My Sort-of Review for The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Okay, there are some books that are so amazing and hit you so hard that it become nearly impossible to put your feelings into words. The Heart of Betrayal was this type of book for me through and through. I loved every single word and moment so pardon my review for being short and not nearly as articulate as I’d like.

HoBThe Heart of Betrayal
By: Mary Pearson
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny

My (mish-mashed) Thoughts:

It is a rare day when I can review a sequel and say that it was even better than the first book. The Heart of Betrayal was such an incredibly strong story with excellent writing and an epic storyline. Pearson picked up directly where The Kiss of Deception left us and wastes no time to getting the reader back into the story.

Lia was such a strong character and my love for her only grew in this sequel. Really, all the characters are so well developed and well rounded. It was very interesting to watch them interact and learn more about them individually. We are introduced to a new character, the Komizar, who was such an intriguing character. Watching Lia have to survive and find her way in a new place, Venda, surrounded by enemies kept me on the edge of my seat and completely enthralled.

Gah, I keep trying to think of what to say but it mostly just boils down to READ THIS SERIES PLEASE. This sequel built upon the first book so well and I loved the expansion of the world and the characters, Lia especially. I think that if you enjoy fantasy with a historical feel, romance, political intrigue and incredible writing this series is for you.

If you feel you have similar tastes as I do then I’m confident you’ll love both The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal.

Extras

KissOfDeception320

Review of The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

THeFixerThe Fixer
By: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.

My Thoughts:
I have been a fan of Barnes’ books from before I blogged so anytime I see her name I know I’ll want to read whatever her book is regardless of subject matter. Her books aren’t generally my typical genre but I think she has such a fun, fast paced writing style that always has the ability to addict me.

For me, the main draw to this particular book were the characters. I thought that on a whole the main cast was so complex and well rounded. I will say that I had an emotional response to this story and to the main character especially. Tess’ grandfather was dealing with memory loss. My grandfather passed away recently and he was suffering from frontal lobe memory loss. It was so hard to watch (even from a distance) as he forgot how to speak so I could totally relate and empathize to Tess and her desire to stick with him and hide the truth. I think that this similarity between my life and Tess’ really got me off to a great start with relating and connecting to the main character. I immediately liked her and felt for her.

I of course adored Tess’ grandfather and each scene he was in broke my heart. I was incredibly moved at times and I think enough time had passed since my own loss that it was therapeutic in a way. We also get to know Tess’ sister Ivy fairly well as the story progressed. I found it incredibly interesting watching the two sisters work out their relationship problems. Ivy was a very interesting character because of her political clout and ability to get things done.

As you can tell a good portion of this book focused on family relationships. I really loved that and found that the growth between the sisters was really a highlight for me. I have an older sister so I can relate to Tess here as well. Granted, my sister and I aren’t estranged but it wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine what it might feel like.

There’s something about posh academy life that has always been appealing to read about so Hardwicke Academy and all the students captured my interest. Barnes played into some of the common stereo-types but I felt it was done quite well. Tess won me over yet again by standing up to bullies and being such a loyal friend.

Notice I’m not highlighting much about a romance- that’s because there really wasn’t one to speak of. This novel focused on those other relationships and the mystery and action side of things. Barne’s knows how to write an intense scene. Sections of the book flew by since I couldn’t stop reading. I was also unable to really predict exactly what would happen so that’s always a plus.

Final Thoughts:
I’m honestly not huge into political thrillers (I don’t think) but this book completely captured my interest…that says a lot about Barnes’ writing and characters. The Fixer had wonderful action, intrigue, relationship development and heart.