the aftermath. It is really just a book that has a main character with a broken family, cries often (well, she is fourteen), and finding her place in the world – all while receiving dreams of the end of the world in the same way nightly and finding out it's in connection to the demise of Stonehenge. Oh, and it is also a day by day play of events that feels more proper in a sleeptastic documentary.

Basically, it's just tales of family drama from a fourteen-year-old British schoolgirl. The whole apocalypse thing? It might as well be a subplot until you get to the second part, where the primary purpose is surviving it day by day. But the point is, middle school Sophia might like this better than high school senior Sophia, who actually likes the whole Stonehenge aspect.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen #1
Victoria Aveyard
Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Length: 12 Hours, 40 Minutes
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Harper Audio
Reviewer: Sophia
Rating: 5 out of 5
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn’t know she had. Except…her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betrothes her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.
In quick and rapid-fire succession about Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen...
  1. Amanda Dolan is a phenomenal narrator. She makes the pages come alive in the ears, if you know what I mean. Regal accent for the queen, awesome rambling skills that show Mare is actually nervous, fabulously "bitchy" voice for Evangeline, etc. Dolan might even top Fontgang. (Don't worry, Lauren. I still like your skills.)
  2. Someone tell me the song title and composer of the music at the beginning and the end of the audiobook, because I love it. It has this ominous feel that I like. Oh, and I admit I'm a music geek.
  3. There are some things I question. 1) Why would you use a shield that contains Mare's powers if you're trying to kill her? I mean, you KNOW her power. 2) I don't think I caught how Silver blood became silver. Is it something as simple as, I don't know, putting a bit of silver in Botox before injecting it? *strokes imaginary beard thoughtfully*
  4. The end. Any book that actually has an unpredictable ending is instantly music in my ears (not that I'm being biased, but let's just say you get more merit) – when you read so many books, things tend to repeat. But that's a discussion for another day.
  5. You're like The Winner's trilogy. I don't need to say anything more, because this letter explains it all. If I write this one as a letter, I'll plagiarize my own self.

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.