Number of Pages: 358
For ages 13+
"Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future." -Goodreads
This book had been sitting on my desk for who knows how long after Trisha lent it to me. Sometimes I would forget about it sitting there and then some days I would be in the middle of reading something while realizing I STILL needed to read it. When I read the excerpt I was a little wary of reading it. Trisha kept telling me over and over how good it was and pretty much every single book Trisha has told me to read has been a winner so OF COURSE I'm gonna listen to her. DUH.
I'm not gonna lie, I really did not think I was going to like this book. But once I got into it, I was SUCKED IN. I had to force myself to put the darn thing down so I could go to bed at 1:00 am. I absolutely positively LOVE Alina. She's hilarious, witty, and has pretty much a comeback for everything. But she's also a character that you can connect to. She, like everyone else, has flaws. She views herself as a girl who doesn't really belong anywhere, and that she's really not someone special. But then she has to face the Fold. Which is a pretty stinkin' scary place, if you ask me. And everything just explodes.. Well not really explodes.. but.. like.. this blinding light goes everywhere.. and she passes out... OH JUST READ THE BOOK. Going on... Alina turns out to have all of this power that she had no idea she had. It was hard to read the struggles Alina had to go through, and the thoughts she had that she wasn't good enough. I just wanted to run in and give the poor girl a hug. And then on top of all that, she had to leave her best friend, Mal. And trust me, we're talkin' about him later... Do not worry your pretty little heads.
Something that Leigh made SUPER STINKIN' difficult was the feelings you had for the Darkling. FOR CEREAL. Sometimes I was all, "Maybe he's really nice! Maybe you just have to get to know him!" to, "DARKLING, YOU SUCK!" Even after finishing the book I still have no idea what feelings I have for him. On one hand I reaaalllyy do not like him, but on the other I do because he definitely had some sweet moments. And I'm sure Alina was having these same issues. But, again, you'll have to read the book to figure out why there are so many mixed emotions. Because seriously there are SO MANY.
Now we're on to Mal. Remember how I said we were gonna talk about him? Yeah. Let me just say something: *SWOOOOON* Kay, I'm done. Anyways, Mal is the guy best friend that all girls wish they had. He's like the Gordo to the Lizzie McGuire. Except, you know, there isn't any magical powers and they aren't separated and there's not really any life or death situations... So maybe they aren't ALL that similar. BUT, like Gordo and Lizzie, there was some chemistry goin' on between Alina and Mal. You see, Mal was the guy all the girls swooned over while Alina had to sit and watch. And if I were Alina I'd be pretty darn jealous. Mal isn't really in the book much until the end, and once again, I cannot tell you why. Do you all see the reason you need to go get this book yourself? The romance between these two was FANTABULOUUUSS. And Mal said some of the sweetest things ever. I loved the relationship between them. And sometimes I loved the bantering between them. It was kind of the comic relief when things got really deep.
But don't be thinkin' this was some light hearted book. NUH UH. This book will have you thinking for hours after you've finished it. I literally closed the the book, and sat there. I had no idea what to do. I kind of just sat there and stared into space. Seriously. I needed to take in ALL that I had just read. The funny moments, the finger nail biting moments, and the heartbreaking moments. I can't even begin to explain the amazing things I read in that book. I. Loved. It.
I give this book 5 out of 5 diva crowns, go figure! ;) It was phenomenal. And yes, Trisha, you were right. I'm so glad I finally remembered that book was on my desk. Because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have read this amazing story. I highly recommend it.
I absolutely love this bookfession because it completely explains this book right here:
I really couldn't have said it better. This book took me somewhere new. And that my friends, is why I love reading so much.
Hope your day is filled with *sparkles*!