Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Review

our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab-cover-revealOur Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (Monsters Of Verity #2)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Pages: 510

Summary: THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Through Schwab’s character-driven and immersive finale, a new monster emerges in the world of Verity as Kate and August’s adventures conclude in Our Dark Duet!

It saddens me that this novel wasn’t a full 5 stars similar to This Savage Song (which I adored! <3) however it is definitely a solid conclusion! 

Similar to all of Schwab’s other novels, I love how she builds the atmosphere of her worlds! Through her writing, her stories/worlds are always immersive and unique!

It was great to see August and Kate develop as they are set on their own paths, especially August since This Savage Song.

Kate now in works as a monster hunter, but when a new monster emerges she finds herself heading back to Verity.

As their stories progressed, it was heartbreaking to read them come to accept difficult truths not only about the fate of their city, but of themselves.

As a new monster emerges, it was also fascinating to get a lot of POV chapters from Alice and Sloan. They get much more development than in Book 1 and it really brought more depth the story overall to see their plans unfold over course of Our Dark Duet.

Additionally, what made them so fascinating to read about, was being able to get into their head and learn more about who they are and what their goals/plans do to them along the way.

I also loved the inclusion of Soro’s character, another Sunai (who identifies as gender fluid) and used they/them! They were a great character who was such a supportive friend to August when he found it difficult to use his Sunai abilities and coming to terms about humanity and what it means to be human. Above all Soro was an amazing character and even though they were just introduced in this novel, definitely became one of my favorite characters.

As mentioned above, through the inclusion of Sloan + Alice’s chapters, we got even more depth into the hierarchy and inner workings between the Malchai and Corsai!

As for world-building, there is a little more in terms of the different monsters and their role in Verity, which I loved because they were such an interesting part of the world. However, in terms of setting I do wish there was a little more description.

Schwab’s writing especially in this novel, really shows the stark differences between Kate & August, with that, we see the dark truths of humanity and the divide between good & evil which really built into the story.

As to why I took off a star, I did find that since this novel read as a dystopian (for me personally) and found there to be some tropes I usually find in those novels, present in this one, which really made this novel feel difficult to get through at points.

I felt what made TSS so much fun, was the interaction/connection of August & Kate and I felt they really didn’t have that many scenes together in Our Dark Duet which made me so sad :'(!

There were also a couple important plot points that felt super rushed as I neared the end, which really made it difficult to really grasp their severity.

Above all, it felt like there was just something missing from this novel that made it quite different from This Savage Song.

Regardless…

Our Dark Duet is a solid, action-packed conclusion to this dark, character-driven duology! Monsters still roam the streets of Verity and with that, Kate and August must face the difficult truths of who they are!

Literary Listens: YA Books That Need Podcast Adaptations

literary-listens-24hryabookblog-feature-bannerLiterary Listens is my newest blog series/feature where I discuss podcasts & books!

Check out my most recent feature, which was “Podcast Recommendations For Writers.

This week’s post is all about “adaptations”–in a way.

I’ll be sharing with you YA Books that I’ve read, that would translate very well to audio and should have their own audio drama podcasts!

~Every now and again on Twitter, I update with my latest podcast obsession I’ve caught up with! 😂😂

While I am by no means an expert, I have listened to quite a few “Audio Drama Podcasts.” The easiest way I can explain them are, essentially stories/overarching plots (like that of a novel) told episodically through audio.

What makes them so unique compared to other mediums is that because its told through sound (sfx, voice actor/actress, etc.) everyone’s interpenetration of characters/setting can be vastly different and the episodic format of podcasts can give you an in-depth perspective on the story being told!

Now onto the list of YA Books that would make a great transition from page to audio!

six-crows-leigh-bardugo-cover1.Six Of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

The Six Of Crows duology has such a fascinating and rich world from the bustling streets of Ketterdam to the wonderfully written characters like Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, and the other members of the Dregs! 

~Add in the high stakes and expansion of the world further developed in Crooked Kingdom and it would make for quite a series!

Bardugo is a master at crafting characters, descriptions and dialogue that’s witty, clever and creates such an atmosphere! If this were to ever happen and the right voice actors were found, it would truly bring her world to life through a podcast!

when-the-moon-was-ours-anna-marie-mclemore2.When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

McLemore creates such vivid and unforgettable characters and through her magical writing, it delivers such a rich and magical story!

Through her lush writing style, the Latinx folklore, magical realism, and important themes and messages weaved throughout would translate perfectly!

Crafting such a magical and memorable story When The Moon Was Oursif it were to be adapted as a podcast, would be a captivating one!

This Savage Song July 53.This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (TSS #1)

The uniqueness and creativity of Schwab’s worlds, especially in This Savage Song would make for such a compelling podcast! 

Through audio, the characters of Kate Harker & August Flynn would really be at the center, with the depth and emotion that Schwab brings to them in the novel a driving force, if this were to become a podcast!

~Just picture each chapter in their POV like one episode! Each chapter of the story could translate to one episode of them…recording their thoughts or relaying them through a diary??

Plus the city of Verity itself is dark yet has so much mystery that it would interesting to see unfold through a podcast! Even with its monsters like the Sunai, Corsai, and Malchai!

97800623807534.The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (TGFE #1)

What I adored about Heilig’s novel The Girl From Everywhere, was not only the rich history weaved throughout, but the overall originality of the plot!

16th Century Hawaii + Ships + Maps that can take you anywhere in time? Wouldn’t that be just beyond amazing for audio?? ❤ ❤

There are so many important themes such as family, friendship and finding yourself found all through out the story. Additionally there’s a great + diverse cast of characters! (character who’s bipolar, characters of color- 1/2 Chinese, Persian)

The beautiful imagery/description of setting that Heilig weaves into her story I feel would also translate seamlessly!

With the fascinating plot, diversity and important themes, The Girl From Everywhere would make such a magnificent audio drama podcast!

wintersong-by-s-jae-jones5.Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong was an enchanting tale! Along with the gorgeous writing, dazzling setting and fascinating characters, Jones’s story could really be brought to life through audio! (Like the Underground and Goblin Grove!)

~Music is a big factor in this story and as a podcast, would add even more!

Through Liesl’s elegantly-constructed POV, it would really transport the listener and bring the enchanting world to life!

Do you think these YA Books would make interesting audio drama podcasts?

Any YA Books you think would be great as podcasts?

Let’s Discuss In The Comments Below! 🙂

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Cover Reveal

As of October 13 the cover for Victoria Schwab’s sequel/finale to her Monsters Of Verity Duology, Our Dark Duet was revealed!

Here is the cover!! (originally from EpicReads)

✨🎻✨🎻✨🎻

……

our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab-cover-reveal

A Masterpiece!! ❤ ❤ 🎻✨💖🎉🎉

I adore this cover from the color to the details of the background!! ❤ ❤

Its great that it matches This Savage Song perfectly from the somber/mysterious tone the cover gives to the instrument in the background, additionally its interesting to see the background also feature another part of the city of Verity!

Our Dark Duet is set to be released June 13, 2017!

What Are Your Thoughts On This Cover? 🙂

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below!

 

Book Bytes I #5

Book Bytes is a monthly feature I created to share news in the world of YA!

Each month I share with you, title reveals, book to movie news & so much more!

1.To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #3

Jenny Han’s 3rd and final book in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

titled Always & Forever Lara Jean 

will be released:

2.Darkest Minds Director

On July 12, Alexandra Bracken announced a director is attached to direct the book to movie adaptation for The Darkest Minds!

Director of Kung Fu Panda Jennifer Yuh Nelson will be at the helm of this project!

More can be read on The Hollywood Reporter article character Here!

3.Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary

As of July 15, PenguinTeen + HappilyEverAfter (USA Today) revealed a 10th Anniversary edition of Vampire Academy, which will be released November 29!

+ it comes with a “never-before-published short story, set in the Vampire Academy world.”

4. Story Of A Girl Director/Star Attached

As of July 18, it was announced that Sara Zarr’s 2007 novel Story Of A Girl, will be directed by Kyra Sedgwick and star Kevin Bacon.

Deadline states that production will begin in September with the movie being brought to Lifetime for a 2017 debut.

5.Everything, Everything Stars Attached

As of July 20, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson will be starring in Everything Everything & will play the main leads Maddy and Olly.

Full article from THR can be found Here.

6.This Savage Song Optioned By Sony

On July 21, The Hollywood Reporter also announced that Victoria Schwab’s latest novel +  NYT Bestseller This Savage Song, was picked up by Sony.

Full article can be found Here.

What Book News Have You Heard? 🙂

This Savage Song Playlist

This Savage Song PlaylistIts been a while since I’ve done a Reading Playlist!

Today I’m happy to be sharing one based on Victoria Schwab’s This Savage Song

Based on the cover/summary I listened to a lot of OST’s from my favorite video game Kingdom Hearts, but mostly from its prequel Birth By Sleep, one of its spin-off titles + a track from Final Fantasy!

Many of the songs listed have some sort of Violin/Classical element which I felt went perfectly with the tone/overall plot of the book!

Enjoy!  ❤

+ Let me know your thoughts on this playlist in the comments!  🙂

+ Announced July 13, Victoria’s book got #1 on the NYT Bestsellers list!  😀 ❤

 

 

 

 

 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab ARC Review

This Savage Song July 5This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (Monsters Of Verity #1)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: July 5, 2016

Pages: 464

Summary: There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

My Thoughts: Everything Victoria writes is perfection!! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

She does an incredible job with creating tone/atmosphere!
From the summary alone this novel gives a dark/mystery-thriller vibe and she does it remarkably.

She’s got character development down to a T! With each and every character, from minor characters to villains, etc. they are all fully developed and I felt I understood each and every one of them by the end of this novel!

Kate struggles in this book to not only get approval from her father but also find her own path!
August struggles to understand what it means to be human, while also trying to protect his family!

*It was so interesting to see how music was seamlessly weaved into this story*!
I loved how August’s Sonai powers revolved around music, more sepcifically the violin and how his connection to it was represented in his narrative and him as character!
+ There is NO ROMANCE!! Very refreshing to see in a YA novel! W/ that said I loved the friendship that developed between August/Kate & while there were very very minor “romantic” moments you really see how much they care for each other & how their meeting really changed their life in Verity!

My only minor issue, was world building! In the first few of pages you are put into this world without much background, but as the story progresses the world becomes much more easy to follow and while the descriptions gave me a Dystopian Vibe (while it is classified as Urban Fantasy), As the story continues Victoria truly gets you immersed into the world/setting of Verity with Kate & August!

While I am usually hesitant about 3rd person narrative (I feel at times it makes hard to connect w/ the characters) Victoria executes it perfectly!

The dual narrative of August & Kate really gives you an overall scope of Verity and whats at stake b/c of a truce that is on the verge of collapse + how the monsters really are the root to this complex city!
+ THE ENDING!! I am really interested to see how it wraps up in book 2!!

Overall this was a dark and fast-paced story w/ twists, complex characters & a rich and lyrical writing that will keep you reading till you’ve reached the last page & leave you wanting the next book!

June 2016 Wrap-Up

# of Books Read: 10

Girl-of-Ink-and-Stars1.The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Girl Of Ink And Stars Full Review

Publisher: Chicken House

Release Date: May 5, 2016

Pages: 228

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A beautifully written debut! This book is filled with mystery, adventure, and an unforgettable world/characters that keep you turning the page!

You Know Me Well June 72.You Know Me Well by David Levithan + Nina LaCour

You Know Me Well ARC Review

Publisher: St.Martins Griffin

Release Date: June 7,2016

Pages: 256 (Hardcover) 250 (ARC)

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A dual-POV contemporary that has friendship at its core!

Mark+Kate struggle to tell their crushes how they feel about them, fearing their friendship would be put at risk!

But along the way Mark & Kate help each other no matter what and find the strength within themselves to confront their crushes/friends!

Zodiac Starforce Cover3.Zodiac Starforce: By The Power Of Astra by Kevin Panetta + Paulina Ganucheau

Zodiac Starforce Full Review

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Release Date: March 9,2016

Pages: 136

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A fast-paced comic with friendship/girl-power ❤ ❤

The art-style is beautiful & the plot itself is pretty easy to follow w/ a diverse cast of characters!

How It Ends4.How It Ends by Catherine Lo

How It Ends Full Review

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: June 7,2016

Pages: 304

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A deep and moving story about friendship!

This book was spectacular! I found myself relating to Jessie (being quite shy) & finding it difficult to navigate friendships!

Lo’s novel tells the story of Annie & Jessie and the obstacles/tensions that threaten to destroy their friendship!

Highly recommend !!

Prodigy Graphic Novel Marie Lu5.Prodigy by Marie Lu (Graphic Novel)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers

Pages: 160

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A condensed but overall enjoyable read of Marie’s 371 page novel of the same name!

This is definitely for those who have read all the Legend books! (more background info/character development)

I will def. be reading the GN of Champion if one is to be released!

the-problem-with-forever-cover6. The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem With Forever Full Review

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: May 17,2016

Pages: 480

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A deep and character-driven contemporary!

Reading from Malory’s POV while at times heart-breaking showed the reader just how strong/independent she had become! There are some aspects that did bother me, the mean girlfriend cliche and at times the pacing was quite slow! But this was a truly unforgettable contemporary!

Lady Killer vol. 17.Lady Killer Vol.1 by Joëlle Jones + Jamie S. Rich

Lady Killer Full Review

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Release Date: September 15, 2015

Pages: 138

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A dark thrilling story of a housewife turned assassin! Everything about this comic was perfect! The plot is fast-paced the characters are well developed and the plot twists will leave you wondering what happens next!

The Princess Saves Herself In This One Cover8.The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace

The Princess Saves Herself In This One Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: April 23,2016

Pages: 156

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Powerful and moving poems that discuss grief, acceptance, love, independence and so much more! Each poem is raw and evokes such emotion!

A must read!

This Savage Song July 59.This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

ARC Review To Come

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: July 5, 2016

Pages: 464

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A dark, but fast-paced story! The 3rd person POV makes it easy to transition from Kate to August! Twists/turns + plot twists that keep you reading till the very end!

Love &amp; Gelato10. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato Full Review

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 3,2016

Pages: 390

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This contemporary took me by surprise! There is so much depth to the characters + reading from Lina’s POV was never dull! Italy is brought to life in this novel and the mystery/friendship that Lina develops is enough to keep you reading!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #3          

June 2016 Releases

Literary Magazine Discussion

The Alchemists Of Loom by Elise Kova Cover Reveal